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The meaning of peacekeeping

To the editor:

In last week’s viewpoints, William Chevalier declared that the U.S. was the world’s peacekeeper. The problem with that view is that peacekeeping is not about throwing one’s weight around and threatening everyone with “shock and awe” bombing campaigns. Peacekeeping requires, first and foremost, a reluctance to use violence.

Speak softly and carry a big stick is intimidation, not peacekeeping. Obama threatening to bomb Syria is intimidation, not peacekeeping. Peacekeeping is so much more and it would have been addressing the Syrian civil war from the outset.

Peacekeeping is a process, not an action, and is not suited for short attention spans, sound bites and headlines.

Tricia Saenger


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