International peacekeeping forces have become an important component in world affairs, but their actual effect is much less than that originally envisaged, partly due to direct attacks on them by the combatants. In addition, military efficiency is impaired by: political requirements of representative heterogeneity in composition; inadequate security because of the emphasis on negotiation and a restrictive interpretation of self-defence; dangers of involvement in domestic power struggles when confronted with an authority vacuum in the host country; erratic financing; lack of cooperation from major powers or local belligerents; reluctance on the part of lesser powers to contribute contingents; and erosion of credibility as conflicts appear no nearer to political solution after years of peacekeeping. In practice, it has proved difficult to separate effective peacekeeping from escalating confrontation, intervention in domestic strife and the abdication of peacekeeping responsibilities.
Difficulties are highlighted by the killing of 241 American and 82 French members of the peace-keeping force in Beirut on 23 October 1983.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
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