Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UNITED NATIONS One-World Army

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UNITED NATIONS One-World Army

Article excerpt

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., proposes to create a standing United Nations army. He says it takes a long time for the world body to build a peacekeeping force from scratch -- and, as a result, it has been slow to respond in such trouble spots as Rwanda, East Timor and the Congo.

He envisions a 6,000-person U.N. military that could move into a war zone quickly and protect civilians for a few months, while a more traditional peacekeeping force is being raised. When the new soldiers arrive, the permanent force would be whisked off to handle a new crisis or sent to a base to await its next assignment.

But if a force is readily available at all times, there might be a temptation to use it frequently.

That may sound good, but missions are dangerous. About 500 peacekeepers were captured recently in Sierra Leone, for example. The potential for good must be weighed carefully against the risks -- not just in the lives of peacekeepers but also on the resolve to intervene somewhere else later, where the crisis may be more severe. …

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