n Conflict Trends - Intelligence and peacekeeping - are we winning?

Volume 2008, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


For many, the word 'intelligence' immediately conjures up images of spies, espionage and spy-masters. Intelligence is a sensitive topic in all multinational operations - particularly so in United Nations (UN) peace support operations (PSOs). The lack of an intelligence-gathering capability within the UN organisation is, however, astounding - this despite the UN's intelligence failures of the past : from the failed missions in Somalia and the Balkans to Rwanda. The 1994 Rwandan genocide saw up to a million people die in a hundred days while the world watched. The four battalions of troops in the UN Mission in Rwanda, crippled by an 'observe and report' mandate, watched helplessly as the genocide unfolded around them, knowing that they had foreknowledge of the impending catastrophe that engulfed the region.

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