Panel Hits U.N. on Military Planning

By Pisik, Betsy | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 24, 2000 | Go to article overview

Panel Hits U.N. on Military Planning


Pisik, Betsy, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


NEW YORK - The United Nations must set up international brigades of ready soldiers and professionalize its military planning or it is doomed to repeat recent peacekeeping failures, a U.N.-appointed international panel reported yesterday.

In a harsh evaluation of recent peacekeeping failures, the 10-member board of experts said the organization must respond more rapidly to emergencies and replace idealistic theories with more realistic expectations.

In a slap at the world body's permanent bureaucracy, the experts - from countries including the United States, Russia, Britain and Japan - said the Secretariat "must not apply best-case planning assumptions to situations where the local actors have historically exhibited worst-case behavior."

They also warned that blue-helmeted troops must be properly equipped and authorized to defend themselves from hostile forces.

Among its more dramatic recommendations, the report said U.N. member states should establish several brigade-sized forces of 5,000 troops, each which could be deployed to trouble spots within 30 to 90 days.

It also said the U.N. peacekeeping department in New York should be staffed with well-trained military professionals and equipped with modern information technology.

The report did not estimate the cost of its recommendations, but they could be expected to substantially boost the present peacekeeping budget of $2.2 billion. The United States is assessed one-third of peacekeeping costs but has unilaterally reduced its contribution to one-quarter and is seeking to cut it further.

The 58-page report, commissioned by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in the wake of ill-fated missions in the Balkans and Africa, warned against confusing the organization's vaunted impartiality with a "failure to distinguish victim from aggressor."

In a nod to failures in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Sierra Leone, the report said if "one party to an agreement clearly and incontrovertibly is violating" the terms of a cease-fire, "continued equal treatment of all parties by the United Nations can in the best case result in ineffectiveness and in the worst may amount to complicity with evil."

The panelists also urged permanent U.N. officials to be more forthcoming with the national representatives on the Security Council.

"The Secretariat must tell the Security Council what it needs to know, not what it wants to hear," wrote the experts in a likely reference to council members' complaints that they were not properly advised of warning signs before the genocidal rampage in Rwanda in 1994.

"The panel's analysis is frank yet fair; its recommendations are far-reaching yet sensible and practical," said Mr. Annan - himself a former head of peacekeeping - in his introduction to the report.

The Clinton administration also welcomed the report, saying much of it echoed its own concerns about peacekeeping operations. U.S. officials noted that the experts stopped short of calling for a standing army, a sensitive issue for many members of Congress.

"It raises all the right questions," said James Cunningham, the deputy U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who said the administration had already discussed the report with Capitol Hill staffers.

He did not indicate, however, that the United States would be willing to spend more on peacekeeping, or to relax its insistence on a continued zero-growth budget for the overall organization.

"Funding will be a problem we'll have to deal with later," Mr. Cunningham told reporters yesterday. "We'll look and see if there are other places in the U.N. system where we can identify savings."

American policemen participate in U.N. missions, but no U.S. soldier serves under a U.N. commander. However, 89 nations have contributed 37,300 military and civilian personnel for 14 current U.N. peacekeeping missions around the world.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Panel Hits U.N. on Military Planning
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.