In 1979, at the end of Zimbabwe's 15-year war of independence, Britain's Lord Carrington worked skillfully to impose a compromise settlement on the warring parties. Excluding the United Nations from the peace process, Whitehall then unilaterally designed and successfully implemented a plan to demobilize the contending armies and hold a national election, all within three months. Impossible? This informative study shows how British military professionalism, a decision not to attempt disarmament or integration of forces prior to the election, reliance on confidence-building through diplomacy rather than force, and a bit of luck combined to bring the demobilization process to a rapid and low-cost conclusion in an exercise that has subsequently been cited for its relevance to more protracted U.N. demilitarization operations.
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