Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Great Minds Think Alike.....and?

In the threads here and here, I develop the argument for replacing the present Coalition forces in Iraq with troops from Islamic Nations other than those bordering Iraq. Just after I answered a recent comment on the second thread above, I turned to Johann Hari's web-site to see him propounding a similar viewpoint. He shows that in a terrible and dangerous Iraqi situation, the suggestion is no easy option. But it is probably the only hope we have left.


Alec said...

Harry, I say this in the greatest gesture of (virtual) friendship, but your opinion is better than that of Johann Hari. You have the advantage of a lot more life behind you (and me, I admit) and have actually been in Iraq on more occasions, for longer and present at more non-tourist sites.

You say the article shows the solution is no easy one. Your and my opinings are firstly to make sense of a whild and whacky whorld. Johann comes from the tradition described by St. George of Szirtes that feels that if only the rest of the scum [1] on this planet was as intelligent and nice, it would be a better place.

Johann has a certain degree of angst and keenness to do the right thing, generally picking the right side. His writings on social issues in Britain, and the less well-known world events are to be commended. However, he arguably did not have sufficient life experience when he became a national columnist at… what?… 24, and I do not think he has used the subsequent years to mature sufficiently. On the major issues of the day he comes across as, frankly, out of his depth. While you and I see ourselves as toothpicks, I honestly believe he sees himself as a whole toothbrush.

I don’t doubt he cares for the Iraqis in a general sense, but his epiphany of disowning support for the war strikes as one of bad grace and personal horror that Johann Hari might have been wrong. In 2002/3, he said he made a considered decision to approve of any invasion not because he believed the, at times, slightly polemical public case being made, but because of the balance of good it would bring. That’s fine enough; I was of the view that despite the good the invasion *could* bring, it remained wrong. I’ll even forgive him the wee bit silly he was in believing certain of the more unlikely stories.

But now he accuses everyone else who remains in support of the Coalition of having been duped into thinking that “the US military was the armed-wing of Amnesty International” while, presumably, only he, Johann Hari, was able to have stood aloof watching these foolish humans. He now speaks of people who fail to denounce sufficiently the Coalition in the same terms which, if I read you correctly, Tony Benn sees you. A silly little mortal who doesn’t have the same clarity of thought as Tony Benn.

I opposed the invasion, but looking at how quickly Johann has packed away his toy and went to play elsewhere when he saw that people die in war and a country brutalized by 25 years of Baathist terror can’t turn into New Zealand overnight, I have to ask how lightly he wears any of his moral principles. Being a contrarian is one thing, but swithering whenever events don’t go smoothly is slack morality. Johann believes he has done sufficient penance by offering words of apology, so maybe it ain’t surprising he believes a “simple apology” will magic away all the carnage he blames the Coalition for.

Whatever sense there is in the case he argues for is, however, drowned out by what reads like the hysterical nonsense he accuses the supporters of the war of holding,

[*] “Overseeing the deaths of […]”. A very vague choice of verb. That could mean anything from committing them personally, being allied with individuals doing so, or merely being present in the same sovereign state. So, whatever happens, it remains the Coalition’s ultimate responsibility. It takes some perversity of though to accuse the Coalition of “overseeing” when many, if nor most, of these deaths are being carried by actors also doing their level best to kill Coalition troops. Johann may think there’s a distinction in these perpetrators’ minds, but I doubt they do;

[*] “Using torture routinely”. Another quixotic choice of words. Yes, I accept torture was used regularly at Abu Ghraib, Camp Breadbasket, probably, elsewhere, but I don’t think Johann is suggesting this. We are to believe it happens *everywhere*, up and down the ranks, across the regions. He doesn’t even say “overseeing”, so I hope he has evidence of institutionalized torture by multiple wings of the Coalition forces.

Maybe he’s referring to the images of the kids being thrashed in Basra. Can’t say I approved but - and I don’t mean to assume to appropriate your experiences, Harry - if *you* had been under daily bowel-loosening fear on patrol in Iraq, what would you have done when a soft-target presented itself? How would you feel one if your mates, having made the final dreadful semantic leap to seeing Iraqis as the Other whose convicted as a "war-criminal" was revelled in by someone whom, I’m reliably informed, had never experienced owt more stressful than a power-cut, and accused of wanting to recreate Empire? This same chap believes 7/7 was “blowback” but seems reluctant to discuss what these poor sods had done to been blown back out off their prayer-mats. How the heck does the Coalition oversee Muslims blowing up mosques?

[*] “650,000 Iraqis”. The doubts over the evidence for this claim are well attested to, so I don’t intend to go into them. I will say that the Iraq Body Count, hardly a neo-con stooge, places it at ~ 80,000. There will certainly have been deaths without sufficient verification but, again, it is Johann’s responsibility to show that 7:8 deaths are going unreported (or why he, Johann Hari, appears to have access to reports not available to the public).

[*] “Using chemical weapons in civilian cities”. That doesn’t even make sense. *All* cities are civilian, if only by plain etymology. So there could have been 50,000 AQs in Fallujah, and it would have remained “civilian”. Then the fact that WP is an incendiary device, not chemical. If we can redefine it, we can jolly-well claim the high explosives or short to medium range missiles that Iraq was littered were “WMD”.

[*] “78% of Iraqis say the US presence if doing more harm than good”. Quite possible - and, again, I agree - but considering he has regretted his support for the original invasion, does he also regret believing those Iraqis who consider the overthrow of Saddam to have been a welcomed consummation or those who approved of its implementation by military means? Or, like an Edwardian Colonial Office bigwig, does he believe foreigners’ opinions are to be cited only when they coincide with his? That said, I doubt he’s racially-prejudices: he shows the same selective approach to quotes from US military personnel when forming his argument.

[*] “Congo-on-the-Tigris”. Get this, Johann, Iraq isn’t Central Africa. All those foreign places don’t meld into one with you using imagery and salacious *direct* comparisons with the ease you change your principles. It could be argued that Tony Blair thought the largely successful outcomes in Northern Ireland or Kosovo or Sierra Leone meant the same approach could be applied in Iraq. You know, that he didn’t consider that Iraq was Iraq.

[*] Killer badgers. The mass panic evident is, indeed, chilling but, I’m afraid, I detect just too much of a cleverly smug recounting of the sheer insanity of the situation which Johann Hari opposes. But, I’m afraid, such misunderstandings caused by mass psychoses under external pressure ain’t limited Iraq, or even war-zones for which we achieve sainthood by denouncing our country’s role.

There. I’ll look at your points about the replacement of Coalition troops which I have a fair amount of sympathy with, but just now I’m all Johann-ed out.

[1] Of course, Johann wouldn't say "scum". That would suggest getting involved in dirty human feuds.

ModernityBlog said...


never forget the expression

"ideas, are like umbrellas, if left around for too long they become the property of others"

Francis Sedgemore said...

Alec has just sent me an email asking what it is about the Hari that annoys people so, and in the message provides a link to this post.

What can I say? Johann is a fool with a pulpit. Hari grates on people for that reason, but there's more. With all the autobiographical stuff that he includes in his columns, Hari comes across as a complete and utter tit.

As for the arguments propounded by Hari, I don't think I've ever read an original one. He merely rehashes stuff he's read elsewhere. Hari lets others do his thinking for him, and never mind the sharp discontinuities that show up on an almost monthly basis.

I just wish Hari would go away, discover a bit more of the world for himself, and come back in, say, a decade or two, when he may have something to contribute. If he carries on as now I can just see someone whacking the annoying tyke about the head with a large wet cod.

Alec said...

Well, Modernity and the Sound of Jura have expressed in a couple of hundred words that I took 1,200 to do.

Ah, life's too short... there's some gorgeous choral music on R3.

Harry Barnes said...

ModernityBlog; your point applies fully to me. I have merely picked up a couple of umbrellas that were lying around when numbers of you pressed me about the troops issue on a thread at "Harry's Place". The Islamic Forces argument has been around for some time and was used by Musharraf. Whilst the notion that private armies should be controlled and eventually removed comes (at least) out of the work "Corporate Warriors" by P.W. Singer (Cornell University Press, 2003)and is a topic being pursued via the United Nations.

Alec and Jura; I have drafted a response. I will let it mature in my mind before commiting it to this thread. Sorry, but I rather like Johann Hari's stuff. But I am far from being uncritical of it.

Harry Barnes said...

Alec and Jura: I was taken aback by the strength of feeling behind your criticisms of Johann Hari's writings. Without always agreeing with him, I often find his work to be readable, interesting and informative. If he is felt to mainly rehash passing material (such as the work he refers to from George McGovern), then it is handy for this pensioner to be able to pick this up from his web-site.

Writing a regular column in a newspaper and needing to cover a wide area of passing topics is likely to dispose someone to being something of a toothbrush. But perhaps we need both toothpicks and brushes to keep us from decay.

I agree that he is sometimes careless with his arguments.Whilst far too many people have been killed in Iraq, I have always claimed that the Lancet's estimates have been based on a seriously flawed methodology and that the Iraq Body Count figures are much more realiable - even if there needs to be an add-on for those they have missed.

When Hari supported the invasion which I opposed, I felt that he was one of the best writers from the camp I disagreed with. For he tended to face up to our side of the argument and grant that it had its strengths.

When he shifted his ground, I emailed him to express my disappointment that his arguments were now all one-sided - even though I shared his conclusion if not its implications. He wasn't happy with what I said.

He has since looked for ways to square the circle on troop withdrawals. He came up with the notion of the Iraqis holding a referendum to decide what should happen, as he believed they would vote strongly for withdrawal. This was a non-starter, for if the Iraqi Government and Parliament wanted a withdrawal they could have asked for this without a referendum. But as they did not want this, why would they call a referendum? Worse still, it looked like a devise for absolving us of responsibility. For if the Iraqi people voted for withdrawal and then faced internal destruction, it would presumeably then be their fault.

He now makes use of the George McGovern book (which I knew nothing about until he mentioned it). From what I pick up on the net, McGovern's approach on Isalmic troop replacements is fixed to a call for a 6 month deadline for a US withdrawal. My argument for such a replacement is not time limited. Whenever it can be negotiated is what will have to do. With Coalition forces remaining solidily in place until and an agreement is in place and the logistics of a withdrawal are established.

But at least Hari is helping to peddle the Islamic Forces notion in his wider sphere. But he needs to drop Jordan from his list of involved nations. For the exclusion of troops from Iraq's immediate neighbours is a nice general principle which allows the exclusion of Iran, Saudi Arbia and Turkey who would all have their own national interests to pursue. To his credit, however, he also knows that the Iraqi Trade Unions need recognition in Iraq.

Incidently Alec, my own experiences inside Iraq are very limited. I had only a week (key as it was) in Iraqi Kurdistan in April 2006. You then have to go back to 1955/56 when I did my National Service in what is a very different Basra from today. I suppose it therefore depends whether a week is a long time in politics. (Unfortunately, I wasn't on the Defence or Foreign Affairs Committees in the Commons. That would have got me trips out there in a quieter period than now).

Alec said...

Hang around the bear pit at HP if you think that was strong!

I respect you hugely and don't mean to rearrangd your sitting-room, so to speak. I... er... like much of what he writes but, like Jura, question how much they are his views. If he gets his wish here, and it doesn't go fully right, why should we trust him not to find another shirt?

Anand said...

Just saw you on IM.

There is no way that China, India, Indonesia, or any other large power will send peace keepers to Iraq.

The elected Iraqi government and by unanimous vote the UN security council have repeatedly requested foreign peacekeepers for help. With a few exceptions, the answer has been no. [One exception is Georgia which just sent one combat brigade to Wasit Province to combat Iranian infiltration.]

The best that can be hoped for is if other countries agree to support the training and equipping of the ISF (Iraqi Security Forces), or the Iraqi Training and Doctrine Command (ITDC). So far few countries have been willing to help here as well.


To get a sense of the end state ISF the GoI is shooting for, please see http://billroggio.com/archives/2007/08/projected_isf_five_y.php#comments

Harry Barnes said...

Anand: I am not pressing for some rang tag and bobtail to join the Coalition, but for the replacement of the private "security" forces altogether and the US and UK troops by ones from Islamic nations (other than those from neighbouring Iraq). It would need to be funded by G8 nations in the main - under a strick agreement, with the US and the UK spending at least as much as they have been in maintaining their current operations. It is a great opportunity for the Islamic world to illustrate what it can achieve.

The Iraqi Government and Parliament would also have to be supportive of such a move, drawing in some of the disputing elements around them.

It is, of course, a matter of high politics (with a small "p"). I notice that the second link you supply us with states that the "Comment Section is not a place for political discussion", although the blog lays down its own political agenda (military activity being the most determined form of politics you can get).

For others, the IM Anand refers to is Iraqi Mojo's blog which I give a link to the item posted above this.

Anand said...

Harry Barnes,

I am in awe of you and your service to your country. It isn’t easy to dedicate your life to public service as you have. You deserve a serious response.

There are reasons your well intentioned suggestion is impractical at this stage. But it might be best to have this discussion were many others far better informed than I can participate and significantly improve on my imperfect and less than fully informed arguments.

As you point out, BillRoggio.com might not be that place. Bill detests American partisan politics—which is much less civilized and polite than what you have over the pond. He imposed these harsh rules to prevent partisan discussions. These rules are imposed by DJ Elliott, who deletes all posts that are off topic (do not discuss the article at hand).

The best place to post your proposal would be at the comment section here: http://soldiersdad2.blogspot.com/2007/08/plan-b-updated.html

DJ Elliott, CJR (both of whom maintain Bill Roggio’s research on the Iraqi and Afghan Security forces), Soldiers Dad, and many of the intelligent commentators from Bill Roggio.com post comments there.

Collectively, I am sure they would be honored to discuss this with you at the length and detail your serious question requires. You and perhaps some of your readers would also be able to post many follow up ideas and clarifications. A serious proposal like yours deserves nothing less.

Please post your suggestion at Soldier’s Dad’s website.

I will only mention the following in passing:
· The vast majority of private contractors in Iraq are Iraqis
· Most private contractors work for different parts of the Iraqi Governments
· A lot of Iraq’s social services, capital investments, and private sector activity would drop significantly if the GoI was unable to hire private contractors
· Under stay the course, if the situation goes moderately worse than expected, all of Iraq will have transferred from the Iraqi Army to civil law, provincial government, and provincial Iraqi Police (IP) within 21 months. (Provincial Iraqi Control = PIC) The entire Iraqi Army (IA) will have transitioned to tactical and strategic oversight only by then. In addition, the vast majority of MNF-I combat troops will be out of Iraq. Those that remain focus on training, equipping, logistics, maintenance, medical, other types of support, and some limited Special Forces operations.
· The Iraqi Government has a lot of confidence in its security forces and is focused on transition to its forces quickly. It wouldn’t welcome the arrival of large numbers of peacekeepers from foreign countries without capable militaries, and who are completely culturally illiterate about Iraq (it will take them years to acclimate to Iraq’s circumstances just as it has taken MNF-I forces years to acclimate. . . today the MNF-I troops in Iraq are very familiar with Iraq’s specific circumstances).
· This is because foreign peace keepers could not deploy in significant numbers to Iraq until early 2009, at the soonest, even if urgent preparations begin today. By then, the ISF (Iraqi Security Forces) expects to handle all security in Iraq. i.e. The foreign troops would arrive too late in Iraq to do any good.
· The GoI is very interested in foreign countries helping with the training and equipping of their forces. So far few countries have stepped forward to help, including in the Islamic world. Perhaps your proposal might be modified to focus on this mission.
· As you know, 77% of all eligible Iraqi voters voted in the Dec 15, 2005 UN sponsored and organized Iraqi elections. To my knowledge, every country in the world recognizes the GoI as the sole and only legitimate government of Iraq with full sovereignty. However much we might disagree with the GoI (the MNF-I does have its quiet disagreements with the GoI), it is their country. It is hard to imagine any circumstances where the GoI would allow large numbers of peace keepers into their country at this late stage.
· Your idea would have been quite good back in 2003/2004, before the Iraqi Security Forces were as large, well equipped and well trained as they are now.

I say this with the deepest respect to you. You are far wiser and more knowledgeable regarding the ways of the world than I am. I look forward to continuing this discussion with you at http://soldiersdad2.blogspot.com/2007/08/plan-b-updated.html

Harry Barnes said...

anand; I have linked to "Soldier's Dad" and I will have a closer look at what they have to say.

On Private Security firms, David Bullivant (who is in the business) claims that there are 10,000 to 20,000 non-Iraqis working for these, including numbers recruited in Africa and Asia. The BBC carried an item on numbers that were recruited in Peru. Bullivant makes a strong case for the regulation of the activities of such firms, which (for me) is needed as a stage to their phasing out or significant downgrading. See here for Bullivant's analysis -

There is an ongoing United Nations investigation into the role of the privatised military industry. A key book on the issue is P.W. Singer's "Corporate Warriors" (Cornell University Press, 2003).

I am not for cutting across the role of the Iraqi Government. But it is as reasonable to press them to act in a various direction as it is to do the same with any other Governments including those of the USA and the UK. For instance, I think that the current policy the Iraqi Government adopts towards Iraqi Trade Unions is a disgrace.

Each Islamic nation might have its own distinctive cultural norms, but their forces would not arrive in Iraq with the same degree of cultural illiteracy that the Coalition forces did in 2003. At least the replacements would be Muslims and have heard of nerebye Mecca. I talked to Geoff Hoon our Defence Secretary in 2003 and he did not even know what British Forces had been doing in Iraq 50 years earlier.

Even if it took time for the replacement by Islamic Forces to take place, the knowledge that it was in progress and that there would be no permanent US and UK bases in Iraq would have a degree of impact on the situation.

All the best, but please cut out your over-the-top introductions and conclusions.

Anand said...

“All the best, but please cut out your over-the-top introductions and conclusions.”

My apologies. There is much that I can learn from you. You have much more experience in the ways of the world than I. And I just proved it in my post! Sorry for the over the top introductions; they might have been better suited for an e-mail. I am painfully aware regarding how uninformed I am and was hoping to have many people much better informed than I engage in a detailed back and forth discussion with you. You have put serious thought into your ideas . . . and they deserve serious evaluation.

I have read some of your previous posts and can see that you have put a lot of time and thought into formulating your proposal.

Regarding private contractors, I

· You are not referring to the presence of armed contractors per say (my understanding is that there are 100,000-120,000 total but that includes Iraqis), but the rules governing them inside Iraq. I agree with you completely. The Iraqi National Assembly should pass legislation on this issue. They have been far too delayed. Could part of the reason be that the MoI (Ministry of Interior) and MoD (Ministry of Defense) are scared of rules that might discourage private military contractors from bidding for contracts (resulting in the remaining contractors charging far higher rates)? I don’t know . . . but this long after the transfer of sovereignty, that is no excuse.
· All the well-wishers of Iraq, and you are one, should pressure the GoI to act on this. I thought there was a briefing on Iraqi rule of law recently . . . but I can’t find it: http://www.pentagon.gov/home/blog/ You, as a blogger, might ask for the opportunity to participate in one of these sessions with the top US advisor on the rule of law. And with your perceptive questions, you might be able to get more specific detailed information
· You are right that the GoI is trying to “under-pay” the Iraqi trade unions. Part of this is because of their financial crunch: http://iraqimojo.blogspot.com/2007/08/dissecting-iraqi-economy_24.html
· We have had this discussion at IM before. We (IM and I at least) agreed that the GoI is picking the wrong fight at this time. The GoI should buy off the trade unions in the intermediate run . . . it will need their help to achieve its other high priorities. And the trade unions would be valuable allies to the GoI.
· “Over the top Conclusions” I don’t understand, but I have obviously messed up. I am not too bright ;-) . I could have added 100 pages worth of practical difficulties. PM Maliki believes that he can achieve PIC in 16 out of 18 Iraqi provinces in less than 6 months. He “WILL” achieve PIC in all of Iraq excluding Baghdad and Diyala province within 9 months based on the training schedule for the ISF. That means no MNF-I combat troops in 16 provinces. And the full transfer of all security responsibility by the IA (Iraqi Army) to the provincial governments and Provincial IP (Iraqi Police)
· The time for foreign combat troops in Iraq is passing. And I hope all of us can agree that this is a good thing.
· My thought was that perhaps you could refine your proposal to focus on the ISF training/equipping part of the mission. That will be almost the entire MNF-I mission fairly soon.
· President Bush since 2004 has on many occasions said that US troops will not stay in Iraq unless the Iraqi Government asks them to stay. The US congress has overwhelmingly approved legislation committing the US not to create permanent bases in Iraq. The only way to give some clarity about the US presence is to accelerate ISF training (otherwise the GoI will keep demanding that America repay its blood debt by training and equipping ISF. . . and Iraqi politicians use very strident language in making this demand)
· The Iraqi National Assembly passed a resolution asking for a timetable for the withdrawal of the MNF-I tied to a timetable for the training of the ISF. I suspect it was done to embarrass the MoI and MoD ministers by among others the Sadrists!!! None of the Iraqi political parties including change my mind everyday Sayeed Muqtada al-Sadr’s faction have put a bill before parliament that specifies a specific date certain by which the foreign troops should leave. They all prevaricate, because they believe if security deteriorates they will be blamed and booted out of office in the 2009 national elections. The Iraqi parliament and their incessant prevarication reminds me a lot of the US Congress ;-) But not the UK parliament . . . you guys are much better.
· All the Iraqi political parties demand that the MNF provide more training and assistance to the ISF. Muqtada insists that America owes the Iraqis this, and his views are wide felt across the Iraqi political landscape and the Iraqi public. They frequently blame the MNF and America for not doing more.
· Is there anything I have said that you disagree with? Do you think that rewriting your proposal to focus only on training the ISF might be a good idea?
· There are major practical obstacles to this too (the Shia—including Muqtada, Fadheela Sadrists, Dawa, SIIC, and Kurds are likely to strongly oppose any role by the Egyptian and Pakistani militaries in Iraq) The GoI and Iraqi people need to be informed that if they want help with their security forces, they will have to accede to certain demands on the part of the international community. That message may not go over well with them. Maybe we can discuss this later?
· This comment is long. Maybe we can continue this discussion later. But I would rather have many people I respect correcting and adding nuance to my thoughts. ;-)

Harry Barnes said...


1.According to Bullivant, the authorities in Kosova ran a tight ship on the licensing and control of private security companies. He argued that the Iraqi Government had enough problems to deal with and would find it difficult to regulate them. So he opted for the firms' home nations taking the initiative at this time.

2. As with "Soldiers' Dad", I have linked to the US Department of Defense and I will examine both their sites when I get the opportunity.

3. Outside of Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraqi Trade unions have their funds taken over by the State and are unlawful within the dominant public sector of the economy. This hits at the functioning of civic society as well as at their wages and conditions.

4. How Islamic replacement troops would operate (on defence, training, and equipment) would depend on the situations they then faced - which would also be likely to differ in different regions.

5. Whichever Islamic nations troops went where, would depend upon who fitted the best in terms of disputes inside the Islamic world.

Anand said...


You might have a good point on (1).

(2), especially the blogger website can take a while to sort through. I sometimes take notes.

(3) good point on trade unions.

(4) and (5) There aren't many muslim countries that can contribute greatly to Iraqi security at this time. It would take $10s of billions of dollars and many years to train and equip them for an Iraq mission. It might be faster and better to just spend those resources on building the Iraqi Security Forces. This would be the preference of the GoI.

Some countries that would be welcome in Iraq are Indonesia, Malaysia, maybe Bangladesh. But they can only contribute 20 to 40 thousand between them . . . even if they wanted to send everything they had.

+ GoI wants senior NCO training, staff officer training, logistics, intelligence, maintenance and other specific enablers for their forces. Almost all MNF-I missions in Iraq are joint at this time.

The countries that could contribute significantly are China, India, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, South Africa, Vietnam, (in addition to NATO + traditional allies). Pakistan and Egypt could also contribute . . . but you know the domestic Iraqi political problems that might involve

Another idea is that a "muslim peace keeper" force could assume oversight responsibility for specific functions, or a Corp of the Iraqi Army, or a region of Iraq. Something that they have the forces to manage.

HB, have you seen the MNF-I/Iraqi Army generals, and GoI praising Muqtada for his six month cease fire?

Apparently, the deal is that the MNF-I will take out Al-Qaeda while Muqtada pulls his militia off the streets.

Do you think Muqtada will keep his part of the bargain this time?

Harry Barnes said...

Anand; on your final point see the items I posted on 20 August and 29 August, plus the comments on their threads. They were entitled "Moqtada al Sadr And Me" and "Iraq's Gerry Adams".

On your main point: whilst I would exclude neighbouring states and those involved in serious internal strife, you have come up with Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Eqypt. We can then look to other Islamic nations who qualify in the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, the East Indies, Sub-Sahran Africa, the Caucasus and Volga Region and Central Asia. China has a substanial Muslim minority and they dominate in the north-western province of Xinjiang - so non-Islamic Nations could contribute mainly with Muslim troops. You have refined what some of their duties would involve.

Just to announce that the United Nations (with Coalition acceptance) were working on this approach would, I believe, have a fruitful impact on the situation.