Peacekeeping: September 14, 2004

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In 2003, the United Nations deployed 38,500 peacekeepers, triple the number in service during 1999. Most of the peacekeepers are regional operations, and are simply operating with UN approval. In 2003, 14 new peacekeeping operations were implemented. The UN prefers to get regional groups to organize and run peacekeeping forces. The UN bureaucracy has a corruption problem, and the UN gets blamed when things go wrong on a peacekeeping mission they are running. Even without the corruption problems (which the media tends to ignore), something will always go wrong, and the media expects perfection. Another reason for encouraging regional peacekeepers is that it avoids the roadblocks at the UN, where members with a veto will more likely stop any UN run peacekeeping operation that interferes with that members interests. Thus the economic interests of France, Russia and China, in Iraq, led them to oppose an invasion of Iraq, even though Iraq had been flouting UN resolutions for 12 years. Currently, a UN peacekeeping operation in Sudan is unlikely because China and Russia have economic ties to the current government, and do not want to jeopardize them. UN peacekeepers also have a problem with violence, they avoid it, even if it will save many lives. The UN, with some justification, insists that they cannot do peacemaking, which implies getting involved with a civil war. Moreover, the majority of the peacekeeping troops provided by nations, are not well enough trained, led or equipped to deal with combat operations. 

 


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