Brian Urquhart calls for the UN to be given real military force.
But in the age of humanitarian intervention, the human catastrophes of failed states and civil wars will continue to come before the Security Council. If UN members can no longer urgently provide the necessary peacekeeping troops to moderate desperate, if politically insignificant, situations, some alternative must be found – unless of course, its members were to conclude that the Security Council has no responsibility in such matters.
Everyone involved, including the United States, has now expressed remorse for the failure to stop the Rwanda genocide nine years ago. How many more human disasters will fester and multiply before an effective means of international intervention is found? From a purely practical point of view, a highly trained rapid reaction force, permanently at the disposal of the Security Council, would be the most efficient way of spearheading international efforts to deal with the Liberias of the future. Even to mention this idea is heresy in some circles in Washington, and it is disliked by some governments, but amid the desperate appeals for help from victims of anarchy and civil war, surely it deserves renewed consideration.
I am inclined to agree, at least in theory, but if humans stop going to war will we cease to be human?