Forsvarsstudier no. 2/1997
From Mission Cringe to Mission Creep? Implications of new peace support operations doctrine
In 1996 UK Army doctrine writers revised the consept of wider peacekeeping and produced a draft of Army Field Manual, Peace Support Operations. The doctrinal revision, which has also been influential in NATO, attempts to deal with the inadequacies of peacekeeping in situations of volatile consent by establishing a military spectrum approach. the dangers of vertical mission creep, i.e., peacekeepers being drawn into an escalation and coercion in a planned and controlled way. This approach is a rational choice from a military perspective because it offers greater protection to military deployments. However, it represents move towards a combat-oriented concept that raises legal, political and cultural issues, and could result in insularity from civilian and conflict resolution approaches.
Michael Pugh is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Plymouth, UK.