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Posted: 6/29/2003 12:19:41 AM EDT
[b]U.S. Looks at Organizing Global Peacekeeping Force[/b] Units would operate outside the purview of the U.N. and NATO. Idea is a turnaround for the administration. By Esther Schrader, Times Staff Writer WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is discussing the possibility of the United States organizing a standing international peacekeeping force that could be dispatched to trouble spots around the globe. The force would operate outside the auspices of the United Nations and NATO and would include thousands of U.S. Army troops trained for, and permanently assigned to, peacekeeping work. Such an undertaking would represent a major reversal by the Bush administration, which came into office deeply opposed to tying up U.S. military forces in international peacekeeping operations. The plan would probably be opposed by the Army, which has resisted efforts to have its troops drawn into peacekeeping duties. There are other obstacles as well. Some analysts question how many nations would sign up for such a force if it were under the control of the United States, whose willingness to collaborate with other countries is highly suspect in many parts of the world. "It seems to me that they have now decided that this is a great opportunity for multilateralism. Who knows, maybe somebody will buy it," said retired Maj. Gen. William Nash, who commanded a tank division in the 1991 Persian Gulf War and, later, NATO peacekeepers in Bosnia-Herzegovina. With more than half the Army's deployable troops now engaged in peacekeeping and stabilization operations around the world, including Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and especially Iraq, the Pentagon says its purely military capabilities are stretched thin — a problem that is widely acknowledged. Senior Bush administration officials are coming to believe that the best solution is to create a standing constabulary force made up of troops from a range of countries — but led and trained by the U.S. It would be distinct from a proposed North Atlantic Treaty Organization rapid-response force and apart from the U.N., which has provided peacekeeping missions for decades. "I am interested in the idea of our leading, or contributing to in some way, a cadre of people in the world who would like to participate in peacekeeping or peacemaking," Rumsfeld told a group of defense industry leaders at a dinner in Washington last week. "I think that it would be a good thing if our country provided some leadership for training of other countries' citizens who would like to participate in peacekeeping ... so that we have a ready cadre of people who are trained and equipped and organized and have communications that they can work with each other." The Pentagon has been accused of being unprepared for the postwar violence in Iraq, and Army officials have complained that they are not trained to do the kind of police work that is needed there. "We're not terribly good at peacekeeping, so I don't know why we would be training people to be peacekeepers," said Charles Pena, director of defense policy studies at the Cato Institute, a Washington-based think tank. But a senior defense official said, "The way Secretary Rumsfeld envisions it, anyone with concerns about U.S. peacekeeping should be assuaged, because the whole idea is for us to do less, rather than more, peacekeeping." Though Rumsfeld has defended the military's postwar performance, he acknowledged to a questioner in the dinner audience that it would have been good to have such a force set up before the war. "It's something that is being discussed in a very serious way by some very serious people right now," the defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. But the official said Rumsfeld had not decided how many U.S. troops he would recommend allocating to such a force. Nor has the overall size of such a force, or who would pay for it, been addressed. The idea has been broached with unidentified countries in Europe and Latin America, officials said. Other defense officials said the force would probably require about 10,000 U.S. troops.
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 12:20:19 AM EDT
The notion of creating U.S. military units permanently assigned to peacekeeping was widely discussed at the Pentagon during the Clinton administration, when U.S. forces found themselves increasingly involved in nonmilitary missions in such places as Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo. Upon taking office, President Bush promised to pull U.S. peacekeepers out of the Balkans and to launch an immediate review of troop commitments in dozens of countries, with an eye to strictly limiting overseas deployments. But since the Sept. 11 attacks, peacekeeping has come to be viewed by Republicans as more relevant to national security. Indeed, as regards the number of soldiers engaged in peacekeeping, it is the fastest-growing mission of the U.S. military. "We could take or leave peacekeeping operations in the 1990s — we left Haiti, we left Somalia. The sense was that it might be regrettable in terms of local conditions but not seen as a security threat to the U.S.," said Andrew Krepinevich Jr., executive director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a nonpartisan defense think tank. "Now failed states are seen as potential breeding grounds for terrorists, and even though we have sizable forces already engaged in peacekeeping operations, there may be more to come." Defense officials say Rumsfeld's proposal is consistent with the aim of limiting U.S. overseas deployments. Though it would professionalize a small number of American troops in peacekeeping, it would aim to enlist other countries to contribute the vast majority of troops to such a force, with the promise that they would be trained and organized by the U.S. The U.S. has about 5,500 peacekeeping troops in Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Croatia and the Sinai peninsula, in addition to the 150,000-plus presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. None of the troops are peacekeepers by vocation, and not all receive such training before deploying. Still, as envisioned, creating a standing international peacekeeping force that is U.S.-led or -trained would allow the Pentagon to exert considerably more control over peacekeeping than in the past. The U.N. has historically organized such missions. Though the U.S. foots 27% of the bill for U.N. peacekeeping, it doesn't control the missions. It hasn't provided significant forces since the 1993 mission in Somalia. After the months of bitter division over how to confront Iraq, many U.N. Security Council members aren't inclined to help the United States keep the peace in that country, a U.N. official said. Nor is Washington inclined to ask after having failed to win U.N. backing for its plans — along with Britain and other members of a coalition — to invade Iraq. "No one is talking about U.N. peacekeepers" for Iraq, said a U.S. diplomat. At the Pentagon, defense officials said that although Rumsfeld has broached his idea in meetings recently with senior Army officials, he has not ordered a formal study or set a timetable for implementation. But "it's really a timely problem and, moving forward, it's really important to ask, 'Is there a different way to configure this?' " one official said. "Everybody sort of thinks there is." Army leaders historically have been skeptical of turning any of their professional fighters into professional peacekeepers, and have publicly opposed such plans. In recent years, the U.S. role in Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Croatia has become primarily the province of the National Guard and the reserves. "In their heart of hearts, they feel very strongly that they don't want to be peacekeepers, and who can blame them, because war fighting is what they do, and we need to be very careful before we have them not doing that," said Nash, the retired general. "Armies see themselves when they get up in the morning as war fighters. When you get the Army doing lots of other things, you have a bad army." Said a current Army official: "Is there any unit of the U.S. Army that wants to be 'Peacekeepers-R-Us?' Not exactly."
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 3:19:07 AM EDT
[b]This is NOT a good thing![/b]
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 3:56:40 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 7:02:42 AM EDT
I will disagree and say this is a long overdue and very good idea. We are going to get involved in peacekeeping missions, whether we like it or not. They always seem to be coming up, and having dedicated units for this is a very good idea. A "warfighting" unit has the wrong TO&E, attitude and training to do peacekeeping or peacemaking missions, not that we haven't done many very sucessful ones with exactly those kind of units over the past decades. A dedicated unit for this type of mission would be heavy on MP, Intel, Engineer and other CS units that are typically lower density in the combat units who usually draw these missions. These types of missions also tend to strip the combat units of their warfighting abilities, meaning a long retraining period when they get back. Having several brigades, or even a Divison-sized element specifically trained for this, employing different use-of-force models and options, configurable linguist support from the RC, and some organic SOF elements would make lots of sense and allow our combat units to focus on their wartime tasks, instead of getting sucked into lengthy deployments to the crap spots of the world. Another thing that shouldn't be overlooked is that a couple of years of peacekeeping deployments can also prevent us from having to deploy units into combat further on down the line.
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 7:33:21 AM EDT
The worst part about that is it's gonna be funded with OUR money.
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 7:51:34 AM EDT
Well, the UN is ineffective, and the REST OF THE WORLD, is uncooperative, so if we are going to have a New World Police Force, we're gonna hafta do it ourselves. This was easy to see coming, after the US had to back out of having the un vote on invasion of Iraq. As the arbitrator of all the worlds ills, and to keep American Corporations healthy, America needs a "Police Force", it can depend on. We already have 1 US cop, on this thread, who thinks it's a good idea to bring law & order to the world. [rolleyes]
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 7:56:49 AM EDT
They've been kicking this idea around for at least 10 years that I know of. Once this was supposed to be made up 100% of reservists. Relax guys, it'll never get past service related politics.
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 8:09:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/29/2003 8:11:26 AM EDT by Jarhead_22]
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 8:23:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 11:34:09 AM EDT
I don't wanne see our guys die to police the world. We can pick and choose our battles on an individual basis just fine. Now if things were ever to get so Orwellian here that people wanted to leave the US, where would they go? True world wide big brother.
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 11:48:14 AM EDT
Let's see USFPF US Foreign Peacekeeping Forces. Merc's for hire, sanctioned by the US Gov. Would that be so bad? Using US Armed Services would be BAD!
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 12:09:03 PM EDT
Rainbow Six comes to life!!
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 12:22:04 PM EDT
its called NEW WORLD ORDER
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 3:55:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By die-tryin: its called NEW WORLD ORDER
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No, it is called COMMON SENSE AND REASONABLE. The sooner that the U.S. adopts and enforces at home and abroad the United Nations International Bill of Human Rights, the better it will be for all mankind.
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