Writing for the IPI Global Observatory in “The Pitfalls of UN Peacekeeping in Afghanistan”, Professor of International Affairs Paul D. Williams highlights the requirements and risks behind sending a successful UN peacekeeping force into Afghanistan.
Williams recognizes the repeated calls for some form of a UN peacekeeping operation in Afghanistan, whether due to U.S. strategic interest, humanitarian grounds, or to ensure the Taliban keeps its promises. However, he argues that an intervention on that scale would require fulfilling a lengthy list of prerequisites that take time and political consensus, both of which are not readily available.
He also states that the lack of Taliban consent and active cooperation, the lack of a clear peace process in the country, and the presence of other actors, such as Al-Qaida and the Islamic State-Khorasan, will further complicate the situation. He posits that the energy used in debating the use of a robust peacekeeping reponse would be better used in ensuring that the longstanding Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, a UN program established to assist the state and its people in creating a foundation for sustainable peace, can continue to work under hazardous circumstances.