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It must be peace without victory.... Woodrow Wilson

We are now concerned with the peace of the entire world and the peace can only be maintained by the strong General George C. Marshall

Properly constituted, peace operations can be one useful tool to advance American national interests and pursue our national security objectives.

The Clinton Administration's Policy on Reforming Multinational Peace Operations May 1994

Today's world, with changing patterns of conflict and threats to US interests, presents new political and military challenges. It also presents extraordinary opportunities. The existence of instability and potential threats require a strong military capability sufficiently versatile to execute national military strategy across the full range of operations--to include war and operations other than war (OOTW).

Recognizing these realities, the 1993 version of the Army's keystone manual on operations, FM 100-5, devoted a chapter to OOTW. That chapter includes a broad discussion of PK and PE. This manual focuses specifically on peace operations, building on the foundation laid in FM 100-5.

This manual provides the basis for planning and executing peace operations. As doctrine, this manual guides the Army in how to think about peace operations and provides fundamentals for these operations.


Peace operations is a new and comprehensive term that covers a wide range of activities. Peace operations create and sustain the conditions necessary for peace to flourish. Peace operations comprise three types of activities: support to diplomacy (peacemaking, peace building, and preventive diplomacy), peacekeeping, and peace enforcement. Peace operations include traditional peacekeeping as well as peace enforcement activities such as protection of humanitarian assistance, establishment of order and stability, enforcement of sanctions, guarantee and denial of movement, establishment of protected zones, and forcible separation of belligerents.

Peace operations have become increasingly common in the post-Cold War strategic security environment. For example, in its first 40 years, the United Nations (UN) conducted only 13 such operations, al relatively small, with the exception of UN operations in the Congo during the 1960s. Since 1988, the number of peace operations has more than doubled, with each succeeding one being more complex than the last. The UN's peacekeeping operation in Cambodia in 1993, for example, included 22,000 military, police, and civilian personnel from 32 contributing nations. The operation cost the world community well over $2 billion. The UN-sanctioned peace operation in Somalia (unified task force [UNITAF]), spearheaded by the US, involved more than 27,000 personnel from 23 contributing nations at a cost of $750 million.

Peace operations are not new to the Army. Since 1948, US soldiers have served in many such operations--to include the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization in the Middle East, Lebanon (1958), the Dominican Republic (1965), and the Sinai (since 1982)--as members of a multinational force and observers (MFO).

What is new is the number, pace, scope, and complexity of recent operations. For example, in 1993, six separate peace operations were conducted or authorized by the UN in the former Yugoslavia. They included missions to enforce sanctions against al belligerent parties, to deny aerial movement, to protect humanitarian assistance in Bosnia, to establish protected zones, and to establish a preventive deployment to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Commanders must understand the dynamics of peace operations and how actions taken in one operation may affect the success of another. In recent years, on any given day, thousands of soldiers were deployed to conduct or support peace operations in places such as Somalia, FYROM, the Sinai, and Croatia.


Peace operations often take place in environments less well-defined than in war. The identity of belligerents may be uncertain and the relationship between a specific operation and a campaign plan may be more difficult to define than would normally be the case in war. On the other hand, the relationship between specific peace operations and political objectives may be more sensitive, direct, and transparent.

US forces involved in peace operations may not encounter large, professional armies or even organized groups responding to a chain of command. Instead, they may have to deal with loosely organized groups of irregulars, terrorists, or other conflicting segments of a population as predominant forces. These elements will attempt to capitalize on perceptions of disenfranchisement or disaffection within the population. Criminal syndicates may also be involved.

The close link desired by such elements and the civilian population-at-large means the traditional elements of combat power, such as massive firepower, may not apply to peace operations. The nonviolent application of military capabilities, such as civil-military information and psychological operations (PSYOP) may be more important.

An overemphasis on firepower may be counterproductive. Because of the potential linkages between combatants and noncombatants, the political and cultural dimensions of the battlefield become more critical to the conflict. When force must be used, its purpose is to protect life or compel, not to destroy unnecessarily; the conflict, not the belligerent parties, is the enemy.


As with any mission, commanders at all levels must have a common understanding of the end state and the conditions that constitute success prior to initiating operations. In peace operations, settlement, not victory, is the ultimate measure of success, though settlement is rarely achievable through military efforts alone. Peace operations are conducted to reach a solon by conciliation among the competing parties, rather than termination by force. Peace operations are designed principally to create or sustain the conditions in which political and diplomatic activities may proceed. In peace operations, military action must complement diplomatic, economic, informational, and humanitarian efforts in pursuing the overarching political objective. The concept of traditional military victory or defeat is inappropriate in peace operations.

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