The second Annual Review of Global Peace Operations (executive summary pdf) was released last week at the United Nations and highlighted a year of unprecedented growth in UN peacekeeping operations. A project of the Center on International Cooperation at New York University, the report says that despite the immense challenges of starting several new large-scale missions “2006 was not a catastrophic year for peacekeeping. In some ways, it was a surprisingly successful one.” It goes on to elaborate on the details of deployments by the UN and other organizations, looking at specific regional and country contributions.
Congress should keep this information in mind as it starts its deliberations on the utility of UN peacekeeping and makes budgetary decisions about the U.S. contributions. Right now, the President’s budget is about $500 million short of what will be needed for the U.S. to pay its peacekeeping dues even though the U.S. has voted for all of the new missions in the Security Council. Considering the benefit of peacekeeping to U.S. interests, the U.S. should pay these bills in full.