In 1993 the crises in Somalia, Bosnia and Cambodia exposed the severe shortcomings of the UN peacekeeping forces. During a period in 1993 when there were 30 armed conflicts in the world, the UN was overwhelmed with its 13 active peacekeeping operations.
UN peacekeeping efforts are effectively programmed amateurism due to near total absence of contingency planning and a lack of centralized command and control within peacekeeping forces. The military and civilian components of the UN operations are hastily recruited, ill equipped and often unprepared.
If the UN is ill organized, under-financed and short of well-trained forces with clearly defined rules of engagement, the fault lies not with the UN but with the member governments of the Security Council who: refuse to reactivate the Military Staff Committee that previously provided military direction to its operations; ignore pleas for specially trained standby forces; fail to tackle the UN's chronic financial problems relating to its peacekeeping operations; and fail to make adequate intelligence available to the Secretary-General.