We all know that dealing with despots hasn’t been the UN’s forte, but then M23 and the Democratic Republic of Congo happened. More accurately, it has been happening for years. But a couple of months ago something unthinkable happened, not only did the UN barge in on our world police title, but they did so with a unanimous decision from the Security Council…which is freakin’ unheard of. So what exactly did our freedom-loving country agree with the commie nation of China on? The new MONUSCO Mandate, which for the first time in UN history authorizes UN-led troops to utilize full offensive combat capabilities. 3,000 troops have been given the mission to attack and root out M23 troops from eastern Congo, and restore balance to the region. SAY WHAT?!? The only other times UN troops played an aggressive role was when other countries were in charge of the forces (Korea, Afghanistan), this is just the UN; with UN tanks, helicopters, and troops.
The implications that this has for the future of world peacekeeping are mind-blowing. If this mission is successful in rooting out the M23 and their path of destruction, then it could mean that America might eventually take a back seat in the war on terror (though unlikely). Could these actions deter more eccentric dictators like Kim Jong-Un in the future? Will the UN try and take over our military just like they’re trying to take away all of our handguns with cherished armor-piercing bullets? We can only wait and see. However, regardless of the outcome, this is a mission that deserves far more media attention and analysis from international relations scholars then it is getting. As much as I care about LeBron James winning another NBA title, an international conflict that has left millions dead and millions more displaced seems a bit more important.
To the UN, here’s a message from one American on your new mission:
Welcome to the Big Leagues.
For more info on this story, I recommend checking out the following economist articles: