Peace Enforcement in Intolerancia

by Rittmester (Cavalry Captain) Patrik Schaathun, Norwegian Army


You are the platoon leader of a rifle platoon. Your battalion is part of a multinational peace enforcement (PFOR) mission to Intolerancia, a nation tom apart by civil war. The PFOR intent is to prevent the antagonists from fighting each other. The desired end state is reached when no hostilities occur between the opposing factions-the Aloofians and the Utopians. A peace agreement put an end to the fighting a year ago. Since then there have been clashes between mobs as well as murder threats to civilians on both sides. Rules of engagement allow you to use minimum force against individuals who unlawfully commit or are about to commit acts that endanger life or are likely to cause serious bodily harm.

One of your squads has been detached so you only have two left. Your task is to patrol a border area to prevent weapons and explosives from being transported across the separation zone (SeZo). The former enemies have withdrawn their armed forces across their respective sides of the SeZo. The armed forces have been demobilized as demanded by PFOR. Civilians have complete freedom of movement, although few dare cross the SeZo to the opposing side. Wooragoora is inhabited by Aloofians. Argonne, formerly inhabited by Utopians, is now deserted.

The rest of the battalion is located 1 hour to your north and are tasked with checking weapons sites and patrolling.

You have just taken over the patrol base. The outgoing platoon informed you that unarmed Aloofian civilians have recently been looting Argonne and that the former inhabitants of Argonne, now residing in Belleau, are rather dissatisfied with it. The first looters were sent packing by the outgoing platoon who simply told them to leave. Compliance was instant with few questions asked. However, when the situation was reported through the chain of command, the outgoing platoon was ordered not to interfere since this is a civilian matter and should be taken care of by the international police force (PolInt) and the local police. The battalion tactical operations center emphasized response to military activity and armed civilans only. Since then, looters have been left alone.

The local police in Wooragoora aren’t willing to interfere. The nearest Pollint detachment is 1-hour to your west, and recent incidents have demonstrated their reluctance to respond due to duties elsewhere.

A Utopian spokesman in Belleau has declared that if PFOR is not willing to stop the looting, they will take matters into their own hands in order to protect their homes that they hope to move back to one day. According to the battalion intelligence officer, the civilans on both sides have access to small arms.

It is 1000 and both your squads are within your compound. The sentry informs you that two civilian lorries have just arrived at Argonne and five unarmed civilians can be seen looting.


In a time limit of 5 minutes, issue your orders. Provide a rationale for your actions and a sketch of your plan. Submit your solution to Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #02-6, P.O. Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134, fax 703-630-9147, or e-mail <gazette@mca–>.