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The United Nations Is Controversial: However, They Can Be Crucial To Fighting Terrorism in Africa.

ArmchairPolitiicianUnitedNations, July 29, 2017, by Brad Peery, WWW.ArmchairPolitician.US, ArmchairPolitician.US@gmail.com

The United Nations (U.N.) is a controversial body. It is accused of being blatantly biased against Israel, one the U.S.’s strongest allies. It is also accused of being ineffectual in dealing with Iran, North Korea, and Syria. The U.S. has asked the U.N. to cut costs, and is planning on providing reduced funding to the U.N..

The United States is the biggest U.N. contributor, paying 22 percent of the $5.4 billion core budget and 28.5 percent of the $7.9 billion peacekeeping budget. The Trump Budget proposal cuts about a third from U.S. diplomacy and aid budgets, or nearly $19 billion. This includes cutting some $1 billion from U.N. peacekeeping funding. Trump wants to cap the U.S. peacekeeping contribution at 25 percent.

The United States is reviewing each of the 16 U.N. peacekeeping missions as the annual mandates come up for renewal by the Security Council in a bid to cut costs. There are 95,301 uniformed personnel in the U.N. Civilian personnel total 15,319. There are 112,207 total personnel. This a substantial local military contribution, compared to the U.S. military presence in terrorist regions such as the Middle East. The U.S. might be a very effective contributor, if it was more involved in training U.N. forces.

In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley sidestepped questions about the size of the proposed cuts, focusing instead on her goal of finding “real value” in the large numbe of UN agencies providing humanitarian aid, demanding clear guideposts for peacekeeping efforts, and working to end attacks on Israel . She said the president’s budget “was helpful at putting countries on notice that we are not being taken for granted anymore.”

The U.S. is targeting savings of $150 million alone on efforts to scale back the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti, Haley said. Larger savings will come from reducing the U.S. contribution to the peacekeeping budget to 25 percent of total costs from 28.5 percent currently, she said.

Below are the most important UN missions:
Central African Republic
In the Central African Republic since April 2014, Strength: 13,389 total
Approved budget (07/2016– 06/2017): $920,727,900
The Central African Republic conflict is an ongoing civil war in the Central African Republic involving the government, rebels from the Séléka coalition and the Anti-balaka militias

Democratic Republic of the Congo
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo since July 2010, Strength: 22,199 total
Approved budget (07/2016 – 06/2017): $1,235,723,100
Subject to foreign interference since the colonial era, the eastern Congo poses difficult questions about the role of international intervention. The UN mission—the largest peacekeeping deployment in the world—has provided crucial support for the DRC’s peace process, but many observers argue that it lacks a clear strategy for sustaining the peace and eradicating the plethora of armed groups that remain. With presidential elections originally scheduled for 2016 likely to be delayed to 2017 or even later, the Congolese government, Western policymakers, and regional leaders all face pivotal decisions that will determine whether the country can consolidate its democratic progress.

Darfur
In Darfur since July 2007, Strength: 19,797
Approved budget (07/2016 – 06/2017): $1,039,573,200
For the past four years, the remote Sudanese region of Darfur has been the scene of a bloody conflict that has led to the death of thousands of people and the displacement of more than two million. The United Nations has described it as “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis” and the United States government called it “genocide.” The violence and destruction is often compared to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Haiti
In Haiti since June 2004, Strength: 5,063 total
Approved budget (07/2016 – 06/2017): $345,926,700
The U.S. has called for the elimination of funding for the U.N. intervention in Haiti.

Lebanon
In Lebanon since March 1978,Strength: 11,390
Approved budget (07/2016 – 06/2017): $488,691,600
The 2006 Lebanon War, also called the 2006 Israel–Hezbollah War and known in Lebanon as the July War was a 34-day military conflict in Lebanon, Northern Israel and the Golan Heights. The principal parties were Hezbollah paramilitary forces and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The conflict started on 12 July 2006, and continued until a United Nations-brokered ceasefire went into effect in the morning on 14 August 2006, though it formally ended on 8 September 2006 when Israel lifted its naval blockade of Lebanon. Due to unprecedented Iranian military support to Hezbollah before and during the war, some consider it the first round of the Iran–Israel proxy conflict, rather than a continuation of the Arab–Israeli conflict.

Mali
In Mali since April 2013, Strength: 14,043 total
Approved budget: (07/2016– 06/2017): $933,411,000
Mali is in the grip of an unprecedented political crisis, one of the most serious since the landlocked West African country gained independence from France in 1960.
It was hit by a coup in March 2012 – and a rebellion in the north that has caused alarm around the world. The former colonial power has now deployed troops after an appeal from Mali’s interim president.
The five main Islamists groups in Mali are Ansar Dine, Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao), al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Signed-in-Blood Battalion and the Islamic Movement for Azawad (IMA).

Abyei, Sudan
In Abyei, Sudan since June 2011,Strength: 4,770 total
Approved budget (07/2016 – 06/2017): $268,624,600
Abyei is a tormented piece of land, locked on the border between Sudan and South Sudan. It has been violently contested since South Sudan split from the north in 2011. There is oil here, which the governments of Sudan and South Sudan desire to possess. There is no government in Abyei, no legal justice system and no police force. When South Sudan gained independence, the governments of Khartoum and Juba failed to agree on the border division, leaving Abyei’s status unresolved. A United Nations peacekeeping mission – the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) – has monitored the situation here since 2011. When South Sudan seceded, most of greater Sudan’s oil fields went with it. One of these, known as Difra oil field, remains disputed inside the Abyei region.

South Sudan
In South Sudan since July 2011, Strength: 15,873 total
Approved budget(07/2016 – 06/2017): $1,081,788,400
The South Sudanese Civil War is a conflict in South Sudan between forces of the government and opposition forces. In December 2013, President Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar and ten others of attempting a coup d’état. Up to 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the war, including notable atrocities such as the 2014 Bentiu massacre. Although both men have supporters from across South Sudan’s ethnic divides, subsequent fighting has had ethnic undertones. Kiir’s Dinka ethnic group has been accused of attacking other ethnic groups and Machar’s Nuer ethnic group has been accused of attacking the Dinka. More than 3.5 million people have been displaced in a country of about 12 million, with more than 2.1 million internally displaced and more than 1.5 million having fled to neighboring countries, especially Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda.[58] Fighting in the agricultural heart in the south of the country has soared the number of people facing starvation to 6 million, with famine breaking out in some areas.

ArmchairPolitician.US Opinion:
The U.N. has a number of important functions, although some like their climate change and population control efforts will not be supported by the Trump administration. The U.N. will be driven to be more efficient, and their 16 peacekeeping operations will be reexamined. Much of the peacekeeping efforts are directed at Africa, where governments are weak and tribal rivalries strong. ISIS and al Qaeda find this kind of situation inviting. The UN could be even a more important vehicle for fighting terrorism in Africa, if the U.S. gets more involved in their efforts.

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      We at ArmchairPolitician.US have published our first book on Amazon. We have also published it on Kindle. Its title is: Trump’s Political Agenda and Achievements, By ArmchairPolitician.US and Brad Peery.

      I thought you might have an interest in getting an update on our website that is organized by subject, making it easier for you to get an overall picture of each of the subjects, countries, and events that are going on and affect U.S political issues and possible solutions.

      I look at this as the first edition of what will be our first of publication. I plan to update the book about every 3-4 months as an update to our blog site http://WWW.ArmchairPolitician.US. I plan to continue posting political blogs on http://WWW.ArmchairPolitician.U.S.

      If what I am doing is of interest, please buy the book and let me know you have done so. I will then put you on a preferred list that can stay in touch with me personally, and with whom I can communicate directly.

      Thanks for your interest in our blog, and hopefully our book, and staying in touch with us.

      Brad Peery & ArmchairPolitician.US

      Book: WWW. Amazon.com, Trump’s Political Agenda and Achievements
      Blog Site: http://WWW.ArmchairPolitician.US
      Email: ArmchairPolitician.US@gmail.com

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