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Resolved: Development assistance should be prioritized over military aid in the Sahel region of Africa.
I’m not sure why the resolution specifies the Sahel region; it should probably just say Sudan, or Darfur. In any case, I’m not sure how I feel about this resolution. It doesn’t actually pose an interesting question, nor does it pose one that doesn’t have a correct answer. It’s also a situation that doesn’t exist in reality. In order for prioritization to be a problem, two things have to come in conflict. Why can’t we provide both? Or neither? I also say “we,” but the resolution doesn’t actually specify an actor, which is another big problem. Who is providing the assistance?
1. Sahel Region – You should just google this to find a map. The region spans across Africa near the north. It includes the south of Sudan.
2. Development Assistance – This type of assistance focuses on development. It may include things like economic provisions, infrastructure development, technology, consulting, etc…
3. Military Aid – This is fairly straightforward. Military aid involves providing either direct military intervention or military resources to a particular group.
1. The goal is to solve the problem – Many of the regions issues are caused by resource scarcity. Conflicts in this region of the world are power struggles for what little the land has to offer. If we just provide military aid, the conflict will never stop because the development of the region will not progress; different people will just inherit the same conflict that exists now. As such, development assistance must be prioritized.
2. Just War Theory – JWT dictates that we cannot provide military aid in this region of the world. Military intervention, of any sort, does not fulfill the 5 contingencies of Just War Theory. There is not a just cause, atleast from the U.S. perspective. There is not a reasonable chance of success, and the force is not proportional to the wrong being done.
1. What’s the Point? – Development assistance will be useless in this region because the people who need it will not be able to access it. Military aid needs to be provided first in order to stabilize the region before any additional development can hope to be successful.
2. We shouldn’t be providing anything – The notion of aid is misleading. Historically, intervention of any kind has been much more harmful to such areas of the world than it has been helpful. As a result, there should be no prioritization. Aid should not be provided. People should be allowed to exercise their self determination and develop nations on their own. Self determinate nations have proven to be the most successful.