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The Face of UN Peacekeepers

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Tensions between Israel and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon have not abated despite the recent UN coordinated cease-fire. Part of the resolution calls for 15,000 peacekeepers to deploy from world nations, an operation the UN expected France to lead. However, France cited the loss of 84 troops in Bosnia and 58 in Beirut as part of their rationale for changing their minds on leading the effort. Concerned that Hezbollah will not disarm and might fire on peacekeeping troops, French officials balked at deployment. In lieu of the French, Italy has volunteered to lead on the condition that a clear cease-fire is in effect.

Is Europe off the mark regarding the purpose of peacekeeping operations? Will the UN turn tail or enforce peace if either Hezbollah or Israel resume combat operations?

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