Friday, September 22, 2023

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Mapping Environmental Diplomacy: An introduction

Dr. Leila Nicolas' Speech at The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy at DePaul University Conference entitled Environmental Diplomacy: Exploring Transprofessional Contributions to Global Survival,  Oct 13-15, 2021.


Good morning! It is afternoon here in Lebanon.

I will use our Lebanese greeting word, which can be used at any time during the day and night; Marhaba. 

Thank you for inviting me to this important conference. It is an honor to be a speaker in this session and participate in the following sessions.

When I was about to write my book "effective forms of environmental diplomacy," I was mainly concerned about the idea that the root causes of future conflicts in the world will be mainly environmental.

As a researcher and an activist in the Middle East, that idea gets me along with all the geopolitical conflicts in the region. I thought we would need better conflict resolution strategies, more focused and effective environmental diplomacy to preserve peace and security on the global, regional, and national levels.

Trying to map the issue of environmental diplomacy, I will address three main questions:

1- Why Environmental diplomacy?

2- Where are we now?  

3- How to move forward?


Why Environmental diplomacy?

On the state level, diplomacy in its early traditional sense focused only on 'high politics,' i.e., national security, defense, and sovereignty. It did not weigh what was considered 'low politics,' i.e., social, cultural, and environmental issues considered peripheral. 

Despite starting to negotiate environmental treaties in the mid-nineteenth century, it was not until states began to view the environment as a threat to security that they began to give weight to environmental diplomacy.


What causes an environmental conflict?

First narrative: Natural Resource Scarcity 

Instability can be caused by a decrease in supply and demand, besides the people's inability to access key resources.

2nd narrative: Population Growth

In the presence of poor economic performance and lack of adequate infrastructure, population growth may cause conflict and instability.

In addition to the political, economic, and social problems, some authors argue that the root cause of the Arab spring was the youth bulb. 

3rd narrative: Human Migration

Once people migrate due to a lack of resources and inability to survive, conflicts will arise. Then, group-identity issues could lead to violence within migrant and host societies, and possible conflicts may arise over host resources.

We can refer to the tensions in Lebanon between the Syrian refugees and the host communities, especially in Akkar and Bekaa, where resources are scarce and where people in local communities are under poverty lines like their new guests.

4th narrative: Globalisation

This narrative also relates to the concept of food security, where globalization has allowed for mass production and distribution, often at the expense of the environment.

5th narrative: Unequal Resource Distribution

When communities experience livelihood insecurity due to environmental degradation, the disadvantaged members of society will suffer the most, and as a result, violence will likely emerge. 

This is the case in most third-world countries. 

Empirical case:

Drawing one of the strongest links between environment and conflict, we can refer to the Syrian civil war:

- An extreme drought in Syria between 2006 and 2009 (which was most likely due to climate change) was one factor in the violent uprising in 2011. 

- Iraqi migration and influx of refugees to Syria, in addition, environmental migration from rural areas to the cities, which led to high unemployment rates, pressure on infrastructure, and resources scarcity, are other factors.

- Population growth, unequal resource distribution, lack of opportunities, and inability to access resources due to corruption, clientelism, and dictatorship, were also leading factors.

Therefore, Environmental Diplomacy should be seen as a Peacebuilding Tool.

Where are we now?

Since the end of the Cold War, diplomacy has witnessed a huge transformation. The role of technology and media changed the image of a diplomat. It reinforced "public diplomacy," in addition to the emersion of new non-state actors such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and even multinational corporations. 

'Multilateral diplomacy' pressed by public opinion pushed the environmental agenda forward. 

And now, 'Environmental diplomacy' falls under two categories: 

1. Conventions regulating natural resources 

2. Conventions regulating pollution. 


On the bright side 

1- Progress in IEL and its principles

On the bright side of the international Environmental agenda, we notice the great leap in the development of international Environmental Law and the evolution of generally accepted principles (mainly found in the "Stockholm Declaration" and "Rio Declaration").

1.    A Sovereign Shall Do No Harm

2.    The Duty to Prevent

3.    The Principle of Cooperation

4.    The Principle of Sustainable Development

5.    The Precautionary Principle

6.    The 'Polluter Pays' principle

7.    The principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibility


2- Multilateralism pushed the environmental agenda forward

More than ever, environmental non-governmental organizations play an important role locally and internationally in addressing different environmental issues. Since the 1980s, these organizations have increasingly influenced environmental policy and discourse globally.

The NGOs' widespread influence highlights the importance of their advocacy plans and their role in adopting and implementing environmental projects.

Engaging in 'multilateral diplomacy' helped facilitate cooperation and coordination between different stakeholders at international and national levels and between civil society, public and private sectors.

3- Decentralization led to better governance

For the last few decades, decision-making powers have been decentralized, shifting from governments towards more participation of local institutions and NGOs. In the environmental governance realm, this power shift helped promote the fundamental principles of environmental governance and enhanced effectiveness. 

4- Environment became an essential part of decision-making levels

The environment has become part of every level of decision-making processes, which results from the modern understanding that cities and communities and economic, social, and political life are all subsets of the environment. All people belong to the ecosystem in which they thrive.

5- Environment is a part of policy priority areas

States' policies within environmental governance tend to emphasize several aspects of environmental policy. The most notable policy priorities are the effect of the environment on the quality of life, climate change, ecosystem degradation, nature and biodiversity, natural resources, and waste management.

Challenges and dilemmas 

1- State's national interests

States' territorial boundaries rarely reflect natural boundaries, so national industries and consumption devastate resources and generate pollution causing environmental problems beyond the state. 

Even though progress has been made in environmental preservation, the problem lies in the states' national interests, which affect their compliance with environmental laws and principles. 

2- Economic growth vs. environmental sustainability 

The economy and environment are interconnected. Environmental diplomacy will not succeed without considering economic interests. Besides, economic diplomacy will not be sustainable unless it addresses environmental issues. However, this relationship caused asymmetrical perceptions and differences in interests and conceptualization between the Global South and the Global North. 

While most of the sustainability discourses in industrialized countries refer to environmental issues, developing countries are still involved with economic and social problems such as poverty, social injustice, and lack of development.

3- Populism 

The rise of populism (esp. right-wing populism) in the world was accompanied by the spread of "conspiracy theories" and the rise of "climate change denial" theories. 

This coincided with lobbying against "green policies." From 1989 onwards, industry-funded organizations sought to spread doubt among the public about global warming in a strategy already developed by the tobacco industry. 

As a result, the public discourse shifted from the "science and data of climate change" to a discussion of politics and the surrounding controversy. The scientific skepticism developed to denial, then to a hoax or conspiracy theory.

4- Weak negotiators: division at home

Driven by voters' interests, many politicians and world leaders are still reluctant to consider the environment as essential to "high politics" or consider the environment a national security issue.

Usually, internal conflicts over economic versus environmental policies cause a disturbance in the state's negotiating power and weaken it, giving opposing parties an advantage, sometimes for the benefit of anti-environment agendas.

5- Coalition-building: Double-edged sword

Informal diplomacy has altered the way of conducting international negotiations, especially on the environment. Despite not having an official status, coalitions between states and /or NGOs facilitated coordination, advocacy and led to successful environmental negotiations. Coalition-building is a form of 'associative diplomacy" that increases the group members' bargaining strength when voting and increasing lobbying power. 

This coalition-building has proved to advance the environmental treaties and agenda; however, an environmental coalition may only be as strong as its weakest link. Each member will have different levels of resources and experience, so states or organizations that provide a lot of resources and powerful leadership can lead the coalition to serve their own interest.

6- NGO diplomacy: the Astroturf!

NGOs are independent of government institutions, but they usually rely on funds to carry on their missions.

Some NGOs receive millions of dollars funds from states. This may raise some questions about their level of independence and legitimacy. As Transparency International points out, "NGO status risks to become a mere vehicle used by special interest groups to avoid control mechanisms." Others have raised the problem of the Astroturf, which is the "process by which firms create mobilizations that take the form of an NGO, resemble an NGO but whose existence is, in fact, provided by private funds, for commercial purposes."


How to move forward? 

1- Train expert diplomats

Today, in a complex interdependent world, diplomacy is facing many challenges that require better practices. It must realize this urgency "to develop or perish."

The earlier developments changed its character and the number of players competing with traditional diplomats. Today, it is essential to move towards more professionalism, to have "expert diplomats."

Expert diplomats are "professionals with advanced scientific training and are authorized to make politically or legally binding decisions."

2- interdisciplinary training

Building a team of expert diplomats and negotiators from various backgrounds helps facilitate conflict resolution strategies by thinking out of the box and adding extensive new knowledge and skills to the already known ones. 

What is needed is a consistent interdisciplinary training program for diplomats that provides them with extensive knowledge and position at the same time to reinforce their expertise in scientific fields. 

Here, I suggest the training should go both ways:

- Providing scientific knowledge to political negotiators and diplomats.

- Provide political knowledge and negotiation skills to scientific experts.


3- Construct Scientific –Political Negotiators

 The notion of scientific expertise should not omit the political nature of international negotiations. 

In other words, governments should train their expert diplomats to act upon their scientific knowledge and their political and diplomatic understanding. 

What is needed is not just using technical and scientific experts to work beside the political negotiators but also to empower environmental expert diplomats and train them to actively engage in all phases of the negotiations. 

4- Build an "Environmental Diplomat" career

The urgency of protecting the environment pushes us to establish an "environmental diplomat" as a 'career.'

This career should be linked to social and political construction in which the diplomatic factor is not replaced, but it complements the work of other diplomatic agents. 

An environmental diplomat should speak with an expert and a political voice at once.

They should approach any environmental issue with a globalist perception. 

In traditional diplomacy, diplomats are trained to incline towards the national interest of their states. However, environmental diplomats should protect their state's national interest and look beyond it to foresee environmental topics as convergent issues that touch the whole universe and affect all nations. 


On a final general note, I urge scholars and practitioners in the field of diplomacy, international relations, and political sciences to move beyond the traditional perceptions and understanding of their fields. 

More than ever, the environment is becoming an essential question in various fields:

- At the global level, nature is becoming the source of both cooperation and conflict, which imposes a new vision for the future of diplomacy.

- States are more aware of the new challenges caused by environmental degradation on national, regional, and global levels.

- Environment is becoming the main issue for voters' choices in elections. Politicians are more to offer "green" policies and promises in their programs.

- Environment has become one of the main sources of economic power nationally and globally. States are looking for more investments in a green economy and foresee solutions for their unemployment problems.

- International relations are moving away from traditional concepts of security and conflicts and forecasting that the main root causes of future conflicts will be environmental. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Lebanese Christians leaning for Far - Right isolationists

The delay in the formation of the Lebanese government was because Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri announced that he was to choose the Christian ministers himself while granting other Lebanese sects the freedom to choose their ministers and withholding this matter from Christian parties and President Michel Aoun. All that has caused resentment among Christians in Lebanon, despite the Church’s silence.

Regrettably, internal Lebanese policies set since the Taif Agreement are causing fractures in the Lebanese society leading to securitization and the rise of existential concerns for the Christians.

Historically, Christians in the Middle East were separated into three ideological lines as follows:

1- The Isolationists: 

They consider themselves an extension of the West; culturally and religiously. Afraid of their being and existence as a minority in an overwhelming Islamic environment. They call for retrenchment, isolation, and sometimes secession or even a federal state. 

Today, supporters of this ideological line benefit from the prevailing sectarian incitements. They appeal to many Christians trying to cast 'solutions from glorified history'.

Realistically, the Christians' status in Lebanon and the Levant is no longer the same. The end of the Lebanese civil war has come at the expense of the Christians and their historical role in the system, and it is impossible to turn back the clock.

2- The Nationalists:

Those call for full integration either with Greater Syria or The Arab Nation. Understanding that the religious aspect will prevent Christians from acquiring a good status in states with an Islamic majority, they cheered secularism to make citizenship the basis for state-building and office.

These ideas have receded significantly among Christians after the decline of the nationalist and pan-Arab wave after Jamal abd-Nasser, besides the rise of sectarianism in the region as a whole.

3- Levantines:

They consider their minority status as no threat to them; they do not feel threatened by the Muslim majority. Thus, they believe that the preservation of their role and existence requires openness to the environment while maintaining cultural heritage, pluralism, and freedom of belief.

They reject being 'remnants of a Crusaders' in the region, and they always assert that they are an integral part of the Arab world and their fate is closely linked to that of Muslims. Levantines believe that civil states are the best solution for Arab-world problems, or so they assume.

General Michel Aoun (as head of the Free Patriotic Movement) championed this idea, making it a roadmap for his national understandings and policies of "re-empowering Christians in the Lebanese system" and calling for a civil state.

Based on the above, the Lebanese Parties' political practice will lead to long-term problems and societal fractures. Christians of the second and third lines are being pushed to the first one through malicious policies that take a sectarian character, including - but not limited to - Hariri's attempt to cover up the real obstacles in forming his government by transforming it into an Islamic-Christian sectarian conflict.

The Lebanese elite today adopt narrow-minded policies, based on the principle of political maliciousness and personal gain at the expense of true national gain; which is manifested in the unity of the fate of Christians and Muslims, their belief that one hand can never clap on its own, and that the exodus of Christians from the Levant is a loss for Muslims in it... Without this faith, the will be no resurrection for Lebanon.

Monday, November 16, 2020

UNIFIL: More than Peacekeeping, Less than Peace Enforcement









Paper  presented in "The Evolution of UN Peace Operations: Contemporary Challenges and Requirements", 2015 ACUNS-ASIL Workshop at NUPI, Oslo, 26 October – 1 November 2015.


List of Acronyms. 3

Introduction. 4

Research and Methodology. 4

Part I- Defining the concepts. 6

1.1- The introduction of Peacekeeping and Peace enforcement Norms. 6

1.2- Definitions. 8

A- Peacekeeping. 8

B- Changes in Peacekeeping mandates. 10

C- Peace Enforcement 11

Part II- Defining the political Environment 13

Part III- Findings and Evaluation. 22

Concluding Remarks. 29

A- UNIFIL II: a Chapter VI or VII mission?. 29

B- UNIFIL II: Peacekeeping or peace enforcement mission?. 31

C- UNFIL: an evaluation. 33

D- UNIFIL: Impartiality vs. credibility. 34

Recommendations. 36

Bibliography. 37



List of Acronyms

Civil and Military Cooperation (CIMIC)

Lebanese Armed forces (LAF)

Maritime Task Force (MTF)

Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)

Rules of Engagement (RoE)

South Lebanon Army (SLA)

The United Nations Organization in the Congo (UNOC)

UN Emergency Force in the Middle East (UNEF)

United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)

US- Multi-National Force (USMNF)



Thirty- Seven years since first deployed in Lebanon, the 'United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon' (UNIFIL) became a part of the recent Lebanese history, and to a large extent, a major part of the daily lives of the Southern Lebanese.

In 1978, in the aftermath of Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 425 which created a peacekeeping mission to confirm the withdrawal of the Israeli forces, maintain peace and security, and assist the Lebanese government in regaining its authority in this area. Twenty two years later, the UN confirmed the Israeli withdrawal from Southern Lebanon (with some violations) and helped in drawing the Blue Line between the two states. Till now, the second objective has not been achieved totally, despite the fact that the 'Lebanese Armed forces' (LAF) were deployed in the South in 2006, for the first time since three decades.

Since its deployment, UNIFIL has been accused of ineffectiveness, weakness and incapability, especially due to its inability to fulfill its mandate. When the new 'robust' force was discussed in the aftermath of the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, many at the UN offices and in the world thought it would be a new phase of effective UN peacekeeping in Lebanon.

Officially, the UN officials and organizations don't use different names for the old UNIFIL which has been deployed in 1978 under the authorization of the SC resolutions 425 and 426, or the 'robust' UNIFIL, which has been deployed in 2006, within the authorization of Resolution 1701. However, this paper shall recall the terms: UNIFIL I and UNIFIL II, for the sake of differentiation and clarity.

Research and Methodology

This research seeks to fill the research gap that exists regarding the perceptions of the Lebanese local communities towards UNIFIL. Most of the publications about UNIFIL seek to define the force, its Rules of Engagement (RoE), as well as positive and negative outcomes of the peacekeeping experiences in Lebanon. Little tried to seek how the UNIFIL fits in the locals' narratives, and the researches about the Lebanese attitudes towards what became a 'perennial' force in their land are rare.

- Is UNIFILII a peacekeeping mission or a Peace Enforcement mission trying to disarm Hezbollah and defend Israel as some EU officials has said in 2006?

-  How do the highly politicized Lebanese people judge UNIFIL's presence and role before and after 2006?

- As the religion is the dominant variable in the Lebanese politics and history, what is the role of religion in shaping their attitudes towards UNIFIL?

- And out of all major accusations of UNIFIL I of ineffectiveness, why do the Southern Lebanese have this affection with that force?

Trying to bridge the gap and answer these questions, this study utilizes secondary sources about UNIFIL experience in Lebanon, and relies on surveys and interviews with the locals - the author has conducted in Eastern Sector of the UNIFIL deployment in August 2015- plus an interview with UNIFIL spokesperson, Mr. Andrea Tenenti, on 2 September 2015.

In this research, I argue that:

1- There is ambiguity in the language of the UNSC Resolution 1701; it doesn't refer directly to chapter VII, however uses the strong language of chapter VII. Some NATO contingents tried to benefit from this ambiguity to apply their own national agendas, and practice wide interpretation for 1701. However, the realities in the South made them more humble and forced them to abide by the narrow interpretation of 1701.

2- UNIFIL II was sought to be a different force from UNIFIL I with more aggressive mandate, different (RoE), and with an ability to enforce peace not just keeping it. Real politics moved UNIFIL II away from overt peace enforcement type of activities towards a more UNIFIL I style.

3- Religion does shape the perceptions of the Lebanese towards UNIFIL, but it may not be the dominant variable. The outcome of the surveys reveals that the political stances as well as the behavior of the troops have the major role in the Lebanese attitudes towards UNIFILII.

4- While UNIFIL I was accused of inefficiency and weakness, UNIFIL II is accused of aggressiveness, spying and lack of understanding of cultural sentiments.

5- UNIFIL I despite its shortcomings, could win the hearts and minds of the population and became a part of the land.

6- UNIFIL is caught in the dilemma of credibility and impartiality. Credibility sometimes is the price of keeping the impartiality image.

7-If the peacekeeping experiences in many countries has been marked by some scandals like killing civilians, humiliating people, rape and sexual abuse, the UNIFIL history - through 37 years  in Lebanon- is described as excellent and so clean despite some tensions between the locals and UNIFIL II soldiers.


The First part of this paper gives brief definitions and an overview of the peacekeeping and peace enforcement concepts. The second part details the political context within which UNIFIL I and II were created and the challenges they faced. The third part displays the results of the surveys conducted in addition to some analysis and comments from UNIFIL spokesperson, and the final part shows the outcomes and evaluations.

Part I- Defining the concepts

1.1- The introduction of Peacekeeping and Peace enforcement Norms

Even it was not mentioned in the charter, Peacekeeping has been a major part of the functions of the UN through its history. The Second secretary general Hammarskjöld elaborated that concept during the Suez conflict 1956. On July 26, 1956, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser announced the nationalization of the Suez Canal Company, which lead to a conflict between Egypt, Israel and the two dominant powers Britain, and France. On October 29, 1956, the Israeli forces attacked across Egypt's Sinai Peninsula advancing to within 10 miles of the Suez Canal. Under the pretext of protecting the Canal from the two belligerents, Britain and France landed troops of their own a few days later. As the Security Council was blocked with the British and French vetoes, it was the General Assembly that adopted a resolution on 7 November, 1956 calling for the creation of the first peacekeeping operation in UN history, the 'UN Emergency Force in the Middle East' (UNEF).

When UNEF was established Hammarskjöld considered it a new departure. "It is", he said, "certainly not contrary to the Charter, but is in a certain sense outside the explicit terms of the Charter".[1]

Thus, peacekeeping operations, were not foreseen under either Chapter VI or VII of the Charter, they fell somewhere in between. Hammarskjöld's famous 'Chapter VI½' placed peacekeeping at the crossroads of peaceful and coercive measures.[2]

Hammarskjöld laid down three principles that govern these operations:

(1) Consent from the territorial state and other parties involved;

(2) Impartiality from the UN side to secure credibility in the operation; and

(3) Nonuse of force from the UN side, unless in individual selfdefense or collective mission defense.

Later on, facing the challenges of the Congo crisis in 1960, Hammarskjöld developed the concept peacekeeping operations through creating a peace enforcement mission. He Urged the Security Council to establish 'The United Nations Organization in the Congo' (UNOC) which was the UN's first peacekeeping mission with a significant military force, and deployed without the consent of the parties. Trying to overlap on his previous basic principles on peacekeeping, Hammarskjöld made it clear:  "You try to save a drowning man without prior authorization".[3]

That statement shows that Hammarskjöld believed in what was - then- set as "Responsibility to Protect" norm in 2005, and his approach of protecting civilians through peacekeeping operations which was brought by the Brahimi report (2000)[4] is now codified in the peacekeeping doctrine of the United Nations.[5]

By the 1990s, UN peace operations had come to be seen as falling into two separate camps: peacekeeping and peace enforcement missions. The former were the 'Blue Helmet' operations commanded formally by the UN Secretary-General; while the latter were war-fighting operations conducted by multinational forces ( usually NATO forces) or 'coalitions of the willing' which were sponsored by SC, but commanded by designated national commanders.

The UN peacekeeping principles and guidelines (Capstone Doctrine) set the legality of these peace operations within the Security Council mandate and responsibilities; "the Security Council may adopt a range of measures, including the establishment of a United Nations peacekeeping operation. The legal basis for such action is found in Chapters VI, VII and VIII of the Charter... [P]rovided such activities are consistent with the purposes and principles outlined in Chapter I of the Charter".[6]

1.2- Definitions

A- Peacekeeping

The UN has defined peacekeeping as missions "involving military personnel, but without enforcement powers, undertaken by the United Nations to help maintain or restore international peace and security in areas of conflict".[7]

The Capstone Doctrine defines peacekeeping as "a technique designed to preserve the peace, however fragile, where fighting has been halted and to assist in implementing agreements achieved by the peacemakers"[8].

The three basic principles of peacekeeping are:

a- The consent of the parties or the territorial authority, derives from the cornerstones of the charter and the international law; i.e. sovereignty and non intervention.

This consent is the main difference between a peacekeeping and a peace enforcement mission which doesn't seek to have the consent of the parties. UN ensures the importance of having the consent of the state or the parties of the conflict; "In the absence of such consent, a peacekeeping operation risks becoming a party to the conflict; and being drawn towards enforcement action, and away from its fundamental role of keeping the peace"[9].

b- Impartiality:

One of the UN officials in the 'Department of Peace-keeping Operations' referred to impartiality as the 'oxygen' of peacekeeping.[10] As Moskos defines it; "Impartiality means that the peacekeeping soldiers have no apparent interest in seeing the moral vindication or material triumph of either of the disputants".[11] 

Findlay notes that "Peacekeepers are intended to be enablers rather than enforcers. They have no enemies and are not there to win. Their effectiveness depends on voluntary cooperation. This in turn enables them to act impartially, since they threaten no one. The abandonment of impartiality, whether deliberate or inadvertent, runs the risk of turning the peace force into an enemy of one or more of the parties".[12]

Impartiality is crucial to maintaining the consent and cooperation of the main parties, but should not be confused with neutrality or inactivity. United Nations peacekeepers should be impartial in their dealings with the parties to the conflict, but not neutral in the execution of their mandate.[13]


c- Non-use of force except in self-defense and defense of the mandate

Dag Hammarskjöld saw in peacekeeping a role for the UN which was quasi-military but avoided the use of force[14]. It was, later, approved that 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-defense and defense of the mandate.[15]

Sir Brian Urquhart was right when he insisted that: "The real strength of a peacekeeping force lies not in its capacity to use force, but precisely in its not using force and thereby remaining above the conflict and preserving its unique position and prestige".[16] He went further to ensure that "The moment a peacekeeping force starts killing people it becomes a part of the conflict it is supposed to be controlling and thus a part of the problem".[17]

The non-use of force except in cases of self-defense or the defense of the mission ensures the UN commitment to conflict resolution rather than being a party to the conflict.

Using force in cases of self-defense is a natural and inherent right. It is derived from Grotius philosophy who regarded "self-defense" or "the preservation of the self" as a natural right of individuals that could not be abrogated or limited by law. Grotius refers such right to the natural law; "the right of self-defense has its origin directly, and chiefly, in the fact that nature commits to each his own protection, not in the injustice or crime of the aggressor".[18]


However, the exercise of the right to self-defense by UN peacekeepers, must be used proportionally, as a last resort, and when absolutely necessary facing an imminent threat.

Quite apart from legal considerations, it has been clear since the initiation of peacekeeping operations that states are unwilling to provide forces to the UN if they are not accorded the right of self-defense.[19]

It was Kurt Waldheim, the 4th UN Secretary General, who broadened the 'Self-defense' norm[20]. He issued the concept of 'the defense of the mission' which was copied later on by all subsequent UN peacekeeping operations. Waldheim in his report that initiated UNEF II (1973) assured that "Self-defense would include resistance to attempts by forceful means to prevent it from discharging its duties under the mandate of the Security Council".[21]

B- Changes in Peacekeeping mandates

Over the years, peacekeeping operations advanced from traditional military models to combine a complex form of many elements working together to help lay the foundations for sustainable peace.

After the collapse of USSR, and the end of cold war; Peacekeeping has developed into two main types: traditional and robust (expanded).

a- Traditional peacekeeping

The term 'traditional' peacekeeping is used to refer to UN peace operations involving the deployment of military contingents to monitor, supervise and verify compliance with ceasefires, ceasefire lines, withdrawals, buffer zones and related military agreements.[22]

Such missions often have a limited life and are set as 'interim' forces. However, some of them end up as 'freezing' missions, or stuck on lines of fire between the different groups.

b- Robust peacekeeping

After the cold war, a new form of 'robust' peacekeeping emerged. The Security Council initiated UN peacekeeping operations giving them more expanded mandates and authorizing them to 'use all necessary means' to deter forceful attempts to disrupt the political process, protect civilians under imminent threat of physical attack, and/or assist the national authorities in maintaining law and order.[23]

C- Peace Enforcement

Peace enforcement is defined as an operation that aims to "ensure the implementation of a peace agreement or arrangement (such as a ceasefire), including compliance by all parties with their undertakings, through the judicious application of incentives and disincentives, among them the robust use of force".[24]

Capstone doctrine insists that "It involves the application, with the authorization of the Security Council, of a range of coercive measures, including the use of military force. Such actions are authorized to restore international peace and security in situations where the Security Council has determined the existence of a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression".[25]

 Origins of the Term

The meaning of the term peace enforcement is often disputed. When soldiers are performing enforcement actions under a UN Security Council mandate, they are still called peacekeepers. The term's origins are found in the UN Charter under Chapter VII in the designated procedures for reacting against 'breaches of peace and acts of aggression'.

The first real use of the term peace enforcement came with the 6th Secretary General of the UN, Boutros Ghali. In his report to the Security Council, Agenda for Peace (1992), he outlined the procedures for the use of 'peace enforcement forces', arguing that:

"1) Member States should place at the UN's disposal volunteers to manage broken or ineffective cease fires,

 2) The forces must be more heavily armed than peacekeepers and undergo extensive preparatory training, and

 3) Such forces would be under the command of the UN Secretary General".[26]

Ghali's report didn't give a definition to peace enforcement, however a clear definition of the term has to wait until the British and the American military doctrines on peacekeeping were published on 1994.

The British field manual, Wider Peacekeeping, published in September 1994 defined peace enforcement as: "Operations carried out to restore peace between belligerent parties who do not all consent to interventions and who may be engaged in combat activities".[27]The US Army's Field Manual of December 1994 defined peace enforcement as, "The application of military force or the threat of its use, normally pursuant to international authorization, to compel compliance with generally accepted resolutions or sanctions."[28]

Even the Brahimi report (2000), did not define peace enforcement, but recommended that the mandate must authorize the use of force and those bigger, better-equipped forces, and more costly forces should be used to present a more credible deterrent threat. [29]

The UN made a clear distinction between the 'robust' peacekeeping and 'peace enforcement' missions: "Although on the ground they may sometimes appear similar, robust peacekeeping should not be confused with peace enforcement, as envisaged under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter:

"Robust peacekeeping involves 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. By contrast, 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"[30].



Part II- Defining the political Environment

1- Most of the Lebanese internal problems in recent history started after signing the Arab League-sponsored 'Cairo Agreement'. Under that agreement, the 'Palestinian armed resistance' gained official legitimacy, freedom of movement, and the right to establish­ autonomous institutions in the refugee camps inside Lebanon. The influx of Palestinian militants who fled Jordan following the 'Black September' in 1970 turned southern Lebanon to a battlefield between Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel from one side and PLO and other Lebanese militias on the other side. This turned southern Lebanon, thereafter, to what the Lebanese call 'Fatah Land' where the PLO fighters risked the lives of the Lebanese, raped women, killed their opponents, and tried to dominate Lebanon militarily driving Lebanon to civil war on 1975.

2- On 14 March 1978, Israel invaded south Lebanon in response to an operation executed inside Israel by a Palestinian gunman who originated in the Lebanese territory, leaving over 30 civilians killed. The Israeli major invasion of Lebanon resulted in the deaths of as many as 2,000 people, mostly civilians. Lebanon strongly protested to the UN Security Council, which adopted two resolutions; 425 and 426, on 17 March 1978.

3- Compared to other Security Council resolutions during the cold war, adopting the resolution 425 was surprisingly fast. Urquhart, the former Undersecretary-General of the United Nations, explains that; "the Camp David negotiations, which the United States was sponsoring between Egypt and Israel, had reached a critical stage. If the Council took no action on Lebanon, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt could not be expected to continue negotiations with Israel when Israel had just invaded yet another Arab country. The United States was, therefore, pressing hard for urgent action in the Security Council and specifically for a UN peacekeeping force in Southern Lebanon".[31]

4-Resolution 425 called "upon Israel immediately to cease its military action against Lebanese territorial integrity and withdraw forthwith its forces from all Lebanese territory;" It also decided "in the light of the request of the Government of Lebanon, to establish immediately under its authority a United Nations interim force for southern Lebanon for the purpose of:

·         Confirming the withdrawal of Israeli forces,

·         Restoring international peace and security; and

·         Assisting the Government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area".[32]

5- Resolution 426 approved the UN Secretary General's report on the implementation of UNSC resolution 425 and authorized the deployment of UNIFIL force.[33] UNIFIL's (RoE) included provisions to "use its best efforts to prevent the recurrence of fighting and to ensure that its area of operation is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind". Moreover, the peacekeeping units could "not use force except in self-defense" and were required to maintain "complete impartiality." [34] The Secretary General report also made it clear that there were three pre-conditions for UNIFIL to be effective: "First, it must have at all times the full confidence and backing of the Security Council. Second, it must operate with the full cooperation of all the parties concerned. Third, it must be able to function as an integrated and efficient military unit."[35]

6- UNIFIL couldn't get the consent of the parties of the conflict: The official Lebanese government welcomed, however Israel, its proxies, and the most radical factions in PLO rejected the presence of UN peacekeepers. As Israel withdrew some of its troops from Lebanon on 13 June 1978, it handed the authority to the South Lebanon Army (SLA), under Saad Haddad command, to take control of what they called the 'Free Lebanon' zone. While the relationship between UNIFIL and the PLO remained tense over the years, it is the SLA that accounted for the bulk of attacks against UNIFIL in southern Lebanon.[36]

Aside from their unwillingness to share Lebanon's southern border strip with UNIFIL, the SLA saw the peacekeeping force as powerless and consistently confronted it. The SLA was delegated to protect Israel's northern border against the PLO. The two non-state actors fought severely, and UNIFIL was caught in the middle of their war.

7- On 6 June 1982, in response to a failed attempt to assassinate the Israeli ambassador in London, Israel launched a massive invasion of Lebanon, reaching Beirut within days. For the first time in Arab-Israeli conflict, Israel occupies an Arab capital. Lebanese authorities reported that an estimated 19,000 people had been killed and 30,000 wounded during the invasion.[37]

In August 1982, the United States brokered an agreement to end the fighting and evacuate PLO and Syrian forces from Beirut.  A Multinational Force (MNF1), composed of US, French, British and Italian troops, arrived on 21 August 1982, as a peace mission to administer the agreement. The pro-Israeli candidate Bashir Gemayal was elected president of Lebanon eleven days later. The MNF1 withdrew on August 30, following the evacuation of the PLO.

8- On 16 September 1982, in revenge for the assassination of president-elect Bashir Gemayel, the Israeli-backed Christian militias (Kataeb) entered two Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut (Sabra and Shatilla), and massacred many hundreds of Palestinians over a period of three days.

U.S. President Ronald Reagan decided to deploy a new US- Multi-National Force (USMNF) to help the Lebanese government restore and maintain stability. That Multinational Force, which was deployed without UN endorsement, was soon driven to be a part of the civil war. By August 1983, less than a year after their arrival, USMNF troops were exchanging fire with various factions in Lebanon's civil war.[38] The Western foundation of the USMNF led most people in the Middle East to perceive it as a NATO operation. On April 18, 1983, the U.S. embassy in West Beirut was bombed. On October 23, 1983, a terrorist attack in a huge truck demolished the U.S. Marine's base and French quarters in Beirut, killing 241 American and 58 French soldiers.  Under escalating congressional and local pressure, the US president ordered the withdrawal of USMNF, which was completed on 26 February 1984.[39]

9- By 1990, the civil war in Lebanon ended with the implementation of Taif agreement, which called - among many other things- for:  "privileged relations with Syria, the immediate implementation of UNSC Resolution 425, the withdrawal of Israeli occupation troops, the dissolution of local militias and their integration into the Lebanese Army"[40].

By the end of the civil war, Hezbollah gained more legitimacy as a resistance against Israeli occupation and soon it monopolized the armed resistance in the South.

10- Aiming to drive Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon, Israel launched two major incursions (1993 and 1996). UNIFIL had now been reduced to 4,500 troops and could only deliver humanitarian assistance, watch and record, including the attack on the Fijian Battalion Headquarters of UNIFIL in the village of Qana on 18 April 1996.

11- The shelling of Qana took place when Israeli artillery attacked a UN compound in the village where 800 Lebanese civilians had taken refuge to escape the fighting. The result was: 107 civilians dead and around 116 others injured, including four Fijian UNIFIL peacekeepers. While Israel claimed it was a mistake, the UN investigative report stated that "the pattern of impacts in the Qana area makes it unlikely that the shelling of the United Nations compound was the result of technical and/or procedural errors".[41]

12 - Rather than deterring Hezbollah's capacity to strike against Israeli soldiers in the occupied Southern Lebanon, the 1993 and 1996 incursions actually strengthened inter-sectarian solidarity against Israel and compelled the international community to react once again by helping to negotiate a 'Document of Understanding' between Israel and Hezbollah on 27 April 1996.[42]

The 'April Understanding' established what were to become the new 'rules of the game', prohibits the belligerent parties from targeting civilians and firing from civilian areas.[43]

13- On 17 April 2000, the Secretary-General received formal notification from the Government of Israel that it would withdraw its forces from Lebanon by July 2000 "in full accordance with Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978)"[44]. Starting on 16 May, much sooner than expected, the IDF and its proxies began to evacuate in great and surprising rush. On 25 May, the Government of Israel notified the Secretary-General that Israel had redeployed its forces in compliance with Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978).[45]

The United Nations cartographer and his team, assisted by UNIFIL, worked on the ground to identify the Line between the two states- the Blue Line- which was adopted for the practical purposes of confirming the Israeli withdrawal, and till now- it is not considered the official international border between the two states.

14- The period between May 2000 and July 2006 was calm along the Blue Line, but many of the root causes of the conflict remained. Actually, Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon was not complete; there are still some occupied land i.e. Shebaa Farms, Kafarshuba hills, and the northern part of Ghajar village. These occupied territories maintained Hezbollah's armed resistance legitimacy. Lebanese prisoners detained by Israel and provided an excuse for Hezbollah's operation on 12 July 2006 with the aim of capturing Israeli soldiers in order to engage in prisoners' exchange with Israel[46]. By the time of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War, UNIFIL troops had been reduced to their lowest number since 1978, down to only around 2,000.

15- Following Hezbollah's operation, Israel reacted fiercely. Israel's armed forces targeted not just Hezbollah positions, but also the Lebanese Army bases, civilian areas and infrastructure throughout Lebanon.

On 13 July, Israel bombed Beirut's International Airport and imposed a total land, sea and air blockade on Lebanon. By 14 July, Israel's declared aims had gone beyond the mere return of its captured soldiers and now sought the total elimination of Hezbollah and implementation of UNSC Resolution 1559. The war lasted 33 days, and resulted in the deaths of 1,200 Lebanese and 43 Israeli civilians, as well as the internal displacement of a million Lebanese and 300,000 Israelis[47]. Hezbollah kept shelling rockets on Israel till the last day of war.

16- The US-French drafted text of UNSC resolution that had been circulated on 5 August[48], aimed to give UNIFIL only a supervising and humanitarian role, while a NATO-supported "international force" would deal with the task of disarming Hezbollah, implementing UNSC Resolution 1559[49], and guaranteeing security for Israel along the Blue Line[50].

17- The war ended on 14 August 2006, when the UNSC Resolution 1701 went into effect. The Resolution which was unanimously passed on 12 August 2006; declared the "cessation of hostilities", and established a new mandate for UNIFIL. It was ultimately accepted by all parties to the conflict as "a compromise deal that was urgently needed in light of the humanitarian disaster and Israel's military failure on the battlefield".[51] The language of the new resolution was absent from the previous controversial references in the US-French draft to peace enforcement measures under Chapter VII, didn't mention clearly disarming Hezbollah, and retreated from the idea of an "international force".

18- As for UNIFIL, Resolution 1701 authorized an expanded force increasing its troop strength to a maximum of 15,000. And for the first time in UN history, a Maritime Task Force (MTF) was deployed. The first troops of the expanded force were deployed with record-breaking speed for any peacekeeping operation of such complexity[52]. Many States declared their willingness to contribute, and by July 2015, the number of contributing countries was 39.

In addition to carrying out its original mandate under Council resolutions 425 and 426 (1978), UNIFIL would:

  • Monitor the cessation of hostilities.
  • Accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the South, including along the Blue Line, as Israel withdraws its armed forces from Lebanon.
  • Coordinate its activities referred to in the preceding paragraph (above) with the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel.
  • Extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons.
  • Assist the Lebanese armed forces in taking steps towards the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani River of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL deployed in this area.
  • Assist the Government of Lebanon, at its request, in securing its borders and other entry points to prevent the entry in Lebanon without its consent of arms or related materiel.


By this resolution, the SC also authorized UNIFIL to' take all necessary action' in areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its capabilities, to ensure that its area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind; to resist attempts by forceful means to prevent it from discharging its duties under the mandate of the Security Council; and to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment, ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, humanitarian workers and, without prejudice to the responsibility of the Government of Lebanon, to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence.[53]


-  UNIFIL II in the field:

19- Controversial start

The arrival of 'robust' UNIFIL units coincided with growing suspicions among most Southern Lebanese. It was seen as a NATO tool to disarm the 'Resistance' under the umbrella of UN peace mission. Suspicions increased when the new robust UNIFIL troops – particularly those from the Spanish and French contingents – appeared overly militant, aggressive and disrespectful to the locals.

During 2006 and 2007, most of the locals refused to engage with UNIFILII largely due to the outstanding mistrust and the statements made by Western leaders, such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel's proclamation that "UNIFIL was there to defend Israel"[54]. The EU political statements joined with the UNIFIL Force commander General Alain Pellegrini statements[55] made it impossible for the Lebanese to trust the new forces.

20- Contrary to the aforementioned statements, the Secretary General Kofi Annan has been quoted to say; "If, for example, combatants, or those illicitly moving weapons, forcibly resist a demand from them, or from the Lebanese Army, to disarm, then armed force could be used". He added, however, that disarming Hezbollah "is not going to be done by force....The expanded peacekeeping force's mandate is to support the Lebanese Army in enforcing the resolutions. But disarmament of Hezbollah "has to be achieved through negotiation, and an internal Lebanese consensus, a political process, for which the new UNIFIL is not, and cannot be, a substitute".[56]


21- Threats to UNIFIL II

In the months after the 2006 war, Ayman al-Zawahri (One of Al Qaeda's leaders) called for Sunni extremists in Lebanon to take up arms against UN peacekeepers. [57] The first attack came in June 2007 and six members of the Spanish battalion were killed when their armored personnel carrier was struck by a powerful and sophisticated car bomb.

- Another small attack few weeks later involving a stick of dynamite detonated beside Tanzanian military police at the Qasmiyah Bridge north of Tyre.

- Two other attacks planned for the Abbassiyeh area near Tyre never materialized and another targeting UNIFIL soldiers on Tyre beach failed.

- Jan. 8, 2008, a road side bomb exploded on the coastal highway near Rmeileh beside a jeep carrying Irish soldiers, lightly wounding two of them. The bombing came less than two weeks after Al-Qaeda head Osama bin Laden threatened both UNIFIL troops and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in a recording released 29 December 2007.

- September 2009, the Lebanese Permanent Military Court indicted five Palestinians related the Fatah el Islam (a Radical group affiliated with al- Qaeda) for their role in the Irish bomb attack and other terrorist-related activities.

- May 2011: unclaimed bomb blast on the southern coastal highway near Rmeileh wounded six Italian peacekeepers and two civilians. A week before the attack, the Lebanese Army caught a radical militant planning to fire rockets from a place near Hasbaya, just outside UNIFIL's area of operations.


22- Criticism

 Even though UNIFIL II has been praised for more powerful (RoE), its performance has not been without criticism, and it has received the same accusations of incompetency as the preceding UNIFIL I troops, in addition to accusations of unilateral widening of ( RoE) and acting independently of  LAF which led to tensions with the local population.

Most of the criticisms of inefficiency are due to the violations of 1701, especially UNIFIL II inability to stop the continuous daily Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace,[58] plus Israeli occupation of Lebanese territories.


23 -Tensions with the locals

UNIFILII generally enjoyed full freedom of movement throughout its area of operations. However, on many occasions, it encountered tensions with the civilians and have been prevented from freedom of movement in its area of deployment (Sector West and Sector East).[59]

Following tensions and skirmishes between UNIFIL troops and some local villagers, former Force Commander Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas addressed the people of south Lebanon in an open letter on 08 July 2010, promising them to be more careful and assuring that there are no hidden national agendas for the contingents.

During the whole nine years (2006-2015), series of standoffs and clashes erupted between UNIFILII troops and Lebanese villagers in the border region:

-  Villagers accused French peacekeepers of offensive and disturbing patrols, driving heavy vehicles causing damages to the roads, and of taking pictures of people inside their homes.

- People of Marjayoun, accused the French regiments of driving their heavy vehicles through their two-month-old tobacco fields, destroying their only means of economic support.

- July 2010: Failing to coordinate with the Lebanese Army, the French contingent decided to carry out exercises unilaterally. Residents in 22 villages in the South took to the streets, blocked roads and attacked French troops with stones. French soldiers fired against the angry civilians, who smashed the vehicles' windows by stones and wounded the French commander. French troops were forcibly disarmed by the villagers, and weapons were then handed over to the Lebanese Army.

- Tensions due to aggressive driving and high speed car accidents

The locals accuse UNIFIL drivers of high speed driving inside the villages. The high rate of UNIFIL II car accidents proves the accuracy of these accusations.[60] Even the internal audit of UNIFIL ground transport on June 2009, proved that; "The Mission had a high rate of accidents as compared to the previous year, with nearly 70 per cent accidents caused by UN drivers' fault"[61].

Part III- Findings and Evaluation

The author conducted surveys in Sector East of UNIFILII deployment from 15- 25 August 2015. The Eastern Sector was chosen because it has heterogeneous population, i.e. Shiaa Muslims, Christians, Druze, and Sunni Muslims. However, the Western Sector is mainly inhabited by Shiaa; where the total majority is supporters of Hezbollah, and their perspectives maybe different from those of other religions and sects in Lebanon.

Taking in consideration the percentages of Muslims and Christians in the Sector, the survey is categorized as follows:

·         60 % Muslims (Druze, Sunni and Shiaa);

·         40% Christians.

The no. of respondents is 150, categorized by age as follows:

·         37 % of them are between 40 and 60 years of age,

·         25 % are between 26 and 40 years,

·         20 % are above 60,

·         18% are between 15 and 25.


1- Are you satisfied with the UNIFIL's role in providing security?

72 % of the respondents said NO, they are not satisfied, while 23 % said YES, they are satisfied, 5 % with no answer.

This shows that Lebanese locals feel that UNIFIL II has not been successful in its mission in providing security.

2- In an open question: Name is the provider of security, in your opinion?

 (57%) of the respondents said Hezbollah is the provider of security, UNIFIL alone (3%) and UNIFIL + LAF (40%).

These answers are in accordance with common trends in Lebanon that 'Hezbollah is the provider of Security against ISIS threats' even among non- Shiaa. A survey conducted among Christians in Lebanon on Oct. 2014, revealed that "Two-thirds of Lebanon's Christians believe Hezbollah is protecting Lebanon from the threat of terrorists (extremist groups), and when asked about replacing Hezbollah fighters with UN peacekeepers on Lebanon's eastern borders with Syria, to counter attacks by extremist groups, 58 % of those surveyed said they are against it"[62].

3- Are you satisfied with the UNIFIL's role in keeping peace?

55 % said they are satisfied, while 40% are not satisfied, 5% with no answer.

Mainly, the Christian, Sunni and Druze perceptions have high positive results.


Analyzing the results of questions (1, 2, and 3), we find:

·         Locals' perceptions about security are different from those of Peace. That means UNIFILII has succeeded in conflict management and mediation, but is still seen as ineffective, powerless force despite all the heavy arms and powerful NATO troops.

·         These perceptions of weakness and inability are commonly shared by all religious groups in Lebanon. Those are due to UNIFIL's inability to deter Israeli confrontations.

·         Major local references to UNIFIL's powerless position refer - as example- to the passive reaction of UNIFIL when a Spanish observer was killed on January 28, 2015 by mortar rounds fired by Israeli forces[63].  People say that the force didn't react or release any statement even the UNIFIL officers were convinced that Israel deliberately targeted one of their positions[64]. UNIFIL didn't even release the outcome of the investigative report, which was leaked later on, and it revealed that "UN position was clearly targeted".[65]

·         The reason behind the negative results concerning security issue can be effectively described by a statement quoted from one of the respondents "if they can't protect or defend themselves against the Israelis, how can they provide security for us?"[66]


4- Have you ever benefited from UNIFIL Services?

 Yes (23%) - 77% No.

 It means only 23% of the total respondents said that they have benefited, while 77% didn't.

It means that the affirmative votes and the positive perceptions about peace (question 2) have nothing to do with the humanitarian aid, or personal benefits of the respondents.

Mr. Andrea Tenenti, UNIFIL spokesperson, refers this low percentage "to the fact the projects are mainly public projects. UNIFIL is doing projects everywhere in the villages, like building schools, providing generators or rebuilding roads etc... So the question may have emphasized on personal benefits and this is not the case of UNIFIL projects in the South".[67]


4- Do you think that UNIFIL is impartial between Lebanon and Israel, when there are security violations?

65 % said NO, 30 % said yes, and 5 % with no answer.

It means the Lebanese perceptions towards UNIFIL's impartiality are negative. They see UNIFILII is biased and partial in favor of Israel[68].

Mr. Tenenti, says that this maybe also the case on the other side of the border "when we go to Israel, they accuse us that UN is always blaming Israel". He finds "these accusations on both sides of the borders are the outcome of the Mediation role of UNIFIL. Mediation obliges you to be very neutral, and this is sometimes perceived as a bias".[69]


5- Do you think that UNIFIL can stop Israeli violations?

91% said NO, while 7 % said yes, and 2% have no answer.

In general, these negative Lebanese perceptions are not surprising. There is a common general conviction in Lebanon that UN in general is incapable of preventing Israeli violations to international law, and particularly to 1701. This conviction has been derived from the UNIFIL long history in Lebanon, the continuous daily Israeli violations of 1701, and the Israeli shelling of Spanish Supervision base.


6- Do you think that UNIFIL treat the locals equally?

40% of the respondents said YES, while 45% said NO they don't treat the southern equally, and 15% had no answer.

Those who said that there is discrimination refer it to:

·         Religious reasons, saying that UNIFILII discriminate between Christian and Muslim villages.

·         Political affiliations: they believe that NATO contingents apply independent national agendas, and discriminate against people in accordance to political affiliations i.e. they prefer Christians, Sunnis and Druze because Shiaa are supporters of Hezbollah[70].


UNIFIL spokesperson, Mr. Tenenti, claims that the positive perceptions should be higher than that. He says; "In the past, the negative perceptions were high but this has changed after the UNIFIL new strategies. Things were done in the past differently, especially in terms of transparency. Now, we are hiring personnel from all villages, we give opportunities to all of them, and projects are distributed equally between villages. There is a committee in the organization decides the priorities, and the local municipalities request their needs. Thousands of projects have been distributed equally between villages in both sectors; east and west".[71]


About the claims of independent national agendas of NATO troops, He said "we work for UN not for our national countries; therefore there are no independent national agendas.  It was important to be clear from the beginning that we are here to implement the UN agenda not the national ones. Even it is your money, but you should spend it on UN projects and under UN umbrella".


7- Which contingent do you trust? (In the East Sector):

French: 5 %

Spanish: 49%

India:  4%

Indonesia: 31%

No answer: 11%


8- Trust according to religious affiliation of the respondents:


Of those who had answers:

Christians: 85% of Christian respondents said they trust the Spanish contingent the most, 15% of them trust the Indonesian force, 0% for the French, and 0% for the Indians.

Muslims: 50% trust the Indonesian force, 31% trust the Spanish, and 11% trust the French, 8% trust the Indians.


9- Overall, How do you evaluate the UNIFIL role in the South?

Positive: 70%

Negative: 25%

No answer: 5%

Of those who had answers:

Christians: 87% had positive perceptions, while 13% had negative perceptions.

Muslims: 64% had positive perceptions, while 36% had negative perceptions.


Analyzing answers in (7, 8, and 9), we can realize the following:

·         Overall, All Southern Lebanese of different backgrounds, sects and religions have positive perceptions towards UNIFIL major role in the South.

·         Trust and positive perceptions vary according to the religious affiliation of the Respondents.

·         Trust given to the contingents, differs according to the nationality of the troops.

·         Religion which is almost the dominant variable in Lebanon doesn't seem the dominant one in the Lebanese perceptions towards UNIFIL. If the religion was the dominant variable, Christians should have trusted both the French and the Spanish and not the Indonesians (Muslims).

·         Noting that 77% of the respondents didn't benefit from UNIFIL services, it means that either the political opinions (suspicious of EU/ NATO agendas) or the behavior of the troops are the dominant variables in the trust given to the contingents.


UNIFIL I: the Nostalgia

In open discussions with the locals, people talked about their shared memories with UNIFIL I, and drew some comparisons between UNIFIL I and UNIFIL II, here are some:

- Old UNIFIL patrols were friendly, but newer patrols have a colder and aggressive appearance.

- UNIFIL I soldiers were part of our families, while the new ones are almost terrified and drive quickly through villages.

-  UNIFILI became one with the land; they were our only means to survive through decades of occupation.

- They (UNIFIL I) provided compassion and assistance to people who had long been ignored by the Lebanese State.

- Love has no borders: we had many love stories with the soldiers. We counted around 60 marriages with Norwegian soldiers.

- They helped me building the orphanage, without them the orphans couldn't survive.

- They defended us; they sacrificed their lives for us.

 Concluding Remarks

A- UNIFIL II: a Chapter VI or VII mission?

The introduction of the UNIFIL II as a peacekeeping force under Chapter VI or as a Chapter VI activity has been disputed:

a- The 'Security Council Special Research Report' about Resolution 1701 stated clearly "although the Resolution does not explicitly mention Chapter VII, 1701 was clearly adopted by the Council using Chapter VII powers... [UNIFIL] was given an enforcement mandate with strong (RoE). The concept of operations is also very innovative as are the arguments for command and control".[72]

The final text of the resolution 1701 remained vague in many key passages and left some remnants of 5th August draft text which implied the embedding of Chapter VII intentions.

In the final preamble paragraph of the resolution, the following statement was added: "determining that the situation in Lebanon constitutes a threat to international peace and security." This statement refers directly to the Chapter VII logic, and not that of Chapter VI, which is concerned with the "Pacific settlement of disputes."

Besides, "Security Council resolutions which authorize the use of force never specifically mention it, they usually mandate a mission simply asked to use 'all necessary means' to accomplish its mandate, and refrain from specifying in advance the appropriate level of force to be used".[73] By the same way, The SC resolution 1701 "authorizes UNIFIL to take all necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its capabilities..."


b- On the contrary, those who refer to the UNIFILII as a peacekeeping force under the authorization of Chapter VI, base their argument that UNIFILII has been granted the consent of the parties, i.e. Lebanon, Israel and even Hezbollah which was - and still- a part of the government which gave its consent to the robust UNIFIL.

Besides, The use of force and its new (RoE) are robust in the sense that the authority to use force remains based on the principle of self-defence. For all other situations, UNIFIL cannot use force, or behave without coordination with LAF who take the lead[74].

The UNIFIL official spokesperson ensures "our mission is a chapter VI mission, even though we have wide RoE. There is no need for peace enforcement at this time. Definitely, we are a peacekeeping mission; there is nothing like VI and half. Either it is VI or VII; we are - definitely- not a peace enforcement mission. We have heavy equipment. It is not used, but it is a kind of deterrent." He adds "UNSC resolution 1701 is completely under chapter VI of the Security Council. The Mission is here at the invitation of the Lebanese Government and all our activities are carried out in close partnership and coordination with the LAF".

B- UNIFIL II: Peacekeeping or peace enforcement mission?

The aforementioned divergent views for the interpretation of UNSC 1701 and the UNIFIL II mandate were dominant between different contingents before and during their deployment in Lebanon in the post-war era[75].

Some of the EU contingents in UNIFILII came with aggressive attitudes and broad interpretation for the resolution 1701 and its RoE. Many had been a part of the NATO coalition of the War in Iraq and Afghanistan, and tried to exercise the same measures. Different attitudes and measures have been applied by smaller contingents and the culturally more aware EU contingents like the Italians. Those interpreted their mission as a peacekeeping mission and established close ties with villagers; offering humanitarian services.

Nonetheless, within few months, UNIFILII had been threatened by Al Qaeda. Their commanders took the threats very seriously, and soon they discovered that they do not have the necessary intelligence resources to protect the troops.[76] It was evident that the UN forces cannot face these challenges without good relationships with the local communities. It was obvious also that Hezbollah's cooperation and its extensive intelligence repertoire in the South are necessary to ensuring UNIFIL's security and preventing future terrorist attacks against it.

The former UNIFILI spokesperson, Timur Göksel, describes the new situation; "The new UNIFIL caught on quickly to the realities of peacekeeping in South Lebanon and realized that more than a combat force, they were supposed to be a conflict management tool with heavy emphasis on winning the hearts and minds of the population; and that good relations with the people would also be key to force protection because true, useful intelligence information would come from them"[77].

Since then, UNIFIL II established open channels of communication with the local popu­lation, forged better relations with the local political leadership and municipalities, which of course included Hezbollah members or supporters.[78]

In time, French and Spanish contingents eased their aggressive postures, and substituted heavy vehicles with smaller unaggressive ones. Göksel says with some bitterness "The UN, which had given the original UNIFIL humanitarian missions with a zero dollar budget, also contributed money and personnel for quick impact projects". He adds "Soon, the mood in South Lebanon began to change and the people began to rely more and more on UNIFIL and the Lebanese Army for their needs. Even Israel noticed that change in South Lebanon would lower the levels of hostilities and eased back its perennial efforts to intimidate UNIFIL into serving its own interests".[79]

It was clear for UNIFIL II that if they want to be secure and if they want to maintain their security and succeed in their mission, they should stick to the narrow inter­pretation of Resolution 1701 and do not adopt any proactive positions of an enforcement mission.

This drives us to a conclusion that" the robust UNIFIL II had been given - literally in UNSC resolution 1701- an enforcement mandate, but it is actually applying just peacekeeping roles. UNIFIL II moved away from explicit peace enforcement type activities towards, a more humble UNIFIL I style.

The UNIFIL spokesperson, Mr. Tenenti, confirms this conclusion; "the reality was clear from the beginning the role if the mission is not to disarm Hezbollah. Our mandate is to ensure that there is no entry for weapons in our area. We are not in charge of the south, it is LAF. We are here to support them, help them but at the end it is their duty".


C- UNFIL: an evaluation

Dennis Jett notes that there is disagreement among the various experts in defining the factors by which to evaluate a peacekeeping mission. He cites four criteria for assessing the success or failure of a peacekeeping mission, proposed by Duane Bratt in his book assessing the Success of UN Peacekeeping Operations:

a- Completion of the mandate,

b- Facilitation of conflict resolution,

c- Containment of the conflict and

d- Limitation of casualties. [80]


In accordance to the aforementioned criteria, UNIFIL 1 has failed. However, it was obvious from the beginning that UNIFIL's mission was impossible to achieve:

1- It couldn't get the consent of the parties. Israel, PLO, and De- facto forces didn't welcome the deployment of UNIFIL and criticized Resolution 425.

2- It was a lightly armed force stuck in the middle of the conflict, where heavily armed forces and undisciplined militias fight each other.

3- A force with minimum budget and little political international support.

Timor Goksel was absolutely right when he said" That UNIFIL, despite its unworkable mandate and with no political support except for a small group of dedicated UN bureaucrats, turned out to be a resilient force that held its ground despite suffering more than 100 fatalities killed in action (out of 250 total fatalities) was an achievement in its own right. The real and rarely noticed success story however is how this force became a part of the land, how it established close links with the ignored people who had no state services whatsoever, gained their gratitude, enabled them to rebuild their lives and helped to transform an abandoned landscape into a thriving, secure region during the 1990s".[81]


The success of a peacekeeping mission is directly proportional to the level its effectiveness in the force's commitment to the mandate, gaining mutual trust with the locals, and cooperation of the parties to the conflict: the stronger those elements, the greater the success. In these dimensions, UNIFIL II is proving to be successful in facilitation of conflict resolution, containment of the conflict, cooperation and trust- building with the parties, and providing humanitarian services to the locals.

Hence, We can categorize three successful areas:

a- UNIFILII as a Buffer zone between the parties

Militarily speaking, UNIFILII is in no position to stop the IDF in case of a new invasion, or prevent Israeli incursions into Lebanese airspace which occur on a daily basis. However, in the main time, UNIFILII shields both conflict parties from each other.

UNIFIL II presence serves both sides: From a Lebanese perspective, it constitutes extra power to aid LAF in monitoring the border and enhancing the official authority in the South. From an Israeli perspective, it is useful as a means to limit the freedom of movement of Hezbollah.

b- UNIFILII as a conflict management tool

The second dimension of UNIFIL's success is its role as a mediator between the LAF and the IDF. Periodically, UNIFIL II hosts - in no men's land- tripartite meetings between LAF and IDF to address military-strategic issues. Furthermore, a set of UNIFIL liaison officers mediate the small day-to-day confrontations between both sides.

Such meetings and liaison work serve both as a confidence-building tool and as a way to prevent small incidents from developing into potential conflict.

c- UNIFILII as an economic mobilizer

Through its CIMIC activities, humanitarian projects, and hiring local personnel, UNIFILII has developed to be into an important mobilizer to the local economy. The economic dynamics and supporting the local population in their basic needs proved to have political, military, and security outcomes.

D- UNIFIL: Impartiality vs. credibility

In his report, Brahimi urged the peacekeeping missions to develop the impartiality norm. He was clear in his invitation to change the previous practices, "No failure did more to damage the standing and credibility of United Nations peacekeeping in the 1990s than its reluctance to distinguish victim from aggressor". [82]

However, Brahimi forgot that distinguishing the victim from the aggressor is sometimes biased. States tend to define the causal story of the conflict based on their interests. They usually view conflicts from their own point of view rather than the perceptions of those involved. Hezbollah for example, is seen as a resistance by the majority of the Lebanese, However, regarded as a terrorist group by US and EU.

Big powers usually have tendency to side with one of the parties, and this was obvious in the 5th of August draft of 1701. All these undermine the cornerstone of peacekeeping, i.e. impartiality.

In Lebanon, the Multinational Peace mission in the Eighties has been seen as partial, and this lead to a disaster for the peace mission troops. Thus, it is very important for a UNIFIL to keep its image of impartiality; otherwise it would undermine its legitimacy, and lose the consent of one or more parties.

The problem is how to combine seeking for impartiality image, and gaining the credibility of the local population at the same time. As we noticed in the results of the surveys, that the locals are not satisfied with the UNIFIL II role in providing security, besides they didn't recognize UNIFIL II as impartial.

UNIFIL had been caught in the middle of this dilemma for many years, Mr. Teneneti describes it as follows "legitimacy can be gained on behalf of credibility. You gain legitimacy from impartiality but you tend to lose your credibility. Sometimes it is frustrating if you cannot say who is the oppressor and who is the victim, but how can you go to a tripartite meeting if one of the parties doesn't accept you as impartial. So, credibility sometimes is the price".

 As the Capstone Doctrine assures, "The deployment of a peacekeeping mission generates high expectations among the local population regarding its ability to meet their most pressing needs. The ability to manage these expectations throughout the life of a peacekeeping operation affects the overall credibility of the mission. Credibility, once lost, is hard to regain. A mission with low credibility becomes marginalized and ineffective. Its activities may begin to be perceived as having weak or frayed legitimacy and consent may be eroded"[83]. In accordance with these important and useful instructions, UNIFIL II should do more to break the ice with the locals, to build trust, and gain more legitimacy and credibility.


1- UNIFILII Troops should work on their fear, and most of all, they shouldn't appear terrified. A terrified soldier cannot provide the local civilians a sense of security and stability.

2- UNIFILII should improve its outreach strategy, and develop better communications with the locals, and try to win the hearts and minds of diverse communities in the South.

3- UNIFIL's impartiality has been questioned by the Lebanese, and their credibility is at stake also. UNIFIL II is in need to develop its impartiality, and try to gain more credibility.

4- "More doesn't mean better": UNIFILII consists of 39 contingents, however this rainbow of forces, which have different military cultures and different agendas, make it less effective.

5- UNIFIL II shouldn't only rely on the positive perceptions of some religious sects or some political parties in Lebanon; they should work on to gain the support of the whole spectrum of different religions in the South.

6- National contingents must minimize the rotations of the soldiers: It has been noticed that the rotation of the troops is preventing soldiers from promoting better relations with the locals.

The new comers always need time to understand the cultural diversities and adapt with the new environment.

7- Pre-deployment trainings and workshops should be adopted to introduce new officers and soldiers to the coming challenges, facilitate their understanding of the mission and the environment, as well as increasing their cultural awareness. 



Selected Bibliography


Abu-Lughod Ibrahim and Eqbal Ahmad, "The 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon: the causalities" in The Invasion of Lebanon, Race & Class, Volume XXIV, Spring 1983, Nº 4.

Alexandrov Stanimir A., Self-Defense Against the Use of Force in International Law, Kluwer Law International, The Hague, 1996.

Aspects and Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, A/55/305-S/2000/809, 21 Aug.2000.

Asseburg Muriel, "UN Resolution 1701, UNIFIL 2, and the 'New Greater Middle East Project': A German Perspective" in UN Resolution 1701: Horizons and Challenges, Cultural Movement-Antelias & Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Beirut, February 2007.

Audit Report, UNIFIL Ground Transport, Internal Audit Division, Assignment No. AP2OO8/672O5, 10 June 2OO9, Available at:

Baczkowski Ronald F., Tactical Lessons for Peacekeeping: U.S. Multinational Force in Beirut 1982-1984, military/library/report/1995/BRF.htm [accessed Aug. 21, 2015].

Director General Land Warfare, United Kingdom, Army Field Manual: Wider Peacekeeping.

Findlay Trevor, the Use of Force in UN Peace Operations, Oxford University Press for SIPRI, Oxford, 2002.

Ghali Boutros B., Agenda for Peace, 2nd ed. with Supplement and related UN documents, UN Department of Public Information, New York, 1995.

Göksel Timur, UNIFIL – Peacekeepers in the Line of Fire, in Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung - Middle East Office, 2007.

Goulding Marrack, 'The evolution of United Nations peacekeeping', in International Affairs, vol. 69, no. 3, 1993.

Haass Richard, Intervention: The Use of American Military Force in the Post-Cold War World, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, DC, 1994. [accessed Aug. 21, 2015];

Jett Dennis C., Why Peacekeeping Fails, Palgrave Macmillan, USA, 2001.

Kelly John H., "Lebanon: 1982-1984," available at:

Makdissi karim, Goksel Timor and al., UNIFIL II: Emerging and Evolving European Engagement in Lebanon and the Middle East, EUROMESCO, paper 76, 2009.

Mattelaer Alexander, Europe Rediscovers Peacekeeping? Political And Military Logics In The 2006 UNIFIL Enhancement, Egmont Paper 34, October 2009.

Moskos Charles, Peace Soldiers: The Sociology of a United Nations Military Force, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1976.


Picard Elizabeth, Lebanon: A Shattered Country, Holmes & Meier, New York, 2002.

Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, chaired by Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi (Algeria), transmitted to the SecretaryGeneral on 17 August 2000. UN Doc. A/55/305S/2000/809.

Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701 (2006)

Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701 (2006); Reporting period from 27 June to 5 November 2014, S/2014/784.

Report of the SecretaryGeneral, Implementation of the Recommendations of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, UN Doc. A/60/640 (2005).

Report: Old Games, New Rules: Conflict on the Israel-Lebanon Border", ICG Middle East Report Nº 7, 18 Nov. 2002.

Reporting period from 28 February 2015 to 26 June 2015. S/2015/475.

Secretary General Statement on UN Operations in Congo before the General Assembly, 17 October 1960.

Special Research Report, Special Research Report No. 6: Resolution 1701, paragraph 7.

Stahn Carsten and Henning Melber, Peace Diplomacy, Global Justice and International Agency: Rethinking Human Security and Ethics in the Spirit of Dag Hammarskjöld, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2014.

Tharoor Shashi, 'Should UN peacekeeping go "back to basics'" in Survival, vol. 37, no. 4, winter 1995/96.

The report of the Secretary-General of 19 March 1978 (S/12611) confirmed by resolution 426 (1978).

UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Principles and Guidelines (Capstone Doctrine), March 2008.

UN document S/11052/Rev. 1, 27 Oct. 1973.

United Nations, Principles of UN peacekeeping.

United Nations, Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 340, 1973.

United Nations, The Blue Helmets: A Review of United Nations Peace-keeping, 2nd ed., New York, 1990.

United States Army, Field Manual 100-23, Peace Operation, December 1994.

Urquhart Brian, A Life in Peace and War, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1987.

Urquhart Sir Brian, The Origins of UNIFIL, in "Al- Janoub" Magazine, UNIFIL Office of Public Information, 2008.

Warbrick C., Current developments: public international law, in International and Comparative Law Quarterly, vol. 43, Oct. 1994.


[1] Quoted in : Carsten Stahn and Henning Melber, Peace Diplomacy, Global Justice and International Agency: Rethinking Human Security and Ethics in the Spirit of Dag Hammarskjöld, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2014, p. 148.

[2] ibid, p. 149

[3] Secretary General Statement on UN Operations in Congo before the General Assembly, 17 October 1960.

[4] Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, chaired by Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi (Algeria), transmitted to the SecretaryGeneral on 17 August 2000. UN Doc. A/55/305S/2000/809.

[5] Report of the SecretaryGeneral, Implementation of the Recommendations of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, UN Doc. A/60/640 (2005).

[6] UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Principles and Guidelines (Capstone Doctrine), March 2008, p. 13.

[7] United Nations, The Blue Helmets: A Review of United Nations Peace-keeping, 2nd ed., New York, 1990, p. 4.

[8] ibid, p.5

[9] United Nations, Principles of UN peacekeeping, available at: [accessed 9 September 2015].

[10] Shashi Tharoor, ‘Should UN peacekeeping go “back to basics’” in Survival, vol. 37, no. 4, winter 1995/96, p.58.

[11]  Charles Moskos, Peace Soldiers: The Sociology of a United Nations Military Force, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1976, p. 3.


[12] Trevor Findlay, the Use of Force in UN Peace Operations, Oxford University Press for SIPRI, Oxford, 2002, p.3.

[13] United Nations, Principles of UN peacekeeping, available at: [accessed 9 September 2015].

[14] Trevor Findlay, op.cit, p.4

[15] ibid, p.4.

[16] Sir Brian Urquhart is the former UN Under Secretary-General for Special Political Tasks;

Brian Urquhart, A Life in Peace and War, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1987, pp. 178–179.

[17] Quoted in: Trevor Findlay, op.cit, p.15.

[18]  Stanimir A. Alexandrov, Self-Defense Against the Use of Force in International Law, Kluwer Law International, The Hague, 1996, pp. 5–6.


[19] Findlay, op.cit, p. 16.

[20] Goulding notes that the 1973 change was in the direction of a wide definition of “self-defence”:

Marrack Goulding, ‘The evolution of United Nations peacekeeping’, in International Affairs, vol. 69, no. 3

1993, p. 455.

[21] United Nations, Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 340, 1973, UN document S/11052/Rev. 1, 27 Oct. 1973.

[22] Findlay, op.cit, p. 5.

[23] Principles of UN peacekeeping, available at: [accessed 8Sept. 2015].

[24] Findlay, op.cit, 376.

[25] Capstone doctrine, op. cit, p.18.

[26] Boutros B. Ghali, Agenda for Peace, 2nd ed. with Supplement and related UN documents , UN

Department of Public Information, New York, 1995, pp. 56-57.

[27] Director General Land Warfare, United Kingdom, Army Field Manual: Wider Peacekeeping, 1994, pp. 1-2.

[28] United States Army, Field Manual 100-23, Peace Operation, December 1994, p. 6.

[29] United Nations, Comprehensive Review of the Whole Question of Peacekeeping Operations in All Their

Aspects and Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, A/55/305-S/2000/809, 21 August

2000, pp. 10-13. [ Commonly known as the Brahimi Report]

[30] Principles of UN peacekeeping, available at: [accessed 8Sept. 2015].


[31] Sir Brian Urquhart, The Origins of UNIFIL, in "Al- Janoub" Magazine, UNIFIL Office of Public Information, special edition, 2008, p.6.

[32]S/RES/425, the text is available at: (1978) %20on%20Lebanon-Israel.pdf [accessed 11 Sept. 2015].

[33] The report of the Secretary-General of 19 March 1978 (S/12611) confirmed by resolution 426 (1978).

[34] Security Council Report, available at: [accessed 11 Sept. 2015].

[35] ibid.

[36] karim Makdissi, Timor Goksel and al., UNIFIL II: Emerging and Evolving European Engagement in Lebanon and the Middle East, EUROMESCO, paper 76, 2009,p.14

[37]Ibrahim Abu-Lughod and Eqbal Ahmad, “The 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon: the causalities” in The Invasion of Lebanon, Race & Class, Volume XXIV, Spring 1983, Nº 4, pp. 340-342.

[38] Richard Haass, Intervention: The Use of American Military Force in the Post-Cold War World, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, DC, 1994, p. 24.

[39] For more details, see John H. Kelly, “Lebanon: 1982-1984,”  available at:  [accessed  Aug. 21, 2015];

Ronald F. Baczkowski, Tactical Lessons for Peacekeeping: U.S. Multinational Force in Beirut 1982-1984, military/library/report/1995/BRF.htm [accessed Aug. 21, 2015].

[40] A copy of the Taif agreement is found online at: [accessed Aug. 21, 2015].

[41] Security Council, S/1996/337, 7 May 1996,[accessed Aug. 21, 2015].

[42] Elizabeth Picard, Lebanon: A Shattered Country, Holmes & Meier, New York, 2002, p.183.

[43] Report: Old Games, New Rules: Conflict on the Israel-Lebanon Border, ICG Middle East Report Nº 7, 18 November 2002, pp. 5-6.

[44] UNIFIL Background, available at:[ accessed 30 August 2015]

[45] ibid.

[46] Hezbollah had, in fact, succeeded in a similar endeavor in early 2004, when Germany brokered a “historic prisoner swap” involv­ing two dozen Lebanese and Arabs held in Israeli prisons, in return for one captured Israeli army reserve officer and the dead bodies of three other soldiers.

[47] By then, nearly 1,200 Lebanese had been killed and over 4,000 wounded – the vast majority civil­ians, and about a third of these children. Moreover, around one million people in Leba­non had been displaced by the war, 15,000 homes were destroyed, and the infrastructure throughout the country was severely damaged. 43 Israeli civilians and 117 Israeli soldiers had been killed, around 300,000 Israeli civilians were displaced, and thousands of homes were damaged in northern Israel.

[48] These controversial ideas  were in the 5th of August Draft, however had been refused by the Lebanese Government:

• Full implementation of UNSC Resolution 1559, including the disarming of all armed groups in Lebanon;

• Unconditional release of Israeli prisoners, while “encouraging the efforts aimed at resolving the issue of Lebanese prisoners detained in Israel”;

•Deployment of an “international force” under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to help implement a “long term solution”;

[49] UNSC resolution 1559 called upon all remaining foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon; for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias; and Supported the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory... The text of the resolution is available at: [accessed 13 Sept. 2015].

[50] karim Makdissi, Timor Goksel and al, op.cit, p. 23.

[51] Muriel Asseburg, “UN Resolution 1701, UNIFIL 2, and the ‘New Greater Middle East Project’: A German Perspective” in UN Resolution 1701: Horizons and Challenges, Cultural Movement-Antelias & Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Beirut, February 2007, p.69.

[52] UNIFIL Background, available at: [ accesses 7 Sept. 2015]

[53] UNIFIL Background, online at:

[54] Merkel declared this in her speech to the Bundestag, Germany's parliament, on Sept. 20, 2006.

[55]  in an interview in the French daily La Croix on Sept. 14, 2006, General Alain Pellegrini (UNIFIL commander 2004-2007) said UNIFIL would act on its own if necessary. "If the (Lebanese army) fails to act, we must assume our responsibilities as a U.N. force," he said. "Someone will have to intervene, with all the consequences that this might have for the Lebanese authorities."

[56] Craig S. Smith , Europe Pledges a Larger Force Inside Lebanon, August 26, 2006, available at: [ accessed 9 Sept. 2015]

[57] On December 20, 2006, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the second man in al-Qaeda, issued a statement urging his followers to fight Security Council Resolution 1701 (see Agence France Presse, December 20, 2006). Later on February 13, 2007, al-Zawahiri issued a similar audio statement also urging Lebanon's Muslims to reject Security Council Resolution 1701 (Al, February 13, 2007).

[58] Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701 (2006)

Reporting period from 28 February 2015 to 26 June 2015. S/2015/475.

[59]  Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701 (2006); Reporting period from 27 June to 5 November 2014, S/2014/784

[60] Here are some examples:

-  23 Apr 2015: Three members of UNIFIL were wounded and rushed to hospital as their vehicle hit a wall in Burj Al Moulouk.

- Oct. 09, 2014: Two UNIFIL peacekeepers were injured when their car flipped on a south Lebanon highway. A witness said that the SUV was speeding along the Sidon-Tyre highway as it drove north when it crashed into a guard rail and flipped. The vehicle was tossed about 10 meters from the highway.

- 10 May 2014:  One UNIFIL peacekeeper was slightly injured during a car accident between his vehicle and a civilian car on Naqoura highway.

- 12 April 2014: three Malaysian soldiers were injured after their vehicle overturned in the southern city of Tyre.

- 23 Feb 2014: Two UNIFIL soldiers, a Salvadorian and a Spaniard, died on Sunday when their military vehicle overturned on Wazzani road, while three others were injured.

- Aug 25, 2010: A French UNIFIL soldier died in a road accident, two injured.

 - January 2008: People in Marjouin, attacked Spanish soldiers with stones after they were driving so fast injuring three school girls.

- 15 June 2008: A Spanish soldier was killed and two injured in a road accident.

- 9 March 2007: Three Belgian soldiers were killed in an armored vehicle accident.

- 25 September 2006: A French engineer officer was killed in a road accident near the town of Sofa.

[61] Audit Report, UNIFIL Ground Transport, Internal Audit Division, Assignment No. AP2OO8/672O5, 10 June 2OO9, Available at: [ accessed 8 Sept. 2015]


[62] Two-thirds of Lebanon's Christians believe Hezbollah is protecting country, October 21, 2014 [ accessed 8 Sept. 2015]

[63] Author's personal discussions and interviews with the locals, August 2015.

[64] Nicolas Blanford, UNIFIL suspects Israel deliberately killed peacekeeper, in The DailyStar, 19 Feb. 2015, available at: [accessed 10 Sept. 2015].

[65] Corporal Ivan Lopez Sanchez, who was stationed nearby, told investigators that the UN position was clearly targeted."Every time, they corrected the trajectory from Majidiye to the 4-28" post, where the UNIFIL peacekeepers were stationed, he said. Another Spanish soldier, Sergeant Julio Xavier Garcia, echoed Sanchez, saying the shells initially fell about 500 meters (yards) north of the UN post and then they "corrected the trajectory towards the position. A third soldier said fragmentation bombs were used in the attack and that the shelling finally appeared to target the main watch tower. for more details: [accessed 10 Sept. 2015]

[66] Author's personal interviews with the locals, August 2015.

[67] Personal interview with UNIFIL spokesperson, on 2 Sept. 2015.

[68] Author's interviews with the locals, August 2015.

[69] Personal interview with UNIFIL spokesperson, on 2 Sept. 2015.

[70] Author's personal interviews with the locals, August 2015.

[71] Personal interview with UNIFIL spokesperson, on 2 Sept. 2015

[72] Special Research Report, Special Research Report No. 6: Resolution 1701, paragraph 7, available at: [accessed 9 Sept. 2015]

[73]  C. Warbrick, Current developments: public international law, in International and Comparative Law Quarterly, vol. 43, Oct. 1994, p. 947.

[74]Alexander Mattelaer, Europe Rediscovers Peacekeeping?:Political And Military Logics In The 2006 UNIFIL Enhancement, Egmont Paper 34, October 2009, p. 19


[75] For more details: Alexander Mattelaer, op.cit, pp. 10-19.

[76]Former commander of the UNIFIL mission, French General Alain Pellegrini, in an interview with Italian newspaper La Republica on December 20, 2006, said that “the threat issued by al-Qaeda is to be taken seriously. We have stepped up security measures so as to protect the Blue Helmets against any attacks.” (See BBC Worldwide Monitoring, December 21, 2006).

 On December 20, 2006, Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema warned of a risk of an attack by al-Qaeda against UNIFIL. “It is right to warn the UN contingent about the risks, because the risks are real,” he said (see Associated Press, December 20, 2006).

[77] Timur Göksel, UNIFIL – Peacekeepers in the Line of Fire, in Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung - Middle East Office,  August2007,p.4

[78] On this issue, Mr. Tenenti said " we don't talk to political parties, we have relations with all official bodies; national and local authorities even they are supporters to Hezbollah. there is no direct relation with Hezbollah".

[79] Timur Göksel, UNIFIL – Peacekeepers in the Line of Fire, op.cit, p.4. 

[80]  Dennis C. Jett, Why Peacekeeping Fails, Palgrave Macmillan, USA, 2001, p.19.


[81] Timur Göksel, UNIFIL – Peacekeepers in the Line of Fire, op.cit,p.3

[82] Brahimi report - A/55/305 - S/2000/809, op. cit, (paras. 48-64)


[83] Capstone doctrine, op.cit, p. 38.