Sacrificing the law of armed conflict in the name of peace : a problem of politics
Matthew E. Dunham
Host item entries:
The air force law review, Vol. 69, 2013, p. 155-197
Peace operations are the United Nation's (UN's) core business and its most visible activity. Between 1948 and 2012, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) conducted sixty-seven peace operations with the general purpose of ending violence. The worldwide presence of peace operation forces is even larger when one adds operations carried out by states under unified command. When conducting peace operations, the DPKO maintains that successful operations are based in the rule of law. This principle clearly follows from one of the major purposes of the UN to "maintain international peace and security... in conformity with the principles of justice and international law." Nevertheless, to sustain political support for some peace operations, the UN and its member states intentionally ignore the applicability of the law of armed conflict (LOAC) by refusing to classify hostilities as an armed conflict and by wrongly denying that peace operation forces have become belligerents in armed conflict.