Peace Enforcement: The United Nations Experience in Congo, Somalia, and Bosnia

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The United Nations is being called upon more and more to participate if situations that fall somewhere between peacekeeping and full-scale enforcement operations, such as those in Korea during the 1950s and the Persian Gulf in 1991. Such efforts have come to be termed as peace enforcement operations. Three case studies in which the United Nations used this type of force are examined: the early 1960s UN operation in the Congo (ONUC); the UN operations on Somalia (UNITAF and UNOSOM); and the mission in Bosnia (UNPROFOR). Until now, no single investigation had considered these three case studies from the viewpoint of determining the advantages and disadvantages involved in using peace enforcement as a way of dealing with international peace and security issues.

After careful examination, Boulden argues that, while problematic, peace enforcement is a potentially viable tool for the United Nations. The implementation of peace enforcement operations does, however, present the United Nations with a number of complicated challenges. Three factors have the power to influence the outcome of such operations. Without an adequate mandate, and--most importantly--without sufficient resources, the likelihood of success is low. Further, the maintenance of impartiality in the implementation of the operation (as opposed to whether or not the mandate itself is impartial) is critical to the chances of a positive outcome. Over all, the Security Council needs to have a greater awareness about the potential difficulties inherent in peace enforcement mandates and, accordingly, to take greater care in designing and monitoring these operations.

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Editorial Reviews

Case studies reveal a number of common characteristics and issues associated with the choices made by the UN Security Council in lending support to peacekeeping operations, as well as in the problems that arise in carrying out the operations. This lessons-learned study seeks to clarify the issues likely to arise in future UN peacekeeping missions and well as to help inform policy for their operations. Boulden, a research fellow at the Centre for International Relations at Oxford U. and a 1999-2001 NATO fellow, conducted much of the research for her study as part of her doctoral thesis. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275969066
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/30/2001
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

JANE BOULDEN is a Research Fellow at the Centre for International Relations in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 The Legal and Political Background to Peace Enforcement 9
3 The Congo 21
4 Somalia 51
5 Bosnia 83
6 Conclusion 129
Bibliography 141
Index 159
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