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  • Force may or may not be under UN command.
  • Does not have to end in combat.
  • A subset of armed intervention.
  • Intervention force not perceived as neutral.
  • International mandate required.

Peace enforcement entails the use of armed force to separate combatants and to create a cease-fire that does not exist. Force may also be used to create other peaceful ends such as safehavens for victims of the hostilities. The United Nations Secretary General also uses the term to refer to forceful actions to keep a cease-fire from being violated or to reinstate a failed cease-fire.

By the American definition, in a situation for which peace enforcement operations are required, armed conflict and not peace describes the situation. Also, one or more of the belligerents usually prefers it that way. This means that, unlike peacekeepers, peace enforcers are not welcomed by one of the belligerents. Rather, the peace enforcers are active fighters who must force a cease-fire that is opposed by one or both combatants; in the process, they lose their neutrality.

Peace enforcement operations are usually beyond the UNs ability to command, control, and plan. They may be carried out by a coalition of countries or by a regional organization such as NATO. Peace enforcement operations are likely to disregard state sovereignty, particularly if the mission takes place on the soil of the combatant who opposes peace and has not invited the peace enforcers into his territory. For this reason, an international mandate is normally necessary for the operation to be considered legitimate.

Because the enforcement force may resort to the use of arms against the belligerents, it must deploy with sufficient military strength to achieve those objectives established by political authorities. Unlike peacekeeping, enforcement will require a full range of military capabilities that has the potential to meet or exceed that of the belligerents. Although the preferred objective is commitment of superior military force to dissuade belligerents from further conflict, forcesdeployed for these operations should assume for planning purposes that use of force will be necessary to restore peace. But unlike war, enforcement operations are more constrained by political factors designed to bring warring parties to the negotiating table. Settlement, not victory, is the goal.

The peace enforcement force will presumably have to fight its way into the combat zone and use force to physically separate the combatants. It will likely inflict and suffer casualties,possibly making it less welcome and undercutting domestic support back home for its mission. The peace enforcement force is not suited for transition to a peacekeeping force primarily because it can never be considered neutral again.

Peace enforcement cannot solve the underlying problems in most areas of potential application. The insertion of forces to stop combat may be effective in making the continuation of violence impossible; it cannot, in and of itself, create the conditions for lasting peace, which involves the political embrace of peace as more attractive than war. The insertion of outside force may break the cycle of violence and convince the combatants that resistance to the peace enforcers is more painful than compliance to an imposed peace. Since these conflicts are normally very deeply rooted and desperate, the shock effect of outside force may prove to be no more than a break between rounds of fighting.

There is a danger in thinking peacekeeping forces can be inserted into peace enforcement situations. Peace enforcement requires very different forces than peacekeeping does. The result of confusing roles and forces can be seen in the placing of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) peacekeepers in a war zone in Sarajevo. These peacekeepers were placed in a peace enforcement situation and have proven not to be armed and manned for the task.

Political and military decisionmakers must understand and clearly specify the nature of the mission of forces deployed to assist in restoring peace. Further, they must continuously review the circumstances under which the force was committed to ensure it remains suited to that mission. The catastrophic failure of the Multinational Forcesin Lebanon in 1983 may present a vivid example of what happens when the wrong type of force is used.

The following chapters present some specific lessons from past and present peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations. They are intended to help prepare units to perform the missions of peacekeeping and peace enforcement. The format is a topic, a discussion, and lessons learned. The topics apply to both peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations unless otherwise stated. The new Field Manual (FM 100-23, Peace Operations) will provide a detailed discussion of doctrinal issues.

Chapter II: Peacekeeping
Chapter IV: Notes for Commanders

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