United Nations: Limitations in Leading Missions Requiring Force to Restore Peace

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-03-27.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                  United States General Accounting Office

GAO               Report to Congressional Committees

March 1997
                  UNITED NATIONS
                  Limitations in Leading
                  Missions Requiring
                  Force to Restore Peace

          United States
GAO       General Accounting Office
          Washington, D.C. 20548

          National Security and
          International Affairs Division


          March 27, 1997

          The Honorable Jesse Helms
          The Honorable Joseph R. Biden
          Ranking Minority Member
          Committee on Foreign Relations
          United States Senate

          The Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman
          The Honorable Lee Hamilton
          Ranking Minority Member
          Committee on International Relations
          House of Representatives

          The founders of the United Nations intended the organization to play a
          major role in maintaining international peace and security, using force if
          necessary. During the Cold War, however, the United Nations did not have
          many opportunities to carry out peace operations involving military force
          because the superpowers vetoed most such U.N. actions. On two
          occasions during that time, in the Congo and Lebanon, the Security
          Council issued resolutions that required the missions to use some measure
          of force to achieve their objectives. Since the end of the Cold War, the
          U.N. Security Council has authorized a number of U.N. operations
          involving the use of force to help restore or maintain peace. For example,
          the Security Council authorized the use of force in Somalia and the former
          Yugoslavia under chapter VII of the U.N. charter, which authorizes “action
          with respect to threats to peace, breaches of the peace, and acts of
          aggression.” Given the U.N.’s performance in leading peace operations
          involving the use of force, some experts now question whether the United
          Nations is an appropriate organization to lead such missions. Others,
          including a former U.N. Secretary General, believe that the United Nations
          may be an appropriate organization to lead such missions, but that
          inadequate resources and operational structure have been the primary
          factors limiting the U.N.’s effectiveness. We examined this issue, with
          particular focus on

      •   what precedents there are for authorizing the United Nations to lead peace
          operations requiring some measure of force to achieve their objectives and
      •   whether there are limitations in the U.N.’s ability to lead peace operations
          calling for the use of force.

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             This report is based on our studies of U.N. peace operations conducted
             over the past 5 years,1 as well as our current work that included (1) field
             study at several locations where U.N. missions used force conduct
             operations; (2) interviews at these missions with military commanding
             officers, peacekeepers, civilian directors, and line staff; and (3) analysis of
             U.S., U.N., North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and other
             documents and situation reports on peace enforcement and peacekeeping
             operations. We conducted this review under our basic legislative authority
             and are addressing it to you because the matters discussed in this report
             fall within your Committees’ jurisdiction.

             According to U.N. reports and Security Council statements, peacekeeping
Background   missions are operations in the field using military and/or civilian personnel
             to help maintain international peace and security, but where the use of
             force is not authorized except in self-defense. Such missions require
             voluntary troop contributions from member states, since the United
             Nations has no troops of its own, and are generally considered to be
             authorized under chapter VI of the U.N. charter, although Security Council
             resolutions mandating peacekeeping missions frequently omit specific
             charter citations. According to the U.N. Secretary General, and based on
             nearly 50 years of experience, three core principles guide peacekeeping
             missions led by the United Nations: (1) obtaining the consent of the
             warring parties to the peacekeeping mission, (2) ensuring the
             peacekeepers remain neutral and impartial in their actions and do not
             interfere in the nation’s internal affairs, and (3) using force only in
             self-defense. Although peace operations have been increasingly used to
             help resolve internal conflicts, these principles still apply.

             In addition to peacekeeping missions conducted with the consent of the
             parties involved in the conflict, the U.N. Security Council can also
             authorize enforcement actions, under chapter VII of the U.N. charter, that
             call for the use of force to maintain or restore peace. Such operations can
             be large scale military efforts that obtain international sanction from the
             United Nations but are led by individual nations or coalitions, such as the
             actions in Korea (1950-53) and Iraq (1990-91). Or they can be smaller
             operations led by the United Nations, such as in Somalia. These operations
             are defined by the U.S. Joint Doctrine for Military Operations Other Than
             War as the application of military force, or the threat of its use, normally
             pursuant to international authorization, to compel compliance with

              A list of GAO Products on peacekeeping and peace enforcement is presented at the end of this report.

             Page 2                                                          GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

                   resolutions or sanctions designed to maintain or restore international
                   peace and order.2 Consent by the warring parties is not required in these
                   operations and neutrality may not be relevant. Security Council
                   resolutions mandating such operations usually cite chapter VII of the U.N.
                   charter as their authority. (See app. I for background on the use of force in
                   the U.N. charter.)

                   Although the United Nations has considerable experience in leading
                   peacekeeping missions and an overall approach to conducting them, it has
                   not worked out accepted core principles and an overall approach to guide
                   operations calling for the use of force.

                   For this report, we use the term peace operation to refer to the entire
                   spectrum of U.N. activities aimed at maintaining or restoring peace and
                   security, ranging from traditional peacekeeping missions to chapter VII
                   peace enforcement to operations falling somewhere in between.

                   The U.N. Security Council has three precedents for mandating the United
Results in Brief   Nations to lead peace operations where the use of force was authorized
                   under chapter VII of the U.N. charter—the missions in Somalia, Bosnia,
                   and Eastern Slavonia.3 In four other U.N.-led operations, the Security
                   Council established mission objectives that required some measure of
                   force to be achieved, but did not explicitly authorize its use under chapter
                   VII. In these operations—the Congo, Rwanda, Lebanon, and Haiti—the
                   Security Council authorized the United Nations to lead missions and,
                   respectively, to use the means necessary to apprehend, detain, and deport
                   foreign forces; establish secure humanitarian zones; take measures to
                   assure the effective restoration of Lebanese sovereignty; and help ensure a
                   secure environment. (See app. II for operations authorized by the U.N.
                   Security Council).

                   Although the United Nations has improved its capability to support peace
                   operations, our study indicates there are, nonetheless, organizational
                   limits of the United Nations that increase the risk of U.N.-led operations
                   calling for the use of force. These limitations have been overcome when a
                   nation with sufficient military prestige, credibility, and the commitment of
                   military forces necessary to conduct operations has taken the lead role in

                    U.S. Department of Defense, Joint Publication 3-07, June 16, 1995.
                    The U.N. Iraq-Kuwait Observer Mission was authorized to redress small-scale violations of the
                   Demilitarized Zone, but is on such a small scale that it is not counted as one of the missions where the
                   use of force was clearly authorized.

                   Page 3                                                             GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

    the U.N. operation. The limitations stem from the U.N.’s structure as an
    organization of individual sovereign states, which provides the world
    forum for international diplomacy. Because the United Nations is an
    international political body, and as such, does not have the attributes of
    sovereignty, it cannot conscript troops and arms from member states.
    Similarly, because member states cannot or will not relinquish command
    over their own troops, U.N. force commanders cannot always be sure their
    orders will be carried out. This places the following three limitations on
    operations calling for the use of force that are led by the United Nations.

•   First, the United Nations cannot ensure that troops and resources will be
    provided to carry out and reinforce operations as necessary, especially
    since such operations are risky and nations volunteering troops and arms
    may not have a national interest in the operation.4
•   Second, the U.N. force commander cannot be assured his orders will be
    carried out, particularly in dangerous situations where his authority over
    national contingents may be questioned or second-guessed by national
    authorities who do not relinquish command of their troops to the United
•   Third, because of the U.N.’s core principle of respecting national
    sovereignty, it generally seeks the consent of all parties to the conflict in
    conducting a peace operation and thus has not developed an overall
    approach to guide operations calling for the use of force.

    These three factors have limited the operational effectiveness of U.N.-led
    peace operations calling for the use of force. For example, despite
    Security Council approval, the United Nations was not able to obtain
    adequate troops, equipment, and reinforcements to carry out the
    operations in Rwanda (1993-96), Bosnia (1992-95), and Somalia (1992-95).
    Nations were unwilling to provide the necessary troops, reinforcements,
    and resources when requested. Limits on U.N. command and control
    during actions in the Congo (1960-64), Somalia (1992-95), Bosnia
    (1992-95), and Lebanon (1978 and ongoing) hindered U.N. commanders
    from effectively deploying U.N. peacekeepers to mission-critical locations.
    And the U.N.’s use of force in Somalia, Bosnia, and the Congo was
    uncertain at key points and lacked credibility as the U.N. operations relied
    heavily on the consent of the warring parties to conduct operations. (See
    app. III for background descriptions of these operations.)

     Article 43 of the U.N. charter provides for special agreements with member states to make armed
    forces available on call to the Security Council. The United Nations has never entered into such an
    agreement with any member state.

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                        In contrast, the second phase of the U.N. mission in Haiti
                        (UNMIH)—(1995-96) has been operationally effective, as has been the
                        operation in Eastern Slavonia to date (1996 and ongoing). For the second
                        phase of UNMIH, a nation with credible and respected military authority
                        provided leadership and command and control structures. The United
                        States acted as the lead nation for the second phase of UNMIH and
                        (1) ensured adequate resources were available for planning; (2) provided
                        the necessary information, troops, armament, and political influence; and
                        (3) used its command and control structure and its doctrine for operations
                        other than war to help guide operations. Under the U.S. doctrine, the core
                        principle of obtaining the consent of the parties was not the predominant
                        principle. In Eastern Slavonia, the operation is conducted as a variant of
                        the lead nation concept. The force commander is Belgian and his Belgian
                        military staff provide headquarters command and control and are assured
                        support by the NATO force in Bosnia.

                        The United Nations has had considerable experience in conducting
Precedents for          peacekeeping missions, but has limited experience in leading operations
U.N.-Led Use of Force   requiring the use of force to help restore or maintain peace. The United
                        Nations has led and completed two operations where the use of force was
                        explicitly authorized under chapter VII of the U.N. charter—Somalia and
                        Bosnia. The U.N. operation in Eastern Slavonia is also authorized to use
                        force under chapter VII, and, as of March 1997, it was still ongoing.

                        The distinction between peacekeeping and those operations authorized to
                        use force is not always clear in practice. As early as 1958, a U.N. report on
                        one of the first peacekeeping missions, the U.N. Emergency Force, noted
                        that a broad interpretation of self-defense might well blur the distinction
                        between peacekeeping and combat. The report concluded that the use of
                        force to defend U.N. personnel, property, and positions that the U.N.
                        commander ordered to be held, constituted self-defense and was
                        peacekeeping. Any use of force that was initiated to attain a forward
                        objective was not authorized.

                        In four operations, the Security Council mandates established objectives
                        that required some measure of force to be achieved, but the Security
                        Council resolutions did not state that the operations were authorized
                        under chapter VII of the U.N. charter. The Security Council resolutions for
                        U.N. Operations in the Congo (ONUC) stated that peacekeepers were to
                        take necessary steps to provide the government of the Congo with military
                        assistance in fulfilling their tasks. After ONUC was unable to accomplish its

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mandate, Security Council Resolution 169 authorized the U.N. operation to
take vigorous action, including the requisite measure of force, if necessary,
to apprehend, detain, and deport all foreign military and paramilitary
personnel, political advisers not under U.N. command, and mercenaries.5

The U.N. Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) was authorized to use
force for humanitarian purposes. Security Council Resolution 918 of
May 1994 directed the U.N. mission to contribute to the security and
protection of displaced persons, refugees, and civilians by establishing and
maintaining secure humanitarian areas, where feasible, and provide
security for the distribution of relief supplies and humanitarian relief
operations. The resolutions further noted that the 1993 killing of the
President of Burundi, as well as the massive exodus of refugees to
neighboring countries, constituted a humanitarian crisis of enormous
proportions and a threat to international peace and security. Therefore,
peacekeepers might be required to take action against groups threatening
civilians. In June 1994, the Security Council, acting under chapter VII, also
authorized France to protect civilians and mandated all countries to
enforce an arms embargo on Rwanda.

Security Council Resolution 425 established the U.N. Interim Force in
Lebanon (UNIFIL) and mandated it to confirm the withdrawal of the Israeli
army from Southern Lebanon and restore international peace and security
in the area. The Secretary General report (S/12611) implementing the
Security Council resolution stated that the interim force would, among
other things, use its best efforts to prevent a recurrence of fighting and
ensure that its area of operation would not be used for hostile activity of
any kind. The U.N. operation was also given responsibility to “control
movement and take all measures deemed necessary to assure the effective
restoration of Lebanese sovereignty.” It was instructed to use force only in
self-defense. Self-defense was defined as including “resistance to attempts
by forceful means to prevent it (the U.N. force) from discharging its duties
under the mandate of the Security Council.”

After the first phase of UNMIH was unable to accomplish its mission, a
second phase of UNMIH was authorized. The second phase of UNMIH began
after a multinational force accomplished its mandate under Security

  In an advisory opinion entitled Certain expenses of the United Nations (ICJ Reports, 1962, p. 151 ff.),
the International Court of Justice voted 9 to 5 that ONUC was “not an enforcement action within the
compass of Chapter VII of the (U.N.) Charter.” The opinion stated that “it must lie within the power of
the Security Council to police a situation even though it does not resort to enforcement action against
a State.” One of the five dissenting jurists noted in his opinion that U.N. planes bombed positions, used
antiaircraft batteries, engaged its forces in offensive maneuvers, and used deadly force in doing so. He
noted that this would qualify as a common-sense case of enforcement.

Page 6                                                             GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

                             Council Resolution 940, of using all necessary means under chapter VII to
                             “facilitate the departure from Haiti of the military leadership. . . and the
                             restoration of the legitimate authorities.” Security Council Resolution 940
                             also authorized the second phase of UNMIH to (1) assist in sustaining the
                             secure and stable environment established by the U.S.-led coalition in
                             Haiti and (2) protect international personnel and installations.

                             As discussed, the United Nations had little experience leading operations
Limits on U.N.-Led           calling for the use of force prior to the end of the Cold War. Since then it
Use of Force                 has undertaken several, most of which have been less than fully
                             successful. The United Nations and member states have studied these
                             operations and developed a series of lessons learned which they intend to
                             implement for future operations. They have also undertaken a broad range
                             of initiatives to improve the operational support for peacekeeping.

                             Nonetheless, there remain three limitations on the U.N. effectively leading
                             peace operations that call for the use of force. These are (1) the U.N.’s
                             inability to ensure that sufficient troops, armaments, and reinforcements
                             will be available to effectively use force in operations; (2) the uncertainty
                             that orders of the U.N. commander will be carried out by national
                             contingents in the field; and (3) the U.N.’s lack of an approach to guide the
                             use of force. However, these limits have been effectively dealt with when a
                             nation with sufficient credibility, prestige, and commitment has taken the

Limitations When Armed       According to U.S. military doctrine, it is critical for missions to have
Forces Are Needed            sufficient armed forces when needed, especially in situations where force
                             may be necessary. This not only provides a credible deterrent to
                             opposition, but also ensures adequate troops and armament to conduct
                             operations. However, U.N. operations, particularly those in which combat
                             may take place, do not have assurance of timely and adequate troops and
                             reinforcement. The United Nations must negotiate voluntary help from
                             member states. This process involves obtaining

                         •   authorization from the Security Council,6
                         •   voluntary force contributions from member states,7 and

                              This authorization includes receiving a draft operational plan from the Secretariat, approval of at least
                             9 of 15 Security Council members, and no veto from the 5 permanent members.
                              The contributors specify the number and type of forces provided, command and control
                             arrangements, and other troop-contributing agreements such as mission and area of operations.

                             Page 7                                                             GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

         •   approval by the General Assembly for the operation’s budget that is
             usually paid for by member nations in addition to their regular U.N.

             Although the United Nations has been working on standby force
             arrangements to ensure the right troops and forces are available for
             missions, nations could still refuse to provide these forces. Several
             examples help illustrate that (1) the United Nations, as an organization
             could not ensure troops, arms, and reinforcements would be available
             when needed, particularly, in U.N.-led operations that called for the use of
             force; whereas (2) lead nations have provided the resources, command,
             and direction to make the U.N. force credible in carrying out operations
             calling for the use of force.

Rwanda       Civil war erupted in Rwanda beginning in 1990. In 1994, the United Nations
             was mandated to protect civilians at risk and establish secure
             humanitarian zones. But the United Nations could not obtain military
             forces to do so. The U.N. Secretary General planned a deployment in three
             stages during the spring of 1994. In the first stage, UNAMIR would
             concentrate on providing security in the capital, Kigali, and escorting relief
             convoys; in the second and third stages, troops would fan out across the
             country and protect displaced persons and humanitarian organizations.
             This deployment was estimated to take 31 days, or until mid-June 1994.
             However, the United Nations fell far short of meeting this goal. UNAMIR,
             which had been reduced to 444 troops in May 1994, did not begin to
             receive additional forces until early August; it did not reach its full troop
             strength until November. UNAMIR command officials who were in charge
             during the eruption of civil war said UNAMIR had repeatedly requested
             additional support, but no nation would volunteer troops as the war
             escalated in and around Kigali. As a result, UNAMIR was not able to respond
             to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of civilians. In New York, the
             Security Council did not authorize additional troops as it debated about
             the mission’s objectives, about whether the objectives were practical and
             politically feasible, and about whether member states would actually
             provide the resources needed. (See app. II for background on the Rwanda

             Delays in UNAMIR’s budget approval process further illustrate the U.N.’s
             basic limits in obtaining resources when needed. The General Assembly
             did not approve the total budget for UNAMIR’s first 6 months of

              This approval must include a draft budget prepared by the Secretariat and review by the Advisory
             Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, which implies compromise on the activities
             and overall cost.

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          operation—October 5, 1993, to April 4, 1994—until April 5, one day after
          the budget period had ended. To conduct its operations, UNAMIR received
          funding in advance of formal approval, but the advance was 25 percent
          less than requested. Similarly, the budget for UNAMIR’s next 8 months of
          operation—April 5, 1994, to December 9, 1994—was approved just 10 days
          before the end of the budget period. Further, the advance funds covered
          only about 53 percent of the requested budget ($70 million of an approved
          $132 million). According to U.N. officials, the lack of funds hindered the
          procurement of needed vehicles, spare parts, food rations, and contracts
          to airlift troop contingents to Rwanda. In addition, from October to late
          November 1994, UNAMIR had neither advance funding nor an approved
          budget and, consequently, operated without legal financial authority.

Bosnia    In Bosnia, the U.N. Protection Force (UNPROFOR) could not obtain approval
          for the number or range of fully equipped troops required to carry out the
          operation. The U.N. Secretary General reiterated in March 1994 that 34,000
          additional troops would be required to carry out its mandate to deter
          attacks against 6 safe areas. However, the Security Council only
          authorized an additional 7,600 troops. As a result, the United Nations
          considered UNPROFOR’s troop strength insufficient to carry out the Security
          Council mandates. The unavailability of troops meant that UNPROFOR could
          not deploy sufficient troops in safe areas such as Gorazde. And, in Bihac,
          troops without enough weapons and supplies were rotated in. Safe areas
          were attacked on several occasions, and in July 1995 Srebrenica and Zepa
          were overrun and, according to reports from the International Tribunal for
          the Former Yugoslavia, possibly thousands of civilians and soldiers were

Somalia   In Somalia, the U.N. Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II) was not authorized
          sufficient troops to carry out its mandate. Although UNOSOM II’s mandate
          was broader both in terms of functions and area of deployment than the
          U.S.-led Unified Task Force (UNITAF), 24 percent fewer troops were
          authorized. Also, according to U.N. reports, troops were volunteered late,
          and equipment was not provided in a timely manner and was inadequate.
          Operations began in May 1993, and by July 20,000 of the 28,000 UNOSOM
          II-authorized troops had been deployed; the full strength was only reached
          by October 1993, 6 months after UNOSOM II’s mandate had been approved.
          Moreover, some contingents arrived without appropriate weapons and
          equipment, such as armored personnel carriers and communications
          capability, and had inadequate intelligence. As a result, the factions on the
          ground were emboldened to act. During a June 5, 1993, planned U.N.
          inspection of militia weapons storage sites, U.N. forces, including

          Page 9                                           GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

          Pakistanis and Nigerians, were attacked in incidents orchestrated by one
          of factions. Because of a lack of common communications equipment,
          neither the Pakistanis nor the Nigerians were able to request help directly
          from the Italian brigade, which had armored vehicles. Twenty-four
          Pakistanis were killed, 57 were injured, and 6 were missing.9 In subsequent
          reports, the U.N. Secretary General acknowledged that insufficient troop
          strength and lack of proper equipment limited UNOSOM II’s ability to fulfill
          its mandate.

Lebanon   Several factors have prevented UNIFIL from effectively carrying out its
          mandate of confirming the withdrawal of Israeli forces, helping restore
          Lebanese sovereignty and ensuring that its area of operation is not used
          for hostile activity of any kind. A primary factor is that UNIFIL does not
          have the support from U.N. member states to effectively carry out its
          mission. The size of the force has in fact been reduced in recent years.
          Despite UNIFIL’s mandate, which limits it to weapons of a defensive
          character only, UNIFIL does not have sufficient armament and troops to
          credibly deter the warring parties from violating Lebanese territory or to
          deploy its forces in their designated areas of operation. For example, on
          June 6, 1982, after worldwide Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)
          attacks on Israeli civilians and officials, Israel invaded Lebanese territory
          to retaliate against PLO strongholds in Lebanon. At some points, UNIFIL
          attempted to deter the Israeli advance but, it quickly abandoned the effort
          and the entire UNIFIL area of operation was soon completely behind Israeli
          lines. In addition, UNIFIL has been unable to prevent attacks by Hezbollah
          (the Islamic fundamentalist organization) on Israel and, according to the
          Secretary General, has no right to impede Lebanese acts of resistance
          against the occupying force.

          While UNIFIL has not been able to accomplish its mandate, it remains
          deployed as a signal of the international concern about the area, and its
          humanitarian efforts contribute to providing order in the area as well as
          providing a neutral authority to which the civilian population of southern
          Lebanon can turn.

Haiti     In contrast, UNMIH was able to marshal resources as needed because a
          sovereign nation, the United States, declared restoration of democracy in
          Haiti a national interest and led the operation. The United States ensured
          adequate troops and resources were available to prepare the environment
          for UNMIH, plan for the operation, and implement it. For example, the

           Of the six missing Pakistanis one died in captivity and five were later released. Also injured were one
          Italian and three U.S. soldiers.

          Page 10                                                            GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

                        United States led a multinational force (MNF), committing over 20,000 U.S.
                        military personnel, including carrier battle groups, a special operations
                        task force, a marine air ground task force, and other support to ensure a
                        secure environment for UNMIH. In planning UNMIH, the United States
                        provided the United Nations with information, military logisticians, and
                        military planners. Of crucial importance was U.S. assistance during the
                        transition from the MNF to a U.N.-led operation. The United States
                        sponsored training programs on command and control, doctrine, and
                        operations for many of the UNMIH troop contingents and U.N. personnel.
                        Logistical support contracts for rations, supplies, and equipment already in
                        place were extended for UNMIH until formal U.N. bidding could take place.
                        And a quick reaction force of 1,500, including 550 special forces and
                        helicopters, remained to help provide security. According to DOD officials,
                        if reinforcements were needed, the United States would quickly make
                        additional resources available.

Eastern Slavonia        The U.N. Transitional Authority in Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, and Western
                        Sirmium (UNTAES) is tasked under chapter VII of the U.N. charter to
                        demilitarize the region (mainly of Serbian military and paramilitary forces)
                        and take other steps in returning the area to Croatia. UNTAES has NATO
                        commitment for military support when needed. UNTAES also obtained
                        credible force protection of its own, including four mechanized infantry
                        battalions, organized into monitoring and protection forces, one tank
                        company, one reconnaissance company, and transport and antitank
                        helicopter squadrons. Although UNTAES did not receive the troop level
                        requested by the Secretary General, it more importantly has NATO
                        commitment for close air support and further assistance from the NATO-led
                        force in Bosnia if needed. According to U.N. and U.S. officials, leadership
                        by NATO members is a critical factor in the operation’s effectiveness thus
                        far, given the former warring factions’ belief that a U.N.-led operation is
                        not credible in using force. Moreover, the former warring parties in the
                        region clearly understand that NATO will make resources and support
                        available to UNTAES if necessary. This support provides assurance that
                        resources will be available if needed and adds credibility to the UNTAES

Limits on Command and   According to military experts, effective command and control of military
Control                 units is essential in peace operations calling for the use of force because
                        quick and consistent responses to orders are critical in combat. However,
                        reflecting the political reality of national sovereignty in the United Nations,

                        Page 11                                           GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

        command over national contingents—the right to issue orders concerning
        all military aspects of missions—has not been given to the United Nations.

        From the U.S. perspective, this point is made clear in The Clinton
        Administration’s Policy on Reforming Multilateral Peace Operations,
        which describes Presidential Decision Directive 25 (PDD-25), issued in 1994.
        The paper strongly notes that no President has ever ceded command over
        U.S. forces. It goes on to state that “[t]he sole source of legitimacy for U.S.
        commanders originates from the U.S. Constitution, the federal law and the
        Uniform Code of Military Justice and flows from the President to the
        lowest U.S. commander in the field.”

        PDD-25 does distinguish between command and operational control. It
        states that under some circumstances it may be advantageous to place
        U.S. forces under the operational control of a foreign commander and this
        will be done if it serves the national interest. Similarly, the United Nations
        makes a distinction between overall command, which sovereign states
        exercise over their troops, and field command, which the U.N. commander
        exercises in issuing operational orders.

        However, member states even limit U.N. operational control through
        agreements that specify their troops’ area of operation and acceptable
        missions. Moreover, commanders of national contingents frequently
        contact their national capitals for instructions on whether or how to
        execute operational orders given by the U.N. commander. However, in the
        two peace operations where respected sovereign member states took the
        lead military roles, they provided strong leadership and had the credibility
        and respect necessary to effectively control the national contingents
        within their command. Several examples help illustrate the limits of U.N.
        command and control and the greater control over operations by credible
        lead nations.

Congo   In the Congo, command and control was at times unclear. At the very
        outset of operations, the U.N. force commander’s arrival was delayed and
        a general from one of the troop contributing nations declared himself de
        facto commander until the force commander arrived. According to U.N.
        reports, this was a serious problem and the general had to be replaced
        immediately by a U.N. official. In the field, some national contingents
        worked outside of the U.N. chain of command. For example, one U.N.
        contingent began to disarm elements of the Congolese national force
        without authority to do so and had to return the weapons later. Another
        contingent was ordered to apprehend mercenaries as authorized by

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                  Security Council Resolution 169. Nevertheless, the contingent refused to
                  carry out the order, saying it was beyond the contingent’s mandate.
                  According to analyses, a lack of unity of purpose existed among the
                  various troop contributing nations as some nations favored one faction
                  over another and there was a larger competition between the United
                  States and the Soviet Union. Each nation tried to gain a political advantage
                  in Africa and used the Congo to demonstrate it was interested in
                  decolonization and national sovereignty in Africa. According to expert and
                  U.N. reports, the lack of clear command and control hampered ONUC and
                  weakened its effectiveness in carrying out operations.

Somalia           The situation in Somalia also illustrates the limits on U.N. command and
                  control. During operations in 1993, UNOSOM II troop contingents waited for
                  instructions from their national authorities before following orders from
                  the U.N. force commander. For example, one contingent did not follow
                  orders to remain in the capital, Mogadishu. Thus, when fighting erupted in
                  its sector, other national contingents were at a disadvantage. Further, the
                  contingent had begun independent negotiations with one of the warring
                  parties, refused to participate in certain actions in Mogadishu, and then
                  successfully requested redeployment. In a report to the Security Council,
                  the Secretary General said the structure of command and control in
                  UNOSOM II was weakened by the independent actions of some contingent
                  commanders. Some contingents appeared to act independently of the
                  directives and orders issued by the force commander.10

Bosnia and NATO   Questioning an order also occurs when national contingents might be
                  endangered or there is doubt about the U.N. commander’s authority. In
                  Bosnia, such weaknesses limited UNPROFOR’s ability to carry out its
                  mandates. For example, one troop contingent was ordered to redeploy to
                  Mostar, where intense fighting was endangering the civilian population.
                  The troop contingent did not redeploy, saying that the order exceeded
                  UNPROFOR’s mandate. The issue was raised to higher levels and resulted in
                  an exchange of letters between the Security Council and the troop
                  contingent’s government. According to U.N. officials, the Security Council
                  believed the order to redeploy was a valid part of UNPROFOR’s mandate,
                  while the troop contingent’s government believed it was an unacceptable
                  risk and outside of its agreement. These delays and refusals to carry out
                  orders prevented UNPROFOR from providing security for the area and
                  limited its ability to deter further conflict.

                   Another unit that supported UNOSOM II was the U.S. quick reaction force. Although actions were
                  coordinated with the U.N. special representative in Somalia, the quick reaction force was not under
                  U.N. command.

                  Page 13                                                          GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

                   Operations that NATO carries out face similar issues with command and
                   control in that member countries retain authority over their troops.
                   However, NATO has worked on its command and control arrangements for
                   nearly 50 years. It has an integrated command structure that builds each
                   participating nation into the command. Moreover, the organizational basis
                   of NATO has a unity of purpose. It is a military organization intended to
                   accomplish security objectives. U.N. operations, on the other hand, reflect
                   the organization’s emphasis on respecting the interests of all members.
                   The dual chain of command in the U.N.’s Bosnia operation provides a
                   telling example. In order to launch airstrikes against parties attacking safe
                   areas in Bosnia, both NATO and the United Nations had to provide
                   authorization. The United Nations insisted on the “dual key” system
                   because it had to take into consideration the interests of all member
                   countries, particularly those on the ground. On several occasions Bosnian
                   Serbs attacked areas declared safe by the United Nations and NATO
                   authorized airstrikes to deter the attacks. However, the United Nations
                   refused to give its own authorization. This refusal led to a loss of
                   credibility for the mission but preserved the U.N.’s core political concern
                   of ensuring its own neutrality and taking into account the concerns of
                   national contingents opposed to the airstrikes.

Haiti              Unlike other U.N. operations, the second phase of UNMIH had clear and
                   effective control of troop contingents. Although UNMIH was a U.N.
                   operation, the U.S. Atlantic Command (USACOM) played a central role in
                   planning operations for both the MNF that preceded UNMIH and the
                   transition to a U.N. operation. The UNMIH force commander was a U.S.
                   Major General who reported to the U.N. special representative of the
                   Secretary General, but for military issues was directly responsible to
                   USACOM. There was a clear understanding that the Major General was in
                   command of military decisions. Operational orders were communicated to
                   all national contingents through a unit of 550 U.S. special forces troops
                   who had the communications equipment to act as liaisons with national
                   contingents. Further, about 40 percent of the UNMIH peacekeepers were
                   U.S. troops, and U.S. contingents were co-located with other national
                   contingents in key locations such as Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitien, and
                   Gonaives. The chain of command for military matters was clearly headed
                   by the U.S. commander, and operational orders were expected to be
                   carried out.

Eastern Slavonia   Command and control of UNTAES is also clear and unambiguous. Both the
                   U.N. transitional administrator and the force commander are from NATO
                   member countries and, according to UNTAES officials, national contingents

                   Page 14                                          GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

                         participating in UNTAES clearly accept their orders, authority, and control
                         of operations. The force commander is a Belgian Major General who has
                         adapted the NATO command and control structure for UNTAES, staffing key
                         positions on all shifts with Belgian military personnel. This ensures a unity
                         of command and direct communications links to NATO. The U.N.
                         transitional administrator is a U.S. foreign service officer, seconded to
                         UNTAES, who is responsible for political aspects, but leaves military
                         implementation to the military professionals. For example, unlike
                         UNPROFOR, which initially required extensive consultation between the
                         United Nations and NATO prior to close air support, authorization for air
                         support has been delegated directly to UNTAES and Allied Forces South (the
                         NATO command carrying out the airstrikes). Although there is technically a
                         dual-key arrangement, the strategic working relationship between the
                         commands of UNTAES and Allied Forces South and their uniformity with
                         NATO procedures makes command and control for air support efficient and
                         uniform. According to Department of Defense (DOD) officials, this clear
                         and unambiguous command and control arrangement is possible because
                         of NATO’s full commitment and support for the operation and because
                         UNTAES leadership is provided by NATO members.

U.N. Approach to Peace   The importance of respecting the sovereignty of member states also
Operations Limits the    shapes the U.N. approach to conducting peace operations for operations
Effective Use of Force   with objectives requiring the use of force. This limits the effective use of
                         force when it is needed. The U.N. basic approach to conducting peace
                         operations is to (1) obtain the consent of the warring parties for the U.N.
                         action and (2) maintain strict neutrality in carrying out operations.
                         According to U.N. documents, these principles recognize that a U.N.
                         operation is an intrusion into the domestic affairs of a nation. Therefore,
                         even when the use of force is authorized, the U.N. operation tries to obtain
                         the consent of whatever national authority exists.

                         In recent years, U.N. member states have debated the dimensions of
                         consent without agreeing on a doctrine for how consent fits into
                         operations calling for the use of force. The United Nations recognizes
                         there are limits to respecting sovereignty, particularly when violations of
                         human rights occur and national authority has broken down.11 In such
                         situations, humanitarian intervention to protect civilians and others at risk

                            For example, in An Agenda for Peace, the Secretary General stated, “(t)he foundation-stone of this
                         work is and must remain the State. Respect for its fundamental sovereignty and integrity are crucial to
                         any common international progress.” But he also acknowledged that the time of absolute and
                         exclusive sovereignty had passed and the United Nations had a commitment to address brutal ethnic,
                         religious, and cultural strife.

                         Page 15                                                           GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

        may override concerns of sovereignty and obtaining the consent of all
        warring parties is not viable. Another issue advanced by some member
        states is that legitimacy rather than consent is the right approach for
        operations calling for the use of force. Legitimacy requires, first of all,
        international sanction and support, based on a Security Council resolution
        that has been debated and agreed upon by the Security Council.
        Legitimacy, particularly when national authority has broken down, also
        requires that order be firmly restored, rather than obtaining the consent of
        all warring factions. Once order is restored, broad support for using force
        to maintain order should be sought within the population. Despite these
        debates, a U.N. doctrine or a basic approach has not yet been developed
        for operations calling for the use of force, and in recent discussions, some
        member states stress that all U.N. operations must respect the
        fundamental sovereignty of member countries.

        In UNMIH and UNTAES, the two instances where respected member states
        provided strong military leadership, the member states used their own
        doctrines to help guide the operations’ use of force. These doctrines
        emphasized security for troops and personnel and the legitimacy of the
        operations. In both cases, the approaches stressed that the international
        resolutions, based on the overall consent for the operations, gave the
        peace operations legitimacy to use force to carry out the mission. The
        operations thus did not require the continuing consent of the warring
        factions for their actions. Attaining the missions’ objectives was the
        primary purpose rather than ensuring respect for sovereignty. This
        approach differentiated UNMIH and UNTAES from other U.N. operations
        calling for the use of force. Several examples illustrate how relying on
        consent has placed limits on the operational effectiveness of U.N.-led
        missions calling for the use of force.

Congo   During ONUC’s initial phases, operations were carried out only with the
        consent of the warring parties. U.N. member states were concerned with
        balancing the need to restore order in the Congo with the need to avoid
        interfering in its internal affairs. Obtaining consent from the warring
        factions led to severe disruptions in building up troop strength and
        redistributing forces within the country to carry out the mission’s
        mandates. In the province of Katanga, which had broken away from the
        rest of the Congo, the United Nations wanted to deploy greater numbers of
        troops to restore civil order and expel foreign forces, particularly
        European mercenaries who were supporting the Kataganese forces. In
        negotiating with the Katanga provincial government, the United Nations
        agreed to place troops in restricted locations and subject to a number of

        Page 16                                         GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

         conditions. As a result, while troop deployment proceeded rapidly to
         18,000 in the country, it took 2 years to reach sufficient troop strength in
         Katanga. An average of 500 U.N. troops per month were deployed in
         Katanga. Consequently, it took 2 years to build up to the authorized troop
         strength and delayed the U.N. forces from building a credible presence.

Bosnia   In Bosnia, UNPROFOR’s enforcement authority was expanded under
         chapter VII of the U.N. charter (particularly in U.N. Security Resolution
         836) to deter attacks against safe areas and provide security for
         humanitarian relief convoys. Nevertheless, UNPROFOR continued to
         (1) obtain movement clearances for its vehicles from warring factions
         before driving from one area to another, (2) acceded to roadblocks that
         prevented delivery of both humanitarian aid and equipment and supplies
         for its own troops, and (3) allowed warring factions to influence the
         deployment of troops along confrontation lines. According to the director
         of UNPROFOR’s civil affairs group, operations in Bosnia were carried out as
         though it was a peacekeeping mission in which consent was required to
         conduct operations, even though new mandates authorized the use of
         force in certain situations.

         Another example from Bosnia illustrates the U.N.’s emphasis on getting
         consent and maintaining the appearance of neutrality even when the use
         of force is authorized. During air, missile, and ground attacks on the safe
         area of Bihac during November 1994, UNPROFOR tried to negotiate an end to
         the bombardment by sending letters to Bosnian Serb authorities. When the
         letters did not work, NATO flew numerous reconnaissance missions over
         Bihac and pressed for U.N. authorization to launch broad airstrikes against
         the Bosnian Serb positions threatening the area. The United Nations
         denied authorization. The United Nations also insisted on providing
         specific warnings of airstrikes to the offending party and debated with
         NATO about providing the parties with the targets selected. NATO officials
         believed providing such information was inappropriate and it not only
         jeopardized its pilots but also weakened its credibility. Subsequently,
         towns surrounding Bihac fell to the Bosnian Serb Army, and five
         peacekeepers were wounded and one was killed. Regarding the airstikes,
         U.N. officials were concerned that airstrikes would undermine U.N.
         neutrality and hinder any cooperation it was receiving from the parties.
         U.N. officials were also concerned that airstrikes against one of the
         warring parties, even if they were carried out to enforce a Security Council
         mandate, were acts of war, not peacekeeping, and had no place in a U.N.
         mission. The Secretary General also said that airstrikes were not used
         partly because of U.N. doctrine and partly because he was concerned

         Page 17                                          GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

                   about possible retaliation against UNPROFOR’s other ground forces
                   throughout Bosnia and Croatia. Military observers, civilian personnel, and
                   hundreds of peacekeepers from several nations were taken hostage or
                   detained during certain periods when U.N. action was being contemplated.

Somalia            Somalia provides a similar example of how obtaining consent can limit
                   enforcement operations. Although UNOSOM II was authorized to use force
                   to achieve disarmament and the U.N. Secretary General regarded
                   disarmament as crucial for the overall success of the mission, UNOSOM II
                   initially sought to act with the consent of the parties. UNOSOM relied on the
                   warring factions to voluntarily disarm and store their weapons in areas
                   under their control. To verify compliance, UNOSOM provided the factions
                   with written notice of planned inspections of weapons storage sites.
                   Emphasizing the importance of cooperation and consent over effective
                   enforcement, debates within UNOSOM II focussed not on whether written
                   notice should be provided, but how much warning time should be given to
                   the factions before inspections. By mid-1993, the Secretary General
                   realized that requiring the consent and cooperation of the parties was
                   ineffective and inappropriate.

Haiti              In contrast to other U.N. operations that relied on consent as the principal
                   operating approach in the field, the second phase of UNMIH (1995-96) used
                   the U.S. doctrine for operations other than war to help guide field
                   operations. The U.S. doctrine is based on six principles: (1) implementing
                   explicitly defined objectives, (2) emphasizing unity of effort, (3) ensuring
                   adequate security for itself, (4) exercising restraint, (5) being perserverant,
                   and (6) ensuring legitimacy. Under this doctrine, consent was an
                   important element in ensuring the legitimacy of UNMIH and the consent of
                   Haitian government authorities was obtained before the second phase of
                   operations began. But once there was consent on UNMIH’s mandate,
                   operations proceeded with vigor and certainty rather than by negotiation.
                   Moreover, legitimacy was only one portion of the doctrine. The second
                   phase of UNMIH also stressed security by retaining military, political, and
                   informational advantage over potential warring parties. UNMIH also adopted
                   robust rules of engagement that allowed it to be proactive and to take the
                   initiative in using force beyond self-defense. For example, in ensuring a
                   secure environment, UNMIH used roadblocks and searches and actively
                   disarmed Haitians in certain situations. UNMIH’s quick reaction force also
                   acted promptly and proactively to disturbances in November 1995.

Eastern Slavonia   The Eastern Slavonia operation was authorized after Croatia and the local
                   Serb population requested the United Nations to implement the basic

                   Page 18                                           GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

             agreement to demilitarize and peacefully transfer the area from Serb to
             Croatian control. However, once consent was obtained in the basic
             agreement, UNTAES adopted NATO doctrine and rules of engagement to carry
             out the operation. Under this doctrine, developed for the Implementation
             Force in Bosnia,12 force protection and legitimacy are fundamental tenets.
             Consent of the parties on the ground, as well as agreement from Serbia
             and Croatia, was important in legitimizing the mission. However, consent
             was obtained to use force if necessary to carry out the mandate. Thus
             operations on the ground are carried out forcefully if necessary. On
             several occassions, UNTAES made it clear that it would be reasonable in
             implementing operations, but also that force would be used when needed.
             For example, when the Scorpion paramilitary unit occupied oil fields in
             Eastern Slavonia, UNTAES first expressed its concern and told the
             paramilitary unit to withdraw. When it did not withdraw, an armored unit
             was sent directly to the area and forced it to disperse.

             The United Nations has successfully led peacekeeping missions as part of
Conclusion   its mandate under the U.N. charter. However, its record in effectively
             carrying out operations requiring the use of force has been less
             noteworthy. This is due, in part, to several limitations of the organization:
             the United Nations must rely on sovereign member states to volunteer the
             means for carrying out missions; U.N. force commanders cannot always be
             sure that orders will be carried out; and the U.N.’s core principles of
             neutrality, impartiality, and seeking consent of warring parties have
             limited effective action to restore peace. In Somalia, the former
             Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Lebanon, and the Congo, U.N. missions had
             operational problems because they lacked the necessary resources, did
             not have an effective command and control structure, and did not have an
             approach appropriate to conducting operations calling for the use of force.
             However, in the cases of Haiti and Eastern Slavonia, the limitations were
             overcome. In these situations, the prestige and credibility of the nations’
             leading the operations and the assurance of adequate forces made it
             possible to conduct effective operations, with all parties assured that force
             would be used if necessary.

             Given its limitations in leading operations requiring the use of force, the
             United Nations may not be an appropriate vehicle for heading missions
             where force is required to restore peace and order if vital U.S. national
             interests are at stake, unless a nation or coalition with sufficient military

              The Implementation Force (IFOR) was the NATO operation that replaced UNPROFOR. IFOR’s
             mission was to implement provisions of the peace settlement for Bosnia, also known as the Dayton
             Accords. IFOR was authorized by the United Nations but has no U.N. involvement.

             Page 19                                                        GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

                     capability and commitment leads the operation. In missions that do not
                     involve vital national interests but call for the use of force, the United
                     Nations will most likely still confront fundamental limitations as an
                     effective lead organization. Nonetheless, U.N. missions may still be an
                     appropriate vehicle in such situations. They can assist in the provision of
                     humanitarian relief, signal the international community’s concern, and
                     demonstrate a willingness to provide some level of support.

                     The Department of State and DOD commented on a draft of this report. The
Agency Comments      State Department generally concurred with the conclusions of the report.
and Our Evaluation   DOD agreed with the conclusion of the report that, given its limitations, the
                     United Nations may not be an appropriate vehicle for heading missions
                     where force is required to restore peace if vital U.S. national interests are
                     at stake, unless a nation or coalition with sufficient military capability and
                     commitment leads the operation.

                     DOD further commented that the causal factors of success or failure are
                     many and diverse and indicated that geopolitical and other contextual
                     variables had affected the execution of the missions requiring the use of
                     force that were executed over nearly four decades. Moreover, DOD stated
                     that U.N. capabilities to carry out such operations are a function, in part,
                     of the organization’s institutional structure and the commitment of
                     member states. Finally, DOD indicated that lessons had been learned from
                     peace operations over the past few years and that as a result a more
                     effective approach to conducting peace operations had been developed by
                     the United Nations and member states.

                     We agree, and have previously indicated that geopolitical factors and a
                     variety of operational variables may affect the degree of success or failure
                     attributed to any specific U.N. operation.13 However, our analysis indicates
                     that missions requiring the use of force and led by the United Nations have
                     consistently had in common the three limiting factors we discuss in this
                     report. Moreover, our research led us to conclude that even if the specific
                     geopolitical and operational variables were to have been addressed for
                     each mission, the limitations discussed in this report would have
                     remained, thus placing at risk the missions’ success. This brought into
                     question whether the United Nations could be an effective vehicle for
                     implementing missions requiring the use of force. Clearly the factors we
                     point to—resources, command and control, and overall

                      For example, in U.N. Peacekeeping: Lessons Learned in Recent Missions (GAO/NSIAD-94-9, Dec. 29,
                     1993), we discussed political feasibility and the importance of a comprehensive political framework.

                     Page 20                                                         GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

              approach—weakened the day-to-day conduct of the operations and
              compromised the U.N.’s ability to respond to the field challenges. The
              impacts on operations are documented in U.N. reports and our prior
              reports and are recognized in U.N. Security Council resolutions. We agree
              with DOD’s comments that these factors are a function of the U.N.’s
              institutional structure and member states’ commitment. As stated in our
              report, the United Nations is at its core a political body of individual
              members and not an organization that has independent resources and
              power of its own.

              Our review indicated that the United Nations and member states have
              learned from recent missions that call for the use of force. We have
              attempted to reflect this in the report, particularly in our discussion of the
              decisions that were taken regarding the structure of the operation in
              Eastern Slavonia. However, we believe that the fundamental lesson
              learned is reflected in State’s and DOD’s concurrence that the United
              Nations may not be the appropriate organization to undertake peace
              operations requiring the use of force.

              The Department of State and DOD provided technical comments, which we
              have incorporated into the report as appropriate.

              To assess the U.N.’s operational effectiveness and limitations in
Scope and     undertaking peace missions, we analyzed the mandates of all U.N. peace
Methodology   operations, reviewed Secretary General and field mission reports on these
              operations, and synthesized information and analyses of our past reports
              of these missions. Over the past few years, we have also conducted field
              study at numerous peace missions while they were in operation, such as
              those in Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Haiti, Rwanda, northern Iraq,
              Cambodia, the Sinai, Cyprus, El Salvador, Honduras, and Syria. At these
              peace missions, we observed operations and obtained data on casualties,
              troop deployment, and civilian activities; situation reports; standing orders
              for both civilian and military peacekeepers; force commander operations
              orders; faxes and cables on operations; and other documentation. We also
              interviewed U.N. officials and military observers, peacekeepers,
              contingent commanders, and civilian staff from a full range of
              participating countries in every region. From these interviews, we
              obtained valuable international perspectives on peacekeeping and peace
              enforcement. Among the officials we interviewed were the special
              representatives of the Secretary General and the force commanders for the

              Page 21                                           GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

operations in Haiti, the former Yugoslavia, Somalia, Rwanda, and

To obtain the U.N.’s perspective on the effectiveness of its peace
operations, we received from the U.N. Secretariat, official reports on
operations, operating procedures, manuals, budgetary documents, and
policy and planning documents. We also interviewed officials from the
U.N. Departments of Peacekeeping Operations, Administration and
Management, Humanitarian Affairs, and Political Affairs and the Office of
Legal Affairs. Among the officials we interviewed were the under
secretaries general of these departments and the professional line staff in
the offices implementing operations. For several of the missions, we were
updated by the U.N. Observation Center, which provides 24-hour coverage
of all U.N. peace operations.

Since refugee and humanitarian operations are such an important part of
peacekeeping and peace enforcement, we obtained detailed reports and
operational documents from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) and interviewed UNHCR officials both in Geneva, Switzerland, and
in the field at several of the missions. We also spoke with officials and
representatives of many human rights and humanitarian organizations
both in the field and at their headquarters. Some of these included the
International Red Cross and Red Crescent, the International Committee
for the Red Cross, Human Rights Watch, the International Organization for
Migration, Doctors Without Borders, and the International Rescue

To obtain U.S. perspectives on U.N. peacekeeping and enforcement
operations, we conducted work at DOD, the Departments of State and
Justice; the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); the U.S.
Mission to the United Nations; and the U.S. Mission to NATO. Some of the
State and USAID locations where we conducted work were Washington,
D.C.; New York, N.Y.; London, England; Paris, France; Brussels, Belgium;
Thailand; Cambodia; Israel; Egypt; Cyprus; El Salvador; Haiti; Croatia;
Bosnia; and Rwanda. We also conducted work at DOD locations, including
Washington, D.C.; the European Command in Stuttgary, Germany; and the
Atlantic Command in Newport, Virginia.

From the U.S. agencies, we obtained their regulations, doctrine, and
manuals on the conduct of peace operations; their situation reports on the
countries where peace operations were ongoing; their reports of the
security and political situations; and cables on the U.N. peace operations.

Page 22                                         GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

We observed interagency working groups on several of the missions and
received security and political briefings from the agencies. We also
interviewed officials from the U.S. Departments of Defense and State,
USAID, and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and the U.S. Mission to
NATO about specific peace operations and obtained their perspectives and
analysis on the conduct of operations.

We also sought the views and opinions of scholars and researchers and
obtained comments on a draft of this report from those at the Carnegie
Endowment for International Peace, Thomas J. Watson, Jr., Institute for
International Studies, and the Henry L. Stimson Center, which we have
taken into consideration in finalizing this report.

We performed our review in accordance with generally accepted
government auditing standards.

We are sending copies of this report to the Chairmen and Ranking
Minority Members of the House and Senate Committees on
Appropriations, House Committee on National Security, and Senate
Committee on Armed Services. We are also sending copies to the
Secretaries of State and Defense, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the
United Nations, and the U.N. Secretary General. We will also make copies
available to others upon request.

Please contact me at (202) 512-4128 if you or your staff have any questions
concerning this report. Major contributors to this report are listed in
appendix VI.

Harold J. Johnson, Associate Director
International Relations and Trade Issues

Page 23                                         GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

Letter                                                                                            1

Appendix I                                                                                       26

U.N.’s Use of Force:
Its Basis in the U.N.
Appendix II                                                                                      31

United Nations Has
Precedent for Leading
Appendix III                                                                                     36

U.N. Experience in
the Use of Force
Appendix IV                                                                                      51

Comments From the
Department of State
Appendix V                                                                                       52

Comments From the
Department of
Appendix VI                                                                                      54

Major Contributors to
This Report
Related GAO Products                                                                             55

Tables                  Table II.1: U.N. Peacekeeping and Other Peace Missions Since             31

                        Page 24                                       GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations

Table II.2: U.N. Security Council Resolutions Authorizing Member         35
  State Action


DOD           Department of Defense
IFOR          Implementation Force
MNF           multinational force
NATO          North Atlantic Treaty Organization
ONUC          U.N. Operation in the Congo
PDD-25        Presidential Decision Directive-25
PLO           Palestinian Liberation Organization
RPF           Rwanda Patriotic Front
UNAMIR        U.N. Assistance Mission in Rwanda
UNHCR         U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees
UNIFIL        U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon
UNITAF        Unified Task Force
UNMIH         U.N. Mission in Haiti
UNOSOM        U.N. Operation in Somalia
UNPROFOR      U.N. Protection Force (Bosnia)
UNTAES        U.N. Transitional Authority in Eastern Slavonia, Baranja
                   and Western Sirmium
USACOM        United States Atlantic Command
USAID         U.S. Agency for International Development

Page 25                                       GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations
Appendix I

U.N.’s Use of Force: Its Basis in the U.N.

                The history of the United Nations shows that its founders intended the
                world organization to be an effective instrument in maintaining world
                security. The U.N.’s first purpose, as set forth in its charter, is to maintain
                international peace and security and to collectively prevent aggression and
                threats to peace. This fundamental purpose was born out of the
                destructiveness of World War II and the determination by the allied forces
                to construct an international organization capable of preventing further
                wars. After conferences among the major powers in Cairo and Yalta, the
                Prime Ministers expressed a common sentiment: “We affirm that after the
                war a world organization to maintain peace and security should be set up
                and endowed with the necessary power and authority to prevent
                aggression and violence.”1

                The U.N. charter sets forth the organization’s principles and builds further
                the foundation for U.N. action to restore peace. Article 2(3), states that “all
                members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in
                such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not
                endangered.” Expanding on this principle, article 2(4) states that “all
                members shall refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial
                integrity or political independence of any state. . . .” Article 24 gives the
                U.N. Security Council primary responsibility to maintain peace and
                security and authority to act on behalf of the other member states. Finally,
                article 25 obligates member states to accept and carry out the decisions of
                the Security Council.

                With the foundation for forceful U.N. action, chapter VII of the U.N.
                charter (articles 39-51) lays out the implementing framework and member
                states’ obligations.2 The Security Council can call upon U.N. member
                states to impose complete or partial interruption of economic relations,
                travel, and communication with nations endangering peace, or, under
                article 42, may itself “take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be
                necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security.” Article
                43 obligates member states to “undertake to make available to the Security
                Council, on its call and in accordance with an agreement or agreements,
                armed forces, assistance and facilities, including rights of passage,
                necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and
                security.” These agreements on the number and types of forces to be

                  Quoted from The Charter of the United Nations: A Commentary, ed. Bruno Simma (New York: Oxford
                University Press, 1994), p. 8.
                 In chapter VI (articles 33-38) of the U.N. charter, measures are set forth to peacefully resolve disputes
                likely to endanger international security, including mediation, arbitration, and investigation by the
                United Nations. Although peacekeeping is not mentioned in the charter, chapter VI provides the basis
                for U.N. peace operations not involving enforcement.

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U.N.’s Use of Force: Its Basis in the U.N.

provided “shall be negotiated as soon as possible on the initiative of the
Security Council.” Any such agreement is subject to the constitutional
procedures of the contributing member state. Chapter VII of the U.N.
charter further establishes a military staff committee, composed of the
chiefs of staff of the five permanent members, to assist the Security
Council in planning and determining the strategic direction of U.N.
military action.

To date, no nation has ever arranged to provide armed forces to the United
Nations as called for under article 43. In 1946, an attempt was made to
establish ground rules for contributing military forces and armaments to
the Security Council, designating where the forces should be garrisoned,
setting a time limit for committing U.N. forces to an enforcement action,
and specifying what base facilities should be made available. This attempt
failed because of disagreement between the Soviet Union and the four
other permanent members of the Security Council and among the allies

During ratification of the charter, U.S. Senators clearly recognized the
power potentially authorized to the United Nations to undertake peace
enforcement. According to Congressional Records at the time, one Senator
commented that article 43 was an “innovation in international law. . . .
Unlike the League of Nations, here is something that has teeth to keep the
peace of the world.”3 Another Senator noted that “collective action to curb
the aggressor seems to be the only answer to this problem.”4

Nonetheless, the U.S. Congress expressed reservations about ceding
control of military forces to the United Nations. These concerns were
expressed in the U.N. Participation Act of 1945 as amended, and in the
debate about ratifying the U.N. charter. The U.N. Participation Act
authorizes the President to negotiate article 43 agreements with the United
Nations but expressly reserves approval to Congress. The act further
states that with regard to article 43, nothing within the act “shall be
construed as an authorization to make available to the Security Council for
such purpose armed forces, facilities, or assistance . . . .” The act also
prohibits the President from employing the armed forces under chapter VII
of the U.N. charter without prior congressional consent. In addition, it
limits other U.S. participation to 1,000 U.S. armed forces personnel.

 Congressional Record (Vol. 91, S8021, 1945).
 Congressional Record (Vol. 91, H7958, 1945).

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                      Appendix I
                      U.N.’s Use of Force: Its Basis in the U.N.

Nations Insisted on   Although the U.N. charter gives the Security Council a central role in
Autonomous Role       maintaining international security, it also formally recognizes the inherent
                      right of individual and collective self-defense outside of the United
                      Nations. According to reports of the founding conferences, article 51 of
                      the U.N. charter (right of individual and collective self-defense) and
                      chapter VIII (Regional Arrangements, articles 52-54) were drafted to
                      address nations’ concerns that enforcement authority was too
                      concentrated in the Security Council.5 The underlying debate reflected the
                      desire for a world body capable of maintaining peace versus the interests
                      of nations to retain power in their geographic regions. Article 51, for
                      example, explicitly recognizes the legitimate role of individual nations and
                      groupings in maintaining security.6 It also recognizes the “inherent right of
                      individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a
                      Member of the United Nations.”

                      Numerous defense alliances have used article 51 to legitimize their
                      collective security outside the formal U.N. framework, and nations have
                      relied on it to justify their independent enforcement actions.7 For example,
                      the North Atlantic Treaty states that an attack on any member of the North
                      Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) shall be considered an attack against
                      all. The treaty further commits its members, acting under article 51 of the
                      U.N. charter, to take all measures, including the use of armed force to
                      restore the security of the North Atlantic area. Other security
                      arrangements, including the Western European Union, the South-East Asia
                      Collective Defense Treaty, and the Mutual Defense Treaty between the

                       For example, according to a State Department report, the Latin American and Arab states desired that
                      regional autonomy be preserved; the Soviet Union and the United States did not want a United Nations
                      dictating action in their spheres of influence, and smaller states generally expressed uneasiness over
                      the power of the Security Council.
                       In drafting the charter, national representatives recognized the necessity of individual or collective
                      response outside of the U.N. framework if a member state was attacked but a permanent member
                      vetoed Security Council action. Additionally, Latin American nations and others advocated the need
                      for autonomous collective action through regional security arrangements. Inclusion of the term
                      “collective” self-defense was to legitimize security arrangements in the Americas under the Act of
                      Chapultapec, which declared that an act of aggression against one American state shall be considered
                      an act of aggression against all. (U.S. Dept. of State Bulletin No. 297 [Mar. 3, 1945], p. 297.
                       Writing 12 years ago, Oscar Schachter went even further, stating, “We are bound to conclude that the
                      collective security system of the U.N. Charter has now been largely replaced by fragmented collective
                      defense actions and alliances founded on article 51.” Oscar Schachter, “The Right of States to Use
                      Armed Force,” Michigan Law Review, v. 82 (April/May 1984), pp. 1620-46. According to Schachter in
                      1996, there is now greater hope for the United Nations as a collective security system, but such a
                      system would certainly not be a panacea.

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Appendix I
U.N.’s Use of Force: Its Basis in the U.N.

United States and Korea, rely on article 51 as a legal basis for their
collective security arrangements.8

Nations also broadly cite article 51 to legitimize the use of force outside
the formal U.N. framework. For example, in 1978, Uganda and Tanzania
made sustained attacks against each other along their common border,
justifying the inherent right of self-defense under article 51. Between
October 12 and 29, Uganda claimed it had repulsed Tanzania and
proceeded to capture several hundred square miles of Tanzania. Tanzania
waged retaliatory attacks and intervened in Uganda, claiming its action
was an act of self-defense under article 51 of the U.N. charter. These uses
of force took place outside of the U.N. apparatus but justified actions
based on the U.N. charter. Similarly, U.S. action in Grenada and Panama
were justified partly on the right of self-defense.

Chapter VIII of the U.N. charter explicitly recognizes the role of regional
organizations within the U.N. framework of collective security. Article 52
states that nothing precludes regional arrangements for dealing with the
maintenance of international peace and security as appropriate for
regional action, provided the actions taken are consistent with the U.N.
charter. Article 53 continues: “The Security Council shall, where
appropriate, utilize such regional arrangements or agencies for
enforcement action under its authority. But no enforcement action shall be
taken under regional arrangements or by regional agencies without the
authorization of the Security Council.”

Although the U.N. charter authorizes regional organizations to help
maintain international security within the U.N. framework, they can also
act autonomously under article 51. For example, the League of Arab
States, a regional organization with observer status at the United Nations,
asserts that armed aggression directed against one of its members is
directed against them all. The members are to undertake all means
available, including armed force, to repel the aggression. In its Treaty of
Joint Defense and Economic Cooperation, the League cites article 51 of
the U.N. charter and the right of legal defense as its standards. Other
regional organizations, such as the Organization of American States, the
Organization of African Unity, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the
Commonwealth of Independent States, and the Economic Community of
West African States, have similar arrangements.

 Considerably more security arrangements, both active and defunct, cited article 51 of the U.N. charter
to legitimize their security arrangements. These treaties, such as the Australia, New Zealand, United
States Security Treaty; the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance; and the Gulf
Cooperation Council are all justified explicitly or implicitly on the basis of article 51.

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U.N.’s Use of Force: Its Basis in the U.N.

Regional organizations have also undertaken independent initiatives under
article 51. For example, in August 1990, the Economic Community of West
African States sent a monitoring force to Liberia to help bring about a
cease-fire in its civil war. Fighting had begun in 1989 when Liberia’s
National Patriotic Liberation Front launched an attack against the forces
of the President of Liberia; by August 1990, a third party, the United
Liberation Movement of Liberia, entered the fight. In subsequent fighting,
over 150,000 civilians were killed, 700,000 became refugees, neighboring
Sierra Leone was used as a rebel base and invaded by one of the factions,
and the peacekeeping force became involved in enforcement measures
against the warring factions. The Security Council was not consulted nor
had it approved the peacekeeping action before it took place. Nonetheless,
in January 1991, the President of the Security Council commended the
peacekeeping action, and in November 1992 the Security Council passed
its first resolution in support of the Economic Community of West African

Regional organizations have also cooperated with the United Nations in
peacekeeping and other operations. Subsequently, the Security Council
and General Assembly have passed several resolutions encouraging
further cooperation with regional organizations to undertake
peacekeeping and other operations.

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Appendix II

United Nations Has Precedent for Leading

                                            From its inception in 1945, the United Nations has led peacekeeping
                                            operations to help maintain international order. In 1946, military observers
                                            attached to a field mission established by the Security Council investigated
                                            allegations by Greece that neighboring states were making cross-border
                                            incursions. From 1948 to March 1997, the United Nations led 42 peace
                                            operations—34 peacekeeping, 4 authorized in whole or in part under
                                            chapter VII of the U.N. charter, and 4 where the mandates implied force
                                            was to be used to conduct operations. According to U.N. documents, over
                                            750,000 military, civilian, and police personnel have participated in these
                                            missions. Table II.1 lists the peacekeeping and other missions led by the
                                            United Nations since 1948.

Table II.1: U.N. Peacekeeping and Other Peace Missions Since 1948
                                                                                     Mandate and key U.N. authorizing
Mission                                     Location            Years                documents
The following are Peacekeeping missions (consent of parties; force authorized only in self-defense)
U.N. Trace Supervision Organization         Palestine           1948-ongoing         Supervise observance of truce in Palestine
                                                                                     and various ceasefires. (Security Council
                                                                                     Resolutions—S/Res/50, 73, 101, 236, 339)
U.N. Military Observer Group in India and   India/Pakistan      1949-ongoing         Supervise observance of ceasefires and
Pakistan                                                                             agreements. (S/Res/47, 91, 201)
U.N. Emergency Force I                      Egypt/Israel        1956-67              Secure and supervise ceasefire. (General
                                                                                     Assembly Resolutions GA 998, 1000, 1001,
U.N. Observation Group in Lebanon           Lebanon             1958-58              Ensure no illegal infiltration of arms and
                                                                                     personnel across Lebanese border.
U.N. Security Force in West Guinea          Indonesia           1962-63              Monitor ceasefire and help ensure order
                                                                                     under U.N. supervised transfer of national
                                                                                     administration from Netherlands to
                                                                                     Indonesia. (GA 1752)
U.N. Yemen Observation Mission              Yemen               1963-64              Observe disengagement between
                                                                                     Saudi-Arabia and Yemen. (S/Res/179)
U.N. Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus           Cyprus              1964-ongoing         Use best efforts to prevent recurrence of
                                                                                     fighting and contribute to maintenance and
                                                                                     restoration of law and order; supervise
                                                                                     ceasefire. (S/Res/186; Aide-memoire of the
                                                                                     Secretary General S/5653)
U.N. India Pakistan Observer Mission        India/Pakistan      1965-66              Supervise ceasefire. (S/Res/211)
Mission of the Representative of the        Dominican Republic 1965-66               Observe and report on violations of
Secretary General in the Dominican Republic                                          ceasefire among warring parties.

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                                             Appendix II
                                             United Nations Has Precedent for Leading

                                                                                        Mandate and key U.N. authorizing
Mission                                      Location              Years                documents
U.N. Emergency Force II                      Egypt/Israel          1973-79              Supervise implementation of ceasefire and
                                                                                        redeployment of forces. Use best efforts to
                                                                                        prevent recurrence of fighting. (S/Res/340
                                                                                        and 341; Secretary General
                                                                                        Report—S/11052 Rev.1)
U.N. Disengagement Observer Force            Israel/Syria          1974-ongoing         Use best efforts to maintain ceasefire and
                                                                                        its observance. (S/Res/350; S/11302/ADD.1)
U.N. Good Offices Mission in Afghanistan     Afghanistan/          1988-90              Assist personal representative of the
and Pakistan                                 Pakistan                                   Secretary General in ensuring
                                                                                        implementation of agreements. (S/Res/622,
U.N. Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group       Iran/Iraq             1988-91              Verify, confirm, supervise ceasefire and
                                                                                        withdrawal of forces. (S/Res/598, 619, 631,
                                                                                        642, 651)
U.N. Transition Assistance Group             Namibia (Angola,      1989-90              Help ensure cessation of hostilities, troop
                                             Cuba, South Africa)                        confinement to bases; supervise and
                                                                                        ensure conditions for free and fair elections.
                                                                                        (S/Res/435, 632)
U.N. Angola Verification Mission I           Angola                1989-91              Verify redeployment and withdrawal of
                                                                                        Cuban troops. (S/Res/626)
U.N. Observer Group in Central America       Central America       1989-92              Verify agreement to cease arms and troop
                                                                                        infiltration. Facilitate voluntary
                                                                                        demobilization of Nicaraguan Contras.
                                                                                        (S/Res/644, 650, 653)
U.N. Advance Mission in Cambodia             Cambodia              1991-92              Assist parties to maintain ceasefire.
                                                                                        (S/Res/717, 728)
U.N. Angola Verification Mission II          Angola                1991-95              Verify and monitor ceasefire; observe and
                                                                                        monitor electoral process and elections.
                                                                                        (S/Res/696, 747)
U.N. Observer Mission in El Salvador         El Salvador           1991-95              Monitor, observe, and verify all aspects of
                                                                                        agreements—human rights, cessation of
                                                                                        armed conflict, and security situation, and
                                                                                        elections. (S/Res/693, 729, 832)
U.N. Mission for the Referendum in Western   Western Sahara        1991-ongoing         Monitor and verify ceasefire, demobilization,
Sahara                                                                                  prisoner exchanges; organize and ensure
                                                                                        free and fair referendum. (S/Res/690, 907)
U.N. Transitional Authority in Cambodia      Cambodia              1992-93              Ensure implementation of Comprehensive
                                                                                        Political Agreement; organize free and fair
                                                                                        elections; oversee disarmament,
                                                                                        reconstruction, repatriation, and control of
                                                                                        government. (S/Res/745, 860, 880)
U.N. Operation in Somalia I                  Somalia               1992-93              Monitor the agreed ceasefire, provide
                                                                                        security for humanitarian relief operations,
                                                                                        and assist in establishing security.
                                                                                        (S/Res/751, 775, 794)

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                                            Appendix II
                                            United Nations Has Precedent for Leading

                                                                                       Mandate and key U.N. authorizing
Mission                                     Location              Years                documents
U.N. Operation in Mozambique                Mozambique            1992-94              Help implement peace plan, including
                                                                                       monitoring and verifying the ceasefire and
                                                                                       demobilization of troops, monitoring
                                                                                       elections, and help in the provision of
                                                                                       humanitarian aid. (S/Res/797, 850, 879, 957)
U.N. Observer Mission Uganda-Rwanda         Ugandan side          1993-94              Monitor/verify that no military assistance
                                            of the border                              crosses Rwanda-Uganda border.
                                                                                       (S/Res/846, 872, 891, 928)
U.N. Mission in Haiti—initial phase         Haiti                 1993-96              Help implement provisions of the
                                                                                       Governor’s Island agreement; assist in
                                                                                       modernizing armed and police forces
                                                                                       (S/Res/867, 905, 933)
U.N. Observer Mission in Georgia            Georgia               1993-ongoing         Monitor and verify implementation of
                                                                                       ceasefire agreement and observe situation;
                                                                                       act as liaison with ongoing CIS peace
                                                                                       missions. (S/Res/849, 854, 858, 881)
U.N. Observer Mission in Liberia            Liberia               1993-ongoing         Monitor peace agreement in cooperation
                                                                                       with ECOWAS peace operation. (S/Res/866,
                                                                                       911, 950, 972)
U.N. Aouzou Strip Observer Group            Chad                  1994-94              Verify withdrawal of Libyan forces from
                                                                                       Aouzou Strip between Libya and Chad.
U.N. Mission of Observers in Tajikistan     Tajikistan            1994-ongoing         Assist in monitoring the implementation of
                                                                                       the ceasefire and cessation of hostile acts
                                                                                       and act as liaison with ongoing peace
                                                                                       operations. (S/Res/968, 999, 1030, 1061)
U.N. Angola Verification Mission III        Angola                1995-ongoing         Assist in compliance of the Lusaka Protocol,
                                                                                       including ceasefire and humanitarian
                                                                                       assistance. (S/Res/976, 1008, 1045)
U.N. Preventive Deployment Force            Macedonia             1995-ongoing         Monitor and report on situation in border
                                                                                       area. (S/Res/983, 1027, 1046)
U.N. Confidence Restoration Operations in   Croatia               1995-ongoing         Assist in implementation of ceasefire
Croatia                                                                                agreement between Croatia and Serbia and
                                                                                       controlling movement over Croatia’s
                                                                                       international borders. (S/Res/981, 990)
U.N. Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina      Bosnia and            1995-ongoing         Assist and monitor law enforcement
                                            Herzegovina                                activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
U.N. Mission of Observers in the Prevlaka   Croatia               1996-ongoing         Observe and monitor situation along a
                                                                                       narrow strip of land separating Croatia and
                                                                                       Bosnia. (S/Res/1038)
U.N. Special Mission in Haiti               Haiti                 1996-ongoing         Assist the government of Haiti in
                                                                                       maintaining a secure environment and
                                                                                       professionalizing the civilian police.
                                                                                       (S/Res/1063; S/1996/813)

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                                               Appendix II
                                               United Nations Has Precedent for Leading

                                                                                          Mandate and key U.N. authorizing
Mission                                        Location              Years                documents
The following missions have mandates with objectives requiring some measure of force to be accomplished.
U.N. Operations in the Congo                   Congo                 1960-64              Take necessary steps to provide
                                               (now Zaire)                                government of Congo with military
                                                                                          assistance in fulfilling their tasks. Use
                                                                                          requisite measure of force, if necessary, to
                                                                                          apprehend, detain, and deport all foreign
                                                                                          military and paramilitary personnel.
                                                                                          (S/Res/143, 145, 146, 169)
U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)         Lebanon               1978-ongoing         Confirm withdrawal of Israeli forces; restore
                                                                                          international security; assist government of
                                                                                          Lebanon regain authority. Use best efforts
                                                                                          to prevent recurrence of fighting and ensure
                                                                                          area of operation is not used for hostile
                                                                                          activity of any kind. Control movement and
                                                                                          take all measures to assure the effective
                                                                                          restoration of Lebanese sovereignty.
                                                                                          (S/Res/425, 426; S/12611)
U.N. Assistance Mission in Rwanda              Rwanda                1993-96              Contribute to the security of Kigali; monitor
                                                                                          ceasefire agreement. Assist in humanitarian
                                                                                          relief. Contribute to security and protection
                                                                                          of refugees and civilians at risk; establish
                                                                                          secure humanitarian areas, where feasible;
                                                                                          provide security for humanitarian relief
                                                                                          operations. (S/Res/872, 918, 925)
U.N. Mission in Haiti—second phase             Haiti                 1995-96              Assist in sustaining the secure and stable
                                                                                          environment; protect international personnel
                                                                                          and installations, and professionalize armed
                                                                                          forces and police. (S/Res/940, 975)
The following missions were authorized under chapter VII to use force to carry out some objectives.
U.N. Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission           Iraq-Kuwait           1991-ongoing         Observe and, by its presence, deter
                                                                                          violations of demilitarized zone. Take
                                                                                          physical action to prevent or redress
                                                                                          small-scale violations of DMZ. (S/Res/687,
U.N. Protection Force (UNPROFOR)               Former Yugoslavia     1992-95              Provide security for humanitarian relief;
                                               (Bosnia)                                   deter attacks against 6 safe areas, using air
                                                                                          power from regional organizations, if
                                                                                          necessary. (S/Res/764, 776, 836)
U.N. Operations in Somalia II (UNOSOM)         Somalia               1993-95              Use enforcement measures to ensure a
                                                                                          secure environment, disarm the warring
                                                                                          factions, and ensure the delivery of
                                                                                          humanitarian aid, and assist in rebuilding
                                                                                          Somali institutions. (S/Res/814)
U.N. Transitional Administration for Eastern   Eastern Slavonia      1996-ongoing         Supervise demilitarization of Eastern
Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Sirmium                                                    Slavonia and organize elections.
(UNTAES)                                                                                  (S/Res/1037, 1043)

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                                           Appendix II
                                           United Nations Has Precedent for Leading

                                           The U.N. Security Council has authorized member states or coalitions to
                                           lead several actions where the use of force, embargo, or sanctions were
                                           authorized. Table II.2 lists several important actions.

Table II.2: U.N. Security Council Resolutions Authorizing Member State Action
Location and initial                                                                                          Main Security
date                    Leader and action                                                                     Council resolutions
Korea 1950           U.S.-led coalition defended South Korea against invasion by North Korea.                 S/Res/83, 84, 85
Rhodesia 1965        British naval vessels imposed embargo and prevented ships from unloading oil in          S/Res/217, 232, 253
South Africa 1977    All states impose arms and economic embargo International economic embargo without       S/Res/418
                     specific leadership.
Iraq 1990            All states impose economic embargo on Iraq and Iraq forces in Kuwait; impose air and     S/Res/661, 665,
                     maritime embargo. U.S.-led coalition enforced Iraq’s withdrawal from Kuwait.             670, 678
Iraq 1991            U.S.-led coalition undertook humanitarian intervention (Operation Provide Comfort) to    S/Res/688
                     ensure security for Kurds in Iraq. Imposed a no-fly zone.
Former Yugoslavia    NATO countries lead a maritime, arms, and economic embargo on Serbia and                 S/Res/757, 787
1991                 Montenegro.
Libya 1992           All states impose economic sanctions on Libya.                                           S/Res/742
Rwanda 1992, 1994    International community imposes arms embargo on Rwanda. France uses all necessary        S/Res/918, 929
                     means to protect safe areas and provide humanitarian relief.
Somalia 1992-1993    All states impose and arms embargo on Somalia. U.S.-led coalition uses all means         S/Res/733, 794
                     necessary to establish a secure environment for humanitarian relief.
Liberia 1992         All states impose a weapons embargo on Liberia.                                          S/Res/788
Bosnia 1993          NATO enforces no-fly zone; and uses air power, with U.N. concurrence, to deter attacks   S/Res/816, 824
                     against safe areas.
Haiti 1993, 1994     United States imposes maritime embargo against Haiti; leads multinational force to       S/Res/841, 873,
                     restore rightful authority to Haiti and provide secure environment.                      875, 917, 940

                                           Page 35                                                  GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations
Appendix III

U.N. Experience in the Use of Force

               This appendix provides information on U.N. peace missions in Somalia,
               the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Lebanon, the Congo, and Haiti.

               The United Nations established UNOSOM I in April 1992, in response to civil
Somalia        war and the death of an estimated 500,000 Somalis. UNOSOM I was
               authorized to monitor a cease-fire, which had been negotiated among
               Somalia’s warring clans, and escort relief convoys to feed the starving
               population. Within months, however, the U.N. Secretary General
               concluded that clan leaders were using force and the threat of force to
               prevent UNOSOM’s deployment—only 564 of the authorized level of 4,219
               troops had been allowed into Somalia by the end of 1992.

               Accordingly, in December 1992, the United Nations authorized a U.S.-led
               mission, the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), under chapter VII of the U.N.
               charter, to create a secure environment for the humanitarian relief effort.
               With 37,000 troops, UNITAF opened the airport and seaport, repaired roads
               and airfields, and protected international agencies and nongovernment
               organizations. The Secretary General reported in January 1993 that UNITAF
               had escorted convoys delivering 25,000 tons of food. UNITAF also undertook
               limited disarmament by banning and confiscating heavy weapons and
               arms in its area of operations. However, UNITAF was deployed only in
               central and southern Somalia. Although UNITAF relied for the most part on
               a credible show of force to achieve its objective, it responded aggressively
               to occasional incidents of armed opposition. For example, when one
               faction violated the cease-fire by attacking another faction, UNITAF
               destroyed the heavy weapons of the aggressor and forced the faction to
               withdraw. In another incident, Nigerian forces under UNITAF repelled an
               attack by militias in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

               The United Nations resumed leadership of operations in May 1993 with
               UNOSOM II. UNOSOM II was authorized under chapter VII to establish a secure
               environment throughout Somalia, disarm warring factions, assist in
               political reconciliation, and foster social and economic reconstruction. Its
               authorized troop level was 28,000 and, in addition, the United States
               provided a quick reaction force.

               However, in transferring the mission from U.S. command to U.N.
               command, there were unresolved issues: the United States and United
               Nations did not agree on (1) the meaning of UNITAF’s mandate, (2) the
               criteria for its withdrawal, or (3) the timing of the transition. The Secretary
               General expected UNITAF to create a secure environment throughout

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                       Appendix III
                       U.N. Experience in the Use of Force

                       Somalia by “neutralizing heavy weapons, disarming irregular forces and
                       gangs, and inducing individuals to hand in their weapons.” However,
                       UNITAF did not interpret its mandate as including coercive or large-scale
                       disarmament of the Somali factions. Also, UNITAF established security not
                       throughout the country, but only in the hardest-hit areas of central and
                       southern Somalia. In regard to timing, the United States expected UNITAF to
                       be a quick turnaround operation, with a U.N. takeover immediately as
                       UNITAF withdrew. The Secretary General expected the transition to be
                       gradual—but by the date of the transfer—May 4, 1993—most of the U.S.
                       troops and senior civilian personnel had already been withdrawn.

Resource Constraints   Although UNOSOM II had a broader mandate than UNITAF in providing a
                       secure environment and disarming the warring parties throughout the
                       country, it was authorized 25 percent fewer troops. By July 1993, only
                       20,000 of the 28,000 authorized troops had been deployed. It was not until
                       October 1993—6 months after UNOSOM II’s mandate had been
                       approved—that full troop strength was reached. Furthermore, some
                       contingents did not have armored personnel carriers and radio equipment
                       capable of communicating directly with other contingents.

                       As a result, on June 5, 1993, barely 1 month after the transition, UNOSOM II
                       troops were unable to respond adequately when faced with attacks from
                       Somali factions during a planned U.N. arms inspection. Assaults were
                       launched against the recently deployed Pakistanis, Nigerians, and Italians.
                       The Pakistanis and the Nigerians were unable to contact the Italian
                       brigade to ask for help. In those attacks, 24 Pakistanis were killed.

Command and Control    A number of incidents revealed the limits on U.N. command and control,
Issues                 particularly in regard to following orders issued by the U.N. force
                       commander. Waiting for instructions from their own national authorities,
                       U.N. contingents sometimes did not adhere to orders from the force
                       commander. For example, in one instance a contingent did not follow
                       orders to remain in its area of responsibility in Mogadishu. Therefore,
                       when fighting commenced in the contingent’s area, other national
                       contingents were in a disadvantageous position. Moreover, the contingent
                       appeared to act autonomously, starting negotiations with one of the
                       warring Somali factions, declining to be a part of actions in Mogadishu,
                       and successfully seeking to redeployment in another region of the country.1

                        For an analysis of Somalia operations see U.N. Peacekeeping: Lessons Learned in Recent Missions
                       (GAO/NSIAD-94-9, Dec. 29, 1993).

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                        On October 3, 1993, a U.S. force not under U.N. command executed a
                        military strike against the stronghold of one of the faction leaders believed
                        responsible for the killing of the peacekeepers. After the U.S. force came
                        under extreme hostile fire, an extraction operation was mounted that
                        included armored units from UNOSOM units. But the operation was not
                        successful and the incident resulted in the deaths of 18 U.S. soldiers and a
                        consequent U.S. announcement that it would withdraw the bulk of its
                        troops by March 31, 1994. Other nations also decided to remove their
                        contingents but provided a holding action until March 1995, when all U.N.
                        troops were removed.2

U.N. Approach to        Although UNOSOM II was authorized to use force, it relied on the militias to
Conducting Operations   voluntarily disarm and store their weapons in areas under their control.
                        UNOSOM also provided the militias with written notice of planned
                        inspections of weapons sites. However, when one such inspection on
                        June 5, 1993, provoked attacks on the U.N. troops, UNOSOM beginning on
                        June 12 launched a series of air and ground offensive operations against
                        the militias. After 1 month, the Secretary General decided to return to
                        peaceful disarmament of all factions and militias. However, the militias
                        continued offensive operations and in November 1993, the Secretary
                        General acknowledged the failure of this approach and further attempts to
                        disarm the rival factions were halted.

                        UNOSOM   II did not achieve major aspects of its mandate. It did not enforce
                        the cease-fire, disarm the factions, or successfully repel attacks against its
                        own troops. Clan fighting, looting, and banditry continued, attacks against
                        relief organization personnel increased, and anti-UNOSOM propaganda was
                        widely used.

                        However, UNOSOM II aided the delivery of humanitarian relief by escorting
                        humanitarian convoys and providing security for humanitarian
                        organizations and activities. UNOSOM II also facilitated discussion among
                        the Somalis to promote national reconciliation, conducted field surveys
                        and inspections for demining projects, refurbished office buildings and
                        repaired court and prison facilities, certified district and regional councils,
                        trained judicial personnel, and helped to establish a police force.

                        Fighting began in the former Yugoslavia in 1991 when Serbia, the largest of
The Former              the republics, forcibly attempted to prevent Croatia from becoming an
                         For a discussion of the U.S. withdrawal from Somalia see, Peace Operations: Withdrawal of U.S.
                        Troops from Somalia (GAO/NSIAD-94-175, June 9, 1994).

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                    independent nation. After fierce fighting, Croatia and Serbia signed a
                    cease-fire. The Security Council established UNPROFOR in February 1992 to
                    help (1) supervise the withdrawal of Serbian forces and demilitarize
                    disputed areas and (2) return displaced persons to their homes and
                    monitor human rights.

                    Bosnia, another republic, voted for independence in March 1992, and
                    fighting broke out between the new Bosnian government and Bosnian
                    Serbs, who were opposed to independence from Serbia. In June 1992, the
                    United Nations recognized Bosnia as an independent nation, and
                    UNPROFOR’s mission was extended to Bosnia. Over the following 3 years,
                    UNPROFOR in Bosnia was mandated under chapter VII of the U.N. charter to
                    (1) facilitate and protect the delivery of humanitarian aid and (2) use
                    necessary means, including air power from regional organizations, to deter
                    attacks against six areas declared safe. Over the course of its existence,
                    UNPROFOR gradually increased in size to an authorized strength of nearly
                    58,000 in June 1995. It was further supported by the North Atlantic Treaty
                    Organization (NATO), which agreed to provide airstrikes to carry out
                    UNPROFOR mandates and give close air support to defend UNPROFOR troops
                    coming under hostile fire.

                    Overall, UNPROFOR had limited effectiveness in carrying out its enforcement
                    mandates. In Bosnia, UNPROFOR did not effectively (1) deter attacks on the
                    six safe areas or (2) protect its troops and staff from being taken hostage.
                    Sarajevo, 1 of the 6 safe areas, was bombarded regularly by Bosnian Serbs,
                    resulting in an estimated 10,000 killed or missing and 60,000 wounded
                    between 1992 and February 1995. Bihac, another safe area, was attacked in
                    November 1994, with airstrikes and missiles launched from an airbase in
                    Croatia. The Security Council authorized limited NATO airstrikes on the
                    airfield, but Bosnian and Croatian Serbs continued their attacks on the
                    ground and nearly overran Bihac. During this time, UNPROFOR troops were
                    taken hostage. On successive days in early December 1994, between 316
                    and 439 UNPROFOR personnel became hostages.3

Lack of Resources   The inability to obtain Security Council approval for troops to carry out
                    the U.N.’s mandate to deter attacks against the six safe areas hindered
                    U.N. efforts in Bosnia. In January 1994, the U.N. Secretary General had
                    stated that 34,000 additional troops would be necessary to fulfill the
                    mandate. The Security Council, however, responded by authorizing only

                     For an analysis of U.N. operations in Bosnia see, Peace Operations: Update on the Situation in the
                    Former Yugoslavia (GAO/NSIAD-95-148BR, May 8, 1995) and Humanitarian Intervention: Effectiveness
                    of U.N. Operations in Bosnia (GAO/NSIAD-94-156BR, April 13, 1994).

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                           7,600 more troops. Thus, the United Nations did not deploy armed forces
                           sufficient to deter attacks against the safe areas of Bihac, Gorazde,
                           Srebrenica, and Zepa.

Issues of Command and      Problems also occurred with command and control of the troops in
Control                    Bosnia, limiting UNPROFOR’s ability to fulfill its mandates. Similar to the
                           incident in Somalia, one troop contingent refused to redeploy to Mostar,
                           saying that the order exceeded UNPROFOR’s responsibilities. When the
                           matter was discussed by the Security Council and the troop contingent’s
                           government, it became clear that a difference in interpretation of the
                           mandate was at issue. According to U.N. officials, the Security Council
                           considered the order to redeploy to be a valid part of UNPROFOR’s mandate;
                           on the other hand, the troop contingent’s government regarded
                           redeployment as an unacceptable risk and outside of its agreement.

U.N. Approach to the Use   Although UNPROFOR had authority under chapter VII to use force to carry
of Force                   out some of its tasks, it still sought consent from the warring parties to
                           take certain actions. UNPROFOR asked for permission for its vehicles to
                           move from one area to another, agreed to the imposition of roadblocks
                           that impeded the delivery of humanitarian aid as well as equipment for its
                           forces, and permitted warring parties to have a say in where troops would
                           be placed along confrontation lines. Thus, according to the director of
                           UNPROFOR’s civil affairs group, Bosnian operations functioned as
                           peacekeeping missions (where consent is a requirement) despite the
                           mandates’ authorization of enforcement authority. UNPROFOR was also
                           reluctant to call for NATO airstrikes to help it deter attacks against areas
                           declared safe by U.N. mandates.

                           In July 1995, Croatian Serb forces crossed the Bosnian border to join with
                           Bosnian Serb troops for another attack on the Bihac pocket. But Bihac did
                           not fall. In July 1995, the safe areas of Srebrenica and Zepa were attacked
                           and fell to Bosnian Serb forces, resulting in the flight of thousands of
                           inhabitants and the killing of others, as confirmed in July 1996
                           investigations of mass gravesites near Srebrenica.

                           In response to such attacks, the Security Council authorized a rapid
                           reaction force composed of heavily armed troops, artillery, and
                           helicopters. The rapid reaction force reported to the U.N. command but
                           operated under robust rules of engagement and did not wear the
                           traditional blue helmets signifying peacekeeping or paint its vehicles white

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         as did other UNPROFOR units. Following the fall of Srebrenica and Zepa, the
         North Atlantic Council further agreed to take more vigorous steps to
         prevent further Bosnian Serb aggression and stated that airstrikes would
         be carried out under existing Security Council resolutions and did not
         need further U.N. authorization. In December 1995, UNPROFOR ended its
         mission and was replaced with a peace enforcement mission led by NATO.

         Although UNPROFOR did not achieve its enforcement mandates in Bosnia, it
         did help the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other
         humanitarian organizations provide vital humanitarian aid for three
         winters. UNPROFOR provided logistical support, security, and escorts. It also
         operated Sarajevo airport from 1992 to 1994, which allowed Sarajevo to
         receive most of its food when road access was cut off. Finally, UNPROFOR
         helped deter banditry and undertook confidence-building measures, such
         as joint patrols to facilitate the federation between Bosnian Muslims and
         Croats; helped negotiate arrangements to reduce fighting in besieged
         enclaves such as Maglaj and Vitez; and arranged for the demilitarization of
         hundreds of kilometers of confrontation lines.

         A 3-year civil war between Rwanda’s two main ethnic groups—the Hutu,
Rwanda   who led the Rwandan government, and the Tutsi, who led the Rwanda
         Patriotic Front (RPF)—ended in August 1993 when the two sides signed the
         Arusha Peace Agreement. Two months later, the U.N. Security Council
         established the U.N. Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) to monitor
         the cease-fire, contribute to the security of Kigali, and coordinate
         humanitarian assistance.

         The civil war resumed after the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi were
         killed when their airplane was shot down on April 6, 1994. Hutus began
         massacring Tutsis. In response, the RPF launched a military offensive, and
         the government collapsed. The Security Council withdrew all but 440 of
         the 2,486 UNAMIR troops and adopted a second mandate on April 21,
         directing UNAMIR to act as an mediator between the warring parties. As
         ethic and political violence intensified, the Secretary General reported that
         an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 people had been massacred and well over
         1 million had either been internally displaced or had become refugees in
         neighboring countries. On May 17, 1994, the Security Council approved a
         third mandate, establishing UNAMIR II and authorizing it to (1) protect
         displaced persons, refugees, and civilians under threat, using force to
         establish safe zones and (2) provide security for the distribution of
         humanitarian aid.

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Lack of Resources   The U.N. Secretary General had planned a deployment of U.N. military
                    forces in three stages during the spring of 1994. This deployment was to
                    take 31 days, or until mid-June. Nevertheless, full troop strength did not
                    occur until November, despite UNAMIR’s repeated requests. During this
                    time, the Security Council debated about whether member states would
                    actually provide the needed resources. Because of this delay, UNAMIR was
                    not able to provide security to the hundreds of thousands of displaced and
                    endangered civilians.

                    During the month of July, the RPF defeated the Rwandan government army,
                    unilaterally declared a cease-fire, and established a new government,
                    effectively ending the civil war. However, as a result of the RPF’s advance
                    in the northwest, about 1.2 million Hutus began to flee toward the
                    southwest and crossed into Zaire. An estimated 10,000 refugees per hour
                    went over the border and entered the town of Goma, Zaire. This massive
                    influx of refugees created a severe humanitarian crisis. In November 1994,
                    the Security Council approved UNAMIR’s fourth mandate, adding to its
                    existing tasks the responsibilities of (1) providing security for the U.N.
                    International Tribunal for Rwanda4 and human rights officers and
                    (2) assisting in training a national police force.

                    Although UNAMIR was not authorized under chapter VII of the U.N. charter,
                    its mandates to protect displaced persons and refugees as well as establish
                    secure sanctuaries for endangered civilians implied that force was to be
                    used to carry out the mandate. However, UNAMIR was not able to prevent or
                    significantly mitigate the ethnic and political violence during the civil war.
                    Weak command and control as well as the absence of a U.N. enforcement
                    doctrine were not major factors in the Rwandan situation. According to
                    the U.N. officials and representatives of humanitarian organizations, an
                    estimated 500,000 men, women, and children—or over 45 percent of the
                    Tutsi population—were murdered during the conflict. Estimates are that
                    from 200,000 to 300,000 of them were killed after UNAMIR II’s mandate was

                    After a Rwandan government was reestablished in late July 1994, UNAMIR
                    had only limited success in fulfilling its mandate. The operation did not
                    protect displaced persons and refugees from government soldiers and
                    other armed groups. For example, UNAMIR was unable to protect refugees
                    enroute to their home communes, according to the Secretary General’s
                    reports. In January and April 1995, UNAMIR did not protect displaced

                     On November 8, 1994, the U.N. Security Council established an international tribunal to prosecute
                    persons responsible for genocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law
                    committed in Rwanda and neighboring countries.

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          persons at two camps in southwest Rwanda when government soldiers
          opened fire on the camps, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of
          people—including women and children. Finally, UNAMIR has not been able
          to create a secure environment within Rwanda to facilitate the repatriation
          of the refugees. According to U.N. reports, the security situation continues
          to deteriorate, the number of people detained by the government for their
          alleged involvement in the genocide remains high, reports of government
          executions and torture persist, and banditry as well as other acts of
          violence against civilians have occurred.

          The operation has, however, provided security to human rights monitors,
          the International Tribunal, U.N. specialized agency personnel, and
          nongovernmental organizations; escorted humanitarian convoys; helped
          resettle thousands of displaced persons; and trained candidates for
          Rwanda’s national police force.

          The United Nations established UNIFIL in 1978 after an Israeli incursion into
Lebanon   South Lebanon in response to a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)
          attack near Tel Aviv that killed 37 and wounded 76. UNIFIL had three major
          objectives: (1) confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces to the international
          border, (2) restore peace and security to South Lebanon, and (3) help the
          government of Lebanon restore its authority there. To that end, UNIFIL was
          directed to establish and maintain an area of operation in South Lebanon
          to serve as a buffer between the combatants, supervise and monitor the
          established cease-fire, and ensure the “peaceful character” of its area of
          operations by making certain that no unauthorized armed personnel
          entered and by controlling movement within. UNIFIL was authorized to use
          force only in self-defense, which included resistance to attempts by
          forcible means to prevent UNIFIL from accomplishing its mandated
          objectives. UNIFIL was directed to take all measures deemed necessary to
          assure the effective restoration of Lebanese sovereignty. As the daunting
          nature of its task became apparent, the United Nations increased UNIFIL’s
          size from 4,000 to 6,000 personnel in 1978, and to 7,000 in early 1982.
          Currently, UNIFIL has about 4,500 U.N. peacekeepers.

          According to U.N. reports, UNIFIL was unable to accomplish its mandate
          from its inception, in part because the Israeli government and PLO
          authorities never fully accepted it. UNIFIL could not establish a clear and
          effective area of operation in South Lebanon. Israeli and PLO authorities
          were unable to agree on the tasks UNIFIL should undertake, and so could
          not consent to an area of operation. In addition, Israeli forces did not

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                    withdraw fully from South Lebanon and turned some positions over to the
                    “de facto” forces (the Christian militia, led by Major Saad Haddad and later
                    known as the South Lebanon Army) instead of UNIFIL. The de facto forces,
                    which were financed, trained, and equipped by Israel, at times denied
                    UNIFIL units freedom of movement in South Lebanon and subjected them to
                    severe harassment. Israeli, de facto, and PLO forces also opposed any
                    movement of the Lebanese Army into parts of South Lebanon, preventing
                    the government of Lebanon from restoring its authority in these areas.

                    As a result, intense exchanges of fire and infiltration continued after UNIFIL
                    deployed. Attempting to reduce infiltration, UNIFIL units were redeployed
                    and efforts were made to improve its surveillance capabilities. However,
                    given the difficulty of the terrain, the lack of clear enforcement powers,
                    and the noncooperation of the parties, the United Nations recognized that
                    it was virtually impossible to prevent infiltration attempts. In June 1982, in
                    response to worldwide PLO attacks on Israeli civilians and officials, Israel
                    again invaded Lebanon. UNIFIL forces attempted to delay the Israeli
                    advance, but lightly armed UNIFIL units were no match for heavily armed
                    Israeli forces. The entire UNIFIL area of operation was soon completely
                    behind Israeli lines.

Lack of Resources   Part of the problem in restoring order in Lebanon is that no political
                    consensus has emerged on how to deal with the situation. Consequently
                    no nation has been willing to provide the troops and equipment necessary
                    to effectively carry out the mandate. UNIFIL has lacked the forces to
                    prevent Hezbollah (the Islamic fundamentalist group) from attacking
                    Israel. Nevertheless, UNIFIL stands as a symbol of U.N. resolve to provide
                    humanitarian assistance to the local Lebanese population.

                    Regarding command and control, weaknesses in this area remain. These
                    weaknesses inhibit UNIFIL’s ability to coordinate actions and most
                    effectively deploy U.N. forces. However, the underlying operational issue
                    is the lack of clear international will and consensus to effectively carry out
                    the U.N. mandates.

                    In a January 1996 report, the Secretary General stated that the situation in
                    Lebanon was unchanged, with Southern Lebanon still occupied and
                    UNIFIL’s mandate to help restore Lebanese sovereignty unfulfilled. This
                    situation was underscored in April 1996, when Hezbollah launched rocket
                    attacks on northern Israel from locations near UNIFIL headquarters. In
                    retaliation, Israel fired artillery fire at the locations, and several days of

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                    U.N. Experience in the Use of Force

                    exchanges ensued. During one of the exchanges, over 100 Lebanese
                    civilians were killed in the compound area of one of the UNIFIL contingents.

                    The U.N. Operations in the Congo5 (ONUC) was not authorized under
The Congo           chapter VII of the U.N. charter but stands as the earliest example of a large
                    U.N. peacekeeping effort that used force in carrying out its mandate. The
                    Congo, an area the size of the United States east of the Mississippi River
                    and with 14 million people, became independent of Belgium in June of
                    1960, but was ill prepared for this responsibility. Belgium had allowed little
                    freedom in the Congo, with rights to free speech and a free press
                    permitted just 6 months before independence. Thus, the Congolese lacked
                    the political traditions to function as a nation state. Belgium agreed to
                    assist in the transition by providing administrators and technical
                    assistance. Belgium also agreed to help maintain security for the transition
                    to independence and was to continue to command the 24,000-man
                    Congolese national police. Just days after independence and the election
                    of the first President, the police force rioted after promotions and pay
                    increases were denied by the Belgian commander. Belgium subsequently
                    sent in troops to protect its citizens from the general breakdown of order.

                    On July 14, just 2 weeks after the police revolt, the first of six U.N.
                    mandates for intervention was adopted. The two main goals of this early
                    phase were to (1) establish law and order and (2) facilitate the withdrawal
                    of the Belgian forces. The Security Council viewed the Belgian and other
                    foreign mercenary presence as a threat to decolonization. However,
                    Belgium insisted it had no further territorial designs on the Congo, and the
                    official Belgian troops left speedily. As the U.N. intervention proceeded,
                    the new government suffered a civil and constitutional crisis: the
                    resource-rich Katanga province seceded, with the help of foreign
                    mercenaries. In addition, the President and Prime Minister of the newly
                    organized government emerged as combatants, using their own forces and
                    supporters to fight each other.

Lack of Resources   At its peak strength in July 1961, ONUC numbered over 19,800 troops.
                    According to U.N. military officials at the time, the total number of forces
                    were insufficient to provide security for a country as large as the Congo.
                    Nevertheless, according to U.N. and other studies, this lack of troops was

                    The former Congo, or Leopoldville, changed its name to Zaire in 1971. The country now known as the
                    Congo is a small neighbor that has never been the subject of peacekeeping.

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                         U.N. Experience in the Use of Force

                         not as great a problem as the inability to deploy them to strategic

Command and Control      Regarding weaknesses in command and control, some national
                         contingents operated outside of the U.N. chain of command to bolster
                         their own national interests. For example, one U.N. contingent disarmed
                         parts of the Congolese police and were later told they had acted beyond
                         their mandate and had to return the weapons. Another contingent was
                         ordered to apprehend mercenaries as called for under Security Council
                         Resolution 144. However, the contingent resisted this order, saying it
                         exceeded the contingent’s mandate.

                         In another instance during operations in Katanga, ONUC troops executed a
                         plan to both eliminate the foreign mercenaries and secure ONUC’s
                         unimpeded movement throughout the country. After successfully
                         advancing and executing phases of the plan, ONUC troops were ordered to
                         halt. However, they continued to advance and secured the town of
                         Jadotville, a major stronghold of one of the political factions. The failure
                         to halt operations was blamed on a communication failure. However, a
                         report explained “The commanding officer in the field decided that
                         militarily, at any rate, he had no choice but to deal with the military
                         situation before him. In this decision he had in mind, particularly, his
                         military training; the security and morale of his troops; the scorched-earth
                         threats of Mr. Tshombe; the information obtained from two captured
                         mercenaries that Mr. Tshombe had just been exhorting them to hold up
                         the ONUC advance for three days after which world public opinion would
                         force the United Nations to withdraw . . .6

Approach to Conducting   Because of concerns about intruding into the Congo’s domestic sovereign
Operations               affairs, ONUC operated with the consent of the warring factions and this
                         limited its ability to effectively conduct operations. Disruptions in building
                         up troop strength and redistributing forces throughout the country
                         occurred. The United Nations, in dealing with the provincial government
                         in Katanga, agreed to restrictions and introduced about 500 U.N. troops
                         per month to the area, leading to a 2-year buildup to full strength. Further,
                         ONUC assented to its troops being placed in restricted locations.

                         Thousands were killed and atrocities occurred, but ONUC could not prevent
                         many of the human rights violations in Katanga. Further, the U.N. forces

                          Report of the Secretary General, S/5053/Add. 14, Annex XXXIV.

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        U.N. Experience in the Use of Force

        were viewed by some as intrusive and partisan and sometimes exceeded
        their mandate by either taking action or refusing to take action. The
        Security Council issued further mandates in an effort to deal with the
        complex, evolving situation, first authorizing ONUC to use of “force in the
        last resort” to prevent civil war in February 1961. Later mandates included
        wording, such as “to bring Congolese forces under control,” that led to a
        severe breakdown in U.N.-Congolese government relations. The President
        of the Congo accused the Secretary General of duping him into agreeing to
        a U.N. force and claimed the international attorneys had deceived him.
        Indeed, disgruntled by ONUC’s actions, the various factions attacked the
        U.N. forces. In one incident in April 1961, 44 Ghanian peacekeepers were
        killed in an ambush by ANC troops and in November 1961, 13 Italian
        peacekeepers were killed.

        ONUC   finally did help restore security and end the secession of Katanga
        province, but many other elements in the ONUC mandate were incompletely
        fulfilled or not fulfilled at all. For example, the Congolese police force was
        not reformed. The deaths of 234 peacekeepers and of U.N. Secretary
        General Dag Hammarskjold and the disputes about whether member
        states were obligated to pay for the Congo action resulted in a political
        and financial crisis for the United Nations.

        The crisis in Haiti began in September 1991, when the democratically
Haiti   elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide went into exile after being
        deposed in a military coup led by General Raoul Cedras. In June 1993,
        following nearly 2 years of human rights abuses by the coup leaders, the
        U.N. Security Council imposed economic and political sanctions on Haiti.
        In July, President Aristide and General Cedras met at Governors Island,
        New York, and signed an agreement for President Aristide’s return to
        power in October 1993. In September 1993, the Security Council
        authorized UNMIH to implement the provisions of the Governors Island
        Agreement. However, armed groups of individuals prevented UNMIH
        contingents from landing in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital. The Security
        Council reimposed sanctions, but political assassinations and human
        rights abuses continued.

        Then, in July 1994, the Security Council passed Resolution 940 under
        chapter VII of the U.N. charter and mandated a multinational force (MNF)
        led by the United States to use the means necessary to (1) facilitate the
        departure of the military leadership and to restore the legitimate
        government to power and (2) establish and maintain a secure and stable

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            environment during the transition. In September 1994, hours before the
            MNF planned to intervene in Haiti, General Cedras stepped down.

            Consisting of approximately 20,000 troops from more than 25 countries,
            the MNF quickly established itself throughout Haiti. The majority of troops
            were in the two major cities, Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien, but MNF
            special forces teams were also based in 27 towns and operated in about
            500 locations. The MNF disbanded the Haitian army and took control of its
            heavy weapons. Army officers above the rank of major remained in place
            without function until the beginning of 1995, when they were dismissed by
            President Aristide. In addition, the MNF disbanded paramilitary groups and
            confiscated about 33,000 weapons—20,000 from seizures, including heavy
            weapons from the Haitian army units—and more than 13,000 from a
            buy-back program. Both the U.N. and the Haitian government expressed
            concerns that weapons were still in the hands of government opponents.
            However, the MNF found no evidence of remaining weapons caches,
            although it had conducted confiscation raids and instituted traffic
            checkpoints in the capital. According to the Organization of American
            States, the United Nations, and local human rights organizations, a
            significant decrease occurred in political violence and human rights
            abuses compared to previous levels.

Resources   Because the United States considered actions in Haiti to be in the national
            interest, the second phase of UNMIH was able to call on U.S. resources as
            needed. The United States led the MNF that preceded UNMIH, committing
            18,000 U.S. military personnel, helicopters, and naval support. In addition,
            the United States gave the United Nations considerable information and
            provided military logisticians and planners. When the MNF made its
            transition to a U.N.-led activity, the U.S. sponsored training programs on
            command and control, doctrine, and operations for many of the UNMIH
            troops and civilians. Valuable logistical support contracts for rations,
            supplies, and equipment already in place were supplied to the second
            phase of UNMIH until the U.N. bidding process could begin. Of considerable
            assistance, too, was the quick reaction force of 1,500, including 550 special
            forces and helicopters, that stayed in place to bolster security. And it was
            clear that should trouble reoccur, further U.S. resources would be close at

            By March 1995, the MNF had successfully completed its mandate and
            returned control of operations to UNMIH, which under its second phase was
            authorized 6,000 troops and 800 civilian police. Although UNMIH was

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                         U.N. Experience in the Use of Force

                         authorized under chapter VI of the U.N. charter, its expectations were to
                         ensure a secure environment while the Haitian government resumed full
                         civilian control. By the end of March, the United Nations had successfully
                         deployed nearly all its troops and most of its senior civilian staff to Haiti.
                         About 70 percent of UNMIH had been part of the MNF, and the United
                         Nations had to arrange for the additional deployment of contingents from
                         seven countries. Five of these had arrived by the transition date—only two
                         small contingents had not yet come.7 Similarly, the U.N. civilian staff
                         landed in Haiti according to plan, as the 50-person advance team in the
                         country since November 1994 was gradually augmented. With its military
                         and civilian leadership in place, the United Nations commissioned the
                         United States to conduct a week-long training course for military and
                         civilian officials in early March to foster implementation of command and
                         control arrangements, common understanding of rules of engagement, and
                         coordination between military and civilian components of the mission.

Command and Control      While the second phase of UNMIH was a U.N. operation, the U.S. Atlantic
                         Command (USACOM) was a primary actor in planning maneuvers for both
                         the MNF and the transition to U.N. command and control. The UNMIH force
                         commander was a U.S. Major General who reported to the U.N. special
                         representative of the Secretary General; however, for military issues, he
                         was directly responsible to USACOM and in command of military decisions.
                         All other national contingents received their operational orders through
                         coordination with the U.S. special forces troops, who had the
                         communications equipment to ensure that orders were accurately relayed.
                         In addition, about two-fifths of the UNMIH forces were U.S. troops. These
                         troops were placed with other national contingents in such important
                         areas as the Haitian capital, Cap Haitien, and Gonaives. While UNMIH was
                         clearly a U.N. operation, the chain of command for military matters was
                         led by the U.S. commander. Furthermore, operational orders were
                         expected to be carried out through the liaison process led by U.S. special

Approach to Conducting   In the second phase of the UNMIH operation, an accepted, clear doctrine
Operations               was present. This doctrine relied on six principles: (1) implementing
                         explicitly defined objectives, (2) emphasizing unity of effort, (3) ensuring
                         adequate security for itself, (4) exercising restraint, (5) being perserverant,
                         and (6) ensuring legitimacy. The United States employs these principles in
                         operations other than war. While obtaining the consent of the warring

                          Negotiations were continuing for the possible deployment of a small contingent from a third country.

                         Page 49                                                          GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations
Appendix III
U.N. Experience in the Use of Force

parties was an important element in ensuring the legitimacy of UNMIH, it
was only one portion of the doctrine. Stressing a united team effort and
security, UNMIH retained military, political, and informational advantage
over potential warring parties. UNMIH also was proactive and took the
initiative in using assertive actions when necessary to carry out the
mandate. For example, UNMIH used roadblocks and searches, actively
disarming Haitians in certain situations in order to ensure a secure

From April to July 1995, UNMIH assisted the government of Haiti in
sustaining a secure and stable environment, professionalizing the armed
forces, creating a separate police force, and establishing an environment
conducive to the conduct of free and fair elections. Since the MNF had
destroyed military opposition to the government, criminal and vigilante
activity was the major threat to public safety. During March, there were
101 reported murders; this number dropped to 79 in April, 75 in May, and
63 in June. The June 1995 local and parliamentary elections were held in a
relatively secure environment. However, election rallies and meetings of
the opposition were disrupted, and 94 vigilante murders occurred between
March and June, including the assassinations of prominent Haitian
politicians and former members of the disbanded Haitian armed forces.

To maintain a secure environment for run-off elections and the
presidential election in December, UNMIH increased patrols and provided
greater protection for the President of Haiti. However, in November, an
attack on two supporters of the President caused violent demonstrations.
The quick reaction force was proactive in responding to the
demonstrations, and UNMIH increased patrols in the area to stabilize the
situation. Nevertheless, following an emotional funeral speech by the
President, violence broke out, particularly in Port-au-Prince, Gonaives,
and Cap Haitien. At least seven people were killed. UNMIH again
reestablished control, but the violence underscored the fragile security
situation. In December 1995, presidential elections were held in a secure
and generally peaceful environment.8

The gradual withdrawal of UNMIH’s contingents began in December 1995,
and the final U.S. contingent of UNMIH withdrew from Haiti in April 1996.
The Secretary General, however, recommended UNMIH continue with a
small force to help ensure a peaceful transition. In April 1996, a force of
1,500 troops and 250 police was approved by the Security Council and
remains in place.

 See Haiti: U.S. Assistance for the Electoral Process (GAO/NSIAD-96-147, July 5, 1996).

Page 50                                                           GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations
Appendix IV

Comments From the Department of State

              Page 51          GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations
Appendix V

Comments From the Department of Defense

             Page 52          GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations
Appendix V
Comments From the Department of Defense

Page 53                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations
Appendix VI

Major Contributors to This Report

                        Joseph C. Brown
National Security and   Rona Mendelsohn
International Affairs   Zina D. Merritt
Division, Washington,   Tet Miyabara

                        Mark C. Speight
Office of General

                        Page 54           GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations
Related GAO Products

              Bosnia: Costs Are Uncertain but Likely to Exceed Estimates
              (GAO/NSIAD-96-120BR, Mar. 14, 1996).

              Peace Operations: U.S. Costs in Support of Haiti, Former Yugoslavia,
              Somalia, and Rwanda (GAO/NSIAD-96-38, Mar. 6, 1996).

              Peace Operations: Effect of Training, Equipment, and Other Factors on
              Unit Capability (GAO/NSIAD-96-14, Oct. 18, 1995).

              Peacekeeping: Assessment of U.S. Participation in the Multinational Force
              and Observers (GAO/NSIAD-95-113, Aug. 15, 1995).

              Peace Operations: Update on the Situation in the Former Yugoslavia
              (GAO/NSIAD-95-148BR, May 8, 1995).

              Peace Operations: Estimated Fiscal Year 1995 Costs to the United States
              (GAO-NSIAD-95-138BR, May 3, 1995)

              Peace Operations: Heavy Use of Key Capabilities May Affect Response to
              Regional Conflicts (GAO-NSIAD-95-51, Mar. 8, 1995)

              Peace Operations: Information on U.S. and U.N. Activities
              (GAO/NSIAD-95-102BR, Feb. 13, 1995).

              United Nations: How Assessed Contributions for Peacekeeping Operations
              Are Calculated (GAO/NSIAD-94-206, Aug. 1, 1994).

              Humanitarian Intervention: Effectiveness of U.N. Operations in Bosnia
              (GAO/NSIAD-94-156BR, Apr. 13, 1994).

              Peace Operations: Withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Somalia
              (GAO/NSIAD-94-175, June 9, 1994).

              U.N. Peacekeeping: Lessons Learned in Recent Missions (GAO/NSIAD-94-9,
              Dec. 29, 1993).

              Haiti: Costs of U.S. Programs and Activities Since the 1991 Military Coup
              (GAO/NSIAD-93-252FS, Aug. 5, 1993).

              U.N. Peacekeeping: Observations on Mandates and Operational Capability
              (GAO/T-NSIAD-93-15, June 9, 1993).

              Page 55                                         GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations
           Related GAO Products

           Serbia-Montenegro: Implementation of U.N. Economic Sanctions
           (GAO/NSIAD-93-174, Apr. 22, 1993).

           United Nations: U.S. Participation in Peacekeeping Operations
           (GAO/NSIAD-92-247, Sept. 9, 1992).

(711093)   Page 56                                       GAO/NSIAD-97-34 United Nations
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