War and peace

War and peace

Peacekeeping missionsPeacekeeping missions are defined here as any multilateral peacekeeping operation established to help re-stabilize societies after an external or internal violent conflict, maintain peace or. To build the foundations for a lasting peace. Peacekeeping missions have become known primarily as United Nations operations. In the meantime, however, there are far more players. According to calculations by the Swedish Peace Research Institute SIPRI, a total of 52 peacekeeping missions took place in 2010. Among them were 19 missions led by the United Nations, 12 by the European Union, seven by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and three by NATO. The mission, mandate, composition and scope of peacekeeping missions vary significantly. Many are mainly political support missions. Some are purely "observer missions," others deal with police or military buildup. Some of the peacekeeping missions have predominantly military components. Often they are multidimensional stakes.

The most important task of the UN Security Council, according to the UN Charter, is the preservation or. Restoration of peace. That is why peacekeeping missions are usually decided by the United Nations Security Council. Conducted or led by other international organizations according to a mandate from the Security Council. This is why peacekeeping missions are usually decided by the United Nations Security Council. Conducted or led by other international organizations in accordance with a Security Council mandate. The basic principles of these missions are: Impartiality, deployment only with the consent of the governments of the country in which the missions are to take place, and use of force essentially only in self-defense.

In addition to political, peacekeeping and peace-building activities. In addition to consolidating (peacebuilding) missions, there are also peace-enforcing (peace-enforcing) missions. These do not require the approval of the host country government. That is why they are very rarely decided by the UN. Wars such as NATO's intervention in Serbia/Kosovo in 1999, as well as the U.S.-led. The war waged by some of its allies to overthrow Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2003 can be considered a war of war. These were started by coalitions of states without the authorization of the UN Security Council, even if they were justified by the fact that this was the only way to secure peace. It was only after these wars had reached a temporary conclusion that UN peacekeeping missions were set up in these countries as "aftercare operations", as it were.

Political, peacebuilding missions (peacebuilding)

Political, peace-building missions differ from peacekeeping missions primarily in the minor role played by the military in these missions. Corresponding missions are often before. Important in peace negotiations between conflicting parties. Sometimes they are replaced by peacekeeping missions after successful negotiations.

According to SIPRI, the UN maintained five such missions in 2010 with a total of about 1.200 personnel, including only about 200 soldiers. The most extensive EU-led political, peacebuilding mission has been in Kosovo since 2008. With about 1.650 international employees, including about 1.100 police officers, "EULEX Kosovo" is to help develop rule-of-law structures and modes of action there. Peacekeeping missions (peacekeeping)

The best-known "peacekeepers" are the so-called "blue helmets" – soldiers serving in UN-led missions. In 1988, they received the Nobel Peace Prize for their missions.

The first UN peacekeeping mission was the UN Truce Supervision Organization, formed after the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948. It still exists today. Consisted of 149 observers in 2011.

In all, the UN has conducted 66 peacekeeping missions since 1946. By the end of the Cold War, only 13 such missions had been decided upon. In contrast, 26 missions were launched between 1988 and 1995. The number of blue helmets increased during this period from 10.000 to about 80.000. In the process, the task spectrum of peacekeeping missions expanded considerably. Building state institutions, monitoring elections, and dealing with the causes of conflict were increasingly added to the original tasks of monitoring ceasefires and peace agreements. Increasingly, the Blue Helmets have also been given so-called "robust mandates," meaning permission to use military force not only in self-defense but also to enforce their mandates – for example, to protect civilians.

After a period of disillusionment and restraint in the late 1990s, the number and scope of UN peacekeeping missions increased significantly again after 2000. 2011, the 15 UN peacekeeping missions consisted of about 120.000 people, including about 85.000 soldiers and 14.000 police officers.

Peacekeeping operations that include a strong military component are often delegated by the United Nations to other actors, such as NATO. Accordingly, in December 2001, the UN established the "International Security Assistance Force" (ISAF). International Security Assistance Force, ISAF) tasked with helping new Afghan government secure peace in country. This government was established after the ousting of the Taliban by the US-led military coalition. In 2011, ISAF comprised 140.000 soldiers. Although this deployment can be considered "war," it is usually considered "peacekeeping".

Cost of peacekeeping missions

Participants in peacekeeping operations are paid by the respective organizations leading the missions and according to the rules of those organizations. For example, the cost of NATO troops in Afghanistan is borne by the individual countries sending. UN peacekeeping missions are funded by UN member states according to a special key. The states that send soldiers and material receive financial compensation from the UN – for each blue helmet soldier per month 1.028 U.S. Dollars.

Origin of the participants

More than 100 countries participated in United Nations peacekeeping missions in 2011. The largest contingents of blue helmets were provided by Bangladesh and Pakistan, each with 10.600 soldiers, followed by India (8.400) and Nigeria (5.800). Participation of developed industrialized countries in these missions is minimal. If one adds the UN-mandated NATO missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo, the U.S. Accounted for 90.000 soldiers the most troops.

Problems and criticism

The results of peace missions are overall very mixed. While in many cases it has been possible to contain violent conflict, they have also often not led to the development of lasting peace. Low points in UN peacekeeping activities were events in Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina: When the genocide of the Tutsis began in Rwanda, the UN Security Council withdrew a large part of the UN troops stationed there in 1994. In Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995, blue helmets failed to prevent the murder of 8.000 people in Srebrenica.

One reason for the mixed record of peacekeeping missions are particular interests of the big states, especially the five veto powers of the UN, as well as calculations of local conflict parties. Fuzzy mandates and poor equipment are also a recurring problem for blue helmets. For example, the African Union mission in Sudan has been lacking helicopters for years, but no country is willing to provide them. Especially in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo it became clear that there are no military solutions in civil war situations. Also, hopes of securing human rights and building democratic structures through external intervention have often proved illusory.

Sources and further information

EU missions – Heinemann-Grüder, A. (2009): With UN missions to peace? In J. Hippler, C. Happy, M. Johannsen, B. Schoch& A. Heinemann-Grüder (Eds.). Peace Report 2009, 175-188.

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