Salon: What is peacekeeping good for?

Note: This post is part of our online salon, UN Peacekeeping: Challenges and Opportunities for the Next Administration, co-hosted with UN Dispatch. Even as we discuss the logistical, manpower, and financial pressures on [the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations], I hope we do not leave aside the question of what precisely the international community is ...

By , a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies.

Note: This post is part of our online salon, UN Peacekeeping: Challenges and Opportunities for the Next Administration, co-hosted with UN Dispatch.

Even as we discuss the logistical, manpower, and financial pressures on [the UN's Department of Peacekeeping Operations], I hope we do not leave aside the question of what precisely the international community is getting for its (admittedly modest) investment in peacekeeping. Is the current crop of missions producing political and humanitarian results? The UN, of course, endured intense soul searching during the 1990s about the efficacy of peacekeeping in the wake of the Bosnia and Rwanda missions. Today's missions are far less scrutinized but I suspect that has more to do with a distracted media than it does an easing of the operational dilemmas facing peacekeepers in the field.

Note: This post is part of our online salon, UN Peacekeeping: Challenges and Opportunities for the Next Administration, co-hosted with UN Dispatch.

Even as we discuss the logistical, manpower, and financial pressures on [the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations], I hope we do not leave aside the question of what precisely the international community is getting for its (admittedly modest) investment in peacekeeping. Is the current crop of missions producing political and humanitarian results? The UN, of course, endured intense soul searching during the 1990s about the efficacy of peacekeeping in the wake of the Bosnia and Rwanda missions. Today’s missions are far less scrutinized but I suspect that has more to do with a distracted media than it does an easing of the operational dilemmas facing peacekeepers in the field.

David Bosco is a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. He is the author of The Poseidon Project: The Struggle to Govern the World’s Oceans. Twitter: @multilateralist

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