U.S. Should Oppose Return to U.N. Peace Enforcement

U.N. peacekeeping operations can be useful and successful, but they are limited, specialized tools that can misfire badly when employed in the wrong circumstances. It is too early to say whether the U.N. Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) will succeed or fail, but past overreaches have led to tragedy for U.N. peacekeepers and those under their protection. The U.S. should not let the pressure to act override prudence. Supporting the intervention brigade and MINUSMA were likely the least difficult options, but history indicates that U.N. peace enforcement is fraught with problems. Failing to learn from past lessons on peace enforcement will only make tragedies more likely in the future.

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