Fires All Around the Horizon: The U.N.'s Uphill Battle to Preserve the Peace

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Fires All Around the Horizon reports on the performance of the United Nations as a peacekeeping agency during its first four decades--its successes, failures, and limitations. Written by an award-winning diplomatic correspondent who frequently observed the conflicts and discussions generated in the United Nations first-hand, this volume describes and analyzes more than 30 conflicts, from Palestine and Korea through the Falkland Islands and Grenada. For each, the author examines the origin of the conflict, who was responsible, and what role, if any, the United Nations played in restoring and maintaining peace. Written with a keen eye for detail and political nuance, this fascinating book offers the reader a well-grounded awareness not only of the United Nation's peacekeeping efforts, but also of the major international conflicts of our time. In addition to describing the conflicts themselves, Harrelson interweaves discussions of the critical issues these conflicts raised -- the Cold War, the location of the United Nations, decolonization, the United Nations in transition, the seating of Red China, the battle with South Africa. He shows that the United Nations has enjoyed some measure of success in its peacekeeping function, but has often been ineffective -- primarily due to the readiness of member nations to resort to force to settle disputes. By providing a broad historical perspective of the United Nation's peacekeeping efforts, Harrelson enables the student of international politics to form a more realistic picture of what can be expected of that organization as a peacekeeping force in the future.