A friend of ours wrote to ask if Romeo Dallaire's comment at the Harvard Forum was a typo: Do we really need 44,000 troops in Darfur to stabilize the situation? The answer is yes. What is interesting is that the Sudanese government--clever as they are--has set up an argument about whether to bring in 3000 to 4000 troops--a tenth of what is needed. And the world reads this number in accounts of the negotiations, and assumes this is enough.
It is not enough. Kosovo took 67,000 plus lots of airpower. Seirra Leone--a much smaller area--required 17,500 plus British gunships stationed off-shore.
It simply takes a lot of troops to act as police in an area the size of Texas--which is how big Darfur alone is--and you are attempting to control and disarm raiding militias, government, and rebel troops.
One of the clearest messages to come out of the forum was that there is a very real possibility that the AU force will be set up to fail, by being not only under-staffed, but by being under-supported, with a too-narrow mandate, and under-equiped in terms of technology.
To provide some perspective, the New York City police department has approximately 41,000 police officers.