Transregional Military Dimensions of Civilian Protection: A Two-Part Problem with a Two-Part Solution

in Journal of International Peacekeeping
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The utilization of peacekeepers to protect civilians confronting devastation remains an issue of considerable debate about whether sufficient capacity exists to take on the task. This paper examines the difficulties of providing resources both for quick response civilian protection against ongoing devastation and follow-on longer-term activities that can help guarantee against a resurgence of violence. Research drawing on the CPASS database of worldwide peacekeeping operations reveals two clusters of troop contributing countries: a UN set and a cross-cutting “Western” agendas group. The fist cluster has demonstrated a willingness to deploy to long-term multidimensional peacekeeping missions that can help dampen the prospects of resurgence, and the second group (plus one important idiosyncratic actor) has demonstrated a willingness to take on usually shorter but more dangerous peace enforcement missions. For the foreseeable future, the most promising prospect for the protection of civilians involves the two clusters operating either in parallel or in sequence. While this division of labor may not be the most efficient way of doing business in an ideal world, it is the best we can expect for the world in which we live.

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