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Un Peacekeeping

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"United Nations Peacekeeping: Myth and Reality is a very valuable and stimulating book on a very important subject. One does not need to agree with all of Andrzej Sitkowski's comments to appreciate his frankness, his dedication to getting better results, and his willingness to challenge accepted thinking and to face the obstacles to keeping the peace with energetic realism. Governments, people interested in creating a more decent world, and all those concerned with UN peacekeeping would do well to read this book and be energized by its message. The United Nations needs to approach the future of peacekeeping with new vision and new vigor. Sitkowski's book provides a good starting point." -- Brian Urquhart, former Undersecretary-General of the United Nations

About the Author

Andrzej Sitkowski is an independent researcher who has worked with the UN as a consultant, advisor, and staff member for 18 years. He also served in the UN peacekeeping mission in Namibia (UNTAG).


"Sitkowski draws on his service as a staff member and the accounts of participants and historians of such missions, to analyze what goes wrong too often and right too rarely. He concludes that the United Nations' attempt to conduct peacekeeping but not peace enforcement limits the effectiveness of missions and allows aggressors and warlords to carry on war, atrocities, and ethnic cleansing with impunity." - Reference & Research Book News "In UN Peacekeeping, Andrzej Sitkowski reveals the emotion--and, at times, the cynicism--of someone with firsthand experience working with the UN in conflict situations. He offers a devastating and comprehensive critique of UN peacekeeping....A virtue of the book is that it reaches back in time to unite the traditional peacekeeping missions of the Cold War with the peacebuilding and peace enforcement interventions of the last two decades, demonstrating significant continuity in the philosophy of peacekeeping at the UN and a chronic failure to apply lessons from the past." - Political Science Quarterly "Early on, Sitkowski, who worked with the UN for 18 years, points out weaknesses of current UN peacekeeping missions: they must be authorized by the Security Council, they rely on voluntary contributions of equipment or troops from member states, and they hamper troops in the field, even when those troops are granted Chapter VII authorization to use force. These peacekeepers, says Sitkowski, are like firefighters who must wait for the city council to approve their missions, while being limited to using water only in self-defense, when their own pants catch fire. He has little patience with political leaders who assume that the symbolic presence of international forces can by itself neutralize a conflict. Either the UN should beef up its current peacekeeping rules, he argues, or it should limit itself to neutral military observer missions. After dissecting problems in the Congo, Namibia, Cambodia, Somalia, Rwanda, and former Yugoslavia missions, Sitkowski ends on a pessimistic note, expecting business as usual to continue. The author contributes a clear-eyed analysis of recent UN peacekeeping, which he would rename peace support operations. While less theoretical than other works on peacekeeping, the book could work well as a text in courses on international organization. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals." - Choice

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