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Books - June 15, 1984

The Theory and Practice of Peacekeeping

Indar Jit Rikhye (C.Hurst & Company, 1984)

 

 

In the search for peace, a great deal is talked about disarmaments, but the crucial work of preventing wars is done by a few thousand world "policemen."  These are the peacekeepers.  The peacekeepers, unlike the disarmers, have a continuous track record. 

Rikhye admits the mistakes that have been made in international peacekeeping efforts and points the way to improvement.  If governments want to make use of peacekeeping, they must treat it more seriously:  equipping it properly, giving it more than two days' notice of an operation, and ceasing to imagine that peacekeeping can solve a political dispute.  It can only avert a war while the mediators get to work.  But that is something infinitely worth doing in an age of mounting violence and danger. 

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