The twin crises in Somalia and Bosnia have produced a crisis in UN peace enforcement. The high hopes of a “new era” hailed by Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali have crashed in the streets of southern Mogadishu and the very un-“safe havens” of Srebenica, Gorazde, and Sarajevo. “New credibility. . . rising expectations. . . larger responsibilities. . . and an extraordinary opportunity to expand, adapt and reinvigorate the work of the United Nations so that the lofty goals as originally envisioned by the Charter can be realized”: these sentiments, enunciated by the secretary general less than two years ago and actively encouraged by the Clinton administration’s policy of “assertive multilateralism,” have rapidly become antique.
For many of us, multilateral action seemed the ready solution to a difficult dilemma. It reconciled our advocacy of collective security, universal human rights, and humanitarian solidarity overse...
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