On February 29, 2004, only ten years after the United States last intervened in Haiti to reinstall President Jean Bertrand Aristide, U.S. military forces once again entered Haiti to stabilize the country after President Aristide fled as violence gripped the country. However, unlike the 20,000 troops, significant resources, and ambitious objectives of Operation Uphold Democracy in 1994, the recent intervention was executed with a much smaller force, with much more limited United States government goals, objectives, and expectations. This paper will analyze the events leading to the U.S. decision to intervene and the rationale to limit US objectives and participation. It will then examine the planning, organization, objectives, and effectiveness of the Multinational Interim Force’s (MIF) and the transfer of responsibility to the UN stabilization force. The paper will conclude with recommendations on how the US may build upon and strengthen the demonstrated capacity for collective security operations for Latin America and the Caribbean in the future.
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