Chapter 5: Logistic Support for Peace Support Operations
Traditional Peacekeeping Missions
503. Whilst these are not official NATO definitions, the
three categories of traditional peacekeeping missions may be
regarded as observation, interposition force, and transition assistance.
It is important to understand that in a specific
peacekeeping operation there may be aspects of two or all categories, as
well as elements of humanitarian missions.
- Observation. An Observation Mission is the most
basic peacekeeping operation, and its fundamental
purpose is to observe and report. This operation may range
in size from as few as 20 personnel to several hundreds.
- Interposition Force. This type of operation is conducted as a means of keeping two opposing military forces apart, in the immediate aftermath of hostilities while negotiations for a peace agreement are in progress. This requires the interposition of an impartial force between the
belligerents, the establishment of a buffer zone, and
continuous monitoring of the agreement. The size of the force and
its concept of operations will depend upon the terrain,
the availability of peacekeeping units, and the
specific requirements necessary to achieve control of the buffer
zone and the separation of the opposing armed forces.
- Transition Assistance. This type of operation is
initiated to support the transition of a country to
peaceful conditions and an acceptable political structure after
a civil conflict or struggle for independence or
autonomy. The peacekeeping force attempts to effect an end
to violence, to foster an environment in which the population can return to a normal life, and to
support the achievement of a negotiated settlement by the
parties in conflict. The execution of this mission will
probably require a large peacekeeping force, with distinct
and often co-equal military, civil police, and civil
administrative components. There must be close and
continuous coordination of the activities of all these components
as well as other agencies, such as United Nations
High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).