JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

UNIFIL: The Many Challenges of Successful Peacekeeping

Major General AK Bardalai is an Indian Army Veteran.
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  • July 2016
    Volume: 
    10
    Issue: 
    3
    Focus

    Nations from the developed world have rarely participated in complex and difficult UN peacekeeping operations (PKOs) while those from the developing world have rich peacekeeping experience. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is a rare exception among peacekeeping missions as it includes peacekeepers from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), along with Western military involvement. NATO members’ involvement in UNIFIL resulted in unusual structures and operational philosophy, and adjusting and adapting to this was difficult for non-Western participants. Despite the differences in training, equipment, culture and tradition amongst the Western and non-Western national contingents, UNIFIL’s contribution in maintaining peace in the region is praiseworthy. The combined effects of the political and military muscles of peacekeepers from Western nations and special skills of the non-Western nations was able to provide much-needed stability to Lebanon, which has not seen a major conflict in almost a decade.

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