A United Nations Peace Force

By William R. Frye | Go to book overview

EFFORTS TO ESTABLISH INTERNATIONAL POLICE FORCE DOWN TO 1950

by Leland Goodrich

The idea of an international police force, i.e., an armed force organized and used under an international agreement or decision to assist in the maintenance of international peace and security, is much older than the United Nations, both in conception and in application.

An early example of an embryonic international police was the allied force which went to the relief of the foreign lelgations in Peking at the time of the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. The force consisted of 18,600 men, representing five countries. There was no unified command; it was necessary that the commanders of the cooperating national forces confer each evening, or when necessary, to determine military movements. It was agreed that a majority vote should decide.1


League Experience

When the Covenant of the League of Nations was being drafted, neither the British nor the Americans favored the organization of an international force to assist in keeping the peace. President Wilson's idea was that members should use their military forces if necessary to keep the peace but that these forces should remain strictly under national control. A plan proposed by a French Ministerial Commission provided, however, for an international force, composed of national contingents, to be placed at the disposal of the international organ (Council) to assist in executing its decisions and to overcome in case of need any forces opposed to the League in case of conflict.2

____________________
1
A. S. Daggett, America in the China Relief Expedition ( Kansas City: Hudson-Kimberly Publishing Co., 1903), pp. 55-57.
2
David Hunter Miller, Drafting of the Covenant ( New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1928), Vol. 2, pp. 241-46.

-172-

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