The Multilateralist

Has Hollywood given up on peacekeeping?

Has Hollywood given up on peacekeeping?

In today’s Washington Post, Ben Affleck calls for continued engagement with eastern Congo. His list of very sensible policy recommendations includes keeping a high-level administration envoy and monitoring compliance with recent legislation designed to track conflict minerals.

There’s one striking omission. He has nothing to say about the U.N. peacekeeping force in Congo other than a vague reference to the role of the international community in providing an appropriate environment for elections. It’s a striking oversight, given that Congo still hosts one of the world’s largest (and most expensive) missions and that the force has reoriented itself to deal with violence in the east. Yes, Congo’s government has called for the peacekeepers to leave sooner rather than later. And, yes, the current force has often failed to protect the civilian population. But is there really nothing to say about the role peacekeepers should play?

If U.N. peacekeeping has lost Hollywood, that’s not a good sign.