A number of European countries are considering playing a greater military role in UN peacekeeping. However, they have many concerns about the UN's systems for managing missions, which differ markedly from NATO and EU standards. In this paper, based on in-depth interviews with Irish officers and policy-makers and UN officials, Edward Burke and Jonathan Marley give detailed insights into their experiences and lessons.
Lessons learned from pursuing civil-military coherence
In April 2015, CIC Associate Director Barnett Rubin joined the Danish Institute for International Studies for a seminar on Afghanistan's recent history and lessons learned from pursuing civil-military coherence. He kicked off the discussions with a keynote speech on Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014.
Rich states and UN peacekeeping: time to lead by example?
The UN Secretary-General’s High-level Independent Panel has now commenced its review of peace operations as the call for peacekeeping reform once again tops the agenda. The continuing imbalance in global peacekeeping troop and police contributions leads some to question whether rich states, including the UK, are pulling their weight.
Japan, European countries, and the United States have a common interest in boosting United Nations peace operations. Japan has been a prominent supporter of a U.S. initiative to encourage participation in peacekeeping operations, but to date, Tokyo’s follow-up has been constructive but limited. For Tokyo and its allies, ensuring that the UN can handle today’s ugly crises is an unavoidable task.
Relations between Israel and the US are at their most strained in years, following comments by newly-re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that there wouldn't be a Palestinian state on “his watch.”
The United States sent its European allies some stern signals about their obligations to the American-led international order last week. On Monday, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power visited Brussels, where she warned NATO members to halt their “dangerous” defense cuts and called on European powers to offer more troops to United Nations peace operations.
On October 14 through 16, Richard Gowan participated in the Challenges Forum, an annual peacekeeping conference in Beijing. The Challenges Forum is a strategic and dynamic platform for dialogue among policymakers, practitioners and academics on key issues and developments in peace operations. The aim is to shape the debate by promoting awareness of emerging issues and identifying key challenges facing military, police and civilian peace operations.
The violent Basque separatist group ETA took shape in Franco's Spain, yet claimed the majority of its victims under democracy. For most Spaniards it became an aberration, a criminal and terrorist band whose persistence defied explanation. Others, mainly Basques (but only some Basques) understood ETA as the violent expression of a political conflict that remained the unfinished business of Spain's transition to democracy. Such differences hindered efforts to 'defeat' ETA's terrorism on the one hand and 'resolve the Basque conflict' on the other for more than three decades.
The UN is currently in poor health but the severity of its condition is not yet clear, Richard Gowan argues in this paper commissioned by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue for the 2014 Oslo Forum for senior mediators. Gowan assesses the impact of events in South Sudan, Syria and Ukraine for the UN, and warns that the organization's operational and political credibility is weakening.