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Ironically, the Bush administration has since undertaken state-building projects that are vastly larger and more difªcult than anything the Clinton administration ever attempted. The U.S. military is now building kindergartens in Afghanistan, in addition to paving roads and assisting with many other major infrastructure projects in both Afghanistan and Iraq.5 GIs report on instructing Iraqis in how to run a town meeting with an agenda and turn taking—”It’s basic P.T.A. stuff,” one commented.6 These are local-level complements to the complex, higher-level efforts to build workable national political structures in both countries. And all this is happening without any signiªcant reduction in U.S. involvement in ongoing peacekeeping operations in Kosovo or Bosnia. Indeed, the Bush administration even took on new peacekeeping responsibilities in Liberia, albeit very small ones thus far.7 It can be argued that despite the apparent about-face, the Bush administration has actually kept true to its realist principles. It is attempting to rebuild “rogue” states that the United States attacked and destroyed as perceived threats to national security, rather than states that failed largely on their own. Arguing that chaos in Liberia does not threaten U.S. security, Pentagon ofªcials successfully resisted the strong “CNN effect,” as well as international and possibly State Department pressure for a more active U.S. role. In broader terms, the administration claims that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, changed the game, clarifying a new security threat. We argue to the contrary that the Bush administration’s brand of realism has collided with post–Cold War realities that shaped the Clinton administration’s foreign policy as well. Even before September 11, the world was changing in such a way that the main security threats and problems now emerge not from great power security competition—Russia and China, for example—but from the consequences of political disorder, misrule, and humiliation in the third world. These threats and problems have the character of “public bads” for the major powers. That is, collapsed states and rogue regimes seeking nuclear weapons impose diffuse costs on the major powers and other states. The total
5. See Carlotta Gall, “In Afghanistan, Violence Stalls Renewal Effort,” New York Times, April 26, 2003, p. A1, who reports on the effects of the U.S. military’s fall 2002 decision to use military civil affairs teams, backed by Special Forces for protection, to undertake reconstruction projects outside of Kabul. 6. Col. Ralph Baker, cited in Thomas Friedman, “Starting from Scratch,” New York Times, August 27, 2003, p. A21. 7. On the diplomatic front, the Bush administration has supported the creation of a very large UN peacekeeping operation to Liberia, major expansion in the UN’s mission to the Congo (Kinshasa), continuation of a state-building mission in East Timor, and creation of a small mission to the Ivory Coast.
Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States 7
costs are often large enough that it would pay to address them, but not so large that doing so is necessarily worthwhile for any one state. Given the nature of the problem, the incentives for burden sharing through multilateral arrangements are strong. Furthermore, whether the problem is a failed state or a rogue regime that has been attacked and destroyed, state-building efforts led by major power interveners and international organizations are practically inevitable (to the Bush administration’s chagrin). As a result, the United States is now drawn toward a form of international governance that may be described as neotrusteeship, or more provocatively, postmodern imperialism. The terms refer to the complicated mixes of international and domestic governance structures that are evolving in Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and, possibly in the long run, Iraq. Similar to classical imperialism, these efforts involve a remarkable degree of control over domestic political authority and basic economic functions by foreign countries. In contrast to classical imperialism, in these new forms of rule subjects are governed by a complex hodgepodge of foreign powers, international and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and domestic institutions, rather than by a single imperial or trust power asserting monopoly rights within its domain. In contrast to classical imperialism but in line with concepts of trusteeship, the parties to these complex interventions typically seek an international legal mandate for their rule. Finally, whereas classical imperialists conceived of their empires as indeªnite in time, the agents of neotrusteeship want to exit as quickly as possible, after intervening to reconstruct or reconªgure states so as to reduce threats arising from either state collapse or rogue regimes empowered by weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Can this evolving form of neotrusteeship effectively coordinate international action to address the problems posed by collapsed states? Much more than is generally appreciated, the approach worked in the 1990s, with the United Nations playing a central role. Yet the international system remains badly organized and badly served for dealing with the implications of state collapse, whether indigenous or induced by invasion. In the body of the article, we analyze the largely ad hoc arrangements for peacekeeping and “transitional administration” as they evolved in the 1990s. First, we discuss in greater detail what we mean by neotrusteeship and why it is happening.8 Second, we consider a remarkable piece of self-criticism by the
8. Since Gerald B. Helman’s and Steven R. Ratner’s prescient call for some form of UN “conservatorship” in 1992, a small but growing number of analysts has suggested new international institutional arrangements for dealing with collapsed states. See Helman and Ratner, “Saving Failed
International Security 28:4 8
UN, the Brahimi Report of August 2000,9 which diagnosed the troubles with UN peacekeeping operations (PKOs) as practiced in the 1990s, when these missions spread around the globe. Third, we argue that neither the UN’s nor the United States’ political and military doctrine for postconºict intervention grasps the central problem posed by weak states—namely “mission creep.” Mission creep toward state building is practically inevitable when the state’s administrative and police apparatuses barely function, and other environmental conditions favor guerrilla techniques. In the fourth section, we identify four principal problems with the current system for organizing and implementing international collective action in collapsed states: recruitment, coordination, accountability, and exit. We offer some proposals for how these problems might be addressed, though we do not pretend that our suggestions are wholly satisfactory or without problems themselves. On the question of recruitment—who will pay for and provide these international public goods?—we maintain that the nature of the problem favors multilateral interventions led by a major power with regional or other interests at stake, supported by troops from developing countries and ªnanced in part by loans to the collapsed state to be repaid after reconstruction. On the problem of coordination—how to rationalize and harmonize the activities of the diverse state and nonstate actors involved in these projects—we argue that in anarchical settings the UN is an inappropriate lead agent and that greater efªcacy and coordination is likely to result from missions led by a major power with a dominant military force. On the problem of accountability—how to make trustees responsible for their actions without exacerbating the recruitment problem— we recommend a newly constructed arm of the UN to address some of the issues once handled by the now-defunct UN Trusteeship Council.10 Finally, we argue that in countries whose state institutions have been deStates,” Foreign Policy, No. 89 (Winter 1992), pp. 3–18; Richard Caplan, A New Trusteeship? The International Administration of War-torn Territories, Adelphi Paper No. 341 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002); Robert O. Keohane, “Political Authority after Intervention: Gradations in Sovereignty,” in J.L. Holzgrefe and Keohane, eds., Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical, Legal, and Political Dilemmas (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003); Sebastian Mallaby, “The Reluctant Imperialist: Terrorism, Failed States, and the Case for American Empire,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 81, No. 2 (March/April 2002), pp. 2–7; and Stephen D. Krasner, “Troubled Societies, Outlaw States, and Gradations of Sovereignty,” Stanford University, July 20, 2002. 9. The report is conventionally so called to acknowledge the chair of the committee that produced it, Lakhdar Brahimi. See United Nations, Report of the Panel on Peace Operations, A/55/305-S/2000/ 809, August 21, 2000. 10. Keohane, “Political Authority after Intervention,” identiªes and analyzes this same problem.
Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States 9
stroyed by years of civil war, the problem of exit is nearly intractable. In such cases, a long-term international contribution to local security will likely be necessary. To provide the right incentives for the development of local capacity and to limit the costs of potential interveners, we advocate international support for developing local tax-collecting capability, coupled with tax sharing between domestic and international agents as an incentive to move the country from international welfare toward self-governance. For some cases, we suggest the notion of transfer not to full sovereignty but rather to an entity embedded in and monitored by international institutions.11
What Is Neotrusteeship and Why Is It Happening? Despite a common media perception, the prevalence of civil war since the early 1990s is not a post–Cold War phenomenon. Instead, it is the result of the steady accumulation of protracted civil conºicts since the early 1950s. Figure 1 shows the number of ongoing civil wars by year for the period 1945 to 2002.12 Although there was indeed a signiªcant jump in the early 1990s associated in part with the end of the Cold War, the current level of twenty-four ongoing civil wars had already been reached and exceeded by the mid-1980s. In sharp contrast, the proliferation of international interventions that include 11. In researching this article, we conducted interviews with ofªcials in the United Nations, several U.S. government agencies involved in PKOs, and the Russian government and military. We conducted nine formal interviews from April 2 to April 5, 2001 in New York, principally among ofªcials at the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the UN Department of Political Affairs, and several diplomatic missions to the UN. We thank John Ruggie and Graciela BazetBroitman for facilitating these interviews. We conducted nine interviews in Washington, D.C., on March 18–21, 2002, interviewing principally present and former ofªcials in the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the Central Intelligence Agency. We thank Joseph McGhee, Peter Cowhey, and the Institute for Global Cooperation and Conºict at the University of California for facilitating these interviews. David Laitin conducted fourteen formal interviews in Moscow from June 24 to July 2, 2002, principally among ofªcials at the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry for CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] Affairs, the Collective Security Council of the CIS, the Ministry of Nationalities, and the State Duma. We thank Andrei Melville, Oleg Shulga, and Boris Bykov for facilitating these interviews. All interviews were conªdential. Footnoted references to these interviews represent place of interview (DC ⫽ Washington, D.C.; M ⫽ Moscow; and UN ⫽ New York), number of interviewee (in our research ªles), and date. 12. Civil wars are deªned here as conºicts among organized groups within a state for state or regional power that kill at least 1,000 individuals over their course, with at least 100 dead on each side, and an average of at least 100 killed per year. For our full deªnition and coding criteria, see James D. Fearon and David D. Laitin, “Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War,” American Political Science Review, Vol. 97, No. 1 (February 2003), pp. 75–90. Because the number of countries increased markedly over the 1945 to 2002 period, we also show in Figure 1 the percentage of countries experiencing civil war by year. The sample refers to countries that had a population of at least 500,000 in 1990.
International Security 28:4 10
Figure 1. Civil War and UN PKOs since 1945.
a UN peacekeeping operation—a good indicator of the spread of neotrusteeship—is a post–Cold War phenomenon. Figure 1 also shows the number of UN PKOs by year. It reveals a dramatic change beginning in 1988, an increase from ªve per year in the 1980s to sustained levels in the high teens since the early 1990s.13 The number of countries with an ongoing PKO has been only slightly lower. Since 1993, it has varied between ten and ªfteen, or 6.5 to 10 percent of the world’s countries that have a population of at least half a million. In total, the Security Council has mandated some forty-ªve peacekeeping missions since 1988, as compared with just thirteen from 1948 to 1987.14 13. We collected the data from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations website, http:// www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/home.shtml. For valuable case studies of PKOs in this period, see William J. Durch, ed., The Evolution of UN Peacekeeping (New York: St. Martin’s, 1993); William J. Durch, ed., UN Peacekeeping, American Power, and the Uncivil Wars of the 1990s (New York: St. Martin’s, 1996); Michael Doyle, Ian Johnstone, and Robert C. Orr, eds., Keeping the Peace: Multidimensional UN Operations in Cambodia and El Salvador (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997); and Stephen John Stedman, Donald Rothchild, and Elizabeth M. Cousens, eds., Ending Civil Wars: The Implementation of Peace Agreements (Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner, 2002). Two analytical contributions are George Downs and Stephen John Stedman, “Evaluation Issues in Peace Implementation,” in Stedman, Rothchild, and Cowens, Ending Civil Wars, on the determinants of PKO success; and Stephen John Stedman, “Spoiler Problems in Peace Processes,” International Security, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Fall 1997), pp. 5–53. 14. These totals are in a way misleading as compared with the annual numbers reported in Figure 1, because they include small precursor and follow-on missions that might better be
Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States 11
The nature of the PKOs also changed with the end of the Cold War. Of the thirteen pre-1988 missions, eight were classic chapter 6 operations in which UN peacekeeping forces monitored a border or cease-ªre line after an interstate war, and one was a close equivalent within a state (UNFICYP in Cyprus, especially since 1974). There have been only four new operations of this sort since 1988.15 The rest have virtually all addressed problems of peacekeeping and state reconstruction in countries torn by civil war. These missions have varied dramatically in size, complexity, and core tasks, ranging from provision of a few dozen military observers of a cease-ªre agreement to operations with tens of thousands of peacekeeping forces, the organization and supervision of elections, or transitional administration in which the UN takes over some or all day-to-day government of the country or region in question.16 The spread of such complex UN PKOs is an indicator of neotrusteeship, but it is not the same thing. In many cases, the UN is not the only important international intervener. States, other international and regional organizations, NGOs, and corporations are often heavily involved in collapsed-state governance and reconstruction. NATO troops are supplying security and statebuilding services in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. The 1995 Dayton accords created an entity known as the Ofªce of the High Representative that approximates the sovereign power in Bosnia, although it does not have power of command over NATO troops there. The special representative of the secretary-general (SRSG) in Kosovo has formal authority over Kosovo’s transitional administration, although the European Union (EU), the Organization for Economic Security and Cooperation (OSCE), and NATO also play major, formalized roles in political institution building, economic reconstruction, and provision of security. Afghanistan is presently governed by a regime that was created and blessed by international negotiations in Bonn 2001, but owes its continued existence and form to the presence of U.S. troops. NATO peacekeeping forces under a UN mandate provide security in Kabul, while an extensive UN mission trains police and engages in many other facets of state building grouped with the major mission (e.g., UNOMSIL was a precursor to UNAMSIL in Sierra Leone). Still, even if we do not count small precursor and follow-on missions, the comparison is thirty-two PKOs after 1987 to thirteen before. 15. These are UNIIMOG after the 1980–88 Iran-Iraq war, UNASOG in 1994 policing the disputed Aouzou Strip between Chad and Libya, UNIKOM on the Iraq-Kuwait border after the 1991 Gulf War, and UNMEE after the 1999 Ethiopia-Eritrea war. 16. UN transitional administration cases include UNTAG (Namibia, 1988), UNTAC (Cambodia, 1992), UNTAES (Eastern Slavonia in Croatia, 1996), UNMIK (Kosovo in Serbia and Montenegro, 1999), and UNTAET (East Timor, 1999). For a comparison of the pre- and post-1989 PKO tasks that shows the remarkable expansion after the Cold War, see William J. Durch, UN Peace Operations and the “Brahimi Report” (Washington, D.C.: Henry L. Stimson Center, October 2001).
International Security 28:4 12
and administration. Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, is swamped with UN peacekeepers and other foreign aid personnel, although the backbone of the regime is composed of the British troops who intervened successfully in 1999 on the side of the government against the Revolutionary United Front. Such cases, and most of all recent U.S. actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, have fueled considerable discussion about “American imperialism” or “neoimperialism” in the media. For example, several journalists and historians see the United States playing an imperial role in extending U.S. power while policing and governing chaotic regions, parallel to the nineteenth-century British Empire.17 There is indeed a valuable analogy between contemporary developments and nineteenth- and early twentieth-century classical imperialism. As with classical imperialism, we increasingly see the strongest states taking over, in part or whole, the governance of territories where Western-style politics, economics, and administration are underdeveloped.18 Further, excepting Iraq, their actions generally have had international legal authority behind them, in parallel with the international legalization of the former German and Italian colonies (as League of Nation mandates) after World War I. There are at least two striking differences, however. First, today’s rule by and with foreigners is largely multilateral, whereas in classical imperialism the great powers jealously monopolized control of their imperial domains. Second, whereas nineteenth-century imperial ventures were conceived as indeªnite in duration, postmodern imperialists want to rebuild self-supporting but politically and economically acceptable state structures and then leave as quickly as feasible.19 17. In fact, they applaud this role and urge the United States to act as traditional imperialists would. See, for examples, Mallaby, “The Reluctant Imperialist”; Michael Ignatieff, “NationBuilding Lite,” New York Times Magazine, July 28, 2002; Max Boot, The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power (New York: Basic Books, 2002); Irving Kristol, “The Emerging American Imperium,” Wall Street Journal, August 18, 1997, p. A14; and Niall Ferguson “No Way to Run an Empire” New York Times Magazine, April 27, 2003 (who criticizes U.S. planners for their desire for a quick exit). 18. Roland Paris, “International Peacebuilding and the ‘Mission Civilisatrice,’” Review of International Studies, Vol. 28 (2002), pp. 637–656, stresses the continuity of current “peacebuilding” efforts with colonial projects. 19. Imperialism is a contested and fuzzy concept. We take it to entail the extension of formalized rule by one polity (or polities) over another, where there is no anticipation that the ruled will acquire full citizenship rights in the ruling polity. If, by contrast, “imperialism” requires that the imperial power wants to remain sovereign indeªnitely, then what we are calling postmodern imperialism is not imperialism at all. We stress that we are not advocating or endorsing imperialism with the connotation of exploitation and permanent rule by foreigners; postmodern imperialism may have exploitative aspects, but these are to be condemned.
Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States 13
These differences stem from changed motivations for international intervention. Nineteenth-century empire building was driven by notions of national glory, hopes for proªt, civilizing missions, and perhaps most fundamentally the fear that if other great powers acquired too much imperial territory, they would gain enough strength to shift the balance of power.20 Today, by contrast, nuclear weapons make territorial conquest among the great powers nearly unthinkable, thus removing mutual fears of military invasion. At the same time, a successful world trading system has lowered incentives for exclusive imperial control to assure access to vital raw materials.21 The major powers perceive little serious military danger from one another, and so have lost the incentive for imperialism as a means of defense or attack against other major powers. Longterm, formal imperial annexation thus has much less appeal than it once did. Increasingly, however, the major powers must worry about bad “externalities” that result from the combination of the scientiªc revolution and political disorder, economic collapse, and anger in the third world. These externalities include risks of catastrophic terrorism using WMD, refugee ºows, health threats, enhanced drug smuggling networks, and disruption of oil supplies. Major powers can also suffer from destabilizing consequences of protracted civil wars for whole regions, as neighboring states are weakened or regional incentives for weapons acquisition and proliferation increase. Finally, the major powers have faced signiªcant and justiªed pressures for intervention on humanitarian grounds as well. These diffuse threats create a classic collective action problem for the major powers. Given the dangers posed by collapsed states and rogue regimes in a world with WMD, open economies, and easy international travel, all would beneªt from political order and responsible (if possible, democratic) governments in the periphery. But the costs to provide effective support for political order and democracy after a state collapses often exceed the expected beneªts for any one power. The logic of this situation creates an incentive for burden sharing. Affected states have an incentive to share the costs to mitigate the 20. See, for example, Benjamin Cohen, The Question of Imperialism (New York: Basic Books, 1973). 21. Analysts differ on the causal priority to be assigned to the nuclear revolution, free trade, democracy, and changing social norms. See, for example, Richard N. Rosecrance, The Rise of the Trading State: Commerce and Conquest in the Modern World (New York: Basic Books, 1987); John Mueller, Retreat from Doomsday: The Obsolescence of Major War (New York: Basic Books, 1989); and Bruce Russett and John Oneal, Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations (New York: W.W. Norton, 2001). For a contrary argument that nothing has really changed (the great powers are and should remain focused on great power military competition), see John J. Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (New York: W.W. Norton, 2001).
International Security 28:4 14
public bads of state collapse and rogue regimes at an acceptable price for each one.22 In sum, in the time of classical imperialism the great powers threatened each other while facing no serious, autonomous threats from Africa, the Middle East, or most of Asia. Today, by contrast, the strongest and richest states face no serious military threats from one another, but various security threats from a third world that, as Figure 1 illustrates, is suffering from a great deal of political violence and chaos. Because the costs of addressing the implications of state collapse or the dangers posed by rogue regimes are concentrated while the beneªts are often diffuse, the major powers now confront a collective action problem whose internal logic should favor a multilateral response.
The UN PKOs and the Brahimi Report Collective action is no simple matter, however, especially absent a supranational authority and given conºicting state preferences and great uncertainties about costs and beneªts. Even if each NATO member agrees in principle that the International Security Assistance Force should be expanded to take on peacekeeping duties beyond Kabul, each may prefer that other NATO countries provide the troops. Members of the UN Security Council might agree that there would be collective beneªts to a large and adequately manned peacekeeping mission for Bosnia, Rwanda, or the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but hesitate to send troops or adequate resources themselves. The willingness of a Security Council power to pay costs for a mission that mainly beneªts another state (e.g., the 1994 mission to Haiti that the United States strongly desired) may depend on a reciprocal willingness to support a mission that the ªrst power strongly desires (e.g., the 1994 agreement on UNOMIG, the UN mission to Georgia concerning the Abkhaz conºict).23 And, of course, the major powers may strongly disagree about the scale of the threat posed by a
22. The structure of the collective action problem can be represented as follows: Let b ⬎ 0 be the expected long-run cost of a state collapse to each major power, and let c ⬎ b be the total expected cost of remedying it. If there are n states with these preferences and if c ⬍ nb, they would all be better off to strike a deal in which they jointly contribute a total of c to the reconstruction effort, with each one contributing no more than b. Of course, there is a possibly intense bargaining problem over who will contribute how much. See James D. Fearon, “Bargaining, Enforcement, and International Cooperation,” International Organization, Vol. 52, No. 2 (Spring 1998), pp. 269–306. 23. David Malone, Decision-Making in the UN Security Council: The Case of Haiti, 1990–97 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), suggests that this trade facilitated a Security Council agreement on both missions.
Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States 15
rogue regime or a collapsed state, and the appropriate response—witness Iraq in 2003. Despite such obstacles, the UN has authorized and mobilized an impressive number of collective action missions in the last ªfteen years on the international problem of civil-war-torn states.24 The natural locus for negotiating and organizing this collective action has been the UN Security Council. The UN Charter gives the Security Council a legal responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and it serves as the closest approximation to a club of major powers jointly affected by the bad externalities of state collapse. Although peacekeeping is not speciªcally mentioned in the charter, it has evolved into one of the UN’s preeminent tasks, as illustrated by Figure 1. The ºurry of UN PKOs between 1989 and 2000 included a number of underreported success stories but also some highly visible human disasters. At the start of the period, with the thaw of the Cold War facilitating agreements in the Security Council, newly ambitious missions were authorized for addressing internal conºicts in Namibia (UNTAG, 1989), Nicaragua (ONUCA, 1989), El Salvador (ONUSAL, 1991), Angola (UNAVEM II, 1991), and Cambodia (UNAMIC, then UNTAC, 1991). Except for UNAVEM II, these were largely viewed as successful, valuable missions.25 Debacles and tragedies soon followed, however. The policies of UNPROFOR, the UN peacekeeping force sent to the former Yugoslavia in 1993, may have furthered the conºict and ultimately enabled the Srebrenica massacres in the summer of 1995. The expanded mandate given to UNOSOM II for Somalia in 1993 was quickly shown to be unsustainable and went unfulªlled with horriªc consequences.26 Worst of all, 24. Collective action has been less successful in confrontations with rogue regimes. These present a more difªcult problem for the UN system, based as it is on the mutual recognition of members’ sovereignty. The NATO attack on Serbia in 1999 is one example, however, of an intervention against a rogue regime that subsequently received a UN-sanctioned PKO in Kosovo. The UNsanctioned, U.S.-led multilateral force that deposed the military coup leaders of Haiti in 1994 is another. 25. Evaluating the performance of a UN mission is a conceptually difªcult problem; for an excellent discussion, see Downs and Stedman, “Evaluation Issues in Peace Implementation,” in Stedman, Rothchild, and Cousens, Ending Civil Wars. Downs and Stedman code all these missions as “successful” except for UNAVEM II, which they code as a failure. Other UN PKOs focused on post–civil war state reconstruction issues that were regarded by our interviewees and by much of the literature on PKOs as underreported success stories include ONUMOZ (Mozambique, 1992– 95) and UNTAES (Croatia and Eastern Slavonia, 1996–98). For a statistical analysis that ªnds a positive effect of UN PKOs on democratization and postwar stability, see Michael W. Doyle and Nicholas Sambanis, “International Peacebuilding: A Theoretical and Quantitative Analysis,” American Political Science Review, Vol. 94 (December 2000), pp. 779–801. 26. Under UNOSOM II, U.S. Special Operations forces led a mission in April 1993 to capture Somali warlord, Mohammed Farah Aideed, who was responsible for the massacre of twenty-four
International Security 28:4 16
the Security Council and the UN Secretariat reigned in rather than expanded UNAMIR (1993–96) in the face of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.27 The Clinton administration largely disengaged from UN peacekeeping activity after the Somalia ªasco, and a protracted budget crisis induced by the U.S. Congress’s refusal to pay UN dues hamstrung an already overtaxed ªnancing system for PKOs. In the early and mid-1990s, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) was trying to manage and service tens of thousands of peacekeeping forces in the ªeld with only dozens of staff at its headquarters in New York. Operational and chain-of-command problems were abundant, including slow and inadequate initial deployments, PKO troop contingents following orders from their home state capitals rather than from the UN, and ªeld commanders complaining in one mission (UNOSOM II) that they could not get in trouble on a weekend because there was no one in New York to answer the phone when they called for assistance.28 In the late 1990s, the Clinton administration returned somewhat to the support and use of UN PKOs, favoring Security Council authorization of four complex civil war–related missions: Kosovo after the U.S. and NATO attacks on Serbian leader Slobodan Miloševib’s regime (UNMIK, June 1999), Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL, October 1999), Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC, November 1999), and East Timor (UNTAET, October 2000). Except for UNTAET, which has been successful so far, these missions have displayed many of the same problems that beset earlier missions.29 In particular, the iniPakistani UN peacekeepers. In that mission, eighteen U.S. soldiers were killed and eighty-four were injured. Hundreds of Somalis also died. In its aftermath, President Clinton shut down the Somali operation, and southern Somalia fell back into violent anarchy. 27. The problems and failures of UNPROFOR, the UN PKO operating for most of the Bosnian war, are well analyzed in the UN report The Fall of Srebrenica, report of the Secretary-General pursuant to General Assembly resolution 53/35, November 15, 1999, A/54/549. See also David Rohde, Endgame: The Betrayal and Fall of Srebrenica (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997). On Rwanda, see Report of the Independent Inquiry into the Actions of the United Nations during the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda, December 15, 1999, New York; United Nations, Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Comprehensive Report on Lessons Learned from United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), 1996; and Howard Adelman and Astri Suhrke, with Bruce Jones, The International Response to Conºict and Genocide: Lessons from the Rwanda Experience (Copenhagen: Joint Evaluation of Emergency Assistance to Rwanda, 1996). On Somalia, see Adelman and Suhrke, The International Response to Conºict and Genocide; and Kenneth Allard, Somalia Operations: Lessons Learned (Washington, D.C.: National Defense University Press, 1995). 28. Remarks (now outdated) of Maj. Gen. Lewis Mackenzie, a Canadian and former head of UN forces in Sarajevo, quoted in Ramesh Thakur, “From Peacekeeping to Peace Enforcement: The U.N. Operation in Somalia,” Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 32, No. 3 (1994), p. 393. 29. UNMIK has been successful in some regards, and its design shows evidence of learning based on coordination problems observed in post–Dayton agreement Bosnia. See Caplan, A New Trusteeship?
Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States 17
tial deployment of UNAMSIL was disastrously inadequate, requiring rescue by British troops and expansion in size. And despite the ofªcial rhetoric that mass killings would never again be permitted in the wake of Rwanda and Srebrenica, once again the blue-helmeted UN multinational soldiers had little choice but to stand by watching as ethnic massacres took place in the eastern Congo in early 2003.30 The Brahimi report, commissioned by the secretary-general in 2000, analyzed the sources of failure in past UN PKOs and proposed a broad-ranging set of reforms. The report identiªes three core problems with UN PKOs in the 1990s. First, the Security Council often approved mission mandates that were overly vague and optimistic about the situation on the ground, leading to inadequate deployments with unclear objectives. Second, the mission mandates constructed within the Security Council frequently exceeded the resources provided by member states. There were “commitment gaps,” as the report puts it.31 Together, these two problems produced gaps between what outside observers could reasonably expect a UN PKO to do, and what it was capable of doing. Although the report is not explicit about the roots of these failings, from its text and our interviews we infer two political pathologies involving the ªve permanent members of the Security Council (the P-5) and the UN that yielded the gap between mission expectations and the resources provided. The ªrst pathology ran from the P-5 to the secretary-general. In the 1990s, Western governments sometimes wanted to appear to be taking action in humanitarian crises over which they did not want to spill blood. Such tasks were passed to the UN while the P-5 knowingly underfunded the missions relative to their mandates. This allowed them to appear to be doing something, and if there were failure, blame would later fall on the UN for its supposed inefªciencies. Perhaps as a matter of default rather than design, the UN was thus used as a scapegoat. The second pathology ran in the other direction. Here the report intimates that the secretary-general had incentives to undersell mission requirements to the members of the Security Council because he wanted (or faced strong pressures to get) a mission to country X and knew that the Security Council would 30. The massacres led to “mission creep,” a phenomenon we address in the next section. The ªrstever EU-led multinational force was deployed in June as an interim measure, followed by an expansion of the mandate and size of MONUC (authorized by Security Council resolution S/RES/ 1493 ). 31. United Nations, Report of the Panel on Peace Operations, pars. 48–64.
International Security 28:4 18
not endorse a mission that was above some size threshold. This pathology was based on a “foot in the door” logic, driven by the hope that a mission would be expanded when it became obvious to all that it was failing.32 Both of these pathologies caused Security Council mandates to exceed the resources provided to PKOs in the 1990s—especially in Somalia, Bosnia, and Rwanda—and so contributed to peacekeeping failures. The Brahimi report outlines remedies to overcome the gap between mission objectives and resources provided. It exhorts the Security Council to write clear and achievable mandates that it is willing to back up and fund, and it recommends that mandates be left in draft form until the secretary-general conªrms that the force levels they call for can actually be supplied.33 It exhorts the secretary-general to tell the Security Council “what it needs to know, not what it wants to hear” when formulating mandates.34 That is, he should not make a mission seem easy if the result is likely to be a hypocritical mandate from the Security Council. We should ask why the P-5 need to be told that they should be willing to adequately support the PKOs they endorse, and why the secretary-general needs to be told to be straightforward with the Security Council. Surely the actors already have a subtle understanding of these political dynamics. The P-5 knew they were underfunding and understafªng missions in Bosnia, Somalia, and Sierra Leone, yet still ordered the secretary-general to organize and pursue them.35 One possible explanation is that the Brahimi report provides the secretarygeneral with a political instrument in his negotiations with the Security Council. The secretary-general can now remind the P-5 that they enthusiastically endorsed Brahimi principles in Security Council resolution 1327 (2000), so if the Secretariat says that it will take X troops and Y dollars to achieve Z mandate goals, this is what the council must authorize. If the council is unwilling to do so, it should deªne a less ambitious mandate or not undertake 32. This second pathology could involve members of the Security Council, who, like the secretarygeneral, might want a more aggressive UN reaction and see a strong mandate as a means toward this end, while council members who would prefer no involvement compromise on a strong mandate with inadequate resources. 33. United Nations, Report of the Panel on Peace Operations, par. 60. This recommendation was not accepted. 34. Ibid., p. 10. And similarly, “the Secretariat must not apply best-case planning assumptions to situations where the local actors have historically exhibited worst-case behaviour.” Ibid., p. x. 35. This is particularly evident in United Nations, The Fall of Srebrenica.
Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States 19
the mission. The authors of the Brahimi report may have been giving him political cover for the rash act of telling the truth to the Security Council.36 One of main truths that needs to be told, the report suggests, is that Security Council mandates must provide for robust rules of engagement by UN forces—that is, the ability and permission to ªght back, deter or pursue spoilers, and stop violence against civilians.37 If the Security Council is unwilling to provide this up front for missions involving internal conºict, the report argues, the PKO should not be approved. The third set of problems the Brahimi report identiªed was marked inefªciencies and lack of coordination in the anticipation, planning, deployment, and management of UN PKOs. The report recommended the creation of a new intelligence and planning unit within the Secretariat; a set of reforms to make rapid deployment feasible; more posts and funding for the DPKO; and internal restructuring to improve information sharing, planning, and coordination in support of missions. Although the General Assembly rejected the new intelligence and planning unit, it has thus far approved some increased funding and posts for the DPKO, as well as aspects of the rapid deployment and internal structural reforms.38 Insiders believe that this is the backbone of the report and the part that will have the greatest long-term impact.39 In the demands for new budget items, an implicit deal was proposed. The UN Secretariat asks the Security Council (and the General Assembly) for more resources to fund PKOs, and the Secretariat then promises to use those funds more efªciently and effectively, and avoid cases that are likely destined for failure.40 36. Interview UN3, April 3, 2001. 37. Stephen Stedman deªnes spoilers as “leaders and parties who believe that peace emerging from negotiations threatens their power, worldview, or interests, and use violence to undermine attempts to achieve it.” Stedman, “Spoiler Problems in Peace Processes,” p. 5. 38. Members of the Group of 77, which dominates the General Assembly, often see peacekeeping operations as a Security Council (and hence largely rich-state) activity that threatens to take funds from economic development and can threaten sovereignty as well. In addition, as principal troopcontributing countries, they resent perceived lack of input into PKO mandate formulation and mission planning. Regarding the proposed intelligence and planning unit, they were unenthusiastic about increasing the UN’s capability to monitor developments in member states that might occasion international intervention (UN1, April 2, 2001; UN9, April 5, 2001). For an excellent analysis of the prospects and problems with implementing the Brahimi report’s recommendations, see Christine Gray, “Peacekeeping after the Brahimi Report: Is There a Crisis of Credibility for the UN?” Journal of Conºict and Security Law, Vol. 6, No. 2 (December 2001), pp. 267–288. 39. Interviews UN3 and UN4, April 3, 2001. 40. Thus Brahimi insisted that the UN not be given the awesome job of peacekeeping in postTaliban Afghanistan, although he did take responsibility for heading a scaled-down UN operation (UNAMA). Staff in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations were similarly unenthusiastic
International Security 28:4 20
Insurgency and the Logic of “Mission Creep” The gap between mission needs and the resources supplied by international interveners in collapsed states has another important source not clearly identiªed in the Brahimi report. Once international forces are on the ground in a country with a weak central state and local conditions that favor guerrilla techniques, there can be a powerful internal dynamic for “mission creep,” or escalation of mission goals and requirements. This dynamic grows from the nature of the political and military problem that international interveners face in a collapsed state, and it can operate whether the interveners are UN blue helmets or the U.S. military. Neither UN nor U.S. political and military doctrine adequately addresses this problem. The UN’s basic doctrinal orientation in peacekeeping operations is as a mediator and monitor that facilitates the resolution of political differences dividing the parties. For civil war interventions, the DPKO’s ideal case is one in which two sides have seriously committed themselves to a detailed peace agreement (worked out with the help of UN mediators), and then jointly request a PKO for the purpose of monitoring and assisting with implementation. As Jean Marie Guéhenno, under secretary-general for peacekeeping operations from October 2000, put it, “Consent [is] still the principle under which the Department operate[s], otherwise, it [is] simply not peacekeeping and the United Nations [is] not the right organization to do it.”41 However, the UN and third parties can face strong incentives to intervene in a civil-war-torn state even when there is no peace agreement, or when there is a ºimsy peace agreement likely to be challenged by a return to violence by a spoiler. Moreover, even with a relatively sincere peace settlement, if the state apparatus of the country has largely collapsed as a result of years of misgovernance, war, or foreign intervention, then international interveners will
about the prospect of a peacekeeping mission to postwar Iraq, in part because they see it as too hard a case. See Michèle Grifªn, “Mediator, Midwife, or Manager? The United Nations and StateBuilding,” paper presented at the Center for International Security and Cooperation workshop “How to Build a State,” Stanford University, May 23–24, 2003. 41. This is the paraphrase of Guehénno’s remark reported in United Nations press release GA/ SPD/265, “Reform of UN Peacekeeping Operations a Real Process with Real Beneªts, Under Secretary-General Tells Fourth Committee,” October 15, 2003. Similarly, as the primer on peacekeeping at the DPKO website emphasizes, there can be no success until there is “a genuine desire on the part of the warring parties to solve their differences peacefully.” An Introduction to United Nations Peacekeeping, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/intro/3.htm, chap. 3.
Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States 21
not be able to leave without substantially rebuilding state security institutions and providing security in the interim. Otherwise, local anarchy will encourage guerrilla attacks, local warlords, and competitive attempts to capture the (largely notional) state. To its credit, the Brahimi report recognizes that “consent may be manipulated in various ways,” that it may be withdrawn, and that factional splits may yield new combatants who reject the original peace agreement.42 The remedy it proposes is robust rules of engagement and initial deployments adequate to face down any spoiler who might emerge. In weak state conditions, however, this remedy at best lowers the odds of humiliating international withdrawals in the face of attacks by warlords. When past conºict or other factors have rendered the state apparatus too dysfunctional to provide for domestic security, mission creep is highly likely. Additional forces may be required to deal with depredations by thugs and guerrillas, and it will become increasingly clear that exit without a return to war demands some level of sustained transitional administration by international parties. The reality of state weakness means that peacekeepers need to foster state building if there is to be any hope for exit without a return to considerable violence. This Hobbesian logic applies whether the forces are UN troops, ad hoc international coalitions, or the U.S. military in Afghanistan or Iraq. The argument is consistent with and supported by recent research on the causes of civil war in the post–World War II period. In our study of 161 countries since 1945, the best predictors of a country’s civil war propensity are the presence of factors that favor a particular form of military conºict—namely, rural guerrilla warfare.43 Guerrilla warfare is overwhelmingly the most common form of violent civil conºict in this period, and it is a highly robust technology in conditions prevalent in postcolonial Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The steady increase in the number of ongoing civil wars shown in Figure 1 is not due to more wars breaking out each year. Rather, while the rate of outbreak has been fairly steady, the rate at which rural guerrilla wars in the third world have ended has been lower. This has produced a gradual accumulation of unresolved conºicts and increasingly incapacitated states. Across countries, measures of low state capability relative to potential guerrilla bands—such as low per capita income, high total population, recent decoloni42. United Nations, Report of the Panel on Peace Operations, p. 9. 43. Fearon and Laitin, “Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War.”
International Security 28:4 22
zation, and mountainous terrain—are the best predictors of a state’s civil war propensity.44 The implicit theory undergirding UN peacekeeping operations is that peace depends primarily on the resolution of political differences and the alleviation of political or social grievances. Surprisingly, then, after one controls for the level of economic development, measures of social cleavage and the extent of political grievances appear unrelated to a country’s risk of civil war outbreak. For example, more ethnically or religiously diverse countries, or countries with an ethnic majority and a signiªcant ethnic minority, were no more likely to have a civil war start in this period, controlling for per capita income. Similarly, the risk of civil war outbreak does not vary systematically with a country’s level of democracy, income inequality, or the presence of policies discriminating against minority languages or religions. In a study of some 280 ethnic and religious groups over the same period, we ªnd that economically disadvantaged minorities were no more likely to be involved in rebellion than economically equal or better off minorities.45 It is possible that we ªnd no evidence of a relationship between civil war and discrimination or broad social grievances because our measures are poor. However, the absence of a clear pattern across a large number of indicators and in several different data sets is striking.46 We suspect that the correct interpretation is not that social and political grievances are irrelevant to motivating ªghters. Rather, grievances are lamentably common, so that knowing their level does not help distinguish the countries that suffer from civil wars from those that do not. Instead, conditions that favor rural insurgency mark the states at highest risk for civil war in this period. Protracted civil war has been on the rise ever since the transfer of independence to a swath of colonies whose new leaders were unable to create the order and progress necessary to
44. Our results are not idiosyncratic. Per capita income and total population tend to be the most powerful predictors in a number of similar cross-national studies, such as Paul Collier and Anke Hoefºer, “Greed and Grievance in Civil War,” World Bank, 2001. The precise mechanism by which low per capita income favors civil war is unclear. Fearon and Laitin, “Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War,” argue that it is mainly measuring state capability to ªnance and run a competent counterinsurgency, whereas Collier and Hoefºer tend to see it as a measure of the opportunity cost of becoming a rebel. Either way, it is a measure of state capability relative to potential guerrilla forces. 45. Fearon and Laitin, “Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War”; James D. Fearon and David D. Laitin, “Weak States, Rough Terrain, and Large-Scale Ethnic Violence since 1945,” paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, September 2–5, 1999, Atlanta, Georgia. 46. Broadly similar ªndings are reported in Collier and Hoefºer, “Greed and Grievance in Civil War.”
Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States 23
dissuade insurgents from seeking the rewards of control over the reigns of government either at the center or in a region. These ªndings do not imply that civil conºicts can be peacefully resolved without addressing the political grievances that the parties say are at issue. It is hard to imagine, for instance, how to end the Palestinian insurgency in Israelicontrolled territories without addressing at least some Palestinian grievances. But the ªndings do suggest that a theory of international intervention in service of peace in civil-war-torn states is misconceived if it focuses solely on mediating political differences or on providing space for and assistance with such peace processes. Where state collapse and environmental conditions favor insurgency, counterinsurgency and state building will often be necessary even to create the conditions needed to address grievances or to make political or economic progress of any kind. These tasks involve a different action plan than the classical notion of peacekeeping. State building, for example, may require a long-term commitment to rebuilding basic institutions for security and political stability. For its part, counterinsurgency implies that the UN ethic of “impartiality,” and its traditional chapter 6 role of placing blue helmets between parties in need of assurance that the other side will exercise restraint, is not directly applicable to many post–World War II civil wars. Counterinsurgency often requires tactics of intimidation and threat. As a former Pentagon ofªcial told us, teams seconded from the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) were probably the most effective police unit in Kosovo, though their methods may not always have been fully in accord with human rights conventions.47 The reality of insurgency and immediate postwar disorder suggests that a dominant military force will often be essential to lead an effective PKO.48 These considerations do not apply to all cases of postconºict international intervention. They are more relevant the lower the bureaucratic and political capabilities of the state at issue. UN missions and those of other interveners have tended to “creep” or be unable to exit where state administrative, police, 47. Interviews DC1, March 18, 2002; and DC4, March 20, 2002. 48. The UN system is inherently biased in favor of member states against rebel challengers, so that legal authorization for intervention to support insurgents against a bad (but recognized) government is bound to be exceptional. In some civil-war-torn states, however, the insurgents may offer better prospects for state reconstruction, good government, and political justice than does the regime that controls the capital. Although the anarchical conditions that favor insurgency pose unsolved problems for PKOs, the best solution is not always to support a recognized government against the insurgents. Still, developing workable standards for the international authorization to support rebel groups (as in Kosovo, for example) remains a vexing problem.
International Security 28:4 24
and military capacities have been lowest, such as in Afghanistan, the Congo (both in 1960 and today), Sierra Leone, Liberia, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia (UNPROFOR), and Kosovo. By contrast, there has been little or no mission creep in cases where the state retained governing capabilities despite the war, such as in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Croatia (UNTAES), and Cambodia (UNTAC). In the latter set, the underlying problem more closely resembled what received UN PKO doctrine imagines, and accordingly their PKOs were more successful.49
Four Strategic Challenges for Neotrusteeship Given the costs and difªculty of counterinsurgency operations and state building in collapsed states, the U.S. government’s and UN DPKO’s lack of enthusiasm for such enterprises is understandable.50 But this is no excuse for failing to develop doctrine and mechanisms for collective action to address the problem of how to intervene constructively in postconºict weak or collapsed states.51 In this section we consider four major problems for the system as it stands and suggest some possible solutions. recruitment In a world with WMD and relatively open borders, political order, democracy, and competent government are international public goods. Who should pay to provide these goods in collapsed states? How best to organize interventions to make the costs manageable and equitably distributed? Two general principles are commonly employed to answer the ethical ques49. In another set of cases, there were pressures for mission creep that, for various reasons, the interveners resisted: Angola (UNAVEM II and III), Rwanda (UNAMIR), and Ivory Coast (MINUCI, which could yet “creep”). UNTAET in East Timor is thus far an anomalous case where prospects appear good for exit by the interveners, despite there having been little preexisting state capacity. It appears to have been favored by East Timor’s extremely small size and the relatively uniªed independence movement. 50. Grifªn, “Mediator, Midwife, or Manager?” discusses the deep unease and unhappiness of DPKO staff, despite successes in Kosovo and East Timor, with transitional administration missions that require the UN to take on governmental functions in postconºict situations. 51. More controversially, doctrine is needed for state reconstruction efforts in states whose regimes were deposed as alleged threats to international peace and security. Whereas the UN may be criticized for having a doctrine that does not adequately conceptualize or address the problem posed by peacekeeping in a weak-state setting, the Bush administration may be criticized for not seeing the problem at all. Administration ofªcials seem to have imagined that postconºict state building in Iraq would largely take care of itself. See, for example, David Rieff, “Blueprint for a Mess,” New York Times Magazine, November 2, 2003, pp. 28–33, 44, 78.
Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States 25
tion of who should pay for a public good. First, those most capable of paying should pay the most. Second, those who beneªt most should pay the most. The ªrst principle implies that the rich states of the West should bear most of the ªnancial costs of peacekeeping operations. Regarding funding for UN PKOs, this is already the case. As the Brahimi report suggests, however, the major powers’ “lack of political will” in ªnancing PKOs has been a prime source of the commitment gap. Furthermore, rich states have shown great reluctance to send their troops on dangerous PKO missions. In the violent moments of a civil war or peace process, the great powers have not put their own soldiers at serious risk unless the conºict posed a direct threat within their own region, or unless the failed state was identiªed as a potential harborer of terrorists or concealer of WMD. Along with many of our interviewees at the UN and in Washington, we deplore the P-5’s (and particularly the U.S. government’s) reluctance to provide more funding and troops for PKOs in postconºict states. But to the extent that this reºects a political judgment by Western politicians about how much stability in collapsed states is worth to their voters, it is not a failure of collective action. To this extent, it is simply a constraint on who will pay, and how much, that must be taken into account when organizing multilateral interventions for collapsed states. By necessity, the constraint is already reºected in evolving practices for recruiting and structuring PKOs. The Brahimi report notes that the current era of “complex” peacekeeping in civil-war-torn states has seen a dramatic shift away from developed-country blue helmets—the standard practice during the Cold War—toward blue helmets supplied by third world states.52 This is the result of a natural trade between the rich, major powers and many developing countries. The former have ªnancial resources but are highly sensitive to casualties and often reluctant to put their forces under UN or international command. The latter may have large armies, weak tax revenues, or both. These troop-contributing countries (TCCs) send forces for reasons of prestige or expected recompense, whether monetary or via special political deals with major powers particularly interested in getting a mission to a particular country.53 Even though such trades make sense and should be encouraged for facilitat-
52. United Nations, Report of the Panel on Peace Operations, p. 17. 53. Two of our interviewees intimated that Pakistan had received a promise of sanctions removal from the United States for an agreement to send PKO forces to Sierra Leone in 2000 (UN1 April 2, 2001; UN9 April 5, 2001), though neither was certain of this.
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ing the supply of PKOs, they pose tricky political and operational problems. First, members of the Group of 77, the principal suppliers of PKO troops in recent years, are increasingly bitter about their lack of voice in the Security Council deliberations that formulate and manage the PKO missions that employ their troops. Without reform of the Security Council, several ambassadors emphasized, their countries’ willingness to supply troops will wane.54 Second, the UN is continually in arrears to TCCs. Although all UN member states are taxed for peacekeeping operations, the budget is perennially in deªcit, and many TCCs hold extensive accounts owed for their services in past PKOs. Despite the Brahimi report’s valiant and partially successful efforts to put the UN DPKO on more solid ªnancial footing, funding for particular operations is often ad hoc and mostly paid by donor countries in the developed world. The secretary-general and even SRSGs must often act like college presidents, spending their time urging the rich to fund worthy special projects. On the operational side, we have argued that in a country with a fractured state and an environment conducive to guerrilla war, a successful PKO requires a dominant military force that can act decisively, establish a clear chain of command, and take responsibility. Many third-world troop contingents have served with distinction in UN PKOs; however, they often lack the equipment, advanced technology, training, and doctrine necessary to operate as a dominant military force in the chaotic conditions of a collapsed state.55 Thus, there needs to be a lead state or regional organization with advanced technical and organizational capabilities to be the principal contractor with the UN for PKOs sent to collapsed states. On the next level, efªcient supply of PKOs requires TCCs providing what Pentagon ofªcials call “critical mass forces”—battalions assigned for speciªc tasks under the overall direction of the lead state or organization. Once the United Kingdom took over the lead in Sierra Leone, a PKO that had fallen into an abyss was restored to effectiveness. 54. Interviews UN1, April 2, 2001; and UN9, April 5, 2001. The Brahimi report refers to the need for better consultation between troop contributors and the Security Council (p. 11, par. 61), and this issue garnered attention and some action in the post-Brahimi debate within the UN. See Gray, “Peacekeeping after the Brahimi Report.” 55. As the Brahimi report commented (par. 108), “Some countries have provided soldiers without riºes, or with riºes but no helmets, or with helmets but no ºak jackets, or with no organic transport capability (trucks or troops carriers).” Through its predeployment visits and other programs, DPKOs Force Generation Service has gone some way to upgrade the personnel sent to missions by TCCs. See William J. Durch, Victoria K. Holt, Caroline R. Earle, and Moira K. Shanahan, The Brahimi Report and the Future of UN Peace Operations (Washington, D.C.: Henry L. Stimson Center, 2003), pp. 77–78. There is a long way to go, however, before many of these armies can realistically take the lead in a collapsed-state PKO.
Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States 27
In the post-Soviet region, when Russia or the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) acted as a lead state (in Pridnestrovie, in Abkhazia, in South Ossetia, and in Tajikistan), the civil wars were short, with relatively few deaths and quick armistices. The reason, our informants argued, was that Russian peacekeepers were able and willing to (in the words of several informants) “liquidate” spoilers. They were able, as in Tajikistan, to pick a warlord favorable to them and provide him the military support necessary to compel other pretenders into negotiations.56 Why does the lead actor need to be a major power or a regional organization such as NATO or the CIS? Why not the UN? Or, in this age of privatization, why not contract out to private corporations such as Military Professional Resources Incorporated (MPRI) or DynCorp, which already supply training and a host of logistical services in combat zones around the world?57 In the next section we argue that the UN is not a good candidate for lead agent of interventions in weak state conditions. Both past experience and structural features of the organization suggest that the UN is inappropriate for leading the kinds of military actions that are often necessary when anarchy reigns. Where there is a greater level of state coherence and when local conditions are less conducive to guerrilla war, UN-led PKOs make more sense. “Private military corporations,” by contrast, should have at best a logistical role to play. MPRI-like ªrms currently train troops and provide management services on defense matters, law enforcement, and leadership development in both the public and private sectors. Indeed, they do virtually everything but engage in combat (“trigger pulling” in military jargon).58 This is a critical failing, however. Given the nature of the problem faced by international intervention in a collapsed state—endemic conditions ripe for insurgency— trigger-pulling authority is essential. States are understandably reluctant to
56. Russian ofªcials conºate the concepts of “peacekeeping” and “peacemaking” and use the latter as the generic term. This violates a certain political correctness norm in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations. Russian usage implies that PKOs by deªnition involve a proactive, not necessarily impartial, strategy. 57. On private contract armies see P.W. Singer, “Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry and Its Ramiªcations for International Security,” International Security, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Winter 2001/02), pp. 186–220; and Deborah Avant, “The Market for Force: Exploring the Privatization of Military Services,” paper prepared for the Study Group on Defense Industry Globalization, Conversion, and Arms Trade (New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 2003). 58. In a few cases, such as Executive Outcomes in Sierra Leone and Sandline International in Papua New Guinea, private military corporations pulled triggers on behalf of an embattled government willing to pay for mercenary support. But these cases involved contracts with a state rather than with the UN or other international organization.
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contract this out. A license to kill requires public authorization and accountability. An organization without operational command cannot direct states that have operational capability. Thus, the UN system needs to recruit for leadership among its member states, or among UN chapter 7–recognized regional organizations, to lead such operations.59 How then to motivate major powers or NATO to take on such roles? If an effective PKO requires a lead state, this implies concentrated costs for this country, especially in terms of casualty risks. We see two natural, if partial, solutions. The ªrst is to encourage and facilitate interventions led by the major powers or regional actors with the greatest national security or economic interest in restoring stability and democracy to the collapsed state. The second is to develop international institutions and legal arrangements whereby the costs of third-party peacekeeping and state building are gradually shifted to the state being rebuilt. Both solutions are consistent with the second normative principle stated above: that those who beneªt most from provision of a public good should pay the most. There are two chief beneªciaries of restoring political order in a state destroyed by civil war: the residents of the collapsed state, and neighboring or other states that have a particular security, economic, or historical interest in the stability of the country in question. Our proposal is to develop international arrangements that would more systematically take advantage of this congruence of interests, while monitoring and controlling the potential for abuse in each path. Powerful states are most easily recruited as lead agents for peacekeeping/ state-building operations when the results are linked to their security interests, or when past relations imply a “special responsibility.” Examples include NATO and the OSCE in Bosnia and Kosovo; the United States in Haiti (both in 1994 and in 2004), Liberia, Afghanistan, and Iraq60; Australia in East Timor; Nigeria and later the United Kingdom in Sierra Leone; France in several PKOs in francophone West Africa; and Russia in several Central Asian cases. These examples indicate that the practice of international contracting to interested parties for PKO provision became widespread in the 1990s. This is not surprising given the sharp increase in dangerous missions to failed states without a proportionate increase in funding through the UN. This practice, however, violates prior understandings of UN PKO doctrine.
59. Chapter 8 refers to recognized regional organizations supporting peace in their region. 60. At least, the Bush administration saw a close link between intervention in Iraq and U.S. national security interests.
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Christine Gray refers to bitter complaints by the Indian permanent representative, who argued that during the Cold War, “the UN understood quite rightly that successful peacekeeping could be carried out only by countries that were neutral and had no interests of their own to pursue. India complained that this cardinal rule had been broken repeatedly in recent years, with the UN now coopting regional players, though it is in the nature of politics that they are often part of the problem, not of the solution.”61 This is a valid concern, but if the choice is between no PKO and one led by interested major powers or regional actors, a better course may be to develop international arrangements to monitor and manage the agency problems as best possible. We elaborate below in the section on accountability. Much less considered or employed is the second way to link a strong interest in state reconstruction with provision of services: the use of loans and direct transfers to pay for peacekeeping, to be repaid as the state’s economy revives. In effect, this means taxing the citizens of the collapsed state in the future to pay for peacekeeping and reconstruction in the present. There are some precedents. In 1993, Cyprus began to pay one-third of the UNFICYP mission costs. Kuwait paid one-half the budget for its monitoring force (UNIKOM). The 1963–64 Yemen operation was funded by neighbors (Saudis and Egyptians), who had an interest in order and took responsibility for paying for operations beneªting their neighbor (UNYOM). Furthermore, there was de facto taxation of the beneªciaries in the case in Sierra Leone, where the Nigerians imposed a heavy informal tax burden through unsystematic looting, and East Timor, where Australians are well positioned to beneªt from involvement in a developing offshore petroleum industry.62 Thus, the idea of intertemporal taxation to foster recruitment of peacekeepers is neither completely new nor a violation of an international consensus. Below, we argue that if properly designed, such arrangements could also help provide the incentives for local parties to contribute to building a state that can stand on its own without continued third-party support. But obviously there are major agency problems and questions of legitimacy that international institutional innovation would need to address, such as who can 61. Gray, “Peacekeeping after the Brahimi Report,” p. x. 62. In particular, having Australians closely involved in the transitional administration of East Timor increases the likelihood that Australia will receive a favorable ruling on the ownership of offshore oil ªelds where sovereignty is ambiguous. For a discussion of this issue, see La’o Hamutuk Bulletin, Vol. 4, Nos. 3–4 (August 2003), available on the web at http://www.etan.org/lh/ bulletins/bulletinv4n34.html#update.
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agree to such a deal on behalf of citizens of the collapsed state, how to make the arrangement sufªciently transparent and secure as to avoid neocolonial robbery, and how to calibrate the loans so as not to undermine economic redevelopment. We brieºy address these issues in subsequent sections. coordination The various actors involved in developing neotrusteeships pose an immense coordination problem. Besides a lead state and TCC troops, peacekeeping in weak state conditions will include a collection of other organizations such as other states supplying police and administrative personnel, NGOs with a variety of functional specializations,63 intergovernmental agencies (the OSCE has played a special role in this regard), agencies of the UN (e.g., the UN Department of Political Affairs to help run elections), and private contractors (e.g., DynCorp) providing logistical services. Even if rationalizing the practice of having a lead state would go some way toward coordinating action on the security side, there remains the problem of how to coordinate international action on the many other aspects of state building. We see three avenues by which overall mission coordination in neotrusteeship ventures can be improved: by encouraging and rationalizing a lead state system for interventions in weak-state conditions; by learning from and replicating successful on-the-ground organizational innovations; and by promoting common international PKO troop standards through international training programs. Above we argued that when the host state is barely functional, an effective PKO requires a lead actor that can serve as a dominant military force. This proposal would address the coordination failures that beset several UN missions in the 1990s, especially UNPROFOR. More coordination is possible when the Security Council designates a lead agent in its mandate, as it did with the United States in the Korean War and with NATO in post-Srebrenica Bosnia. UN agencies, TCCs, and NGOs participating on an ad hoc basis get from a lead state a better sense of how they ªt into the organizational picture. With a clearer assignment of responsibilities, various organizations will develop spe63. In an interview (with Laitin, in Washington, D.C., November 10, 2003), a U.S. Marine Corps colonel in charge of civil-military affairs in Bosnia reported that in 1999 there were 458 NGOs registered by his ofªce. For a more general discussion of the proliferation of NGOs and regional organizations involved in postconºict operations, see also Krasner, “Troubled Societies, Outlaw States, and Gradations of Sovereignty”; and Bruce D. Jones, “The Challenges of Strategic Coordination,” in Stedman, Rothchild, and Cousens, Ending Civil Wars.
Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States 31
cialties within PKOs and learn how to coordinate with other organizations providing related services (such as fostering links between border protection and tariff collection). The Pentagon, for example, bristles when asked to provide civilian services such as border protection in Bosnia and seeks to keep its distance from the slippery slope of providing tariff collection services.64 With clearer organizational leadership, there would be less fear that accepting any one task entails obligations for a whole set of related functions. In weak state conditions, the DPKO is a poor candidate for coordinating a complex international intervention. The Brahimi report suggests that the UN can act as the lead if given brigade-level capabilities.65 We remain skeptical, for two reasons. First, UN-led mediation efforts require neutrality, but neutrality is virtually impossible to maintain in a PKO in a largely anarchical setting. In the short term, robust rules of action pursued by UN blue helmets will work to the advantage or detriment of some local parties. In the long-term, impartiality requires that the UN support the forces most willing to work toward peace.66 To the extent the UN plays the short-term role of lead military actor, it loses its credibility as a neutral party that can subsequently mediate peace agreements. The UN can act as principal (authorizing the lead state) and as a subcontractor for various functions (e.g., running elections); however, to maintain neutrality, which can be useful and important, it cannot be the lead agent. Second, despite the Brahimi report’s recommendation that the UN have access to a brigade-level quick-reaction force, armies seconded to the UN inevitably have dual command structures such that central decisionmaking in a crisis becomes nearly impossible. The committee structure of the Security Council and the lack of autonomy within UN agencies mean that there is no way to run military operations under Secretariat management, despite the common need for these in interventions into dysfunctional states. The “dual key” system instituted by Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali in UNPROFOR (in which the UN and NATO had to approve all Bosnian targets) worked very 64. Interview DC8, March 21, 2002. 65. See Brahimi report, pars. 110–116. The brigade is presented more as a quick reaction force than as a lead force; however, because the report refers to “command-level planning” (par. 116), the brigade would have had features, had it been accepted by UN members, that we have proposed for a lead state. 66. Both the Brahimi report and our respondents at the UN made much of the doctrinal distinction between neutrality, or equidistance from all parties, and impartiality, meaning that a UN PKO seeks impartial implementation of the mandate and thus possible action against forces that are undermining a peace agreement. See United Nations, Report of the Panel of Peace Operations, par. 50. Given the UN system’s inherent bias in favor of recognized governments, it is not clear whether it can really be impartial between government and rebel spoilers.
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poorly.67 In interventions in collapsed states, the UN cannot serve as the coordinator of peacekeeping operations because its organization is insufªciently capable of quick and resolute action. In practice, the many agencies involved in postconºict peacebuilding often work out ad hoc organizational innovations to coordinate their activities. There is a strong need to consolidate lessons learned and best practices from such ªeld innovations. For example, the failure to coordinate foreign organizations operating in Somalia in October 1992 led to a completely counterproductive situation. Many NGOs were spending a good part of their budgets rescuing expatriates who had been kidnapped by local staff loyal to warlords. Ransom money was then used by warlords to purchase arms, which hindered the relief operations in the refugee camps. Building on an innovative governing mechanism from Operation Provide Comfort that supported the Iraqi Kurds in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War, Ambassador Robert Oakley and Philip Johnston, president of CARE, jointly set up a U.S.-led civilian-military operations center (CMOC). Coordination meetings among the lead state, the NGOs, and the military operation were held daily. Governance was by committee, making daily readjustments across incommensurate organizational structures. This example shows how ad hoc committees can arise spontaneously to solve at least part of the coordination problem. CMOCs are already embedded in U.S. military doctrine, and have been implemented in Rwanda and Haiti. They should be built into operational standards for all newly created PKOs that link a military and an NGO component.68 Common military standards would also favor better coordinated and thus more effective PKOs. Much was done in the wake of the PKO failures of the early 1990s to reduce these coordination costs, especially between lead states and TCCs for UN chapter 7 operations. In 1996, U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, in coordination with the French and British (in what was called the P3 Initiative of 1997), offered the services of U.S. Special Forces to train eight to ten battalions drawn from participant countries as part of an African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI). The initiative envisaged a force to provide peacekeeping or humanitarian relief throughout the continent. In the wake of
67. United Nations, The Fall of Srebrenica, pars. 109, 117–120. 68. See Maj. Aaron L. Wilkins, “The Civil Military Operations Center in Operation Uphold Democracy (Haiti),” 1997, paper presented to the research department of the Air Command and Staff College, http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/acsc/97–0086.pdf.
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the failure of UN forces to maintain order in Sierra Leone in May 2000, President Clinton initiated a concurrent program, Operation Focused Relief, to better prepare the Nigerian, Ghanaian, and Senegalese armies for peace enforcement. Under the Bush administration, training was further upgraded to include offensive light infantry operations in a program called Africa Contingency Operations Training Assistance. And, in the year after the September 11 terrorist attacks, U.S. Special Forces teams were commissioned to work in Georgia and the Philippines, in part to convey international standards for armies engaged in counterinsurgency operations. These forays into training to set new international standards for military activity in peacekeeping operations favor smoother coordination in PKOs. But they are not without their own problems. For example, even though its Reinforcement of African Peacekeeping Capabilities program worked in conjunction with ACRI,69 France has jealously guarded its special role in francophone Africa. French diplomats have thereby resisted the idea of U.S.-trained troops working in Central African Republic. What looks to U.S. ofªcials like international standards may look to others like U.S. control. More important, as demonstrated by the case of Hussein Aideed, the son of Mohammed Farah Aideed (the warlord who initiated the intra-Hawiye civil war in Somalia), those who are trained for counterinsurgency at U.S. facilities can later employ those skills quite effectively in insurgencies. Training the Georgian army in 2002 posed similar risks, at least according to military ofªcials in Russia whom we interviewed. They see the Georgian army as a patchwork of private militias, any one capable of turning against the government or one another, depending on circumstances.70 However risky, greater investment in international standards of peacekeeping for countries in all regions will help to reduce the costs of international coordination of peacekeeping activities.71 accountability If the lead state serves as the agent of the UN, how does the UN play a role as “principal,” the authority to which the agent is responsible? Once PKOs leave the world of neutrality and enter the world of “partisan insurgency” and “lethal peace enforcement” (PKO activities as described to us informally at the 69. On ACRI, see http://usinfo.state.gov/regional/af/acri/; the authors thank Joe Felter for his information on the various training programs for peacekeeping in Africa. 70. Interview M5, June 26, 2002. 71. The Brahimi report stresses the need for better training of police and military personnel in several places. For instance, United Nations, Report of the Panel on Peace Operations, p. 18.
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Pentagon), the risk of crimes and human rights abuses committed by internationally sanctioned agents increases. Take postconºict policing, for example. Britain uses the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Kosovo to strike out at spoilers. The RUC backs up UNMIK police in rounding up criminals and bringing them to justice. As noted earlier, the RUC’s tactics, while effective, may not have been fully in accord with human rights conventions. In broader terms, both the UN and DynCorp, when they recruit police to work in postconºict settings, tend to attract applicants who were dismissed from their home forces for good reasons. And even when the problem is not competence and integrity, there can be problems of norms of police action. According to one story we heard, a U.S. civilian police ofªcer in Kosovo turned to her new counterpart from a Middle Eastern country and asked what he did back home. “I am the chief torturer in my station house,” he replied.72 In the old UN Trusteeship system, a UN council oversaw the activities of the trust powers. Today, responsibility for oversight to see whether the trust consortium is acting in accord with its mandate is unclear, especially since the U.S. renunciation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) treaty. The Bush administration’s demand in 2002 at the UN that no U.S. soldiers involved in a PKO would be under the jurisdiction of the ICC suggests great reluctance by the world’s superpower to have such oversight. Who will oversee the actions of the lead states, especially if the ICC is excluded from examining trustee abuses? In fact, any system of oversight runs into the problem that if criminal acts of the trust power’s forces can be exposed and those who violated the trust can be brought to justice, the ªrst strategic problem, recruiting agents, becomes more difªcult. The incentive for any state to free ride increases to the extent that participation entails potentially embarrassing costs. Legal oversight can work only if there is some limitation of liability for the trustee and its representatives. Otherwise, recruitment of lead states will be
72. There was no way to conªrm this story, but abuses by CIVPOL were mentioned by several interlocutors concerning peacekeeping operations. See, for example, the website of Refugees International, http://www.effectivepeacekeeping.org/docs/hr1414-qa.pdf. It reports, “The UN has had problems with the behavior of the police sent by member states to serve in UN peace operations. There have been cases of illegal behavior, such as arms and drug smuggling, and sexual trafªcking. In 2002, several CIVPOL ofªcers were found to be running a sex slave ring in the Balkans, involving women and underage girls.”
Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States 35
well-nigh impossible. In a talk at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation in February 2002, Jean Arnault, second in command in the post-Taliban UN hierarchy in Afghanistan, proposed that only the highest crimes of UN personnel (or agents of the UN) be subject to criminal prosecution. Given the complexities and requisites of peacekeeping in the face of insurgency, this will be a hard line to draw. International oversight but with limits to liability is a problem that international lawyers must address.73 Although little work has been done on this problem of authorization and monitoring, there is at least one contemporary precedent that might be worth developing. Due to skepticism about Russian intentions, the Security Council has compelled Russia to work closely with UN observers (UNOMIG in Georgia, UNMOT in Tajikistan) and with the OSCE (in Pridnestrovie, Georgia, and Tajikistan) to provide an aura of international legitimacy to their operations as a lead state. To avoid the opprobrium of their international overseers, Russia has already abandoned its initial hopes of wresting Abkhazia from former Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze’s grasp. Also, to the extent that the Russians can get support from other CIS countries as they have in Georgia and Tajikistan (whether from the CIS itself or from its Collective Security Treaty), their intervention has the imprimatur of a UN chapter 8 action.74 Russian-led PKOs have been subject to more international oversight than those of other lead states. The monitoring of Russian-led PKOs might serve as a template for countries held under less suspicion. Consider the so-called Moscow Agreement that led to the creation of the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) in 1993 (expanded in 1994). The Security Council agreed to authorize forces from the CIS. This authorization was contingent on the CIS accepting oversight from UNOMIG, which would be protected by CIS forces, but would report to the Security Council violations by the CIS of the Moscow Agreement. UNOMIG provides funds to HROAG (Human Rights Ofªce in Abkhazia, Georgia), which is responsible for the resettlement of refugees and such things as translating human rights law into Abkhaz. Established by Security Council resolu-
73. The use of the UN Trusteeship Council as a forum to heap scorn on the United States as it was pulling out of the Marshall Islands and Palau in the late 1980s suggests that there is no easy answer to the question of oversight without the overseer being subject to harassment. 74. The Collective Security Treaty was signed by Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Tajikistan in 1995. In a May 2002 summit, the presidents agreed to transform the treaty into an international regional organization under chapter 8 of the UN Charter.
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tion 1077 in 1996, HROAG is jointly staffed by the Ofªce of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the OSCE. It was an ad hoc arrangement driven by distrust of the CIS peacekeepers as agents of the Security Council. Although this outcome was unplanned, and although UNOMIG’s capacity to monitor CIS forces has been greatly constrained by its dependence on these same forces for protection, it suggests an interesting model for future peacekeeping operations. In this model, the military and police agents in the PKO would agree to submit regular reports and to some level of monitoring by human rights observers, so that there would be incentives for them to avoid violations and discipline violators. Suppose the UN General Assembly played the role of principal for PKOs once authorized by the Security Council, and suppose it held the lead state responsible for making progress reports to ad hoc committees of the General Assembly—in which TCCs would have preferred representation. The General Assembly would need to have the investigative services of the Secretariat, the seed of which is already planted in the UN Ofªce of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).75 This would be a modern equivalent of the Trusteeship Council. Although it would not have the authority to criminally investigate PKO agents, it would have the investigative power to expose agents who violated the spirit of the mission or international human rights norms. exit and transfer of authority In sharp contrast to classical imperialists, neotrustees want to withdraw as fast as possible. References to “exit strategy” have ªlled the policy discourse and debate surrounding international and U.S. operations in the Balkans, East Timor, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, and now Iraq.76 Our analysis of the causes of civil wars in this period suggests that the search for an exit strategy is delusional, if this means a plan under which full control of domestic security is to be handed back to local authorities by a certain date in the near future. Exit requires a functioning state capable of providing order. To provide order, the state needs the capacity to prevent local insurgents from wresting control of regions and the countryside. But often the 75. On the mandate of the OIOS, see http://www.un.org/Depts/oios, and especially the secretary-general’s promulgation of the investigations division ofªce, ST/SGB/2002/7, sec. 7. 76. The report of the secretary-general, “No Exit without Strategy: Security Council DecisionMaking and the Closure or Transition of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations,” United Nations Doc. S/2001/394, April 20, 2001, provides an analysis of the problem from the vantage point of the UN Secretariat.
Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States 37
absence of such capacity either helps explain why the country was embroiled in a civil war in the ªrst place or is the result of the war, or both. Low per capita income predicts higher risks of civil war, we have argued, because it correlates with conditions favorable to insurgency—pervasive poverty, poor roads, rough terrain, and, most of all, state inability to perform rural police work and counterinsurgency in a competent, non-self-defeating manner (an extremely difªcult task even for strong states). This task is harder than it was in Japan and Germany after World War II, countries that had the administrative competence to effectively wage total war. To make matters worse, the agents of neotrusteeship lack any viable theory about how to build a functioning state apparatus under these conditions. In fact, there are reasons to believe that the very presence of international troops may work against this end. Suppose you are the person or group favored for control of the capital city by the UN, the United States, NATO, or whoever the main external provider of force is. The more you invest in developing local capacities for self-government, the greater the risk that the external patron will ramp down its mission and leave, and the greater the number of potential local rivals empowered by the new security apparatus. Thus there can be a disincentive to actively or successfully develop indigenous state capabilities, leading to what President Bush’s former special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, has called “security welfare states.”77 In this context, the concern is reasonable, though it remains unaddressed in the extensive literature on PKOs. One possible solution would be to build into the initial agreements that authorize international intervention (e.g., peace agreements, UN mandates) a plan under which costs of international peacekeeping would increasingly be borne by the state being reconstructed. To recover the tax revenue, the leaders of the rebuilding state would have an incentive to establish legitimate domination so that the state could stand on its own without core functions being provided by outside forces. On the international side, such deals would help with the recruitment problem by allowing interveners to put some bounds on the costs of peacekeeping missions. They could expect that even in the worst case—if the local capacity for stable self-government were to develop very slowly—the peacekeeping mission would ultimately be self-supporting. This mechanism could also be used to provide incentives for local actors to ªnd durable, institutionalized ways to resolve their differences. For example, 77. Quoted in Pamela Constable, “U.S. Plans Greater Security Role to Help Curb Regional Fighting,” Washington Post, February 25, 2002, p. A16.
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in an article on the Nagorno-Karabakh problem, David Laitin and Ronald Suny suggest that Azerbaijan use future oil revenues to pay for an international peacekeeping force protecting Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh should this region be returned to Azeri sovereignty. The force would remain until Armenian residents of Azerbaijan vote to disband it. Thus, the costs of paying for protection of Armenians living in Azerbaijan would provide incentives to the Azeri government to credibly resolve Armenian insecurities, leading them to work to end the arrangement in a mutually beneªcial way.78 It may seem callous to tax the citizens of a war-devastated country who have suffered the most for its reconstruction. And such a tax paid to international interveners would divert funds from use for economic development. Critics might also doubt that war-ravaged places such as Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Congo have the potential to produce sufªcient tax revenues to make such a scheme feasible. It would be callous, and often counterproductive, to demand such a price right from the start. But we are not proposing this. The initial deal could have the payments start at some reasonable time in the future, after basic security and economic exchange had been reestablished. There is a solid ethical case for such an arrangement. As the Brahimi report obliquely suggests and as numerous PKO experts have observed, the central problem with post–Cold War peacekeeping operations is that politicians in the rich, Western states do not believe that their voters are willing to pay anything in blood and virtually anything in money for peace and security in places they have never heard of.79 As noted above, we think that the United States and other rich-country publics should be willing to pay more, both on ethical grounds and in their own longterm self-interest. But we doubt that exhortation, as in the Brahimi report, will have much effect, so one must look for realistic alternatives. The citizens of the postwar country have the strongest interest in a stable, functioning state that can provide public goods, and so are plausibly the most willing to pay. This suggests that an intertemporal scheme in which they pay some of the costs by mortgaging some future revenues is an appropriate solu78. David D. Laitin and Ronald Grigor Suny, “Thinking a Way Out of Karabakh,” Middle East Policy, Vol. 7, No. 1 (October 1999), pp. 145–176. 79. September 11 clearly increased the U.S. public’s cost tolerance for such missions when they can be linked to ªghting terrorism. Nonetheless, in Afghanistan, the Bush administration has acted as if the tolerance level remains extremely low. The U.S. public’s patience was being seriously tested in Iraq only months after Saddam Hussein’s fall.
Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States 39
tion.80 As noted earlier, this kind of arrangement has already been tried for several UN PKOs. We are proposing that the model be developed and applied in a more general fashion. Regarding economic feasibility, the central activity of the modern state is to tax its citizens and use the money to provide public goods. If, once reconstructed, a government lacks the resources to do this, then it can only be a ward of the de facto trusteeship system. There can never be effective governance unless the wealth of the country, however paltry, is subject to tax. In any event, countries devastated by civil war often have signiªcant resources over which the combatants fought, such as oil, timber, or diamonds.81 It is worth noting that the two nonrecognized rump states of former Somalia (called the Republic of Somaliland and the Republic of Punt) are not eligible for international welfare. Yet they are able through taxation on the camel and goat trade (along with donations from their diasporas) to run effective governing institutions. Perhaps a more important point for demanding intertemporal taxation is that taxation of the citizenry motivates those who are taxed to monitor how their money is being spent. As we know from the history of the modern state, rulers are often forced into responsible governance due to pressures from their taxed subjects. Successful exit from a state that has no taxing authority or capability is unlikely. A ªnal objection to intertemporal taxation to help pay for the reconstruction of collapsed states concerns monitoring and administration—who or what would protect against neocolonial exploitation? Any such agreement would require a high level of transparency from the outset and most likely new or modiªed international institutional input to monitor its application. New or modiªed arms of the World Bank or International Monetary Fund would be natural candidates. The most straightforward implementation of the idea would have these institutions empowered and funded to provide loans to collapsed states for the purpose of paying for peacekeeping and the reconstruc80. Another reasonable objection is that such a deal requires a legitimate local authority to sanction it on behalf of the citizens of the war-torn country, which is precisely what is lacking after a civil war. But the UN and other international agencies have shown themselves skilled at helping to produce plausibly legitimate local authorities through elections (e.g., Cambodia) or other means (e.g., Afghanistan). In contrast to classical imperialism, neotrusteeship’s focus on exit implies that the trustees try to develop legitimate local authorities right from the start. 81. For example, oil exporting states have had more than twice the annual odds of civil war onset, other things held equal. Fearon and Laitin, “Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War,” p. 11.
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tion of basic police and security functions. Because economic development and ªnancial stability clearly depend on a state being able to provide basic physical security for its citizens, such loans would be consistent with the mandates of both organizations. Even with cost-shifting to the reconstructing state, however, for some cases complete exit by international interveners may never be possible. In Kosovo and Bosnia, for example, it is not clear that transfer to full sovereignty is an appropriate goal, because in both cases the problems include not only state capacity but also intense disputes over the proper borders of the state.82 In recognition of this, one State Department ofªcial suggested that there needs to be more thinking not about exit but rather integration of the neotrust territory into a plethora of international organizations. The purpose is to provide continuous and unobtrusive monitoring of the peace and, in the longer run, to make the national level of government irrelevant for people in comparison to the local and supranational levels.83 In fact, UN ofªcials in the DPKO insisted in our discussions that in the coming years in Kosovo, transitional administration has no end goal. By 2000, the Kosovo mission did its own recruitment and thus did not need to go through the UN pipeline or bureaucracy to get personnel. The implicit agenda is to keep any talk of the international actors’ exit off the agenda. If any party to the agreement states a ªnal goal openly (whether integration into Yugoslavia or outright independence), one DPKO ofªcial warned us, the system will break down. So all parties are advised to keep “eyes off ‘ªnal status’” with the vague phrase of “substantial autonomy” (as in UN resolution 1244) for Kosovars. Any party that would sign a clear ªnal status agreement would be threatened by its own radical wing. A common view at the UN and in the State Depart-
82. We do not rule out the possibility that partition plans may in some cases be the best way to reconstruct states after an ethnic civil war, but we see these as having serious problems as well. See James D. Fearon, “Separatist Wars, Partition, and World Order,” Stanford University, 2003; David D. Laitin, “Partition and Territorial Concentration,” Stanford University, 2003; and David D. Laitin, Identity in Formation: The Russian-Speaking Populations of the Near Abroad (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1998), chap. 9. For arguments in favor of partition as a solution to the problems of post–civil war reconstruction, see Chaim Kaufmann, “Possible and Impossible Solutions to Ethnic Civil Wars,” International Security, Vol. 20, No. 4 (Spring 1996), pp. 136–175; and Chaim Kaufmann, “When All Else Fails: Evaluating Population Transfers and Partitions as Solutions to Ethnic Conºict,” in Barbara F. Walter and Jack Snyder, eds., Civil Wars, Insecurity, and Intervention (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999). 83. Interview DC6 at the State Department, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, March 21, 2002. In effect, European supranational institutions are to play a role similar to that once played by the Ottoman Empire.
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ment was that Bosnia will remain a country and Kosovo a region in which national government will be unable to maintain interethnic peace for a long time.84 A partial solution, however, is already emerging in former Yugoslavia. For all the anxieties about the future, there remain all kinds of nongovernmental and intergovernmental civil servants in Bosnia who provide surveillance and raise the costs for any local politician who might reinitiate hostilities. Continued international surveillance will be the local political price paid for failure to provide security to a country’s civilian population. That Bosnia and Kosovo are in Europe where the rich countries have many such institutions makes this model—continued international surveillance through membership in a plethora of organizations—plausibly effective. It may allow for a peaceful transfer after a long period of transitional surveillance and integration with Western supranational institutions.
Conclusion Major international interventions to prop up and rebuild failed states are not a temporary aberration in the course of international politics. Rather, they reºect more durable, even structural characteristics of the present international system. Since the end of World War II, there has been a steady growth in the number of (mainly postcolonial) states rendered dysfunctional by years of rural guerrilla war, corrupt rule, or both. For the major powers and many other states, the biggest external threats now derive not from the risk of strong states wanting to conquer and annex territory, but from diverse security, economic, and even health consequences emerging from political conºict, state collapse, and misrule in the third world. Moreover, independent of the various threats posed to the North, persistent civil war and lack of economic development in the South are two of the greatest sources of human suffering on the planet. We have argued that collapsed states pose an international collective action problem whose solution will involve multilateral interventions that share the initial burden across a wide variety of states, international and nongovernmental organizations, and corporations. Although the UN system mobilized an impressive number of such collective actions in the 1990s, its approach to PKOs for very weak states remains ad hoc, underrationalized, and
84. Interview UN2, March 3, 2001.
International Security 28:4 42
inadequate. Where the state apparatus is largely notional and local conditions favor guerrilla techniques, the pressures for mission creep in a PKO are typically powerful, as it becomes clear that exit without a return to war demands sustained transitional administration by or with the armed support of international parties. The reality of state weakness means that forces maintaining peace need to do state building if there is to be any hope for exit without a return to violence. Adding more and better-armed peacekeepers, or holding more talks on political reconciliation or constitutional design, will not solve this problem quickly or even at all. We identiªed four main problems that bedevil policy in regard to collapsed states: recruitment, coordination, accountability, and exit. As for recruitment, we emphasized the need for a layered set of participants, because the tasks involved require the resources and capabilities of a variety of countries, NGOs, and corporations. Recruitment of regional or major powers with particular national security or economic interests in a collapsed state is easier and should be encouraged; however, the potential for abuse by these agents should be better monitored via new reporting requirements and possibly new institutions developed within the UN. With so many actors involved in the governance of collapsed states, severe coordination problems inevitably arise. A lead state is therefore a sine qua non for mission success. Although many UN organizations will be involved, the UN is ill suited to be the lead organization for coordination purposes. Furthermore, because the lead state needs to act in ways that are not transparently impartial, were the UN to play that role, it would compromise its long-term ability to act as an honest broker. A lead state or regional organization should set the terms of coordination among its own agencies, those of the UN (which provides not only functional support but also legitimation), and the host of other organizations serving functional roles. Giving a lead state coordinating power raises the issue of accountability. Trigger-pulling power, even in the name of service to international peace, cannot be allowed to stand unchecked. Whether or not the ICC survives, we recommend some newly constructed arm of the UN based on principles and lessons learned by the Trusteeship Council. Finally, due to the sources of the civil wars that lead to collapsed states, successful exit from neotrusteeship will be extremely difªcult in most cases. We have stressed the need to develop local tax-collecting capability as an incentive to move the country from international welfare toward self-governance and, in some cases, the notion of transfer not to full sovereignty but rather as a state embedded in and monitored by international institutions.
Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States 43
It may be that de facto states or statelike organizations will eventually emerge out of anarchy without the involvement of major powers or international institutions. But the local and international costs and risks of such “natural” processes of state formation can be very high in a world with open borders, weapons of mass destruction, and no internationally legitimate means for redrawing state boundaries. Major powers and international organizations will have little choice but to involve themselves in state building. It makes sense, then, to construct new institutions and operating procedures that will be effective and fair in dealing with the challenges posed by collapsed states. As we have argued, the current, ad hoc and underrationalized arrangements ought to be reformed in the direction of neotrusteeship.