Knowledge is power. In the hands of UN peacekeepers, it can be a power for peace. Lacking knowledge, peacekeepers often find themselves powerless in the field, unable to protect themselves and others. The United Nations owes it to the world and to its peacekeepers to utilise all available tools to make its monitoring and surveillance work more effective. Keeping Watch explains how technologies can increase the range, effectiveness, and accuracy of UN observation. Satellites, aircraft, and ground sensors enable wider coverage of many areas, over longer periods of time, while decreasing intrusiveness. These devices can transmit and record imagery for wider dissemination and further analysis, and as evidence in human rights cases and tribunals. They also allow observation at a safe distance from dangerous areas, especially in advance of UN patrols, humanitarian convoys, or robust forces. While sensor technologies have been increasing exponentiallyin performance while decreasing rapidly in price, however, the United Nations continues to use technologies from the 1980s.
This book identifies potential problems and pitfalls with modern technologies and the challenges to incorporate them into the UN system. The few cases of technologies effectively harnessed in the field are examined, and creative recommendations are offered to overcome the institutional inertia and widespread misunderstandings about how technology can complement human initiative in the quest for peace in war-torn lands.
A. Walter Dorn teaches military officers and civilians at the Canadian Forces College (CFC) and at the Royal Military College of Canada. He is an associate professor of defense studies and chair of the Department of Security and International Affairs at CFC. He has both studied and served on UN peace operations, and he has worked as a consultant to the UN's Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
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