"OPERATIONS CONDUCTED WITH THE CONSENT OF THE BELLIGERENT PARTIES, DESIGNED TO MAINTAIN A NEGOTIATED TRUCE AND HELP PROMOTE CONDITIONS WHICH SUPPORT DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS TO ESTABLISH A LONG-TERM PEACE IN AREAS OF CONFLICT." -- FM 100-5
- Success based on willingness of belligerents to abide by truce.
- Synonymous with trucekeeping.
- An interim step towards resolution of conflict.
- Peacekeeping force must be perceived as neutral by all disputing parties.
- Peacekeeping force must always be prepared for a quickly changing environment in which peace enforcement or combat may occur.
The United Nations Secretary General defines peacekeeping as "the deployment of a United Nations presence in the field, hitherto with the consent of all the parties concerned involving UN military and/or police personnel and frequently civilians as well. Peacekeeping is a technique that expands the possibility for both the prevention of conflict and the making of peace." Peacekeeping operations are military operations conducted with the consent of the belligerent parties to maintain a negotiated truce and to facilitate a diplomatic resolution. The United States may participate in peacekeeping operations under the auspices of an international organization such as the United Nations (UN), in cooperation with other countries, or unilaterally. Peacekeeping operations may take many forms of supervision and monitoring:
- Withdrawals and Disengagements
- Prisoner-of-War Exchanges
- Arms Control
- Demilitarization and Demobilization
Peacekeeping operations support diplomatic efforts to achieve, restore, or maintain the peace in areas of potential or actual conflict. The greatest military consideration in peacekeeping is the political objective of the operation. Military forces operate within clearly and carefully prescribed limits established by agreement between the belligerents and the UN or other parties.
Normally, a peacekeeping force will deploy after the fighting has ceased. The nationality of the force is agreed to by the belligerents. Once the fighting has ceased, peacekeepers selected from the 181 members of the United Nations are deployed. The peacekeeping force ends up being an invited guest. One or both of the belligerents can revoke the invitation and request the peacekeepers to leave the area at any time. In the past, traditional peacekeeping was feasible because two conditions existed before peacekeepers were inserted: fighting had ceased, and both or all parties preferred the presence of the peacekeepers to their absence.
Under these two conditions, the typical peacekeeping force has evolved. It has historically been a lightly armed, defensively oriented observer force that physically separated former combatants. It observed and reported their adherence to the cease fire while negotiations for peace occurred. Their mission usually involves monitoring and supervising a cease-fire agreed to by two or more former combatants. It occurs in an atmosphere where truce exists and where the former combatants minimally prefer truce to continued conflict.
Peacekeeping forces assume that use of force will not be required to carry out their tasks, except in self-defense. They are structured, trained and equipped under this assumption. Extreme restraint in both appearance and application of force is crucial to maintain a posture of impartiality and neutrality toward the former belligerents.
Finally, peacekeeping forces possess a quality often called the "hostage effect." Lightly armed and operating under restrictive rules of engagement, the peacekeeping force derives protection from the belligerents by its inability to change the military balance and its nonthreatening posture. This allows the force unimpeded access throughout the country to carry out its duties. This is normally a condition required by the UN mandate for the operation. Conversely, the peacekeeping force represents a potentially much larger force, and this is the source of its power.
Chapter I: Peacemaking
Chapter III: Peace Enforcement
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