Jane Holl Lute, UN Assistant Secretary-General of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, recently gave a short, but compelling, view of the logistical difficulties inherent in peacekeeping and the difficult mandates given to UN peacekeepers. (Earlier we posted video from the same address on the role of women in post-conflict environments.) Having fought in the U.S. Army during the First Gulf War and lectured at West Point, Lute is thoroughly familiar with the security benefits that UN peacekeeping imparts to the American public and the rest of the world.
Although Lute doesn’t make the connection in these videos, Mark Leon Goldberg, in a recent UNF Insights piece, discussed how growing U.S. arrears to UN peacekeeping are making the already difficult jobs of UN peacekeepers even harder and how “if this trend is sustained, ongoing missions will suffer, and some of the newly proposed missions, such as Darfur, could starve before they ever get off the ground.” As the U.S. continues to face significant global security threats, it would be wise for Congressional appropriators, as they tackle the supplemental and look toward FY08 appropriations, to consider UN peacekeeping’s benefits to U.S. security, the difficulties inherent in maintaining the peace in 18 conflict zones around the world, and the debilitating effects of denying proper funding. For those of you who are interested, the Better World Campaign has created tailor-made letters that you can send to your member of Congress.