Beyond Declaring Victory and Coming Home: The Challenges of Peace and Stability Operations

Beyond Declaring Victory and Coming Home: The Challenges of Peace and Stability Operations

Beyond Declaring Victory and Coming Home: The Challenges of Peace and Stability Operations

Beyond Declaring Victory and Coming Home: The Challenges of Peace and Stability Operations

Synopsis

The political practice of "declaring victory and coming home" has provided a false and dangerous domestic impression of great success for U.S. unilateral and multilateral interventions in failing and failed states around the world. The reality of such irresponsibility is that the root causes and the violent consequences of contemporary intranational conflict are left to smolder and reignite at a later date with the accompanying human and physical waste. This book discusses why it is incumbent on the international community and individual powers involved in dealing with the chaos of the post-Cold War world to understand that such action requires a long-term, holistic, and strategic approach.

Excerpt

Over the past decade I have been involved in four of the international community's costlier and more visible efforts to avoid and/or halt violence and death through direct intervention in a troubled state. As a Deputy Secretary of State, I participated in a failed attempt to talk Manuel Noriega into relinquishing his despotic grip on Panama, a result that led two years later to a U.S. invasion and his forced removal and arrest. While "Operation Just Cause" was being planned and executed, I was the American ambassador to the north in El Salvador, having succeeded Ambassador Ed Corr (the author of Chapter 2 of this volume).

Serving during the last three years of that bloody civil war, I was intimately involved in the U.N.-facilitated negotiation process that ended a decade of fighting. I then remained to witness the first months of the government's and the FMLN's compliance with the peace accord dictates. in 1997-1998 I headed the United Nations' Transitional Administration (UNTAES) mission to Eastern Slavonia (Croatia), as such the de facto regional governor in the aftermath of the 1991-1996 Serb-Croat struggle. untaes was subsequently acclaimed among the United Nations' most successful peacekeeping operations. and finally, from October 1998 until June 1999, I was in charge of the OSCE's Kosovo Verification Mission, the North Atlantic community's initial effort to resolve Serb- Albanian ethnic conflict through verification of a cease-fire verbally accepted by President Milosevic and the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Between El Salvador and Eastern Slavonia, I conducted a six-month study examining the relationship between a country's commitment to the rule of law and the long-term sustainability of its democratic practices--this in nations emerging from the trauma of conflict and chaos. I looked into Guatemala's inching toward reform in the aftermath of an internal guerrilla struggle; Brazil, several years after decades of military rule; Chile, recovering its democratic . . .

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