Can the Pentagon spare some change for U.N. peacekeeping?

The Pentagon may have made out like bandits in President Bush’s latest budget proposal, but U.N. peacekeepers? Not so much. The United States is already late on more than $1 billion in dues for peacekeeping missions, and the $1.5 billion Bush just proposed for next year falls more than half a billion dollars short of ...

596612_peacekeepers_05.jpg
596612_peacekeepers_05.jpg

The Pentagon may have made out like bandits in President Bush's latest budget proposal, but U.N. peacekeepers? Not so much. The United States is already late on more than $1 billion in dues for peacekeeping missions, and the $1.5 billion Bush just proposed for next year falls more than half a billion dollars short of U.S. obligations for the 17 U.N. peacekeeping operations around the world, which include those in Darfur, Haiti, and Lebanon.

We all know the Bush administration isn't big on the United Nations, but we're talking chump change when you consider the fact that the Pentagon is due to get more than half a trillion dollars in 2009. U.N. peacekeeping is far from perfect. But it becomes far less so when it's underfunded.

The Pentagon may have made out like bandits in President Bush’s latest budget proposal, but U.N. peacekeepers? Not so much. The United States is already late on more than $1 billion in dues for peacekeeping missions, and the $1.5 billion Bush just proposed for next year falls more than half a billion dollars short of U.S. obligations for the 17 U.N. peacekeeping operations around the world, which include those in Darfur, Haiti, and Lebanon.

We all know the Bush administration isn’t big on the United Nations, but we’re talking chump change when you consider the fact that the Pentagon is due to get more than half a trillion dollars in 2009. U.N. peacekeeping is far from perfect. But it becomes far less so when it’s underfunded.

Carolyn O'Hara is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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