Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Laura Neack, "Peacekeeping, bloody peacekeeping," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July/August 2004, Volume 60, No. 4, pp. 40-47.

There are, of course, established means for groups of states to ensure the security of U.N. post-conflict operations--U.N. peacekeeping and U.N.-approved peace enforcement operations. But the Bush administration has been hostile to these multilateral operations, refusing to relinquish any real decision-making authority to other countries or international bodies....

U.N. peace operations are expanding again as they did in the early 1990s. At the end of March 2004, the United Nations had more than 51,000 peacekeepers (approximately 45,000 troops, 4,600 civilian police, and 1,800 military observers) deployed in 14 peacekeeping operations. By year's end, the United Nations will need some 70,000 troops for post-conflict missions. [3]

...the U.N.'s increasing willingness to authorize force worried many. This was especially true after NATO acted without U.N. authorization in the Kosovo crisis.

An additional concern after Kosovo was that the richer Western states would devote their troops and resources to "first order" conflicts only--ones managed by a reinvented NATO--rather than contribute to U.N. operations. "Second page" conflicts like those in Africa would be left to a depleted United Nations. [6]...

ISAF is an unsatisfactory hybrid of peacekeeping and peace enforcement....

In an ideal operational circumstance, with broad international support and broad authorization to secure the peace, ISAF is not meeting minimal expectations.

If this is the result of peace enforcement under ideal circumstances, what hope might there be for its poorer cousin, peacekeeping?

For more on ISAF see Gordon Smith, "Peacebuilding: do we know how?" The Dispatch, Fall 2004 (Volume II, Issue III).

Recommend this Post

Sphere: Related Content