UN Peacekeeping: Myth and Reality

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Greenwood Publishing Group, Jan 1, 2006 - Political Science - 189 pages
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In this book, Andrzej Sitkowski confronts two basic peacekeeping myths. First, the belief that peacekeeping is separate from peace enforcement blurs this difference and undermines the viability of peacekeeping operations. Secondly, it is widely believed that the peacekeepers are allowed to apply force only in self-defense and lack the authorization to use it in defending UN Security Councils mandates. Solidly anchored in official primary sources originating from the UN, national governments, parliamentary inquiries (Dutch, French, and Belgian) and from the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, this book integrates the most recent recommendations related to peacekeeping. It exposes how the UN peacekeeping syndrome of soldiers safety first crept into the NATO's strategy and compromises its missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan.

The peacekeeping system has largely outlived its usefulness and is bound to fail when applied to currently predominant violent and messy conflagrations. Lacking radical changes in that system, the UN should disarm, restricting the peacekeeping to military observers' missions and to subcontracting other operations out to military alliances and regional organizations. The widely lamented massacres of innocent civilians under UN Peacekeeper eyes in Rwanda, Srebrenica, and the Congo influenced neither the UN's approach nor the analysis of the methods. In this book, Andrzej Sitkowski confronts two basic peacekeeping myths. First, the belief that peacekeeping is distinct from peace enforcement blurs this distinction and undermines the viability of peacekeeping operations. In fact, it is the UN's definition of self-defense, which is understood to include actions of troops against forceful obstructions to discharging their mandates, that confuses the issue. Nevertheless, that distinction remains a cornerstone of the UN doctrine. Secondly, it is widely believed that the peacekeepers are allowed to apply force only in self-defense and lack the authorization to use it in defending UN Security Councils mandates. This myth persists, even in cases when the UN Security Council undertakes explicit authorization to enforce specific goals of the mandate.

Sitkowski offers a critical re-appraisal of the fundamental principles of peacekeeping, including both the largest successes (Namibia) and worst disasters (Rwanda). Drawing heavily on personal accounts, the book is solidly anchored in official primary sources originating from the UN, national governments, parliamentary inquiries (Dutch, French and Belgian) and from the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda. It integrates the most recent recommendations related to peacekeeping originating from High-Level Panels and endorsed by Kofi Annan. Finally it exposes how the UN peacekeeping syndrome of soldiers safety first crept into the NATO's strategy and compromises its missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan.

  

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Contents

1 Script
13
2 Main Actors
21
3 Betrayal in Palestine and Its Legacy Middle East
39
4 Stumbling into War The Congo
63
5 Mission Accomplished Namibia
77
6 The Failed Authority Cambodia
87
7 Defeated by Warlords Somalia
97
8 Witnesses to Genocide Rwanda
111
9 The Predictable Disaster exYugoslavia
125
10 The Prospects
143
Extracts from Chapters VI and VII of the UN Charter
155
Notes
159
Index
181
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

ANDRZEJ SITKOWSKI is an independent researcher who has worked with the UN for 32 years as a staff member and advisor to peacekeeping missions.