Peace Operations and Intrastate Conflict: The Sword or the Olive Branch?

Peace Operations and Intrastate Conflict: The Sword or the Olive Branch?

Peace Operations and Intrastate Conflict: The Sword or the Olive Branch?

Peace Operations and Intrastate Conflict: The Sword or the Olive Branch?

Synopsis

Based upon consideration of United Nation missions to the Congo (1960-64), Somalia (1992-95), and the former Yugoslavia (1992-95) and examination of counterinsurgency campaigns, Mockaitis develops a new model for intervening in intrastate conflicts and commends the British approach to civil strife as the basis for a new approach to peace operations. Both contemporary and historic examples demonstrate that military intervention to end civil conflict differs radically from traditional peacekeeping. Ending a civil war requires the selective and limited use of force to stop the fighting, safeguard humanitarian aid work, and restore law and order. Since intrastate conflict resembles insurgency far more than it does any other type of war, counterinsurgency principles should form the basis of a new intervention model.

Excerpt

A year before the un entered Somalia, it became embroiled in one of the most complex operations of the twentieth century. in retrospect the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), deployed in the former Yugoslavia 1992-95, seems to have been so ineffective that it is difficult to explain why the international community undertook it in the first place. To the people of Croatia and Bosnia, the word "protection" in its title seemed a kind of cruel joke, as the force proved incapable of halting the fighting between regular contingents or the massacre of innocent civilians. At the end of the day it would take extensive bombardment by artillery and aircraft (including the use of cruise missiles) and deployment of 60,000 heavily armed combat troops (built around the U.S. First Armored Division, pulled out of Germany) to make and keep the peace that the un had set as its goal three years before. These are, however, the judgments of hindsight. in 1992, not only did the intervention seem plausible, but undertaking it fitted the vision of the un role in the "new world order." the mood in New York and in several Western capitals resembled that of the year 1960, when, fresh from success in the Sinai, Dag Hammarskjöld took on the daunting task of making peace in Central Africa.

The missions to the former Yugoslavia would underscore all of the lessons of the Congo and Somalia and teach some additional ones as well. the same inexorable process of mission creep would draw an ever-expanding peacekeeping force into an escalating conflict. the same disparity between mandates and the means provided to achieve them would leave the peacekeepers hopelessly outgunned by the belligerents they were supposed to separate. Divided command would produce new levels of frustration as two international bodies, each with its own civil-military tension, controlled different aspects of the mission. To all of . . .

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