When the UN was created during the closing months of World War II, its primary purpose was "to maintain international peace and security." Sadly, the Cold War quickly undermined that goal and reduced effective Security Council actions — with the exception of an unusual setting in Korea — to peripheral conflicts. The fall of the Berlin Wall, followed quickly by dramatic Security Council success during Operation Desert Storm, led many to envision the effective realization of the original UN dream. But subsequent mistakes in Bosnia and Somalia quickly dampened expectations and promoted speculation that perhaps it was simply unrealistic to expect the UN to do much about armed conflict.
This important volume by Moore and Morrison brings together a remarkable international group of senior theorists and practitioners to address ways in which the United Nations can play an important and effective role in keeping the peace and preventing international armed conflict. Originating as a joint project by the Center for National Security Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, and the Lester B. Pearson Canadian International Peacekeeping Training Centre, this volume features contributions by the Legal Adviser to the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs (an experienced UN diplomat); a retired Canadian officer who has trained hundreds of international peacekeepers from scores of countries around the globe; an American legal scholar who served for two terms as the first Chairman of the Board of the U.S. Institute of Peace; and the dean of American political scientists specializing in international organizations. Given the diversity of the contributors, their conclusions and recommendations are remarkably similar — including the necessity of active U.S. leadership if UN peacekeeping is to be successful. Anyone interested in the subject will benefit from their insights on this important topic, and it is must reading for policymakers and anyone actually involved in the business of peacekeeping.