Latest on the SWJ Blog - The Missing Mission: Expeditionary Police for Peacekeeping and Transnational Stability by Lt John Sullivan (LASD).

On Wednesday, April 11, 2007 U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg if some of the city's police could be deployed with the U.N. for peacekeeping missions. This question succinctly points to the need to develop and deploy new transnational police capabilities to address global threats such as insurgency, terrorism, and the disorder that results from failed states.

Underlying the secretary-general's request is the stark fact that the distinctions between crime and war are blurring. Insurgents, genocidiares, and their terrorist cousins challenge the state monopoly on violence. Increasingly, they do so in conjunction with criminal enterprises: gangs and organized crime. Recognizing this, the U.N. is seeking international police to participate in its 16 peacekeeping missions around the world.

Yet, much more is needed than individual police officers. The current global situation calls for new security capabilities. Peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and related activities are important elements of global security. Typically military forces are deployed to address conflict and quell hostilities. Often they are augmented by civilian police (CIVPOL) to foster order and the transition to stability. But in today's world, strategic crime can challenge a state's solvency. Lawlessness and disorder in a single failed state can spark a regional conflagration. More robust and agile capabilities are required...