Peacekeeping Or Peace-Enforcement: There Is A Difference CSC 1993 SUBJECT AREA - Strategic Issues EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Title: Peacekeeping or Peace-Enforcement: There is a Difference Author: Major Thomas M. Murray, United States Marine Corps Thesis: In order to employ United States' forces properly and to protect them from unacceptable risks, the American people, politicians, and military leaders must understand peacekeeping, peace-enforcement, and the environment in which each is effective. Background: The demise of the Soviet Union creates a world in which there is less threat of conflict between major powers, but less control and order among the third world. The rejuvenation of the United Nations Security Council allows it to negotiate agreements and mandate resolutions it has no power to enforce. The United States is increasingly looked to as the world's policeman and will be asked to provide forces to establish and maintain peace wherever conflict exists. In the past, the United States and the United Nations deployed peacekeeping forces to environments that required peace-enforcement, placing the peacekeepers at risk and unable to perform their mission. Recommendation: The United States must accept the distinction between the peacekeeping and peace-enforcement environments and deploy its forces appropriately in accordance with an established policy. PEACEKEEPING OR PEACE-ENFORCEMENT: THERE IS A DIFFERENCE OUTLINE Thesis statement: In order to employ United States' forces properly and to protect them from unacceptable risks, the American people, politicians, and military leaders must understand peacekeeping, peace-enforcement, and the environment in which each is effective. I. World environment A. Loss of stability 1. Demise of the USSR 2. The Third World B. The United Nations 1. Rejuvenated Security Council 2. Mandating resolutions C. The environment 1. Peacekeeping 2. Peace-enforcement II. Tailored forces A. Mission and environment 1. Identifying the mission 2. Identifying the environment B. Political constraints 1. Established policy 2. Changing environment C. Beirut, Lebanon 1. The first mission and return 2. Mission failure III. Peacekeeping environment A. Suitable environments 1. Superpower clients 2. Disputants' best interests 3. Negotiated settlements B. Changing environments 1. Escalation 2. Low stability 3. Temporary solutions IV. International and domestic influence A. Media presentations B. American culture C. Neutrality D. World policeman V. The United Nations A. Security Council effectiveness 1. Powers of negotiation 2. Powers of implementation B. U.S. contributions 1. Armed forces 2. Leadership PEACEKEEPING OR PEACE-ENFORCEMENT: THERE IS A DIFFERENCE The demise of the Soviet Union leaves the United States as the only remaining military superpower. The influence the Soviet Union once used to control and draw nation-states into its sphere is gone. The loss of the Soviet empire creates a less threatening but much more unstable world. As the threat of conflict between major powers has eased, control and order among the Third World has lessened. This lack of stability presents the world community with a situation in which many smaller nations, ethnic groups, and former nations seek autonomy or territorial reconciliation. The search for statehood and independence requires the remaining nations to solve the problem of maintaining peace while justly terminating disputes among the emerging nations. The dissolution of the Soviet Union breathed new life into the United Nations Security Council. The council became empowered to mandate resolutions without the threat of a Soviet veto. But the question remains--does the United Nations have the capability to carry out its resolutions? United Nations resolutions or mandates to nations or peoples who do not ask for such solutions are devoid of meaning or validity. Intervention by United Nations coalition or independent forces will not provide or maintain peace unless the disputing parties accept the founding principles of the action. Those who attempt to resolve a dispute must understand fully the background and causes of the disharmony and what the peoples involved accept as a legitimate authority. Unless the belligerents concerned accept a negotiated rather than an imposed settlement and the administering parties understand the nature of the conflict and the cultures involved, peacekeeping is ineffective and peace-enforcement is necessary. In order to employ United States' forces properly and to protect them from unacceptable risks, the American people, politicians, and military leaders must understand peacekeeping, peace-enforcement, and the environment in which each is effective. DEFINING THE ENVIRONMENT Joint Publication 3-07.3, JTTP for Peacekeeping Operations, provides the United States' definitions of peacekeeping and peace-enforcement. Understanding these terms as they apply to today's changing environment is critical. Statesmen and the military use the term peacekeeping in reference to a variety of conflict levels, some of which have very little relation to keeping peace. ... today the word is misleading because it is used to describe the whole range of UN-authorized military activity. In reality a second generation of UN military operations is already emerging, outside the parameters of traditional peacekeeping, to cope with the new commitments of a more effective Security Council. The enlarging span of legitimate military tasks can be depicted as a continuum: at one end are the lowest intensity operations, involving the smallest number of assets and the least risk of conflict to UN contingents; at the opposing end conflict level is high and involves commensurately larger military assets. (2:116-117) A more accurate definition of peacekeeping is conduct of operations by military forces or civilian groups to monitor and supervise cease-fire agreements or to separate two or more disputing parties. (8:75) To accomplish their mission, peacekeepers observe treaty compliance or interpose a force or group between belligerents. United Nations' member states traditionally provide peacekeeping forces when requested by the disputing parties. Peacekeepers are effective only when disputants exhibit a mutual desire for peace and a cease-fire is in effect. Peacekeeping forces use weapons only in self-defense, and must be impartial in order to present no threat to the disputing parties. By contrast, peace-enforcement is military operations by forces from a single nation or coalition of nations that directly intervene between warring parties in order to restore peace. (8:77) United Nations' member states also traditionally contribute these forces, who act under the auspices of the Security Council. However, peace-enforcers are well armed combat forces specifically tasked to use military force to impose a peace on the belligerents. Although peacekeeping and peace-enforcement operations are distinctly different, multiple triggering devices can cause a rapid escalation from an environment of peacekeeping to one of peace-enforcement. Reorganization and rearming by one or more of the belligerents during a negotiated cease-fire are classic examples of triggers that may prompt a shift from peacekeeping to peace-enforcement. In such cases the line between peacekeeping and peace-enforcement becomes blurred and the task of maintaining or enforcing peace becomes complex. TAILORING THE FORCE TO THE ENVIRONMENT The United States must ensure that the type of force assigned to either peacekeeping or peace-enforcement operations is appropriate, for one force cannot perform the other's mission. Peacekeepers should not deploy to, or remain in, an environment where a stable cease-fire does not exist. Without a negotiated settlement agreed to by all disputants, the level of violence escalates and as the force proves inadequate in number, equipment, or assignment, the mission becomes futile. A peacekeeping force may achieve a temporary halt in the conflict, but the peacekeepers eventually become ineffectual and vulnerable. A nation or coalition that intends to provide forces to establish or maintain peace must ensure a full understanding of the environment it is entering. A nation providing forces must also clearly define why introduction of forces is necessary, and why introduction of forces will be effective. Political constraints must not preclude the replacement of peacekeepers with peace-enforcers. If a peacekeeping mission escalates to a level at which peace-enforcement becomes necessary, peace-enforces must replace the peacekeepers. If diplomats and senior military commanders do not recognize, or disregard a change in the operating environment, the peacekeeping force cannot perform its mission and will be put at risk. Operations conducted by Marines in Beirut, Lebanon exemplify a situation in which a fragile government could not negotiate a stable peace. The environment changed from one of peacekeeping to peace-enforcement, and political considerations restrained the peacekeeping force from evolving with the surrounding environment. From 25 August through 10 September 1982, United States Marines quickly and successfully evacuated the Palestinian Liberation Organization from Beirut. Upon completion of their mission they departed aboard amphibious shipping for Italy. Circumstances involving the assassination of the Lebanese President and the Israeli invasion led to the rapid return of the Marines on 29 September as members of a multinational peacekeeping force. (6:22) During the 18 months in which Marines were deployed to Lebanon, [their] mission was not much changed. As the Long Commission later concluded: "The presence mission was not interpreted the same by all levels of the chain of command...." It was basically assumed that the Marines were going into a permissive environment, and for that reason, the mission, rules of engagement, and concept of operations, as well as force structure, were designed to maintain a balance between political and military considerations and requirements. (6:23) Throughout the Marines' time in Lebanon the situation deteriorated. As Lebanese factions aligned and realigned themselves, and as Israelis, Syrians, and Iranian-backed terrorists entered and exited, the environment changed, causing an escalation from peacekeeping to peace-enforcement. The perceived need to maintain a non-aggressive posture prevented the Marines and other members of the Multinational Force from adapting their mission to the changing environment. The result was the death of 220 Marines, 18 sailors, and 3 soldiers in a terrorist truck bomb attack. (11:1) CREATING A PEACEKEEPING ENVIRONMENT The United States must understand the factors that affect the employment of a peacekeeping force if peacekeeping operations are to be successful. The creation of a suitable environment for the introduction of peacekeeping forces is critical and can change rapidly with the surrounding environment. Over two dozen peacekeeping operations have been conducted since the founding of the United Nations. "These missions can be broken down into five categories: (1) Decolonization/Post World War II; (2) Arab-Israeli conflict; (3) Cold War era; (4) End of the Cold War; and (5) Post-Cold War." (5:3) Many of these operations were successful because of the warring nation's strong ties to one of the opposing superpowers and dependence on their help for material and economic support. Loss of support, threatened by noncompliance with its superpower's wishes, forced the client state to reach a negotiated settlement. Many of the world's violent conflicts pitted superpower allies against one another. In Angola, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and to a lesser degree Namibia, the opposing armies were allies of the U.S. and the Soviet Union. When the Cold War ended, the opposing sides realized that the economic and military aid from the superpowers would decline. They decided to take the advice of their patrons and negotiate settlements. (5:9) The realization by the disputants that war no longer serves their best interests is another reason for successful peacekeeping operations. Today, in a less stable environment and without bipolar influences, a negotiated settlement is more critical. These factors also make employment of a peacekeeping force to maintain a peace that does not truly exist more likely now than ever before. Even though the warring parties may allow or request a peacekeeping force and if the root cause of the conflict festers, the situation can rapidly turn into one requiring peace-enforcement. Without a negotiated settlement, or the consent of the warring parties to the presence of the peacekeepers, the mission is peace-enforcement and not peacekeeping. A peacekeeping force in this environment is not materially or psychologically able to escalate with the belligerents, and is unable to perform its mission. In today's environment of low stability the fluctuations between situations requiring peacekeeping or peace-enforcement are far more prevalent. To resolve conflict and maintain peace politically, all disputants must agree to negotiated terms. Establishing peace by forceful means is only a temporary solution to violence. INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC INFLUENCE The United States present position as the sole superpower gives it the reputation of being the world's policeman, and as a powerful force that can dissolve conflict merely by its presence. Now, at the cold war's end, Americans again must decide if they have any special duties. Were it up to America's allies, there would be no retreat. In the Middle East, where consensus is rare as rain, both Arabs and Jews spent last week begging the United States to stay involved. Smaller Asian nations ask America to avoid leaving a power vacuum for the Chinese and Japanese to fill. (4:10) This view is prevalent throughout the world community and also among American statesmen and diplomats. False perceptions cause the United States to involve itself in conflicts where it has no vital interests and without a clear understanding or definitive policy. Media presentations of brutal killings, starvation, human rights violations, and disorder instill a sense of guilt and responsibility in the American people and cause them to voice their feeling that America must take action. (7:191) These media images are not true representations of the entire situation. They portray only one element of complex circumstances. The slanted presentation of events causes the American people to misinterpret a peace-enforcement mission for one of peacekeeping. An example of this situation is the media's portrayal of the conflict in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Many politicians and correspondents declare that the atrocities in Bosnia must stop. Because they do not understand the level of conflict and are unwilling to commit to peace-enforcement, they suggest the introduction of peacekeeping forces. But, a lightly armed peacekeeping force placed between the combatants cannot resolve the multifaceted conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Furthermore, Americans tend to view conflicts from their own culture rather than the culture of those involved. The United States fails to identify clearly and to structure appropriately the mission to deal with the causes of conflicts. The United States tend to deal only with the conflict itself. Americans attempt to impose their reasoning and viewpoint on the disputants without addressing or negotiating a settlement that alleviates the root cause. (1:223-228) The result is implementation of peacekeeping operations when peace-enforcement is necessary. A peacekeeping force may achieve a temporary halt in the conflict, but the peacekeepers eventually become ineffectual and vulnerable. In Bosnia, the United Nations and the United States were unable or unwilling to intercede politically or diplomatically before the conflict grew to its present state. (9:89) If the United Nations now perceives military intervention as the only solution capable of bringing about an environment in which diplomacy can again be useful, they must carry it out at the appropriate level. (5:11) The peacekeeping force in the Balkans is incapable of restoring peace because the conflict is at a level where only a heavily armed combat force can effectively stop the fighting. A peace-enforcement contingent used properly is the only force capable of stabilizing such a situation. If a military force can create or maintain an environment in which statesmen and diplomats can work, a lasting solution that addresses the true nature of the dispute and avoids continued hostilities is in reach. Not only does the United States tend to misunderstand the conflicts in which it involves itself, but it also has a tendency to side with one of the disputants. This negates the most fundamental aspect of peacekeeping--neutrality. By siding with either of the combatants a peacekeeping force becomes embroiled in the conflict and may find itself the target of one or more of the belligerents. Whether the loss of impartiality is actual or perceived is moot. (12:59-80) In Lebanon, the Marines appeared partial after supporting the government's armed forces with naval gunfire. The "presence" mission assigned to the USMNF [United States Multinational Force] contemplated that the contending factions in Lebanon would perceive the USMNF as a neutral force, even-handed in its dealings with the confessional groups that comprise Lebanese society. The mission statement tasked the USMNF to "establish an environment which will permit the Lebanese Armed Forces to carry out their responsibilities in the Beirut area." When hostilities erupted between the LAF and the Shiite and Druse militias, USMNF efforts to support the LAF were perceived to be both pro-Phalangist and anti-Muslim. (12:42) Neutrality is lost when peacekeepers participate in an environment where peace-enforcers are necessary. If armed conflict erupts between factions after the introduction of a peacekeeping force, the peacekeepers may require the use of force to protect themselves against one or more of the belligerents. Although the peacekeepers are only exercising their rights of self-defense, protracted armed operations will soon result in the perceived loss of neutrality. As in the case with the Marines in Lebanon, compromise of a peacekeeping force's neutrality may result when the peacekeeper's mission is to maintain peace between two or more warring factions of the same country. A country embroiled in civil war does not have the power to control disputants. (7:36) In this situation, the peacekeeper's objective is to support the legitimate government against several warring factions, making neutrality virtually impossible. In yet another situation, no government structure may remain, and the disputing parties are made up of clans, religious sects, or ethnic groups fighting for power and territory. In this environment, warring factions require defeat and disarming, a negotiated settlement, and monitoring by a peacekeeping force. The peacekeepers must beware, however, for once the mission and force change from peace-enforcement to peacekeeping, the threat of renewed conflict exists. Because peacekeepers can only monitor and supervise a cessation in hostilities, they are incapable of enforcing compliance. For this reason a true and lasting settlement is necessary, and the peacekeeping force replacing the peace-enforcers should not come from that same nation. The requirement for the peacekeeping force to be from a separate nation stems from the lost neutrality caused by the combat, support, and aid that nation's peace-enforcement contingent provided. It is not possible in the eyes of the disputants to regain neutrality. THE EMERGING ROLE OF THE UNITED NATIONS The post-Cold War United Nations is an effective catalyst for negotiation and agreement between disputants. Effective negotiation creates an environment where peacekeepers can operate as a neutral force. The United Nations is prepared through a functional Security Council to provide the auspices for a coalition or an independent nation to enforce peace. The United Nations no longer suffers the handicap caused by divisions among its members. In the past, the competing interests of the Security Council members, in relation to their client states, prevented agreements from allowing anything more than the lost benign operations. Therefore, peacekeeping missions during this period required only a token force relying on complete consent of the opposing parties. The rejuvenated Security Council can now work on a wider range of missions that can yield substantial agreements. However, the United Nations ability to mediate disputes and draft resolutions to resolve conflicts exceeds its ability to implement them. (2:113) Without the ability to introduce a large cohesive military force, the United Nations can accomplish no more than it has in the past. To solve large scale conflicts, member nation expect the United States to provide the body of force required to implement the United Nations mandates. The United States has often had to provide not only the forces but also the leadership to encourage the United Nations to adopt a resolution. Although the United States continues providing forces, the United Nations is now more capable and active in deciding when and where to use these forces. The capability and willingness of the United Nations to negotiate and produce resolutions while unable to provide the necessary forces, places the United States in the position of being the only nation that can fulfill this role in large-scale conflicts. The world community looks to the United States for solutions to situations like Somalia, where creation of a suitable environment must take place before a United Nations peacekeeping coalition can be effective. The United States must ensure, however, that it does not allow the United Nations to employ its armed forces as peacekeepers in a peace-enforcement environment. The United States must retain the ability to act unilaterally to ensure proper employment of its armed forces. More importantly, the United States must not become reluctant to use its forces when its security interests are at stake, regardless of United Nations approval. (4:18) The changes precipitated by the end of the Cold War and the new effectiveness of the United Nations Security Council draws the United States into an ever-increasing role as the world's policeman. If the United States is to accept this role and deploy its armed forces to maintain or impose peace, proper employment is necessary. Before the United States commits armed forces, it must understand the cultural background of the parties involved and why they are in disagreement. The forces employed must have the structure and armament appropriate for the mission, and employment must be in accordance with established policy. A peacekeeping force should only deploy when there is a negotiated peace that will enable the peacekeepers to remain neutral. The United States should undertake a peace-enforcement mission only when it is willing to commit a large, well armed force assured of accomplishing its mission. The United States must maintain control of when, where, and for what purpose its peacekeeping and peace-enforcement assets deploy. This is paramount to their safety and the protection of our nation's vital interests. BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Burdick, Eugene, and William J. Lederer. The Ugly American. New York: Random House, 1958. 2. Chopra, Jarat, and John Mackinlay. "Second Generation Multinational Operations." The Washington Quarterly Summer 1992: 113-131. 3. Clark, Jeffery. "Debacle in Somalia." Foreign Affairs Vol. 72, No. 1, 1993: 109-123. 4. Cooper, Matthew. "When a World Beckons America." U.S. News & World Reports March 8, 1993, p.10. 5. Cowin, Andrew J. "A United Nations Assessment Project Study". The Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 917, October 13, 1992. 6. Frank, Benis M. U.S. Marines in Lebanon, 1982-1984. U.S. Government Printing Office, 1987. 7. Friedman, Thomas L. From Beirut to Jerusalem. New York: Doubleday, 1989. 8. Joint Chiefs of Staff. JTTP for Peacekeeping Operations (Initial Draft, Joint Pub 3-07.3) June 1991: 75-77. 9. Ramet, Sabrina P. "From Sarajevo to Sarajevo." Foreign Affairs Vol. 71, No. 4, 1992: 80-98. 10. Thompson, Mark. A Paper House. New York: Pantheon, 1992. 11. U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Armed Services. Adequacy of U.S. Marine Corps Security in Beirut. Report together with Additional aad Dissenting Views of the Committee on Armed Services House of Representatives. 98th Cong. 1st sess., 1983. 12. U.S. Department of Defense. Report of the DOD Commission on Beirut International Airport Terrorist Act, October 23, 1983, December 1983.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|