A Presidential Decision Directive Multilateral Peace Operations
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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During the Cold War, the United Nations could resort to multilateral peace operations only in the rare circumstance in which the interests of the Soviet Union and the West did not conflict. By 1989, both the United States and the Soviet Union perceived that such operations could serve as cost-effective tools in preventing, containing, or solving conflicts that threatened international peace and stability. In many instances, they would benefit from having to bear only a share of the burden. However, since 1989, territorial disputes, armed ethnic conflicts, civil wars, and total collapse of governmental authority in failed states have presented ongoing challenges to the institutional, financial, and operational capabilities of the UN system. The UN is currently involved in about 20 peacekeeping operations. In 1993, President Clinton initiated a wide ranging review of factors to be considered in supporting UN peacekeeping and peace enforcement resolutions, including circumstances under which American forces will be provided and the issue of command authority over these forces. The extended review which required negotiation of division of responsibility between State and DOD, resolution of command-and-control questions, and consultation with Members of Congress was completed by Spring 1994 and approved by the President early in May. The PDD, which was little changed from the original during the review process, establishes guidelines and criteria in addressing the full range of UN activities from preventive diplomacy through traditional peacekeeping, peace enforcement, and peacebuilding. It stipulates guidelines for committing U.S. forces. See the chart below. U.S. participation in UN peace operations is not to substitute for U.S. capacity to fight and win its own warspin short, support for UN peace operations should not degrade overall U.S. military preparedness to meet threats directed toward itself and its allies.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics