United nations peacekeeping operations: México’s Response to an Emerging International Security Paradigm by

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México’s Response

to an

Emerging International Security Paradigm


Alfonso J. Motta-Allen

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy


Dalhousie University

Halifax, Nova Scotia

January 2008

© Copyright by Alfonso J. Motta-Allen, 2008



The undersigned hereby certify that they have read and recommend to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for acceptance a thesis entitled "UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS: Mexico's Response to an Emerging International Security Paradigm" by Alfonso J. Motta-Allen in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Dated: January 23, 2008

External Examiner:

Research Supervisor:

Examining Committee:

Departmental Representative:

DATE: January 23, 2008

AUTHOR: Alfonso J. Motta-Allen

TITLE: UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS: México’s Response to an Emerging International Security Paradigm

DEPARTMENT OR SCHOOL: Department of Political Science


Permission is herewith granted to Dalhousie University to circulate and to have copied for non-commercial purposes, at its discretion, the above title upon the request of individuals or institutions.

Signature of Author

The author reserves other publication rights, and neither the thesis nor extensive extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author’s written permission.

The author attests that permission has been obtained for the use of any copyrighted material appearing in the thesis (other than the brief excerpts requiring only proper acknowledgement in scholarly writing), and that all such use is clearly acknowledged.





Peacebuilding 84

Naval Components 200

Self-Interest 237

Commitment 238

Interest of the Community 239



Figure 1: Peacekeeping Spectrum and Terminology 80

Figure 2: Life-Cycle of a Conflict 85

Figure 3: Ending Civil Wars and Building Peace 1970-2002 90

Figure 4: México’s Military Expenditure 106

Figure 5: Level of Coercion 187

Figure 6: Level of Force and Consent in PKO 190

Figure 7: Level of Force, Consent and Legitimacy 192

Figure 8: Operationalization of the Peacekeeping Partnership 197

Figure 9: Possible Transition in the Life of a Mission 214

Figure 10: Number of Argentine Personnel in UNPKO 294

Figure 11: Argentine Military Spending 296

Figure 12: Japan Defence Spending 316

Figure 13: Public Support to SDF Participation in UNPKO 335

Figure 14: Japanese Public Opinion PKO and Constitutional Reform 337

Figure 15: México’s and UNPK Principles’ Compatibility 346

Figure 16: Selective Peacekeeping for México 355


Table 1: Drug Interdiction by the Mexican Armed Forces 137

Table 2: DN-III Actions Tropical Storms (2000-2005) 139

Table 3: México’s Interventions at UN Fora 151

Table 4: México’s International Humanitarian Assistance 156

Table 5: México’s International Humanitarian Assistance 157

Table 6: Military Operations versus Peacekeeping 178

Table 7: Functions of Multidimensional PKO 195

Table 8: Control Offices in UNPKO 225

Table 9: Civil-military Cultural Differences 227

Table 10: Motivations for UN Peacekeeping Participation 240

Table 11: Motivations for Mexican Participation in UN Peacekeeping Operations 242

Table 12: The Growth of UNPKO: 1988-2007 251

Table 13: Political Regional Arrangements 264

Table 14: Argentine Women in Uniform 285

Table 15: Geographical Distribution of Argentine Deployment to UNPKO 292

Table 16: Argentina White Helmets versus México Plan DN-III 298

Table 17: Japan Participation in International Peace Co-Operation Activities 331

Table 18: México’s Foreign Policy Principles in UN Charter 345

Table 19: Lessons and Target Foci for Policy-Makers 357

Structural and conceptual changes in the international system and non-traditional, intermestic forms of violence have rendered military power alone insufficient to restore and maintain international peace and security; and no individual state can do this alone. Security is now at the centre of the international relations while the necessity to cooperate for international security is increasingly accepted. Mexico’s necessity to cooperate (arguably created by a series of factors manifested at both the national and the international planes, such as the New Threats and international pressure) comes at the time that it experiences democratization process (also with domestic and international ramifications). Modern Peacekeeping Operations are examined as a potential contribution by México to international security. This study argues that “Selective Peacekeeping,” a term proposed by this author – meaning participating only in “selected” UN peacekeeping operations, performing only “selected” functions – can serve both ends: it can be a more central feature of México’s foreign policy in response to international security, and the catalyst for modernizing its armed forces to deal more efficiently with new domestically perceived threats, such as drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorism. Obstacles that need to be overcome by México, such as domestic opposition and a traditional non-involvement policy, and the benefits of its participation, are identified. Key aspects of modern peacekeeping help recognizing strengths and weaknesses of the Mexican military for active participation in international security. For comparative purposes, this study examines the cases of Argentina and Japan’s involvement in Peacekeeping Operations. First, the case of Argentina underscores the role of UN peacekeeping participation as reform catalyser and policy harmonizer. Second, the case of Japan shows an effective use of safeguards to limit participation in Peacekeeping Operations, and consequently, within constitutional restraints. The study concludes proving that México’s foreign policy principles are compatible with those of UN Peacekeeping and erases the idea of unconstitutionality for these kinds of operations. A series of policy recommendations for successful Mexican participation in UN Peacekeeping Operations are included at the end.

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