My Chapter contribution in
Net Security Provider: India’s Out-of-Area Contingency Operations
OUT OF AREA OPERATIONS CAPABILITY
FOR THE INDIAN ARMED FORCES
This chapter argues for expansion in
The chapter first reviews the
background both in terms of evolution of UN peacekeeping.
Based on the trends outlined, it discusses the desirability of the case for a
Peacekeeping in review
United Nations peacekeeping operations have ‘evolved into one of the main tools used by the international community to manage complex crises that pose a threat to international peace and security’. Peacekeeping has transformed from its ‘lite’ version during the Cold War, termed ‘traditional peacekeeping’, through ‘wider peacekeeping’ in the early post Cold War years to multifunctional peacekeeping of today. The original principles that have come to be associated with traditional peacekeeping include: actual threat to international security; consent of parties; impartiality; continuing co-operation of parties; consensus of international community as reflected in the clarity of the mandate; practicability of the mandate; continuing support of the UN Security Council (UNSC); under operational control of the UN Secretary General (UNSG); and sound financial support. These have continuing relevance in a period of multidimensional peacekeeping. The characteristics that have transformed peacekeeping include:
- Expanded breadth of operations: military matters; elections; human rights; national reconciliation; law and order; refugee rehabilitation; humanitarian relief; administration; economic reconstruction; co-ordination with other actors; and mine clearance.
· Increased depth of operations: monitoring; supervision; control; conduct; technical assistance; public information.
· Enhanced political functions of the UN: Executive (Administrative); Mediator; Guarantor.
· Mandates under Chapter VII and the authorisation to use force.
· The intrusive nature of operations lending of credence to non-state actors.
A contrast between the two generations of peacekeeping is drawn below:
· Latter generation operations are not limited exclusively to military mandates. They are more likely to be a response to an internal conflict.
· There is a proliferation of actors involved that includes third party states, regional organisations, UN agencies, multilateral aid organisations, national aid agencies, the media, non-state and supra-state organisations and multinational military forces.
· The exponential increase in influence of the media on public opinion and thereby on decision-makers.
· An expanded role of regional organisations is witnessed.
· The increase in the number of concurrent missions has led to corresponding changes in the UN system, conceptually and organisationally, over the years.
After a dip in peacekeeping activism
towards the late nineties, on account of setbacks in the mid nineties in
In case of a linear
direction to peacekeeping in future, ambitious mandates envisaging enabling permissive
application of force may be witnessed. This may be rendered inevitable by the
violence perpetrated by parties and states at root to the threat to peace and
security. The erstwhile emphasis on non-use of force except in self-defence has
long past, with self-defence today including defence of the mandate of the
mission, its assets and preserving civilians from violence to the extent
resource available allow. UN peacekeeping operations are not an enforcement
tool. However, they may use force at the tactical level, with the authorization
of the Security Council, if acting in self-defence and defence of the mandate.
‘Robust’ mandates authorizing ‘use of all necessary means’ to deter forceful
attempts to disrupt the political process, protect civilians under imminent
threat of physical attack, and assist national authorities in maintaining law
and order are considered necessary not so much from using force point of view,
but deterring its use by spoilers. The
riders to use of force currently are: ‘a measure of last resort, be calibrated
in a precise, proportional and appropriate manner, within the principle of the
minimum force necessary to achieve the desired effect, while sustaining consent
for the mission and its mandate.’
Peace enforcement action envisaged under Chapter VII is at the next higher
level and reserved for multinational operations such as the US-led NATO force,
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), in
The UN has attempted to keep pace with the demands since the early nineties. Boutros Boutros Ghali’s Agenda for Peace was path breaking in this direction since it outlined the concept clearly. This was elaborated on by the Supplement. But it was the ‘The Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations’, commonly referred to as the Brahimi Report after the committee’s Chair, Lakhdar Brahimi, that sweeping changes in peacekeeping were ‘conceived, planned, and executed in the wake of tragic failures in Rwanda and Srebrenica.’ The momentum has been kept up by the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, that set out a broad framework for collective security for the new century. The Capstone doctrine, United Nations Peacekeeping Operations Principles and Guidelines United Nations, followed in 2008 and the latest on the horizon is the New Partnership Agenda: Charting a New Horizon for UN Peacekeeping of 2009. Organisationally, the setting up of the Peacebuilding Commission (2005) and the Department of Field Support (2007) have been intended for professionalization of the UN’s peacekeeping function.
Towards enhancing participation
The contours of
More ambitious deployments would catalyse
Other countries do not have the
resources for such a ‘surge’. The peacekeeping profile of permanent members has
historically been low.
This may improve once the current preoccupation of the West in
However, in step with
Three hypothetical illustrations
elucidate the direction
This counterfactual suggests that such
a capability if with the UN could be useful in addressing many problem areas,
such as for instance, the Rwandan genocide.
The capability would require deployment and managing in conjunction with
In the instant counterfactual case, an
Indian Rapid Deployment Force could be inserted into
The second illustration is more
ambitious, but equal to
The third illustration is on
anti-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa. Several navies are contributing
in this, including those of the P5. Indian ships have been on patrol. This
international maritime commitment from a reading of the situation on-shore has
portents of being a long term one. This may involve peace enforcement action in
its initial phase under a multinational or regional (African Union) rubric,
followed up early with transforming to a robust peacekeeping mission better executed
under a UN flag.
The illustrations, one a
counterfactual and the other two of future potentialities, indicate that
Thinking on this has already made
considerable headway. One recommendation, appropriately expansive for the
ambitious proposal here, has it that
The RRTF will have a conventional
operational role. It would only be dual tasked for peace operations. Not all
these assets require creating on a clean slate. Raisings and re-designation as
necessary may be required. The whole force is unlikely to be required for
simultaneous deployment, but components can be assembled in brigaded groups as
necessary. This caters for the argument that deployment elsewhere will degrade
The arrangement would be a welcome and
essential step ahead of the standby arrangements system (SAS)
in furnishing the UN with an Indian strategic reserve force. Currently,
For self-protection and implementation
of the mandate, the composite force must have the integral transport and
mobility, mechanised assets, force multipliers, reserves, helicopter support,
security, communication and observation capability, mission support systems,
riot control equipment and special operations forces.
A special forces element would help with surveillance, liaison, rapid reaction,
rescue and crisis response.
The equipment provided to the force must be of the highest order, to project
The peacekeeping doctrine anticipates such employment in its reference to ‘hybrid operations’. In this, non-UN elements ‘fill up resource deficiency’ by deploying ‘‘Quick Reaction’ and ‘Over the Horizon Force’ capabilities’ as a ‘bilateral force, a multinational force under a lead country or (under) regional and subregional organisations.’ The role, envisaged as a strategic reserve, is for, ‘rapid intervention before a UN force can be deployed or employed simultaneously.’ The force need not necessarily be ‘non UN’, as the doctrine has it. Instead, the Capstone doctrine describes these as operations, ‘in which elements from the United Nations and a regional organization are deployed as part of the same mission under joint leadership.’ Since it is a ‘peace operation involving the deployment of military, police or civilian personnel from two or more entities under a single structure’, namely the UN, it would be in keeping with India’s policy of deploying under the UN flag.
Four options have been advanced to enhance effectiveness. The first is the coalition approach based on a lead nation backed by a secondary state; second is the subcontracting to a regional organisation; third is the ‘stand by’ force concept; and, fourth, is the politically nonviable suggestion of having a standing UN force. The latest UN report acknowledges as much, stating, ‘In active conflict, multinational coalitions of forces or regional actors operating under UN Security Council mandates may be more suitable.’ The new thinking is that, ‘Successful crisis management rests on choosing the right tools’ since ‘Peacekeeping is not always the right answer.’ Outsourcing peace enforcement action may be an answer, as envisaged under Chapter VII, Art. 48.
The case here is for
This is not an argument for an Indian ‘expeditionary
force’ or a ‘foreign legion’. Yet, the capacity of the military staff for
managing the extended engagement would require upgrading in terms of operations
rooms, real time communication and protocol and procedures between the involved
agencies of different ministries. The organization may require taking a hard
look at the sections in the Staff Duties Directorate (SD 3) and the Military
Operations Directorate (MO) concerned with peacekeeping missions. The lessons
learnt from Operation Khukri, the rescue of Indian peacekeepers in
The second edition of the peacekeeping doctrine, due five years after its first publication in 2007, could incorporate the features enabling robust peacekeeping outlined here. Additionally, the HQ IDS could bring out a joint peacekeeping doctrine, in conjunction with the MEA. Since training follows doctrine, both collective and individual training would require a rethink. The CUNPK is the current nodal point in this and follows the principle of train the trainers. The Army Training Command has incorporated the generic elements into curriculum in its institutions. Its Center for Lessons Learnt (CALL) can build up a corpus of peacekeeping lessons. For instance, one lesson could be that of handling the media. Since bad, and sometimes false, news makes news, this must not be allowed to overshadow the good.
Getting the act together
Capability is not only physical. It is
also about the moral. Receptivity to strategic ideas is not the forte of
forthcoming term on the Security Council,
This program will be grateful
facilitated by a form of ‘public-private’ partnership in that self-selection by
qualified Indians to the internship, associate expert, young professional
programs etc can be encouraged through dissemination of information on
opportunities by appropriate public information exertion by the ministry.
Language qualified individuals can be informed of opportunities, increasing
The UNSC’s considerations for
undertaking a new peacekeeping operation are a useful start point for
The evolution of UN peacekeeping from
traditional inter-positioning missions, through ‘wider peacekeeping’ to
multidimensional peacekeeping is too well known to recount. The UN has coped
laudably in terms of increasing its institutional capacities through the last
decade. However, in the same period the legitimacy of the instrument of
peacekeeping has been damaged by over reliance on the application of force, at
times outside UNSC mandate. Not only have multinational operations not
delivered as evident from the experience in
NOTE: The comments of Lt Gen
 General JJ Singh in the Foreword, Indian Army Doctrine for Peacekeeping Operations, Shimla: HQ ARTRAC, 2007, p. i.
 Thomas George Weiss, Humanitarian
intervention: Ideas in
 For a useful resource on UN peacekeeping, see Background Note: United Nations Peacekeeping, http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/documents/backgroundnote.pdf
 Jean-Marie Guéhenno, ‘Foreword’ in DPKO, United Nations Peacekeeping Operations Principles and Guidelines United Nations, New York: Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Department of Field Support, 2008, http://pbpu.unlb.org/pbps/Library/Capstone_Doctrine_ENG.pdf.
 Charles Dobbie, Wider Peacekeeping,
 See tabulation by S.
Ratner, New Peacekeeping,
 Ratner, New Peacekeeping, pp. 22-24.
 The lessons learnt are
available in the Report of the Secretary-General on the Fall of
Srebrenica (Srebrenica Report, 1999) and Independent Inquiry into the Actions
of the United Nations during the 1994 Genocide in
 UN website, ‘Current peacekeeping operations’, http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/operations/current.shtml
 An additional two Rs have been included of late in the acronym to signify ‘Repatriation and Resettlement’ of foreign fighters.
 UN website, ‘What is peacekeeping?’ http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/operations/peacekeeping.shtml. The mandate of the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, lists no less than 45 different tasks (‘A New Partnership Agenda: Charting a New Horizon for UN Peacekeeping’, p. 10, http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/documents/newhorizon.pdf)
 The Capstone doctrine states (p. 14): ‘The Security Council’s invocation of Chapter VII in these situations, in addition to denoting the legal basis for its action, can also be seen as a statement of firm political resolve and a means of reminding the parties to a conflict and the wider United Nations membership of their obligation to give effect to Security Council decisions.’
 ‘Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate’, ibid.
 The section on principles of use of force in the UN website (http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/operations/principles.shtml) defines robust peacekeeping as ‘the use of force at the tactical level with the authorization of the Security Council and consent of the host nation and/or the main parties to the conflict.’ In contrast, it states that, ‘peace enforcement does not require the consent of the main parties and may involve the use of military force at the strategic or international level, which is normally prohibited for Member States under Article 2(4) of the Charter, unless authorized by the Security Council.’
 Text of ‘Supplement To An Agenda For Peace: Position Paper Of The Secretary-General On The Occasion Of The Fiftieth Anniversary Of The United Nations’ is available at http://www.un.org/Docs/SG/agsupp.html
 Sixty-fourth General Assembly Thematic Debate on Peacekeeping, http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2010/ga10953.doc.htm. The ‘Report of the Panel on UN Peace Operations, Brahimi Report, 2000’ itself is available at
 See the UN website for details, http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/operations/reform.shtml
 These have room for
improvement. For instance, the PMI notes: ‘Department of Field Support needs
far greater internal coordination and client-orientation. It has also been our
view that the Department of Field Support needs to function as a military
support operation with a lean command structure. We feel that there is a need
for far greater engagement of Member States on functioning of the DFS.’ Such
improvement could do not only with Indian input and participation as at present
but also by
 CUNPK, ‘Indian Army and
United Nations Peacekeeping Operations’,
 Ministry of Defence, Annual Report 2010-11,
 For an excellent account
 Ramesh Thakur (The United Nations, Peace and Security: From Collective Security to the Responsibility to Protect, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 315) writes: ‘The UN Charter was written in another age for another world.’
 For a discussion of the concept, see ibid., pp. 244-263.
 S Nambiar, For the
 Hands off
 HQ ARTRAC, Indian Army Doctrine, Shimla: HQ ATRAC, 2004, p. 81
 The creation of the National Security Council system, post Kargil reforms such as the establishment of HQ Integrated Defence Staff, and the currently ongoing deliberations of the Naresh Chandra Task Force are instances of improvements.
 Michael O’Hanlon,
‘Expanding Global Military Capacity to Save Lives with Force’ in
 The Chinese have lately
contributed largely non-combat forces for peacekeeping missions.
 For instance, the DPKO is, among other concerns, currently formulating a capability package for infantry units deployed in the field.
 ‘Financing peacekeeping’, http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/operations/financing.shtml. The number of nationals working at the policy making level also stands to go up with higher contribution as a knock-on benefit.
 Notable civilian
contribution such as that of C Gharekhan, Shashi Tharoor and Vijay Nambiar also
indicates the potential of the vast human capital at
 Ramesh Thakur describes this as ‘quota politics’ (The United Nations, Peace and Security, pp. 310-12), writing: ‘Senior appointments…are a mix of power politics and money politics through lobbyin by powerful and wealthy countries…’ (p. 314).
 Michael O’Hanlon
(‘Expanding Global Military Capacity’, pp. 319, 322) suggests a capability of
600000 troops for humanitarian intervention and stabilisation operations, with
one third available for deployment. Of these, about 50000 would be from the
 Regional organisations are empowered under Chapter VIII (Art. 53) of the UN Charter.
 The organisations that are catering for peacekeeping function include African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union (EU), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) (United Nations Peacekeeping Operations Principles and Guidelines United Nations, p. 85).
 C Gharekhan and K
 These four states consistently number among the top five contributors to UN peacekeeping. See the statistics maintained at http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/resources/statistics/.
 Ali Ahmed, ‘
 K Shankar Bajpai, ‘Here, There Be Dinosaurs... Cataracts, Warts And All’, Outlook, 15 August 2011.
 See K Shankar Bajpai’s
 The 2005 UN World Summit adopted the norm. It requires collective action for protection of population from war crimes, genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity in case peaceful means prove inadequate and national authorities do not rise to the occasion. See the UN General Assembly Outcome text (p. 30) at http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N05/487/60/PDF/N0548760.pdf?OpenElement
 For details, see
 The UN’s Capstone doctrine, United Nations Peacekeeping Operations Principles and Guidelines United Nations (p. 9), maintains: ‘It does not seek to override the national military doctrines of individual Member States participating in these operations and it does not address any military tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs), which remain the prerogative of individual Member States.’
 The Brahimi Report envisaged several brigade sized forces with readiness levels of 30 days for traditional and 90 days for complex operations (http://www.un.org/peace/reports/peace_operations/).
 Interestingly, the
peacekeepers in the early period were deployed in near real time: UNEF I in one
 Doctrine for Peacekeeping Operations, pp. 38-39. Alternately, in reality, this is meant to deploy in 90 days for an urgent mission and in 180 days in a peacekeeping one.
 See with respect to
strategic reserve, ibid., pp. 33, 39. The peacekeeping doctrine notes the AU
offer of a brigade as strategic reserve (Doctrine
for Peacekeeping Operations, p. 3). When deployed in
 MDCC, Indian Maritime
 For the capabilities required for robust peacekeeping, see ‘A New Partnership Agenda: Charting a New Horizon for UN Peacekeeping’, pp 21, 27..
 For India’s military perspective on various issues referred to here, see Doctrine for Peacekeeping Operations: consent, p. 13; robust peacekeeping, p. 15; rules of engagement, p. 23; air power, p. 23; force capabilities, p. 33; and special forces, p. 36;
 There is scope for improvement on this score. For instance, some vehicles with the MONUSCO have been in the mission since 2004. The condition of these can well be imagined.
 At the Bonn II conference,
 PMI, ‘
 Doctrine for Peacekeeping Operations, p. 3.
 United Nations Peacekeeping Operations Principles and Guidelines United Nations, p. 83.
 Ibid., p. 96.
 For institutional alternatives, see Paul
 A New Partnership Agenda: Charting a New Horizon for UN Peacekeeping, p. 9, http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/documents/newhorizon.pdf
 Peace enforcement ‘involves the application of a range of coercive measures, including the use of military force. It requires the explicit authorization of the Security Council. It is used to restore international peace and security in situations where the Security Council has decided to act in the face of a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression. The Council may utilize, where appropriate, regional organizations and agencies for enforcement action under its authority and in accordance with the UN Charter (UN website, ‘Peace and Security’ http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/operations/peace.shtml).’
 The promulgation letter by the Army Commander Army Training Command mandates a review after five years.
 ‘UN peacekeepers 'traded gold and guns with Congolese rebels', The Guardian, 28 April 2008.
 Ministry of External
Affairs, Annual Report 2010-11,
 The Department of International Relations, that is to come up in phase 1 by 2014, could focus on this among other aspects.
 United Nations Peacekeeping Operations Principles and Guidelines United Nations, p. 47.
 In the last
 Consultation with TCCs include development of the concept of operations and the elaboration of the mandate of a new operation; change in the mandate; renewal of the mandate; significant developments; security situation; termination, withdrawal or scaling down in size of the operation etc (United Nations Peacekeeping Operations Principles and Guidelines United Nations, p. 52).