Unlike national forces, these U.N. forces could be trained and equipped only for defensive operations, thus removing the temptation of commanders to preempt a threat by attacking first. There undoubtedly will be situations in which offensive forces are needed, but that need can be met by having one or two of the U.N. units equipped and trained for offensive operations. These can be held as a sort of reserve to be introduced into a particular situation when it becomes clear that the U.N. forces trained and equipped for defense only are in trouble.
In any case, a U.N. force specially trained for the peculiar needs of peacekeeping will be much better suited for the task than national forces. National forces intervening on behalf of the United Nations are under constant political pressures both to serve national goals and to be withdrawn entirely when casualties mount. A U.N. foreign legion of professionals would undoubtedly experience some political pressures from the U.N. Security Council and the General Assembly, but it would be free from these particular ones.
U.N. Truce Supervision Organization ( UNTSO), 1948 to present. Established to help in supervising the truce in Palestine, it also supervises the General Armistice Agreements of 1949. Emergency Force ( UNEF I), November 1956-June 1967. Established following the 1956 invasion of Suez by France, Great Britain, and Israel to serve as a buffer between Egyptian and Israeli forces and to supervise cessation of hostilities and withdrawal of French, Israeli, and British troops from Egyptian territory. U.N. Emergency Force II ( UNEF II), October 1973-July 1979. Established in 1973 following the attack by Egypt across the Suez and by Syria on the Golan Heights to supervise the cease-fire between Egypt and Israel. U.N. Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), June 1974 to present. Established to supervise the cease-fire in the Golan Heights and the disengagement of the Israeli and Syrian forces. U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), March 1978 to present. Following a commando raid that killed thirty-seven Israelis, Israel invaded Lebanon and occupied a large region. UNIFIL was established to confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces and monitor the cease fire. In 1983, the situation worsened and the United States sent a force of Marines to help. As described in Chapter 22, an Arab fanatic drove a truck loaded with explosives into their barracks, and 241 were killed. The purpose of both the original U.N. intervention and the American participation in 1983 was to forestall a war between Israel and Syria that seemed to have the potential for escalating to engulf the whole of the Middle East. A U.N. force of over 5 thousand men is still there. U.N. Observation Group in Lebanon (UNOGIL), June 1958-December 1958. In 1958 the Lebanese government complained that the United Arab Republic, the temporary union of Egypt and Syria, was intervening in Lebanon's internal affairs. The mission of UNOGIL was to ensure that there was no illegal infiltration of personnel or arms into Lebanon.