From the Korean War to the Gulf crisis: a study of the evolution of United Nations peacekeeping (1950-1991)
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With the League of Nations’ inability to maintain mternational peace and security the Allied Powers of the Second World War began to work on the creation of an international organization that would be more efficient and powerfiil in matters of international peace and security. Therefore, in 1945 the United Nations was established. The system envisaged in the United Nations Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security bore some resemblance to the League of Nations system, but this time the authority to decide on matters of international peace and security was given to a smaller body, that is, the Security Council. However, the Korean War, which was the first case that the United Nations used its enforcement powers showed that the system of collective security as envisaged in the United Nations Charter would not work in the future because of the Cold War divide. In order to overcome the stalemate in the Security Council and fulfill its primary responsibility, that is, maintenance of international peace and security the United Nations conducted peacekeeping operations which were not envisioned in the United Nations Charter but rather was a response to the deadlock in the Security Council. During the Cold War, although the task o f peacekeeping was limited to containing local or re^onal conflicts so as to prevent the escalation of them into major wars where the two superpowers would confront each other with the relaxation of Cold War tensions towards the end o f the 1980s peacekeeping began to acquire new tasks and responsibilities. With the cooperation of the superpowers in the Security Council the United Nations, after forty years could again use its enforcement powers to revert Iraqi aggression against Kuwait. Therefore, with the end of the Cold War the superpowers were again able to cooperate which opened the way for new peacekeeping operations with multidimensional tasks in order to end long-lasting conflicts.