Re: Marines create armed version Peace Corps in Iraq

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: January 2004 Peace Corps Headlines: January 7, 2004 - Washington Post: Marines create armed version of the Peace Corps : Re: Marines create armed version Peace Corps in Iraq

By Moira Keane ( - on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 - 3:07 pm: Edit Post

While the idea of creating small forces of Marines to live among local residents may be beneficial, I am vehemently opposed to linking this with the Peace Corps' name & reputation. Peace Corps volunteers often live alone in isolated areas far from any US support systems, and they do not carry guns! The only weapons of defense they carry are their intelligence and their sense of humor.

Mo Keane, RPCV Zaire (now DRCongo) 1976-1979

By Penny Newbury ( - on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 6:48 pm: Edit Post

It was a truly unfortunate and misleading comparison, and it seemed just one more small way in which the Peace Corps is being discredited these days. I'd have to say, however, that the military (not just in the US) has been initiating these types of activities for quite some time, in post-conflict countries. They're called Peace-Keeping Forces (PKF), but the US administratuon may have a hard time remembering that name since they have so effectively sidelined the UN in any post-conflict (or pre-conflict)dealings. Remember a few months back when the US military vocally complained about not being trained to maintain order among the Iraqui population after Baghdad fell? They are trained to go in and destroy, they rightly pointed out, not deal with the civilian population and all its new (and existing) needs. The US Military cried out for a PKF, but none was forthcoming-- the current occupying force is not trained to deal with people as people, but as targets. Perhaps if the US remembered that there is a place in the military for constructive post-conflict activity, it would not have to cast about for the name of a well-known non-military agency to discredit by one careless and misdirected parallel. Shame on them.
Penny Newbury
RPCV Paraguay 1999-2002

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