United Nations Interventions in Civil Conflicts and the Utility of Private Military Security Companies
Beekhuis, Justin A.
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The current global environment and technological advancements of society has led to an increase in the visibility of crisis throughout the international community. Humanity cannot stand idly by as spectators to humanitarian crisis on the scale of what we have seen in recent years. For this reason it is vital that an international mechanism for intervention be as proficient and capable as possible, to respond rapidly and effectively, to situations as they unfold. The United Nations is the only entity poised to fulfill this role. Therefore it is imperative to learn from the successes and failures of this organizations intervention attempts in order to duplicate strategies that work and take corrective actions for strategies that failed. For this reason, this paper looks at several UN successes and failures in order to glean information on why each one succeeded or failed. The scope of this paper does not allow for a complete review and therefore further research should follow. When highlighting problems, it is also important to present potential solutions. For this reason I explore the potential viability of a dedicated United Nations response force via the utilization of Private Military Security Companies. By reviewing several case studies involving both UN Peace Keeping Operations and UN Nation Building Operations, several limitations to UN effectiveness can be highlighted. This includes a lack of flexibility, inability to muster adequate force and inability to react to the changing environments. Each of these limitations is predicated on the UN mandate and their dependence on the member states for support which comes primarily when there is a vested interest by a state or when the atrocities reach a level of international crisis. The incorporation of Private Military Security Companies would solve many of the inadequacies observed with UN response however; there are several steps that are required prior to being able to implement this approach. This includes the stigma associated with these groups and the current lack of available oversight or accountability protocols established to govern these groups. Therefore, under the current environment this option is not feasible.