chapter  3
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
WithRamesh Thakur
Pages 44

A United Nations peacekeeping force was injected into southern Lebanon in order to stabilize the anarchic conditions of the region in March 1978. Governmental authority in Lebanon was destroyed during the civil war of 1975-1976. As part of the power-sharing deal, the Muslims abandoned aspirations for a larger pan-Arab-Islamic political identity. The ambiguity and subjectiveness of minimal force-cum-maximal tact was doubled in the case of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, for in Lebanon no stable government existed to which responsibility could be pinned. Insofar as the security of peacekeeping soldiers is concerned, the UN can give the appearance of devoting more time to debating political points than to looking after "its" soldiers - for they are not UN soldiers, but rather the responsibility of the contributing countries. Essential to the success of peacekeeping operations is great power assent, both for purposes of excluding themselves from involvement in the local conflict and for reasons of finance.