United Nations Essay Research Paper INTRODUCTIONTHE ISSUESThe — страница 10

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interested in reducing U.S. commitments to the United Nations than in strengthening its ability to carry out American foreign policy. This attitude is especially apparent among Republicans, who in 1994 won the majority in Congress for the first time in forty years. “Peacekeeping cannot solve the world’s problems and should not be expected to,” said then Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms, R-N.C. “Some of us have said that all along. American leadership in the world should not be defined by how many U.N. peacekeeping operations we participate in.” (19) As part of a drive to cut foreign aid spending, Helms has spearheaded proposals to cut U.S. funding if U.N. peacekeeping operations from thirty-two percent to twenty-five percent – the same

percentage the United States pays for the rest of the U.N. costs – beginning in fiscal 1994. Then Sen. Dole introduced a bill that prohibited the participation of U.S. military forces in any U.N. peacekeeping missions that would place them under the command of foreign nationals. The proposed Peace Powers Act not only poses a direct challenge to the president’s authority as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, but also would effectively end U.S. military participation in most U.N. missions, as peacekeeping missions typically come under the military command of more than one country. Another proposal, the National Security Revitalization Act, part of the House Republicans’ “Contract With America,” also would restrict U.S. peacekeeping missions and would withhold U.S.

funding of U.N. agencies pending the enactment of reforms. But with attitudes toward the U.N. at a low point, there is little support for reforming the organization to make it more effective. The underlying premise in all these proposals is that the United States can conduct its foreign policy more effectively on its own or with carefully chosen allies then it can through a multilateral body such as the United Nations. President Clinton and those who support his policy of strengthening multilateral organizations accuse Republicans of launching the United States into a new era of isolationism, similar to that preceding the outbreak of World War II. “The United States must be prepared to act alone when necessary, but we dare not ignore the benefits that coalitions bring to this

nation,” Clinton said at the San Francisco commemoration of the U.N. Charter. “We dare not reject decades of bipartisan support for international cooperation. Those who would do so, these new isolationists, dismiss fifty years of hard evidence.” Republicans reject these charges. “Neo-isolationism is a scare word that doesn’t capture even somewhat fairly what we’re talking about, which is trying to analyze what concrete U.S. national interests are and how to advance and defend them,” Bolton says. “Simply to say that not being willing to engage in assertive multilateralism is the same as neo-isolationism reflects a profound misunderstanding of what American foreign policy interests are, as well as the shallowness of their own intellectual thinking.” “Part of the

problem in improving the United Nations’ ability to act now is that the majority in Congress sees undermining the organization as a way of going after the president and his weaknesses in foreign policy,” Luck says. “The United Nations has become a vehicle for that.” CONCLUSION If the United Nations is to continue to play a role in world affairs, it has to take account of the changes that have occurred in the world over the past half-century. “Fifty years ago, you didn’t see the Rwanda genocide in your living room while you’re having a drink in the evening,” Urquhart says. “Fifty years ago, there wasn’t this sort of global society with global capital markets and instant electronic circulation of money. There are a whole lot of things which didn’t exist in

1945 when the charter was written. Now we’ve got to really face up to them.” Whatever new peacekeeping roles the United Nations takes on in the near future, they are likely to be less ambitious than envisioned in the heady days after the Cold War’s collapse. Plans to beef up peacekeeping missions, as outlined in the secretary-general’s 1992 report to the General Assembly, have been sidelined. Following setbacks in Somalia and Bosnia, peacekeeping operations already have been scaled back, as the belated and undermanned mission to Rwanda demonstrates. “Once an organization’s reputation is badly damaged, as the U.N.’s reputation has been in Somalia and now, even worse, in Bosnia, people begin to question everything about it,” says Carpenter at the Cato Institute.