International Organizations United States. Congress. House. Committee on Forei.

The United Nations at fifty : hearing before the Subcommittee on International Security, International Organizations, and Human Rights of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, October 24, 1994 online

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people are involved, you would have to say they are heroes, the in-
dividual people, to go and be doing what they are doing. But they
have no chance.

And, Mr. Chairman, you know as well as I do, that the United
States is totally complicitous in this ethnic cleansing that is taking
place, because we supported the arms embargo. When you support
an arms embargo through the U.N., knowing in advance that one
side is heavily armed and the other side isn't, then you undertake
an obligation to balance things or to prevent the side that is heav-
ily armed from using their arms.

But we didn't do that. And the result has been ethnic cleansing.
It is almost like it is honoring that idea, and murder, rape, may-
hem, physical destruction. You watch the town of Dubrovnik being
shelled, and your heart cries out, how is it that that is permitted?
When really it would have been so easy to do something about it.
But we didn't. And we don't.

So this is one of those cases where everything imaginable that
is wrong is being done. And we do nothing about it. The world does
nothing about it. The U.N. does worse than nothing. It would be
a much better situation if the U.N. wasn't there. The U.N. person-
nel have only become hostages.

So you put more Bosnias into play, and pretty soon nobody — and
incompetence, and pretty soon nobody will support the U.N.

So this is a painful example of abuse, where the U.N. is used but
it isn't effective. It is worse than ineffective. And it associates itself
as a result with shameful diplomacy and being made a mockery of,
every day. And having no capacity to do anything about it. And
even to the extent that the U.N. does have some power at its side,
it is afraid to use it. NATO is ready, and the U.N. officials out


there rejected it. Those people have no business in the command
and control of a military operation.

I agree completely with Congressman Bereuter who said in his
opening statement, you quoted some poll of the American people.
Since you quoted it, I assume you agree with it, that it would be
a great mistake for the United States to put forces under the con-
trol of others. I agree with that. But if we are going' to put our
forces somewhere, we should put them there in a way that can be

So there are lots of examples that could be used. I tried to pick
some that showed where the U.N. was helpful and effective as a
process, some where I think it has failed miserably.

But let me finally conclude, Mr. Chairman, by saying that this
is a very important moment, in my opinion. People have noted
that, you noted that in your opening statement. It is an moment
of unprecedented economic opportunity, I think.

And at the same time, we are confronted with a political choice,
and that is, is the situation in the world generally in terms of rela-
tions among nations and how they are conducted, is that going to
be allowed to sort of deteriorate it into a kind of law of the jungle,
or are there going to be some understood rules of the game some-
how brought forward? And probably the U.N. process is one way
in which to do that.

There is, obviously, a primary responsibility on the part of the
major powers. And at the same time, they can use the U.N. and
try to distinguish out what its essential role is, and use it where
it can work, and when it is used, be sure it is used with com-
petence and strength so that it can be successful.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

[The biography of Secretary Shultz appears in the appendix.]


Mr. Lantos. Well, I want to thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.
Your testimony, like your book, is so rich in analytical substance
and in experience that one has very little difficulty raising a num-
ber of issues with you, if I may, and ask you to expand.

You have made a number of very critical points. One of these, ob-
viously, is that the U.N. needs the resources to do the job; and, un-
less the member nations are ready to offer the resources, it is unre-
alistic and counterproductive to task the U.N. with certain assign-
ments when it cannot carry those out.

Some people have recommended, since the U.N. needs resources
and there is a need in many situations for instantaneous action
which, some agrue, requires a U.N. military force, that the U.N.
cannot really go about constructing on an ad hoc basis, responding
to each particular crisis, national units. Instead, because interven-
tion can result in infinitely less resources needed to deal with the
problem, there needs to be a U.N. -ready force that could be put into
such situations.

To give just one example, I suspect the best estimates are that
half a million human beings were killed in Rwanda. It is probably
not unreasonable to suggest that a well-equipped U.N. force of
5,000 could have saved the lives of most, if not all, of these people.


But, the U.N. did not have its own capability; and it could not call
on others to move.

In sharp contrast to the Rwanda situation is our recent action
with respect to Kuwait. The United States decided that it would
not allow the possibility of another Iraqi invasion. Iraq was served
notice that if it moved it confronted the United States, and possibly
others. Subsequently, this crisis was diffused.

Do you feel, Mr. Secretary, that under the present circumstances
the U.N. could develop its own deployment force of whatever size,
depending on the air power and logistics of the great powers (the
United States, the U.K., etc.)? Or, do you think that it is an unreal-
istic expectation in the short term and that the U.N. will continue
to have to operate in terms of ad hoc military combinations that
are pulled together as the crisis develops?

Mr. Shultz. I would oppose that. I don't think it is desirable,
and I don't think it is practical. The U.N. has shown absolutely no
promise of the capability needed to exercise all of the things that
you have to do to have a competent military force and field it. That
is not an easy thing to do.

Now, the examples that you gave, I think in Rwanda, the prob-
lem wasn't that the U.N. didn't have a force ready for deploy. The
problem was that the great powers were not settled in their minds
whether it was a good idea, and it was the United States in par-
ticular, that held back, the Clinton administration through a span-
ner into the efforts that were under discussion in the U.N. on
Rwanda. And finally the French got so exasperated they announced
to the U.N., we are going to go there whether you like it or not.
And so the U.N. finally endorsed the French, and at first many
people objected because the French had been there as colonial pow-
ers, but by the time they had been there a little while and by the
time their withdrawal arrived, everybody was pleading with them
to stay.

And the French being typically French, they decide what they
are going to do, they announce what they will do, and they do it.
They announced they will withdraw on a certain date, and they did
it. But that was not the exhibition of the problem of having a U.N.
force. It was an exhibition of the lack of agreement among the pow-

Now, let me say, you mentioned the recent activity in Iraq to-
ward Kuwait, and the response of the U.N. I would say to you, that
was not a response of the U.N. That was a response of the United
States. If we had had a U.N. force and we had had to use the U.N.
force for that purpose, we would still be waiting, because I don't
think it should be lost on anybody that the Russians were not
ready to support that. And they are nurturing their historic ties
with Iraq.

Earlier in the hearing, the examples of Korea and Kuwait were
mentioned. And of course, they were U.N. operations. But they
were — surely everybody would have to agree, they were U.S. oper-
ations. And we, I think, very skillfully, President Truman and
President Bush, conducted them in such a way that they had a
U.N. umbrella, fortuitously in the case of Korea, but anyway, they
were basically U.S. operations, just as the most recent was a U.S.


operation, and President Clinton got it under a U.N. umbrella, that
was fine.

But I might say, I think it is a mistake if we get ourselves and
the United States in a frame of mind where we feel we can't do
anything unless the U.N. approves of it. That was one of the prob-
lems with the Haiti operation. I think if something is wrong in our
neighborhood and we feel that something should be done, if the
United Nations doesn't like it, we shouldn't feel we can't do things
that are in our security interests.

So anyway, in terms of the U.N. force, I wouldn't favor that.

Mr. Lantos. I fully share your view. As you know, the very dis-
tinguished former U.N. official, Brian Urquhart, who testified be-
fore our subcommittee does favor an independent United Nations
deployment force. But, I think it is naive to expect it to function;
and I fully share your view that the U.N., for the foreseeable fu-
ture, is clearly not equipped to handle its own military force.

Mr. Shultz. The idea of financing things, that is a very expen-
sive thing, as we all know, to start financing a military establish-
ment and get it equipped and trained and have it exercised and so
on, let alone deployed. So people are constantly reaching around
about money. And you mentioned some proposals for international

And I would like to find the Congressman or Senator anywhere
near my jurisdiction who announces his or her readiness to vote for
those taxes so I can organize a campaign to see that they don't get
elected. That is the most bizarre thing. I think we should resist

Mr. Lantos. I fully agree with you.

Mr. Shultz. And the countries have to be persuaded to put up
taxpayers' dollars to support these U.N. operations. That is why I
underline so strongly the importance of competence. And let people
see that, OK, when they got ready to do something, they conceived
the problem right, they sized the nature of what need to be done,
and given the resources, they did it well.

The Namibia example is a good example. Cambodia is another
good example.



Mr. Lantos. I fully agree with your last point.

Let me also raise a question with respect to Yugoslavia.^ I have
followed all of your public statements on that issue. I don't know
whether you have followed mine, but we have been absolutely on
the same wavelength from day one.

Mr. Shultz. Yes, I appreciate that.

Mr. Lantos. I want to raise the question of the use of deterrence
in situations of this kind. It seems to me, and you were one of the
prime and most successful practitioners of the use of deterrence
vis-a-vis the Soviet Union that we had a period of 40 years when
the power of deterrence prevented the Soviet Union from moving
a millimeter in Europe. Clearly, we have the power of deterrence
that can be used in dealing with Serbian aggression against Cro-
atia, Slovenia, and Bosnia.


Would it not have been a way to prevent 200,000 deaths and the
creation of 1 million refugees for NATO to use its power of deter-
rence in preventing military action within the former Yugoslavia?

Mr. Shultz. Absolutely. We had the power. Of course, deterrence
only works when the people you are trying to deter take you seri-
ously. And they don't take you seriously just because you have
forces. If it has been demonstrated that you won't use them, then
they are useless.

And that is exactly what we did. We demonstrated a lack of re-
solve time after time after time.

Mr. Lantos. I am not asking you to answer this; but let me offer
as my own opinion that, had you sat in the chair of Secretary of
State during the breakup of Yugoslavia, we would have used the
power of deterrence and the power of deterrence would have been
credible. Your voice would have been received as an authoritative
voice on this issue; and we wouldn't have had this nightmare that
we have seen unfold in Yugoslavia.

Mr. Shultz. I don't think it was my voice, Mr. Chairman, I think
it would have been President Reagan's voice. I might say at the
time we were in office, we had another voice that had been very
strong on this as in other issues, and that was Margaret Thatcher.
So you have some clear-identified people, who speak, and when
they speak, people know they mean it. You may not agree with
them, but you know they mean it, so you take them seriously.

Nowadays, nobody takes anybody seriously, because they are so


Mr. Lantos. Before I turn to my colleague for his questioning,
I would be grateful if you would comment a little bit on the restruc-
turing issue. What is your view, Mr. Secretary, concerning the ex-
pansion of the U.N. Security Council?

Would you care to name the countries or the types of countries
that, in your judgment, should be added to the Security Council;
and if so, should they be added as permanent members with or
without a veto?

Mr. Shultz. Well, if there they are going to be added as perma-
nent members, that is the only concept of addition that makes any
sense, because all countries rotate on to the Security Council and
rotate off again, so you are talking about permanent members.

And I don't know quite how you have some permanent members
who have a veto and other permanent members who don't.

Mr. Lantos. You establish a new category of permanent mem-
bers without a veto.

Mr. Shultz. I think you would find yourself struggling at that,
if you say that Japan is the second largest economy on earth, and
therefore any sensible thing to you would be that they ought to be
on the Security Council, it is certainly going to be a full member
of the Security Council, full member, I should think. Germany, the
same way. Those are the two prime candidates.

The hardest, and I think it is open and shut that they should be
on the Security Council, myself. The difficulty is, once you open
things up, then you have some arguments that are difficult to han-
dle. India is the largest democracy on earth. Brazil, particularly —


it looks as though maybe Brazil's economic act will get together
and it will get its economy going, and when it does, it will be
maybe the eighth largest economy going, and so on.

You mentioned Nigeria. Nigeria would be a nominee from Africa.
All right. On the other hand, when you look at the Nigerian Gov-
ernment and how it is stumbling around, to put that government
on the Security Council and give it a veto

Mr. Lantos. It is absurd.

Mr. Shultz. What you are getting around to is saying to your-
self, we are going to so structure the United Nations Security
Council, that it is unlikely, increasingly unlikely that it could be
a decisive group in a critical situation, because you get too many
diverse veto possibilities.

I am afraid an awful lot of our public life has become character-
ized by a situation where so many people can make it impossible
to proceed, that you don't get much happening. And that only un-
derlines the point that the U.N. is at best a process, and to use it
very carefully, you have to recognize in the end, from the stand-
point of the United States, you have to conduct our own bilateral
diplomacy, with the U.N. being used as is fit.


Mr. Lantos. Just as a final question on this matter, would you
make it a condition on Japan and Germany in becoming permanent
members of the Security Council that they agree to military partici-
pation in U.N. peacekeeping operations whenever they are called

Mr. Shultz. Well, it is a very tender issue. And I suppose that
is coming. But taking Japan as an example, I hate to see Japan
get turned on as a military power again. And every country I know
in Asia, and I know them pretty well, has that view. They just

And the Japanese people are not that anxious to do it. So maybe
they would need to agree. But I think we shouldn't be putting a
big effort on the Japanese.

There are huge needs for funds to support — the refugee problem
around the world is one of the most desperate ones imaginable, it
is very expensive, and that is an area where they could do a lot
more than they are doing. So I recognize it is a rather anomalous
thing, and certainly they should take part in peacekeeping oper-
ations. But it is very reluctant.

I am very nervous about the situation in North Korea. I don't
think the agreement that was made there is impressive at all. And
if it emerges that North Korea has nuclear weapons, no matter
what they say, I don't think Japan is going to be far behind. But
we don't want to encourage that.

Mr. Lantos. Isn't there an argument for having German or Japa-
nese participation in peacekeeping activities in an inverse relation-
ship to their geographic proximity to places? For example, Ger-
many could not be used in Yugoslavia and Japan could not be used
in Asia?

Mr. Shultz. Well, Japan was pretty effective in Cambodia.

Mr. Lantos. Yes.


Mr. Shultz. So people tend to have an interest — maybe a little
removed, but I don't know that — I think if you are going to go
ahead, you go ahead, but you go ahead with your fingers crossed.

Mr. Lantos. On a case-by-case basis.

Mr. Shultz. Yes.

Mr. LANTOS. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.

Congressman Bereuter.


Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for your tes-
timony and your responses. You responded to a question before re-
lated to a standing U.N. Army. Your response, quite negative, was,
I think, the view of the American people. The Clinton administra-
tion, while they may have looked at it briefly, abandon the concept.

There is a variant which would suggest that there ought to be
dedicated forces out there more readily available to be called. The
U.N. Charter has authorized something you could call a military
command structure, but never really been put in place.

The United States has uniquely strong logistical capabilities. We
are now sharing some of U.N./U.S. tactical or military intelligence
capabilities with some of the U.N. operations, as in the case of
what is happening in Bosnia.

Is there anything to be gained from this variant? Do you have
any thoughts of this variant of dedicated forces still under the con-
trol until called upon, until released by the individual member

Mr. Shultz. I think as long as the control — speaking from the
standpoint of the United States — as long as the control remains
with the United States, and we commit forces according to our pro-
cedures, having a unit or units or various components that do
whatever special things may be needed to make them especially
useful is a good — it is a good idea. But I am very dubious about
a U.N. military command structure. I think if we are going to wind
up committing the forces, then we better use the U.S. command
structure, as far as U.S. troops are concerned.


Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you.

Mr. Secretary, Article 2, Paragraph 7 of the U.N. Charter sug-
gests that U.N. intervention is prohibited, quote: "In matters essen-
tially within the domestic jurisdiction of any states," unless it
somehow threatens international security.

We are protecting the Kurds in northern Iraq. It is thought that
we should have been in earlier in Rwanda to keep that genocide
from happening.

Is a new process going on in the post-cold war era when we have
many more racial/ethnic breakouts, no longer suppressed by the So-
viet Union or the United States, that call us to have greater defini-
tion about when we intervene in internal affairs of a country?

Mr. SHULTZ. It is a very hard problem, and I think we should be
very reluctant. On the other hand, all the countries, when they
sign up for the United Nations and become a member, in effect, ac-
cept the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. And so you get
a kind of a mixed picture all the time.


The fact is that in this day and age, sovereignty doesn't mean the
same as it did years ago. There are so many things that go across
borders that the sovereign doesn't control, that there is change in
the concept. And I think that in the area of human rights, there
is something taking place that has to get nourished along.

But as I said in my testimony, I think one of the things that the
U.N. should be a vehicle for doing is kind of raising standards
around the world. And I don't mean by that that you just intervene
everywhere. But certainly in the case of what has happened in the
old Yugoslavia, there are the grossest kind of violations, and appar-
ently nobody is being held accountable at all.

We have just lifted the sanctions on Serbia, while keeping them
on the Muslims. I might say, I know lots of people in the Muslim
world. It is not lost on them that it is Muslims that we are helping.

Mr. Bereuter. I certainly agree. I have said on the floor of the
House, as a matter of fact, earlier, on many occasions, that it is un-
conscionable for us to deny people the ability to defend themselves
against superior odds. And that is exactly what we have done.

Mr. Shultz. You have put it exactly right.


Mr. Bereuter. Mr. Secretary, I mentioned "failed states" or
failed nation states. You could, I think, justly place Rwanda or
Haiti in that category, and you could name several other countries.
A couple of academics, Gerald Helman and Steven Ratner, lately
have suggested we need a new form of international response to
those failed states, and have written a very useful article in the
journal Foreign Policy.

They are proposing something you might call putting a failed
state in receivership, under U.N. supervision, where you have them
give up elements of sovereignty and for a particular time you put
in massive multilateral and bilateral resource, and even adminis-
tration, to deal with the failed nation state.

It is not like a trusteeship, a World War I period to World War
II period concept, because these territories of the concurred coun-
tries would not be defeated countries, and were not sovereign coun-
tries. But do you have any thoughts about the concept that we now
have failed nation states that have no ability to provide for their
citizens, no ability to govern themselves, and if so, how does the
international community and the United States respond to those
failed nation states and the instability they create?

Mr. Shultz. I am afraid of the concept. I think it is inviting fail-
ure, if you are not careful. And you set yourself up to say that
there are some circumstances where we will do what? We will come
in, we will provide law and order, we will provide economic assist-
ance, and so on. And people may scratch their heads and say, that
would be better than what we have, so let's invite them in, let's de-
clare ourselves a failed nation.

It is like bankruptcy laws. They get abused. So I think that is
a slippery concept.

You mentioned Rwanda as a failed state. And I don't remember
whether you mentioned Haiti or not.

Mr. Bereuter. Yes.


Mr. Shultz. Well, it is a failed state, Haiti, in the sense that it
is economically bankrupt. It is ruled by people, was ruled by people
who usurped power in a coup, and returned Haiti to the same kind
of situation that it had been in for 100 years. But it is still a place
with boundaries.

And personally, I was not in favor of what was done in Haiti.
Now that it has been done, I am in favor of seeing it through and
making it work. We are there, and so let's do it and get it right
if we can.

But we are in, I think, a very uncomfortable position in Haiti.
I hope that we will feel as good 6 months from now as we feel now.
I kind of doubt it. So I think it is a slippery business. And there
isn't a good answer.

I know you are saying, are there some rules to be developed
about how we intervene in another country's affairs? And the ex-
treme is if we declare chaos to be there, we see how fragile civiliza-
tion is. Look happened to Beirut. It is a wonderful place, destroyed.
Maybe it is having a rebirth now.

You can say the same for large areas of the United States, places
in our cities where you won't go. In Washington, D.C. shall we de-
clare those — declare Washington a failed state and take it over?
New York City? Chicago? There are places in those cities that are
not being governed effectively right now.

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Online LibraryInternational Organizations United States. Congress. House. Committee on ForeiThe United Nations at fifty : hearing before the Subcommittee on International Security, International Organizations, and Human Rights of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, October 24, 1994 → online text (page 3 of 10)