Strategic Trends, Dilemmas, and Developments in Global Peace Operations
While the past year has been difficult for global peace operations, peace-keeping remains a sought after and integral part of the international community’s response to conflict and fragile states. The Annual Review of Global Peace Operations 2011, written by the Center on International Cooperation, concludes that while continued growth in overall levels of deployment in 2010 reaffirms peacekeeping’s role in conflict management, the massive overstretch and cost of missions from the Horn and Central Africa to Afghanistan have led to increasing operational, political, and financial pressure to scale down the overall size of peacekeeping operations. With the increasing use by the UN of “political missions” – i.e., those focused on mediation and support to political processes – and questions about the relative merits of military-based peacekeeping versus lighter options, 2010 was characterized by paradoxical desires to, on the one hand, reduce the size of operations and transition from full-scale peacekeeping to national ownership of security and governance, and, on the other hand, react to changing conditions which necessitate continued action and sometimes additional troops for missions.
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