Haiti’s President Hopes to Create an Army

16 Years After Being Disbanded in Disgrace, Will Haiti Have a New Military?

According to leaked documents, Haitian President Michel Martelly is pushing forward with a plan to create a new army for the country, which has had no military since 1995, when the last one was disbanded in disgrace in the face of massive abuse and a US invasion.

The force would have only 3,500 members but would cost the princely sum of $95 million, making it more expensive than the Zimbabwe National Army, which itself has almost ten times the number of troops.

Martelly is trying to sell a dubious public on the idea of a military by claiming it will provide jobs (at least 3,500 of them), which is a big draw in a nation where roughly 40% of the population is out of work. He also says the army might eventually replace the 12,000 UN troops occupying the country.

The downside, besides the prospect of abuse, is that Haiti’s government doesn’t have $95 million, meaning that they ar egoing to be courting international aid to fund this new military. Coming with it is a “national intelligence service” to deal with terrorists and anarchists, apparently hoping this will sell the US on bankrolling the new force. Whether this works or not remains to be seen.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.