Peace Enforcement: The United Nations Experience in Congo, Somalia, and Bosnia

Peace Enforcement: The United Nations Experience in Congo, Somalia, and Bosnia

Peace Enforcement: The United Nations Experience in Congo, Somalia, and Bosnia

Peace Enforcement: The United Nations Experience in Congo, Somalia, and Bosnia

Synopsis

The United Nations is being called upon more and more to participate in situations that fall somewhere between peacekeeping and full-scale enforcement operations, such as those in Korea during the 1950s and the Persian Gulf in 1991. Such efforts have come to be termed as "peace enforcement" operations. Three case studies in which the United Nations used this type of force are examined: the early 1960s UN operation in the Congo (ONUC); the UN operations in Somalia (UNITAF and UNOSOM); and the mission in Bosnia (UNPROFOR). Until now, no single investigation had considered these three case studies from the viewpoint of determining the advantages and disadvantages involved in using peace enforcement as a way of dealing with international peace and security issues.

Excerpt

This book has its origins in the work done by a small group of people with whom I worked in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Self-titled the “core group, ” this mix of academics and practitioners examined and debated proposals for improving the UN role in dealing with international peace and security in light of the changing international environment that came with the end of the Cold War. Meeting under various auspices, and in a variety of locations, the group often focused on the possibility of greater use, or revival, of some of the provisions of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.

A United Nations that used force more often and did so in situations short of full-scale enforcement but beyond the peacekeeping tenet that force would only ever be used in self-defense was, by the time of the enforcement action against Iraq in Kuwait, a more likely possibility than it had been for many years. But there were many unanswered questions about using force in this way, including whether or how such a use of force fit with the provisions of the United Nations Charter, and what kind of implications using force in this way would have for operations on the ground. The idea was very quickly put to the test in Bosnia and in Somalia, two very difficult operations authorized by the Security Council in the early 1990s. Dubbed peace enforcement, after the proposal for peace enforcement units in An Agenda for Peace, these operations provided the United Nations with practical experience of the concept even while the theory was still being defined and debated.

The idea behind this book was to look at those operations in an effort to determine what the experience tells us about using force in this way. What is achieved by peace enforcement? What should be done differently next time? Is this a useful or even desirable option for the United Nations? In addition to the operations in Bosnia and Somalia the book examines the one, often forgotten, Cold War example of peace enforcement, the UN operation in the Congo in the

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