oversight

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)

                  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.



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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.



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                   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.



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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.



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                        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.




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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.




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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




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                       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).



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                       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.



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          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).


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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.



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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.


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                    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.


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(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).



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                           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).



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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.



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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).



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          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.



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                       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.



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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.



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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.




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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.



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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.



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                          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.



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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.



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                     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
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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.



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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.



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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
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              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,
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              Peace Operations: Effect of Training, Equipment, and Other Factors on
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              Peacekeeping: Assessment of U.S. Participation in the Multinational Force
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              Peace Operations: Update on the Situation in the Former Yugoslavia
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              Peace Operations: Estimated Fiscal Year 1995 Costs to the United States
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              Peace Operations: Heavy Use of Key Capabilities May Affect Response to
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              Peace Operations: Information on U.S. and U.N. Activities
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              United Nations: How Assessed Contributions for Peacekeeping Operations
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              Humanitarian Intervention: Effectiveness of U.N. Operations In Bosnia
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              Peace Operations: Withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Somalia
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              U.N. Peacekeeping: Lessons Learned in Managing Recent Missions
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              Haiti: Cost of U.S. Programs and Activities Since the 1991 Military Coup
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              Page 55                                      GAO/NSIAD-97-59 U.N. Peacekeeping
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           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
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