Military Implications of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations
Lewis, William H., McNair Papers
by Dr. William H. Lewis George Washington University
THE ACTIONS BY THE UNITED NATIONS Security Council in the matter of Iraq's attempt to annex Kuwait have lead some observers to conclude that the United Nations is now well positioned to play a consequential role in the maintenance of international order. The coalition formed to meet Iraq's aggression included thirty-seven member states from five continents. This successful action represented a significant precedent for future preventive diplomacy and collective security actions by the world body. As one senior Canadian official somewhat exuberantly observed, a powerful message has been sent: "the United Nations, can as it was intended, safeguard world order and security."
The organization had been playing a stellar role in the cause of peace for a number of years. Prior to the 1990-91 Gulf War, the United Nations had been accorded recognition for its contributions to peace and stability. In September 1988, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for the organization's efforts in the field. At the time of the award, observer forces were in Afghanistan and Pakistan monitoring Soviet troop withdrawals from Afghanistan; 350 men were on duty in the Gulf to serve as a buffer between Iraq and Iran in compliance with a United Nations cease-fire resolution; concomitantly, the Secretary-General was organizing a peacekeeping unit for deployment to Namibia, and was preparing for future involvement in conflicts in the Western Sahara, Kampuchea, and Central America.
The invasion of Kuwait by the forces of Saddam Hussein on August 2, 1990 was a qualitatively different situation, however. As President Bush noted, it represented the first major crisis to confront the international community in the post-Cold War period. The crisis would ultimately require the organization of massive military efforts to force the expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait.
Even more critically, in the wake of the war, the Security Council took several punitive actions against Iraq that could serve as precedent in dealing with future acts of aggression. Most notable:
* Creation of a special agency to monitor the destruction of Iraq's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons;
* Determination of the circumstances and the conditions under which Iraq may export its oil and related products; and
* Deployment of monitors to ensure humanitarian treatment by Baghdad of its Kurdish and Shiite communities.
These were more than onerous cease-fire conditions; rather, they signalled the Security Council's determination to penalize the Iraqi regime with terms that were the political and legal equivalent of the Versailles Treaty. On the other hand, the mood of high expectation regarding future United Nations performance in the cause of peace encountered in the United States was not widely shared by other member states. The new-found unity among the permanent members of the Security Council has been greeted with ambivalence by others, many feeling themselves threatened by American "hegemony" or potentially marginalized by the "Big Five."
To address these developments and their implications for the US military, the Institute for National Strategic Studies of the National Defense University organized a series of conferences and special seminars, beginning in October 1991. The meetings brought together an outstanding group of senior officials, officers of flag rank, and national security policy specialists. The most recent meeting in the series-a one-day seminar convened on November 17, 1992-assessed problems confronted by United Nations military leaders as they engaged in peacekeeping missions. Their observations, frequently candid, provide useful insights regarding problems of effective command and control.
To make the results of these meetings available to a wider audience, we are re-publishing the previously published proceedings as a McNair Paper. In this new edition, we've added the keynote address by Ambassador Thomas R. Picketing, then United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, given at the opening conference held on October 9, 1991. This addendum is particularly valuable given the current difficult policy issues and choices confronting the US Government in the field of international peacekeeping and conflict resolution.
Military Implications of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations
Ambassador Howard Walker
Vice President, NDU
IT IS MY GREAT PLEASURE on behalf of General Cerjan, the President of the University, to welcome you to this third in a series of workshops sponsored by the National Defense University's Institute for National Strategic Studies on "Future Security Roles of the United Nations." Since our last workshop on this subject in September when Ambassador and former UN Under Secretary, Ron Spiers, talked to us, interest in that subject has grown in the US, partly as a result of President Bush's speech at the United Nations in which he committed the United States to increased support for UN peacekeeping. Interest has grown at a time when the consequences of UN peacekeeping have exploded in cost and in complexity of operation. We see in Bosnia and Somalia today civil wars that are brutal and that are difficult to control. Injecting UN peacekeeping operations into those situations has far-reaching human and material costs. Equally important for us at this time in our history and for other countries, intervention has uncertain consequences and outcomes that affect the willingness of some governments and their citizens to participate. That makes it all the more important that we understand as fully as we can the nature of peacekeeping operations and the consequences for the US of military involvement.
We are very fortunate to have with us today to lead the discussion on this subject two gentlemen with impressive credentials.
Mr. Richard M. Connaughton was educated at Duke of York's Royal Military School, at Sandhurst, and at St. John's College at Cambridge University where he took a Master of Philosophy Degree in International Relations, and was also a Defense Fellow. He was commissioned in the Royal Armed Service Corps in 1961 and spent seven years in the Far East seconded to the Brigade of Ghurkas. He commanded squadrons and regiments in Germany, thereafter served as instructor at the British and Australian Army Command and Staff Colleges. He was head of the British Army's defense studies program. He retired as colonel two months ago and is currently working as a consultant in the field of national and international relations. Mr. Connaughton is the author of a number of publications on the subject of military security.
The other panelist is Mr. John Mackinlay who is senior research associate at the Thomas J. Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. After finishing Sandhurst, he joined the army in 1964 and retired a year ago. He developed his interest in international military cooperation while on the staff of the commander of the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai. He was the author of The Peacekeepers, an assessment of peacekeeping operations at the Arab-Israeli interface which compares UN and non-UN peacekeeping operations from both military and political points of view. He is currently researching new guidelines for multilateral military operations in the post Cold-War era. This Ford Foundation project, which Mr. Mackinlay directs, is entitled: "Second Generation Multinational Forces."
Command, Control and Coalition Operations
Richard M. Connaughton
MY TASK IS TO DISCUSS ASPECTS of Command, Control and Coalition Operations. Coalition Operations as a plausible means of collective security is a fact of life. Whereas responsible states are unlikely to declare unequivocally their eschewing of unilateral military action, the interplay of economic and political ramifications alone would indicate that multilateral military action will be the norm for the future. In the ending of the Cold War we have rediscovered the possibility of employing military power as a positive instrument of foreign policy. This paper is deliberately directed at UN-type operations rather than at multilateral ad hoc arrangements.
I have often thought that the coupling of Control to Command--and here I mean it in its military sense--implies a parity between the two functions. It suits my purpose today to contest that assumption. Command concerns the direction, coordination and control of military forces. Control is therefore but an adjunct to the function of command; it is impossible to command successfully without exercising control. Control is essentially a mechanism through which the commander, assisted by his staff, directs, organises and co-ordinates those forces for which he is responsible. I propose to concentrate this short study upon multilateral military command.
The other side of the Command and Control coin is the political face. But here the relative importance between the two functions is the reverse to that seen in the military dimension. Political command is essentially an American phenomenon, therefore being a national rather than multinational consideration. That is not to say the exercise of national command has no international implications. The great grey area which warrants serious study is the political control of military coalition operations.
Our topic has been finessed to examine military command and political control of coalition operations. The five parameters elected to form the basis for this short analysis and future discussion are:
* An Historical Perspective.
* The Relationship between Peacekeeping and Peace Enforcement.
* Command and the Commander.
* The Essence of Decision-Making in Coalition Operations.
* A Politico-Military Interface for the Future.
AN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
If we had seen the end of history, what is happening out there in the world today must be something of a revival. Coalition or Alliance warfare has been a recurring feature of past conflicts. Perhaps I should add that a coalition differs from an alliance principally in degree; the latter tends to be more formal and longer lasting. The great 'British' victory of 1815 over the French at Waterloo was achieved by Wellington with only thirty-eight percent of his force originating from the British Isles.
In the previous century, Winston Churchill's ancestor, the Duke of Marlborough, rarely recruited more than a quarter of his army from Britain. In those days it was traditional to hire troops from the minor states of Europe for a campaigning season which fitted in between the Spring and Autumn. Successful generals were invariably successful diplomats as well as being politically astute. Marlborough was a past master in the manipulation of the kings and princes of Europe as well as controlling and commanding his representative foreign generals. It was no easy task, requiring exhaustive diplomacy. In the close season, he worked with the political committees in London to ensure that he would want for nothing when the improving weather presaged the resumption of hostilities. As ever, good quality intelligence was a primary consideration. Marlborough had succeeded in obtaining the services of a spy within Louis XIV's inner circle--le Conseil d'en Haute, an all-informed group of no more than a dozen of France's most influential courtiers and diplomats. The existence of the Versailles mole is a reminder to us of the importance of so-called human intelligence and that inadequacies here will undermine the effectiveness of the military operation.
The problem is that generals of Marlborough's quality only appear once or twice in a century. What we must studiously avoid is the recommendation and putting in place of a structure which only a Marlborough can make work.
So we can tick off a number of enduring prerequisites, as important today as they were then. Perhaps what we should be asking ourselves is, what weight should we attach to historical example? We have to understand that history does not really repeat itself. There will be similarities between events, but those will be balanced by dissimilarities. It is too simplistic to assert that coalitions are not new, without pausing to acknowledge that the circumstances in which they took place in the past were invariably different from today. A state of war would usually have existed, there were probably agreed missions, agreed preliminary plans, a known enemy and specified objectives. What history does is to provide us with the challenge of achieving as many of the above objectives as possible through abstract peacetime planning.
There is an important role for historians to play in the decision-making process. The aforementioned revival of history will serve to emphasize that ethnic, religious and national groups' behavior will often have a rationale rooted deep in their past. History is an arrow in the quiver of appraisal. One part of that balanced appraisal is to divorce ourselves from our western preconceptions, to step into the shoes of those whom we need to comprehend, and to observe the world from where they stand.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PEACEKEEPING AND PEACE ENFORCEMENT
Normally, a few definitions would be in order, but I fear that this is an area notoriously difficult to define. In his paper Agenda for Peace, the UN Secretary-General, Dr. Boutros-Ghali made a rare attempt, for one within the UN, to define peacekeeping and its associated activities. Unfortunately, the result has been to further cloud the issue. So much so, for example, that the term 'peacemaking' has been rendered so ambiguous that it is recommended that its use be discontinued. To be fair, many of today's UN peace-inspired operations are resisting template categorization and this is a trend which will continue to be a feature of the future. The safest pity is to adopt a functional approach to the peace-associated business.
The first function is Peace Enforcement, or Military Intervention. The victorious allies who had crafted and unveiled the Charter of the United Nations in 1945 had made a conscious effort in Chapter VII of the Charter to address the principal weakness of the Covenant of the League of Nations--the absence of an enforcement mechanism with which to defeat aggression. However, their subsequent conduct emphasized the point that these had been nations united in war against a common enemy. With the enemy defeated, there was no longer a bonding agent. Competing ideologies developed, and east and west went their separate ways. With them went the prospect of achieving a collective enforcement regime, frozen out by the Cold War. Instead, and over a period of time, there emerged something not provided for within the Charter and our second function, traditional peacekeeping. The fundamental difference between the enforcement/intervention and peacekeeping functions has been described by Alan James:
Yet when compared with military intervention, there is a distinction between the two (which) was seen to lie in their attitudes towards the associated issues of force and consent, collective security relying, ultimately on the mandatory use of force, while peacekeeping eschewed force, except in self-defense, and required the consent of the host state for the admission of UN personnel.
For convenience, peacekeeping settled comfortably under the umbrella of Chapter VI of the UN Charier, The Pacific Settlement of Disputes. Peacekeeping developed into the field of specialism of what tended to be the smaller and non-aligned states.
Strangely, only in the Congo, 1961-63, has the understanding that weapons are to be used purely in self-defense been comprehensively prejudiced. However, we are undoubtedly moving towards an uncertain, more violent future where the lightly trained but willing conscript will prove unequal to the task. We have the evidence of the limitations of conscripts from conflicts in Vietnam and Afghanistan. Recently, the Finnish commander at UNIFIL, General Hagglund, stressed that the concept of enforcing peace should not be opposed:
... it simply requires different forces and a completely different concept. An intention to deter and enforce require forces which are as frightening as possible. For this kind of mission great-power battalions, professional soldiers and all the means at their disposal are preferable.
The combatants in the target country will frankly not be impressed by the security guarantees offered by those whom they consider to be militarily inferior. This is not to say that traditional peacekeeping should not continue where it can function. New problems demand new solutions. One new solution is the concept of preventive deployment. Here, the use of force, if necessary, is implicit. This is therefore our third function, what I will describe as aggravated peacekeeping, lying somewhere between Chapters VI and VII and what Dag Hammarskjold appropriately described as Chapter VI 1/2.
The European coalition operation in Bosnia is not intervention, nor what is accepted as traditional peacekeeping. It is a new category of humanitarian activity mounted with, in theory, the permission of the parties involved. The force's response to aimed fire will be less passive than what has prevailed in the past. It is for this reason that it has the potential to fall within the ambit of Chapter VI 1/2.
What the Yugoslavia crisis has done has been to beg serious questions of the modus operandi, and to expose a number of the negative aspects of the UN. The Organization has found itself overstretched and, in the case of Bosnia, unable to mount a major military operation. The procedure whereby headquarters and forces are assembled on the principle of equitability, geographical distribution and providing for the employment of up to one-third women, has clearly been found wanting. But, in the past, the UN has got by, its skimpy military staff relying upon the ad hoc hot plan, supported by what Sir Brian Urquhart has described as a cobbled together 'Sheriff's Posse.'
Major military players will expect as a minimum for their own troops, the presence of a robust, coherent and practised centre core headquarters. Chapter VI 1/2 and Chapter VII-scale operations cannot be commanded or controlled without a proper military structure. Since the European Community is paying the Bosnian UNPROFOR 2 'peacekeeping' bill, they have their way, but soon the strained civil-military relationship within the UN will have to be addressed.
In the first 40 years of the UN's life, it undertook 13 peacekeeping operations. In the four years from 1988, it has equalled that total. It is not simply the evaporation of ideological sparring which has prompted the exponential increase in UN peacekeeping activity. It is also a reflection of changing international attitudes. For example, it was a sovereign right that states were free to act as they chose within the confines of their own borders. When opprobrious behaviour was challenged by other states, Article 2(7) of the UN Charter was employed as the authority to continue to behave badly. The effectiveness of Article 2(7) first began to erode in relation to South Africa in the 1960s. That it has lost much of its psychotic sanctity was apparent in 1991 when 20,000 NATO troops were deployed into northern Iraq without Iraq's consent and without significant protest from world opinion. It would seem that if care is taken in the presentation of cases for legitimate military intervention--they will invariably be in support of regional actors--then it need not be seen within the UN's General Assembly as a colonial imposition. It is unfortunate that there does appear to be a continuing need to remind the major actor that the authority for military action has its source of origin in New York and not in Washington.
Understandably, the increase in both UN commitments and the nature of some of those commitments will be reflected in a greater demand for professional forces, particularly logisticians. Those forces will be called upon to intervene in the conventional fighting which is a feature of inter-state conflict and the 'brutal, ethnic, religious, social, cultural or linguistic strife' described by Dr. Boutros-Ghali as the unconventional features apparent in intra-state conflict. There will be difficulties in presentation, and reserves of diplomacy will be taxed, but if the old order of states is to be employed to face the new order's disorder, then it requires headroom within the UN for essential contingency planning. We should set aside our unreasonable sensitivity in involving the Military Staff Committee in the planning process and follow the lead taken by the Western European Union. Diplomacy has to release more responsibility and authority to the military. The fact of the matter is that, while soldiers can be diplomats, diplomats cannot be soldiers.
COMMAND AND THE COMMANDER
Command of a coalition operation will be vested in the nominated commander from either a framework state or security organization. The framework state will often be the major investor in the enterprise, the state normally providing the largest national military contribution, a large proportion of the infrastructure support, and a significant percentage of the operation's costs. I have in mind here a deployed US Unified Command and, for convenience, will describe this as the Unified Command Model. There is some attraction in relating the United States to this model, but these models are by nature general rather than specific. We should not assume either that the USA will always be the dominant player or that the USA template is entirely appropriate to other framework states.
The military commander is the key ingredient in the working of an effective coalition. The award of high command cannot be tempered by charity, by the concept of Buggins's turn, for every headquarters with the remotest prospect of leading an international military operation requires at the apex of its pyramid the right man at the right time. If coalitions are to survive internal and external political/military pressure and tensions, the hope will be that they are of short duration. In the world wars there was time to test the many generals who had risen to command positions as peacetime trainers and administrators. Those who did not succeed were removed. Coalitions will not enjoy this validatory period. Moreover, there are practical difficulties in having a general removed who is not one of your own nationals, so it is more than likely that the military commander who embarks upon the operation will, for better or for worse, be there at the end.
It seems that the modern coalition commander requires a minimum of four basic qualities; he has to be adept in the skills of operational decision-making, the science of management, the art of leadership, and to possess the gift of intellect. These qualities are of course a permutation of attributes which go back in history. 'Management' is akin to control and it can be taken to mean control, but there is a subtle difference which can be illustrated with reference to the question of media relations. The commander, through his stall will manage those members of the press corps amenable to such management, and will control those who are not. But the one quality of the moment is that of intellect. It is today's prerequisite. Its absence will filter out those who in the past would have climbed the ladder of success through undoubted qualities of confidence, charisma and natural leadership. If a future coalition commander lacks intellect, he will be unable to hold his own in a highly charged political and diplomatic environment, his essential media image will be impaired and he is unlikely to be able to comprehend the abiding human aspects in dealing with and tasking with equanimity a multiplicity of national representatives--all with their own national, political points to score and careers to enhance. And all this before we consider the enemy!
Effective command can best be achieved through a formed headquarters with a proven track record. The nominated commander's own joint staff are practised in playing a full part in the success, or failure, of their commander's plans. They are a team which it is difficult to conceive can be improved by the introduction within the core of additional, token, representative staff officers. I am not referring here to liaison officers. Liaison officers should, as a matter of routine, already be in place in any headquarters liable to be earmarked to command coalition operations. The commander and his staff have the benefit of knowing one another, their strengths and weaknesses, and should have developed an effective working relationship. One instinctively senses when the atmosphere in a headquarters is right, aware that internal and external pressures will be addressed with quiet confidence and that the staff's entire energy is dedicated to the support of their commander. All this is, of course, to talk of the ideal. Compromise will be the rule rather than the exception.
If, therefore, I am suggesting that the commander and his own Joint Headquarters Staff, or what we shall call the Combined Task Force Headquarters (CTFHQ), are an indivisible entity, what should be the relationship between the commander and the subordinate, national military representatives (MILREPS)? The analogy I shall use in illustrating the Unified Command Model is that of a galaxy of national, non-operational headquarters whose relative position to CTFHQ is indicative of their importance to the operation. In support of the framework state will be a secondary state. The relationship between the framework state and the secondary state will be determined by a number of factors which can be collectively described as 'empathy.' The function of the secondary state is no sinecure. It is essentially the coalition's Union representative, the one voice and opinion the Commander must find the time to consider. Above all, the commander of the secondary state's forces must ensure that the relationship between the framework state and the other supporting states remains that of allies, not as a grouping of auxiliaries. The secondary state's national headquarters in our hypothetical galaxy is the closest to the core headquarters. Indeed, in the Gulf, the British MILREP was invited into General Schwarzkopf's CTFHQ.
Time marches on, but I think it useful to put down a number of bullets to describe the command relationship between CTFHQ and the national staffs:
* CTFHQ and national staffs remain rigorously distinct.
*, The commander is advised to conduct separate, bilateral discussions on specific issues with his constellation of national commanders. It is most important that the national commanders do have the opportunity to reinforce what they feel their capitals want, as well as convey their own personal thoughts. If the commander consults his allies individually rather than en masse (time permitting), he avoids competition for his ears, he can detect problems, nervousness, and sense political complications. What has to be studiously avoided during this dialogue is the generation of a sense of favouritism, suspicion and conspiracy. When the round is complete, the commander directs his staff to design what is in effect a collaborated plan which is then presented by the CTFHQ staff to the assembled national commanders. The commander, therefore, has the benefit of knowing the answers to questions which might arise and is also conscious that he is not presenting proposals which are unacceptable to the national commanders.
* There are advantages in the subordinate Joint Task Force Headquarters (JTFHQ) being formed and commanded by representatives of the framework state. It is self-evident that the framework state should also be responsible for the tools of command--e.g., communications.
There is a further model which I shall describe as the NATO Model. This model refers to an existing international headquarters, but one with its won integral, political, regulatory council. An obvious example is the Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps (ACERRC). The headquarters sent into Bosnia to command British, Canadian, Spanish and French battalion groups on Operation UNPROFOR II is a subordinate, debaptised NATO headquarters. The variation on the theme is obviously necessary due to French participation, particularly the nomination of Major General Phillipe Morillon to command the force.
I am not proposing an embryonic UN Headquarters Model because I feel it would be unworkable in practice. It is not so much the beguiling influence of the UN's composition rules but rather the reality that, on occasions, constituent members would be debarred from participating due to a conflict of national interest. Crises will never be the same. The solution may well lie in a menu of on-call, formed national or international headquarters, called forward Io command the operation based upon that headquarter's suitability.
THE ESSENCE OF DECISION-MAKING IN COALITION OPERATIONS
I shall not dwell on this subject, but it does require discussion in order to construct a foundation for the finale.
It is crises which spawn coalitions. Coalitions will rarely be formed entirely from one of the myriad, regional, collective security organisations. There are two principal, positive (1) reasons for states to throw …
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Publication information: Article title: Military Implications of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. Contributors: Lewis, William H. - Author. Journal title: McNair Papers. Issue: 16-17 Publication date: June 1993. Page number: S3. © Not available. COPYRIGHT 1993 Gale Group.
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