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969 December 20,1993 EXPANDINGTHE UN. SECURITY COUNCIL
ARECIPEFORMOWSOMALIAS, MOW GRIDLOCK ANDLESS DEMOCRACY INTRODUCTION
The tragedy and disaster in Somalia-where 26 American soldiers have
been killed in a misguided mission of nation-building-is the
inevitable result of the Clinton Administrations post-Cold War
vision. Clinton and his aides viewed Somalia as a laboratory where
their theori e s of a new kind of peacemaking mission would be
proved. Unfortunately, despite the failure in Somalia, Clinton and
his foreign policy ad visers refuse to revise the underlying
policies and assumptions that caused the U.S. to fol low the United
Nations in taking sides in Somalias civil war.
One of these policy assumptions is that the U.N.s role in
establishing international security should be greatly increased. As
part of its campaign to boost the U.N the Clinton Administration
has proposed an expansion of the Security Councils permanent member
ship beyond its current five rnembem2 The purpose of this change is
to make the Security Councilmore representative of Third World
But adding more countries to the Security Council will dilute
American inf luence. Every country currently on the Security
Council pursues its own goals and self-interests. More countries on
the Security Council would mean a greater divergence of goals and
thus more gridlock. Moreover, because some of the new members
inevitably will be dictatorships and possibly hostile to the United
States, an expanded Security Council will be more likely to oppose
American values and interests.
Overall, the Clinton policy toward the U.N. threatens to
entangle America in costly and unwinnable wa rs that do not advance
the interests of the United States. President Clinton is 9 1 2
Thomas Lippman and Barton Gellman, A Humanitarian GestureTurns
Deadly, The Washington Post, October 10 1993, p. Al.
The permanent members of the Security Council are the United
States, Russia, China, France, and Great Britain. exacerbating the
problem by calling for an expanded and more powerful Security
To avoid entangling the U.S. in failed U.N. peacekeeping
operations, Clinton should K K x Resist the idea that expanding the
permanent membership of the U.N.
Security Council will enhance world peace. Letting more
countries onto the Security Council as permanent members makes it
more likely that aggressive dic tatorships like Iran and Libya will
become members a nd will use the Security Council to undermine
world peace Be cautious in expanding the peacekeeping role of the
Security Council. A larger Security Council would be less effective
It also would reduce U.S. influence in the U.N Rely less on the
Security Co u ncil, and more on strategic alliances, to secure
American interests Peacekeeping operations administered by U.S.-led
regional coalitions are preferable to ones inspired and led by the
U.N. itself THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE CLINTON FOREIGN POLICY
AGENDA In September, the Clinton Administration explained its
vision for the world. In a series of speeches by the President,
National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, U.N. Permanent
Representative Madeleine Albright, and Secretary of State Warren
Christopher, the Cl i nton team expressed its collective belief
that the U.S. does not face a serious enemy. The big gest threat to
America, they say, comes from chaos, ethnic wars, and aggressive
dictator ships.3 At the National War College, Albright said that"in
today's glob a l village, chaos is an in fection If the infection
is not contained, her reasoning goes, then it will eventually des
tabilize one country after another, threatening trade and world
peace. The Clinton policy thus puts a new twist in the Cold War
"domino th e ory Instead of communism threatening world stability,
the virus today is vaguely defined as wars and chaos democracies in
the world. That was the theme of a speech given by Lake on
September 21 at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International
Studies in Washington, D.C. In that speech Lake theorized that
America is safest when the world is filled with democratic free
market countries. Danger comes from non-democratic, aggressive
dictatorships. Lake believes that "our own safety is shaped by the
charac t er of foreign regime To enlarge the number of free market
democracies, Lake proposed four strategies: 1) to strengthen the
community of major market democracies; 2) to foster and consolidate
new democracies and market economies 3) to counter the aggressio n
-and support the To contain this chaos, Clinton wants to "enlarge"
the number of free market 3 "Address by the President to the 48th
Session of the United Nations General Assembly September 27, 1993;
Secretary of State Warren Christopher Building Peace in the Middle
East speech at Columbia University, September 20, 1993 Madeleine
Albright Remarks to the National War College September 23, 1993;
Anthony Lake From Containment to Enlargement remarks at Johns
Hopkins University School of Advanced International S tudies,
September 21,1993 4 Lake. op. cit., p.4 2 liberalization-of states
hostile to democracy and markets; and 4) to pursue the
Administrations humanitarian agenda.5 Increasing Cooperation. One
place this strategy will be carried out is at the United Na tions
Security Council. As the main security arm of the U.N the Security
Council figures highly in the Clinton Administrations new strategy
of democratic expansion. An impor tant assumption is that the U.S.
must increase cooperation with other nations in the U.N.
PeterTarnoff, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs,
was quoted as saying that America under Clinton will resist taking
the lead in military .missions because America lacks the leverage,
influence, and inclination.yy6 From now on, outside of directly
defending U.S. territory, the United States will not act alone
militarily. Thus, under the Clinton criteria, unilateral
military.actions like those that occurred in Panama in 1989 and
Grenada in 1983 would not have happened. Instead, the U.S. would
wait for international approval from the U.N. and take action only
in partnership with other nations. At the same time, the U.S. would
participate in multilateral forces, but it would not act alone in
coming to the aid of other countries such as Bos nia or
The Clinton team apparently hopes that this brand of
multilateral interventionism will begin a new era in world history.
As Lake told the Johns Hopkins audience, he hope[s that the habit
of multilateralism may one day enable the rule of law to play a far
more civilizing role in the conduct of nations, as envisioned by
the founders of the United Na tion Morton Halperin, Clintons
nominee for the newly created post of Assistant Secretary of
Defense for Democracy and Peacekeeping, supports some t hing called
an in ternational guarantee. Under this plan, America would promise
to allow the use of American troops to enforce U.N. Security
Council resolutions aimed at restoring or estab lishing
constitutional democracies. This guarantee would help prot ect
threatened democracies from aggression or rebellion. And, according
to Halperin it could even be used to assist self-proclaimed
democratic rebels against dictatorships.
Lending Forces, Sharing Intelligence. The degree to which the
U.S. plans to depend on the U.N. to cany out this multilateral
policy of enlargement is found in various drafts of a secret White
House document called Presidential Decision Directive- 13 (PDD- 13
Cur rent drafts of PDD- 13 call for U.N. military intervention in a
wide range o f circumstances including when a country undergoes a
sudden and unexpected interruption of established democracy or
gross violation of human rights. When that occurs, PDD-13 calls for
American troops to be placed under the control of a U.N. commander
to d o whatever is necessary to fulfill U.N. Security Council
resolutions. This could include fighting a war. To help the U.N
American intelligence will be shared with the U.N. and with those
nations lending forces to the military operation. PDD- 13 also
calls f or America to pay for the U.N.s military headquarters. To
cover the costs of the U.N. military operation, PDD-13 recommends a
tax on international air travel, arms sales, and telephone calls 91
5 Ibid.,p. 6 6 7 8 9 Ibid 10 Martin Peretz, From Sarajevo to
Jerusalem, TheNew Republic, September 6, 1993, p. 21.
Lake, op. cit., p. 12.
Morton Halperin, Guaranteei ng Democracy, Foreign Policy Summer
1993, p. 105 Memorandum to the Secretary of State, et al. from
Anthony Lake, Draft PDD on Peacekeeping, September 22,1993 Annex I
3 In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly on September 27,
President Clinton publicly st a ted his support for the principles
of PDD-13: We support the creation of a genuine U.N. peacekeeping
headquarters with a planning staff, with access to timely
intelligence with a logistics unit that can be deplo ed on a
moments notice, and a modem operati ons center with global
His Administration has already voted in the Security Council to
fund seven U.N military missions: Bosnia, Somalia, Haiti, former
Soviet Georgia, Liberia, and two in Rwanda.%he.U.S. is one of the
nations contributing t roops to the U.N. operations in Bos nia,
Somalia, and Haiti rl THE U.N; SECURITY COUNCIL AND MILITARY
OPERATIONS The Security Council consists of fifteen member nations.
Five of these are permanent members: the United States, Russia,
China, France, and Gr e at Britain. The other ten are elected by
the General Assembly for two-year terms engaged in fighting. They
were mainly limited to monitoring cease-fires and serving as buf
fers between enemies like Israel and Egypt or India and Pakistan.
As the Cold War w o und down, however, U.N. peacekeeping expanded.
For example, U.N. forces demobilized the contras in Nicaragua,
supervised the transition of Namibia from South African rule to
inde pendence, and monitored human rights abuses in El Salvador
Since the end of t he Cold War, the U.N. has become even more
ambitious. From February 1992 until May 1993, it supervised the
government of Cambodia while organiz ing an election in that
country. That operation required 22,000 personnel, including 15,900
troops, and cost al m ost $2 billion. The Security Council,
however, hit its apex during the 1991 Persian Gulf War when it was
given a high-profile role of issuing resolutions and making demands
of Saddam Hussein The Albright Plan. Because the Clinton
Administration endorsed a more activist U.N it has endorsed the
idea of expanding the permanent membership of the Security
U.N. Ambassador Madeleine Albright believes that the Security
Council should more closely resemble the mix of U.N. member
nations. Specifically, she hopes to see more rep resentatives
fromThird World states on the Security Council. According to one
govern ment official, Albrights goal is to produce a diverse
Security Council which is more at tuned to Third World needs, is
not dominated by white First World states, and transforms the
United States into a caring and sensitive world citizen rather than
a domineering world leader.14 During the Cold War, military
missions approved by the Security Council rarely 11 12 13 14
Clinton, op. cit., p. 7.
The first mission, a contingent of 81 troops to monitor the
Rwandmganda border, will be in addition to another force of as many
as 2,500 troops to aid in the transition to democracy.
For more information on peacekeeping, see Andrew J. Cowin,
Expanding United Nations Peacekeeping Role Poses Risks for America,
Heritage Foundation Buckgrounder No. 917, October 13,1992.
TheTarnoff Doctrine at the UN, an undated paper by a foreign
policy government official who wishes to remain unnamed 4 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 The first step in Albrights strategy to expand the
Security Council has already been taken In a June speech to the
Foreign Policy Association, Albright endorsed permanent membership
on the Security Council for Germany and Japan. In so doing, she now
has two allies w ho also want to enlarge the Security Council.
Albright apparently knows that it will be impossible for Germany
and Japan to join the Security Council without the addition of
between four and fifteen other countries, most of which will be
Third World count ries.
No changes in Security Council membership can be made without
the support of the Third World countries in the U.N. Seats can be
added to the Security Council only by amending the U.N. Charter.
Amendments require a yes vote from two-thirds of the Gene ral
Assembly, or 123 countries. TheThird World bloc consists of 139
states and can prevent or assure passage Third World Complaints.
Security Council representation is very important to Third World
diplomats. Since 1963, when the Security Council last exp anded
from eleven to its present fifteen members, the U.N. has grown from
113 countries to 1
84. Third World diplomats frequently charge that a failure to
expand the Security Council commensurately is anti-democratic and
underrepresents the interests of their countries.
For example, Ambassador Chinmaya Gharekhan of India argues that
Wider repre sentation in the Security Council is a must, if it is
to ensure its moral sanction and political effectiveness.16 Ronald0
Sardenberg, Ambassador from Brazil, predic ts that A more rep
resentative and balanced composition will inevitably enhance the
Councils a~thority The government of Guatemala submitted its
opinion in writing to the U.N stating, For Council resolutions to
be fully binding, they must reflect the posi t ion of nations both
large and small, those with nuclear weapons and those without.18
Some of the most enthusiastic supporters of expanding the Security
Council are the most anti-democratic and anti-American countries in
the world. For example, Cuba, Libya North Korea, Sudan, and Vietnam
want to enlarge the Security Council. Libyan Ambas sador Ali Ahmed
Elhouderi asserts that Security Council resolutions cannot be
satisfac tory unless they are adopted through a wider participation
in a Security Council whic h is more representative of the family
of nations.19 The Ambassador from Cuba supports ex pandin the
Security Council because of the need to democratize international
organiza tions. Perhaps most ironic, the former president of
Nigeria, Ibrahim Babangida, w ho refused to turn over power to a
freely elected leader (but was later overthrown in a military
coup), insists that The logic of democracy cannot be confined
within the borders of in dividual states but must, of necessity, be
applicable to the operation of international or ganizations.,,2 15
The countries that vote for changing the Charter must put the
changes through the treaty ratification process at home. In
America, the U.S. Senate most vote to ratify the change.
General Assembly document N47RV.69, 12/10/92, p. 15 Ibid p. 18
General Assembly document N48/264, September 20, 1993, p. 44 Ibid
p. 47 Ibid p. 74.
Al46RV.22 p. 54-55 5 REASONS FOR NOT EXPANDING THE SECURITY
COUNCIL There are five reasons why the U.N. Security Council should
not be expanded Re ason #1: It would violate the Clinton
Administrations strategy of enlarging democracy around the world.
Albrights proposals to increase the permanent membership the
Security Council are at odds with the Administrations goal of
democratic enlargement. Most countries at the U.N. are hostile to
the free market; some are dictatorships. One hundred and eleven
countries can be clas sified as dictatorships or as only partly
free. Expanding the Security Council would give more of
those.countries.a greater voice in decisions about world peace
Reason #2: Rogue nations might be strengthened and legitimized.
More important adding seats to the Security Council means that a
higher percentage of U.N members will sit on the Security Council.
Today, one out of twelve countr i es sits on the Security Council.
The Albright plan means that as many as one out of seven U.N.
members would sit on the Council. Doing this increases the chan ces
that rogue nations like Libya, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, or
Syria will get a turn as a member of the Council. Since the Clinton
Administration proposes sharing intelligence with the U.N. to
improve its peacekeeping opera tions, expanding the Security
Council would make it more likely that anti-American nations could
get their hands on sensi tive information crucial to defending U.S.
national security Reason #3: Decision-making at the Security
Council would become more difficult.
Security Council resolutions require a three-fifths majority and
can be vetoed by any permanent member. A bigger Se curity Council
means that more countries will have to approve each resolution.
More permanent members in crease the likelihood of a veto, and more
non-permanent members makes it more likely that resolutions will
need to be watered down to achieve com prom i se. According to John
Bolton, the Assistant Secretary of State responsible for
coordinating U.N. and American diplomacy during the Gulf War, even
with just fifteen Security Council members, it was hard to get the
U.N. to act effec tively. The Albright pla n would make matters
even worse. Says Bolton: the complexity of negotiations in the
Council does increase eometrically with the addition of new
members, especially permanent ones 29 Reason #4 The likelihood of
more failed U.N. military operations would inc rease. The U.N. has
a poor record of stopping wars. The U.N. has taken the lead in
three small-scale wars since 1960: the Congo from 1960 to 1964,
Bosnia since 1992 and Somalia since 19
92. All three were fiasc0s.2~ In the Congo for instance 234 U.N.
soldiers were killed and the operation cost over $400 million ($2
bil 22 23 John Bolton, No Expansion for U.N. Security Council, The
Wall Sfreer Journal, January 26, 1993, p. 21.
The U.N. has been involved in two full-scale wars-Korea a nd the
Gulf War-but those efforts were really run by the U.S. with the
U.N.s blessing 6 lion in 1992 dollars But a year after the U.N.
left, a dictator took power and still runs the country today. As
for Bosnia, the U.N. has played a tragi-comic role in a nnouncing
dozens of cease-fires that are later broken. Despite U.N presence,
the war goes on and will probably be decided by the military power
of the combatants rather than the negotiating prowess of the
Of course, the most recent U.N. fiasco has been in Somalia. The
U.S. in volvement in Somalia is a direct result of a failed U.N.
operation. At first the U.N..operation in Somalia relied on troops
from other countries, like Pakistan.
But when it became clear they could not handle the job, George
Bush sent 19,OOO American troops in December 1992 to feed the
Somalis, at a cost of 800 .million to the US. In May 1993, the U.S.
pulled out, leaving behind a small contingent of troops for
emergencies. By August it had become clear that the U.N. could not
han dle the operation, and again requested help from the Americans.
That led to the tragic firefight in Mogadishu where eighteen
Americans died and 75 were wounded.
If the Security Council is expanded, more countries will be able
to apply greater pressure on t he U.N. to participate in
Somalia-type operations. And, of course, when these operations
fail, the United States will likely be called upon to commit
troops, as it was in Somalia.
In her September speech at the National War College, Ambassador
Albright sa id that future peacekeeping missions will lift from the
shoulders of American servicemen and servicewomen and the taxpayers
a great share of the burden of collective security operations
around the globe.24 In fact, the exact opposite has occurred.
Albrigh ts theory, the U.N. has not lifted the burden off
American taxpayers. In fact, it has increased the burden
tremendously, costing the U.S 1.5 billion in the last year Reason
#4: Cost will not decrease, as Clinton promises, but increase.
Contrary to PROTECT I NG AMERICAN INTEWTS ON THE SECURITY COUNCIL
The Clinton Administrations policy of expanding the permanent
membership of the U.N. Security Council will dilute Americas
effectiveness at the U.N raise the chances of unwise U.S.
involvement in failed peacekee ping operations, and enhance the
prestige of non-democratic regimes in the U.N. Thus, to avoid these
problems, the U.S. should 1) Resist the idea that expanding the
permanent membership of the U.N.
Security Council will enhance world peace The United Natio ns
has 184 members. These include countries like Iraq and North Korea
which have been at war with the U.S. in the past and are today
considered to be very hostile to America and her interests. Other
U.N. members such as Cuba, Iran, Libya Sudan, and Syria are on the
State Departments list of terrorist nations. Dozens of other 24
Albright, op. cif p. 6 7 countries, perhaps a majority of the Third
World bloc, are less than friendly to the U.S.
When they negotiate on issues of war and peace, their primary
goal is often to embarrass the U.S or to receive expensive
concessions for their support. An expanded Security Coun cil makes
it more likely that the U.S. will have to negotiate with these
potentially hostile and obstructive countries to achieve Security
Coun c il support for U.S. policies 2) Be cautious in expanding the
peacekeeping role of the Security Council The. war record of the
U.N. and the Security Council is dismal. The small-scale wars it
organized in the Congo, Bosnia, and Somalia became fiascos. The
only effective U.N. wars have been fought largely by the U.S in the
Persian Gulf and in Korea. When the U.N. at tempts a war without
American support, it fails.
The U.N. has no magical formula for enforcing peace throughout
the world. With so many nations, agendas, and national interests in
the U.N there is bound to be a clash of goals. The Security Council
may be able to improve international security in some instan ces,
but making it the center of decision-making for maintaining global
security is a mis t ake 3) Rely less on the Security Council, and
more on strategic alliances, to secure American interests Perhaps
the most disturbing aspect of the Clinton policy is that it relies
on the U.N. to help defend Americas interests. American interests
are best d e fended by America and her allies If American interests
are threatened, the worst way to protect them is to try to achieve
consensus at the U.N. This world body is made up of nations that
have little in common with the United States. It would make more
sen s e to find countries that share Americas goals, and then share
the defense burden with them-as the U.S. did with NATO during the
Cold War. That will give America more control over the alliances it
enters into, and will not risk Americas future on the array of
nations that may be sitting on the Security Council at the time a
crisis occurs. Of course, at times America may wish to seek the
bless ing of the U.N. for some military operation, but it should do
so only if the U.S. and its al lies are taking the lea d , and if
this is the best way to advance U.S. interests CONCLUSION President
Clinton supports an expanded Security Council because he believes
that it, will give greater legitimacy to Security Council
decisions. A stronger and more independent Security Co u ncil, the
President assumes, will better protect American interests. This as
sumption is wrong. A larger and more independent Security Council
will not only be more ineffective, it will increase the likelihood
that America will be dragged into dangerous c on flicts that have
no bearing on protecting the national interest.
Applying the principles of affirmative action at the U.N. is
Trying to get a better representative mix on the Security
Council will not produce fewer wars or strengt hen American
security. Many new Security Council members will have dif ferent
interests and goals from the United States. Many will be opposed
not only to the U.S but to freedom and democracy 8 Andrew J. Cowin
Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulator y Affairs In a world
where too many nations are dictatorships, and too many people live
in pover ty because of oppressive regimes, the Clinton policy makes
little sense. Expanding the Security Council certainly will not
help America. By giving more power t o dictators or oligarchs, it
will not benefit the rest of the world either 9