United States General Accounting Office GAO Report to the Chairman, Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives April 1997 U.N. PEACEKEEPING Status of Long-standing Operations and U.S. Interests in Supporting Them GAO/NSIAD-97-59 United States GAO General Accounting Office Washington, D.C. 20548 National Security and International Affairs Division B-276145 April 9, 1997 The Honorable Benjamin Gilman Chairman, Committee on International Relations House of Representatives Dear Mr. Chairman: The cost and effectiveness of U.N. peacekeeping operations and their relationship to U.S. interests have emerged as major issues in recent years. Most of the over 40 peacekeeping operations undertaken since 1948 lasted only a few years, but some have continued for years with no clear end point in sight. Although the United States was assessed by the United Nations for peacekeeping operations at a rate of about 31 percent in 1996, current law limits payment of the U.S. contribution to 25 percent.1 In response to your request, this report discusses (1) the budgetary and personnel cost of the eight long-standing U.N. peacekeeping operations,2 (2) whether these operations are carrying out their mandates, (3) the status of efforts to resolve the underlying conflicts, and (4) the reasons the executive branch continues to support these operations. Table 1 shows the eight operations, the years they were authorized, and their locations. 1 Section 404(b)(2) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 1994-95 (P.L. 103-236) prohibits the use of funds appropriated after fiscal year 1995 for the payment of U.S. assessed contributions for U.N. peacekeeping operations in an amount greater than 25 percent of the total of all assessed contributions for an operation. 2 “Long-standing” refers to current (ongoing) operations more than 5 years old, as discussed in our scope and methodology. All dollar amounts shown in this report are nominal dollar values and have not been converted to constant dollars to reflect inflation rates since 1948 because U.N. officials could not allocate the costs of these operations by year. Page 1 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 Table 1: Long-standing U.N. Peacekeeping Operations Year Name authorized Location U.N. Truce Supervision Organization 1948 Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria (UNTSO) (Middle East) U.N. Military Observer Group in India 1949 India, Pakistan (Kashmir) and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) U.N. Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) 1964 Cyprus U.N. Disengagement Observer Force 1974 Israel, Syria (Golan Heights) (UNDOF) U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon 1978 Lebanon (UNIFIL) U.N. Iraq-Kuwait Observer Mission 1991 Iraq, Kuwait (Persian Gulf) (UNIKOM) U.N. Angola Verification Mission 1991a Angola (UNAVEM) II and III U.N. Mission for the Referendum in 1991 Western Sahara Western Sahara (MINURSO) a We evaluated UNAVEM II and III as one operation, as discussed in our scope and methodology. At the direction of the U.N. Security Council,3 the United Nations Background undertakes peacekeeping operations to help maintain or restore peace and security in areas of conflict. Such operations have been employed most commonly to supervise and maintain cease-fires, assist in troop withdrawals, and provide buffer zones between opposing forces. The main objective of peacekeeping operations, according to U.N. and U.S. policies, is to reduce tensions and provide a limited period of time for diplomatic efforts to achieve just and lasting settlements of the underlying conflicts. U.N. and U.S. policies state that peacekeeping is not—and should not become—a substitute for peacemaking.4 These policies (and peacekeeping authorities) emphasize the connection between peacekeeping and peacemaking and the limited nature of peacekeeping, stating that the purpose of peacekeeping is to provide “finite windows of opportunity” for parties to resolve disputes and begin reconstructing their societies. These policies state that peacekeeping operations should not be open-ended 3 Under article 24 of the U.N. charter, the Security Council is primarily responsible for maintaining international peace and security. The Council consists of 5 permanent and 10 nonpermanent members. The latter are elected for 2-year terms by the General Assembly, with five new members elected every year. Decisions on all substantive matters require nine affirmative votes and must have the concurrence of all five permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States). 4 The United Nations defines peacemaking as actions to resolve conflicts by peaceful means such as mediation and negotiation. Page 2 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 commitments, but instead, should be linked to concrete political solutions, and recommend that operations deploy only after agreed settlement plans are in place. In recognition of the fact that U.N. and U.S. policies were not clear regarding the factors to consider when deciding whether to undertake new or extend existing peacekeeping operations, in recent years both U.N. and U.S. policies have become much more focused on this issue. Both now call for disciplined and coherent choices about which new and existing peacekeeping operations to support. U.S. policy concerning these matters is discussed in Presidential Decision Directive-25 (PDD-25),5 the 1996 U.S. National Security Strategy, and other executive branch documents, such as the President’s 1995 and subsequent annual reports to Congress on peacekeeping. Among other things, U.S. policy requires rigorous scrutiny of existing operations when they are reviewed by the U.N. Security Council to assess the value (to U.S. interests) of continuing them.6 U.S. policy suggests that U.S. officials consider voting against long-standing operations that are failing to carry out their mandates, in order to free U.N. resources for other operations. The eight long-standing operations are deployed in environments where Results in Brief the underlying conflicts have defied diplomatic resolution, sometimes for decades, and have become, essentially, costly and open-ended commitments. Only two of these operations had successfully carried out their mandates, while the remaining six either had only partially carried out their mandates or had not carried them out. Although all but one of these operations were undertaken to create stable, secure environments to assist diplomatic efforts aimed at settling these underlying conflicts,7 diplomatic efforts to resolve these conflicts had stalled in all but one case. Nevertheless, U.S. officials currently see no reasonable alternative to continuing these operations because they help stabilize conflicts in key areas of the world. 5 PDD-25, a classified document, was issued in May 1994. An unclassified summary was issued at the same time. 6 Among the factors to be considered in determining broad U.S. interests in continuing an operation are whether (1) U.N. involvement advances U.S. interests; (2) there is a threat to or breach of international peace and security; and (3) the operation has clear and practical objectives, a mandate appropriate to the mission, realistic exit criteria, and an identified end point for U.N. involvement. 7 UNIKOM was deployed to monitor Iraqi compliance with relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions, not in support of diplomatic efforts to end the Persian Gulf conflict. Page 3 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 The eight operations accounted for about $6 billion (over one-third) of the $17 billion that the United Nations has spent on peacekeeping operations since 1948, and continue to account for a substantial share of current U.N. peacekeeping budgetary and personnel costs. In 1996, for example, they accounted for about 42 percent of the $1.4 billion estimated annual cost of U.N. peacekeeping and almost 60 percent of the nearly 25,000 troops serving in U.N. operations worldwide. Under current law, the U.S. share of the estimated annual cost of these operations for 1996 was about $148 million. Our review of U.N. and U.S. reports and other information indicates that the operations in the Golan Heights and Persian Gulf (UNDOF and UNIKOM) had successfully carried out their mandates and increased security and stability in their areas of operation. Operations in the Middle East, Cyprus, and Angola (UNTSO, UNFICYP, and UNAVEM) had partially carried out their mandates and made some positive contributions to stability in their areas of operation. Operations in Kashmir, Lebanon, and Western Sahara (UNMOGIP, UNIFIL, and MINURSO) generally had not carried out their mandates and, according to U.N. reports, had contributed marginally to more secure and stable environments in their areas of operation. U.N. and U.S. reports, and officials we met with, attributed the six operations’ mixed record of success to a variety of factors, such as lack of cooperation from the disputing parties and outdated or impractical mandates. For example, U.N. reports identify lack of cooperation by the parties to the conflict in southern Lebanon as a key factor keeping the U.N. operation there from carrying out its mandate. Despite repeated calls from the U.N. Security Council for the parties to make progress toward settling the underlying conflicts, as of February 1997, only the conflict in Angola was the subject of ongoing talks between the disputing parties.8 Peace talks and other diplomatic efforts associated with the conflicts in Cyprus, Kashmir, the Middle East, and Western Sahara had stalled.9 Only in Angola and Western Sahara were settlement plans in place before peacekeeping forces first deployed. U.N. and U.S. officials and experts we met with attributed the lack of success in settling these conflicts to a variety of factors, including the weak political will of some disputing parties and the deeply rooted nature of some of the conflicts. 8 Ongoing talks between the disputing parties in Angola support the implementation of their peace accord. 9 The Persian Gulf conflict was never the subject of peace talks. Page 4 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 Despite the long-standing operations’ cost and mixed performance in carrying out their mandates, U.S. policymakers support continuing these operations because, in their view, they help to stabilize conflicts that could threaten U.S. foreign policy objectives. In their judgment, ending these operations—or even modifying them substantially—would risk renewed conflict and damage future peacemaking efforts. U.S. officials told us that some of these operations probably would not have been initially approved under current U.S. and U.N. peacekeeping policies. At this time, however, U.S. officials see no reasonable alternative to continuing these operations indefinitely, given their assessment of the potential harm to U.S. foreign policy objectives if the underlying conflicts resumed, balanced against what they consider to be these operations’ relatively moderate cost. In continuing to support what have become essentially open-ended commitments to peacekeeping, however, the executive branch does not appear to give adequate consideration to other factors articulated by U.S. policy that seek to ensure that peacekeeping operations are limited in duration, linked to concrete political solutions, and have exit criteria and identified end points for U.N. involvement. This report contains a recommendation that the Secretary of State take action to begin addressing the issues raised by our analysis. U.N. and U.S. financial reports and other documents show that the eight Cost of Long-standing long-standing U.N. peacekeeping operations account for about $6 billion Operations (35 percent) of the $17 billion in total costs incurred by U.N. peacekeeping operations since 1948, when the first one (UNTSO) was deployed in the Middle East to monitor the cease-fire after the first Arab-Israeli War. Partly because of their longevity, 5 of these operations are among the 10 most costly U.N. operations ever undertaken. Table 2 shows the eight long-standing operations’ total cost since 1948. Page 5 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 Table 2: Long-standing Operations’ Total Cost Since 1948 (Through Dollars in millionsa December 1996) Peacekeeping operation Location Total cost UNTSO Middle East $491 UNMOGIP Kashmir 105 UNFICYP Cyprus 840 UNDOF Golan Heights 662 UNIFIL Lebanon 2,661 UNIKOM Iraq-Kuwait 312 UNAVEM Angola 757 MINURSO Western Sahara 244 Total $6,072 a All dollar amounts shown in this table are nominal dollar values. They have not been converted to constant dollars to reflect inflation rates since 1948 because U.N. officials could not allocate the costs of these operations by year. Source: Compiled by GAO from U.N. and U.S. budget documents. The eight long-standing operations also account for a substantial share of current U.N. peacekeeping budgetary and personnel costs. In 1996, for example, they accounted for about $588 million (42 percent) of the $1.4 billion estimated annual cost of U.N. peacekeeping operations and 14,897 (almost 60 percent) of the 24,919 troops serving in U.N. operations worldwide as of December 31, 1996. At the 25-percent rate the executive branch is authorized to pay under current law, the U.S. share of the estimated annual cost of these operations will be about $148 million. The State Department said the size and cost of most long-standing operations has been reduced over time and attributed some of these reductions to the implementation of PDD-25. Table 3 shows the number of U.S. and other personnel assigned to each operation, its current estimated annual cost, and the U.S. share of these costs. Page 6 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 Table 3: Number of Personnel and Estimated Annual Costs for Dollars in millions Long-standing Operations (as of Military personnel Annual cost December 1996) Peacekeeping operation Total U.S. Total U.S. sharea b UNTSO 163 4 $27 $7 b UNMOGIP 45 0 7 2 UNFICYP 1,197 0 24c 6 UNDOF 1,046 0 32 8 UNIFIL 4,505 0 126 32 UNIKOM 1,102 11 17d 4 UNAVEM 6,608 0 323 81 MINURSO 231 15 32 8e Total 14,897 30 $588 $148 a Calculated at the 25-percent rate currently authorized by U.S. law for payment of assessments for U.N. peacekeeping. The United Nations, however, continues to assess the United States at the rate of about 31 percent and considers the difference as arrears owed to the United Nations by the United States. b UNTSO and UNMOGIP are financed through the U.N. regular budget, not peacekeeping assessments. The U.S. assessment for the U.N. regular budget is 25 percent. c Since June 1993, the Cypriot and Greek governments have paid about half of the annual cost of this operation. This figure is the net U.N. cost. d Since November 1993, the Kuwait government has paid two-thirds of the annual cost of this operation. This figure is the net U.N. cost. e Although the United States has voted in the U.N. Security Council to reauthorize MINURSO since its inception, the executive branch has not secured funding for this operation since fiscal year 1994. Congress ordered the recision of funds appropriated for fiscal year 1995 and did not approve a supplemental budget request for fiscal year 1996 that included funds for MINURSO. The executive branch did not request funds for MINURSO in its fiscal year 1997 budget, but has requested funds in its fiscal year 1998 budget for both the current MINURSO assessment, and the arrears accumulated since 1995 due to its failure to pay the U.N. assessment for this operation. Source: Compiled by GAO from U.N. and U.S. budget documents. Two of the eight operations—UNDOF and UNIKOM—generally have carried Progress in Carrying out their mandates and helped to maintain stability in their areas of Out Mandates operation. Three other operations—UNTSO, UNFICYP, and UNAVEM—have partially carried out their mandates and made some positive contributions in their areas of operation. The remaining three operations—UNMOGIP, UNIFIL, and MINURSO—generally have not carried out their mandates and, according to U.N. reports, had contributed only marginally to more secure and stable environments in their areas of operation. Our assessment of Page 7 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 these operations was based on an extensive review of U.N. and U.S. reports, expert studies, and interviews with U.N., U.S., and foreign government officials. In commenting on this report, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations noted that categorizing the long-standing operations as “successful,” “partially successful,” or “not successful,” based on the degree to which they carried out their mandates, was a simple, understandable concept. However, such a categorization may not be fully adequate to capture the multidimensional, complex interests involved in each operation. We agree with the observation that whether these operations are carrying out their mandates is but one measure—albeit an important one—of enduring U.S. interests in supporting them, and we discuss the broader contextual issues regarding U.S. foreign policy interests in a subsequent section of this report. Operations Generally Carrying Out Their Mandates UNDOF UNDOF was established in May 1974 to monitor the buffer zone between Israeli and Syrian forces on the Golan Heights established under the U.S.-negotiated disengagement agreement following the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.10 Its mandate is to help maintain the cease-fire between Israel and Syria, supervise the initial disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces, and supervise the areas of separation and arms limitation on the Golan Heights. Its 6-month mandate has been renewed each November and May since 1974. UNDOF performs its tasks with the cooperation of the parties and helps maintain stability and calm in its area of operations, according to U.N. and U.S. reports and officials and experts. UNDOF personnel man checkpoints and observation posts and conduct vehicle and foot patrols along predetermined routes within the area of separation. The force establishes temporary outposts and conducts additional patrols from time to time to perform specific tasks. Every 2 weeks, UNDOF inspects arms and force levels in the areas of limitation. These inspections, carried out with the assistance of Israeli and Syrian liaison officers, generally have proceeded smoothly with the cooperation of both parties, although both parties restrict the movement of UNDOF personnel in some areas. About 80 UNTSO 10 U.N. Security Council resolution 350 (1974). Page 8 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 military observers function as an integral part of UNDOF (as discussed below). Since 1992, UNDOF has been streamlined twice, resulting in a 20 percent reduction in both its size and cost. UNIKOM UNIKOM was established in April 1991 to monitor the demilitarized zone between Iraq and Kuwait, established after the Gulf War, and the Khawr ’Abd Allah waterway.11 Its mandate is to monitor and deter violations of the Iraq-Kuwait border and observe any hostile action between Iraq and Kuwait. After 1993, UNIKOM was reinforced and authorized to take action to prevent or redress small-scale violations of the border or demilitarized zone.12 Its mandate continues indefinitely until all five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council agree to end it. The U.N. Secretary General, U.S. officials, and experts report that UNIKOM contributes significantly to the calm that prevails in its area of operation. UNIKOM monitors the demilitarized zone, which is about 200 kilometers long and extends 10 kilometers into Iraq and 5 kilometers into Kuwait, and the 40-kilometer-long Khawr ’Abd Allah waterway with a combination of patrol and observation bases, observation points, ground and air patrols, and investigation teams. U.N. officials report that the governments of Iraq and Kuwait generally cooperate with UNIKOM. It maintains its headquarters at Umm Qasr and liaison offices in Baghdad and Kuwait City. Since 1993, the Kuwaiti government has paid two-thirds of UNIKOM’s annual cost, and after March 1996, the number troops was reduced by 6 percent. Operations Partially Carrying Out Their Mandates UNTSO UNTSO was established in May 1948 to supervise the Arab-Israeli truce in Palestine called for by the U.N. Security Council following the first Arab-Israeli War.13 Subsequently, it has performed a variety of tasks entrusted to it by the U.N. Security Council. These included supervising 11 U.N. Security Council resolution 687 (1991) established, among other things, a demilitarized zone along the boundary between Iraq and Kuwait to be monitored by a U.N. observer force. U.N. Security Council resolution 689 (1991) approved the U.N. Secretary General’s plan for establishing UNIKOM. 12 U.N. Security Council resolution 806 (1993). 13 U.N. Security Council resolution 50 (1948) called for the cessation of hostilities in Palestine and decided that the truce should be monitored by the U.N. Mediator, with the assistance of a group of military observers. Page 9 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 the 1949 Arab-Israeli armistice agreements,14 monitoring the cease-fires near the Suez Canal and in the Golan Heights after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, and providing experienced personnel to support the deployment of other peacekeeping operations. It currently helps UNDOF and UNIFIL to implement their mandates by providing observers to help man observation posts and conduct patrols and inspections.15 In the Golan Heights, about 80 UNTSO observers, under the supervision and operational control of the UNDOF commander, man 11 observation posts located in the area of separation maintained by UNDOF and in the vicinity of the lines on both sides; they also inspect the areas of arms and forces limitation every 2 weeks. UNTSO generally has received cooperation from Syrian and Israeli forces in carrying out these inspections and has helped UNDOF keep its area of operation calm. In southern Lebanon, about 60 UNTSO observers, under the operational control of the UNIFIL commander, man five observation posts along the Lebanese side of the 1949 armistice line and operate four mobile teams in the UNIFIL area of operation under Israeli control where UNIFIL units are not deployed. At these locations, UNTSO observes and monitors the situation but, like UNIFIL (discussed later), has had limited success in ensuring peace and stability in its area of operation.16 UNFICYP UNFICYPwas established in March 1964 to help end violence between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island of Cyprus.17 Its mandate is to (1) prevent the recurrence of fighting between the two communities and (2) help maintain law and order and return normal 14 Four armistice agreements were established between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Israel denounced the agreement with Egypt in 1956 and the remaining agreements after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. The U.N. Secretary General rejected Israel’s unilateral actions, however, and held that the agreements remained in force. The two agreements between Israel, Egypt, and Jordan were ended by the 1979 Egypt-Israel and 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaties. At Egypt’s request, however, UNTSO continues to maintain a small post in the Sinai. Its office in Amman, Jordan, was closed in 1995. 15 UNTSO is funded through the U.N. regular budget. Its mandate is of indefinite duration, so the U.N. Security Council does not regularly review and reauthorize it. 16 Various sources, including U.N. and State and Defense Department officials, said that UNTSO is generally viewed as overlapping UNDOF, UNIFIL, and the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai. These sources noted, however, that (1) UNTSO is the only operation currently authorized to implement the remaining Arab-Israeli armistice agreements, (2) it operates in areas of southern Lebanon where UNIFIL is denied access, and (3) its remaining Sinai post is valued by Egyptian authorities as a symbol of continued U.N. involvement in the peace process with Israel. State Department said it is discussing ways to streamline UNTSO’s administrative structure with the U.N. Secretariat and interested member states, and noted that the number of military observers assigned to UNTSO has been reduced from 220 to 163 since August 1995. 17 U.N. Security Council resolution 186 (1964). Page 10 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 conditions to the island. A mediator, designated by the U.N. Secretary General, was to promote an overall settlement to the dispute.18 Since 1964, UNFICYP’s mandate has been periodically renewed, usually for 6 months. Since the 1974 Turkish invasion,19 UNFICYP has helped prevent the recurrence of fighting between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, and the situation has remained generally calm, according to U.N. reports and U.S officials. The parties cooperate with UNFICYP to a reasonable degree, allowing the force to maintain a 180-kilometer-long buffer zone between the cease-fire lines.20 UNFICYP uses observation posts and patrols to keep the cease-fire lines and buffer zone under constant surveillance. Despite the absence of major fighting since 1974, violence has nonetheless broken out on several occasions. In August 1996, for example, a large number of civilians entered the buffer zone from both sides, and the resulting violence left 1 dead and over 74 injured, including 12 UNFICYP personnel. U.N and U.S. officials criticized both Greek and Turkish Cypriot authorities for allowing the incident to occur, noting that UNFICYP personnel were not equipped for riot control. From the beginning of the Cyprus operation, the U.N. Secretary General has reported that the presence of foreign troops on Cyprus, the close proximity of opposing troops along some parts of the buffer zone, and the influx of arms and military equipment made it more difficult for UNFICYP to carry out its mandate. In various resolutions, the U.N. Security Council has expressed concern about these issues, and has urged the parties to reduce force levels and defense spending. U.N. reports show that, despite its best efforts, UNFICYP has been unable to (1) reduce the number of foreign troops on Cyprus, (2) convince the parties to withdraw from all positions in close 18 According to U.N. document S/5653, dated April 11, 1964, UNFICYP’s operations and the mediator’s activities were separate but complementary. According to a former U.S. ambassador to Cyprus, for example, the mediator frequently took the initiative with the parties to seek arrangements for more normal conditions of life on the island. After mediation efforts broke down in 1966, the U.N. Secretary General asked his special representative for Cyprus to employ his good offices to seek a resolution to the conflict. In 1975, the Security Council, by resolution 367 (1975), asked the Secretary General to renew his efforts to resolve the conflict. 19 After a coup d’etat by Greek Cypriots thought to favor union with Greece, Turkey invaded northern Cyprus in support of Turkish Cypriots. UNFICYP was directed to supervise the cease-fire lines and de facto buffer zone established between the two sides. The two sides have been unable to reach a formal cease-fire agreement and, according to U.N. reports, this has significantly complicated UNFICYP’s task. 20 The buffer zone varies in width from less than 20 meters in Nicosia to some 7 kilometers near Athienou. It covers about 3 percent of Cyprus, including some of the most valuable agricultural land. UNFICYP provides security for civilians of both communities living or working in the buffer zone. Page 11 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 proximity to the buffer zone,21 or (3) influence the parties to slow the modernization of their military forces. In a June 1996 report on UNFICYP, for example, the U.N. Secretary General said that “[d]espite continuous efforts by UNFICYP, no progress had been made [toward reducing force levels and defense spending on Cyprus]. On the contrary, both sides have continued to improve their military capabilities . . . .”22 U.N. and U.S. officials report that the parties react to improvements in the other’s military capabilities,23 thus increasing tensions on the island.24 In a February 7, 1997, letter to Congress,25 President Clinton said that “. . . for any [peace] initiative to bear fruit, the parties must agree to steps that will reduce tensions and make direct negotiations possible.”26 UNFICYP’s efforts to restore normal conditions to Cyprus have been only partially successful. It has delivered humanitarian aid to Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in northern Cyprus and Turkish Cypriots living in southern Cyprus. It also has conducted “humanitarian reviews” that focus on improving living conditions for these minorities. According to State Department officials, Greek Cypriot authorities have agreed to implement UNFICYP’s recommendations for improving living conditions in southern Cyprus, while Turkish Cypriot authorities have been less cooperative in improving conditions in the north. However, UNFICYP has not increased substantially informal contacts between the two communities, despite repeated calls from the U.N. Security Council and others to increase such contacts as a means of reducing tensions and promoting understanding. Despite UNFICYP’s presence, the political situation on Cyprus has deteriorated since 1964. Turkish Cypriot authorities have established a 21 In May 1989, UNFICYP reached an agreement with both sides whereby they “unmanned” their positions and ceased their patrols in certain sensitive locations in Nicosia. The opposing troops were thus moved further apart and, as a result, the number of incidents in Nicosia was reduced. Subsequent attempts to extend the agreement to cover all areas where the two sides are in close proximity to each other have failed. 22 U.N. Secretary General report S/1996/411, June 7, 1996, p. 3. 23 According to U.N. and U.S. officials and a peacekeeping journal, Cyprus has become the one of the most densely militarized areas in the world. 24 For example, the Cypriot government’s recent decision to purchase Russian-made SA-10 antiaircraft missile systems prompted the Turkish government to threaten to use military force to prevent the installation of those systems. 25 Public Law 95-384 (22 U.S.C. 2373 (c)) requires the President to submit to Congress periodic reports on progress toward a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus conflict. 26 The Secretary of State and the Director of the State Department’s Office of Southern European Affairs recently made similar public statements. Page 12 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 separate government and declared their sovereignty,27 established a de facto international frontier, and insisted on a unilateral right to secession—moving Cyprus further away from a solution that reaffirms the sovereignty of a federated Cypriot state, as called for in U.N. Security Council resolutions. External involvement in the conflict has increased despite U.N. efforts, culminating in the 1974 Turkish intervention in northern Cyprus. According to U.N. Security Council resolutions, U.N. reports, a 1993 study, and Defense and State Department and foreign government officials, member states are concerned about the operation’s effectiveness and cost.28 UNAVEM II and III UNAVEM II was authorized in May 1991 to help implement a negotiated settlement of the Angolan civil war.29 Its mandate was to verify the implementation the May 1991 peace settlement30 by (1) monitoring the cease-fire between Angolan government and Uniao Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola31 (UNITA) forces and (2) observing and verifying national elections,32 held in September 1992. After UNITA rejected the election results, however, civil war resumed. After the November 1994 signing of the Lusaka Accords and the implementation of a cease-fire between government and UNITA forces, UNAVEM III was authorized in February 1995 to assist the parties in implementing this new settlement.33 Its mandate is to supervise, control, and verify the (1) cease-fire, (2) quartering and disarming of government and UNITA forces, 27 On November 15, 1983, Turkish Cypriot authorities proclaimed the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.” Only Turkey recognizes this arrangement. 28 Until June 1993, UNFICYP was financed entirely by voluntary contributions. Continual deficits prevented timely payment of bills presented by troop-contributing governments. Citing the deteriorating financial situation and frustration over the lack of progress toward a lasting political solution to the problem on Cyprus, a number of governments withdrew their forces in 1992 and 1993, bringing UNFICYP’s continued existence into question. Eventually, other governments contributed troops and the Security Council, by resolution 831 (1993), brought UNFICYP under the regular peacekeeping assessment process. During this period, UNFICYP was reduced in size by 28 percent. Since that time, U.N. assessments have been used to pay for the portion of UNFICYP’s costs not covered by voluntary contributions. Together, Greece and Cyprus make voluntary contributions that cover almost half UNFICYP’s annual cost. 29 U.N. Security Council resolution 626 (1988) first established UNAVEM to monitor the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola. This mandate was carried out successfully. U.N. Security Council resolution 696 (1991) established a new mandate for the operation and renamed it UNAVEM II. 30 Known as the Acordos de Paz para Angola (Peace Accords for Angola) or the Bicesse Accords. 31 National Union for the Total Independence of Angola. 32 U.N. Security Council resolution 747 (1992) enlarged UNAVEM II’s mandate to include observing and verifying elections in Angola. 33 U.N. Security Council resolution 976 (1995) established a new mandate for the operation and renamed it UNAVEM III. Page 13 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 (3) integration of government and UNITA military forces, and (4) formation of a unified national government.34 UNAVEM III’s efforts to help implement the Lusaka Accords have been only partially successful, according to U.N. and U.S. reports and officials and other sources, largely because the parties have not fully complied with the accords or fully cooperated with the United Nations. In October 1996, for example, the U.N. Secretary General reported that overall progress toward implementing the accords was disappointing. The cease-fire generally was holding, although there were a high number of violations in some provinces, and government troops generally had withdrawn to their barracks. Over 63,000 UNITA troops had reported to 15 quartering areas, but overall, fewer weapons and ammunition were surrendered than expected. Little progress had been made toward the formation of an integrated armed force, as called for by a framework agreement reached by the government and UNITA in May 1996. UNAVEM III and others continued to clear land mines, but their operations were hindered by restrictions placed on them by UNITA,35 and casualties continued unabated.36 Plans to create a unified national government have been postponed as a result of disagreements over the future status of the UNITA leader and other issues. According to Defense Department officials, both sides claim that UNAVEM III is biased against them, and factions on both sides have used this suspicion to undermine the peace process. Since early 1996, the Security Council has at times reauthorized UNAVEM III’s mandate for short intervals (1 or 2 months) in an attempt pressure the parties to improve their compliance, and had warned the parties that the United Nations would not remain in Angola indefinitely. UNAVEM III’s mandate was scheduled to end by February 1997, but the U.N. Security Council reauthorized UNAVEM III’s mandate for 1 month in an attempt to pressure the parties to form a unified national government.37 The resolution stressed the need for the parties, in particular UNITA, to take urgent and decisive steps to comply with their commitments to ensure the 34 According to an annex to the U.N. mandate, “control” implies the act of directing, regulating, verifying, and monitoring. It does not imply the use of force. 35 According to the State Department, mine clearing operations also were hindered by confusion and misunderstanding resulting from the Angolan government’s attempt to bring all mine clearing activities under a single office. 36 The United Nations estimates that there are 10 million land mines in Angola, which suffers from one of the highest per capita mine accident rates in the world. There are an estimated 70,000 amputees, and an executive branch official testified in 1996 that land mines killed as many as 200 people every week. 37 U.N. Security Council resolution 1098 (1997). Page 14 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 continued involvement of the international community in the peace process. Member states have expressed concerns about the slow pace of implementation of the Lusaka Accords and warned that the international community cannot support indefinitely a peace process that is not fully supported by the parties themselves. U.S. officials expect the operation to continue through August 1997 because of delays in implementing some elements of the settlement and the time needed to withdraw troops.38 Operations Generally Not Carrying Out Their Mandates UNMOGIP UNMOGIP grew out of the U.N. Commission for India and Pakistan, which was established in January 1948 to provide its good offices to the governments of India and Pakistan to facilitate restoring peace and order and holding a plebiscite on the question of Kashmir39 joining India or Pakistan.40 In April 1948, the U.N. Security Council recommended the use of military observers to supervise the cease-fire.41 The first group of observers did not arrive until January 1949, after a cease-fire was established. In July 1949, this group of observers, which formed the nucleus of UNMOGIP, was directed to supervise the cease-fire line established by the Karachi agreement between India and Pakistan. In March 1951, after the U.N. Commission was ended,42 UNMOGIP was established as an autonomous operation to continue supervising the cease-fire in Kashmir.43 Its mandate is to observe and report, investigate complaints from the parties of cease-fire violations along the line of 38 According to U.N. and U.S. officials, a smaller follow-on U.N. operation will be needed until the end of 1997 to complete the implementation of the Lusaka Accords and to consolidate the gains made so far in the peace process. In a February 1997 report (S/1997/115), the U.N. Secretary General said that the main activities of this operation, in addition to carrying out residual military tasks, should focus on political, police, and human rights issues; humanitarian activities; and public information programs. 39 Officially known as the State of Jammu and Kashmir. 40 U.N. Security Council resolution 39 (1948). 41 U.N. Security Council resolution 47 (1948). 42 Security Council resolution 47 (1948) envisaged three related but distinct steps: a cease-fire, a truce period during which India and Pakistan would withdraw their forces from the area, and (finally) consultations to establish the conditions for holding a plebiscite. No agreement could be reached on the second and third objectives and, after it became clear that mediation efforts had been exhausted, the Security Council adopted resolution 80 (1950) by which it decided to end the U.N. Commission for India and Pakistan. 43 U.N. Security Council resolution 91 (1951). Page 15 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 control in Kashmir, and submit its findings to each party and the U.N. Secretary General.44 UNMOGIP’s ability to carry out its mandate has been affected by two major conflicts between India and Pakistan. In early August 1965, large-scale fighting broke out along the cease-fire line in Kashmir and eventually spread south to the India-Pakistan border. The two sides agreed to a cease-fire and withdrew their forces to the positions they held before hostilities began, and UNMOGIP resumed its tasks. At the end of 1971, large-scale fighting again broke out between India and Pakistan. The 1972 Simla agreement ended this conflict and established new cease-fire lines. UNMOGIP has had limited success in carrying out its mandate since 1972. According to U.N. reports and U.S. officials, UNMOGIP has been unable since that time to monitor or investigate complaints fully, or to keep the Security Council fully informed of developments related to the observance of the cease-fire. Pakistani military authorities have continued to lodge complaints with UNMOGIP about cease-fire violations, but, beginning in 1972, the Indian government took the position that UNMOGIP’s mandate had lapsed.45 Since then, the Indian government has not cooperated with UNMOGIP or lodged any complaints with it, and Indian military authorities have restricted UNMOGIP’s activities on the Indian side of the line of control.46 UNMOGIP’s 45 military observers, according to U.N. reports, observe, to the extent possible, and report on the strict observance of the cease-fire along the 500-mile line of control, about half of which is in very high mountains and is very difficult to access. According to a U.N. report and State and Defense Department officials, UNMOGIP’s presence has played only a marginal role in defusing the tense situation between India and Pakistan, two presumed nuclear powers. U.N. and U.S. officials told us that UNMOGIP has had limited effectiveness in preventing the escalation of hostilities in Kashmir and was not in a position to prevent two India-Pakistan wars in that region. U.N. officials maintain that UNMOGIP’s role is not to prevent war—only to monitor and report on cease-fire violations along the line of control. 44 UNMOGIP is funded through the U.N. regular budget. Its mandate is of indefinite duration, so the U.N. Security Council does not regularly review and reauthorize it. 45 The Indian government’s position is that UNMOGIP’s mandate applied only to the line of control that existed prior to the 1971 war—not to the line of control established thereafter. 46 Indian authorities, however, have continued to provide accommodation, transport, and other facilities to UNMOGIP. Page 16 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 UNIFIL UNIFILwas established in March 1978 to assist in restoring peace in southern Lebanon after the Israeli invasion.47 Its mandate is to (1) confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon, (2) restore international peace and security in southern Lebanon, and (3) assist the Lebanese government in reestablishing its effective authority in southern Lebanon. Its 6-month mandate has been renewed each January and July since 1978. UNIFIL maintains checkpoints on principal roads, observation posts to monitor movement in its area of operations, and posts that combine control and observation functions. Unarmed UNTSO military observers, under the operational control of the UNIFIL commander, man five observation posts and patrol in the area under Israeli control (where UNIFIL has been unable to deploy). The mountain terrain in UNIFIL’s area of operations is harsh and rugged, making observation and movement difficult. According to U.N. reports and U.N., State and Defense Department, and foreign government officials, UNIFIL generally has been unable to carry out its mandate. U.N. reports consistently state that “UNIFIL’s mandate, contained in Security Council resolution 425 (1978) and reaffirmed by subsequent resolutions, remained unfulfilled.”48 Israeli forces remain in southern Lebanon, occupying about 10 percent of Lebanon’s territory, and have invaded twice, in 1982 and 1993. The Israeli military has not allowed UNIFIL to deploy into the “security zone” established north of the Israel-Lebanon border. UNIFIL has been unable to restore peace and security in southern Lebanon, which remains the site of intense conflict between Israeli forces and their allies and groups like Hizbollah, an Iranian-supported terrorist organization. In April 1996, for example, Hizbollah launched rocket attacks on settlements in northern Israel from sites in UNIFIL’s area of operation. Subsequent Israeli artillery fire killed more than 120 civilians, including more than 100 seeking shelter in a UNIFIL compound. UNIFIL has been unable to assist in restoring Lebanese government authority in southern Lebanon, which is controlled by Israel and its allies and Hizbollah or other Shiite groups. According to U.N. and U.S. reports and officials and experts, UNIFIL endeavors, to the best of its ability, to prevent its area of operations from being used for hostile activities and to protect civilians caught in the 47 U.N. Security Council resolution 425 (1978). 48 See, for example, the January 1996 report of the U.N. Secretary General on UNIFIL for July 20, 1995, to January 22, 1996 (S/1996/45). Page 17 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 conflict. According to Defense Department and U.N. officials and other experts, UNIFIL has had a limited effect on the security situation in southern Lebanon because the belligerents are not (or are only slightly) restrained by UNIFIL’s presence. Some officials and experts observed that UNIFIL’s mandate is one-dimensional because it only addresses the Israel-Lebanon component of the conflict—it had ignored the former conflict between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)49 and ignores the current conflict between Israel and Hizbollah. U.N. reports and officials state that UNIFIL has no authority to prevent Lebanese forces, including Hizbollah, from resisting Israel’s occupation of southern Lebanon. UNIFIL was reduced in size by 10 percent between 1992 and 1993 and by a further 10 percent between 1995 and 1996. Although not part of its mandate, UNIFIL helps the local civilian population if they are subject to harassment and, subject to available resources, provides humanitarian assistance, medical and dental care and supplies, water, food, fuel, electricity, engineering work, and escorts for farmers. According to U.N. and U.S. officials and experts, withdrawing UNIFIL would have the greatest effect on local civilians, who would lose the humanitarian and medical assistance UNIFIL provides, and would create a political and military vacuum that would likely be filled by Hizbollah. MINURSO MINURSO was established in April 1991 to help settle the conflict between Moroccan and tribal forces in Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony.50 Under the settlement plan accepted by both sides, its mandate was to monitor and verify the cease-fire between Moroccan and Frente Popular para la Liberacion de Saguia el-Hamra y de Rio de Oro51 (Frente POLISARIO) forces,52 verify the reduction of Moroccan troops in Western Sahara, monitor the confinement of Moroccan and Frente POLISARIO troops in designated locations, ensure the release of all political prisoners or detainees, oversee the exchange of prisoners of war, implement a refugee repatriation program, identify and register voters, organize and ensure a 49 Southern Lebanon became the site of intense conflict between PLO and Israeli forces after armed PLO elements arrived from Jordan in the early 1970s and the 1975-76 Lebanese civil war left the PLO as the dominant force in the area. PLO attacks on Israel from bases in southern Lebanon sparked the March 1978 Israeli invasion that precipitated the establishment of UNIFIL. Most PLO forces were withdrawn from the area in 1993. 50 U.N. Security Council resolution 690 (1991). 51 Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro. 52 Frente POLISARIO is the military arm of the Sahrawi tribe. Its leader is Mohamed Abdelaziz. Defense Department officials said that total Frente POLISARIO strength is probably between 1,000 and 3,000 troops. In contrast, Morocco has about 100,000 troops in Western Sahara. Page 18 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 free referendum on whether Western Sahara should join Morocco or become an independent state, and proclaim the results. Due to the parties’ divergent views on key elements of the settlement plan, MINURSO was unable to implement its full mandate. Instead, MINURSO was limited to identifying voters, monitoring local police and ensuring security and order at voter identification and registration sites, and verifying the cease-fire. According to U.N. and U.S. officials and reports and other studies, MINURSO has made limited progress toward carrying out the first part of its reduced mandate because the parties were unable to agree on procedures for voter identification (eligibility) or conducting the referendum. In May 1996, the U.N. Security Council suspended the referendum process and some other elements of MINURSO’s operations and ordered a reduction in the number of military and civilian staff,53 but directed it to continue to monitor the cease-fire between Moroccan and Frente POLISARIO forces. According to U.N. and U.S. reports, the voter registration and referendum processes have been suspended because of a lack of cooperation from Moroccan and Frente POLISARIO authorities. MINURSO continues to monitor the cease-fire, which has largely been respected by the parties. According to the State Department, the maintenance of this cease-fire has helped reduce tensions between Algeria (which supports Frente POLISARIO) and Morocco and the risk of broader instability in North Africa. However, recent threats made by some Frente POLISARIO leaders to resume fighting if there was no progress toward a political settlement indicate the frailty of the cease-fire. The State Department has informed both parties that the United States will not support further renewal of MINURSO in its present form without significant progress toward a political settlement. MINURSO’s critics say that continued U.N. presence favors Morocco’s de facto occupation of Western Sahara. Although their mandates differ in recognition of the particular Status of Efforts to circumstances of the underlying conflicts, seven of the eight long-standing Resolve the peacekeeping operations originally were deployed in support of Underlying Conflicts diplomatic efforts to achieve lasting settlements of these conflicts.54 U.N. and U.S. policies recognize that peacekeeping has a much greater chance of success when it is linked with ongoing diplomatic efforts to achieve a settlement and that, ideally, a settlement plan should be in place before a 53 As a result, MINURSO’s monthly budget declined from $5.6 million to $2.7 million. 54 UNIKOM was deployed to monitor Iraqi compliance with relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions, not in support of diplomatic efforts to end the Persian Gulf conflict. Page 19 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 force deploys. We found, however, that most diplomatic efforts aimed at settling the underlying conflicts associated with the seven operations have stalled over time. As of February 1997, only the conflict in Angola was the subject of ongoing peace talks (which supported the implementation of the Lusaka Accords). Talks associated with the conflicts in Cyprus, Kashmir, Western Sahara, and Syria and Lebanon in the Middle East had stalled or stalemated, although U.S. officials told us that they hoped to restart talks concerning Cyprus and Syria during 1997. Also, only in Angola and Western Sahara were settlement plans in place before U.N. forces deployed.55 Table 4 shows which operations had settlement plans when they were deployed and summarizes the current status of diplomatic efforts to resolve the underlying conflicts. 55 In should be noted that current U.S. policy, which recommends deploying peacekeeping operations only after an agreed settlement plan is in place, was not in effect when the long-standing operations were initially authorized and deployed. Page 20 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 Table 4: Status of Diplomatic Efforts Associated With Long-standing Operations Operationa Settlement plan in place when deployed? Status of related peacemaking efforts UNTSO No • No current U.N.-sponsored negotiations.b • U.S.-sponsored negotiations between Israel and Syria stalled by territorial and security issues. • U.S.-sponsored Israel-Jordan peace process concluded. • U.S.-sponsored Israel-Palestinian peace process in progress. UNMOGIP No • No current U.N.-sponsored negotiations or efforts to organize a plebiscite to settle the status of Kashmir (the U.N. Commission was ended in 1951). • India rejects U.N. intervention in the Kashmir issue. • State Department believes prospects for an eventual political settlement have improved recently.c UNFICYP No • U.N.- and U.S.-sponsored negotiations stalled by fundamental disagreements over the nature of the post-conflict government framework and other issues. • U.N., U.S., and foreign government officials hope to restart talks in 1997. UNDOF No • No current U.N.-sponsored negotiations.b • U.S.-sponsored negotiations between Israel and Syria stalled by territorial and security issues. • U.S. officials hope to restart talks in 1997. UNIFIL No • No current U.N.-sponsored negotiations.b • Resolution of conflict in southern Lebanon tied to the resolution of the Israel-Syria conflict; negotiations to end that conflict stalled by territorial and security issues. UNAVEM Yes • Ongoing talks support implementation of the Lusaka Accords, which provide the military and political framework for demobilizing combatants and forming a unified national government. MINURSO Yes • U.N.-sponsored settlement plan stalled by seemingly intractable issues related to voter identification and eligibility. • Recent attempts to restart direct talks between Morocco and Frente POLISARIO proved unsuccessful. • U.N. Secretary General has named a Special Envoy (former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker). a We excluded UNIKOM from this table because, unlike the other operations, it was not deployed in support of peace talks. b According to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, the United States has requested that the United Nations not sponsor peace talks between Israel and Syria or Israel and Lebanon. c Recent elections in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir and signals from India and Pakistan of readiness to renew high-level talks have improved prospects for an eventual settlement, according to the State Department. Sources: Compiled by GAO from information in U.S. national security and budget documents, as well as discussions with U.N., U.S., and foreign government officials and peacekeeping experts. Page 21 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 Negotiating and implementing political settlements of underlying conflicts have proved difficult and elusive over the years. U.N., U.S., and other reports, various officials, and peacekeeping experts attributed the lack of success in settling conflicts to the following factors: First, many of the conflicts involve particularly contentious or complicated issues that appear intractable given present circumstances. Three of the long-standing operations, for example, are associated with the Arab-Israeli conflict, which has proved to be particularly difficult and drawn out. The U.N. role in negotiations to settle this dispute is limited, largely because Israel views the conditions outlined by various U.N. General Assembly resolutions as an unacceptable basis for talks. U.S.-sponsored talks between Israel and Syria are currently stalled, and some experts regard a settlement of the Israeli-Syrian conflict as a necessary precursor to resolving the conflict in southern Lebanon and ending the “cold peace” between Israel and Egypt. Second, most of the conflicts involve intrastate (civil) and ethnic conflict and unresolved issues related to decolonization. The conflicts in Angola, Cyprus, and Lebanon, for example, involve intrastate conflict. Angola, Cyprus, Kashmir, Palestine, and Western Sahara are all former European colonies. U.N., U.S., and foreign government officials and scholars said experience suggests that U.N. peacekeeping and diplomatic efforts have been relatively less successful dealing with deep-seated civil and ethnic strife than with interstate conflict. Third, some of the conflicts are part of a larger conflict, and negotiations to end them do not include all parties with a substantial stake in or influence on the conflict. The Greek and Turkish governments, for example, have not been direct participants in the talks to end the conflict on Cyprus, although they both are deeply involved in the conflict and their support and cooperation are key to achieving a lasting settlement. Similarly, diplomatic efforts to settle the conflict in Western Sahara have not directly addressed tensions between Algeria and Morocco, which play a large role in that conflict.56 Fourth, some of the conflicts involve disputing parties that are weakly committed to achieving a settlement and are not cooperating fully. In 1992 and 1994, for example, the U.N. Secretary General reported that a “lack of 56 Algeria and Morocco severed diplomatic relations in March 1976, shortly after the conflict in Western Sahara started, and did not restore them until May 1988. Algeria reportedly supports Frente POLISARIO by providing arms, military training, and logistical support, and allows the rebels to operate its main logistics base in southwestern Algeria, near the border with Western Sahara. Page 22 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 political will” blocked an agreement on Cyprus that was otherwise within reach.57 The U.N. Security Council and Secretary General and U.S. and foreign government officials have made similar statements about the commitment of the parties to the conflict in Western Sahara to achieving a settlement. U.N. and U.S. officials and some experts attributed the disputing parties’ weak commitment partly to the failure of third parties to create the conditions conducive to achieving a negotiated settlement. They cite, for example, an apparent reluctance on the part of the U.N. Security Council and U.S. officials to pressure Greece and Turkey to resolve their differences over Cyprus as contributing to the lack of progress toward a settlement in that conflict.58, 59 Some U.N. and U.S. officials and experts attributed the failure of settlement plans in Angola60and Western Sahara to the absence of a post-referendum power-sharing formula. In Western Sahara, for example, the “winner take all” nature of the proposed referendum removed any incentive for the parties to compromise on voter identification issues. In some conflicts, according to U.N. and U.S. reports and officials, foreign government officials, and experts, the long-standing U.N. operations themselves may contribute to the difficulty of achieving settlements by reducing tensions and making maintenance of the status quo seem more preferable to the parties than making the difficult choices and compromises necessary to achieve settlements. In such cases, one expert noted, peacekeeping can provide an excuse for the parties not to tackle peacemaking. The long-standing U.N. presence on Cyprus and in 57 U.N. Secretary General reports S/24830 (11/19/92) and S/1994/629. 58 One source ascribed the failure of Cyprus talks in 1992, for example, to the reluctance of the U.N. Security Council, and particularly the United States, to press Turkey for concessions when Turkish air bases were being used to supply humanitarian aid to Iraqi Kurds (A Global Agenda: Issues Before the 48th General Assembly of the United Nations, John Tessitore and Susan Woolfson, ed., University Press of America, Inc., 1993). 59 Congress has tried to link aid to Turkey to progress on a Cyprus settlement on several occasions. After the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, for example, Congress placed an embargo on arms transfers to Turkey. Later, after the House of Representatives rejected a partial lifting of the embargo, Turkey retaliated by closing U.S. bases. The U.S. embargo lasted until 1978. Congress has made other attempts in subsequent years to pressure Turkey to withdraw its troops from Cyprus. 60 The reference is to the failure of the 1991 Bicesse Accords. Page 23 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 Western Sahara frequently were cited as examples of this phenomenon.61 U.N. and State Department officials said that, during periodic reviews of long-standing operations, it is appropriate for the U.N. Security Council and member states to ask whether these operations have become part of the underlying problem. Role of Peacekeeping in Some U.N., U.S., and foreign government officials, peacekeeping experts, Reaching a Settlement and studies have suggested increasing pressure on the parties to achieve settlements in some of these conflicts by raising the cost of delay, for example, by increasing the frequency of U.N. Security Council review of the peacekeeping operations or by cutting their size. Applying pressure to the parties was a consideration in recent U.N. Security Council decisions to reduce the number of military observers assigned to MINURSO, suspend the voter identification process in Western Sahara, and reauthorize UNAVEM III for short intervals. Some officials were leery of employing this tactic, however, because its ultimate sanction was the threat of withdrawing the peacekeeping operations. Sensing that the international community actually was not prepared to take such steps, the parties might continue their delays, leaving the United Nations with two unappealing choices: backing down from the threatened withdrawal or actually withdrawing. One State Department official said that pressuring the parties in the short run could pressure the United Nations and key interlocutors in the longer run because, at some point, the (implied) threat of withdrawal may become unbelievable. Additionally, some U.N., U.S., and foreign government officials and experts doubt that withdrawing forces would increase either the pace or fruitfulness of associated peace negotiations. Despite the cost and mixed performance of long-standing operations in Why the Executive carrying out their mandates, State Department and other U.S. national Branch Supports the security officials see no reasonable alternative to continuing them Long-standing because, in their judgment, these operations advance U.S. foreign policy objectives by helping to stabilize and prevent the recurrence of conflicts in Operations key areas of the world. In their view, the economic and military costs associated with such conflicts would exceed any savings achieved by ending these operations. Additionally, in their view, the political cost and risk of modifying these operations to bring them more into line with current U.N. and U.S. policies is too high to justify the effort. Because U.S. 61 A January 1994 Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, staff study report, for example, concluded that “[m]any observers believe that UNFICYP has become part of the problem rather than part of the solution, and that its presence lessens any sense of urgency in finding a solution” to the underlying conflict. Page 24 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 officials have not identified specific exit criteria or end points for U.N. involvement, their support for these operations has become, in essence, an open-ended commitment—a result which U.S. policy seeks to avoid. U.S. Officials Support Our review of reports and other documents, and discussions with Defense These Operations Based on and State Department officials, indicates that U.S. policymakers support Policy Considerations continuing the eight long-standing U.N. operations because, in their judgment, they help to stabilize conflicts in critical regions of the world—the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, southern Europe, southern Africa, and southwest Asia. According to U.S. documents and officials, the operations in the Middle East (UNTSO, UNDOF, and UNIFIL) support the U.S.-led Middle East peace process by reducing tensions and help uphold the security of Israel, long a key U.S. foreign policy concern. Similarly, according to these sources, UNIKOM helps safeguard Kuwait’s borders, plus two-thirds of the world’s known oil reserves, and underscores the international community’s commitment to blocking Iraqi aggression, while UNFICYP helps prevent an outbreak of conflict on Cyprus that could draw Greece and Turkey—key North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies—into war, endangering both peace and the stability in the region. Support for the other long-standing operations was based on similar considerations.62 U.S. officials’ and some experts’ assessment of the value of the long-standing operations is based on the premise that ending them could result in renewed conflicts, which would be substantially more expensive than maintaining these operations, or send the wrong diplomatic signals to the parties or region, undermining important diplomatic efforts. Additionally, U.S. officials believe that no regional or other practical alternatives to U.N. intervention exist in these cases.63 In this context, these officials and some experts view the eight operations as cost-effective alternatives for the U.S. government over taking no action, taking 62 A 1997 State Department Inspector General report on the implementation of PDD-25 concluded the following: (1) national interest considerations overrode other important factors set out in PDD-25 when U.S. officials reviewed U.N peacekeeping operations and (2) State Department officials had not closely scrutinized long-standing operations using these factors as called for by PDD-25. The Inspector General recommended that U.S. officials institute a thorough interagency review of long-standing operations. 63 According to U.S. officials and experts, regional organizations generally lack both the capability and credibility to field large peacekeeping forces or intervene successfully in conflicts. Such organizations have less resources, are less impartial, and are more susceptible to the influence of regional powers than the United Nations. These officials and experts said, for example, that the Organization of African Unity lacked the capability to mount a large, complex peacekeeping operation in Angola, although member countries contributed substantial numbers of troops to UNAVEM, while the Arab Maghreb Union lacked the credibility to intervene in Western Sahara because the conflict involved two key members of that regional organization, Algeria and Morocco. Page 25 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 unilateral action, or helping to resolve or rebuild after a more widespread conflict.64 According to U.S. and U.N. documents and officials, foreign government officials, and some experts, these operations remain useful, despite their longevity, because they help stabilize conflicts at a time when their resolution remains impossible. For example, according to U.S. documents and officials, increased tensions or renewed conflict on Cyprus could spark a costly regional conflict between Greece and Turkey. Likewise, according to these same sources, ending UNMOGIP could increase tensions and the risk of war between India and Pakistan by appearing to favor India over Pakistan. Table 5 summarizes the information we obtained from U.S. officials and other sources regarding the U.S. foreign policy interests served by continuing the eight operations. Table 5: U.S. Foreign Policy Interests Served by Long-standing Operations Operation U.S. interests served UNTSO • Contributes to Middle East stability by helping to reduce tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors. • Operates in areas of southern Lebanon where UNIFIL is not deployed. • Implements the remaining 1949 Arab-Israeli armistice agreements. • Withdrawing UNTSO might signal reduced international support for the Middle East peace process. UNMOGIP • Contributes to stability in South Asia by helping to reduce tensions between India and Pakistan. • Demonstrates continued U.N. support for settling the Kashmir question by peaceful means. UNFICYP • Contributes to stability in southern Europe by helping to prevent civil war on Cyprus and hostilities between Greece and Turkey. • Withdrawing UNFICYP would increase tensions and could spark a costly regional war. • Encourages continued diplomatic efforts to reunify Cyprus by peaceful means. UNDOF • Contributes to Middle East stability by helping to ease tensions between Israel and Syria. • Withdrawing UNDOF might signal reduced international support for the Middle East peace process. UNIFIL • Contributes to Middle East stability by helping to ease the humanitarian crisis in southern Lebanon. • Withdrawing UNIFIL might signal reduced international support for the Middle East peace process, and would likely increase the influence in southern Lebanon of Hizbollah, an Iranian-supported terrorist group. UNIKOM • Contributes to stability in the Persian Gulf by helping to maintain the integrity of the Iraq-Kuwait border. • Helps safeguard international access to the Persian Gulf. • Underscores the international community’s determination to block any outlet for Saddam Hussein’s expansionist ambitions. UNAVEM • Helps ease the humanitarian crisis caused by Angolan civil war. • Contributes to stability in southern Africa by helping to end a prolonged civil war. • Helps reestablish order and security in a country that provides 7 percent of U.S. oil imports and where U.S. firms are major investors. MINURSO • Contributes to stability in North Africa by preventing a return to hostilities in Western Sahara that could involve Algeria and Morocco. • Withdrawing U.S. support for MINURSO could damage bilateral relations with Morocco, which favors continuing the operation and has been a valuable, longtime U.S. friend and ally. Sources: Compiled by GAO from information in U.S. national security and budget documents, as well as discussions with U.N., U.S., and foreign government officials and peacekeeping experts. 64 The State Department noted that most of the long-standing operations had been reduced in size and cost in recent years. Page 26 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 In the interest of making U.N. peacekeeping a more selective and effective tool for advancing U.S. national security interests, current U.S. policy seeks to ensure that peacekeeping operations have clear and practical mandates, are reviewed periodically by the U.N. Security Council, are limited in duration with specified time frames tied to intermediate or final objectives, and have exit criteria and identified end points for U.N. involvement. U.S. officials recognized that the long-standing operations were not fully consistent with this policy, and told us that some of these operations probably would not have been initially approved under current U.S. (or U.N.) peacekeeping policies. Some operations, for example, had outdated or unclear mandates (as previously discussed) or were not reviewed periodically by the U.N. Security Council. At the time of our review, U.S. officials had not identified realistic exit criteria or end points for U.N. involvement for any of these operations. U.S. budget and other documents and discussion with State Department officials indicate that U.S. officials support continuing these operations until durable peace is achieved in the underlying disputes. For example, the State Department said that the exit criteria for UNIKOM include “a clear indication of Iraq’s peaceful intentions towards its neighbors.” Such broad statements do not (1) provide estimates of when such an end state might be achieved or (2) indicate what specific intermediate or final objectives are sought, what actions U.S. officials will take to achieve those objectives, or how the peacekeeping operation helps attain those specific objectives. U.S. officials told us they were reluctant to modify these operations to bring them more into line with current policies because, in their view, the political costs and risks of making such changes were too high to justify the limited benefits. U.S. officials said, for example, that modifying UNIFIL’s mandate to more accurately reflect its current activities65 could undermine international support for the operation and send the wrong diplomatic signals to the parties or region, undermining important U.S. Middle East diplomatic efforts. Similarly, they said that modifying UNMOGIP to institute periodic Security Council review would increase regional tensions by appearing to favor Pakistan over India, require approval by the U.N. General Assembly, and periodically occupy the Security Council with a range of contentious issues related to these two countries’ difficult bilateral relationship. U.S. officials’ reluctance to modify other long-standing operations was based on similar considerations. 65 For example, providing local civilians with humanitarian and medical assistance. Page 27 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 The eight long-standing operations have become costly and open-ended Conclusion commitments. Only two of these operations had successfully carried out their mandates, while the remaining six either had only partially carried out their mandates or had not carried them out. Although seven of these operations were undertaken to create stable, secure environments to assist diplomatic efforts aimed at settling these underlying conflicts, diplomatic efforts to resolve the underlying conflicts had, in most cases, stalled. Nevertheless, U.S. officials currently see no reasonable alternative to continuing these operations because they help stabilize conflicts that could threaten U.S. foreign policy interests. In their view, ending these operations would risk renewed conflict and damage future peacemaking efforts. However, continued support of these operations does not appear to give adequate consideration to other factors articulated by U.S. policy that seek to ensure that peacekeeping operations are limited in duration, linked to concrete political solutions, and have exit criteria and identified end points for U.N. involvement. In light of U.S. interests in supporting well-defined peacekeeping Recommendation operations linked to concrete political solutions, we recommend that the Secretary of State take the lead in working with the U.N. Security Council to identify specific exit criteria and strategies for these operations. This should be done in a manner consistent with PDD-25, balancing the need to bring closure to these operations with other U.S. interests, such as stabilizing conflicts that pose a threat to U.S. foreign policy objectives. These strategies need not propose immediate ends to these operations, but rather, may focus on how and when the desired end states can be achieved, what intermediate and final objectives are sought, and what specific role these operations play in achieving the sought-after end states. The U.S. Mission to the United Nations, after consulting with U.N. officials, Agency Comments generally agreed with our report. The Mission commented that the report and Our Evaluation provides a cogent and succinct analysis of the long-standing operations for guiding congressional policy decisions on these operations. The Mission also noted that PDD-25 provides clear guidance that the duration of peacekeeping operations should be tied to clear objectives and realistic criteria for ending them. At the Mission’s suggestion, we have modified our recommendation to include a reference to PDD-25. The State Department raised three general issues: (1) the eight long-standing operations play an important role in advancing U.S. foreign Page 28 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 policy objectives; (2) peacekeeping operations themselves should not be held responsible for the failure of diplomatic efforts to resolve underlying conflicts; and (3) the United States cannot use its veto authority lightly, lest other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council be encouraged to use their vetoes, possibly to the detriment of the United States. Our report assesses whether the long-standing operations have achieved their specific mandates and discusses the role these operations play in advancing U.S. foreign policy objectives. We did not suggest that any of the operations be terminated without giving due consideration to the foreign policy objectives being advanced. Our report also recognizes that many peacekeeping operations are intended to provide an opportunity for diplomats to begin their peacemaking efforts; diplomatic failures are key to the long-term nature of these peacekeeping operations, not the reverse. Finally, we fully agree that the United States should not use its veto authority in the U.N. Security Council lightly. It is for that reason that we recommend that the Secretary of State take the lead in working with other Council members to identify exit criteria, end points, and strategies for these operations that are consistent with U.S. interests and objectives. The Defense Department commented that our report could be strengthened by further elaboration on three points. These are: (1) the executive branch must consider a range of factors when evaluating the renewal of U.N. peacekeeping operations, such as whether U.N. involvement advances U.S. policy objectives; (2) the executive branch has taken steps to reduce the cost of these operations or help spur the disputing parties to resolve their differences; and (3) the risks and consequences associated with ending the long-standing operations include the possible resumption of warfare between the parties. We have elaborated on these points in the text of this report. Our report discusses the role that these long-standing operations play in advancing U.S. foreign policy objectives, but indicates that all the goals set out in current U.S. peacekeeping policy may not be immediately achievable. As our report points out, however, none of the long-standing operations has realistic exit criteria, intermediate objectives, end points, or exit strategies. We recognize that the executive branch has taken steps to reduce the cost of these operations and spur some disputing parties to move toward resolving the underlying conflicts. We also recognize that ending these operations prematurely could result in resumed conflict. We have not called on the executive branch to end these operations; instead, we have recommended that the executive branch, working with other Page 29 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 members of the U.N. Security Council, develop realistic exit criteria and intermediate objectives for these operations, and strategies for achieving them. In our opinion, more clearly defining intermediate objectives and specific exit criteria for these operations will further—not threaten—U.S. interests. The Mission and the Defense Department each also provided technical comments that have been incorporated into the report as appropriate. Comments received from the Mission, State, and Defense are reprinted in appendixes I through III, respectively. Our review focused on the eight current U.N. peacekeeping operations Scope and shown in table 1 because analysis of U.N. reports and records showed that Methodology only two operations active for 5 years or more had ever ended.66 We evaluated UNAVEM II and III as one operation because (1) the ultimate U.N. objective in Angola remained the same throughout—to help implement a political settlement ending the Angolan civil war;67 (2) the U.N. presence in Angola was continuous from 1991 to the present and, after the resumption of civil war in 1992, U.N. officials offered to expand UNAVEM II to help implement a new peace plan; and (3) various U.N. and U.S. documents, including the President’s fiscal year 1997 budget, view the existing operation as dating from 1991. To determine the cost of long-standing U.N. peacekeeping operations, we analyzed U.N. and U.S. financial reports and discussed these costs with U.N. and U.S. officials who oversee the U.N. regular budget and peacekeeping financing. We did not independently verify the accuracy of financial information obtained from U.N. and U.S. reports or other sources. To determine the extent to which these operations carried out their mandates and the status of diplomatic efforts to resolve the underlying disputes, we analyzed the U.N. Security Council resolutions authorizing these operations, recent U.N. reports and evaluations of these operations and associated diplomatic efforts, and other expert evaluations. We also discussed these issues with U.N., U.S., and foreign government officials and peacekeeping experts. To determine what factors U.S. officials considered when deciding whether to support continuing 66 The first U.N. operation in the Sinai ended after almost 11 years, when Egypt withdrew its consent shortly before the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. The second operation in the Sinai ended after almost 6 years, when Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979. 67 In contrast, the U.N. objective in UNAVEM I was to monitor the withdrawal of foreign (mostly Cuban) troops from Angola as a precondition for ending that civil war. Page 30 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 these operations, we analyzed State and Defense Department reports and other documents and discussed this issue with U.S. officials who monitor the eight operations and U.S. regional interests. To gather information for our analysis, we interviewed over 40 key officials at the Departments of Defense and State, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, U.N. headquarters, and foreign government missions to the United Nations. At the State Department, we interviewed officials in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs responsible for monitoring the eight operations and the U.N. Security Council, as well as officials in the appropriate regional bureaus. At the Defense Department, we interviewed officials in the office that monitors peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Agreements. At the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, we interviewed the political and military advisers who monitor the eight operations. At U.N. headquarters, we interviewed key officials and military advisers in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations from the Africa, Asia and Middle East, and Operations Divisions and from the Lessons Learned Unit; and officials in the U.N. Office of Program Planning, Budget and Accounts who oversee the U.N. regular budget and peacekeeping financing. We also interviewed officials and military advisers from four troop-contributing countries as well as a number of experts from institutions such as The Heritage Foundation, the National Defense University, and the U.S. Institute for Peace. We also reviewed hundreds of reports, plans, and other key documents at these locations as well as dozens of scholarly studies and journal articles on U.N. peacekeeping. At the State Department, we reviewed communications with overseas posts and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations selected by Department officials. We also reviewed the workpapers and a report prepared by the State Department Inspector General during a recent review of the implementation of PDD-25. At the Department of Defense, we reviewed documents maintained by the office that monitors peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, including assessments of some long-standing operations prepared by the Defense Intelligence Agency. Additionally, we reviewed appropriate U.N. documents regarding these operations, including their authorizing resolutions, mandates, and evaluation and financial reports. We conducted our review between February 1996 and February 1997 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Page 31 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping B-276145 We are sending copies of this report to other interested congressional committees, the Secretaries of Defense and State, the U.S. Representative to the United Nations, the U.N. Secretary General, and other interested parties. Copies will be made available to others on request. Please contact me at (202) 512-4128 if you or your staff have any questions about this report. Major contributors to this report were Tetsuo Miyabara and Michael Rohrback. Sincerely yours, Harold J. Johnson, Associate Director International Relations and Trade Issues Page 32 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Page 33 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Contents Letter 1 Appendix I 36 Comments From the U.S. Mission to the United Nations Appendix II 38 Comments From the Department of State Appendix III 50 Comments From the Department of Defense Related GAO Products 55 Tables Table 1: Long-standing U.N. Peacekeeping Operations 2 Table 2: Long-standing Operations’ Total Cost since 1948 6 Table 3: Number of Personnel and Estimated Annual Costs for 7 Long-standing Operations Table 4: Status of Diplomatic Efforts Associated With 21 Long-standing Operations Table 5: U.S. Foreign Policy Interests Served by Long-standing 26 Operations Page 34 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Contents Abbreviations Frente POLISARIO Frente Popular para la Liberacion de Saguia el-Hamra y de Rio de Oro (Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro) MINURSO U.N. Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara PDD-25 Presidential Decision Directive-25 PLO Palestine Liberation Organization UNAVEM U.N. Angola Verification Mission UNDOF U.N. Disengagement Observer Force UNFICYP U.N. Force in Cyprus UNIFIL U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon UNITA Uniao Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) UNIKOM U.N. Iraq-Kuwait Observer Mission UNMOGIP U.N. Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan UNTSO U.N. Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine Page 35 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix I Comments From the U.S. Mission to the United Nations See p. 28. Page 36 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix I Comments From the U.S. Mission to the United Nations See pp. 4, 7-8. Page 37 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix II Comments From the Department of State Note: GAO comments supplementing those in the report text appear at the end of this appendix. Page 38 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix II Comments From the Department of State See comment 1. See comment 2. See comment 3. See comment 4. Page 39 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix II Comments From the Department of State See comment 3. Now on p. 4. See comment 5. See comment 5. See comment 5. See comment 6. Now on p. 7. See comment 7. Page 40 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix II Comments From the Department of State See comment 3. Now on p. 8. See comment 8. See comment 3. See comment 3. See comment 9. Page 41 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix II Comments From the Department of State See comment 3. See comment 3. Now on pp. 4, 9, 21. See comment 10. See pp. 25-26. See comment 3. See comment 3. Page 42 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix II Comments From the Department of State See comment 3. Now on p. 7. See comments 3, 11. Now on p. 19. See comment 3. Now on p. 19. See comment 3. Now on p. 19. See comment 12. Now on p. 19. See comment 3. Now on p. 21. Page 43 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix II Comments From the Department of State See comment 13. Now on pp. 10-11. See comment 14. Now on pp. 10-13. See comment 15. Now on pp. 11-12. See comment 16. Now on pp. 12-13. See comment 16. See comment 17. Page 44 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix II Comments From the Department of State See comment 3. See comment 3. Now on p. 14. See comment 3. Now on p. 14. See comment 3. Now on p. 15. See comment 18. Page 45 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix II Comments From the Department of State See comment 10. Now on p. 21. See comment 19. Now on p. 22. See comment 20. Now on pp. 26-27. See comment 3. See comment 2. See comment 4. See comment 3. Page 46 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix II Comments From the Department of State The following are GAO’s comments on the Department of State’s letter dated March 7, 1997. 1. Our report does not say or imply that the long-standing peacekeeping GAO Comments operations were responsible for the failure of diplomatic efforts to resolve the underlying conflicts. The report clearly states that peacekeeping operations often are established to provide time for diplomats to undertake peacemaking efforts. 2. Our report and recommendation recognize the need to balance a broad range of U.S. interests, as described by PDD-25 and other U.S. policy, in considering whether to support continuing these operations, including whether they advance U.S. foreign policy objectives by helping to stabilize conflicts in key areas of the world. In our opinion, however, goals such as advancing U.S. foreign policy objectives and defining more clearly mandates, endpoints, and exit criteria, as well as laying out a strategy for achieving the desired end state, are not mutually exclusive. Various studies and policy statements suggest just the opposite: namely, that clearly defined operations are more likely to achieve their mandates—and thus advance U.S. policy objectives. 3. We have revised our report to reflect this information. 4. Our report does not say or imply that the United States should invoke its veto to end these operations unilaterally. 5. We have deleted this information from our report. 6. We have clarified our report on this matter. 7. Our report recognizes that U.S. officials support continuing the three U.N. peacekeeping operations in the Middle East because of their role in promoting stability and easing tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors, and that U.S. officials hope to restart now-stalled peace talks between Israel and Syria in 1997. It also recognizes that U.S. officials support continuing these operations until a Middle East peace is achieved. However, this broad statement does not provide specific exit criteria or exit strategies for these U.N. operations as intended by PDD-25; for example, it does not identify intermediate objectives (as PDD-25 suggests) that would allow the executive branch or Congress to assess what progress has been made over time toward achieving the ultimate objective. Page 47 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix II Comments From the Department of State 8. Our report recognizes that UNTSO military observers (1) monitor the situation and conduct inspections in the UNDOF area of operation on the Golan Heights and (2) observe and monitor the situation in the portion of the UNIFIL area of operation which is under Israeli control. According to a recent U.N. report, these observers are under the operational control of the UNDOF and UNIFIL commanders and perform tasks similar to those conducted by UNDOF and UNIFIL troops to assist in carrying out the mandates of these operations. In assigning UNTSO military observers to support UNIFIL, however, the Security Council stipulated that these observers would continue to function in southern Lebanon along the 1949 armistice line after the end of UNIFIL’s mandate. 9. Our report recognizes that, although unable to carry out its mandate, UNIFIL endeavors to (1) prevent its area of operations from being used for hostile activities, (2) protect civilians caught in the conflict or subject to harassment, and (3) provide humanitarian and medical assistance. 10. Our report recognizes that U.S. officials support continuing UNIKOM because it helps protect Kuwait’s borders and two-thirds of the world’s known oil reserves, and underscores the international community’s commitment to blocking Iraqi aggression. We have deleted the reference to Persian Gulf peace talks. 11. Our report recognizes that MINURSO monitors the cease-fire, which largely has been respected by Morocco and Frente POLISARIO since 1991. 12. Our report recognizes that MINURSO’s supporters say it has helped prevent a resumption of hostilities between Morocco and Frente POLISARIO, but a balanced presentation requires that we also recognize that the operation has its detractors as well. 13. We have revised our report to clarify the difference between UNFICYP’s mandate, the mandate of the former U.N. mediator for Cyprus, and the mandate of the U.N. Secretary General’s good offices mission (which was undertaken after mediation efforts broke down in 1966). 14. By numerous resolutions (1) calling for a political solution that reaffirms the sovereignty of a single (federated) Cypriot state, (2) rejecting the current de facto division of the island, and (3) condemning and rejecting the 1983 declaration of a separate Turkish Cypriot state, the U.N. Security Council has made it clear that preserving a single Cypriot state is an objective of the Secretary General’s good offices mission. Page 48 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix II Comments From the Department of State 15. From the beginning of the Cyprus operation, the U.N. Secretary General has reported that the presence of foreign troops and the influx of arms and military equipment was a cause of concern for UNFICYP with regard to the discharge of its mandate. In various resolutions, the U.N. Security Council has expressed concern about the continued modernization of military forces on Cyprus, and has urged both sides to reduce force levels and defense spending. On numerous occasions, the Secretary General has reported on UNFICYP’s efforts to implement these and other measures aimed at reducing the likelihood of cease-fire incidents. In June 1996, for example, the Secretary General reported that “[d]espite continuous efforts by UNFICYP, no progress has been made towards [reducing force levels and defense spending on Cyprus]. On the contrary, both sides have continued to improve their military capabilities.”1 16. We have revised our report to clarify that the political situation on Cyprus has deteriorated during UNFICYP’s long-standing presence. 17. Our report recognizes lack of political will by the parties as one factor contributing to lack of success in settling the underlying conflict on Cyprus. 18. Our report recognizes that U.S. officials (1) consider UNMOGIP a cost-effective means of furthering U.S. foreign policy goals in South Asia, (2) maintain that withdrawing or modifying the operation could harm relations with Pakistan or India, and (3) believe that the operation serves to mitigate tensions between the two (nuclear-capable) countries. We have revised our report to reflect that recent developments may improve prospects for an eventual political settlement of the Kashmir dispute. 19. Although Greece and Turkey may be involved in the mediation efforts, tensions between these two countries, which play a large role in the Cyprus conflict, are not directly addressed by diplomatic efforts to settle the conflict. 20. The broad statement that achievement of a comprehensive peace is the exit strategy for an operation does not identify specific criteria or intermediate objectives (as PDD-25 suggests) that would allow for accurate assessments of what incremental progress has been made toward achieving the ultimate objective. 1 U.N. Secretary General report S/1996/411, June 7, 1996, p. 3. Page 49 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix III Comments From the Department of Defense See pp. 26-27. See pp. 24, 27. See pp. 25-26. Page 50 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix III Comments From the Department of Defense Page 51 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix III Comments From the Department of Defense Page 52 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix III Comments From the Department of Defense Page 53 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Appendix III Comments From the Department of Defense Page 54 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Related GAO Products United Nations: Limitations in Leading Missions Requiring Force to Restore Peace (GAO/NSIAD-97-34, Mar. 27, 1997). 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 Managing Recent Missions (GAO/NSIAD-94-9, Dec. 29, 1993). Haiti: Cost of U.S. Programs and Activities Since the 1991 Military Coup (GAO/NSIAD-93-252FS, Aug. 5, 1993). Page 55 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Related GAO Products U.N. Peacekeeping: Observations on Mandates and Operational Capability (GAO/T-NSIAD-93-15, June 9, 1993). 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). (711178) Page 56 GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping Ordering Information The first copy of each GAO report and testimony is free. Additional copies are $2 each. Orders should be sent to the following address, accompanied by a check or money order made out to the Superintendent of Documents, when necessary. VISA and MasterCard credit cards are accepted, also. Orders for 100 or more copies to be mailed to a single address are discounted 25 percent. Orders by mail: U.S. General Accounting Office P.O. Box 6015 Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015 or visit: Room 1100 700 4th St. NW (corner of 4th and G Sts. NW) U.S. General Accounting Office Washington, DC Orders may also be placed by calling (202) 512-6000 or by using fax number (301) 258-4066, or TDD (301) 413-0006. Each day, GAO issues a list of newly available reports and testimony. To receive facsimile copies of the daily list or any list from the past 30 days, please call (202) 512-6000 using a touchtone phone. A recorded menu will provide information on how to obtain these lists. For information on how to access GAO reports on the INTERNET, send an e-mail message with "info" in the body to: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit GAO’s World Wide Web Home Page at: http://www.gao.gov PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER United States Bulk Rate General Accounting Office Postage & Fees Paid Washington, D.C. 20548-0001 GAO Permit No. G100 Official Business Penalty for Private Use $300 Address Correction Requested
U.N. Peacekeeping: Status of Long-standing Operations and U.S. Interests in Supporting Them
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-04-09.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)