Yesterday I blogged about Saudi Arabia sending troops into Bahrain, and asked why they weren't willing to send troops into Libya too. Well today it seems that my question was answered.
It turns out that sending troops into messy and violent internal disputes in other countries tends to cause resentment by a large portion of the other nation's population.
The King of Bahrain has officially declared a three-month state of emergency on Tuesday, a day after a primarily Saudi mix of Gulf State forces, including armored personnel carriers and tanks, entered the country. Over 10,000 protesters marched on the Saudi embassy in Bahrain, denouncing the “occupation.” Protesters also prepared barricades to slow down the foreign troops' advance through the capital city.
Tuesday also appears to be the most violent day of the demonstrations yet, with hundreds of protesters attacked by shotguns and clubs by the coalition forces. Saudi officials are also reporting that one of their own soldiers was shot and killed by a protester.
This is the danger that comes with any military intervention. Inserting troops, or even aircraft for a no-fly zone, will almost always result in force having to be applied. Once that violence is unleashed, it creates a backlash, as people tend to get angry when their fellow countrymen and family members die.
From a U.S. perspective, this should be a lesson that we are all too familiar with. Our recent experience in Afghanistan and Iraq especially should lend us knowledge as to what happens when troops are deployed in a foreign nation.
Yet America still continues to look at making the same mistakes. In our current debate over Libya, which is much more heated and violent than Bahrain, the Obama administration has continued to affirm that “all options are on the table” regarding the use of military force.