`Blue Helmets' Deserve More US Help without Leadership from the US, UN Peacekeepers Will Find It Hard to Meet Nobel Prize Expectations in a World Marked by Civil and Ethnic Conflicts

By Mark Sommer. Mark Sommer is a research associate in the Peace and Conflict Studies Program California, Berkeley. | The Christian Science Monitor, July 19, 1994 | Go to article overview

`Blue Helmets' Deserve More US Help without Leadership from the US, UN Peacekeepers Will Find It Hard to Meet Nobel Prize Expectations in a World Marked by Civil and Ethnic Conflicts


Mark Sommer. Mark Sommer is a research associate in the Peace and Conflict Studies Program California, Berkeley., The Christian Science Monitor


JUST five years after winning the Nobel Prize for settling conflicts in Cambodia, Namibia, El Salvador, and elsewhere, United Nations peacekeeping is besieged and nearly bankrupt. While peacekeepers are being assigned to far more numerous, complex, and violent disputes than ever (20 in the past four years alone compared with 13 over the prior 40 years), they have been consistently denied the political support and financial and logistical resources necessary to fulfill their missions.

Instead, the perpetually over-strained and underfunded UN has become the disposal site for deadly quarrels that no individual nation has any interest in confronting.

In Rwanda's civil war, up to half a million people were slaughtered in just two months; but UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali pleaded in vain for an international response. Finally, France, largely on its own and with questionable neutrality, intervened at the margins of the conflict. At the same time, the French have warned that if a settlement is not soon reached in Bosnia, they may pull out their peacekeepers by year's end.

As the world's sole superpower and the UN's largest financial contributor, the United States is uniquely well situated to influence the policies of other nations on this issue. But the Clinton administration's actions in recent months have only further weakened international support for the beleaguered institution. Candidate Clinton made increased support for the UN a central tenet of his foreign-policy platform. He even proposed a standing rapid-deployment peacekeeping force. Once in office, however, his good intentions were soon thwarted.

Inheriting an unwise commitment made by President Bush just before leaving office, President Clinton endured an undignified exit from Somalia amid cries of derision from Somalis themselves. This political embarrassment gave opponents just the ammunition they needed to block future US commitments to UN forces.

In early May, Mr. Clinton issued a Presidential Decision Directive that effectively cedes the argument to his opponents. The document severely constrains the circumstances under which US personnel and financial resources will be committed to UN peacekeeping operations, setting conditions far more restrictive than those it generally imposes on its vastly larger, more hazardous, and more costly unilateral military interventions.

The directive puts the US on record firmly opposing any "standing UN army." With the ostensible aim of making US participation "selective and more effective," the administration now insists that all American involvement "advance US interests" (giving no acknowledgment to the larger human interest), that command of US forces never be transferred to UN control, and that the US share of peacekeeping expenses be reduced from its current 31.7 percent to 25 percent.

With a steadfastness that he sadly lacks on other issues, the president has refused to commit US forces to UN missions in Bosnia and Africa.

He also continues a shameful tradition, dating from the early Reagan era, that marks the US as the world's leading debtor for peacekeeping efforts. …

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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
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

`Blue Helmets' Deserve More US Help without Leadership from the US, UN Peacekeepers Will Find It Hard to Meet Nobel Prize Expectations in a World Marked by Civil and Ethnic Conflicts
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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.