The UN's Role in Nation-Building: From the Congo to Iraq

The UN's Role in Nation-Building: From the Congo to Iraq

James Dobbins
Seth G. Jones
Keith Crane
Andrew Rathmell
Brett Steele
Richard Teltschik
Anga Timilsina
Copyright Date: 2005
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 318
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  • Book Info
    The UN's Role in Nation-Building: From the Congo to Iraq
    Book Description:

    Reviews UN efforts to transform eight unstable countries into democratic, peaceful, and prosperous partners, and compares those missions with U.S. nation-building operations. The UN provides the most suitable institutional framework for nation-building missions that require fewer than 20,000 men-one with a comparatively low cost structure, a comparatively high success rate, and the greatest degree of international legitimacy.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-3756-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iii)
    (pp. iv-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    (pp. xv-xxxviii)
    (pp. xxxix-xl)
    (pp. xli-xliv)
  9. Chapter One INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-4)

    Since the end of the Cold War, the United Nations has invested significant military, political, humanitarian, and economic resources into operations conducted in the aftermath of interstate wars and civil unrest. Numerous studies have been published on various aspects of these operations. But this is the first comprehensive effort of which we are aware to review the major UN experiences in nation-building, compare and contrast the quantitative and qualitative results of these operations, and outline best practices and lessons learned.¹

    This is the second volume in RAND’s nation-building series. The first volume,America’s Role in Nation-Building: From Germany to Iraq...

  10. Chapter Two CONGO
    (pp. 5-28)

    Belgium granted independence to the Republic of the Congo in June 1960. The Belgian Congo, comprising an area already devastated by the Atlantic slave trade, was officially organized in 1885 as the Congo Free State under the absolute rule of King Leopold II of Belgium. Leopold II forged the Congo into a financially lucrative but politically underdeveloped colony that would come to epitomize the “heart of darkness” of European colonialism, characterized by the brutality of theForce Publique, the Belgian-led, Congolese-manned local constabulary.¹ In response to an international outcry over the brutality with which the Congolese were treated, the Belgian...

  11. Chapter Three NAMIBIA
    (pp. 29-44)

    In December 1988, the governments of Angola, Cuba, and South Africa signed a peace agreement in New York to end 23 years of war and open the way for Namibia’s independence. Namibia had been under the control of South Africa since World War I. In 1920, the League of Nations had granted South Africa a mandate over the territory. After the League of Nations dissolved, the South African government refused to turn over its defunct mandate to the United Nations and proposed instead that the territory be incorporated into South Africa. In 1971, the International Court of Justice ruled that...

  12. Chapter Four EL SALVADOR
    (pp. 45-68)

    In a solemn ceremony in Mexico City’s Chapultepec Castle, representatives of El Salvador’s government and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) signed a peace settlement in January 1992. The agreement ended 12 years of civil conflict that left approximately 75,000 people dead.¹ As elsewhere in Central America, the war in El Salvador had evolved into a proxy conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Reagan Administration viewed El Salvador as a place to “draw the line” against communist aggression and provided over $6 billion in economic and military assistance to El Salvador’s government over the course...

  13. Chapter Five CAMBODIA
    (pp. 69-92)

    In the 1960s, Cambodia became increasingly caught up in the Vietnam War. Cambodian territory was used as a North Vietnamese transit route and a Viet Cong sanctuary, provoking American bombing and ground incursions. Prince Norodom Sihanouk, who had been neutral in the war, was overthrown in 1970 and succeeded by a pro-American regime under General Lon Nol. The Lon Nol regime, in turn, was overthrown in 1975 by the communist Khmer Rouge headed by Pol Pot. Following the fall of South Vietnam in 1976, the Khmer Rouge launched a genocidal campaign of collectivization in Cambodia in which 1.7 million of...

  14. Chapter Six MOZAMBIQUE
    (pp. 93-106)

    In October 1992, the president of Mozambique and the leader of the resistance movement, theResistencia Nacional Mozambicana(RENAMO), signed a peace agreement in Rome. The agreement ended a civil war that had begun shortly after Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975, 17 years earlier. That war had pitted a pro-Soviet Marxist Leninist government against RENAMO, a local resistance movement supported by the governments of Southern Rhodesia and South Africa. With the end of the Cold War and the transition to majority rule in Zimbabwe and South Africa, both the government of Mozambique and RENAMO lost their external sources...

  15. Chapter Seven EASTERN SLAVONIA
    (pp. 107-128)

    The end of the Cold War and the rise of such nationalist figures as Slobodan Milosevic triggered the collapse of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. In June 1991, Slovenia and Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia. Fighting immediately broke out between hastily assembled Croatian forces and the Yugoslav Army, which was heavily staffed by Serbs and paramilitary units from regions in Croatia with large Serb populations. In contrast to the rapid withdrawal of the Yugoslav Army from Slovenia, Serbian forces captured and held the Croatian territories of Krajina, Western Slavonia, and Eastern Slavonia, areas with either Serb majorities or substantial minority...

  16. Chapter Eight SIERRA LEONE
    (pp. 129-150)

    On July 7, 1999, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, President of Sierra Leone, and Foday Sankoh, leader of the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone (RUF), met in the Togolese capital of Lomé to sign an agreement to end the eight-year RUF insurrection.¹ The conflict had begun in March 1991, when RUF fighters launched a war from the border with Liberia to overthrow Sierra Leone’s government.

    Numerous attempts to end the conflict had failed. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) dispatched its Military Observer Group (ECOMOG) to defend the government and help establish order, but it was not successful in...

  17. Chapter Nine EAST TIMOR
    (pp. 151-180)

    The Portuguese colonized the island of Timor in the sixteenth century. Except for a brief period of Japanese rule during World War II, the eastern portion of the island remained a Portuguese colony until 1975, when, following the withdrawal of Portugal, Indonesia invaded and annexed East Timor.¹ Despite the passage of several United Nations Security Council resolutions during the Cold War demanding the withdrawal of Indonesian military forces, the major powers were not prepared to employ effective pressure to compel Indonesia’s compliance.² The United States, for example, was unwilling to pressure Indonesia to withdraw because Indonesia was perceived as an...

  18. Chapter Ten IRAQ
    (pp. 181-212)

    The United States argued on several grounds for an invasion of Iraq designed to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein. Principal among these were Iraqi development and possession of weapons of mass destruction. Iraq’s failure to comply with multiple UN Security Council resolutions, its links with terrorist organizations and its gross abuses of the human rights of its own citizens were others.

    The United States and the United Kingdom sought, but ultimately failed, to secure a mandate from the United Nations Security Council for the intervention. The two countries proceeded nonetheless. U.S. and UK troops, assisted by smaller contingents from...

  19. Chapter Eleven LESSONS LEARNED
    (pp. 213-224)

    As the 1980s ended and the Cold War wound down, the pace and scope of UN peacekeeping missions began to increase. Throughout the preceding four decades, East-West confrontation had foreclosed most opportunities for concerted international military action. The few UN military operations that were agreed on were limited in scale and scope. UN peacekeepers monitored cease-fires and patrolled disengagement zones on contested ground in places such as Cyprus, Palestine, and Kashmir. Their purpose was not to enforce resolution of these longstanding disputes but rather to discourage their escalation.

    There were two notable exceptions to this limited model of United Nations...

  20. Chapter Twelve INPUTS AND OUTCOMES
    (pp. 225-242)

    Although each nation-building mission takes place in a unique environment, the objectives, instruments and techniques remain largely the same from one operation to the next. Thus it is possible to compare, across the various cases, the level of international inputs (as measured in men, money, and time) and of outcomes (as measured in security, economic growth, and democratization). While the analysis inevitably suffers from the deficiencies of the data, and while the measures available provide at best crude approximations of the level of effort and results, this methodology does permit more than merely impressionistic or anecdotal comparisons among case studies....

    (pp. 243-252)

    Over the years, the United States and the United Nations have developed distinctive styles of nation-building derived from their very different natures and capabilities. The United Nations is an international organization entirely dependent on its members for the wherewithal to conduct nation-building. The United States is the world’s only superpower, commanding abundant resources of its own and access to those of many other nations and institutions.

    UN operations have almost always been undermanned and under resourced, as Figure 13.1 illustrates. This is not because UN managers believe smaller is better, although some do, but because member states are rarely willing...

    (pp. 253-273)