From: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
ORIGINAL: Joe D.
There was a "dual key" system set-up between the UN in NY and the peacekeepers on the ground that proved to be a dual lock; when the Dutch finally requested air support against advancing Serbs, the denial from NY noted that their request was sent on the wrong form (!), and when air support was finally approved, practice bombs were dropped!
That's what I wrote. UN's bureaucracy negatively affected the outcome of their own mission. In my previous post I attached detailed analysis about how UN screwed up things with "dual keys" on critical day.
The Dutch peacekeepers were so few in number that they more of a trip-wire than a deterrent to aggression.
Are you sure about this?
UN Duchbat had: 310 men, 30 YPR-765 APC, six TOW AT missles and six 81mm mortars. Also they relied on air support (about 50 NATO planes of all types). The Serb forces allotted to the operation totaled about 3,000 troops with about 10 tanks and APCs, six to 12 field artillery pieces or multiple rocket launchers over 100 mm, 40 to 50 mortars, recoilless rifles, and 76 mm artillery pieces.
Don't forget that Duchbat wasn't alone. There was defending 28 ARBiH Inf. Div. which had about 6.000 men but armed only with rifles, few RPGs and one artillery piece: 76mm M-48B1 "mountain gun" with 40 rounds. For people who are less familiar with Bosnian conflict I need to emphasize that the main reason for such bad logistical situation on side of defenders was again UN - who imposed an arms embargo on both sides. But the embargo practically hurted the Army of BiH (defenders) the most because the Serbs inherited the lion's share of the Yugoslav People Army's arsenal.
(All above data and figures are from CIA study: Balkan Battlegrounds - A Military History of the Yugoslav Conflict, 1990-1995, Vol. I, Washington, 2002).
So, in short:
1. UN imposed embargo which denied arms to defenders to defend themselves;
2. UN, before Srebrenica, watched 3,5 years of ethnic cleansing, concentration camps, rapes, mass murders... doing nothing to show determination to stop that;
3. UN proclaimed safe zones and promised to protect civilians inside, even with force;
4. UN watched how Serbs attack safe zone and their own forces inside zone for straight five days doing nothing;
5. When they decided to do something they advised defenders to pull back from last line of defense as they promised "NATO air armada to create zone of death obliterating all Serbs heavy weapons in the area" (later only two airplanes showed up).
6. Finally, when Serbs took over Srebrenica, "brave" UN Dutchbat soldiers began expelling the refugees from their base straight into hand of their executors.
Because all of this we have every right to call them "spineless and worthless" UN forces.
Having spent 6 months peacekeeping in Bosnia during SFOR7, I know something about the history there, but for the record, peacekeeping works best when there actually IS a peace to keep.
First, there was a huge difference between UNPROFOR and SFOR. Second, Bosnians in '92-'95 period never asked so much for inefficient peacekeepers. We primarily asked for lifting of unjust arms embargo to defend ourselves but we were denied.
< Message edited by Emir Agic -- 7/15/2012 12:27:04 AM >