Private Parts: The Private Sector and U.S. Peace Enforcement

Debates about peacekeeping policy in the United States arise whenever there is a new administration or crisis to consider. President Donald Trump's reduction of funding for UN programs signals that peacekeeping and peace enforcement with the United Nations might have no role in a doctrine of “America first”. US-led peace enforcement operations, such as those in Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq, are done so according to US or NATO doctrine, strategy, and interests. Although these operations received UN-authorization, they were US and NATO driven affairs. Questions as to whether the US should engage in enforcement actions to accomplish its objectives is related to but often separate from the question of enforcing with the United Nations. Although the cost, merits, and results of the interventions in Afghanistan, and Iraq have faced intense criticism in the years following their operation, their start received very little contention at the time in the United States.[i] UN-led or initiated operations are, in theory, the result of a global order managing global equities for the global good. In practice, enforcement operations are mandated through the UN Security Council where the United States is just one veto-wielding voice among five, and on which two US adversaries hold equal authority. Not every operation the UN embarks on is therefore likely to immediately benefit American interests.

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