Briefly, in an article on UN peacekeeping titled UN says still trying to get peacekeeping right, the Associated Press’s John Heilprin writes that “U.N. figures show the 10 biggest troop-contributing nations to U.N.-mandated operations are the U.S., Pakistan, Bangladesh, Britain, India, Italy, Germany, France, Nigeria and Nepal.” This is completely false, unless perhaps the author includes the peacekeeping operations before the end of the Cold War, for which I have not analyzed the data. Even then, I doubt the author is correct. The article also fails to properly attribute failures in UN peacekeeping as it glosses over “controversies” while ignoring the underlying systemic problems.
The top 10 “troop-contributing nations” look more like this sample from the end of 2009: Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, Egypt, Rwanda, Nepal, Ghana, Uruguay, and Italy. If the consideration is “police-contributing”, then the top 10 states are: Bangladesh, Jordan, Pakistan, Nepal, Nigeria, India, Senegal, Ghana, Philippines, and Zambia. If the top 10 is overall contribution of forces, then this is the list with their contribution for December 2009 in parenthesis: Pakistan (10,764), Bangladesh (10,427), India (8,757), Nigeria (5,807), Egypt (5,155), Nepal (4,311), Jordan (3,798), Rwanda (3,671), Ghana (3,633), and Uruguay (2,513).
The Security Council permanent member contributions in December 2009 was: China (2,136), France (1,610), United Kingdom (282), Russia (365), and US (75).
I wrote about the challenges and mercenary-nature of most of the peacekeeping forces in a 2008 magazine article that also raised the fact Blue Helmets are outside (not just beyond) the law of armed conflict. The UN Security Council’s share of peacekeeping forces have been historically low, especially since the end of the Cold War – the only time that really matters now. More recently, I wrote about an evolution in peacekeeping that may be both promising and reinforcing.
- Gold for Arms: More on Peacekeeper Immunity from 27 May 2007
- How Peacekeeping Works from 18 April 2007
- An Interview with the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations from 25 November 2006