F-22s to Darfur? Not So Fast …

11.03.09

Categorie: Africa, Air, NGOs, Relief |

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U.N. officials and aid workers are gathering in eastern Chad to discuss preparations for an alarming contingency. With the recent arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Bashir and his subsequent ejection of foreign aid groups from Darfur, the U.N. and Chad’s humanitarian community are worried that thousands of Darfuri refugees currently living in camps in western Darfur might flee to eastern Chad.

Problem is, with 300,000 refugees in a dozen major camps, eastern Chad is already full up. The existing refugee population has strained water and wood resources to the breaking point; additional thousands of refugees will exacerbate conflict with native Chadians over resources.

Some foreign officials have mulled a partial military response to Bashir’s moves. Considering Sudan’s heavy reliance on its small air force to bombard rebels and their haven villages in Darfur, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others have proposed a multi-national air deployment to enforce a no-fly zone over Darfur. The Swedish air force has already prepared its Gripen fighter squadrons to support such a deployment, if requested by the U.N.

Chris Albon at War & Health says the U.S. Air Force should send fighters, perhaps even F-22s. If a U.N. no-fly zone were a good idea — and it’s not clear that it is, considering it might only escalate a conflict in which we have no clear interest — F-22s are the last fighter I would send. Why? Consider the picture above, snapped by a French helicopter pilot at the major airbase in eastern Chad, where any no-fly force would likely be based. Can you imagine what that sand would do to an F-22′s stealth coating?

(Photo: via EUFOR)

Related:
Swedish Fighter Jocks to Chad?
EUFOR aviation in Chad
Central Africa’s dueling Sukhois
Sudan’s shadowy air force
Chad uprising fizzles
Chad’s air outpost
Desert helicopter war
Darfur refugees settle in for long stay

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13 Responses to “F-22s to Darfur? Not So Fast …”

  1. Moose says:

    As suggested elsewhere, we’d be more help sending AWACS and possibly JSTARS while someone else (AU?) provides the muscle. Much as how of Somalia we’re providing a great deal of information but a small portion of the actual forces.

  2. L3ops says:

    Agreed, if Sweeden have offered to provide the Muscle then the US could assist logistically or with intel.

  3. Stretch says:

    I can’t imagine what that sand will do to an F-22′s stealth coating. Surely it is fairly resistant to environments such as this. If not, that’s another major issue to address in the various F-22 (and F-35) debates.

  4. Marc says:

    This isn’t hard. Remember El Dorado Canyon? Strike package – some B-1Bs, some SEAD assets, some F-18s. Just tear up their ‘air force’ on the ground. Let them bitch about it.

  5. [...] U.N. officials are scrambling to prepare for the prospect of tens of thousands of refugees pouring into eastern Chad from Darfur to escape escalating tensions in Sudan. An mass movement of displaced peoples will pose major challenges to the European Union peacekeeping force in Chad and Chadian government troops, considering that combatants in the Darfur conflict mix with, and make their bases among, the refugee population. Military forces in Chad will be faced with identifying and perhaps even engaging fighters who are nearly indistinguishable from the refugees surrounding them. [...]

  6. Corvan says:

    Deploying F-22′s would be an excellent idea particularly because of the sand storms! If they do pose problems to the coating, you sure don’t want to find that out in the middle east when they’re taking off to bomb Iranian S300 sites.

  7. James says:

    Another reason why Western airforces would benefit from low tech CAS aicraft.

    Douglas Skyraider in Vietnam anyone? What about the Mohawk? I know these are no longer manufactured however the Pucara was always considered the British Armies biggest threat in the Falklands War.

    Cost effective, cheap and easy to maintain.

  8. Ed says:

    If you can’t use them why are we buying them?

  9. [...] Related: F-22s to Darfur? Not so Fast … Advocating a Systemic View of Air Superiority More fighter-jet hyperventilating Growler Chomps on Raptor A U.S. Navy F-22? Don’t Hold Your Breath Nearly 100,000 Jobs Depend on the F-22? Not Really Only 60 More Raptors? Everybody Panic! Russian Super-Fighter Not So Scary In 2014, the F-35 Might Cost More than the F-22 600 F-22s? Hilarious F-35 jumps the shark Raptors in Japan New Russian fighter to challenge F-35 The amazing shrinking air force No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  10. [...] Related: Boeing Unveils New “Stealthy” F-15 Getting the Most from Your New F-22 F-22s to Darfur? Not so Fast … Advocating a Systemic View of Air Superiority More fighter-jet hyperventilating Growler Chomps on Raptor A U.S. Navy F-22? Don’t Hold Your Breath Nearly 100,000 Jobs Depend on the F-22? Not Really Only 60 More Raptors? Everybody Panic! Russian Super-Fighter Not So Scary In 2014, the F-35 Might Cost More than the F-22 600 F-22s? Hilarious F-35 jumps the shark Raptors in Japan New Russian fighter to challenge F-35 The amazing shrinking air force No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  11. [...] Let’s be perfectly clear about this: deploying Western forces to establish a no-fly zone over Darfur is a bad idea, and would only further entangle foreign powers in a war in which they have no clear interest. Not to mention, the logistics and rules-of-engagement would be nightmares. Fortunately, the U.S. Air Force doesn’t seem terribly enthusiastic about such a deployment, according to a report by Marc Schanz for Air Force magazine: According to Gen. Roger Brady, head of US Air Forces in Europe with administrative control of 17th Air Force (Air Forces Africa), a component of the new US Africa Command, planning for such a contingency has not left the gate yet. “I don’t think that idea is probably well enough developed for us to start counting heads as to who might or who might not [participate].” [...]

  12. Eugen says:

    Beautiful picture.
    Thanks to author.
    http://photocamera.phpnet.us/

  13. [...] Related: Corruption Charge Brings Down Peacekeeper General Worst-Case Scenario for Darfur Peacekeepers = Withdrawal Welcome to Sudanistan Fighting Continues in Central Africa Has Chad Invaded Sudan? Chadian Bombers Strike Sudan World Politics Review: New Fighting Dashes Peace Hopes for Central Africa Chad Fighting Upsets Regional Diplomacy Chadian Government Claims “Decisive” Victory over Rebels … Again F-22s to Darfur? Not So Fast … Swedish Fighter Jocks to Chad? No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

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