Academic journal article Military Review

A Crisis of Expectations: UN Peacekeeping in the 1990s

Academic journal article Military Review

A Crisis of Expectations: UN Peacekeeping in the 1990s

Article excerpt

A CRISIS OF EXPECTATIONS: UN Peacekeeping in the 1990s. Edited by Ramesh Thakur and Carlyle Thayer. 317 pages. Westview Press, Boulder, CO. 1995. $56.00.

In 1990, the UN managed 10,000 "blue helmet" forces in eight observation or traditional peacekeeping (PK) missions at a cost of $700 million. By 1993, the "explosion in peacekeeping" was fully realized in 18 UN PK operations that included 90,000 forces and cost $3.6 billion. Beyond the increasing numbers, UN peacekeeping also changed dramatically in breadth, depth and volume of operations. This was most clearly seen in the large, complex, dangerous and ambitious military undertakings in the former Yugoslavia and Somalia. These operations scarcely resembled the innocuous military or political traits of traditional UN peacekeeping.

Because of the operation failures apparent by 1995, UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali recently retreated from his ambitious 1992 collective security plans. He gave an implicit disapproval of an expansive UN role in managing large, ambitious military operations. A Crisis of Expectations examines the issues during this critical period. It seeks to explain the traditional UN PK role, the UN experience in such operations' management, the post-Cold War plans to expand traditional PK concepts and the general failure of UN-managed operations that tried to mix enforcement provisions with traditional PK tenets.

The book is an edited volume and the principal contributors are from so-called middle nations traditionally concerned with UN PK practice. …

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