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Free «PKO» Essay Sample

The war in Afghanistan started on the 7th October 2001 when the armed forces of Australia, France, United Kingdom, the United States, and the Afghan United Front launched the Operation Enduring Freedom. This invasion was primarily driven by the attacks on the United State on 11th September 2001. The stipulated objective was the dismantling the Al-Qaeda terrorist group and bringing its use of Afghanistan as a terrorism base to an end. The United States also claimed that it will eradicate Taliban government from power and establish a feasible democratic state. The war is the second longest running war of the United States.

The prefaces of this war were the murder of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the Afghan United Front leader, on the 9th September 2001 and the attacks on US on 11th September, where around 3000 people were killed in Arlington, New York city, Shanksville, and Virginia.

The first phase of toppling the ultraconservative religious and political group that ruled Afghanistan and provided refuge to al-Qaeda, executors of the September 11 attacks, was short and lasted only two months. The next phase, which lasted from 2002 to 2008 was marked by United States tactic of militarily overcoming Taliban and rebuilding mainstay organization of Afghan nation. Taliban forces began a rebellion campaign in opposition to self-governing Islamic Republic and the existence of ISAF-troop in Afghanistan.1 Their headquarters were suspected to be in or close to Quetta. Since 2006, Afghanistan has felt a theatrical augment in Taliban-led rebellion activity.2 Since the alliance involvement in 2001, over 5.7 million refugees went back to Afghanistan.



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The third phase began in 2008 and was speeded up by US President Barack Obama decision in 2009 to considerably increase the size of US armed forces in Afghanistan. The force was used to execute a strategy of defending the populace from Taliban attacks and efforts to provoke rebellion among Afghan people. In the middle of 2010, the Afghanistan War rivaled the Vietnam War, the longest warfare fought by the US.

A Statement That Identifies the Mandate

Over the last 60 years, the United Nations peacekeeping has developed into one of the major tools used by the global community to control multifaceted crises that presented a threat to worldwide security and peace. Since the commencement of the millennium, the number of police, civilian, and military workforce deployed in the United Nations peacekeeping operations all over the world has reached exceptional levels. Lack of peace and political stability in Afghanistan has raised great concern internationally.

From early 2002, the peace-building progression in Afghanistan was not founded on an authentic peace accord but on the hypothesis that Taliban had been eternally overwhelmed due to military intercession before the UN authorized a defense force (ISAF) and political assignment, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. The state-building plan then became more and more confronted by series of institutional problems and resurgent Taliban. The main three problems are discussed further. 

The first is a disparity of attention and resources. The United Nations mission itself was not sufficiently funded, while Nato-run military delegations, more so the Operation Enduring Freedom of the United States, were the recipients of personnel, equipment, and inflated resources. The latter augmented even more as the operations moved from protection support to full-fledged battle.

The second predicament is that the first agreement over intercession gradually debauched with the renaissance of Taliban and the decline of the security state. China and Russia, members of UN Security Council, and several states in south started to question actions of the US on the ground.

The third and most elementary problem is that the short-term objective of counter-insurgency through war has persistently undermined long-term goals of peacekeeping and state-building. This meant that the peacekeeping operation was conducted in circumstances where there was no harmony to keep. As a result, by becoming overwhelmed in an unconsidered counterinsurgency, the global society is trailing its trustworthiness to act as a self-governing peace-enforcer. 

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Absence of neutrality that has fraught the legitimacy and efficiency of the global existence in Afghanistan needs to be redressed. ISAF and UNAMA were established in 2002 to help the new Afghanistan government, and hence neither can be considered neutral by intend. The direct contribution of troops from a number of Security Council member-states in war fighting further complicated the issue.

Six Tasks and Major Techniques for Achieving Them

There are three major operations and six peacekeeping operation tasks that may be connected with any peacekeeping endeavor and may be sustained by air, ground, space operations, and maritime. These three operations include: internal assistance and supervision, monitoring the conditions of the protocol, and peace observation. The six tasks are: supervision of cease-fires, management of free territories, management of disengagements and withdrawals, supervision of prisoner of war exchanges, supervision of demobilization and demilitarization, and safeguarding of law and order.

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The territory is exclusively occupied by Pashtun tribes, who as well live in the neighboring eastern Afghanistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and profess Islamic faith. The territory is overseen by Frontier Crimes Regulations. Afghanistan retains an exclusive and complete dominion over the airspace of its territory. Subject to authorization from the regime, the Afghan Air Authority might, for the purposes of public safety and military obligation, restrict and prohibit the flight of any aero plane over certain regions of Afghan territory. The task of managing free territories can be achieved by implementing and protecting the Afghanistan constitution, especially the section that gives the government the right to control its own territories. Both airspace and land territories should be free from external attacks.

A ceasefire is a momentary war stoppage, when both sides agree to dangle destructive actions. Ceasefire could be declared as part of an official agreement, but it has also been called a sign of an unofficial sympathy between the opposing forces. A truce is an official accord to end war. The ground force given the peacekeeping responsibility has the main mission of manning observer groups and supplying peacekeeping forces to examine and implement the terms of the procedure that established the PKO. The elements can oversee severance of the military of antagonistic groups in disengagements and conflict, withdrawal of the combatants, and cease-fires. In order to achieve these errands, the peacekeeping body is required to observe the cease-fire lines and set up buffer zones.

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Withdrawal behaviors are actions an individual takes when he/she becomes psychologically or physically disengaged from the institution. These are mental withdrawal behaviors and include: little effort on the job, inactive fulfillment and lack of inventiveness. Psychological withdrawals frequently take the form of idleness or lack of strong thoughts on the job.3

The peacekeeping force aims to split the conflicting sides and create a buffer zone. Its existence reassures each conflicting party that the other party is not breaching the armistice. The peacekeeping force surveys and controls the line of separation. It discourages invasion, reduces the magnitude of forces' confrontations, and helps in resolving local clashes.

Air elements can be used to provide observation of armistice and cease-fire lines, military withdrawals or disengagements, military deployment limits, and resident movement in and out of borderline areas and separation lines. These air supervision resources are also helpful in providing observation of aggressive parties.

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Exchange of prisoners among belligerents is made in line with agreements signed for that reason, called cartels. Signing of such agreements is exclusively voluntary and can never be forced by subjecting prisoners to particular hardships. Compulsory force of cartels, similar to that of all other conformities between belligerents, relies on good faith of the parties contracting. If the conditions of a cartel are dishonored by individual belligerent, they stop being mandatory upon the other.4 Because this is a mutual agreement, both parties should not breach it, and prisoners of war should be exchanged to facilitate peacekeeping process.

Demilitarization involves the removal of all military forces from demilitarized zones. The military force of the opposing party should not enter into the demilitarized zone of the other side. Demobilization involves taking military forces out of the active service. After separating the belligerents, buffer zones have to be established to make sure that confrontational parties stay detached. The buffer zone is typically based on either an armistice demarcation line or a simple cease-fire line. It must plainly mark the agreed restrictions of belligerent parties. The forces of aggressive parties are not legalized to enter the area since the buffer zone is fundamentally a demilitarized zone.

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Safeguarding law and order is a fundamental tool of promoting peacekeeping operations. It ensures that citizens stay in harmony. Where law and order are safeguarded, peace will automatically prevail. Local peacekeeping operation is not directed at implementing anything beyond the agreed armistice or cease-fire. It is aimed at restoring law and order in circumstances where actions of the government have collapsed or broken down. Peacekeeping body should ask the Government of Afghanistan and its conflicting nations, which have the accountability for restoration and maintenance of law and order, to take extra measures essential to stop bloodshed and violence in their countries. 


Concept of operations is a document, which describes features of a planned system from the point of view of a person, who will employ that system. It is usually used to communicate qualitative and quantitative system description to all stakeholders.

IMTFs are the chief headquarters-based inter-agency and inter-departmental mechanism to make sure consistent and coherent support and policy regulation to UN existence applying the code of integration and carrying out the IMPP before and during the field mission. Mission planning entails all processes and procedures necessary in preparing a peacekeeping mission. It involves setting strategies and objectives of the mission to be achieved at the end of the mission.5

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Chain of command is the hierarchy guiding the order of command system. The strategic commander must abide by instructions and notify the chain of command of strategic insinuations of a political decision. Military and political leaders must meet frequently to comprehend the perceptions of each other and manage the projected solutions to problems.

A force structure is a battle-competent part of a military group, which explains how military weapons, equipment, and their personnel are organized for the task, mission, and operations expected from them by a particular principle of service or demanded by the surroundings of the conflict.6

Risk assessment is determination of qualitative or quantitative value of risk associated with a concrete state of affairs and a recognized threat.

A number of threats may hinder the success of peacekeeping in Afghanistan. Information gathering has to recognize those fundamentals of parties in the argument that may intimidate members of the PKO.

Peacekeeping relates to paramilitary or military operations that are embarked on with the consent of all chief belligerents. These operations intend to facilitate and monitor achievement of an existing truce and maintain diplomatic efforts to arrive at a long-term political resolution. Before conducting peace keeping operation in Afghanistan, there is a need to obtain consent from both belligerents. This can be achieved by engaging the two parties through dialogue and informing them about the need for peacekeeping operation according to international codes.

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The single most significant aspect that is necessary for a peacekeeping operation to have the prospective for accomplishment is the consent to perform the operation by the country or countries and all major parties involved in the conflict.

One of the necessary requirement of an effective peacekeeping operation is upholding impartiality. All parties must be persuaded not to favor one party over the other. PKOs vary significantly from domestic security since a peacekeeping force will not act in assistance of the government as it is completely impartial. If the peacekeeping body loses its reputation due to impartiality, its value is destroyed. Training persons for peacekeeping responsibilities should put emphasis on flexibility, patience, self-discipline, impartiality, professionalism, inquisitiveness, and tact. A peacekeeping force must safeguard against imbalanced treatment and prevent contentious, off-the-record comments that may reach unplanned audience.

Transition and Exit

Members of the peacekeeping force shall be exempted from visa and passport regulations, immigration restrictions, and inspection on entrance or departure from the host country, Afghanistan. They shall as well be exempted from any rules governing habitation of foreigners in Afghanistan, including registration, but they shall not be allowed to acquire the right of permanent residence in the country.

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A member of the peacekeeping force may be asked to present, but not give in his identity card if demanded by Afghanistan authorities. This might be mutually agreed upon between the Afghan Government and the commander during transition 


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