If proven, child sex abuse by United Nations peacekeepers is a heinous and unpardonable offence for which the perpetrators’ junior and senior commanders are equally responsible.
France’s ambassador to the UN, Francois Delattre, described the reports of UN Peacekeepers’ behavior in the Central African Republic as “sickening and odious”. He should have also proposed the time-honored French Foreign Legion solution of Bordel Militaire de Campagne (BMC) — the French Army’s erstwhile military brothels that ensured local girls against molestation or ham-handed pickups by Legionnaires.
George Orwell is supposed to have said that “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf”.
These ‘rough men’ are ill-suited to refined work. Yet, they are forced into it by pot-bellied decision makers seeking virtue by proxy while appeasing the bean counters breathing down their necks.
Instead of raising a dedicated peace-keeping force of educated and politically correct peace-makers, they deploy trained Rottweilers with the expectation that they will suddenly convert to Labradors out of a sense of decency and obedience to orders.
Contradictory training commands destabilize attack dogs, borne out by dog trainers the world over.
The “institutional failure” is the inability of decision makers to recognize the oxymoron implicit in lumping soldiering with peace keeping. It is compounded by their incapacity to distinguish between the opposing imperatives of national defense and peace-keeping. The former is bare-knuckled while the latter requires velvet gloves and sensitive souls.
And soldiers are neither recruited for their sensitivity nor trained in the use of velvet gloves. When their own countries are threatened, they are let loose to kill pitilessly without a thought for their own lives.
There is no other role in which a soldier can be or is adequately trained without compromising the taxpayer’s trust. It is unreasonable to expect virtuous behavior from professional soldiers in the field deployed to uphold righteous, world-order ideals.
Yet, one may hold their leadership to be accountable for lax discipline under their command. It is then up to this leadership to demand, through proper channels, for the establishment of military brothels for their troops. After all, the desk jockeys spouting behavioral slogans aren’t denied female company but impose a sexual quarantine on young men in their prime.
Since no full-time, dedicated, international peace-keeping force can be envisaged in the medium term, the potentially rampant sexuality of young male animals should be provided with an outlet. The French experience in managing ‘rough men’ is worth emulating.
The remaining few French Foreign Legion bordellos are overseen by a Warrant Officer.
Military policemen’s unhesitating billy clubs guarantee gentlemanly conduct, clients and sex workers are subject to medical scrutiny and advance booking further ensures smooth management.
Needless to say, molestation and harassment are so well contained that the local girls complain of the absence of Légionnaires at parties.
If found guilty of the charges, the animals and their seniors deserve the harshest punishment.
However, a program of military brothels would be a self-supporting preventive measure which deserves serious consideration.