In This Review

The New Interventionism: United Nations Experience in Cambodia, Former Yugoslavia, and Somalia
The New Interventionism: United Nations Experience in Cambodia, Former Yugoslavia, and Somalia
Edited by James Mayall
Cambridge University Press, 1996, 238 pp.

A sober assessment of the three major U.N. interventions of this decade. The editor concludes that no "new world order" has emerged for a variety of reasons: the U.N. peacekeeping bureaucracy is too unwieldy to handle the complex political and military tasks assigned to it; the member states have not accepted open-ended commitments to nation-building of older U.N. protectorates or trusteeships; and public opinion in member countries is fickle and excessively sensitive to casualties and costs. The book makes some modest suggestions for improving U.N. operations but notes that the fundamental problem lies in the confused political ends sought by member states and their unwillingness to pursue consistently even the modest goals they set themselves.