"For about a decade, Congress has expressed reservations about many complex and intertwined peacekeeping issues. The Bush Administration's desire to reduce the commitment of U.S. troops to international peacekeeping parallels the major concerns of recent Congresses: that peacekeeping duties are detrimental to military 'readiness,' i.e., the ability of U.S. troops to defend the nations. Critics, however, are concerned that withdrawals of U.S. troops from peacekeeping commitments will undermine U.S. leadership. Thousands of U.S. military personnel currently serve in or support peacekeeping operations, performing tasks ranging from providing humanitarian relief to monitoring and enforcing cease-fires or other agreements designed to separate parties in conflict. Of these, 15 were serving in five operations under U.N. control (as of May 20, 2003). About 4,300 are serving full-time in the Balkans with some 1,800 of those in the NATO Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia and some 2,500 with the NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR). About 37,000 more serve in or support peacekeeping operations in South Korea. These 'peacekeeping' operations are undertaken to promote, maintain, enforce, or enhance the possibilities for peace, and can sometimes be dangerous."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB94040
U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://www.fpc.state.gov/