View Full Version : UN peacekeeping operations (catch all)

01-24-2006, 05:51 AM
24 Jan. Washington Post - U.N. Finds Waste in Peacekeeping Work (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/23/AR2006012301699.html).

An internal U.N. probe of the department that runs international peacekeeping operations has uncovered extensive evidence of mismanagement and possible fraud, and triggered the suspension of eight procurement officials pending an investigation, according to U.N. officials and documents.

U.N. investigators have uncovered rampant waste, price inflation and suspicion that employees colluded with vendors in awarding contracts for a variety of peacekeeping programs, said a confidential report presented to several governments Monday.

Peacekeepers, for example, spent $10.4 million to lease a helicopter for use in East Timor that could have been secured for $1.6 million, and paid $2.4 million to buy seven aircraft hangars in Congo that were never used, the report said. An additional $65 million or more was spent for fuel that was not needed for missions in Sudan and Haiti, said the report, which called for an investigation into whether U.N. staff members improperly "colluded to award" one U.N. supplier an $85.9 million fuel contract for the Sudan mission.

The failure of U.N. managers to enforce basic standards has led to a "culture of impunity" in U.N. spending, according to the report. Together, it says that there are "strong" indications of fraud involving contracts whose value totaled about $193 million, nearly 20 percent of the $1 billion in U.N. business examined by the auditors...

02-23-2006, 10:56 AM
23 Feb. Voice of America - Fraud, Abuse Charges Threaten U.N. Peacekeeping (http://www.voanews.com/english/Fraud-and-Abuse-Charges-Threaten-UN-Peacekeeping.cfm).

Japan and the United States have warned that funding for U.N. peacekeeping operations might be cut unless reforms are made promptly. The two countries contribute nearly half of the U.N. peacekeeping budget. U.N. Security Council is taking a close look at management of peacekeeping missions worldwide.

Japan's U.N. Ambassador Kenzo Oshima told the Security Council Wednesday his country's support of peacekeeping operations is under threat because of persistent reports of waste and fraud in purchasing equipment and supplies.

"I feel compelled to say that, unless immediate and convincing measures are taken to redress the problem, my government, which currently contributes about 20 percent of the PKO budget, will find it very difficult to maintain domestic support for underwriting peacekeeping operations," said Kenzo Oshima.

Washington's U.N. Ambassador John Bolton called the Japanese envoy's statement "electrifying". Bolton, who has repeatedly criticized U.N. management practices as a "culture of inaction", told the Security Council U.S. taxpayers are like the Japanese in demanding greater accountability from the world body's rapidly expanding peacekeeping operations.

"We must see changes," said John Bolton. "The problem of procurement fraud, waste and abuse is one that directly affects our tax dollars as the largest contributor to the U.N. system, 22 percent in the case of the regular budget, 27 percent in the case of the peacekeeping budget. This means that the United States pays or one-fourth of the price in every case of fraud, waste, and abuse. This is unacceptable."

An internal U.N. report issued last month charged that waste and fraud in peacekeeping procurement had cost the world body as much as $300 million over the past five years. The U.N. operates 18 peacekeeping missions with 85,000 troops, at an estimated cost of $2 billion per year.

Another mission for Darfur is in the planning stages.

U.N. Chief of Staff Mark Malloch Brown told the Security Council Wednesday he was alarmed by reports of fraud. He cautioned that the $300-million figure might be inflated, but at the same time he agreed that there is an urgent need to address concerns of donor countries about how their money is being spent.

"We are extremely sympathetic to the U.S./Japan position on this," said Malloch Brown. "They have a tough case to sell to their legislatures and public opinion, and we have to help them make it, by showing that where there is corruption or management failures, we're acting in a much more proactive way to address them. "

Malloch Brown says he expects many of the management reform issues will be addressed in a report Secretary-General Kofi Annan is to release next week. A broader report addressing questions of procurement reform is due out later this year. But Malloch Brown cautioned that the reforms being proposed will cost the U.N. membership more money.

The world body recently placed eight procurement officers on administrative leave with pay pending an internal probe into purchasing practices. A separate investigation is being conducted by U.S. federal prosecutors.

But U.N. officials have emphasized that the suspension of the eight employees was taken as a proactive measure, and is not a finding of guilt.

07-26-2006, 02:05 AM
Case in point - Israel preferes a NATO-led mission in S. Lebanon once things settle down. From most accounts that will not be accepted by the other major actors in Lebanon and by extension the Middle East. And so the cycle goes on...

Just a quick question – considering recent history… Seems that the most capable peacekeeping forces are those of the U.S., other NATO member countries, Australia and New Zealand - that said, many of the aforementioned countries are now viewed as having a “vested interest” (read biased) in the outcome of most conflicts by one of the parties of that conflict or the other. Clearly, sending in mediocre (at best) peacekeeping forces from other countries and organizations (to include the U.N.) has not worked well. So, is peacekeeping going the way of the dinosaur?

Tom Odom
07-26-2006, 12:14 PM

I don't think so, although each case where a PK is called for will be treated individually. The real issue is PK C2; who actually "commands" a PK? In the case of UN forces, the individual contingents have their own national C2 channels that overide the UN and the Force Commander. That happened in UNAMIR 1 and 2.

The other issue is the theater; UN missions in the Mid-East are political bandaids and punching bags for both sides. UNIFIL has been pummeled repeatedly;Israel has played a large role in that, using UNIFIL "failures" as a backdrop to Israeli actions. Hizballah has also taken its toll on UNIFIL in of course OGL; MAJ Peter McCarthy Australian Army and COL Rich Higgins USMC were both killed by Hizballah.

As for the 4 UNMOs killed by Israel in this round, I regard Israeli professions of sorrow and/or regretful accidents as pure propaganda. They have over the years made it standard practice to shoot at UN positions--especially unarmed UN positions as a tactic of intimidation, he Israeli head of security in South Lebanon--my student at CGSC--told me that was the case before I went to OGL and the IDF proved in my first evening on OP. Other UNMOs had similar experiences.

It would be very interesting to see what happens to a NATO PK in South Lebanon, especially one with a robust mandate and one equipped with the weapons and C2 to enforce it.


07-26-2006, 12:26 PM
According to our own doctrine There is a HUGE difference between Peace Keeping Operations (PKO) and Peace Enforcement Operations (PEO). Just my 2 cents

JP3-07-.3 Joint Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Peace Operations

Chap II,
1. General
Peace Keeping Operations (PKO) support diplomatic efforts to establish or maintain peace in areas of potential or actual conflict. The United States has participated in and supported UN-sponsored PKO; for example, UNMIH, the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force in the Former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia, and others. The United States has also participated in non-UN sponsored PKO, which include the MFO in the Sinai and the MNF I in Beirut.

1. General
The goal of Peace Enforcement Operation (PEO) is to enforce the provisions of a mandate designed to maintain or restore peace and order. PE forces use force or the threat of force to coerce or compel compliance with resolutions or sanctions. In PEO, force is threatened against or applied to belligerent
parties to terminate fighting, restore order, and create an environment conducive to resolving the dispute.

Interesting Read
Journal of International Peace Operations

UN Peacekeeping Missions
Since 1948 there have been 60 UN peacekeeping operations, of which 47 have been created by the United Nations Security Council since 1988. Close to 130 nations have contributed personnel at various times, and 105 are currently providing peacekeepers. As of May 31, 2005, there were 16 peacekeeping operations underway with a total of 66,058 personnel, and the top contributors of military and civilian personnel to current missions were Pakistan (9,880), Bangladesh (7,932), India (6,001), and Nepal (3,562).


08-08-2006, 01:09 PM
Security / Stability / Humanitarian Operations (http://www.smallwarsjournal.com/ref/security.htm) - SWJ Reference Library
United Nations Peace and Security Page (http://www.un.org/peace/) - Official Site
30 Nations Mulling Role in Int'l Force (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525827377&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull) - Associated Press
Obstacles Abound to U.N. Mideast Force (http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/MIDEAST_FIGHTING_UN_FORCE?SITE=DCSAS&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT) - Associated Press
Peacemaking Force Needed (http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20060805-105040-3860r.htm) - Washington Times Commentary
Israel's Approach to Peacekeepers (http://blog.washingtonpost.com/earlywarning/2006/07/israel_minimizing_civilian_cas.html) - Washington Post Commentary
Peacemaking and Peacekeeping (http://op-for.com/2006/08/peacemaking_peacekeeping.html) - OPFOR Blog
Peacekeeping or Peacemaking? (http://rapidrecon.threatswatch.org/2006/08/peacekeeping-or-peacemaking/) - Threats Watch Blog

08-08-2006, 01:22 PM
from the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (http://www.smallwarsjournal.com/ref/unitednations.htm) page on the SWJ Reference Library (http://www.smallwarsjournal.com/reference.htm).

United Nations Peacekeeping Best Practices (http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/lessons/) - United Nations' policy, analysis and lessons learned for the peacekeeping community. Library of documents, including lessons learned studies, discussion papers, policy papers and reports.

Handbook on United Nations Multidimensional Peacekeeping Operations (http://www.smallwarsjournal.com/documents/unpko.pdf) - December 2003. As peacekeeping has evolved, particularly since the late 1980s, a growing number of United Nations peacekeeping operations have become multidimensional in nature, composed of a range of components, including military, civilian police, political affairs, rule of law, human rights, humanitarian, reconstruction, public information and gender. There are also a number of areas, such as mission support and security and safety of personnel, that remain essential to peacekeeping regardless of a particular mission’s mandate. This Handbook is intended to serve as an introduction to the different components of multidimensional peacekeeping operations. It is not intended to provide strategic or policy guidance. Rather, it is intended to provide field personnel who are new to the United Nations, or who are being deployed to one of our multidimensional peacekeeping operations for the first time, with general background on the responsibilities of each component of our operations and how these fit together to form the whole. We have tried to make the Handbook as brief and practical as possible, while doing justice to the broad areas of work in which many of our operations are engaged.

The Use of Force in UN Peace Operations (http://www.smallwarsjournal.com/documents/useofforceunpko.pdf) - Simon Chesterman. New York University of Law paper for the United Nations. This paper reviews the changing approach to the use of force in UN peace operations, with particular emphasis on responses to the security vacuum that typically arises in a post-conflict environment. The United Nations has generally been reluctant to allow military units under its command to use force. The three peace operations in which troops under UN command engaged in the use of force on a significant scale — Congo from 1960–1963, Somalia in 1993, and Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1994–1995 — were traumatic experiences for the organization. The controversies to which these operations gave rise were surpassed only by two occasions on which force was not used at all: in Rwanda and Srebrenica. Such reluctance to use force is consistent with the traditional conception of peacekeeping as an impartial activity undertaken with the consent of all parties, in which force is used only in self-defence. Over the years, however, all three characteristics of traditional peacekeeping — consent, impartiality, minimum use of force — have been brought into question.

American Civilian Police in UN Peace Operations (http://www.smallwarsjournal.com/documents/uncivpol.pdf) - William Hayden. United States Institute of Peace report, July 2001. This report presents the major issues, concerns and recommendations that emerged from the United States Institute of Peace symposium "American Civilian Police in International Peace Operations: What have we learned?"

Evolving Models of Peacekeeping: Policy Implications and Responses (http://www.smallwarsjournal.com/documents/pkomodels.pdf) - Dr. Bruce Jones and Feryal Cherif. New York State University Center on International Cooperation study. It is an open question whether 11 September 2001 ushered in a fourth phase of evolution in peacekeeping, the first elements of which – an assertive US policy, a shift in geographical focus, a more complex security environment, a challenging political terrain for the UN – are beginning to be played out. At the very least, the more assertive US security policy is producing a series of shifts in the approaches of other states and institutions to security issues (particularly in Europe), which are already altering the strategic landscape within which UN peacekeeping operates. Further, a shift in emphasis within the Security Council towards terrorism, the Middle East, and WMD proliferation is likely, over the medium term, to have an impact on the level of organizational resources devoted to strengthening peacekeeping. Ongoing changes in the pattern of conflict, and changing perceptions of security threats, may yet further reshape the peacekeeping landscape. This paper addresses recent and ongoing evolutions in both the form and context of UN peacekeeping.

Peace(keeping) in Our Time: The UN as a Professional Military Manager (http://carlisle-www.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/96autumn/hillen.htm) - John Hillen. Parameters article, Autumn 1996. This article presents the thesis that the United Nations does not have an inherent capacity for such professional military management, and that such capabilities were not "present but dormant" throughout the Cold War. In fact, the UN is inherently anti-professional in the military sense; at best, it is suited for managing only quasi-military and very limited operations such as observation missions and small, traditional peacekeeping missions. The recent steps taken to professionalize UN military operations have failed because the military capability of the UN cannot be separated from its political nature, from political characteristics that purposely limit and constrain its forays into the functional management of military force. To paraphrase Clausewitz, UN military operations have their own grammar (no matter how unintelligible), but their logic is the logic of the UN's political character.

Policy Challenges of UN Peace Operations (http://carlisle-www.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/1994/baker.htm) - James Baker. Parameters article, Spring 1994. As recently as 1990, a mere handful of US Army officers were seconded to the United Nations as military observers. Barely four years later, Army troops serving under the UN flag (or in direct support of United Nations operations) number in the thousands. US participation in such ventures can be expected to continue, and the Army's institutional interest in UN peace operations is rapidly rising. Like war itself, a peace operation is a military undertaking with a political aim. But unlike warfare, with its long history, peace operations are a relatively recent military phenomenon. Historical precedents are few. This fact alone makes peace operations, in all their forms, a special challenge not only for those who implement policy but for those who make it, both in and out of uniform. The salient policy challenges are in the areas of multilateral operations, mission termination, and combat readiness.

Is the UN Peacekeeping Role in Eclipse? (http://carlisle-www.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/99autumn/mcclure.htm) - Robert NcClure and Morton Orlov II. Parameters article, Autumn 1999. To deal with the rising demand for its peacekeeping services, in 1992 the UN created a Department of Peacekeeping Operations--also called DPKO. That department underwent predictable growing pains as member states sought to have the world's premier international organization assume increasing responsibility for resolving conflict in the new world order. This article will outline those initiatives in UN peacekeeping management and describe the recent proposals to restructure DPKO. These recent initiatives, born out of member state frustration, mission/resource mismatch, and a diminished appetite for global agendas, will certainly have a significant effect, in ways yet to be determined, on the next ten years of UN peacekeeping.

08-09-2006, 09:29 PM
It seems to me the lesson is that peacekeeping missions need to be very assertive. Due to its structure the UN struggles to create assertive forces both politically and due to lack of troops and equipment. The need to prevent the spread of conflict and minimizing regional fall out will keep peacekeeping from going away whether or not the UN will be able to reclaim its role as the premier peacekeeper will depended on whether or not the structural flaws that hold back it mission are adequately addressed. If not future missions will most likely be handled by regional organization possibly to be passed off to the UN when the situation calms down.

01-30-2007, 08:18 AM
30 January AP - U.N. Chief Proposes Peacekeeping Reforms (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/30/AR2007013000023.html) by Alexandra Olson.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon formally outlined a proposal Monday to divide peacekeeping into two departments, saying the United Nations was struggling to cope with its mounting peacekeeping responsibilities.

The department runs 18 missions around the world with nearly 100,000 peacekeepers. Recent years had seen "an unprecedented growth in the number and scope of peace operations mandated by the Security Council," Ban said.

One of the new departments would focus on planning, directing and providing political guidance to peacekeeping operations, while the other would be responsible for finance, procurement, and logistics. Each would be headed by an undersecretary-general...

Mark O'Neill
02-05-2007, 10:13 AM
Hizballah has also taken its toll on UNIFIL in of course OGL; MAJ Peter McCarthy Australian Army and COL Rich Higgins USMC were both killed by Hizballah.

This is news to most of us in Australia.

Peter McCarthy was killed when his vehicle drove over a landmine. The Australian Army and the Australian War Memorial record his death as such an accident. (see: http://www.awm.gov.au/atwar/peacekeeping.htm) . There are literally thousands of landmines in the area where the accident occurred, laid by various belligerants at various times. What evidence is there for the assertion he was killed by Hezbollah?



Tom Odom
02-05-2007, 01:34 PM
The evidence is the operational zone Peter was killed in had been an area of Hizballah bombings and attacks. As for the thousands of landmines: yes they are there. In Peters case, they were in the middle of a road I had traveled on many times and it appeared at the time there were 2 stacked AT mines or an AT mine with a booster. Amal at the time was not targeting UN personnel; the SLA and the Israelis if the they wanted to target UN personnel used direct fire and indirect fire.

So when I lay it at Hiznallah's door step, I do so as they were the most likely perpetrator. Was it command detonated? No. Was it on a normal LOC? Yes

Was it an "accident"? NO



02-08-2007, 01:50 PM
The only reasons I can see for the UNIFIL "observers" remaining in the war zone in Lebanon is a) incompetence within UNIFIL. b)UNIFIL is actively siding with Hezbollah by providing "human shields" and intended world reaction when Israel inevitably targets them. or c) a combination of the above. UNIFIL was obviously not "keeping the peace" in the area.

The UN has been demonstrably anti-Israel for some time now. For sure Israel isn't pure as driven snow, but most anti-Israel UN edicts are so transparently designed to "get" Israel as to be laughable.

02-08-2007, 02:03 PM
Greetings SGM !

If memory serves me correctly, the Canadian PKs in Rwanda cruising around in 113s and 114 command posts had M2HBs mounted. I don't know if they considered themselves PKOs or PEOs, but there were belts dangling from the 50's Tom and I encountered.

Just opnion, but I think they could have cared less about the differences in the acronyms considering where they were.

Tom ?

Regards, Stan

Tom Odom
02-08-2007, 03:38 PM
The only reasons I can see for the UNIFIL "observers" remaining in the war zone in Lebanon is a) incompetence within UNIFIL. b)UNIFIL is actively siding with Hezbollah by providing "human shields" and intended world reaction when Israel inevitably targets them. or c) a combination of the above. UNIFIL was obviously not "keeping the peace" in the area.

The UN has been demonstrably anti-Israel for some time now. For sure Israel isn't pure as driven snow, but most anti-Israel UN edicts are so transparently designed to "get" Israel as to be laughable.


UNIFIL is an armed peacekeeping force in existence since 1978.

UNTSO is an unarmed military observers organization with groups in Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, and Israel. UNTSO was established in 1948. UNTSO Liaison teams serve as scouts and negotiators for UNIFIL.

UN observers and UN peacekeepers are soldiers sent by the governments who agreed to do so. UNTSO has for decades included a US Military Observer Group; I was one of them 1987-1988.

None of the peacekeepers whether armed or not set policy. To ascribe to the idea that UN Observers side with Hizballah or any other group is ludicrous.

UN policy toward Israel is in a word "convoluted" and all sides--including Israel--use it to their advantage.


02-08-2007, 03:47 PM
Tom Odom, I had no idea you were actively siding with Hizbullah. Shoudn't you then be posting in the "Indigenous" board? ;)

James Dobbins writing for RAND (http://www.rand.org/news/press.05/02.18.html)is instructive as to the U.N. record in peacekeeping/nation building, both in terms of both faults and successes.

Tom Odom
02-08-2007, 04:34 PM
Tom Odom, I had no idea you were actively siding with Hizbullah. Shoudn't you then be posting in the "Indigenous" board? ;)

James Dobbins writing for RAND (http://www.rand.org/news/press.05/02.18.html)is instructive as to the U.N. record in peacekeeping/nation building, both in terms of both faults and successes.

Hmmm maybe so...I hope some day that the thugs who kidnapped Rich Higgins stand against a wall.

In many ways my service as a UN observer in Lebanon and losing friends on the ground prepared me for Rwanda and some of the failures there. It also allowed me to understand just how hamstrung a Force Commander like MG Romeo Dallaire or MG Guy Tousignant could be. Dallaire's book catalogs all of that well when discussing UNAMIR 1; Shahyar Khan--the Senior Rep for the UN Secretary General and senior civilian for UNAMIR 2--does the same for the reborn UNAMIR in his book.

As a US DATT I worked closely with both UNAMIR 2 and the new Rwandan government--especially the military. Sometimes that was much like being a UN observer in Lebanon again; both sides saw you as suspect or sympathetic to the other side. The latter was certainly true because I did sympathize with both sides and sometimes one had to choose.

In the case of Kibeho and the massacre in April 95, my role was to report what I saw as accurately as possible and report the views reported or held by all sides. MG Tousignant and I differed on casualty counts; he was reporting as a UN officer based on what he got from below. I did the same but I did my own assessment. Later when we talked, he told me that he recognized that our agendas could not always be the same. In the case of Kibeho, the divergence was one of perspective; he was the FC charged with a mandate (one defunct before his troops deployed) to protect persons at risk. That gave him an immediate perspective on Kibeho. And he rightly violated UN orders when he put troops in the middle of the camp and kept them there. The Aussies and the Zambians did the best anyone could do. My perspective was longer, predating his as I saw what was happening in Kibeho as a direct extension of the civil war and genocide. In my view what happended was tragic and largely unavoidable because it was inside Rwanda. The greater tragedy was that Kibeho heralded what was going to happen in Zaire and none of us--Tousignant, Khan, David Rawson, Bob Gribbin, and I--could get that message across or perhaps could stimulate the proper responses from the greater international community.

Lebanon is both the same and different. Conflicting agendas just like Rwanda abound and have their effects on those on the ground. The big difference is the attention that Lebanon draws routinely versus the attention that Rwanda (and the larger Congo War) drew by exception.

The RAND report is quite interesting.




As an inveterate table of contents and bibliography scanner, I downloaded the RAND study and looked at it. My initial assessment is that it sets high goals and fails to meet them. For example:

The UN missions selected are relevant; many that were not selected are more relevant. There is no mention of UNAMIR 1 or 2; both missions were involved in nation building.

I studied the 1960s Congo operation in depth when researching and writing LP 14; the scholarship shown in this study on the Congo is remarkably shallow. Brian Urqhart and Conor O'Brien's books are not in the bibliography. Urqhart's book on UN peackeeping is seminal; he was by the way that British intelligence officer who dared question the wisdom of OP Market Garden and was relieved for "exhaustion."

I will add more as I finish the study.

02-09-2007, 07:24 AM
Tom, I didn't mean to imply the observers set the policy. Perhaps it is the "convoluted" nature of the UN chain of command that required that they stay where they were, despite a full-out shooting war going on.

This thread gave me some food for thought last night. I have never been a big fan of "peacekeeping" missions. They always strike me as kind of like the guy who plugs the relief valve on his pressure cooker because it keeps going off.

Tom Odom
02-09-2007, 02:04 PM

I hear what you are saying and it is quite true: the policy chefs ignore the pot and the staff cleans up.

That aside, I often pose the question about alternatives to UN PKOs: simply who else will do it?

We struggle right now with the question of filling needs in Iraq for a war we essentially decided was necessary. Elsewhere in the world, conflicts go on most don't even hear about. I put Carl's Congo Sitreps on here because they offer insights into the insane world of MONUC--the largest PKO in history.

Darfur in Sudan continues to befuddle Western and African efforts to unravel. Faulty or not, the UN is often the only venue for action.



07-09-2007, 08:24 AM
AllAfrica reports (http://allafrica.com/stories/200707060267.html) on the recent sentencing of former Rwandan Army Major Ntuyahaga who stood trial in Belgium over the Genocide. Ntuyahaga was sentenced to 20 Years in Jail for the killing of 10 Belgian Peacekeepers in 1994.

Bernad Ntuyahaga, 55, was convicted yesterday by a Belgian court which has been trying him. However, the court acquitted him of murdering then Rwandan PM Agathe Uwilingiyimana.

The murders, committed in front of Rwandan army officers, triggered the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers.

Belgium's prime minister told the court that had peacekeepers stayed, thousands of lives could have been saved.

International fallout

Prosecutors said Ntuyahaga took the peacekeepers from the residence of Mrs Uwilingiyimana, who they were trying to protect. He then handed them over to fellow soldiers in a military camp in the capital, Kigali, where they were beaten to death, shot or slain with machetes.

Christine Dupont, the widow of Belgian peacekeeper Christophe Dupont, said before the verdict: "It's a very important day, a day we have been waiting for the last 13 years."

It is not the first time Rwandans have stood trial in Belgium over the Genocide. Two Catholic nuns, a university professor and a businessman were sentenced in 2001 to between 12 and 20 years' jail for aiding the mass murders.

07-26-2007, 05:48 PM
From Ottawa to Sarajevo
Canadian Peacekeepers in the Balkans
Dawn M. Hewitt, 1998

This is the 18th in a series of security studies by Queen's University Centre for International Relations (QCIR) under the title of Martello Papers.

DOWNLOAD PDF HERE: (http://www.queensu.ca/cir/files/Martello18.pdf)

03-18-2008, 01:46 PM
UNDPKO, 14 Mar 08: United Nations Peace Operations Year in Review 2007 (http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/pub/year_review07/YIR_2007.pdf)

....UN peace operations have become essential instruments for the international community in maintaining international peace and security. The challenges and the numbers are unprecedented: UN peacekeeping currently maintains 20 operations on four continents with more than 100,000 men and women in the field.The budget for peacekeeping is expected to grow from US$5 to US$7 billion over the 2007-8 biennium, US$1.28 billion of that for Darfur alone. New UN political missions were also deployed to the field, even as existing operations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East faced continuing challenges in preventing and resolving conflict.

Once a mechanism for keeping the peace after a conflict had ended, UN peacekeeping operations and personnel are now being asked to deploy into still fractious environments, and are expected to protect civilians, mitigate conflicts before they widen, and keep societies and regions from further disintegration.

The growing challenges stretched the capacity of the Organization and demanded innovation: in his first year in office, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon initiated a comprehensive programme of internal restructuring, reorganizing the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and establishing a separate Department of Field Support.This enabled a major augmentation of resources along with new capacities and integrated structures to match the growing complexity of mandated activities and to ensure unity of command and integration of effort.....

10-25-2008, 01:10 PM
USIP, Oct 08: Whither Peace Operations? (http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr215.pdf)

Much progress has been achieved over the last decade and a half in the development and use of peace operations as a tool to quell conflicts, but there are limits to how much more progress can be expected.
The number of troop contributors and troops deployed to peace operations has recently reached unprecedented highs, but the bulk of troops came from a limited number of states.
The relationship between the United Nations and non-UN peacekeepers seems for the most part complementary. Nonetheless, the rise in non-UN peace operations has probably led to the United Nations becoming too dependent on too small a base of lesser-developed states.
The characteristics of most troop contributors (e.g., type of governance, national quality of life, ground-force size) correlate with their level of contribution, but even politically willing nations with the “right” characteristics can likely deploy only a small percentage of their troops to operations at any one time.
While Europe and Africa have achieved the most progress in developing institutional capacities, each continent confronts problems of interinstitutional relations and resource shortages.
Russia’s hegemonic role in Eurasia and the United States’ historical legacy in Latin America have hindered development of comprehensive institutional capacities for peace operations in each region.
East Asia may slowly be moving beyond ideational strictures that crippled efforts to develop regional capacities.
Institutional progress is not expected in South Asia and the Middle East, and states of each region should not be expected to send military units to intraregional operations. Nearly all South Asian countries, however, will be major players in UN operations. A few exceptions aside, Mideast states will remain bit players on the world scene.
Demand for easy or moderately challenging operations will generally be met, but the hazardous missions most apt to occur will be called for by states possessing the wherewithal to take them on and bring others along.

Rex Brynen
08-22-2009, 10:54 PM
For obvious reasons, discussion at SWJ tends to focus on the ongoing missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, threats to homeland security, broader military and strategic issues, COIN debates, CT issues, and occasionally conflicts elsewhere.

I don't particularly have a point to make with this thread, but I did think it might be useful to flag the very substantial amount of peacekeeping and stabilization that is going on elsewhere. There are currently (as of 31/7/09) more than 93,000 personnel deployed on UN PKOs, representing a very subtstantial growth over the past 20 years (http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/chart.pdf).

What's more, the composition of UN contingents (http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/factsheet.pdf) has changed markedly over the years, with Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and Nigeria contributing over one third of all personnel, and only two Western countries (Italy and France) among the top 20 contributors. The Chinese contribution has steadily grow too, from almost nothing to over 2,000 troops now (ranking them 11th).

Now, it can be argued that the UN is inefficient, that UN PKOs are insufficiently robust, and that the quality of individual contingents can be weak, and the peacekeeping operations often fail. That is undoubtedly true, but rather misses the point: its not as if anyone in the West is lining up to do DR Congo (etc) these days, nor can the failure of peace agreements necessarily be laid at the UN's feet, nor is it clear that deploying no PKO would better help consolidate peace. Moreover, it needs to be remembered that the United Nations is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the international community, which often finds it convenient to blame the organization for what are really the failures of its member states.

As I said, I didn't have a major point to make, other than to welcome comments. Like it or not, UN PKOs remain a significant part of the global architecture for peace and security, and it might be useful to think how they might be better used or made more effective.

08-23-2009, 04:18 AM
Like it or not, UN PKOs remain a significant part of the global architecture for peace and security, and it might be useful to think how they might be better used or made more effective.

-Clearly articulated and understood mission
-Clearly articulated rules of engagement and rules for use of force
-Concurrence among donor countries on how the job will be done, when a unified HQ and C2 structure is employed (think the nightmare of UNOSOM)
-Relevant training
-Instilling a strong commitment to employ force, within the known constraints, to do the job, as opposed to dithering around about what to do in the face of bullies who attempt to exploit perceived weakness in resolve
-Troops who are less in it for the food-on-my-table-at-home aspect. I know, nearly impossible to do,but it should be an objective nonetheless
-Clearly articulated and understood mission (:D It all comes back down to this)

I've studied peacemaking/peacekeeping seriously ever since I served in Somalia, and wouldn't mind serving on observer duty at some point.

08-23-2009, 10:38 AM

We have touched upon these issues in threads on Rwanda (UN), Darfur (AU & UN) and another (lost in my memory). There is a huge amount of non-military commentary, by academics and observers. For a few years I subscribed to peacekeeping journal, but stopped as the 'real' issues rarely got a mention.

I have a recollection that when the UN deployed to Sierra Leone, itself a peculiarly difficult mission, a UK press report commented that an Indian contingent were fresh from duty in Kashmir and would be robust. Within a short time it was quite clear this was wishful thinking. Only when the UK intervened and did the 'hard' work did the UN feel able to operate.

How about the remarkable disappearance in Rwanda of an under-size Bangladeshi infantry battallion and reappearance across the border in Uganda?

Nothing will change, however many eminient persons write, until a shared, agreed political will appears. A will that enables peace-making and peace enforcement - as distinct from peacekeeping. High risk operations are not for the casualty averse.

For diplomatic reasons few want to say that. Rex is right to note non-NATO nations now bear the burden and mainly in Africa (except France in Ivory Coast IIRC).

Meantime back to my armchair.


Abu Suleyman
08-24-2009, 12:49 PM
I agree with all that has gone before, and would add that as I see it there are two major barriers that are overlooked when dealing with PKO. First is the fact that Blue Helmets come from all over the world, have different missions, different rules of engagement, and most importantly speak different languages. The second problem is that because of the way that the UN creates Blue Helmet "armies" creates and incentive structure whereby countries who cannot afford to equip and train their militaries are the ones who have the most to gain by sending them on Peace Keeping mission, to get them equipped and at least a little trained, not on their dime.

The illustration to this problem is the Eastern front of WWI. The Austro-Hungarians, who basically commanded a large coalition of Armies made up from the various Hapsburg holdings were creamed by the Russians, who mostly spoke Russian, and were far more unified in comparison. The Russians, in their turn, we trounced by the Germans, who were not only more unified than the Russians, but also well trained and well equipped.

I know that this is a simplification of WWI, but the analogy holds.

John T. Fishel
08-24-2009, 02:13 PM
I make this observation not to criticize the UN; it is, as Rex says, a wholly owned subsidiary of the member states. Thus a UN PKO can only be what its members want it to be. As Jon says, UNOSOM II was a case in point although I disagree as to the reasons it failed. Created under UNSCR 814, it had the most robust C2 structure of any Peace Op to date (and maybe ever). At US insistence the SRSG was an American, former Dep NSA VADM Jonathon Howe, the FC was a NATO general, LTG Cevik Bir from Turkey, and the Dep FC was again US MG tom Montgomery, dual hatted as COMUSFORSOM. From may until June 93 the major problem was that DPKO was unable to either negotiate sufficient force contributors or get them deployed in time so the UNOSOM II force which was to have been 28,000 strong at handover on 4 May was only 14,000 at it peak. Then came Aideed's attack that kileed several peacekeepers.
At Admiral Howe's insistence, with the concurrence of USUN Rep, Madelaine Albright, the UNSC passed over the weekend, UNSCR 837 which authorized operations to capture Aideed and any others who assisted him putting UNOSOM II on the side of his opponents. This brought into play the problem of Terms of Reference (TOR) - the agreements signed by DPKO with the force Contributors specifiying the rules of engagement and precisely what they agreed to do under the terms of UN "Operational Control" (which, at best, is the equivalent of US tactical control - TACON). Italy, which both contributed forces and provided the U2 - intel staff officer - had long standing relationships with Aideed and said flat out that 837 was not what it had signed up for; Italy had only agreed to enforce 814. Hence conflict.
I won't go into the US C2 fiasco other than to say that it violated our own doctrine in every possible way.
If interested see Chapter 12 of Max Manwaring and my book, UNCOMFORTABLE WARS REVISITED and/ or Chapter 9 of my edited volume, THE SAVAGE WARS OF PEACE (thesource of the other chapter written with Tom Daze who was XO to Montgomery).



SWJ Blog
07-13-2012, 12:41 PM
India and UN Peacekeeping: Declining Interest with Grave Implications (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/india-and-un-peacekeeping-declining-interest-with-grave-implications)

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11-29-2012, 02:14 PM
Prompted by two Australian articles (see next post) I have searched SWC using 'peacekeeping'; there are numerous threads where it features, a far smaller number of threads where it is in the title and a few specific threads, e.g. East Timor.

I have merged six threads, some were SWJ Blog and renamed the thread as a catch all.

11-29-2012, 02:57 PM
Two articles from the Australian Lowy Institute:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2012/11/28/Peacekeeping-Lessons-from-Cambodia.aspx and:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2012/11/27/Peacekeeping-The-fight-for-recognition.aspx

I noted in the first:
Retired General Mike Smith, Director of the Security Sector Advisory & Coordination Division in the UN Support Mission in Libya

In the second:
Peacekeeping is not alchemy. There are no magic transforming 'bullets' in communities serious enough to warrant deployment. Despite the best hopes of fast turnarounds, it is typically full of the painstaking negotiations and compromises that pock-mark nations rife with conflict, poverty and fear.

05-18-2014, 12:35 PM
Classic under-statement warning:wry:

United Nations peacekeeping missions routinely avoid using force to protect civilians who are under attack, intervening in only 20 percent of cases despite being authorized to do so by the U.N. Security Council...

"There is a persistent pattern of peacekeeping operations not intervening with force when civilians are under attack....Peacekeepers are absent from many locations when civilians come under attack, and when they are present, are unable or unwilling to prevent serious physical harm from being inflicted..


Bill Moore
05-19-2014, 04:37 AM
Classic under-statement warning:wry:


What did GEN Rupert Smith write in his book? Something along the lines of we're willing to deploy military forces, but not employ them. The UN does great work in many fields, but it is a failure at peace operations.

SWJ Blog
07-18-2014, 02:50 AM
NYT Peacekeeping Debate (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/nyt-peacekeeping-debate)

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08-20-2014, 03:47 PM
A rare article on events in Darfur, I'd forgotten there was a UN mission there, known as UNAMID (a hybrid with the AU) and in place for six years:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-reeves/post_8247_b_5683453.html?

The author ends with:
It's difficult to escape the conclusion that Darfur is the genocide that people got tired of. A terrible epitaph in the wake of so many impassioned declarations of "never again."

Facts & figures for UNAMID:http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/unamid/facts.shtml

SWJ Blog
02-25-2015, 02:37 AM
New Study Suggests Reforms to UN Peacekeeping Operations (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/new-study-suggests-reforms-to-un-peacekeeping-operations)

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03-19-2015, 10:56 PM
An open access article from the RUSI Journal, by Mats Berdal & David Ucko. The Abstract:
Although the demand for UN peacekeepers shows little sign of abating, a sense of uncertainty and malaise continues to colour discussions about the future of UN peacekeeping. Of the many issues facing the UN High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations that was set up in 2014, the use of force by UN peacekeepers is likely to attract particular attention. It is also likely to prove divisive, both among member states and within the Secretariat. While steps can be taken to strengthen the capacity of the UN to mount and conduct field operations, Mats Berdal and David H Ucko argue that the way forward does not lie simply in entrusting UN forces with ever-more ‘robust’ war-fighting mandates. Instead, more systematic attention needs to be given to strategically linking UN peacekeeping activities to political processes aimed at bringing violent conflict to an end. This will require far greater honesty from member states regarding their own responsibility in enabling the UN to do what they ask of it.
Link:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03071847.2015.1016718#abstract (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03071847.2015.1016718#abstract)

SWJ Blog
07-29-2015, 10:28 PM
Top US General Urges Countries to Bolster UN Peacekeeping (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/top-us-general-urges-countries-to-bolster-un-peacekeeping)

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SWJ Blog
09-27-2015, 12:51 AM
As UN Peacekeeping Veers Toward Counterterror, US Steps In (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/as-un-peacekeeping-veers-toward-counterterror-us-steps-in)

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SWJ Blog
09-28-2015, 08:12 PM
U.S. to Provide More Support to U.N. Peacekeeping Forces (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/us-to-provide-more-support-to-un-peacekeeping-forces)

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10-10-2015, 10:50 PM
Hat tip to a "lurker" a different aspect of peacekeeping:
Last weekend, a documentary following those women premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Called Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAR3SXSme6c), the film follows 140 women peacekeepers from on their third deployment to Haiti from June 2013 to July 2014.....The women make two to three times [more] as a peacekeeper compared to what they make as a police officer in Bangladesh, so it’s very appealing for a lot of them.

SWJ Blog
11-04-2015, 07:50 AM
A History of United Nations Peacekeeping - Thematic Bibliography (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/a-history-of-united-nations-peacekeeping-thematic-bibliography)

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11-19-2015, 02:30 PM
I've not seen much written on how largely bureaucratic UN "leaders" manage to fail, miserably in their mission, yet continue to persist in their role, or even gain promotion.

As part of a project spanning 2012 - 2015, I encountered a particularly smelly human turd named "Martin Kobler".


This "gentleman" has an auspicious history studded with failures, largely attributed to his incompetence and his blatantly anti-military prejudice. He is considered by many I spoke to as contemptuous of military people and disregards his military advisers.

The Wiki page briefly covers the debacle he helped make in Iraq, but it doesn't cover the disaster he oversaw in DRC.

His public statements were telling: When he was criticized for his troops being barracks bound while civilians were being massacred by LRA, he stated "We cannot be everywhere." and that "He would march his forces around the jungle continuously" until he defeated the rebels. Not surprisingly, later that week, his exhausted and frustrated troops, having finally left their barracks to "march around the jungle continuously" machine-gunned a group of cars that were stuck in a traffic jam and blocking their way.

I wish I could post the paper I wrote, here, but it's owned by my former employer.

11-20-2015, 01:09 PM
A short BBC report, topical as the focus is Mali:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-34812600

Why the most dangerous?
Mali (Minusma) - 53 deaths

Sudan (Unamid, hybrid mission in Darfur with African Union) - 48 deaths
DR Congo (Monusco) - 18 deaths
South Sudan (Unmiss) - 17 deaths
Ivory Coast (Unoci) - 16 deaths

Source: UN figures from 2013 up to 31 October 2015, excluding deaths from illness

01-24-2016, 11:09 PM
...the people of Ajalpan had another explanation: Tired of government corruption and indifference, the mob fashioned its own justice, part of a longstanding problem that Mexican officials say is on the rise.

The killings raise difficult questions for Mexico, highlighting an alarming development: By some accounts, there were more public lynchings this past year than at any other time in more than a quarter-century. There were at least 78 lynchings last year in Mexico, more than double the number the previous year, according to data collected by Ral Rodrguez Guilln, a professor and an author of the book Mexico Lynchings, 1988-2014.


Reading music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GN52vq7xmas
You're welcome.

02-22-2016, 09:18 AM
A "broad brush" comment on peacekeeping's effect at home, accentuated by the USA and a few others hiring so many soldiers from "developing countries" who return home with quite different ideas:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/22/opinion/international/when-peacekeepers-come-home.html?

03-02-2016, 12:34 PM
Excluding the now quite small UK contingent in Cyprus, with UNCYPF, the UK has ten military personnel wearing a blue beret. Although the UK does pay a lot for peacekeeping by others.

The price in blood others paid:
The tragic loss of 456 UK service personnel in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2016 has quite rightly dominated the media in the UK but how many of us are aware that 1,733 UN peacekeepers (http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/resources/statistics/fatalities.shtml) have also died in the line of duty during the same period?


03-18-2016, 10:33 PM
A NYT article by Anthony Banbury, an American senior UN official who has resigned after thirty years service. Here is key reason:
But in terms of its overall mission, thanks to colossal mismanagement, the United Nations is failing.
His slim Wiki bio:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Banbury

Some harsh comments on several UN peacekeeping missions: Haiti, Mali and CAR too.

03-19-2016, 08:28 PM
A book review spotted today via twitter of 'The fog of peace: a memoir of international peacekeeping in the 21st century'. By Jean-Marie Guhenno. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1468-2346.12564/epdf

Here is one passage:
The fog of peace is not only one of the very best books to have been written about UN peacekeeping for a long time; it is one that also offers profound insights into the political, practical and moral dilemmas and challenges presented by international eorts, through the UN, to address the causes and consequences of violent conflict in the early twenty-first century.

05-11-2016, 11:41 AM
An article on the very few, four Casspir MRAP vehicles deployed in Mali, with the Chadian-Guinean contingent:http://armamentresearch.com/the-casspir-ng2000-mrap-in-service-with-minusma-in-mali/

The Casspir is part of the South African "family" of COIN vehicles from the "bush wars" of the apartheid era. In Mali they are not so heavily armed.

07-12-2016, 06:06 PM
I know South Sudan is lurching, again, into a civil war, but just spotted a Tweet two days old from People's China Daily:
1 Chinese peacekeeper killed, another 6 injured in continuing fighting in Juba, South Sudan, July 10Not seen that in the BBC's reporting.

Updated from the BBC's long backgrounder on the fighting includes:
Two Chinese UN peacekeepers and one South Sudanese UN worker were among those killed in the fighting.

08-01-2016, 06:41 PM
I have always wondered whether South Korea, with its large military, was a UN troop contributor:
As of June 2016, the ROK Armed Forces had 1,108 soldiers supporting peacekeeping missions in 13 countries.Here is the answer:http://blog.keia.org/2016/07/south-koreas-overseas-peacekeeping-activities-part-i-the-history-and-current-status/

Oddly the official ROK Foreign Affairs website states in January 2016:
...a total of 647 Korean military officers have been deployed to 6 different PKO missions.The vast majority (officers and men) were then in South Sudan and The Lebanon

SWJ Blog
09-02-2016, 05:07 PM
Whither the UN’s War in Congo? (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/whither-the-un%E2%80%99s-war-in-congo)

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10-22-2016, 08:58 PM
A WoTR article, with a mass of links, plus two graphs:http://warontherocks.com/2016/10/playing-the-blues-a-professional-peacekeeping-force-for-an-age-of-violent-extremism/

A key section:
Nearly two-thirds of U.N. military peacekeepers and 90 percent of total U.N. personnel deployed today operate in countries experiencing sustained violent conflict rather than a negotiated truce. In other words.....there is no peace to keep in many of these conflicts.

Contingencies for peacekeeping operations are increasingly complex and call for robust capabilities to impose security instead of relying on the permission of opposing parties.

11-19-2016, 12:33 PM
A long WSJ article on China's apparent sudden learning that peacekeeping comes with the loss of life:http://www.wsj.com/articles/china-discovers-the-price-of-global-power-soldiers-returning-in-caskets-1479250248

Note the 'one child' policy makes a death even harder for a family.

A recent UN report on the South Sudan failure commented:
..did not operate under a unified command, resulting in multiple and sometimes conflicting orders to the four troop contingents from China, Ethiopia, Nepal and India, and ultimately under-using the more than 1,800 infantry troops at UN House... This included at least two instances in which the Chinese battalion abandoned some of its defensive positionsReport, ten pgs:http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/sudan/Public_Executive_Summary_on_the_Special_Investigat ion_Report (http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/sudan/Public_Executive_Summary_on_the_Special_Investigat ion_Report_1_Nov_2016.pdf)_1_Nov_2016.pdf (http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/sudan/Public_Executive_Summary_on_the_Special_Investigat ion_Report_1_Nov_2016.pdf)
Link to quote:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-37840961

12-15-2016, 10:08 PM
Catching up with my reading and finally read a 2015 IISS Adelphi Paper 'Spolier Groups and UN Peacekeeping' by Nadin, Cammaert & Popvoski.

A good read, especially on armed groups in modern warfare, although as the UN repeatedly proves - as shown in South Sudan - it has many faults. Yes, the UN depends on it's members willingness to contribute forces willing and able to act.


SWJ Blog
02-04-2017, 12:11 PM
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley Targeting U.N. Peacekeeping for Reform (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/us-ambassador-nikki-haley-targeting-un-peacekeeping-for-reform)

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SWJ Blog
02-15-2017, 11:36 PM
A Lesson On UN Peacekeeping – From Haiti (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/a-lesson-on-un-peacekeeping-%E2%80%93-from-haiti)

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SWJ Blog
04-08-2017, 12:27 PM
The Best Defense Is No Offense: Why Cuts to UN Troops in Congo Could Be a Good Thing (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/the-best-defense-is-no-offense-why-cuts-to-un-troops-in-congo-could-be-a-good-thing)

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SWJ Blog
09-28-2017, 04:11 PM
United Nations Peacekeeping Offensive Operations: Theory and Doctrine (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/united-nations-peacekeeping-offensive-operations-theory-and-doctrine)

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SWJ Blog
11-16-2017, 01:56 AM
Pentagon Official: U.S. to Cut Contributions to U.N. Peacekeeping Missions (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/pentagon-official-us-to-cut-contributions-to-un-peacekeeping-missions)

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06-28-2018, 12:58 PM
The first is a BBC News photo essay 'The war in the desert; Why the Sahara is terror's new front line'. IT has a few interesting, though not new quotes. This refers o the UN peacekeepers, almost 14,000 peacekeepers from nearly 60 different countries:
Different countries accept different levels of risk. Many are simply going through the motions - counting down the days, trying to stay alive, and having little real impact in a place where it’s nearly impossible to keep the peace.

Then citing the UN Force Commander: I need better equipped and better trained contingents. I need more vehicles… to protect my people against the IEDs [improvised explosive devices] and mines and so on and I need to upgrade the training level of my contingents.

Then the trade in migrants / refugees in Niger: Criminal gangs moved in and the desert tour guides became human traffickers, carrying lorry-loads of migrants north to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. This thriving industry provides both cash and cover for the radical, violent, extremist groups assembling across the Sahara.

On external funding of mosques and schools:Towering over a second meeting is a new white and green mosque, which smells of fresh paint. The UN says Qatari money paid for the building - like Saudi Arabia, here and in other parts of Africa they have a programme that provides new mosques and preachers to teach a very conservative form of Islam.

The references to an attack @ Timbuktu are to an attack in April 2018, so this report may have taken time to reach publication

The second article, published yesterday in 'The Guardian' is headlined: 'New terrorist threat as EU stance on migrants triggers disquiet in Niger;

Efforts to buttress Europe’s borders have left people smugglers in Niger jobless and ripe for exploitation by jihadist groups'. It opens with:
Thousands of men who transported, fed, and housed the hundreds of thousands of migrants who used to cross the impoverished west African country are now unemployed and could easily be exploited by one of the major jihadist groups operating in the region, said leaders in the remote former migrant hub of Agadez.

That is simply weird and appears to contradict the BBC report!

I will copy this to the Mali and UN Peacekeeping threads for reference.

06-28-2018, 01:06 PM
A new thread as the previous thread somehow was merged into the current thread on Mexico! So some work underway and in a moment this thread will be populated - with this post becoming the last. It happens.:(

11-18-2018, 06:05 PM
A fascinating 2016 account by an American who served with the UN in Eastern Congo, in Duke University's journal 'World Politics'. It starts with:
When Daniel Fahey visited eastern Democratic Republic of Congo as coordinator of the U.N.’s Group of Experts, he found a charismatic charlatan known as “Mr. X” under the protection of the U.N. A star witness in a murder trial, Mr. X had convinced the U.N. of his tall tales. Fahey shows how Mr. X’s story sheds light on the emerging role of intelligence in peacekeeping operations and the unpredictable effects of its failures.


The pitfalls of HUMINT amply made out.

12-15-2018, 10:15 PM
From Amnesty International and the report starts:
The United Nations must carry out a thorough investigation into UN peacekeeping troops’ response to a recent attack that killed as many as 100 civilians in a displaced persons camp in the Central African Republic, Amnesty International said today in a new report (https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/afr19/9573/2018/en/).

According to multiple eyewitnesses, UN peacekeepers did not engage an attack by an armed group but instead retreated in an armoured vehicle to their central base, leaving thousands of civilians unprotected at the camp in Alindao on 15 November.

An immediate and impartial inquiry must focus, in particular, on whether the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) failed in its duty to protect the lives of more than 18,000 people residing at the site.

The UN soldiers were from Mauritania.

05-30-2019, 06:45 PM
A short article by the Oxford Research Group; in summary:
China’s peacekeeping in Mali represents another example of the country's increasing willingness to send personnel into an active conflict zone and a shift in Chinese strategic thinking.