Are peacekeepers (blue helmet) effective to bring peace?


The activities of peacekeeping have existed since antiquity. Thus, peacekeeping has its roots in the management of conflict of the great powers (James, pp. 4). As such, there are continuity ties as well as parallelism in the activities of peacekeeping that happened in the past and currently. Hence, Bellamy and Paul Williams are of the opinion that the idea for the great powers to be mandated with the responsibility for ensuring the maintenance of peace is an old phenomenon (61). For example, in the ancient Roman Empire, there was the enforcement of the law that ensured it took care of the political boundaries. Currently, the states that are powerful have justified their interventions into the affairs of other countries to protect the peace on a global scale. This has been for the greater good, however, most times, it has been to protect their self-interest. The nations that have been for the greater good include the British, in their stand for the abolishment of the slave trade that ruled the global world (Bellamy and Paul Williams, pp. 61).  Therefore, the paper attempts to explore whether the activities of the peacekeepers (blue helmet) are effective in bringing peace. It aims to offer a brief history of the onset of the activities of peacekeeping. It further endeavors to shed light on the ways in which the peacekeeping activities have been effective by the use of examples.


Peace as a collective responsibility

The nineteenth century saw the uprising of the collective action by the international organization to pursue both security as well as peace. The cooperation that was brought about by the development of the European nations featured as the initial steps towards the maintenance of peace in the world. However, it is important to note that the initial attempts by the great powers of the European were as a result of selfish reasons. Hence, these efforts resulted in failure. In light of this fact, it led to the great strides towards the institutionalizing of the international cooperation in the onset of the twentieth century. For instance, it resulted in the League of Nations as well as the UN (Beardsley and Skrede, pp. 77).

Collective Actions

The collective actions comprise of the missions to the state of China as well as Crete. It was after the signing of the Berlin treaty. The missions were for the maintenance of a status quo or in other words protecting the great powers interests. The importance of the state of Crete to the European great powers was of great interest to them. For instance, there was the looming of a general war in 1896 (Bellamy and Paul Williams, pp. 62). It was brought about by the ethnic clash that occurred in the state of Crete. Greece was attempting to protect itself against the invasion of the Ottoman. Consequently, Italy, France, Russia, Britain, Germany and Austria-Hungary responded to the threat. They began by blocking the invasion of the island to safeguard the entry of the Ottoman. Afterward, there was the deployment of the multinational force that was strong that numbered 20,000 to maintain the peace (Bellamy and Paul Williams, pp. 62).

There was also the initiation of the Cretan police reform, judiciary as well as the civil administration. As a result, two years later, there was the imposition of a status of uniqueness and importance of the Crete state. It included the provision of the autonomy for the island as well as the creation of the ruling elite of the Greek that was imposed on the Ottoman suzerains. Another example of a collective action was the response of the international community on the rebellion that occurred at the onset of 1900 referred to as the rebellion of the Boxer (James, pp. 7).  Although it was instigated by the ambitions of colonialism, it is warranted as a precursor of the enforcement of the collective action. The Boxers represented a society that was loosely organized comprising of the peasants of the Chinese community that protested against the biasedness of the Chinese court that was influenced by the great powers of the foreigners.

The influence of the great powers has significantly increased since the rise of the war referred to as opium that occurred from 1839 to 1842 (Bellamy and Paul Williams, pp. 62). During this period, the Britain had attempted to employ the supremacy of their navy to force themselves into the market of the Chinese. They wanted to have the right to transact their opium business, and at the same time, expose the Chinese market to exploitation by the foreign nations. Therefore, the culmination of the humiliation experienced from the Manchu elite that were ruling, coupled with the increase in taxes, issues with the land rights, poor administration as well as various natural disasters that were major triggered the social unrest that resulted in a revolt referred to as the Great Taiping in the year 1850 to 1854 (Bellamy and Paul Williams, pp. 63). In comparison to the First World War, the rebellion claimed more lives. However, the powers of the European aided its eradication.  As a result, there was the extension of the influence to the state of China.

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