Thursday, March 30, 2017

Why U.N Peacekeepers Are a Good Deal For America

It appears from the Trump "Skinny Budget" that the U.S. financial contribution to United Nations peacekeeping forces will take a big hit.  As Heather Peterson explains in a U.S. News post, this is a bad decision.  U.N. Peacekeeping is both effective a good deal for America.  The U.N. peacekeeping forces mean U.S. military forces don't have to intervene:
The answer is that U.N. peacekeeping operations are generally successful and much more cost effective than using U.S. forces. Research by RAND found that U.N. peacekeeping operations have a pretty good track record and can be "an effective means of terminating conflicts, insuring against their reoccurrence, and promoting democracy." This conclusion is supported by research by Nicholas Sambanis who found U.N. peacekeeping operations have a "robust positive effect on peacebuilding outcomes … (which is) stronger when peacekeepers remain." In other words, U.N. peacekeepers are good at their jobs, especially if they stick around.
But, what about the cost to the U.S.? It turns out that U.N. peacekeepers are an incredibly good deal when compared to U.S. forces. Let's take a historical example. In 2004, a coup in Haiti created a potential refugee crisis as Haitians attempted to flee the violence in boats bound for U.S. shores. The George W. Bush administration decided to deploy U.S. military forces to Haiti to stop the violence and prevent a potential influx of refugees. After the initial intervention, Haiti was far from stable. In order to maintain stability, a long-term military presence was needed. The U.S. didn't want to keep forces in Haiti and was able to convince the other members of the U.N. Security Council to authorize a peacekeeping mission.
The Government Accountability Office put together a report comparing the actual costs of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti to a hypothetical U.S. force (over a 14 month time period). The GAO determined that if U.S. forces stayed in Haiti, it would have cost the U.S. $876 million. The cost to the U.S. of the actual U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti was $116 million.
In other words, the deployment of U.N. peacekeeping forces saved the U.S. approximately $760 million in just over a year.
Read it all here. My friend Colonel Dave DesRoches (West Point graduate with a PhD) points out thst even these savings estimates are too low.  It doesn't include the lifetime medical costs of sending soldiers and Marines in a Malaria infested area.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post , of course it is preferable for the US , to have such available global option of having peacekeeping forces of the UN :

    And first , public opinion . One of the leading triggers of the jihad war in the Muslim world, is the presence of US troops in many Arab countries, and , generally speaking all over the world . It does maintain that sentiment of continuation of Colonialism and Imperialism of the West , abusing so , national resources , and oppressing locals . The US should avoid it , as much as possible , unless it is matching totally the local national public opinion . More simple , is to hold military power in high seas and that's it !!

    Second : It would permit the US , to better settle conflicts in the world , without needing to send troops . And not only the cost , but , UN troops generally speaking , are considered impartial in the eyes of local residents . That is , What makes it far greater easier to manage conflicts and calming disputes . The US , would become far greater efficient agent in resolving military and political disputes , without that inconvenience of sending troops , while holding great leverage in the Security council , with the Veto power anyway .

    See here , negligible example , how " Al - Qaeda " , and Osama bin laden , emerged from presence of the US in Saudi Arabia , here I quote from " Wikipedia " :

    " The deployment angered bin Laden, as he believed the presence of foreign troops in the "land of the two mosques" (Mecca and Medina) profaned sacred soil. After speaking publicly against the Saudi government for harboring American troops, he was banished and forced to live in exile in Sudan. "

    Here for reading :