International Order & Conflict
Issue Brief

The Origins and Evolution of US Policy Towards Peace Operations

in Program

This article contends that the William Clinton and George W. Bush administrations experienced similar transformations in their respective policies towards UN peace operations and nation-building. Although they began from nearly opposite perspectives, both came to remarkably similar conclusions about the value of peace operations, UN-led or otherwise, as tools for US foreign policy. Initial positions, driven in part by ideological concerns, gave way to more pragmatism about how the United States would support UN peace operations, reinforced by experiences with Congress and at the UN. A defining feature of this pragmatism was a deep reluctance to contribute significant numbers of troops to UN-commanded operations, even as both administrations supported increases in the number and scale of UN missions.

Author Posting. (c) Taylor and Francis, 2008.


This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Taylor and Francis for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in International Peacekeeping, Volume 15 Issue 1, February 2008.

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