[House Hearing, 106 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING
INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
SEPTEMBER 20, 2000
Serial No. 106-184
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COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman
WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa TOM LANTOS, California
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American
DAN BURTON, Indiana Samoa
ELTON GALLEGLY, California DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
DANA ROHRABACHER, California CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California PAT DANNER, Missouri
PETER T. KING, New York EARL F. HILLIARD, Alabama
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio BRAD SHERMAN, California
MARSHALL ``MARK'' SANFORD, South ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
Carolina STEVEN R. ROTHMAN, New Jersey
MATT SALMON, Arizona JIM DAVIS, Florida
AMO HOUGHTON, New York EARL POMEROY, North Dakota
TOM CAMPBELL, California WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
KEVIN BRADY, Texas BARBARA LEE, California
RICHARD BURR, North Carolina JOSEPH CROWLEY, New York
PAUL E. GILLMOR, Ohio JOSEPH M. HOEFFEL, Pennsylvania
GEORGE P. RADANOVICH, California [VACANCY]
JOHN COOKSEY, Louisiana
THOMAS G. TANCREDO, Colorado
Richard J. Garon, Chief of Staff
Kathleen Bertelsen Moazed, Democratic Chief of Staff
Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey, Chairman
WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania CYNTHIA A. MCKINNEY, Georgia
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American
THOMAS G. TANCREDO, Colorado Samoa
DAN BURTON, Indiana EARL F. HILLIARD, Alabama
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina BRAD SHERMAN, California
PETER T. KING, New York WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
MATT SALMON, Arizona GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
Grover Joseph Rees, Subcommittee Staff Director
Jeffrey A. Pilch, Democratic Professional Staff Member
Douglas C. Anderson, Counsel
Marta Pincheira, Staff Associate
C O N T E N T S
Dr. William J. Durch, Senior Associate, Henry L. Stimson Center.. 6
Mr. John Bolton, Senior Vice President, American Enterprise
Mr. Joel R. Charny, Vice President, Refugees International....... 12
Mr. Hasan Nuhanovic, Former translator, U.N. Peacekeeping Force
in Srebrenica.................................................. 14
Hon. Christopher H. Smith, a Representative in Congress from the
State of New Jersey, and Chairman, Subcommittee on
International Operations and Human Rights...................... 42
Mr. John Bolton, Senior Vice President, American Enterprise
Mr. Joel R. Charny, Vice President, Refugees International....... 59
Dr. William J. Durch, Senior Associate, Henry L. Stimson Center.. 65
Mr. Hasan Nuhanovic, Former translator, U.N. Peacekeeping Force
in Srebrenica.................................................. 77
Additional material submitted for the record:
List of current U.N. Peacekeeping operations..................... 80
Executive Summary of the Report on United Nation Peace Operations 82
Introduction to the Report of the Independent Inquiry into the
Actions of the United Nations During the 1994 Genocide in
Rwanda (``Carlsson Report''), submitted by Hon. Cynthia A.
UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2000
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on International
Operations and Human Rights,
Committee on International Relations,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:30 a.m. in
Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Christopher H.
Smith [Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding.
Mr. Smith. Good morning. The Subcommittee will be in
Today's hearing is about the United Nations peacekeeping
forces, a review of some of their past successes and failures,
and some suggestions about what shape they should take in the
At the moment, there are 14 separate U.N. peacekeeping
missions around the world. Some have been in existence for less
than a year, others for as long as 52 years.
U.N. peacekeepers are fighting and, sadly, dying in East
Timor and struggling to protect a cease-fire in Sierra Leone,
where violence against civilians continues, where hundreds of
peacekeepers have been held hostage by rebel groups, and where
open dissent has erupted between various commanders of the
Peacekeepers will also be embarking soon on a mission to
protect international observers being sent to monitor the
cease-fire between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Even as the use of
U.N. peacekeepers is expanding, the U.N. and the United States
have not fully come to terms with the peacekeeping failures of
As this Subcommittee has examined in previous hearings, the
worst of those failures from a humanitarian perspective
occurred in Rwanda and in Srebrenica in Bosnia.
In April 1994, Hutu extremists in Rwanda began the
systematic massacre of that country's minority Tutsi
population, as well as of many thousands of moderate Hutus who
refused to participate in the bloodshed.
For the next 3 months, mothers and their babies were hacked
to death with machetes. Families seeking refuge in churches
were butchered inside. Streets, littered with corpses,
literally ran with blood. By the time the killing ended,
somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million people had been
Although it already had peacekeepers on the ground, the
United Nations failed to take preemptive action to prevent
these mass murders, and the U.N. refused to take effective
action even after the killing began. After Interahamwe
militiamen killed 10 Belgian peacekeepers, the U.N. focused on
avoiding risk to U.N. peacekeepers, rather than on stopping the
Notwithstanding pleas for increased assistance with a
broader mandate by General Dallaire, the U.N. Security Council
instead voted to withdraw most of the peacekeepers from that
country. Many informed observers, including General Dallaire
himself, believed that a modest, strategically placed
international force could have put a stop to the killing.
A similarly shameful episode occurred the following year in
Srebrenica. During four terrible days in July, 1995, an
estimated 8,000 people were executed by Bosnian Serb soldiers
who had overrun that United Nations-designated safe haven. The
victims were unarmed men, and in some cases women and children,
who had been repeatedly assured that they would not be harmed
if they surrendered. In some cases, these assurances came not
only from the killers, but also from the U.N. peacekeeping
forces, whose mission was to protect the victims.
But when the moment of truth came, U.N. forces offered only
token resistance to the Serb offensive. Their military and
political commanders had redefined their primary mission not as
the protection of the people of Srebrenica, but as the self-
preservation of the U.N. forces. The peacekeepers became little
more than observers to genocide.
Sadly, they also became something other than observers. On
July 13, 1995, a Dutch blue helmet battalion handed over to
Serb invaders some 300 Bosnian Muslims who had sought safety
within the U.N. compound. They watched as the men were
separated from the women and children, a process already well
known as a sign that the men were in imminent danger of death.
These men were never heard from again.
It is my earnest hope that these examples will never be
surpassed as the darkest days in the history of U.N.
peacekeeping. The mistakes of Rwanda and Srebrenica must not be
Today, there is a general agreement that there have been
and still are serious problems with U.N. peacekeeping, but the
more difficult, unresolved questions are: What exactly are
those problems, and how should they be fixed?
One set of answers were proposed last month by the Panel on
United Nations Peace Operations convened by Secretary General
Kofi Annan. The panel's report, also known as the Brahimi
report, identifies ``serious problems in strategic direction,
decision-making, rapid deployment, operational planning and
support, and the use of modern information technology.''
It also admits moral failures, such as the U.N.'s past
``reluctance to distinguish victim from aggressor,'' as
occurred in Rwanda and Srebrenica. In response, the Panel
proposes a renewed commitment to peacekeeping on the part of
member states, significant institutional change, and increased
financial support. It emphasizes the need for stronger ties
between peacekeepers and peace-builders from civil society in
the areas where U.N. forces are deployed. It calls for robust
rules of engagement and for ``bigger forces, better equipped
and more costly but able to be a credible deterrent.''
It highlights the need to streamline the logistics of
deployment. It also emphasizes the importance of clear,
achievable mandates. But the bottom line solution proposed by
the Brahimi report seems to be ``more": more resources, more
power, and more autonomy for U.N. peacekeeping efforts.
Other advocates urge changes beyond those envisioned by the
Brahimi report, including the creation of a standing U.N. rapid
reaction peacekeeping force. They assert that prompt, forceful
action would help deter the worst humanitarian costs of many
crises. They point to the fact that past U.N. deployments have
been too little, too late, and that past multinational forces
have lacked cohesion, efficient coordination, and a unified
chain of command.
They argue that a standing U.N. force is the best way to
correct these deficiencies. However, because of the serious
problems of sovereignty and accountability posed by such a
freestanding military entity, both the current Administration
and many Members of Congress have opposed the rapid deployment
Still other experts question whether U.N. forces are
competent, either legally or militarily, to enforce the
unstable peace that exists in the regions where many
peacekeepers are deployed.
They warn that by injecting international peacekeeping
forces into circumstances where there is no preexisting peace,
we are entangling ourselves in an expensive, dangerous, and
potentially endless morass.
Furthermore, they note that the robust military engagement
contemplated by the Brahimi report and the standing force
concept are less like peacekeeping than like making war--a
prerogative properly exercised by sovereign states, not by the
I am happy to note that we have before us today capable
experts representing each of these viewpoints, as well as one
witness who speaks from personal experience of the tragedies
that result from peacekeeping failures.
I hope that our witnesses will propose answers to a number
of important questions: How should U.N. peacekeeping be
reformed and improved? What is the proper competence of a U.N.
peacekeeping force, both legally and operationally? What role
should the United States and the U.N. Security Council play in
initiating, directing, and supporting U.N. peacekeeping
activities? And, finally, how should we balance our proper
concerns about United States sovereignty and strategic
interests with our moral obligations to act when innocent
peoples are threatened with unspeakable evil and extermination?
I would like to yield to my very good friend and colleague,
the Ranking Member of our Subcommittee, the gentlewoman from
Georgia, Ms. McKinney, and thank her for her leadership on the
issue of peacekeeping and for suggesting today's hearing.
Ms. McKinney. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to
thank you for calling this very important hearing. I want to
thank our witnesses for coming to enlighten us on this very
We are looking today at the future of the United Nations.
Our witnesses have specific visions for our world and the
United Nations. Mr. Nuhanovic represents a group of people who
must not be left behind as we pursue our common vision of the
The United Nations is a very important development in the
course of human events. The creation of the United Nations, and
now, recommendations arising from the Brahimi report, are high
water marks in human development and organization.
Today, however, the U.N. proposes having a ready reservoir
of able men and women willing to go to places near and far to
achieve the objective of peace. That is a laudable mission, but
the question we must analyze is the ability of the U.N. to
achieve that mission.
The United Nations is supposed to be a force for good in
the world, and this principle is enshrined in its charter.
However, before I place more authority and responsibility in
the hands of the United Nations, I have many questions that
remain unanswered. I hope this hearing today will help me begin
to answer those questions so I can lend my support to the U.N.
in its efforts to become more adept at policing the world and
protecting all of us from nefarious and deadly characters.
I have asked representatives from survivors in Rwanda and
Srebrenica to present testimony today because they know the
horrors of a peacekeeping effort gone bad. I regret the
decision of the government of Rwanda to deny my request for a
witness. The survivors know that all the best intentions in the
world don't bring relatives back. They know, too, that all the
best intentions in the world don't help survivors of an effort
I was recently alerted that a Bosnia woman who had survived
the horrors of Srebrenica and who had been relocated to
Missouri committed suicide because she could not cope with a
new language, a new culture, isolation from her accustomed
environment, no safety net to provide a smooth transition to
immigrant life in America.
What went wrong with this peacekeeping operation and its
aftermath? What went so wrong that would allow a city to be
destroyed, its survivors to be scattered like chaff around the
world, leading this one desperate woman to kill herself? Could
the United Nations have done something to prevent the double
victimization of this woman, the double victimization of its
survivors? What are the responsibilities of the U.N. to these
For the first time in its history now, United Nations
peacekeeping troops have been directly implicated in the crimes
of genocide and in crimes against humanity. The Kavaruganda
family lives daily with the fact that the Supreme Court
Justice, His Honorable Joseph Kavaruganda, of Rwanda was under
the protection of U.N. peacekeepers at the time of his handover
to the presidential guard for his murder. U.N. peacekeepers
then stood by drinking stolen beer and watched as his wife and
daughter were tortured by Rwandan soldiers.
Mr. Chairman, I have testimony about this episode from the
United Nations Carlsson report on Rwanda, which I would like to
submit for the Record.
[The information referred to is available in the appendix.]
Ms. McKinney. Hasan Nuhanovic lost his family as U.N.
peacekeepers turned over 7,000 Bosnians to the Serbian Army for
the slaughter of men and young boys. We know that this happened
because of our witnesses and their insistence that the United
Nations tell their story.
After reviewing the evidence submitted by the prosecutor,
Judge Riad confirmed the indictment of Karadzic and Mladic,
stating, ``After Srebrenica fell to besieging Serbian forces in
July, 1995, a truly terrible massacre of the Muslim population
appears to have taken place. The evidence tendered by the
prosecutor describes scenes of unimaginable savagery: thousands
of men executed and buried in mass graves; hundreds of men
buried alive; men and women mutilated and slaughtered; children
killed before their mothers' eyes; a grandfather forced to eat
the liver of his own grandson.''
These are truly scenes from hell written on the darkest
pages of human history. The United Nations was forced to write
two reports which now tell the world of its gross failures and
complicity in these great crimes, but the United Nations has
not lifted one finger to help these and other survivors of U.N.
In East Timor, the United Nations Special Representative
issued an apology for not acting during the razing of Dili
during and after the independence referendum. Who will rebuild
Secretary General Kofi Annan has said that heads of state
and world leaders must not be allowed to hide behind their
sovereign immunity, and that they must be prosecuted for their
complicity in genocide, in crimes against humanity. The
Secretary General remains mute on the responsibility of the
United Nations to survivors entrusted in its care.
The loved ones of our witnesses were under the direct care
of United Nations peacekeeping troops. But those troops
abandoned the people they were sent to protect and left them to
be brutally murdered. Shouldn't the U.N. voluntarily live up to
its own standard for heads of state and world leaders and be
held accountable for its own participation in genocide and
crimes against humanity?
The United Nations issued four apologies in 6 weeks for
Rwanda, Srebrenica, East Timor, and Kosovo. Sierra Leone and
Cambodia I presume will be next. In Sierra Leone, Medecins Sans
Frontieres recently struck out at the U.N. When the entire town
was abandoned by U.N. peacekeepers and RUF was allowed to go in
unhampered. Sierra Leoneans were forced to flee the RUF with
intravenous tubes dangling from their bodies because of the
collapse of the U.N. peacekeeping effort.
In 1991, Cambodia had one AIDS patient. In 1993, they had
three. Now they have almost 200 new infections every day.
United Nations peacekeepers are alleged to have infected
thousands of Cambodians as they performed their duties in
UNTAC's peacekeeping operation in Cambodia.
Will the U.N. do HIV testing on their recruits? How will
they repair this damage done to innocent Cambodians? Does the
The United Nations will acquire more and more power and
authority to act on our behalf, but will the U.N. have
transparency in its operations, and will the victims of its
failings be able to hold the U.N. accountable?
More importantly, will governments be able to give big
contracts to their friends and escape scrutiny by the public
and people like us in Congress by allowing the U.N. to do in
peacekeeping and policing what governments previously did?
Probably the more important question is, how will the
United Nations prevent itself from being used by other
countries for their own purposes and thereby subverting the
U.N. mission? Many assert that this is exactly what was done by
the United States in Rwanda, in Srebrenica, in Iraq, and in
I have read the Brahimi report and I have many questions.
NATO has set an important precedent by admitting and paying
damages to a family that was able to prove that it was NATO
bombs that destroyed their home. NATO stands above no law.
I would like to once again thank the witnesses for
appearing, and I look forward to their testimony.
Mr. Smith. Thank you, Ms. McKinney.
Mr. Delahunt. No opening statement, thank you.
Mr. Smith. Let me present the four witnesses, beginning
first with Dr. William Durch, a Senior Associate at the Henry
L. Stimson Center, and who recently served as project director
for the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, whose report
was issued last month, and the former Assistant Director of the
Defense and Arms Control Studies Program at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. Dr. Durch presently teaches courses on
international peacekeeping at Georgetown University.
Next we will hear from John R. Bolton, who has served as
Senior Vice President of the American Enterprise Institute
since the beginning of 1997. Previously, Mr. Bolton served as
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizational
Affairs in the Bush Administration, as well as the Assistant
Attorney General in the Civil Division of the Reagan
Administration. During the early 1980's, he served as General
Counsel and as Assistant Administrator for Program and Policy
Coordination at the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Next we will hear from Joel Charny, who has served as Vice
President of Refugees International since July of this year.
Previously he worked in Cambodia as a Deputy Program Manager
with the U.N. Development Program, UNDP. Before that, Mr.
Charny worked for 16 years with Oxfam America. A graduate of
Harvard Graduate School of Education, Mr. Charny has written
numerous articles on humanitarian issues.
Finally, we will hear from Hasan Nuhanovic, who was
formerly a translator for the United Nations protection force
in Srebrenica. Members of his own family have not been seen
since they were turned over to Bosnian Serbs by U.N.
peacekeeping forces in July 1995. Since that time, Mr.
Nuhanovic has investigated the fate of thousands who were
turned over to Serb forces and the possible complicity of U.N.
forces in those disappearances.
Dr. Durch, if you could begin.
STATEMENT OF DR. WILLIAM J. DURCH, SENIOR ASSOCIATE, HENRY L.
Mr. Durch. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the invitation to
testify at this hearing on U.N. peacekeeping.
I am a Senior Associate of the Henry L. Stimson Center here
in Washington, and recently served as Project Director for the
Panel on U.N. Peace Operations. I am speaking here in my
personal capacity, however, not for the U.N. nor for the Panel.
I will be summarizing my prepared statement.
After the disasters of the mid-1990's, which both you and
Ms. McKinney spoke about, there was an opportunity, breathing
space to correct the more obvious problems with U.N.
peacekeeping, but there seemed to be little interest on the
part of member states to invest more time and money in what
many assumed to be a failed enterprise. The tears in the fabric
of U.N. peacekeeping were left largely unmended.
Then last year, the U.N. was suddenly called upon, in rapid
succession, to administer Kosovo under the protection of NATO
ground forces; and then to replace Australia-led INTERFET and
launch a new government for East Timor; then to replace
Nigeria-led ECOMOG in Sierra Leone to implement a deeply flawed
peace accord that the U.N. did not negotiate; then to oversee a
shaky cease-fire in the vast Democratic Republic of Congo. The
elements of the U.N. Secretariat responsible for peacekeeping
were at this time underfunded, understaffed, unprepared to run
a country. Consider the headlines had they been foresighted
enough to try to prepare.
Clearly, something needed to be done to better match U.N.
capabilities to the operational tasks once again being handed
to the organization, the basic choice being either to do these
operations right or not do them.
The twin assumptions of the mid-1990's that the U.N. would
not again be called upon to undertake tough missions and that
regional organizations could handle all elements of such
missions seemed to have been invalidated by the resurgence of
1999-2000. Better, then, that the U.N. be prepared; that the
Security Council better understand what the U.N. is and is not
capable of doing; and that new missions reflect that
The Panel's report advocates this latter course. The report
emphasizes that the U.N. Secretariat is in no position to raise
or command a warfighting force. At the same time, unless U.N.-
flagged forces deployed to implement accords ending internal
conflicts can defend themselves--and the peace they have come
to implement--against the opponents of peace and the well-armed
criminal gangs who spring up in the wake of war, their
deployment is pointless.
Thus, while the report rightly leaves warfighting to
states, it urges member states to collaborate among themselves
to make better trained, more capable forces available to U.N.
The report recommends that the Secretariat plan for
realistic worst case scenarios and be given the capacity to do
so, and recommends that the Secretariat dispatch teams to
assess whether troops offered to a U.N. operation meet
specified high standards of training and equipment, and that
the Secretary General decline to accept contingents that fail
to meet those standards.
But even if troops offered to a U.N. operation are well-
trained and well-equipped, that operation should not go ahead
unless they are offered in sufficient quantity to meet
anticipated operational challenges. That is, for any given
operation, the size of the operating area imposes its own
requirements and constraints on U.N. or any other peace
operations, which figures 1 and 2 in my submitted testimony
help to illustrate.
Most big states that fall prey to internal conflict will
remain beyond the reach of peacekeeping, whether U.N.-run or
regionally-run. To date, even coalitions of the willing have
addressed themselves to fairly small places.
If international remedial efforts can only be applied in
such places, a few at a time, then the international community
must place greater emphasis on conflict prevention if the need
for peace operations is to match either the U.N.'s or regional
organizations' capabilities to keep or restore peace. By that,
I really mean long-term prevention.
Such operations have been given a wide variety of tasks
over time; some easier, some harder. Monitoring international
borders is a relatively simple task compared to establishing a
safe and secure environment in the aftermath of civil war.
The tasks assigned to post-Cold War operations have been
mostly of the harder, more complex variety. Complex peace
operations have explicitly political tasks, and deploy in the
aftermath of conflicts that nobody has won, conflicts that are
really unfinished. If they are skilled, tough, and lucky, the
outsiders will help to shift those conflicts from the
battlefield to the political arena, breaking the cycle of armed
conflict under the protective umbrella of peacekeeping forces.
That is, peacekeeping, the maintenance of a secure
environment, and peace-building, all the other tasks that an
operation undertakes to implement a peace accord, are
inseparable functions. The objective of peace-building is not
to remake a society, but to give the members of that society a
shot at remaking it themselves. Such peace-building, which aims
at a self-sustaining security environment, is a necessary
component of the peacekeepers' exit strategy.
To summarize, the report argues that it is better to choose
carefully, go in strong, and draw down than to go in weak and
build up. National militaries, disaster relief teams, and other
crisis response entities cannot function without preparedness,
and neither can the United Nations. Preparedness costs money,
but in a pinch, the lack of preparedness costs even more.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Durch is available in the
Mr. Smith. Dr. Durch, thank you very much for that
Without objection, yours and all the other witnesses' full
statements will be made part of the record, as well as the
attachments that my good friend, the gentlewoman from Georgia,
had asked to be made part of the record.
STATEMENT OF JOHN BOLTON, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, AMERICAN
Mr. Bolton. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It is a
pleasure to be here today. I, too, would like to discuss the
Brahimi report. If I could, I would just like to put it in
I think the Brahimi report follows logically from the past
8 years of the current Administration's peacekeeping policy.
When they came into office, they announced a new doctrine they
called ``assertive multilateralism.'' I was never quite sure
what assertive multilateralism meant, but it is pretty clear
from the historical record that the principal experiment in
that doctrine was intended to and in fact did take place in
In 1993, when she was permanent representative to the U.N.,
Mrs. Albright said, with respect to one of the key Security
Council resolutions on Somalia, and I quote now, ``With this
resolution, we will embark on an unprecedented enterprise aimed
at nothing less than the restoration of an entire country as a
proud, functioning, and viable member of the community of
The policy, for a lot of different reasons that we don't
have time to go into this morning, failed in Somalia with the
tragic death of 18 Americans. The rhetoric of assertive
multilateralism disappeared from the Administration's speeches,
but it did not disappear from their policies. Indeed, as
written in PDD 25, the peacekeeping decision directive, even
whether or not followed, that notion of assertive
multilateralism continued. It has widespread support in many
circles in New York. In fact, I think it was the doctrine of
assertive multilateralism that led the Secretary General to
create the Brahimi Commission, and I think the doctrine informs
virtually all of its conclusions and recommendations.
I note to begin with that some of what the Brahimi report
says is unquestionably correct. In fact, they make one point, a
very courageous statement, where they say that sometimes in the
past political compromise has led to confused mandates for U.N.
They say, and I am quoting the report, ``Rather than send
an operation into danger with unclear instructions, the Panel
urges that the Council refrain from mandating such a mission.''
I think that is a good and important lesson. It is sad that the
Brahimi report did not carry through that logic in other
It is important, as Congress begins to consider the Brahimi
report, and the issue I am going to address, is what American
foreign policy should be with respect to U.N. peacekeeping
operations. I do not think for us this is an abstract
discussion of what the best looking U.N. peacekeeping structure
should be. I think our issue is what is in the best interests
of the United States.
Let me very quickly run through a couple of major respects
of the Brahimi report that I think are badly flawed from that
perspective. The Brahimi report takes a nod in the direction of
principles that underlie successful U.N. peacekeeping missions:
the consent of the parties, neutrality of the U.N. force, and
limited rules of engagement, rules of engagement confined to
its own self-defense.
Then it proceeds basically to write those three heretofore
successful preconditions out of its report. It talks about
circumstances where the consent of the parties can be
manipulated. What it is really talking about is a situation
where there is no true peace, where the parties in fact have
not given their consent.
I would suggest that in Sierra Leone today we have exactly
an example of that kind of problem.
Second, the Brahimi report takes the notion of impartiality
and applies it not to the parties to the conflict, but in a
very, if I may say so, abstract sense to neutrality and
impartiality in the context of the U.N. charter. It talks
expressly about taking moral sides in conflicts, which may be
appropriate at some points, but which I would suggest to you,
in some conflicts around the world, it is very hard to find out
where the white hats are and where the black hats are.
Finally, although the report does state modestly that the
U.N. does not wage war, it then proceeds to contradict itself
on that point as well. In what I think is really the most
intellectually dishonest part of the report, it really is
talking about a U.N. capability to engage in combat; not simply
the self-defense of its own forces, but with the ability and
determination to defeat what it considers to be enemies of the
mission. This is not peacekeeping, this is war. I think it is
just a mistake for us or for any decision-makers not to
understand the consequences of confusing that doctrine.
There is another, I think, very important political point
here. The Brahimi report found in its specific discussion of
preventive diplomacy, in many of the recommendations it makes
for the beefing up of the capabilities of the U.N. Secretariat,
its information-gathering capabilities, what in Washington we
call its intelligence-gathering capabilities, and in its
analytical capabilities generally.
I think that we have made a mistake over the past several
years in the extent to which we have provided intelligence
information to the United Nations. I make no bones about saying
that when it is in the best interests of the United States to
provide sensitive intelligence to the United Nations, we should
do it, but we should not do it as a matter of course, and we
should not under any circumstances permit the United Nations to
develop its own autonomous intelligence-gathering capability.
Its analytical skills should be really things that we can call
on as necessary.
Mr. Chairman, there are a number of unrealistic
recommendations in the report on the so-called peace-building
side of things. I think as the failure of nation-building in
Somalia showed, the ability of external actors to create a
functioning civil society in failed states is really quite
A little humility would do us all good here in assessing
exactly what responsibilities we should assign the United
Nations. Just as I think in this country there is a broad
consensus that it is not the government that builds our Nation,
it is the people, so, too, in international matters, it is not
the United Nations or external observers who are ultimately
going to build civil society in troubled states, it is the
people who live there themselves.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, one last specific point on the
Brahimi report. All of the recommendations about increased
capacity and increased resources are written in the context of
increasing the Secretariat's capabilities. Completely ignored
in this report is the role of the Military Staff Committee
which is set up by the Charter.
We are all very familiar with the fact that the Military
Staff Committee, gridlocked by the Cold War right from the
start, has never functioned, but, Mr. Chairman, the Charter is
unambiguous when it comes to military activities. It is the
Military Staff Committee that is established to advise and
assist the Security Council on all questions relating to the
Security Council's military requirements and so on.
If a decision is made to go ahead and implement large
chunks of the Brahimi report, it seems to me that there is a
very conscious and very clear effect on the United States and
the other permanent members of the Security Council if
responsibility for these military and quasi-military operations
is vested in the Secretariat and not in the Military Staff
Committee, which is the principal arm of the Security Council,
which is to say, us, in overseeing the U.N.'s military affairs.
So I think, quite apart from all of the specific defects in
the Brahimi report, this is no accident that the Military Staff
Committee is not mentioned. This is no accident that all of
this additional support is to be given to the Secretary General
and not the arm of the Security Council. I think that alone is
grounds to reject the Brahimi report's conclusions.
The Brahimi report says very explicitly that if its
recommendations are not enacted, and I am quoting again from
the report, ``The Secretariat will remain a reactive
institution, unable to get ahead of daily events.'' Let me just
say, Mr. Chairman, from the point of view of United States
foreign policy, I believe the report is correct when it says
the Secretariat is a reactive institution. I believe that from
the American point of view, it should remain a reactive
institution. The movers in the United Nations, the movers in
the Security Council, are the members, and particularly the
five permanent members. Let us be very clear, it is
particularly the United States. We want the Secretariat to
react. We know how to do it. I don't think they should be
acting on their own.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, I conclude with a little study in my
testimony of the ongoing U.N. role in the dispute between
Ethiopia and Eritrea, because I think in this current
peacekeeping operation we see an example of exactly what I have
just described as the erroneous conclusions in the Brahimi
I believe that the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea is
a classic threat to international peace and security in the
language of the charter. I believe that it is entirely
appropriate for the United Nations to take the role that it
has. I think it is entirely appropriate to deploy observers in
that conflict to monitor the cease-fire and the other terms of
the agreement that has been reached between Ethiopia and
Where I disagree emphatically with what the Secretary
General has recommended is in the deployment of three foreign
country battalions, which he justified in an interview with the
Washington Post, saying that this is part of his effort to
transform peacekeeping into something else, and as he said,
``to go prepared for all eventualities, including full
I don't think three battalions or even many more are going
to stop war breaking out again between Ethiopia and Eritrea. I
think the observers that have been recommended, a total of 220,
are sufficient. If it is not, I would be willing to see an
increase in the number of observers. It is enough to know
whether the cease-fire is holding and where the other terms are
being met. But the idea that a size force as he has recommended
with these other three battalions is enough to engage in peace
enforcement I think is both wrong, and I think it undercuts the
vital role of the observers.
Here is the key question for decision-makers, Mr. Chairman.
In the end, in the end, if the Ethiopians and Eritreans are not
willing to uphold their own peace, what other nationality is
prepared to kill and die for it?
Mr. Chairman, I think that your calling this hearing is an
important step in the Congress' consideration of the Brahimi
report and in peacekeeping. I appreciate your inviting me. I
would be pleased to answer any questions you or the Committee
[The prepared statement of Mr. Bolton is available in the
Mr. Smith. Thank you very much, Mr. Bolton.
STATEMENT OF JOEL R. CHARNY, VICE PRESIDENT, REFUGEES
Mr. Charny. I would first like to thank the Chairman of the
Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights,
Representative Christopher Smith, for providing the opportunity
for Refugees International to testify on the issue of U.N.
peacekeeping, one of the most critical issues facing the world
As presently organized and as we have heard, there seems to
be a consensus that U.N. peacekeeping is not working. The
starting point for Refugees International is the fate of the
most vulnerable, the mainly women and children who are caught
The failure to act, as in Rwanda and the eastern Congo from
1994 to 1996, or the ineffectiveness of the response, as in
Sierra Leone earlier this year, have led to unnecessary deaths
numbering in the hundreds of thousands.
More unnecessary deaths are in the offing in the eastern
Congo or along the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea because
the machinery of international peacekeeping is shamefully
inadequate. It is inadequate because it is slow. The time from
Security Council authorization to deployment averages 6 months.
It is inadequate because the forces deployed have neither
trained together nor used common equipment, leading to chaos in
the field. It is inadequate because the forces are feeble, not
powerful enough to intimidate even the poorly armed thugs who
often make up the primary security threat to humanitarian
relief operations, and it is inadequate because the forces have
lacked a clear mandate and a unified command.
Refugees International has concluded that the most
effective way to address these weaknesses would be the creation
of a rapid reaction force, or RRF. An RRF might consist of
5,000 to 10,000 elite volunteers from around the world. They
would live and train together, follow the same doctrine, use
the same equipment, answer to the same chain of command, and be
ready for dispatch with a few days notice.
A rapid reaction force would give the international
community a sharp instrument to project military and police
power quickly and effectively. The RRF, or part of it, could be
deployed for a multitude of purposes: To prevent or mitigate
conflicts, protect noncombatants and humanitarian aid workers.
We have just in the last week or 10 days had four UNHCR workers
killed, three in Timor, one in Guinea. Again, it begs the
question of why humanitarian aid workers are putting their
lives at risk in a situation where security is not being
An RRF could also supervise cease-fire agreements and
police refugee camps.
Let me stress that the RRF should be a standing force. At
present, to form a peacekeeping force, the U.N. collects troops
from all over the world and attempts to make them into a
professional peacekeeping force on short notice. The existence
of a standing, highly professional elite force would enhance
greatly the speed and quality of the deployment and reduce the
possibilities for mission failure.
The personnel of a rapid reaction force should be recruited
internationally to the highest standards. However, to try to
limit the influence of politics, and in keeping with informal
agreements that underlay the original U.N. peacekeeping
deployments in the 1950's, perhaps citizens of permanent
Security Council members should not be permitted or recruited
to serve. The RRF would be an independent entity of the
Secretariat for missions enacted by the Security Council.
The idea for the creation of an RRF is not new. Several
nations and many prestigious individuals have already endorsed
the concept. H.R. 4453, the McGovern-Porter U.N. Rapid
Deployment Police and Security Force Act of 2000, was
introduced in Congress this session, and includes a concept
similar to the one that I am proposing. But the proposals for
the creation of a rapid deployment force have not gone very far
because the U.S. Government is opposed. Why? First of all,
quality costs money, and the U.S. is penny-wise and pound
foolish when it comes to international expenditures.
Second, as you well know, the specter of a so-called U.N.
army excites a tiny vocal minority of Americans, although
calling a rapid reaction force of a few thousand personnel an
army is a gross exaggeration.
But for the U.S., the advantages of the creation of an RRF
are many. Chief among them is that American lives might be
preserved by reducing the pressure on the U.S. to intervene
militarily in crises in far away countries in which we have no
vital national interest, and at least some of the money the
U.S. is spending to respond to unnecessary humanitarian crises
could be saved or diverted to other uses, such as investing in
programs to address poverty, the root cause of many of the
conflicts afflicting the world.
We have already heard in some detail from you, Mr.
Chairman, about the Rwanda example. I just want to very quickly
state that in four instances in the Rwanda case, the existence
of an RRF could have prevented the mass deaths that you were
First, during the genocide itself, there is now general
agreement that an immediate strengthening of peacekeeping
forces on the ground would have stopped the genocide and saved
The second missed opportunity was in July and August, 1994,
when more than 1 million Rwandan refugees crossed the border
into Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A
peacekeeping force stationed near the border could have
disarmed Hutu military units crossing it and prevented much of
the later carnage.
The third missed opportunity came later in 1994, when the
U.N. Secretary General appealed in vain to the Security Council
for 7,000 troops to disarm the Hutu militia now dominating the
refugee camps. The camps were increasingly under their control.
A peacekeeping force could have been deployed to disarm them.
Finally, the fourth missed opportunity took place in
November, 1996, when the Congo rebels broke up the refugee
camps and hundreds of thousands of refugees fled deep into the
forests of eastern Congo, where they suffered excruciating
hardships, and thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, died.
A peacekeeping force could have made a quick excursion in
the Congo to set up a safe corridor to deliver aid and
repatriate the refugees. Canada proposed that a force be
deployed for this very purpose, but the U.S. scuttled the idea,
arguing incorrectly that the number of refugees in the Congo
The international community thus failed four times in quick
succession with respect to genocide and its aftershocks in
Rwanda. Moreover, if an intervention had been carried out
successfully on the first occasion, the opportunities for
interventions two, three, and four would not have arisen, and
arguably, we would not have a massive humanitarian crisis in
the Congo at the moment, because this whole situation has come
inexorably from the 1994 disaster.
For Refugees International, reforming the entire emergency
response system of the international community is thus the
number one issue of the post-Cold War world. Again, we start
from a humanitarian perspective. Capable rapid reaction to
prevent and mitigate the impact of life-threatening conflicts
is a critical component of the reform. If we are truly serious
about enhancing the international capability for peacekeeping,
as President Clinton has indicated, then the U.S. needs to
support the creation of a standing international rapid reaction
Thank you for your attention.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Charny is available in the
Mr. Smith. Mr. Charny, thank you very much for your
STATEMENT OF HASAN NUHANOVIC, FORMER TRANSLATOR, U.N.
PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN SREBRENICA
Mr. Nuhanovic. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for having
taken the initiative in calling this important hearing today on
United Nations peacekeeping.
Congresswoman McKinney, I especially want to thank you,
first for inviting me to appear before this honorable
Committee, and then second, for the help of all your staff in
getting me here from Tuzla, Bosnia.
I come as a victim of the terrible slaughter which followed
the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995. I personally lost my
entire family there. My mother, my father, and my younger
brother were all forced by the United Nations peacekeepers,
Dutch battalion, out of the U.N. military compound and handed
over to the Serb troops waiting outside.
The Serb soldiers then took my family away and murdered
them. My family should not have died. Instead, my family should
have been allowed to stay in the U.N. compound and remain
protected by the United Nations troops. My family should be
alive today. The UNPROFOR Dutch battalion forced around 6,000
men, women and children right into the hands of their
executioners. In this way, they assisted the war criminals in
their plan to exterminate the entire male population of
Srebrenica. They did not have to do that. They considered the
6,000 civilians on the base to be a burden and handed them over
to the Serbs only for one reason, to speed up their own
departure from Srebrenica. I should point out that this was in
contravention of the written order dated 11 July 1995 from the
U.N. Protection Force Commander Major General Gobiliard to the
Dutchbat Commander Lieutenant Colonel Karemans.
It said, ``Concentrate your forces into the Potocari Camp,
including withdrawal of your Ops. Take all reasonable measures
to protect refugees and civilians in your care.'' whatever the
reasonable measures may mean, it certainly didn't mean to hand
these people over to the executioners.
Second, I come here today to bear witness to the truth of
the horrors which occurred in Srebrenica. I was there. I saw
what happened. I can confirm for you that on 11 July 1995 the
U.N. safe area was allowed to fall to the hands of General
Ratko Mladic and his forces. Mladic's forces had a free hand to
enter the safe haven and murder over 10,000 Bosnian men and
young boys, and rape hundreds of helpless women and young
girls. It was a terrifying time for me and all the others
trapped in the U.N.-declared safe haven, and it should have
never been allowed to happen.
But I do not need to detail today the full extent of the
horrors which occurred following the destruction of Srebrenica.
Indeed, these horrors are now well known and have become a
matter of the international public record. Numerous books,
films, and a number of official inquiries, including one
conducted in 1998 by this honorable Committee, all catalog in
great detail the surrender of the United Nations safe haven and
subsequent horrific crimes committed by General Mladic's forces
against Srebrenica's civilian population.
Mr. Chairman, what I do want to raise with you is the
ongoing struggle for justice by the survivors of Srebrenica.
Following the fall of Srebrenica, as many as 10,000 civilians
were murdered, a number of women raped and brutalized, and
several thousand people were traumatized and brutalized.
The decision to surrender Srebrenica forced thousands of
survivors to leave their homes and all their property in Bosnia
and relocate in Canada, Australia, the United States, and
elsewhere throughout the world.
The extent of the damage and the subsequent cost of these
decisions by certain world leaders to surrender the enclave is
almost incalculable. What price can be put on the deliberate
surrender of a modern European city and the annihilation of
10,000 of its inhabitants? What price can be put on the long-
term trauma inflicted upon 30,000 people? What level of
accountability can be held against those world leaders who,
knowing or suspecting that Srebrenica's civilian population was
going to be annihilated, decided to surrender the city to
General Mladic anyway?
Despite the enormity of the crimes committed in Srebrenica
and the extraordinary amount of evidence available to the
international tribunal from the former Yugoslavia, in 6 years
only four persons have been indicted for these crimes, and of
which only two have been arrested.
I and other survivors from Srebrenica are concerned that
there is an ongoing reluctance to aggressively prosecute the
Serbian military and its leadership who oversaw the destruction
of Srebrenica. We see this as yet another abandonment of the
victims of Srebrenica, and part of the ongoing cycle of
impunity worldwide which cloaks ethnic cleansing and cleansers
and mass murderers from the hand of justice.
How can there be any sense of justice for the victims when
we know that mass murderers move about Europe free from fear of
In addition, the exhumed remains of over 4,000 of
Srebrenica's victims are still being stored in the above ground
facility in Tuzla. As you could imagine, this is totally
unacceptable to the surviving family members. The remains
should be shown respect and buried in a dignified place. I am
pleased to say that the U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and
Herzegovina supports the families' requests to erect a memorial
complex and bury the remains of their loved ones near Potocari.
Regrettably, there is a strong resistance to this by
certain Bosnian people in Srebrenica and the Republika Srpska.
Mr. Chairman, I think you will agree that 6 years is an
unreasonable period of time to have to wait to bury loved ones.
We need your help and that of your Committee to end this
outrage and ongoing indignity against our loved ones.
I want to commend you, Mr. Chairman, along with the other
members of your Committee, for undertaking this important task.
I hope that by better understanding what happened in
Srebrenica, you all might be able to ensure that there is some
kind of honor and sanctity restored in the words ``never
I hope and pray that you will be able to ensure worldwide
observance of international humanitarian law. Those who attempt
to commit mass murder and those world leaders who choose to
abandon innocent civilians in their care and turn them over to
mass murderers must be shown that they will be met with force
and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
There seems to be an uncomfortable paradox: We want more to
be put right, but we are only prepared to sacrifice less. Is it
right that promises to protect civilians from harm can be made
to tens of thousands of helpless men, women, and children, only
to abandon them in their hour of need?
In Srebrenica, the survival rate of thousands of men and
young boys who believed in the U.N. Protection Force, UNPROFOR,
promises for protection and remained behind with the U.N.
Protection Force troops in Potocari was zero. The number of men
and boys who survived believing in the protection of this force
was zero, while the men who chose to disbelieve in the U.N.
Protection Force and flee through the minefields and risk
attacks by the Serbian troops surrounding the enclave was over
Is there not sometimes a risk that by doing something half-
heartedly, we may actually be doing more harm than good?
Mr. Chairman, in spite of all my family has endured, I
still believe in the United Nations, and I hope it can fulfill
its role in ensuring world peace. But the souls of the victims
will not rest and the survivors will not find closure before
those responsible for this great crime, no matter who they may
be, are held accountable. If we are ever to ensure that evil is
defeated in this world, then we must ensure that justice is
triumphant and that the world community once again recognizes
the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human
I hope that as a part of that process of overcoming every
ill, that one day there is justice for the great wrongs
committed in Srebrenica in July 1995.
I would like to comment on a few points made here by the
When it comes to the presence of a rapid reaction force
that my predecessor mentioned, a rapid reaction force, to my
best knowledge, and I followed the situation as one of the
inhabitants of the U.N. safe area by improvised radio stations
because we had no means of communication to the outside world,
but we knew that a rapid reaction force at least 2 months
before Srebrenica was finally attacked by the Serb forces was
deployed in the suburbs of Sarajevo, in the vicinity of
Those were French and British troops. I don't know how many
troops were there at that moment, but the deployment started at
least one or 2 months before. When Srebrenica was falling, I
believe that some strong force could have been used to prevent
this massacre, and that can be also, of course, double-checked.
There is another thing concerning the situation in
Potocari, which was the U.N.-Dutch battalion base near
Srebrenica. These troops, in order to save the lives of those
people, these troops did not have to engage in combat. They did
not have to fight war.
This is also about the point of Mr. Bolton. The Dutch
peacekeepers, U.N. peacekeepers in Potocari, the only thing
they had to do was to allow the people to stay on their base.
They did not have to fight with anyone at all. Also, the other
thing is that Srebrenica as a whole, as an enclave, could have
Again, I am speaking from the perspective of a survivor and
of someone who was looking at the sky 5 years ago. There were
no planes in the sky, jets, bombers, even though they were
promised many times. There was a substantial force, including
American jets and NATO jets from other countries, in the area,
and they did not do what they promised to do. They did not
prevent the massacre. Use of air power sufficient to stop or
even eliminate the attacking Serb units could be used.
That is all I wanted to comment on the points of the other
Mr. Smith. Mr. Nuhanovic, thank you very much. Thank you
for coming back to this Subcommittee. Members of the Panel will
recall that you were here 2\1/2\ years ago and gave very
compelling testimony about the horrific events that happened in
Srebrenica and your own personal tragedy.
I wonder if you can just tell us if there has been any
reckoning, or have any of those who committed the atrocities in
Srebrenica been brought to justice at the Hague? Are there
pending indictments against those who perpetrated those
Mr. Nuhanovic. To my best knowledge, the U.N. International
Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has indicted three
persons. Their names are on the public list of the indictees.
The officials of the ICTY claim that there is also another
list, which is a sealed list not available to the public, but
of course I and other survivors do not have access to this
So as far as I know, the only war criminals, war crimes
suspects so far indicted are Ratko Mladic, Karadzic, and
Krstic. He was arrested 1 year ago, and he is being tried in a
tribunal at the moment.
Mr. Smith. When it comes to empowering a U.N. force with
the proper mandate, is it your view, and any of the other
panelists who might want to speak to this, that it was the lack
of a proper mandate, or was it the military personnel on the
ground, or was it a combination of both, that led to the
significant deficiencies in the U.N.-deployed forces?
I remember as Chair of the Helsinki Commission and the
Subcommittee we held a whole series of hearings about the safe
havens and the fact that they acted as a magnet for further
bloodshed, and did not serve the role that had been envisioned.
Was the U.N. and the Security Council not serious enough?
Were we bluffing, or was it poor military people on the ground?
Who would like to comment?
Mr. Bolton. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We considered during
the Bush Administration in 1992--we expressly considered the
issue of endorsing and creating safe havens in Bosnia at
several points during 1992. We concluded that it would be a
mistake to create safe havens precisely because of the natural
reaction: When the United Nations declares a safe haven,
reasonable people fearful for their safety we feel were likely
to go to the safe havens, and thus attract a vulnerable
civilian population that no nation then participating in
UNPROFOR, the U.N. Protection Force, was willing to offer up
sufficient real military power, real military power, to defend.
We felt that however bad the situation was in Bosnia, and
from a humanitarian point of view there is simply no question
it was an ongoing tragedy, but we felt it would have been
basically just an exercise in feel-good diplomacy at best to
create the safe havens and run the risk, I think sad to say, of
ultimately what happened there.
The members of the Security Council with whom we discussed
this in greatest detail were on the one hand the British and
the French and on the other hand the Russians. The British and
the French at that time and subsequently had forces in
UNPROFOR. They were present on the ground. They were among the
strongest voices against creating safe havens. At the same
time, at that point, the Russians were much more cooperative. I
don't think they would be so cooperative today in doing that
type of thing.
This underlines what I think is a very important point.
This is almost never a question of capabilities. This is almost
certainly a question of the political judgment of the Security
Council, which may do what we consider to be the right policy
or may not do the right policy, but nobody should think that
when members of the United Nations sit on the Security Council
they lose their sense of national interest. They pursue it
vigorously, and they would on any international council created
to look into these kinds of situations. That is a reality that
is not going to change.
Mr. Smith. Let me just make a point here, that the whole
idea of the safe havens and what should be done about the
former Yugoslavia was not without another possibility, and that
was lifting the arms embargo. I was the prime sponsor of a bill
that would have lifted the arms embargo.
Then Prime Minister Silagic appeared twice before the
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe and said, we
don't want your troops, French, British, American, we want the
capability that every sovereign state ought to have, and that
is to defend itself.
It seems to me there was a double miscalculation. I know
there perhaps were good arguments that it would lead to further
bloodshed. But it seems to me when we had an aggressor--and I
think Dr. Durch, one point that you make is this inability to
differentiate between aggressor and victim. It seems to me we
are looking at Serbia, Milosevic, somehow as being just another
player, perhaps worse than others but still just another player
on that scene, rather than an offensive, obscene aggressor
against first the Croats and then the people of Bosnia.
I just mention that, and you might want to comment on that.
Let me just ask a question of Mr. Charny with regard to the
rapid reaction force.
It seems to me we learned the wrong lesson from Somalia. It
was not a matter of the deployment. I will never forget Les
Aspin, then Secretary of Defense, at a meeting in which both
Democrats and Republicans attended. He was trying to defend a
statement that it would just not fly on the Hill for us to beef
up the local commanders' requests for additional materiel and
troop strength because the situation was so volatile.
Then, because of the insufficiency of the force and an
opportunity, the warlords took advantage of that and obviously
killed our men and dragged them through the street, leading to
a policy and humanitarian debacle. We learned the wrong lesson,
I think, from Somalia. If you are going to have troops there,
have sufficient numbers.
The rapid reaction force, I am not sure how that would
differ. The U.N. had, with General Dallaire, a force on the
ground in Rwanda. We have seen the memos that went to the
Secretary and the faxes that went to Secretary Kofi Annan, then
head of the peacekeeping processes, and it was ignored. There
was a breakdown. Either he didn't think it was serious enough
or had other balls in the air, if you will, but there was a
major, major miscalculation.
Why were there not other people in the Secretariat or in
some other area--and Dr. Durch, you might want to speak to
this--who saw that fact and said, hey, we have a problem here.
That could have been mitigated, maybe cut off at the root,
before a killing field unfolded. So there was a force there. I
am not sure now a rapid reaction force would differ.
Add to that, Mr. Bolton, your assertion that there should
not be independent intelligence-gathering capabilities. Perhaps
all of you might want to speak to why or why not that is a good
or bad thing.
Mr. Charny. That is a big question, because I am not here
to defend the U.N. as an institution. Therefore, I cannot
address the issue of why this cry for help was ignored.
We are interested in, I think, in the first instance having
a rapid reaction force under U.N. control precisely because of
this issue of the Security Council, and the reality that this
force could only be deployed with the support of the great
powers within the Security Council.
Some of us are thinking in the back of our minds that
because the U.N. has been so dysfunctional and so ineffective,
you could actually push this even further and ask, should this
somehow be an independent entity? But that raises governance.
That opens a whole other Pandora's box about governance issues
related to the force.
The issue in Rwanda was that you had a commander on the
ground who had an inadequate force. He asked for reinforcements
and did not receive them. If a rapid reaction force were
available and 300 members of that force were deployed and
another thousand were needed, the whole point is they could be
deployed immediately if, if it was recognized--if that message
gets through and it was recognized that deployment was
necessary under those circumstances.
We can look back--the U.N. has to accept responsibility,
but we also know that the Secretariat cannot act basically in
this system without political will from ``the international
community.'' Other great powers, the U.S., France, perhaps
other countries in Europe, knew that a genocide was imminent,
but for whatever reason they didn't push for a response under
those conditions, partially because they didn't then want to be
called on to supply troops to such an operation.
That is another advantage of an RRF, that it exists. No
one's troops are going to be put on the line. These are people
who have volunteered to be a part of this force, and therefore,
that deals with one of the political issues, which is we don't
want to sacrifice our boys in a useless conflict 5,000 miles
Mr. Smith. Mr. Durch?
Mr. Durch. Thank you. I can't speak to the command and
control failures with the two incidents. I was not there and
was not part of the U.N. Certainly there is plenty of blame to
spread around among members states as well as the United
Several developed countries had noncombatant evacuation
operations with security forces to protect them in Kigali that
probably, if combined, could have provided the force necessary.
It is also perhaps not focusing on enough that the killing took
a long time. It spread out in a particular way. If at any time
the sort of delays that various member states were imposing on
the Security Council had not occurred, and instead of 800,000,
maybe 400,000 or fewer would have died; it was something that
could have been stopped at many steps along the way.
On the other hand, I would like to differ with Mr. Charny
about whether the particular kind of rapid deployment force
that he is talking about could have done any good in the Goma
camps, or could have made the Canadian proposal in 1996 work.
They were about to march into disaster with ordinary
peacekeeping rules of engagement against 50,000 heavily armed
and relatively fanatical individuals embedded in 1 million
The thing about the Rwandan genocide or any other
comparable tragedy, whether we are talking about Sierra Leone
or someplace else, if we go with John Bolton's philosophy, we
would essentially ignore future instances and let tragedy
unfold, whereas I think what some of the other speakers are
trying to get at is to try to figure out how to prevent and
contain them; to figure out when they are going to happen and
to take rapid action upstream before we have to deal with a
That is kind of what we were grappling with with the
Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Charny.
Mr. Bolton. Thank you. The central problem is that some day
somebody might rapidly deploy into a situation where there is
no peace to keep, or where the military situation is such that
the force itself could get bogged down. Then once those 10,000
are bogged down, what happens then? There is not any question
what happens then: Everybody turns to the United States and
says: ``you get them out.''
The basic issue here is what the members of the Security
Council are willing to do ultimately, and whether they are
willing to think through all of the implications of force. I
think it is just bully-boy talk, and dangerous for that reason,
to act as though a few thousand people in some of these
conflicts are really going to make a difference.
In the case of Rwanda, I think the evidence is overwhelming
that the actions of a permanent member of the Security
Council--that is to say, France--actually contributed to this
genocide by the protection offered to the Hutus, and in a
variety of deployments that France undertook.
France is a permanent member of the Security Council. Maybe
Mr. Charny wants to throw them off. Good luck. But the idea
that the Council is a group of platonic guardians that you can
rely on to do the right thing is misplaced in and of itself.
I don't want to add to the Committee's burdens, but I would
strongly urge you to read a pamphlet that has recently been
published by the U.S. Institute of Peace written by Amadou Ould
Abdullah, the former Foreign Minister of Mauritania and the
Secretary General's Special Representative in Burundi in 1993-
1995, which both lays out his experiences there during a time
that Rwanda was collapsing into genocide, but Burundi was not.
Some of his observations, which are very powerful, I think,
one of which is pertinent here, is that it is not inevitably
the case that outside intervention makes things better. Outside
intervention, and particularly the interposition of military
forces, can complicate things and make things worse.
Mr. Charny. Mr. Chairman, I think Mr. Bolton should respond
to the issue in the eastern Congo at the moment, where the
International Rescue Committee has documented with their 2-
month medical investigation, that in the last 2 years, 1.7
million Congolese have died basically because of humanitarian
reasons caused by the war.
Now, to simply ignore that, and try to work this issue
through Lusaka, through a peace process, is proving extremely
difficult for reasons that we are aware of. The parties are at
serious odds with each other, and the war continues.
At the same time, you have a humanitarian catastrophe
unfolding. The basic question is, are we just going to sit here
and do nothing, and allow 2,000 people a day to continue to
die? It is very easy to talk about political interests and the
narrow interests of the United States and other members of the
Security Council. However, that just condemns many people to
death that don't deserve to die.
The other issue is the balance question. It is very easy to
ignore catastrophes in Africa that far exceed the magnitude
catastrophes in other parts of the world. Again, as a
humanitarian organization, for what it is worth, we can't
Mr. Smith. Mr. Charny, there are 5 minutes remaining.
Mr. Bolton, we will go to you, and then I will yield to Ms.
McKinney. There is a vote and there are 5 minutes remaining. We
will be in recess for 5 minutes or so. I want to say something
in response to that.
Mr. Bolton. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. To answer
the question that was put before we broke about the situation
in eastern Congo, I think that is a classic case of a confused
and very uncertain military and political environment that
leaves the outside world few, if any, realistic options at this
I think one of the reasons for that is that one of the
principal problems is in fact the government of the Congo, and
the most efficacious way to deal with that would be to change
the government. But I don't know of any potential contributor,
United States or anybody else, that is really willing to do
I think that goes to the core of the decision-making, not
talking about abstractions and theories, but talking about hard
decision-making, being able to contemplate at the beginning of
an operation the possible consequences and really being able to
commit to it. That is why the notion of a rapid reaction force
is ultimately more dangerous than it is naive, although it is
I believe that the events in the eastern Congo are a proof
Mr. Smith. Ms. McKinney.
Ms. McKinney. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have many
questions. I will start off with the ones that I posed in my
Mr. Durch, I have read the Brahimi report. The one thing
that is not mentioned in there is the responsibility to the
survivors of the victims of United Nations failures. We have
Mr. Nuhanovic here, who has lost his entire family. What is the
responsibility of the United Nations to the survivors of its
victims, and why was that left out of the Brahimi report?
Mr. Durch. Ms. McKinney, I have, obviously, the deepest
sympathy for Mr. Nuhanovic and his family and their loss, all
of those losses. I cannot answer you what the U.N.'s
What we tried to do with the report was to look forward and
try to gauge reforms, restructuring, decision-making,
analytical ability, cooperation among states, such that these
things would not happen again if the U.N. was called upon to
deal with them. So we have been trying to go forward from this
point and look back to the reports on Rwanda and Srebrenica
that had been issued as the U.N.'s statement on those
But if you are looking at accountability, I would also look
at member states. I would look at the states that voted for too
few forces to implement what was a rather slickly worded, and
probably misguided, safe havens policy for Bosnia. I would look
at NATO countries that were unwilling to take forceful action
against Mr. Milosevic and his people under the Bush
Administration when conflict first broke out in 1991 and 1992.
The same goes for early action in Somalia after that
country lost its government in 1991, before people starved to
death. There was an opportunity to move early and strongly
before the situation became so difficult.
So you could ask the government of the Netherlands or
Britain or France that were in the chain of command in
UNPROFOR. You could ask the United States Government about the
delays in deploying forces in Rwanda. You could ask a lot of
Mr. Bolton is right, that to a very great degree, certainly
up to now, the U.N. and its ability to do peacekeeping is the
sum of its national parts. What we are suggesting is that there
should be a bit more than the sum of the parts; that it not be
totally reactive, even if Mr. Bolton is worried about that.
Otherwise, when it is given the go sign from the Security
Council, from the member states, it is flat-footed. It knows
nothing, it has nothing on tap, it has no people, no money, no
goods, no doctrine.
So there should be some sort of advanced ability to think
and plan, to strategize, and to be ready when its members call.
This is critical to respond to any of these kinds of
situations, whatever the kind of situation you think it is that
the U.N. should work with.
That kind of gets to our question on robustness and the use
of force. The report says that you really should be very
careful in picking your missions and picking your deployment
areas. But when we get to the use of force, we tried to deal
with a very complicated issue in what we hoped was a rather
nuanced fashion, and I guess I resent Mr. Bolton's
characterization of the report as intellectually dishonest. We
are not trying to pull a fast one, we are trying to deal with
complex issues that have arisen from real operations faced by
real troops on the ground, and to work out practical means of
Our point was that if you think there is a risk of violent
challenge when you are implementing a peace on behalf of the
survivors of a civil war, if there is a challenge, for whatever
reason--factions break off, new factions form that had nothing
to do with signing the peace accord, all sorts of
possibilities--if you can't defend yourself and cannot defend
the peace accord there is really no point in going out there. I
think that is an intellectually honest conclusion and really
the only one you can draw if you intend at all to grapple with
Ms. McKinney. Mr. Bolton, did you want to respond?
Mr. Bolton. Just a brief point with an example from a
practical situation where the involvement of the United Nations
in a peacekeeping capacity actually may have made things more
I am speaking again specifically of our experience in the
Bush Administration in 1992 in Bosnia, where the UNPROFOR, the
U.N. Protection Force, was deployed there, and where, during
that period in the late summer and early fall in particular,
the Serbs undertook very substantial activities against the
delivery of humanitarian assistance, particularly in and around
Sarajevo, but basically throughout Bosnia it was becoming more
difficult to deliver humanitarian assistance.
The reaction that many people had in the United States
within the Administration was to say that we ought to toughen
up the reaction of the UNPROFOR soldiers already on the ground,
or resort to outside military force if need be.
That possibility, which we urged publicly, was rejected by
every troop-contributing country that had troops on the ground
in UNPROFOR; that is to say, the British and French in
particular, but many others as well, on the ground. Attempting
to have, in effect, both peacekeeping and peace enforcement
activities in the same place at the same time by the same
organization was in fact, one, destabilizing, and, two, risky
to the peacekeepers.
I think in fact that subsequent developments there and
elsewhere showed that to be the case, that you can't have an
on-off switch in effect between peacekeeping and peacemaking.
Once you cross the line, once the United Nations or anybody
else crosses the line, as happened in Somalia, and becomes a
military force in a confused and ongoing military situation, it
cannot pull back later and say ``we are neutral again.''
That is an important lesson that I think the Brahimi report
Ms. McKinney. Mr. Nuhanovic.
Mr. Nuhanovic. I would like to say something concerning
this role of peacekeeping and peacemaking or peace-imposing.
I was in the Hague tribunal speaking with the deputy
prosecutor, Mr. Graham Bluett. I asked him if there was a
possibility for the tribunal to consider indicting some
individuals present in the area that in my opinion, based on
what I saw there, did assist in the war crimes. There was
also--the political adviser of Mr. Bluett said that the troops
in Srebrenica had a peacekeeping mission.
So I asked the man who made this remark, I asked him, what
is the rifle in the hands of a peacekeeper used for? And he
immediately replied, self-defense. I knew he was going to say
that. I asked him, is it self-defense to come with a rifle in
the hands and chase my family out of the enclave? He said no,
it is an offense.
So I think they crossed the line, not in the way they
should have, but in totally the wrong way.
Ms. McKinney. Mr. Durch, I find your response about
shifting the blame to member states, or accountability to
member states, to be totally unacceptable.
The fact of the matter is that the United Nations was
calling the shots. The United Nations ought to pay reparations
for those that it has damaged.
It is my understanding in 1961 that the United Nations did
just that with citizens of Belgium during the Belgian Congo
conflict. So now why is it that the United Nations will not pay
reparations to Mr. Nuhanovic and the other members, the
survivors of U.N. debacles where the United Nations has
admitted that it was wrong and that it was complicit in these
crimes? This was left out of the Brahimi report?
Mr. Durch. Ms. McKinney, as I said at the beginning of my
testimony, I am not speaking for the U.N. You will really have
to ask them that. The terms of reference for the report did not
consider reparations, they considered how we move forward and
do operations more effectively if they are called upon to be
done in the future. Our job is to try to repair the damage that
everyone acknowledged had accumulated, and to move ahead from
this point. I'm sorry, it was not in our terms of reference.
Ms. McKinney. That is a fundamental problem if it was not
in your term of reference.
Mr. Chairman, I am concerned about the testimony of Mr.
Nuhanovic, who says that there are thousands of bodies that
need to be buried. Certainly there is something that we can do
to assist in that situation, but I would like to ask if the
United Nations is doing anything to assist in the proper burial
of the victims of Srebrenica.
Mr. Durch. Ms. McKinney, I will ask my colleagues up at the
U.N. and perhaps they can communicate with you.
Ms. McKinney. Thank you. Who will you be talking with, so I
can look out for that call?
Mr. Durch. I will call Mr. Brahimi and ask him.
Ms. McKinney. Thank you.
Additionally, Mr. Durch, could you tell me if United
Nations peacekeepers are ever allowed not to prevent genocide
or crimes against humanity?
Mr. Durch. I am sorry, ma'am, I don't quite understand the
Ms. McKinney. Is the prevention of genocide or crimes
against humanity inherent in the mandate of any peacekeeping
Mr. Durch. In the past year the Security Council and the
Secretariat have issued reports on the protection of civilians
in armed conflict. I believe in the last--I can't give you the
actual resolution number, but roughly in March the Security
Council listed that the protection of civilians in armed
conflict, where there are U.N. forces deployed--it listed that
as a general objective or desirable objective, within the means
of those forces, when U.N. forces are deployed.
What we wrote into the report was to take language from the
Rwanda report, actually, the Carlsson report from last
December, saying that when U.N. police forces or military
forces, military peacekeepers, are confronted with violence
against civilians, they should take action to stop it,
regardless of what their mandate says, because that is
consistent with the principles of the United Nations charter.
Now, you can understand that when there are 10
peacekeepers, let's say, and a thousand armed challengers, they
are not going to be able to do very much.
Ms. McKinney. That is not the situation with respect to Mr.
Kavuraganda in Rwanda. He was one individual with his family,
and there were United Nations peacekeepers there. In fact,
those peacekeepers handed Mr. Kavuraganda over to his killers,
so you have in this instance United Nations peacekeepers who
are complicit in crimes against humanity.
What is the responsibility of the United Nations in this
Mr. Durch. Yes, ma'am. In that instance, that is an
indefensible action. There were many indefensible actions in
the course of the Rwandan genocide, and that is one of them.
Ms. McKinney. And the United Nations to date has done
nothing to assist the Kavuraganda family, yet in 1961 the
precedent has been set that reparations were paid to Belgian
citizens who were damaged by the U.N.
I just think that it is a very important tenet of whatever
it is that you are going to do or propose to the United
Nations, that damages be paid to people or redress to people
who feel they have been damaged by the U.N.
Otherwise, you leave people like that woman I talked about
in Missouri, who have no safety net at all, to commit suicide.
You have Mr. Nuhanovic searching around for land to try and
find a burial place for I don't know how many, is it 4,000
people, whose bodies are stored in a refrigerator.
Mr. Durch. Actually, I would talk to Mr. Mladic and Mr.
Karadzic about that. I would get some reparations from them
Ms. McKinney. Actually, Mladic and Karadzic did the
killing, but it was the United Nations that turned in
Nuhanovic's family over to them for the killing. If those
instances are not addressed, as you are trying to establish--I
have read your report and I think you did a wonderful first
step, but it certainly isn't enough.
Mr. Durch. No, ma'am.
Ms. McKinney. It is not enough to encourage me to support
the recommendations thus far.
I have many more questions, but I want to allow my
colleague an opportunity to ask some questions.
Mr. Smith. Mr. Delahunt.
Mr. Delahunt. Mr. Chairman, I presume we will have a second
round. This has been very informative and very enlightening.
Let me express my sympathies to Mr. Nuhanovic. To pick up
on the comment of Ms. McKinney, I would hope that maybe this
Subcommittee could draft an appropriate letter to inquire as to
the concerns that you expressed about the proper burial. Maybe
that is something we could do, Mr. Smith, Ms. McKinney, and
myself, in the form of a resolution which would hopefully
prompt some sort of a response.
Mr. Bolton, you talked about sort of multilateralism and
your confusion with the term. I want you to know I have the
same confusion with the concept of the new world order that I
think was part--let me finish--maybe it was just an extension
of the new world order, multilateralism.
Dr. Durch, thank you for taking on a very unenviable
effort. You really deserve to be acknowledged and praised for
the effort. I have not had an opportunity to read the report,
but I intend to. It is extremely challenging.
Maybe you could all help me here. I guess I would direct
this rather vague question to Mr. Charny and Dr. Durch.
As you see the problem, and I think it was you, Mr. Charny,
that indicated that in your eyes, a specific problem was the
lack of ability to respond quickly. I guess I would say that if
that ability was present, in whatever form this rapid
deployment force may or may not take--and again, I direct this
to both Dr. Durch and yourself--if that ability was there with
5,000 or 10,000 military personnel available, do you believe in
any way, given your review of these situations--and I might
add, it is clear that the problem is in the area of
humanitarian issues, because I have no doubt that the states
that could be directly implicated, if their economic interests
were at risk, they would find a way to respond. But I guess,
who really needs Rwanda? What do they have except just a bunch
of people? And of course, you know, they are black people, they
are not Europeans.
In any event, do you think that that ability, that
capacity, might serve as a deterrent, not particularly in
Rwanda but in other cases that you are familiar with?
Mr. Charny. I think the best recent example I believe is
the case of Sierra Leone. I believe had a rapid reaction force
been available with a unified command, adequate troops
available on short notice, and they had been deployed, I think
that would have had on the one hand potentially a confidence-
building effect on the population, and to some extent there is
an intimidation factor.
If you look at the difference between the reaction of the
parties to the conflict to the U.N. deployment and the
deployment of British troops, I think what we are looking for
through the existence of a rapid reaction force is more of the
latter effect; in other words, a capable unified force, force
under a unified command----
Mr. Delahunt. Let me interrupt you. Maybe I am not being
clear enough. Maybe I am not understanding your response.
Clearly, I think it would be more effective in terms of on-
the-ground combat or its capability on the ground. I am talking
about its mere existence serving as a deterrence, if you will.
Have there been instances where, in your opinion, you
believe that merely the existence of this particular force may
have made a difference in the decision-making of those that
were perpetrating the kind of outrages that occurred?
Mr. Charny. I apologize. I misunderstood the question.
I have to say, the deterrent impact I think at least
initially would be minimal, because these conflicts are driven
by local forces, local factors, local injustices. I do find it
hard to believe that someone in Sierra Leone or in Angola would
sit back and say, whoa, there is a rapid reaction force now,
and not be as aggressive as he might have been otherwise. So I
would have to say no, I don't see an immediate deterrent
Mr. Delahunt. Dr. Durch, do you agree with that statement?
Mr. Durch. I would agree with that. As you know, or I
should have made clear, I am not a big fan of an independent
sort of rapid reaction force. I am a fan of states getting
together and improving their ability to respond when there is a
Mr. Delahunt. Has there ever been an effort in the United
Nations to have a centralized training function, and I can't
quite articulate it, but something less than an independent
force where training would occur on a rotating basis with
commitments by member nations so that the infrastructure
itself, i.e., accountability, chain of command, communication,
would be available?
Clearly there would be more delay, as opposed to an
independent force, but in your opinion, would that reduce the
delay that Mr. Charny expressed concern about in terms of
terminating at the incipient stage, if you will, these
Mr. Durch. Yes, sir, it would have a contribution. There
are two separate problems, though. One is stopping an ongoing
tragedy, which I think we try to make clear--and certainly I
believe--is the job of a coalition of willing national states
who have banded together to do something. The United Nations is
never going to be in a position to be able to stop a war, but
those coalitions often want to hand off to someone, whether it
is in Somalia or Haiti or Sierra Leone or East Timor. They want
to do the job of creating initial order, and then hand off to
someone to do the longer term reconstruction task.
Mr. Delahunt. Usually it is the United Nations.
Mr. Durch. Yes. If there were stronger regional
organizations outside of Europe, then certainly that would be a
preferred option. But even in Europe, even with Kosovo and
Bosnia, we find a mixture of the U.N. and Europe's
organizations sharing responsibility for trying to put the
place back on its feet.
The second case, then, is either taking such a hand-off or
implementing a peace accord where you have a nominal peace but
you may have challenges built into it. Now, if you have--right
now there are national peacekeeping training centers in places
like Canada, Malaysia, and in the Nordic countries and in
Austria, but these are for traditional border monitoring kinds
of missions, observation missions.
What the report is urging countries to do, either on a
north-south basis or a south-south basis, is to really enhance
cooperation, to promote interoperability, and to give the U.N.
enough resources so they can develop doctrine--just simple
handbooks, things countries can use to then have a common
playbook. We do think that would improve the ability to respond
when the Council gets what we hope are better-informed
assessments of conflicts and accords, that they would then be
able to move a little faster.
The people we talk to who try to do this for a living say
that anywhere between 2 to 3 months, if nothing has happened
after an accord has been signed, then everyone begins to think
nothing is going to happen and maybe we can get away with
backing away from it. The momentum of the peace is really lost.
So if it does take 6 months to deploy, that is bad. What we
have set are the first benchmarks ever set for the deployment
of peacekeeping operations. We would like to see a traditional
operation like the one between Ethiopia and Eritrea on the
ground in 30 days, and we would like to see more complex ones
in 90 days.
Mr. Smith. Mr. Delahunt.
Mr. Delahunt. One final question. Is it possible to expand
your terms of reference, your mandate, to review the issue of
Mr. Durch. I can certainly raise that point.
Mr. Delahunt. Part of that, I presume, would be the United
States, which has to pay its dues in a timely fashion.
Mr. Durch. There is that.
Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Delahunt.
Let me ask Mr. Bolton, what is the current role of the U.N.
military staff Committee in overseeing U.N. peacekeeping
operations, and what should that role be? Anyone else who would
like to speak on that, Dr. Durch or Mr. Charny, may. What
should the role be?
Mr. Bolton. I'm sorry Mr. Delahunt had to leave. He did
raise a point that I wanted to respond to with regard to a
comment that President Bush made about the new world order.
I think the President has made it clear since he raised
that that what he had in mind was trying to describe the post-
Communist world; not to imply that in fact some new world order
existed, but that the Cold War structure had broken down.
The response to your question is that, fundamentally, the
Military Staff Committee has, and has had, almost no role.
During the Persian Gulf crisis we did use it I think
effectively to provide limited military briefings to other
members of the Council and other members of the United Nations,
but that was really a one-time proposition.
My argument is that if there is to be a substantial
enhancement of any kind of military capability, that the role
of the Military Staff Committee envisioned, as it was, flowing
from the authority of the five permanent members, has to be
implemented, and that the Brahimi report or other
recommendations that would lodge any kind of substantial
military authority beyond traditional peacekeeping in the
Secretariat is a derogation of the authority of the membership
of the U.N. in general, and specifically of the five permanent
members. It would be contrary to the intent of the drafters of
the Charter, and would be adverse to the interests of the
Mr. Smith. Dr. Durch?
Mr. Durch. As far as I know, the Military Staff Committee
is not utilized for anything substantive at this time. There
are options under the charter for the Security Council to
establish subsidiary advisory groups if it wishes to.
The problem with the Military Staff Committee, I guess, is
that it is an original item of the charter that was really
designed to prevent and, if necessary, provide strategic
direction to fight World War III if the Nazis ever came back,
or something of that nature.
In the 1940's, the system got so far as to make some plans
for joint military operations. This thing would kind of
replicate the combined Joint Chiefs. Since then, I guess more
by tradition than explicit authority in the charter, the notion
of peacekeeping has arisen that is managed within the
Secretariat as kind of a working political substitute.
Mr. Smith. In the Brahimi report the statement is made,
``the Secretariat must tell the Security Council what it needs
to know, not what it wants it hear, when recommending force and
other resource levels for a new mission. It must set those
levels according to realistic scenarios that take into account
likely challenges to implementation. Security Council mandates
in turn should reflect the clarity that peacekeeping operations
require for unity of effort when they deploy into potentially
Did your panel find that that was not the case, that there
was a lack of candor or realistic assumptions as to what would
Mr. Durch. I think repeatedly what the system has tended to
do is self-censor, partly in response to private communications
from member states that say, look, we cannot go there, you
cannot go here, you cannot go somewhere else with the analysis.
We think that it is important that the Secretariat have the
capability and the will, have the capability to give the
Secretary General the will to really do serious threat
assessments, serious assessments of the problem on the ground,
so that the Security Council has no excuse but to say that it
has been very well informed of what it might be getting
peacekeepers into before they go ahead. I think that is
Mr. Smith. Before Mr. Bolton answers, were there any
peacekeepings in the past, like Srebrenica, like the debacle in
the Balkans, that were used to look back and say, this is where
we were, with a snapshot in time, this is what the
recommendations were, that is where the assumptions were
Mr. Durch. Certainly we were aware of and paying close
attention to the Rwanda and Srebrenica report, but also
watching the situation unfold in Sierra Leone as kind of the
last and latest example of the old system in operation whereby
forces are sort of trickled in.
But one should also emphasize here that the other thing
about Sierra Leone, the Sierra Leone operation, was that the
U.N. had nothing to do with negotiating that accord, as it had
nothing to do with negotiating the terms of reference for the
So that is kind of the other side of the coin, that really,
people that know about the capabilities and the limitations of
the tool should be actively involved in the run-up to the
settlement that asks for U.N. implementation assistance, and
that therefore the Security Council should be made specifically
aware of what the limitations are.
Mr. Smith. Mr. Bolton?
Mr. Bolton. I think the record of the Secretariat is mixed
in this regard. There have been unquestionably cases where the
Secretariat and sometimes even the Secretary General himself
said, ``this is not going to work. I don't have the resources
to do this, and I don't think it is doable, anyway.''
The result--and I am just thinking specifically about the
case of the weapons internment program around Sarajevo and the
weapons exclusion zone, where Secretary General Boutros-Ghali
on several occasions said he did not think UNPROFOR as
constituted was capable of undertaking the tasks that the
Security Council gave it. The Security Council members went
ahead and gave it the tasks anyway.
In that sense, there is no doubt--and I think it is a
mistake not to assign blame to the member governments, because
it is frequently their unrealistic expectations, and indeed, to
a certain extent, their own domestic political constraints or
pressures that induced them to give the United Nations
responsibilities which it cannot handle or for which the member
states are not willing to give it resources, but which look
I can say on any number of occasions I have seen that
discussion in the State Department where people say, why can we
not just give this to the United Nations, as if there really is
a ``there'' there. There is not a ``there'' there. The
``there'' is the countries, and unless the countries that are
members of the Security Council make the conscious decision to
implement what they are saying, it should be no surprise that
the U.N. deployment fails.
Mr. Smith. Let me ask a question with regard to the rapid
deployment force idea. No one ever knows the exact numbers,
15,000, or who knows if it is going to be a 30,000 over time
contingent--but it seems to create questions about the analysis
that would be needed to support the informational and
analytical needs of the Secretary General and the members, when
you have such a force ready to be deployed. Earlier, Secretary
Bolton admonished us that there should be no intelligence-
How do you configure such a force that does everything
except what is also a very important component of any force,
and that is, eyes and ears, intelligence gathering? How is that
perceived going forward? Will there be the equivalent of the
CIA in the future so those troops could operate, if they are
configured, in a way that achieves the mandate and saves lives?
Mr. Durch. Mr. Smith, we are not advocating in the report a
CIA for the U.N. There is so much open source information that
is generated within the system and by U.N. NGOs in the field
and by the U.N.'s own people that is simply not brought
together and analyzed for purposes of looking ahead and
anticipating problems that I think you could do quite well with
open source information and selective requests for classified
data as needed.
We were not in a position to advise those who would form
the military units, the effective military units to go into the
field, how they should do their intelligence, but we did make a
note that the U.N. should get over its aversion to allowing or
encouraging field units to have good intelligence capabilities.
Those are going to have to come from the states themselves
deployed with the units. They should work together beforehand
so they can act effectively in the field.
But obviously, you need to know what you are getting into.
You need to know how it is changing when you are there. If you
don't, you can get into trouble, and that has happened. So we
encourage that, but we encourage an open source capability
within the U.N., and cooperation on the part of states for
Mr. Smith. Let me just ask--I think the word you used, Mr.
Bolton, was ``platonic.'' We shouldn't necessarily assume that
the best interests of mankind are pursued by the U.N. Security
Council. I saw that when I was arguing in the eighties, along
with the Administration, for corridors of tranquility for
Ethiopia during one of the major famines, and I was
flabbergasted by the insensitivity of some members of the
Security Council and others, including the ambassador, from
Ethiopia to the U.N., about that situation. It was indifference
that I was not prepared for. It certainly was a wake-up call
When it comes to any future operation either by rapid
deployment forces or in the current mode, perhaps enhanced and
made better, where will the final decision be made? Will it
still be the Security Council, or will that decision-making
migrate somehow into the executive branch, for want of a better
word, the Secretary-General?
There certainly are precedents once you go down that road.
We have a War Powers Act here in the United States, and it is
not worth the paper it is written on, because time and again an
executive will deploy, and it is a matter of what do you do
once the deployment has happened, because obviously now men and
women are in harm's way. Maybe it is even a good deployment.
The point is, Dr. Durch, did the Panel suggest that the
Security Council retain the absolute power to make that
decision? You do talk about doing advance work in anticipation
of the Security Council resolution. Does that also mean that
there might be an advance deployment?
Mr. Durch. Advance preparation, yes, in anticipation of a
Security Council decision, but all decision-making on moving
that force, deploying it, remains strictly with the Security
Mr. Bolton. I think, Mr. Chairman, the question really goes
to the core of the U.N.'s capability for large and complex
missions. I think that the inherent political difficulties in
the Security Council and the manifest weaknesses of the
Secretariat over the years--and I think these would apply
whether the Brahimi report's recommendations were implemented
or not. It cautions against U.N. involvement in massive,
Again, I don't really think this is a question of
capabilities, as Mr. Delahunt was asking before. In Sierra
Leone, the Washington Post reported recently about the dispute
at the top of the command of the U.N. forces in Sierra Leone
between the Indian commander and two of his senior
subordinates, who were Nigerians.
I am not taking sides in that dispute, but I think what is
clear is that the Nigerian officers were representing what they
believed to be the larger interests of Nigeria in West Africa.
I understand why they are doing that. There are forces in--
political and military forces in West Africa, some of which
support that role and some do not.
But I don't think better training would have made the
Nigerian officers less willing to advance Nigerian interests,
or the Nigerian government less assertive in trying to use the
U.N. peacekeeping force there and elsewhere to advance them.
Those are issues of politics and national policy, they are not
issues of capability.
Mr. Smith. Let me ask Mr. Charny, in your testimony you
obviously spoke about the rapid deployment force. What happens
in situations like Chechnya or any other matter of ``internal
affairs,'' so-called, that is trotted out by the offending
In that case, there were 80,000 people killed in the
Chechen war, and untold thousands in this second war. How do
you see such a force working in a context like that? Or is that
something that remains a problem?
Mr. Charny. In my mind, it simply remains a problem. There
is no obvious solution to an issue like that. We have already--
I am not as naive, perhaps, as Mr. Bolton would suggest. I know
that the idea of any standing force for the United Nations
right now is politically a rather tough sell, both in the
United States and indeed, in many other countries.
So I think the only way you ever get anywhere near such a
concept is to maintain Security Council oversight and
authorization of such a force. Therefore, by definition, that
means if there is an internal conflict in Russia or, as there
may well be in the next decade, serious internal conflicts in
China, you are not going to see a rapid reaction force, even if
it existed, zipping off to the far west of China to deal with
ethnic tensions there, or possibly serious human rights
violations, or whatever. It simply isn't going to happen. I
Nonetheless, we have to also recognize that as an issue,
because what it means is that if you have deployments, you do
tend to have these deployments in failed states, weak states,
states which simply do not carry much political weight. Again,
I think that is a reality that would have to be accepted or
worked around in the political forum.
Mr. Smith. Just two final questions.
Dr. Durch, in the report, you say that the total cost of
the DKPO and related support offices for peacekeeping does not
exceed $50 million per annum, or roughly 2 percent of the total
peacekeeping costs. Your panel recommends that that be
substantially beefed up.
Could you elaborate on that? How much do you think is
needed to get the job done adequately?
Mr. Durch. As we speak, the Deputy Secretary General of the
U.N. is heading up a working group that is trying to come up
with an implementation plan based on the recommendations in the
report. When that plan is drafted, they will carefully cost
that out. So I don't have numbers that I could give you.
Even if one were to, in hypothetical terms, double the
number of folks trying to give support to peacekeeping at
headquarters, you would be talking about maybe another 50
million at best, and the U.S. share $12 million a year.
We think that probably great strides can be made, in other
words, in improving the planning, the backstopping, the
recruiting, all of these things to get ready to go into the
field, for a relatively modest amount of money.
Mr. Smith. Do you know when those specs are going to be
Mr. Durch. I am sure they are aiming to give them to the
General Assembly in this session, so sometime later this fall.
Mr. Smith. The report focuses on expanding the role of the
international civilian police. Obviously, once the peacekeepers
leave, or as they are transiting, out a good police force is
needed to keep the order.
Could you expand on the recommendations that have been made
by the Panel with regard to those areas?
Mr. Durch. Yes. We don't view the U.N. international civil
police as the replacement for the peacekeepers, and until now
only in two places have U.N. cops had executive authority, law
enforcement responsibility. That is East Timor and Kosovo.
Elsewhere they are monitors of the local police behavior.
We think you really need to do more, that you really need
to try and configure the mandate such that you can retrain the
local police and judiciary according to modern principles of
democratic policing; in other words, to make them--help them
contribute to the security situation and to the development of
a society--rather than go back to being politicized thugs--as
one component of peace-building.
What we hope is that when a mission departs, the peace-
building components--the unarmed components of the mission, the
electoral people, people who work with civil society, the folks
who try and jump-start some reconstruction and generate
voluntary long-term funds to kind of segue into development--
will leave behind a stable situation so everybody can exit and
leave behind something better than they found when they got
Mr. Smith. I recently sent staff to the Kosovo training
center to try to ascertain how well or poorly that was working.
Do you have any feedback as to the efficacy of the training
that is going on in Kosovo?
Mr. Durch. For the police?
Mr. Smith. Yes, for the police.
Mr. Durch. Not immediate feedback. The basic problem is
that there is not sufficient capacity within the system to
implement more than a basic screening program in advance of
deployment. There are nine personnel in the civil police unit
at U.N. headquarters. They have the responsibility of vetting
all of the 8,000 people who deploy. They are trying to vet them
before they come up to missions to make sure they have
minimally competent people. They are also supposed to be doing
doctrine and drafting budgets and writing strategy. You simply
cannot do all that with nine people.
We think that with the increases for those folks that we
recommend, they will be able to do a little bit better.
The lack of experience with executive policing is another
problem, and at the moment you get police from very different
traditions brought together, with very different sets of
procedures that they are used to operating under, and different
law codes, maybe from 40 or 50 different countries to make up a
force of that size.
We hope that the kind of regional training that we are
recommending, as well as the small core of 100 folks that could
go out early to provide that training and be ready to go in
advance, could remedy these kinds of problems that we face
Mr. Smith. Thank you.
Ms. McKinney. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Dr. Durch, I understand that after I had left the room, you
made a commitment to go back to those who wrote your terms of
reference to ask that they include reparations in your terms of
reference. Is that the commitment that you made?
Mr. Durch. I said that I would certainly get back to the
folks at the U.N. about the question of reparations. I can't
commit them to doing something, as you understand.
Ms. McKinney. I understand you can't commit them, but you
can commit yourself. So is it my understanding that you are
making a commitment to go back to them and raise the issue of
reparations with them to be included in your terms of
Mr. Durch. I will certainly raise the issue. The Panel's
work is finished. This issue would have to be addressed by some
sort of a follow-on effort.
Ms. McKinney. Okay. Many of our panelists have talked about
getting the politics out of politics. I don't know if that is
The Brahimi report talks about making sure that the
information stream from the Secretariat to the Security Council
is a continuous flow of information, but I would say that that
is politics. In the Rwanda report on the now infamous cable
sent from General Dallaire up to New York, a decision was made
by DPKO Chief Kofi Annan to not transmit the contents of that
cable to the Secretary General, Boutros-Ghali, or to the
In fact, the Rwanda report says, ``Annan's and Risa's
instructions to UNIMR and the caution which dominates those
instructions show that they did realize that the cable
contained very significant information. However, they did not
brief the Secretary General about it, and the Security Council,
which a week before had conditioned its continued support for
UNIMR on progress in the peace process, was not informed.''
The decision to not inform the Secretary General and the
Security Council was a decision that was made by the Assistant
Secretary General, or whatever the appropriate title is, by
Kofi Annan, who was in charge of DPKO. That was politics. That
was a political decision that was made to withhold critical
information and vital information that could have saved
hundreds of thousands of lives. That decision was made by that
one man, perhaps in collusion with others, because I cannot
believe that a decision of that importance would be made with
just one person.
Is there anything in your recommendations that can keep
politics out of political decisions?
Mr. Durch. I don't think there is any way you can keep
politics out of political decisions. The U.N. is a very
political organization, as are governments, democracies in
particular. But what we hope can come of implementing the
recommendations in the Brahimi report is better informed
decision-making, better capacity for analysis, less chance for
things to fall through the cracks.
Ms. McKinney. This January 11 cable didn't fall through the
cracks. I need to correct myself, the Chairman reminds me that
I misspoke. I wanted to make sure that I am perfectly clear,
that we want to take the politics out of peacekeeping
This was a peacekeeping decision about what was going on in
Rwanda at the time. The current Secretary General, who was then
chief of DPKO, chose not to turn over vital information to the
Secretary General or to the Security Council.
So I rephrase my question: How is it possible to keep
politics out of peacekeeping decisions?
Mr. Charny. Maybe I can jump in and try and address this. I
think--I am certain that probably the one thing that the four
of us would agree on is that it is impossible to take politics
out of this process. It is by definition a political process.
Refugees International wants to see more humanitarian
values, if you will, humanitarian criteria inserted into that
political process. But a political process is inevitable, and
no reform that any of us is suggesting is going to create a
perfect system. There are always going to be individuals who
make major errors that have major humanitarian consequences.
We don't live in a perfect world. There would be no way to
design a system, neither in the U.N. nor, quite frankly, in the
U.S. Government, that would prevent incorrect decisions from
being made. Hindsight is 20/20. It is very easy to look back on
any particular circumstance and say, if X had only done this,
then things would have been different.
I think--again, it is not my role on the Panel to defend
the U.N., nor, I believe, is it Dr. Durch's. There is some
attempt to have better accountability. This rash of reports
that you are seeing is an attempt to--in the most transparent
way that the U.N. is capable of to own up to some of the errors
that have been made. But to take politics out of peacekeeping
Ms. McKinney. I would suggest that accountability, yes, and
the rash of reports that has been written, and the four
apologies that were given in 6 weeks, they are a step in the
right direction, but it is not nearly enough.
I am driving right now my car on Firestone tires, and I am
afraid that I might be the next victim of Firestone. Those
people who made the decisions in all of the various offices to
ignore the information that was coming through their offices
about the problems of Firestone tires, particularly on Ford
Explorer cars, are pretty much--I would say that the United
Nations is about in that same league right now.
But there is one big difference. That is, people,
individuals who have been harmed, are holding Firestone
accountable. If the United Nations sets itself up as
accountable to no one and above every aspect of the law, then
there is no possibility of reparations, of that accountability
So that is why this is critical. We can have an
intellectual conversation about how we are going to take the
politics out of peacekeeping decisions, but until the people
who made those decisions that failed are held accountable and
made to pay, just in the same way as Firestone and Ford are
going to have to pay, then I would say that we don't have real
That leads me to my next question, which is about the
recommendation for one-stop shopping for military and police
I am concerned about the impact that this one-stop shopping
will have on my ability to exercise scrutiny over what my
government and its subcontractors do.
For instance, I can see in this recommendation or this set
of recommendations the ability for private military companies
that were formerly known to be mercenary companies, but now
they have gotten a fancier name, to become the subcontractors
of the U.N., and the U.N. then fight wars and do other things
that I would have no ability to understand or ferret out or
understand the decision-making process that resulted in a
Could you talk to me about transparency and decision-making
and accountability in the process, so, one, we don't have
soldiers going to places like Cambodia infecting people with
AIDS, to make sure that the soldiers--it is alleged that in
Sierra Leone the Nigerian soldiers are mining as many diamonds
as the RUF; so we don't have headlines like this, ``Split in
U.N. Sierra Leone Mission.'' Could you just sort of talk to me
about accountability and transparency in the decision-making
process so these things that are going wrong right today won't
happen, and that I can have confidence in the decisions that
are made by the U.N., the DPKO and the Security Council?
Mr. Durch. Okay. I think with the one-stop shopping, you
are referring to the 100 military observers that are on call
for mission setup?
Ms. McKinney. For instance, you recommend that each country
have a central person or office that handles the military and
that handles the policing.
Well, it is my understanding that--for instance, we have
the Haliburton Company, which has as its subsidiary Brown &
Root; we have MPRI. They are these private military
subcontractor organizations that are doing--right now that are
doing the work, subcontracted by DOD and by the Department of
State, and they are in charge of whatever it is that the U.N.
needs in terms of providing police in Kosovo or helping to set
up military bases in the Great Lakes, whatever it is.
My question is, it appears to me that your recommendation
encourages that kind of centralization and that kind of
mercenary operation over which I as a Member of Congress would
have no oversight. That bothers me. That concerns me.
Mr. Durch. Okay. I think what you are referring to is the
use by governments like the United States of subcontracting
places like Dyn Corp for recruiting police, et cetera.
Ms. McKinney. Absolutely. That is exactly what I am talking
Mr. Durch. That is a chain that flows up through
governments and then to the U.N. It is not something that the
United Nations is governing directly.
Ms. McKinney. So the United Nations will not then be
subcontracting, say, for instance, to DyneCorp or to MPRI
Mr. Durch. Well, it is a question of whether you are
talking about fighting forces or you are talking about
Ms. McKinney. I am talking about all of it.
Mr. Durch. Let's talk for the moment about logistical
support in terms of what the U.N. does. It does have long-term
what they call systems contracts with the civilian logistical
elements of places like Dyn Corp or places like Brown & Root,
who can provide efficient food contracts or longer-range lift
or those kinds of logistical support with civilian folks,
civilian contractors. In the military, you would have military
support units doing it. It is less expensive to do it with
civilian contractors, especially in some of the less dangerous
areas that the U.N. operates.
So there are those contracts. They allow the U.N. to
respond faster than having to go out for bids for 60- or 90-
day-tenders to get basic supplies and transport and equipment
for their operations.
So they have, for example, a standing contract at the
moment with Toyota to provide 4-Runners or Land Cruisers on
relatively short notice for operations in sort of the hundreds
and thousands of units. Even so, it takes maybe 18 weeks for
those to be delivered. So it is an effort at efficiency from
the U.N.'s perspective.
In terms of the training of troops or the training of
police folks, that is, and using the private sector to do that,
that is a matter for governments themselves. I don't think the
U.N. does that directly.
Ms. McKinney. Is that something that you could pose to your
people? I would like to know if the United Nations is
subcontracting or is contracting to Dyn Corp and MPRI directly
Mr. Durch. All right.
[The information referred to is available in the appendix.]
Ms. McKinney. Mr. Chairman, I think I have concluded.
Mr. Smith. That pretty much concludes the hearing.
I just want to note for the record that we did have an
extensive hearing back in May, on May 5 of 1998, in our
Subcommittee. We assembled a very powerful panel of people,
including from the United Nations and the Belgian parliament,
to focus on the Rwandan killing.
We paid special attention to the New Yorker expose that had
been done on the so-called ``genocide fax.'' Maybe I will ask
one final question of Dr. Durch, because we tried and failed to
some extent to get very specific information with regard to who
knew what and when, the whole line of authority.
Obviously, when any panel looks at something, they try to
reconstruct where the failures were in order to learn from
them, and perhaps--although I don't think it is going to happen
here--to hold to account those who dropped the ball, which led
to massive slaughter.
The information we had was overwhelming. Refugees
International testified at that hearing, as did many, many
others. What about the genocide fax? Will that never again
happen under the recommendations that are being suggested by
your panel, so that there is more than just one set of eyes, so
that a merely political perspective does not prevail?
When General Dellaire, your eyes and ears on the ground in
Rwanda, says that something is imminent, as was pointed out by
Holly Burkhalter, who had testified that day as well, you
listen. Our own embassy had clear and compelling reporting
about this. Killings like this do not happen usually without a
large number of people at least being suspicious, if not having
some timely information that could prevent or mitigate it from
happening. Yet, have we really learned from it?
Dr. Durch, I wonder if you might want to take a stab at
that, and Srebrenica. Look at these profound, preventable
mistakes that were made. We are all human, we are all prone to
error. But it seems to me that to ignore that kind of
information, and then to be--in Kofi Annan's case--kicked
upstairs rather than held to account, something is wrong. If
you could respond to that.
Mr. Durch. Yes, sir, I would hope that the kinds of
structural changes that we recommend would prevent that sort of
thing from happening again.
There was a combination of the information--the analysis at
the Secretariat that we hope to have to look forward, and what
we call integrated mission task forces to plan and implement
operations, where you would actually co-locate people from many
departments of the U.N., the refugee people, the military, the
police folks, the logistics people, and sharing information
that comes in from all their different feeds.
So if you had three different groups with three different
views on the ground of danger arising, that would go straight
to that group and everyone would know what was going on.
I think it would be much more difficult to drop the ball in
Mr. Smith. Unless any of our panelists have anything
further, let me just thank our very expert witnesses for their
information. It does help this Subcommittee. We do have prime
jurisdiction, as you know, over the United Nations and the
State Department. Obviously, peacekeeping comes under that.
This helps us to do our job better.
Please stay in contact with us as we go forward, because we
do want to be very much a part of the process to reform and
hopefully to improve the efficacy and responsiveness of
Thank you very much. The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 1:08 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
September 24, 1999
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