International Peacekeeping

In This Review

International Peacekeeping

By Paul F. Diehl
The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993
211 pp. $36.50
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This readable volume was written before the various peacekeeping debacles of 1993 in Somalia and Haiti, but its analysis stands up remarkably well in light of these fast-changing situations. The author analyzes the different functions that peacekeeping has tried to play in the past and provides a brief historical review of operations, both successful (such as UNTAG in Namibia) and not (UNIFIL in Lebanon), beginning with the League of Nations. He stresses the limits of peacekeeping and draws several conclusions: peacekeeping operations should only be used in situations where less intrusive mechanisms (such as mediation) have failed; the often substantial opportunity costs should be carefully considered; peacekeeping operations should not be undertaken when there is only lukewarm support from one or both of the primary protagonists; and they should be directed mainly at interstate rather than civil conflicts. Consideration of these rules might have saved policymakers considerable grief in the past year.

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