JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Causes for Failure and Continuing Relevance

Major General AK Bardalai is an Indian Army Veteran.
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  • October-December 2018
    Volume: 
    12
    Issue: 
    4
    Focus

    Decades after the deployment of the first peacekeeping operation (PKO)—United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO)—in 1948, the United Nations (UN) cannot boast of too many successes. The continued relevance of UN PKOs has thus come under criticism. In order to determine whether UN PKOs are still relevant, it is necessary to obtain a clear understanding of the reasons/factors for their success and failure, and thereafter assess their performance. Based on the author’s personal experience of peacekeeping and prior research, this article seeks to highlight a few factors that have an overriding influence on the outcome of a PKO. The article also attempts to provide a perspective on the relevance of the PKO in context of the challenges they face regarding planning, deployment and execution of such operations.

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