Peacekeeping Or Western Ideological Enforcement Essay Research

Peacekeeping, Or Western Ideological Enforcement Essay, Research Paper

Peacekeeping, or Western Ideological Enforcement. Peacekeeping and its uses in the post cold war era. Dan Barham 100032310 April 6, 2000 POLS 4173 Dr Allen Chong. ??????????? Peacekeeping, an action

that is familiar to any student of international politics, or to anyone who

watches the news on a regular to semi-regular basis. Peacekeeping has long been

seen as one of the great Canadian contributions to the world. The rise of

intra-state conflict in the years following the cold war has lead to a renewed

interest in the possibilities of peacekeeping. The idea of only sending in a

force to keep the peace is no longer being looked at as the only option. Former

United Nations secretary-general, Kofi Annan,?

wrote a paper entitled ?Peace Operations and the United Nations ?

Preparing for the Next Century.? It was within this paper that he outlined a

need for the doctrine of peacekeeping to change to fit the new requirements

that the changing world required. Kofi Annan advocated a new approach, an

approach based on actions termed ?inducing consent? and ?coercive inducement?.

The possibilities for the spread of peace, and the rise of humanism and its

western definition? were expanding even

further. This approach and ideal is an admirable one, however it brings

peacekeeping closer to being an instrument of western influence, and further

from being simply an exercise to prevent war. It is this shift in the direction

of peacekeeping that is to be examined within the context of this paper. Is this

new approach to peacekeeping valid, or is it merely a precursor to the further

rise of western imperialism. The spread of humanism and the protection of the

weak and oppressed is an admirable goal, however the framework that is being

set up to allow for ?peace operations? within sovereign states leads us to a

dangerous set of possibilities later down the road. There is also the

possibility for this frame work to be abused in the future. The qualifications

for what necessitates an intervention are very important and must be weighed

carefully in order to avoid setting dangerous precedents. What happens when the

principals of western democracy and humanism to a totalitarian regime such as

China? You end up with a whole lot of reasons that call for ?peace making? or

?humanitarian intervention?. It is for these reasons that we must examine the

ground work that is being laid today, to make sure that the future structure

and actions that may come out of framework are possibilities that one would

even want to consider. Is peacekeeping becoming an excuse for something else? ??????????? Peacekeeping and UN

intervention was for the most part limited during the cold war. Division in the

security council prevented many actions from taking place. With the fall of the

USSR and the new partnership between Russia and its former opponents in the

west, there has been more opportunity for the UN and the Security Council to

intervene in the face of human suffering. ?Peacekeeping was pioneered and

developed by the UN as one of the means for maintaining international peace and

security. Most UN peacekeepers, often referred to as "blue helmets",

have been soldiers, volunteered by their Governments to apply military

discipline and training to the task of restoring and maintaining the peace.?[1]

Peacekeeping has been long seen as a humanitarian intervention to prevent great

human tragedy. Peacekeeping has however failed in the past to prevent a large

number of? crisis?s and stop a variety

of genocide acts. ?Too often the international community fails to do what is

needed. It failed to prevent the genocide in Rwanda. For too long it reacted

with weakness and hesitation to the horror of ?ethnic cleansing? in the former

Yugoslavia. In East Timor, it acted too late to save many hundreds of lives and

thousands of homes from wanton destruction?[2] ??????????? This inability for the

UN and its peacekeeping operations to intervene effectively has called into

question the very validity of peacekeeping operations. The example of the

humanitarian crisis in Sudan, and the ongoing simmering conflict in Cyprus. ?In

itself peacekeeping resolves very little. It is the ultimate non-solution.

Instead of launching a crusade, we attempt to arrange a cease-fire. Instead of

choosing one side over another and then battling it out to the bitter end, we

stall for time. We set up separate solitudes: isolated domains with a minimum

of interaction. Sound familiar? It is the blueprint of Canada, projected

outwards onto the world.?[3]

Peacekeeping has been seen as a non solution to the problems of regional

conflict, nothing is ever resolved when all that happens it the two sides are

sent to their corners and told that they are not to get on each others nerves.

The divisions simply simmer until the referee is not watching as closely and

one side can lash out without getting into too much trouble. ?The UN mission in

Cypress is a touchstone of the Canadian way, just as surely as Vietnam remains

an indictment of the American way. On cost more then a million lives and

inspired Apocalypse Now. The other

resulted in a constant vigil. Waiting, watching, holding our breath, standing

on guard. Heroic inaction.?[4]

The alternative, however, is not an acceptable option either. ?Peacekeeping,

much like democracy itself, is the worst possible system ? except for all the

others.? [5] It is due to the greater number of human

tragedies in the years since the cold war, and the sentiment that the current

form of peacekeeping is not enough, that there has been a greater desire for

the concept of peacekeeping to be reworked. Reworked from simple intervention

once a conflict is already in the advanced and bloody stages, to a form of

peacekeeping that is more preventative and has more power to intervene on

behalf of the victims of human rights violations. ??????????? United

Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan has of late been leading a drive towards a

new direction for peacekeeping, and the intervention of the international

community in the name of humanitarianism.?

Annan has termed it ?the United Nations humanitarian imperative.?[6]

Annan feels that the basic problem with peacekeeping as it stands today is that

has had trouble identifying areas where action is needed the most, that too

often states will put their own political interests in front of consistent

humanitarian action and the consistent enforcement of the Universal Declaration

of Human Rights.[7] The new

vision for peacekeeping is one where the ideals of human security, the

prevention of genocide, and the protection of civilians in the advent of an

?internal conflict?.? The new vision is

based on a ?duty to interfere? (le devoir d?ingerence) a phrase that was coined

by Bernard Kouchner, who was at the time, the head of the charity ?Medecins du

Monde.? His idea was that it was the duty of?

non-governmental organisations to cross national boundaries in order to

administer aid to victims, even without the support of the local government.

This concept was recognised and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly

with the passing of two resolutions, one in 1988, and another in 1991. Each of

these resolutions uphold the right of people in desperate circumstances to

receive help, and the right of international organisations to provide it, even

without the permission of the local government.[8] Annan wishes to extend this further to include

peacekeeping operations. He sites the crime in French law that is called

?Failure to assist a person in danger?[9]

this coupled with the ?duty to interfere? is a justification for making

peacekeeping more preventative and moving with more force even when state

sovereignty may be violated.? The new

direction that peacekeeping is moving

under Annan?s direction is based on four new principals and a call for more

consistency. His first principal is the need for ?intervention? or ?peace

intervention? to be defined as broadly as possible, ?to include actions along a

wide continuum from the most pacific to the most coercive.?[10]

Armed intervention is the result of a failure by the international community to

prevent the outbreak of conflict within a region due to a lack of preventative

measures on the international communities behalf. It is necessary in Annan?s

estimation that an effort must be made to increase the preventative abilities

of the United Nations, to increase the capacity for early warning, preventative

diplomacy, preventive deployment and preventive disarmament. [11]

The second principal of the new peacekeeping is that the sovereignty of a state

is not enough to prevent effective action in human rights or a humanitarian

crisis. ?State frontiers should no longer be seen as a

watertight protection for war criminals or mass murderers. The fact that a

conflict is ?internal? does not give the parties any right to disregard the

most basic rules of human conduct. Besides, most ?internal? conflicts do not

stay internal for very long. They soon ?spill over? into neighbouring

countries.? [12] ?If States bent on criminal behaviour know that

frontiers are not the absolute defence; if they know that the Security Council

will take action to halt crimes against humanity, then they will not embark on

such a course of action in expectation of sovereign impunity.? [13]The third principal is that, in a situation

where it becomes necessary for the UN to intervene with force, it must be

ensured that the Security Council is able to act swiftly and effectively in

order to prevent a human disaster. The problem with the Security Council in the

past has been a lack of unity and inaction, in the face of such things as

genocide, due to Council division. Annan feels that Council States, and the

Member States of the United Nations should be able to find a common ground in

the principals of the UN Charter, and in the defence of the common humanity of

all peoples. Lastly the new formula for peacekeeping requires a continued and

strong commitment to keeping the peace. The commitment to peace must be as

strong as the commitment to war was.[14]

This is a caution against the ?conflict fatigue? that many experience when a

conflict goes on for too long. You see it on the news everyday, and eventually

you stop caring, it is this fatigue that ends aid, and allows the hostilities

to either go on, or start again. In order to fulfil the third principal of the

new peace keeping there is a movement amongst member governments to create

?rapid-reaction? peace forces. Peace Strike forces if you will. Able to quickly

and effectively ?intervene in crisis situations.? ?OTTAWA – The Canadian Armed Forces intends to

establish a combat-ready strike force to respond swiftly to global crises to

prevent the loss of innocent life and strengthen Canada’s influence with its

allies, says Art Eggleton, the Defence Minister. The European Union has already

announced it will set up a 60,000-member rapid-reaction force outside of NATO

to intervene in crisis situations in Europe in which the United States does not

wish to become involved. ?[15]These forces are to be able to quickly descend on a crisis situation and

prevent the sort of massive bloodshed and humanitarian tragedy that we have

seen in the past with Rwanda and Kosovo. The justification for these forces are

the number of lives that could be saved if only they ?peacekeepers? could have

arrived? there more quickly. Annan cites

the actions of the Security Council and the UN forces in East Timor as a prime

example of the benefits to be had when the Council and the UN is able to

quickly set up a multinational force that has the authorisation to go in and

prevent an astronomical human tragedy, there is a caution however in that the

problem in East Timor is not over yet, and it is too soon for congratulations

and to sit back and rest on what has been accomplished, the fourth aspect of

peacekeeping is still needed, there must be a strong commitment on the part of

the international community to maintain the peace. ?And yet the commitment of the international

community to peacekeeping, to humanitarian assistance, to rehabilitation, and

reconstruction varies greatly from region to region, and crisis to crisis.?[16]

This sums up one of the major problems with peacekeeping so far. The Member States

of the UN are firstly interested in pursuing their national interests, above

all else. The enforcement of the principals of human rights have been uneven at

best. Western governments will go in when there is an need for the enforcement

of human rights, and it does not

affect any of their national interests. What this has lead to is a number of UN

actions in third world, and smaller nations to prevent human tragedy while

violations of the western standard of human rights goes unpunished in larger

countries, say for example China. It is here that we run into the dangers of this

new peacekeeping, the possibility that it could lead to a greater war if it was

fully and evenly applied. There has been some concern on the part of China that

this new direction in peacekeeping could eventually lead to a ?humanitarian

intervention? within their borders as the concept of sovereignty is becoming

less of an absolute, and ?frontiers are not the absolute defence?[17]

What happens when western standards of human rights are used as the ruler

against which all other governments are measured. When you apply that standard

to an totalitarian regime such as China, you immediately run into a cause for a

?humanitarian intervention?. It could be argued that the totalitarian regime of

China doesn?t represent the people of China, that it oppresses and violates the

basic human rights of its own citizens and therefore should not believe that it

can ?disregard the most basic rules of human conduct.?[18]

Or at least disregard the most basic rules of western based human conduct.? There is however an argument to be made for

China, and that is that the people have spoken, the Chinese government does

represent the people of China as they had a revolution and chose their leader

to be General Mau. While the system of government may not be one that we as

western nations approve of, would we just be spreading our own empire of democratic

capitalism to people who may not want it? The argument over who?s system of

government is better is a long one and not one that we are going to get into in

this paper. BibliographyCooper, Andrew F. Canadian Foreign Policy, Old Habits and New

Directions. Prentice- Hall Canada Inc. Scarborough Ontario. 1997?Documents:The UN Secretary

General?s report, ?An Agenda For Peace?. This report outlines

the UN position on Peacekeeping and the New World Order. The document stresses

the need for the establishment of conflict management and greater peacekeeping

efforts. Speech by Minister

Loyd Axworthy given at the ?Canadian Land Mines Foundation Luncheon? on the

?Group of 12? December 1998 at the Royal York Hotel. Toronto. The future policy and

direction of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

and the future of Canadian peace keeping is outlined within this speech.Websites:National Post.The National Post ran

a story titled ?Military plans rapid-reaction force to respond to global

crises? Which is excerpted above. This and other articles on Peacekeeping make

the Post a good resource for seeing the media spin on this international issue.

British Ministry of

DefenceThe MOD white pages

are outlined online and the site is a good tool for finding the British

government?s position on the various embodiments of peacekeeping and peace

enforcement that they have made part of this governments foreign policy. The

topics of ?Peace Inducement? and? ?Inducing

consent? are terms that are on that site and are of a concern and part of the

major focus of this paper. [1] United Nations Home page,

[2] Annan, Kofi A. ?A Shared vision of a better world? Newsweek. [3] Ferguson. W. ?Keeping the (uneasy) Peace.? Saturday Night, p. 42. [4] Ibid. [5] Ibid. [6] Annan, Kofi A. ?The humanitarian challenge?? Vital Speeches of the

Day, p. 486. [7] Annan, Kofi A. ?A Shared vision?? and ?Human security and

intervention? [8] Annan, Kofi A. ?From the Secretary-General? UN Chronicle; 1998,

p.5. [9] Ibid. [10] ?Human Security and Intervention? p. 8. [11] Ibid. [12] ?From the Secretary-General? p. 3. [13] ?Human Security and Intervention? p. 9 [14] Ibid. [15]The National Post

1/14/00 [16] ?Human Security and Intervention? p. 8 [17] ?Human Security and Intervention? p. 9 [18] Ibid.


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