UN peacekeepers today do far more than patrol a ceasefire line. In most cases, there is no frontline, no truce, numerous parties and among them some armed groups seeking to undermine a settlement. In short, the UN is attempting to conduct peacekeeping in places where there is no peace to keep. Unfortunately the UN has failed to adequately develop the instruments to identify armed groups, and then deal with the challenge they pose. This book is a policy guide for UN missions. It analyses the nature of non-permissive UN mission environments and argues that the UN should think afresh about its approach to missions in these settings. By embracing and developing three concepts – robust peacekeeping, political processes, and the protection of civilians – the UN can arrive at a stabilisation doctrine.
'This is a timely, thoughtful and carefully researched contribution to the debate on the use of force in UN operations, which, rightly, stresses the vital importance of ensuring that UN military actions sit within a coherent political strategy. Its detailed discussion of the challenges facing UN forces in the field powerfully reinforces this central conclusion.’ Mats Berdal, Professor in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London
'It is a doctrinal military requirement for commanders properly to “understand” the operational environment of any operation in which they might become involved. It is frequently an obligation honoured in the breach. I wish this excellent book had been written before I deployed to East Timor and Sierra Leone, and indeed Afghanistan. Many hard-learnt lessons would have been obviated in advance and I would have been better able to hit the ground running. I commend it to soldier, international bureaucrat and politician alike.’
General The Lord Richards of Herstmonceux, former Chief of the Defence Staff, British Armed Forces