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Resolved:United Nations peacekeepers should have the power to engage in offensive operations.
I don’t even know what to say anymore. This is a sorely misguided topic. The UN regularly conducts offensive operations. The “peacekeeping” forces also regularly conduct offensive activities to carry out their duties. The symbolic code of engagement which theoretically prevents them from doing so is just that, a symbolic code. While their express mission is to “keep the peace,” the reality on the ground is never that simple, as anyone who has served in the armed forces will attest. Not only that, this is such an absurdly broad topic that there’s no way to actually debate it. What sort of situation would merit an offensive operation? What restrictions would there be on that operation? Is the resolution saying that the U.N. should basically have an independent military force called the peacekeepers? I hate this topic. It sucks in every way.
U.N. Peacekeepers – The U.N. has a peacekeeping force that is sent into conflict areas. This force often delivers aid, oversees compliance with U.N. directives, and generally tries to maintain peace in the region
Power – I’m not sure what it means for a U.N. force to have the power to do something. Does this mean their rules of engagement should be changed? Does this mean they need security council approval to carry out the operation? Or does this mean they should be allowed to act independently as they see fit? I mean, technically, they have the power now since they have guns and such. This is one of the many reasons this topic is awful.
Offensive Operations – This is also unclear. An offensive operation is clearly one that is not carried out in self-defense, but there can be many different types of offensive operations. Would the invasion of a country be an offensive operation covered under the resolution? What about attacking encampments? In order for an operation to be defensive, technically there has to be an “enemy.” Who defines the enemy? Or should the peacekeepers be allowed to attack who they see fit? Is simply delivering aid to a region an offensive operation against the oppressive side?
1. Military peacekeeping requires offense – Defensive measures will never maintain peace. True peace requires the aggressor to be defeated. Therefore, in order to truly carry out their directive, U.N. peacekeepers should have the power to carry out offensive operations.
2. Preemptive attacks – In order to be most effective in protecting themselves, peacekeepers must be able to preemptively strike. Currently, they must wait until they are attacked (even though they really don’t have to) in order to defend themselves. If the attacks could be prevented in the first place, everyday
1. Abuse of Power – U.N. peacekeepers are not a military force and should not be allowed to be one. The U.N., effectively ruled by the five nations on the security council, should not have a military which carry out offensive operations. That opens the door to vast potential for abuses of power.
2. Peacekeeping Mission – Conducting offensive operations takes away resources and attention from other peacekeeping operations like providing aid. Even though the directive of the peacekeepers would change, the resources available to them would not. Sacrificing vital operations for the sake of offensive ones is not an appropriate direction to go.