The Caribbean island nation of Haiti has long been a corrupt and failed regime that in recent months has descended into utter chaos and lawlessness as criminal gangs and armed protesters have all but taken over control of the impoverished country from the outmatched national police and government forces.
Now there is talk of sending an international peacekeeping force to Haiti to restore calm, and reports indicate that the Biden administration is seriously considering whether to deploy U.S. military troops as part of that proposed multinational force, the Western Journal reported.
One reason why the deployment of the U.S. military is to try and prevent a mass exodus of “biblical” proportions of Haitians fleeing their homeland for America. The outlet noted that the U.S. Coast Guard has already reported a four-fold increase over last year in the number of Haitian migrants caught attempting to enter the U.S.
Daniel Foote, a former U.S. envoy to Haiti, told The New York Times, “That has always been the U.S. government’s biggest Haitian nightmare, a mass migration event. It’s already upon us; the next step becomes biblical, with people falling off anything that can float. We aren’t that far away from that.”
Haitian government pleads for international help
The Associated Press reported on Oct. 7 that the embattled Haitian government issued a formal request for international troops to come and help restore order after heavily armed criminal gangs and protesters calling for regime change had essentially shut down the nation’s supply of basic goods, fuel, and water.
That document was signed by Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who took over following the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moise, and 18 other top-ranking officials, and it pleaded for assistance to avert “the risk of a major humanitarian crisis” by way of “the immediate deployment of a specialized armed force, in sufficient quantity” to effectively take on and defeat the armed criminal gangs.
“It is imperative to restart activities to avoid a complete asphyxiation of the national economy,” the officials stated.
Around the same time as that plea, the U.S. State Department urged all U.S. citizens to get out of Haiti and authorized government officials to return to the U.S. as it considered a request for a “humanitarian corridor” — necessarily composed of armed troops — to help protect deliveries of vital supplies to civilians and the government.
U.N. resolution submitted, now facing internal pushback
The Washington Post reported about a week later on Oct. 15 that it had obtained a draft resolution that the U.S. would submit to the United Nations Security Council in support of “the immediate deployment of a multinational rapid action force” to help mitigate the worsening crisis in Haiti.
The resolution reportedly did not contain specifics on which nations would participate in the force or exactly what the force would do, and while no pertinent officials would comment to the Post on the record about the potential role U.S. troops might play, an unnamed government official said any U.S. troops, if involved at all, would likely be limited to providing logistical support and wouldn’t be utilized as “boots on the ground.”
However, the resolution did call for an “arms embargo, asset freeze, and travel ban” against certain criminal elements in Haiti, such as the massive gang run by a leader named Jimmy Cherizier, who stands accused of having “engaged in acts that threaten the peace, security, and stability of Haiti and has planned, directed, or committed acts that constitute serious human rights abuses.”
The Western Journal noted that no action has been taken on that U.N. resolution since October, nor is it certain that U.S. troops would be involved if the resolution was approved, as the Times reported, “Now, the Biden administration is encountering resistance to rallying a multinational force, including from American military leaders who do not want to be drawn into a mission that would require a significant amount of time and resources,” per unnamed U.S. government officials.