Just a quick question, what job do peacekeepers do because i've just seen Hotel Rwanda and the peacekeepers said they were there to keep the peace not to make it. How can they keep the peace if they don't actively go after the combatants and well enforce the peace?



Lantern Swinger
In a nutshell:

peace enforcement = get between the different factions and pro-actively stop them kicking chunks out of each other. This may include going after known bad guys, disarming factions and engaging factions within the laid out ROE.

peace keeping = maintaining a presence once the above has been concluded to stop violence starting up again. There is usually a shift in the ROE that = non intervention unless you are under direct fire from one group or other. You can of course stand to one side and watch group A chop up/crucify/burn to death group B. This usually occurs if peace enforcement has not been concluded effectively.

peace support operations = this is what happens when the various factions have stopped chopping each other up for a period of time sufficient to declare an end to hostilities. This would include rebuilding of schools, etc.

Its not simple at all in reality. Getting govts to provide personnel with the right ability to complete peace enforcement is very difficult. It is not really a high tech option (see US "efforts" in the Balkans). What you need are competant bods on the ground.
'Peacekeeping' is a term currently applied to military interventions in the internal affairs of other states. It is I believe a dangerous term because although it contains traditional elements such as the use of force, deterrence and pacification it is potentially misleading because it gives the impression of a somehow lower level of conflict and danger/threat one result of which could be a reduction in the scale of funding for these forces.

Given the long-standing mismatch between civilian perceptions and the role of the armed forces as an arm of government its use only results in even more misunderstanding of the purpose of the use of armed force in international relations.

'Peacekeeping' was invented by spin doctors.


War Hero
This is the UN were talking about. Anything they get involved in is a total waste of time and effort. The ROE any UN force works under is basically flap about ineffectually and make lots of noise, but under no circumstances actually use force to ensure compliance by the various groups of bad bastards.

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