Uncoordinated international peacekeeping

Inadequate United Nations military operations
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.
1. 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.

2. The UN exhibited widescale incompetence in Bosnia and Somalia, placing the interests of its soldiers before those of civilian populations subjected to massacre and terror. The peacekeeping forces exhibited inertia and indecision while the combatants, notably the Serbs, proceeded with massacres and atrocities, bombings of civilians, food blockades, selective destruction of villages and neighbourhoods, arbitrary jailings, torture, systematic rape and summary executions. UN forces looked on while aid workers were challenged and attacked by various militias in Bosnia. The continuing suffering in Muslim enclaves, supposedly under the protection of UN peacekeeping forces, underlined the feebleness of UN peacekeeping operations.

1. 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.

2. In 1993 there was no clear and universally accepted definition of the the role of UN peacekeeping missions. UN forces increasingly found themselves thrust into intractable civil wars where none of the world's powers are willing to venture by themselves. Simultaneously the basic concepts of peacekeeping were being rapidly revised and expanded in ways that led to doubts and clashes on the ground. UN peacekeepers have traditionally gone in after a cease-fire agreement to observe a dividing line or to monitor compliance with written agreements. In the new policy of "peace enforcement" troops are sent into hostilities to try to move the parties towards peace or to bring humanitarian relief.

(F) Fuzzy exceptional problems