Wednesday, July 19, 2006

UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon – Another Good Idea?

Fans of the United Nations perhaps support U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan calls for an armed UN peacekeeping force to act as a buffer between the Israelis and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

I was quite surprised to recently learn that the UN currently has “peacekeepers” along the southern Lebanon/Israel border. Its call UNIFIL.

The UN has some helpful information online. They just may require a bit more time, and, perhaps, more money.

According to Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978) of 19 March 1978, UNIFIL was established to:
- Confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon;
- Restore international peace and security;
- Assist the Government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area.

Most recently the mandate of UNIFIL was extended until 31 July 2006 by Security Council resolution 1655 (2006) of 31 January 2006.

See the UN website It includes:

Location: Southern Lebanon
Headquarters: Naqoura
Duration: March 1978 to present
Force Commander: Major-General Alain Pellegrini (France)
Strength (31 May 2006): 1,990 troops, assisted by some 50 military observers of UNTSO; and supported by 95 international civilian personnel and 304 local civilian staff
Contributors of Military Personnel: China, France, Ghana, India, Ireland, Italy, Poland and Ukraine
Approved budget: July 2005 - June 2006: $99.23 million

Even if the UN peacekeepers couldn’t enforce international law and Security Council resolution 1559 passed in September 2, 2004 requiring the disarming of Hezbollah, one would think that they at least could prevent Hezbollah from accumulating thousands of rockets and missiles and prevent their deployment hidden among civilians.

That I did not know of the existence of UNIFIL is a bit understandable, but it is quite shocking that the UN Secretary General apparently is not aware of the UNFIL existence or its very poor performance.

Benjamin Franklin said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Stop the insanity.

See prior posts:
United Nations Can’t Manage Food Aid
Welfare State Failed New Orleans's Poor


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