Guide Asymmetrical Warfare, Transformation, and Foreign Language Capability

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An increasing number of missions were currently deployed in complex environments, facing asymmetrical threats that threatened to unravel hard-won gains in establishing peace. Troops on the ground should have the necessary capabilities, including new technologies and training, and host nations should establish networks for sharing information with peacekeepers, he said. They should work hand-in-hand with peace operations in addressing threats and assume full responsibility for mission security.

Missions were unable to engage in counter-terrorism operations, and there was therefore an urgent need to review their capacities and posture. The prevention of violent extremism should be integrated into mandates, he said, emphasizing that military tools should not be discarded when countering violent extremism. There was a need for clear mandates, adequate resources, appropriate support and pre-deployment training, he said, adding that intelligence-gathering capacities were crucial for the safety of peacekeepers.

Effective relations with local populations were also essential, he said, underlining also the need to strengthen the capacity of national security forces.

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LIU JIEYI China , noting the complex challenges facing peacekeeping, affirmed the need for adaptation to meet them, emphasizing, however, the necessity of maintaining the principles of neutrality, sovereignty of host countries and non-use of force. There was a need for continuing dialogue with host countries as well as avoidance of open-ended missions.

There must be strict adherence to mandates, which must be specific to particular situations, while priority tasks and the focus of efforts should be adapted to changing situations. While stressing the need to avoid all-embracing mandates, he said peacekeeping missions could enhance the counter-terrorism capabilities of host countries when appropriate, in concert with those countries.

The safety and security of peacekeepers must become a much greater focus of consideration for the Council and logistical support, including medical-evacuation capabilities, should be strengthened, he added.

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At the same time, precious peacekeeping resources must be used efficiently and waste avoided. Relevant training was critical and cooperation among all partners was important in providing it, he said, underlining also the need to improve communications with troop-contributing countries. As the largest troop contributor among the permanent Security Council members, China remained committed to bolstering United Nations peacekeeping capabilities, he said.

France was providing support to help such missions face the threats, but there was need to build further on the strategic planning cell concept and other mechanisms to allow for adequate responses to threats. To that end, missions must be adequately equipped with intelligence capacities and include troops that could speak local language, including French in many cases.

Noting that triangular cooperation in equipping and training troops had been a useful way to prepare contingencies for difficult environments, he called for enhancing communications and coordination between peacekeeping operations and counter-terrorism entities, as well as between host countries and regional organizations. France would continue to work with all stakeholders in strengthening peacekeeping, he pledged.

The United Nations should not engage in counter-terrorism combat operations. The affected State should take necessary military actions and if it was unable to do so, there might be a need for a complementary tool, with an international force equipped to combat terrorism.


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Peace operations could play a role, however, in strengthening institutional State capacities to combat terrorism. It was vital that peace operations had the capacity and training to fulfil their tasks, he said, urging that the rules of engagement be tailored to specific environments and that cooperation between peace operations and United Nations counter-terrorism bodies be improved.


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  4. How could blue helmets act if they could not distinguish between fighters and civilians, he asked. In offensive counter-terrorism operations, peacekeepers could be accused of becoming a party to the conflict, increasing the risk to civilians and blue helmets. Those operations should be executed by national or regional forces.

    There was a need for improved cooperation with host countries, as well as for proper planning, financing and training. Discussions about such matters as intelligence-gathering could better take place in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, also called the Committee of The establishment of any peacekeeping operation or extension of mandate should be done with respect for the Charter of the United Nations and principles, such as the consent of parties, non-use of force and impartiality.

    Those principles, which had guided peacekeeping over the past five decades, must be preserved, he said. Information-gathering, which was sometimes called intelligence, could make a useful contribution, but there was a need to reach consensus on that delicate topic before developing a policy framework. Highlighting the need for cooperation among troop- and police-contributing countries, the Secretariat and the Council, he expressed support for the reorganization of the modalities of triangular cooperation.

    Speaking in his national capacity, he stressed that peacekeeping operations should not be created to initiate or revive political processes, or administer countries where there was no peace. Peacekeepers must have mandates approved by the Security Council as regards the protection of civilians, as well as the necessary training to carry out their tasks. Information-gathering through covert actions, including tapping communications and the use of informants, was unacceptable. Sustained peace could be achieved only by addressing root causes.

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    Peacekeepers must not engage in counter-terrorism operations, he said, emphasizing the need to operate safely on the ground. For successful outcomes, coherent planning and a readily available pool of troops were crucial, as was adequate training for peacekeepers.

    Yet, given that peacekeepers continued to operate in environments where armed groups posed a serious threat, efforts must be taken to ensure they could cope with such challenges. Peacekeepers required clear mandates, rules of engagement and contingency planning. They also must be trained and equipped. In particular, restrictions to intelligence and surveillance capabilities should be lifted so that peacekeepers could better detect threats.

    The Council must provide more meaningful oversight of peacekeepers in environments where asymmetric threats were present. Each Member State should decide who served on the Council and who did not. He said he had referred to the Minsk Agreements, which were unfulfilled despite the promises of the President of Ukraine. Achieving a solid, sound peace would only happen through the Minsk Agreements. Violent extremism was on the rise while attacks on civilian populations had become the new normal, given that enemies were not afraid to die.

    In such an environment, peacekeeping operations must remain relevant, yet continue to respect the principles of consent, non-use of force and impartiality, he pointed out. At the same time, they must be provided with adequate human and technical resources, as well as increased operational capabilities tailored to their goals, he said, stressing the need to use new technologies, such as drones, to gather intelligence.

    Operations must act according to ground conditions. Successful outcomes required better coordination with Governments and regional organizations in addressing asymmetrical threats. Prevention must be prioritized and underlying causes taken into consideration. In cases of asymmetric threats, he said emphasis on the military aspect of terrorism could increase the risks to peacekeepers and stressed that fulfilling a mandate to protect civilians from imminent threat should not be confused with direct involvement in offensive counter-terrorism operations.

    Safety and security of peacekeepers must be addressed as a top priority through adequate equipment, proper training, robust logistics and well-protected camps.

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    A comprehensive response to improvised explosive devices was critical, as was guidance, support for new technology and intelligence-gathering, quick-reaction capability and force enablers. Enhanced cooperation among the Council, the Secretariat and troop contributors might bridge the gap between expectations and results in those areas and in all peacekeeping endeavours.

    One solution was to adopt policy and operational guidelines on the use of force, including new technology and intelligence gathering.

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    But, he underscored, peacekeeping required more than an up-to-date tool-kit. It required collaboration to reach political solutions. He expressed regret that the Council had not achieved consensus on peacekeeping. Its current approach, by which it mandated operations to do more than the United Nations was structurally and politically organized to do, was not sustainable.

    Military options carried out by peacekeepers should not be long-term solutions to what were essentially political problems requiring political solutions. Deployment decisions must be based on consultation, preparation and knowledge of the ground situation, she said, adding that, as principal stakeholders, troop-contributing countries must be fully consulted on mandate design and idea testing.

    The Council must be more circumspect when mandating enforcement tasks, as peacekeepers should neither become a party to conflict nor perceived as a tool of external intervention. The use of technology and intelligence should be discussed in that forum, and the legal aspects of modern technology and intelligence use should be defined in the appropriate intergovernmental processes. The recent reviews of the peacekeeping and peacebuilding architecture highlighted the need for United Nations peacekeeping operations to adopt new strategies and focus more on prevention rather than containment.

    Regional organizations, especially those in Africa, required more support for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; techniques for countering violent extremism; and tools with which to seek national reconciliation and pursue security sector reform. However, the primary focus of any crisis was a political solution, he noted, stressing that the international community must be more engaged in mediation and prevention.

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    Some had argued that missions must not engage in counter terrorism activities, yet asymmetric threats were now part of the operational reality. As such, it was essential to prepare for the worst by providing peacekeepers with the training and capabilities needed for enhancing their safety and security. That required collective support of the Secretariat and troop-contributing countries, he said, calling upon host countries to bring perpetrators of attacks to justice. He went on to emphasize that while military operations could address the symptoms of terrorism, used alone, it would not and could not stop its spread.

    Reiterating the need for a comprehensive approach to combat terrorism, he expressed support for an integrated and balanced implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Discussions on the deployment of such technologies in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations should continue, he said, adding that operations also needed better training, including language instruction. The European Union supported peacekeeping missions in Mali and the Central African Republic, he said, noting that, in the former, more than half of European members had contributed troops.

    The Union contributed millions of euros in humanitarian aid to Mali each year, while, in the Central African Republic, it supported security sector reform and capacity-building for national forces to respond to threats. Military equipment, training and operational concepts must be adapted to circumstances, which was the aim in the north-east sector of MINUSMA. Germany had made a significant contribution in northern Mali with a reconnaissance task force conducting an array of activities.

    For peacekeepers facing asymmetric attacks, he called for quick and adequate medical support. That required helicopters for medical evacuation, protection, as well as the moral and operational strength of peacekeepers on the ground. To improve safety and security, peacekeeping must draw upon intelligence capabilities and new technologies. Proper training and relevant equipment could make the difference between life and death. Durable solutions to asymmetric threats would require sound medium- and long-term strategies to address the root causes of conflicts.

    In that regard, the United Nations must play an important role in sustaining peace. Success in combating asymmetric threats would depend on coherent and persistent implementation of recommendations by the United Nations and the international community, he said, expressing hope that the new Secretary-General would take an active approach to that challenge.

    GEIR O. However, they must be able to adapt to emerging security threats, meaning that they must be provided with the necessary capacity to fulfil their mandates and ensure the safety of United Nations personnel. Noting that the Panel also had called for comprehensive reform of United Nations operations, he welcomed improvements made in that regard, urging missions to continue to reach out to local communities, deepen their partnerships with regional organizations and invest in adequate training and equipment.

    In addition, root causes of conflict must be addressed with greater investments in prevention, he said, suggesting that priority be given to stopping illicit financial flows and foreign terrorist fighters, improved development policies, building resilience of fragile States and empowering women and young people. It was critical for the United Nations to train peacekeepers prior to deployment, including through an understanding of the ground situation, building trust with local populations and ensuring linguistic competence.

    Peacekeeping operations also must adapt their mandates and methods to counter emerging threats. OH JOON Republic of Korea expressed concern that the speed with which the nature of conflict was changing was outpacing the ability of peacekeeping operations to respond. In the Military Doctrine, the list of internal threats they are considered to prevail over external threats focuses on terrorism - five out of six named threats are related to terrorism.

    Incidentally the list of external threats also includes diversion and terrorism. In the last Concept of National Security, terrorism is considered to be one of the major threats to Russian security. Moreover, the Concept concentrates not only on internal terrorism, which has its! Taking into account that Moscow insisted on regarding the second Chechen conflict from August as an example of international terrorism, the phraseology of the doctrinal documents adopted in seems to cover the Chechen case albeit in a vague and indirect form and to refer to Russia's experience of asymmetrical warfare.

    So the Chechen experience is analyzed, but quite slowly.