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Authors: Kirsten Lundberg
Published by: Harvard Kennedy School
Published in: 1998

Abstract

The last quarter of the twentieth century has seen the emergence of what is arguably a new sort of military operation, one designed to keep warring factions apart so a nation''s social fabric can heal, with bloodshed suppressed. Peacekeeping, whether in Haiti, Somalia or Bosnia, has become a high-profile activity, whose effectveness may be disputed. It is one thing, however, for a superpower such as the U.S. to send peacekeeping troops abroad; one thing for the United Nations to sponsor a multinational peacekeeping contingent. Is it a similar sort of exercise, or even a good idea, when a newly-independent nation is called upon to send "peacekeeping forces" to suppress a civil war in one of its immediate neighbors, a country where many of its own nationals have hisotircally lived? This is the issue which faces Ukraine as it decides the nature of involvement it will have in neighboring Moldova, another of the newly-independent former Soviet republics which, beginning in 1992, is wracked by factional violence and a demand for independence on the part of the breakaway region of Transdniestr. Ukraine auhorities must decide whether to take the first steps toward becoming as involved as peacekeepers under the aegis of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), knowing that doing so could pull it into conflict with Russia, the regional superpower which has effectively been protecting the ethnic Russian secessionists. Funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation.

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Abstract

The last quarter of the twentieth century has seen the emergence of what is arguably a new sort of military operation, one designed to keep warring factions apart so a nation''s social fabric can heal, with bloodshed suppressed. Peacekeeping, whether in Haiti, Somalia or Bosnia, has become a high-profile activity, whose effectveness may be disputed. It is one thing, however, for a superpower such as the U.S. to send peacekeeping troops abroad; one thing for the United Nations to sponsor a multinational peacekeeping contingent. Is it a similar sort of exercise, or even a good idea, when a newly-independent nation is called upon to send "peacekeeping forces" to suppress a civil war in one of its immediate neighbors, a country where many of its own nationals have hisotircally lived? This is the issue which faces Ukraine as it decides the nature of involvement it will have in neighboring Moldova, another of the newly-independent former Soviet republics which, beginning in 1992, is wracked by factional violence and a demand for independence on the part of the breakaway region of Transdniestr. Ukraine auhorities must decide whether to take the first steps toward becoming as involved as peacekeepers under the aegis of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), knowing that doing so could pull it into conflict with Russia, the regional superpower which has effectively been protecting the ethnic Russian secessionists. Funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation.

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