U.N. Rapid Reaction Force? A Discussion of the Issues and Considerations for U.S. Policymakers [June 29, 1995]   [open pdf - 1MB]

"U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali recently called for Member States to consider creating a special U.N. force for U.N. peacekeeping operations. In a January 1995 report he proposed that the U.N. consider establishing a 'strategic reserve' rapid reaction force (RRF), perhaps of battalion-sized units, to deploy when emergency needs for peacekeeping troops arise. They would be stationed in their home countries, but would be trained to the standards, use the same operating procedures and equipment, participate in regular joint exercises, and otherwise be maintained at a high state of readiness in order to respond quickly to a U.N. call for their deployment. Although proposals for a U.N. force dedicated to peace operations were made by former presidents Bush and Reagan, and by presidential candidate William J. Clinton, the Clinton Administration backed away from the concept. In its May 1994 Presidential Decision Directive 25 (PDD-25), the Administration stated that the United States 'does not support a standing U.N. army ... ' The Clinton Administration supported, however, the establishment of the U.N. Standby Forces system, through which Member States formally commit individuals and units to be provided within a specified period of a U.N. request for peacekeeping assistance, in order to enable the U.N. to structure peacekeeping forces more effectively. […] Among the domestic political considerations of establishing an RRF is the possible reduction of congressional and other domestic input into the decision-making process on peacekeeping operations. Among the issues for the U.S. military is whether the U.N. would rely on the United States' unique lift capabilities to deploy the RRF."

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CRS Report for Congress, 95-787
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