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United Nation peacekeepers should have the power to engage in offensive operations

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/6/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,349 times Debate No: 67930
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I stand in firm negation of the resolution resolved: United Nations peacekeepers should have the power to engage in offensive operations.


should: used to indicate obligation or duty

power: the ability to do something or act in a particular way

peacekeepers: those who keep peace

offensive operations: decisive form of war


As a prerequisite to an aff ballot the affirmation must prove that such offensive operations create structural, positive peace.


Because the primary goal of the UN is to assist civilians in conflict zones prefer the side that upholds humanitarian aid operations.

Contention 1) Imperialism

As Global Policy explains, "When nations send their military into other nations" territory, it is rarely for "humanitarian" purposes. They are gaining geo-strategic advantages, or seizing control of resources." This applies to the UN as well with the Nation concluding that, " the banner of a UN coalition is just a less controversial facade for the pursuit of US interest in Haiti. Leaks reveal that former US Ambassador to Haiti Janet Sanderson considered MINUSTAH ( the UN operation there ) "an indispensable tool in realizing core policy interests."" This corruption is further exacerbated by the UN"s responsibility to protect which gives it grounds to infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations. Because of vague definitions on what constitutes legitimate intervention the UN acts as an Imperialist force pursuing the interests of a few key nations. This is detrimental indeed considering that "the push to strenuous religious identity, heavily laden with violent tactics, is the natural response of peoples trying to maintain their identities and collective destiny from imperial domination leading to terrorism. In addition, as noted by world politics review, "fear of outside intervention was among the many factors driving governments to build weapons of mass destruction.

Contention 2) fighting fire with fire creates more conflict

Princeton University notes that, "Traditional peacekeeping increases communication between groups, reduces the stakes of peace, and raises the stakes of conflict." Impartiality and the appearance of being neutral is vital to maintain the UN"s credibility and legitimacy as a mediator and to keep parties from withdrawing from talks. The UN"s own principle of peacekeeping states that,"Impartiality is crucial to maintaining the consent and cooperation of the main parties." By engaging in offensive operations it is impossible to have impartiality as the UN has to choose a side. This makes long term peace out of reach because now insurgents will see the UN as an enemy rather than as a mediator.

b. Structural violence
Schmidt reads, foreign intervention in Africa generally did more harm than good. external involvement often intensified conflicts and rendered them more lethal. Furthermore, even if peacekeepers establish negotiations they fail at creating lasting, positive peace by failing to attack the root of the problem. The Foundation of Peace concludes that, "throughout the Third World the problems of poverty and hunger often date back hundreds of year to some conquest. The victors became the ruling class, pushing the vast majority into systems to keep them poor. The same patterns continue today and it is this structural poverty and oppression that leads to conflicts and that outside intervention fails to address. In fact using offensive force increases the possibility to violence. Fortna finds that " traditional peacekeeping missions reduce the risk of war by about 86% while enforcement missions by just half. Furthermore, because of the risk to PK nations will be less willing to provide aid workers. This is detrimental indeed considering that
Fortna (2008) finds that the risk of repeat war drops "by 75%" 85% or more when peacekeepers are present. Beardsley adds on to this by explaining that "in the absence of peacekeeping when a conflict episode breaks out, the likelihood of conflict in neighboring states is 75% higher. Thus, don"t only does outside intervention fail to create peace, but the use of offensive force exacerbates violence.

Contention 3) Offensive operations hurts citizens

a) UN human rights abuse

According to the Women under siege project, " UN peacekeepers have fathered an estimated 24,500 babies in Cambodia alone. UN troops have also been implicated in the imprisonment and murder of innocent civilians with the Human Rights Watch noting that it is greatly disturbed that peacekeepers from the MISCA mission are also implicated in the disappearance and presumed executions of at least 11 civilians. These abuses have not been investigated, and those responsible have not been brought to justice. These actions not only hurt the reputation of the UN, but make it quite clear that we can"t put more civilians in harm"s way by expanding UN power.

b) harm to humanitarian aid

In the past 30 years, the UN has helped over 370 million rural poor combat poverty and live better lives. However, the New York Times explains that, " humanitarian aid organizations worry that the shift to [offensive forces] could put their workers at risk because armed groups will not distinguish between soldiers and those who feed, heal, and house civilians in war." This obstructs the very purpose of the UN which is to protect civilians suffering from atrocities. Because the deployment of offensive force would take away the UN"s impartiality and aid worker"s safety you have to vote neg and vote aid over aggression.

< end>.

Gagnon 12 [Jean, Honorary Research Fellow, Centre for Greater China Studies, "Journal of South Asian Development", "The Taliban Did Not Create the Taliban, Imperialism Did", vol. 7 no. 1]

Schmidt, Elizabeth. "Foreign Intervention in Africa: From the Cold War to the War on Terror." Cambridge University Press. March 25 2013.; printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage &q&f=false

(Robert, President of Context Institute, "Structural Violence", The Foundation of Peace IC #4,, 2000, AD: 7-9-9)

Hegre, Harvard. "Evaluating the conflict-reducing effect of UN peacekeeping operations" Centre For the Study of Civil War. June 11, 2013.

Fortna, Virginia. "Does Peacekeeping Keep Peace? International Intervention and the Duration of Peace After Civil War" International Studies Quarterly. 2004.

Beardsley, Kyle. "Peacekeeping and the Contagion of Conflict." Journal of Politics


Washington Post Editorial Board."From Congo, a U.N. peacekeeping mission filled with promise." Washington Post. 22 Nov 2013. Web. 3 Dec 2014. <


I would like to start off by defining offensive operations as: An organized and forceful campaign to achieve something, typically a political or social end, given by the Oxford dictionary. As for my "burden" my case will prove that these offensive operations previously taken did not retain peace, only due to lack of power. This due to the restriction on the Peacekeepers by the UN. Lastly, it is important to note in this debate we will be using the UN's terms and definitions as an acceptable moral argument. With this said I will begin my arguments:

Contention 1: Peacekeepers need the proper tools to do their job. According to the UN a peacekeepers job is to follow the morals, set by the UN while also following NATO contracts. This being said the UN's morals are non-violent ones, creating a restriction on their ability to keep the peace. As the UN says, "UN peacekeeping operations are deployed on the basis of mandates from the United Nations Security Council. Over the years, the range of tasks assigned to UN peacekeeping operations has expanded significantly in response to shifting patterns of conflict and to best address threats to international peace and security." Meaning that has threats to the UN's mission to uphold their humanitarian values are challenged in new ways, to uphold these values they must respond in adapting ways as well.
As for your contention one it is purely speculation, and since your own framework is the primary goals of the UN you in turn are supporting the UN in its endeavors to save, and create peace, no matter the cost and adaptations.

As for your contention 2: Fire with fire only creates more conflict between countries who do not take part in the UN, however because your framework is the UN's "mission" you must also realize that offensive action, may only be taken in agreement with all the UN, as well as others in the NATO alliance. and for your structural violence argument, by using Africa as an example, that goes back to my own contention, failure is due to lack of tools and restrictions.
For the UN human rights abuses, I'm going to need a source. Lastly, you forget the peacekeepers are just a part of the UN, and that while the peacekeepers may use offensive force, other parts of the UN, such as the General Assembly may continue to provide the humanitarian aid.
Debate Round No. 1


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Debate Round No. 2


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Debate Round No. 3
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