US calls for more European UN peacekeepers

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US calls for more European UN peacekeepers




French peacekeepers in Lebanon in 2006. Europeans wearing the blue UN beret (or helmet) is an increasingly rare sight, said Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN. Source: PA


Key Points

  • The United States' ambassador to the UN has called on Europe to step up its contribution of troops to UN peacekeeping missions
  • The call is unlikely to be warmly received, however, given the United States' own dire record of contributing troops to serve under the UN flag
UN peacekeeping needs European militaries "more than ever", but the latter have largely withdrawn from the activity and now need to step forward once again, said Samantha Power, the United States' ambassador to the United Nations (UN).

Power said, "Europe's militaries have highly trained soldiers and high-end capabilities and equipment. The UN would benefit exponentially from the kind of contributions that European nations made to ISAF."

Addressing a Brussels policy audience on 9 March, Power lamented the decline in the number of European peacekeepers in blue-helmeted operations over the last two decades. "Twenty years ago 40% of UN blue-helmet soldiers were European, but today there are fewer than 6,000 - less than 7% of the total," she said. "Europeans have drawn back from peacekeeping."

She pointed to such causes as Europe's traumatic experiences during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s in which the UN's poor lines of command, communication, and support led to atrocities in places such as Srebrenica in Bosnia, for example. The latter saw 8,000 Bosniak men and boys slaughtered by Serbian militia in 1995 as Dutch UN troops stood outnumbered and helpless to intervene.

Noting that the UN has corrected its command problems and rules of engagement, Power also warned that the nature of peacekeeping today is not the same as it was 20 years ago either.

"We are asking peacekeepers to do more things than at any point in history. We're giving them more responsibilities in more hostile environments. We're asking them to ensure humanitarian deliveries and protect against civilian atrocities and ensure stability in countries emerging from long-running civil war," she said, adding that two-thirds of today's UN peacekeepers are in active conflict areas. "This is the highest [level] ever, and warring parties now include violent extremist groups who terrorise civilians and consider peacekeepers desirable targets."

Power said the United States and Europe now have "a vital interest in curbing the crises near our borders. The instability created by these conflicts increasingly attracts extremists. And given the cost of conflicts and the strain of trying to attend to so many emergencies at once, we need to boost our ability to prevent such crises in the first place".


US calls for more European UN peacekeepers - IHS Jane's 360
 
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It is good to see this is happening and, also in hostile environments it will be a challenge but can be possible and also see what happens and hope they can improve the countries where it happens. I, hope they are prepared in case civil war happens and do have weapons if riots do happen and can try and calm it down before it get's serious. I think, it is good UN nation do some good and bring changes which will be a positive thing and also that it may lead to other positive changes.
 
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I very well understand why US is making this distress call to the UN. The US Congress is currently blocking the military from actively participating in world affairs so the executive department is appealing to the international community to do something while it's currently stuck in a predicament. I'm also glad that the UN is trying to redefine the roles and responsibilities of their peacekeeping troops. Terrorism and protecting the citizens of infested countries should be important reasons for dispatching troops.
 
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India is among the top contributors to UN peacekeeping forces and consequently suffers a high death toll. It has arrived at a point of diminishing returns where any training received by soldiers in peacekeeping missions are negligible. It's also evident that the initial hope of securing a permanent seat on the UN security council is influenced by other factors.

Particularly frustrating is the lack of inclusion in the decision making process and the general inefficiency of the UN. Because of the severe shortage of manpower, if India were to pull its troops, peacekeeping missions around the world would collapse. This is far from an ideal situation and there's a dire need for reforming the approach to peacekeeping in the UN.
 
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Kind of a useless comment from this Samantha Power. While it is true that europeans don't participate in UN missions as much as they did before, they still do a lot of peacekeeping on their own. For example France has on going operations all over the place, but mostly it's run under the command of the French military and not the UN.

Same applies to Americans too, in fact I would guess the amount of Americans wearing the blue helmet has declined just as much as the Europeans.
 
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Im not sure that the UN will ever be as strong as what it once was, and im not putting that down to a drop in numbers.
I think the way the world as gone and is heading politicaly is the major factor, the UN will continue to struggle. And while its all very well for the US to call on europeans to be more involved, I'd like to see what numbers of americans are part of the UN, my guess is very little.
 
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Right now, the UN doesn't look as capable as much as it should be. It's clear that a lot of countries have been disillusioned by just how capable the UN really is when superpowers like the US can veto any policy just like that. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but I don't like it when and international organization like the UN appears weak. I'm all for the extra man power.
 
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So the logic is that the European nations start conflicts and then want soldiers from North America and Africa to fight and die as a result. Good move by the US to call them out because they are not playing their role in the UN. Full time now that the countries who wish to start conflicts are prepared to fight with their own troops.
 

Joe Shearer

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#9
US calls for more European UN peacekeepers




French peacekeepers in Lebanon in 2006. Europeans wearing the blue UN beret (or helmet) is an increasingly rare sight, said Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN. Source: PA


Key Points
  • The United States' ambassador to the UN has called on Europe to step up its contribution of troops to UN peacekeeping missions
  • The call is unlikely to be warmly received, however, given the United States' own dire record of contributing troops to serve under the UN flag
UN peacekeeping needs European militaries "more than ever", but the latter have largely withdrawn from the activity and now need to step forward once again, said Samantha Power, the United States' ambassador to the United Nations (UN).

Power said, "Europe's militaries have highly trained soldiers and high-end capabilities and equipment. The UN would benefit exponentially from the kind of contributions that European nations made to ISAF."

Addressing a Brussels policy audience on 9 March, Power lamented the decline in the number of European peacekeepers in blue-helmeted operations over the last two decades. "Twenty years ago 40% of UN blue-helmet soldiers were European, but today there are fewer than 6,000 - less than 7% of the total," she said. "Europeans have drawn back from peacekeeping."

She pointed to such causes as Europe's traumatic experiences during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s in which the UN's poor lines of command, communication, and support led to atrocities in places such as Srebrenica in Bosnia, for example. The latter saw 8,000 Bosniak men and boys slaughtered by Serbian militia in 1995 as Dutch UN troops stood outnumbered and helpless to intervene.

Noting that the UN has corrected its command problems and rules of engagement, Power also warned that the nature of peacekeeping today is not the same as it was 20 years ago either.

"We are asking peacekeepers to do more things than at any point in history. We're giving them more responsibilities in more hostile environments. We're asking them to ensure humanitarian deliveries and protect against civilian atrocities and ensure stability in countries emerging from long-running civil war," she said, adding that two-thirds of today's UN peacekeepers are in active conflict areas. "This is the highest [level] ever, and warring parties now include violent extremist groups who terrorise civilians and consider peacekeepers desirable targets."

Power said the United States and Europe now have "a vital interest in curbing the crises near our borders. The instability created by these conflicts increasingly attracts extremists. And given the cost of conflicts and the strain of trying to attend to so many emergencies at once, we need to boost our ability to prevent such crises in the first place".


US calls for more European UN peacekeepers - IHS Jane's 360
Europe's traumatic experiences?????

8,000 Bosniak's are systematically slaughtered in batches, and the Dutch, or the Europeans in general, are traumatised? Why do soldiers bear arms, to balance their water bottles?

I can't believe what I am reading.