Issues in Implementing International Peace Operations

GAO-02-707R: Published: May 24, 2002. Publicly Released: May 24, 2002.

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Between fiscal years 1996 and 2001, the United States provided $3.45 billion in direct contributions and $24.2 billion in voluntary or indirect contributions to 33 U.N. peacekeeping operations in such areas as the Congo, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Bosnia, and, most recently, Afghanistan. The prospects for implementing peace agreements are enhanced if all major parties to the conflict participate in negotiating the agreements and if these agreements include specific authority and mechanisms for their enforcement. Peace operations are more likely to succeed if the military forces carrying out the operations have clear objectives, sufficient resources, and the authority to carry out their tasks. Military forces can help create a secure environment for civilian work to proceed. Moreover, the slow or late deployment of a peace operation's civil administrators might impede efforts to establish good governance. Finally, peace operations tend to be more successful when locals participate at every reasonable opportunity.

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