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Rethinking Force Generation: Filling Capability Gaps in UN Peacekeeping

Rethinking Force Generation: Filling Capability Gaps in UN Peacekeeping

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Published by N R Dewi Nurmayani
This report analyzes the limitation of the UN system for generating contributions of personnel and equipment for peace operations, otherwise known as force generation. United Nations peacekeeping operates the second largest global deployment of troops and yet must do so with no standing or reserve army. This means the UN must constantly mobilize and rotate voluntary contributions of nearly 100,000 uniformed personnel and related equipment from more than 100 different member states.

Force generation efforts are therefore of critical importance yet remain relatively understudied. To seize potential opportunities in generating better capabilities to UN operations while also filling capability gaps, the UN must reform the way it thinks about and executes force generation.

The report identifies key constraints to the current system in five areas: planning, communication, troop-and-police-contributing country (TCC/PCC) selection, knowledge management, and performance/incentives.

The report also makes two types of recommendations. First, it proposes a set of technical and immediate proposals to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of UN force generation. Second, it sketches some more fundamental proposals aimed at strategic reforms to address the most critical force generation issues related to strategic planning and outreach, incentives and mechanisms for greater accountability, and developing capability-driven military planning.

The report is the second in IPI's Providing for Peacekeeping series. The first report was "Broadening the Base of United Nations Troop- and Police-Contributing Countries."
This report analyzes the limitation of the UN system for generating contributions of personnel and equipment for peace operations, otherwise known as force generation. United Nations peacekeeping operates the second largest global deployment of troops and yet must do so with no standing or reserve army. This means the UN must constantly mobilize and rotate voluntary contributions of nearly 100,000 uniformed personnel and related equipment from more than 100 different member states.

Force generation efforts are therefore of critical importance yet remain relatively understudied. To seize potential opportunities in generating better capabilities to UN operations while also filling capability gaps, the UN must reform the way it thinks about and executes force generation.

The report identifies key constraints to the current system in five areas: planning, communication, troop-and-police-contributing country (TCC/PCC) selection, knowledge management, and performance/incentives.

The report also makes two types of recommendations. First, it proposes a set of technical and immediate proposals to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of UN force generation. Second, it sketches some more fundamental proposals aimed at strategic reforms to address the most critical force generation issues related to strategic planning and outreach, incentives and mechanisms for greater accountability, and developing capability-driven military planning.

The report is the second in IPI's Providing for Peacekeeping series. The first report was "Broadening the Base of United Nations Troop- and Police-Contributing Countries."

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Published by: N R Dewi Nurmayani on May 09, 2013
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MAY 2013
Rethinking Force Generation:Filling the Capability Gaps in UNPeacekeeping
PROVIDING FOR PEACEKEEPING NO. 2
ADAM C. SMITH AND ARTHUR BOUTELLIS
 
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
ADAM C. SMITHis Research Fellow and Manager of thePeace Operations Program at the International PeaceInstitute (IPI).E-mail: smith@ipinst.orgARTHUR BOUTELLIS is Research Fellow, Adviser to thePeace Operations and Africa Programs at IPI.E-mail: boutellis@ipinst.org
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
IPI is grateful to the UN Department of PeacekeepingOperations for allowing the authors to publish and dissemi-nate research that was conducted as part of a DPKO-commissioned study. The authors are appreciative of thetime and input of the many Secretariat staff, member-stateofficials, and experts who were interviewed for the studyand who provided constructive feedback on a draft report.The study benefited from the research assistance ofJosephine Roos and Bianca Selway. The authors are alsograteful to Alex J. Bellamy and Paul D. Williams for theircomments on a draft of this paper.Providing for Peacekeeping is an independent researchproject established to broaden the understanding of thefactors and motivations that encourage or discouragestates from contributing to UN peacekeeping operations.Its aim is to generate and disseminate current informationand analysis to support efforts to “broaden the base” oftroop- and police-contributing countries, improve thequality of troop and police contributions, and fill keycapability gaps.The project is done in partnership with Griffith Universityand the Elliott School of International Affairs at GeorgeWashington University. IPI owes a debt of gratitude to itspartners and to its generous donors whose contributionsmake projects like this possible.
Cover Image:
Peacekeepers with theUN Mission for the Referendum inWestern Sahara (MINURSO) consult amap as they drive through vastdesert areas in Smara, WesternSahara, June 20, 2010. UNPhoto/Martine Perret.
Disclaimer:
An independent studyconducted by the authors for the UNDepartment of PeacekeepingOperations in January 2012 throughDecember 2012 provided much of thebackground research for this paper.The views expressed in this paperrepresent those of the authors andnot necessarily those of the UNDepartment of PeacekeepingOperations or IPI. IPI welcomesconsideration of a wide range ofperspectives in the pursuit of a well-informed debate on critical policiesand issues in international affairs.
IPI Publications
Adam Lupel,
Editor and Senior Fellow 
Marie O’Reilly,
 Associate Editor 
Thong Nguyen,
Editorial Assistant 
Suggested Citation
Adam C. Smith and Arthur Boutellis,“Rethinking Force Generation: Fillingthe Capability Gaps in UN Peace-keeping,” Providing for PeacekeepingNo. 2, New York: International PeaceInstitute, May 2013.© by International Peace Institute,2013All Rights Reservedwww.ipinst.org
 
CONTENTS
Abbreviations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
ii
Executive Summary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1
Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3
EVOLVING STRATEGIC CONTEXT
Assessing the UN Force-GenerataionSystem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6
OVERVIEW: THE FORCE-GENERATION PROCESSFOR MISSION START-UPPLANNINGCOMMUNICATIONTCC SELECTION AND DECISION MAKINGKNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENTPERFORMANCE AND INCENTIVES
Force-Generation Processes inOther Organizations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
14
Recommendations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
15
TECHNICAL RECOMMENDATIONSSTRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS

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