This article, like my previous nomination, is the result of a microgrant from Wikimeda UK, who kindly purchased most of the books used in researching these articles. For nearly ten years, the West refused to get involved in the brutal and incredibly bloody civil war in Sierra Leone, until the rebels reneged on a peace agreement that everybody had hoped meant the end of the war. With the UN peacekeeping force on the brink of collapse in May 2000, the United Kingdom sent an entire battalion of paratroopers and its largest naval task force assembled since the Falklands War, setting in motion a chain of events that finally brought the war to an end.
The article has had a successful GA review and MilHist A-class review, and there might be a few relatively minor issues, but I'm reasonably confident that if it isn't quite at FA standard, it's very close. It's a relatively long article (c. 7,000 words), but I hope people will read it and find it interesting. Thanks, HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:25, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Specifically contra-indicated by WP:R2D, and the SLA could sustain an article of its own if somebody were to create one.
Should that be "Sierra Leonean army"?
It should be, yes, just like it should be "Sierra Leonean Civil War", but both are the correct proper nouns.
Not a problem: that's just what we called them when I lived out there in the 70s & 80s (on the diamond fields, the cause of all this). - SchroCat (talk) 19:22, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
An excellent article in a topic and area of the world often overlooked. Only a couple of minor points, which struck me, but if you're happy with the way you have them I'm not going to argue. Well done on this: it may be long, but it's a very comprehensive and tightly put together article. – SchroCat (talk) 09:09, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
I've just reviewed the nom's edits since I copyedited. I can't support, although it's not bad enough to oppose. If a copy editor wants to give it a look and ping me about anything, ping away. - Dank (push to talk) 13:24, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Dan, you're a great copy-editor and I always appreciate your help with my articles, but not all the edits you made here were an improvement. I know you're trying to solve issues with readability and ambiguity, but some of your edits replaced one issue with another or introduced inaccuracies. Can we meet in the middle somewhere? HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 15:55, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't know, Harry, I'm sick today (which isn't helping my mood), I'll think about it tomorrow. - Dank (push to talk) 03:06, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I'll stay in the "neutral" column. When you reverted some of my changes, you reinstated a number of things that we don't usually allow at FAC, so I can't support, but you've got two supports already so you should be fine. The delegates and many reviewers will spot the problems and help out. I apologize, I've got two huge projects this month and I'm taking a break from reviewing and copyediting. - Dank (push to talk) 10:56, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Okay, I guess we're on our own here, Harry. I've made the following edits, let me know what doesn't work for you.
"The SLA had been confined to barracks and had handed over most of its weapons in accordance with the Lomé Agreement, which led foreign diplomats in the country to estimate ...": "which" dangles, and the causation isn't clear. I went with: "After the SLA had been confined to barracks and had handed over most of its weapons in accordance with the Lomé Agreement, foreign diplomats in the country estimated ...". "After" conveys approximately the right sense and is more common at FAC for this usage.
My problem with this is that it seems to suggest that the RUF began their advance, then the SLA handed in it weapons, and that the "within a week" estimate is by the way. What I'm trying to convey is that the RUF were advancing and the SLA had already been disarmed sow ere incapable of stopping the RUF, and that is what prompted diplomats to estimate that the RUF could be in Freetown within a week. -HJM
"The ARG en route, the paras": You haven't defined what a "para" is, and "The ARG en route" is called an "absolute construction"; like a WP:PLUSING construction, it's something that makes copyeditors stop and wonder if it might not be better to say explicitly what the connection is between that phrase and the rest of the sentence. I reverted back to my version.
That they were paratroopers or members of the Parachute Regiment isn't that important, so that can be changed to "soldiers" or similar; the parentheses suggest to me that they were able to deploy quickly because they were paratroopers rather than because they knew the ARG would be there shortly. -HJM
I really don't get the problem with "the ARG en-route". I think it's quite a common construction in British English and it makes perfect sense to me. -HJM
"they were picked up by RAF Chinook and flown to Freetown": Constructions like "by helicopter" have more of the sense of an adverbial phrase than a noun phrase. That is, "She left by 4:15 to Paddington" is silly compared with "She left on the 4:15 to Paddington", and different people have different triggers for when it starts sounding silly; the more specific you are after "by", the sillier it gets. To be safe, let's treat it as a noun phrase, and while I'm here, let's get rid of the passive voice, too: "An RAF Chinook picked them up and flew them to Freetown".
I'm not wild about that but the meaning is the same so I can live with it. -HJM
This reversion re-introduces a lot of problems, Harry:
"the only force" seems to be applied to a compound subject (i.e. plural in sense);
Precisely. The SLA joined forces with the "Unholy Alliance" and they effectively fought as a single force. -HJM
"However" isn't a dirty word; there are legitimate uses for it, and I think he wholesale removal of any individual word is something that should be discouraged. I can live with your re-write, but I preferred it the other way. -HJM
"in order" (twice, in close proximity);
You seem to have got both instances of "in order"; thanks -HJM
conciseness ("allowing re-arming of the SLA" already implies that it needed to be re-armed to effective, so you didn't need to say that separately ... consider using my "To restructure the SLA and allow it to re-arm"): the em-dash isn't wrong, but it adds emphasis that doesn't accomplish anything that I can see;
I'm happy enough with your version of this -HJM
and the "which" bit is tricky ... it appears to some to be nonrestrictive, but it's actually restrictive, so it needs "that" and no comma.
And you've got this as well.
Your best bet here might be to revert back to my version and then change only the things that you're sure need changing ... that will make it easier for me to see what you're saying. - Dank (push to talk) 15:38, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I did that, and I've tried to address the point in your edit summary with "This left the SLA and the alliance of militia groups ... the only forces ...". That gets us back to where I can support, but you had some concerns that I had introduced inaccuracies, and I'll be happy to look at those.
Thanks, Dan. I've left some comments inline. Please forgive me for breaking up your post a little but I needed to address some things individually and I'm already struggling to keep track of this page. I've signed my comments "-HJM" just so it's absolutely clear which comments are mine and which are yours. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 20:53, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Fantastic, we may be done here. I see your point on "after the SLA"; I changed it to "since" and moved it. I took your suggestion and changed "paras" to "soldiers". I'm not saying that "the ARG en-route" is wrong, I'm saying that this and similar constructions (where a fact is tacked on without a conjunction or adverb that defines the relationship to the whole) make copyeditors stop and think, because these are spots where the probability goes up that something isn't clear, or could be made clearer. If my version is okay with you, then I'll leave it. - Dank (push to talk) 21:33, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm happy with that. One last thing: I thought the "however" in front of Peter Hain, Minister of State for Africa, suggested... worked quite nicely. Could you live with it being re-added? HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 21:47, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
I can; could you live with "Nevertheless"? - Dank (push to talk) 22:05, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
"Nevertheless" doesn't really work for a rebuttal of criticism. We can discuss alternatives, but I can't think of one that doesn't use more words to say the same thing less tidily. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 13:07, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
"However" is fine. - Dank (push to talk) 13:22, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Support - Very impressive work. Read half during the week, the rest tonight. My interest was held through-out, though its a long page it does not go off topic and is consistently engaging. Ceoil (talk) 21:56, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Just one sticking point for me, Harry: I've gathered that Operation Palliser was the code name for the large-scale intervention, especially since Operation Palliser redirects to this article, but the connection could be made clearer. The opening reads "The United Kingdom began a military intervention in Sierra Leone in May 2000. Although small numbers of British personnel had been previously deployed, Operation Palliser was the first large-scale intervention by British forces during the Sierra Leone Civil War." I think it'd help to alter this to "The United Kingdom began a military intervention in Sierra Leone in May 2000 under the code name Operation Palliser. Although small numbers of British personnel had been previously deployed, this was the first large-scale intervention by British forces during the Sierra Leone Civil War." or something along similar lines. Further, the first time Palliser is mentioned in the main body is in a section heading. I think we should be told before that point that the name of the operation was Palliser, with a citation. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 14:00, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
I think I've got this for the most part. I've added an explicit mention of the codename in the "Operation Palliser" section, and suppose I could shoehorn a mention of the codename in earlier in the body, but I don't think it would work very well. "Palliser" was the codename for the original deployment (ostensibly for an evacuation), but not the entire intervention (which is why I redirected it to this article). I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with a section heading being the first mention of a codename—the same is true for the sections on Operation Khukri and Operation Barras. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 15:11, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
That's all fine now, tks Harry. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 03:11, 3 March 2013 (UTC)