U.N. Peacekeeping:

Observations on Mandates and Operational Capability

T-NSIAD-93-15: Published: Jun 9, 1993. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 1993.

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GAO discussed the United Nations' (U.N.) peacekeeping missions, focusing on: (1) mandates for peacekeeping; (2) U.N. limitations to undertake and support peacekeeping missions; and (3) the status of field command and coordination. GAO noted that: (1) peacekeeping mandates must be operationally and politically feasible to be successful; (2) the Cambodian mandate is ambiguous as to how far the U.N. Transitional Authority can go in enforcing peace; (3) the first Somalian peacekeeping mission failed because not all factional leaders cooperated with it, and the mandate did not permit the U.N. to use force except in self-defense; (4) the second and third Somalian mandates have permitted U.N. forces to use all necessary force to establish a secure environment for relief operations and peacebuilding; (5) U.N. capacity to carry out peacekeeping missions is limited by the small peacekeeping staff at U.N. headquarters, limited planning and intelligence resources, reliance on volunteer multinational troops, police, and administrative staff, and limited logistical support for field missions; (6) the U.N. plans to improve its peacekeeping ability by increasing its permanent peacekeeping headquarters and field operations staff, and developing mission statements; (7) the U.N. needs to establish a joint military-civilian coordination staff to avoid duplication of effort and interference and enhance cooperation; and (8) although the U.N. force commander has overall authority for military operations, he has limited authority over troop discipline and his orders are subject to national commanders' discretion and interpretation.

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