The Empire of Settled Science

The Empire of Settled Science

In the long sweep of history science, technology and engineering have been used to develop increasingly efficient mechanisms for killing humans at a distance.

Arguably, the historical narrative simply describes one long [forever evolving] arms race.

The first technologies, such as sticks, stones and bones, introduced killing at arms length and these killing technologies proved to be [generally] safer to employ and more efficient to deploy than bare hands.

The development of metal technologies facilitated even more efficient killing techniques [such as daggers and knives] which spawned even more advanced technologies [such as swords, spears and arrows] which managed to increased the kill distance, dispatch efficiency and user safety.

Increasing the kill distance and efficiency was the driving force behind evolving smooth bore arms into riffled armaments, troop ships into battleships, hand grenades into aircraft bombers, battleships into aircraft carriers, bombers into drones and nuclear bombs into ICBMs.

The key lesson from history [for any budding megalomaniac, psychopath or empire] is that a superior kill distance provides superior powers to kill, conquer and control.

However, the historical corollary [for any successful megalomaniac, psychopath or empire] is that their power to kill, conquer and control will eventually evaporate if they don’t maintain their superior kill distance.

Therefore, every successful megalomaniac, psychopath and empire usually has a keen interest in developing their science, technology and engineering knowledge base whilst simultaneously trying to ensure this knowledge doesn’t fall into the public domain or the hands of their enemies.

The history of the 20th century includes many examples where access to science, technology and engineering has been deliberately restricted to maintain a superior kill distance.

A well documented example was the development [in 1903] of the Wood’s Filter that was subsequently used for secret communications during the First World War.

Wood’s glass is an optical filter glass invented in 1903 by American physicist Robert Williams Wood (1868–1955) which allows ultraviolet and infrared light to pass through while blocking most visible light.’s_glass

In a paper presented to the French Society of Physics in April 1919, Wood described how his filter made from a special barium-sodium-silicate glass incorporating about 9% oxidized nickel (later to become universally known as the Wood’s filter) had been used for secret communications during the War.

Pioneers of Invisible Radiation Photography – Prof Robert Williams Wood [1868 – 1955]
Prof. Robin Williams and Gigi Williams

The development of nuclear weapons during the Second World War provides a very barbaric example of how science, technology and engineering is used to kill, conquer and control.

Nuclear weapons have been used twice in nuclear warfare, both times by the United States against Japan near the end of World War II.

On 6 August 1945, the U.S. Army Air Forces detonated a uranium gun-type fission bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima; three days later, on 9 August, the U.S. Army Air Forces detonated a plutonium implosion-type fission bomb codenamed “Fat Man” over the Japanese city of Nagasaki.

The bombings resulted in the deaths of approximately 200,000 civilians and military personnel from acute injuries sustained from the explosions.

The ethics of the bombings and their role in Japan’s surrender remain the subject of scholarly and popular debate.

Controlling access to this nuclear technology became a priority after the Second World War and this led to a sharp increase in government control over science, technology and engineering.

Before World War II there was very little government funding of science, but that changed because of war-time necessities.

In 1951, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) was established to provide support for post-World War II scientific research.

The methodology for administrating science-funding, invented in the early 1950s by NSF, has been adopted essentially unchanged by virtually all subsequent U.S. Government funding agencies, such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

J. Marvin Herndon’s American Science Decline: The Cause and Cure

Because of the immense military power they can confer, the political control of nuclear weapons has been a key issue for as long as they have existed; in most countries the use of nuclear force can only be authorized by the head of government or head of state.

In the late 1940s, lack of mutual trust was preventing the United States and the Soviet Union from making ground towards international arms control agreements.

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.

Opened for signature in 1968, the Treaty entered into force in 1970.

However, government control over science, technology and engineering has been “gradually undermining, corrupting, and trivializing American science for decades”.

Science is an important component for the strength of America and for the well being of her people.

Science is the mother that gives birth to the technology that makes our economy robust and our military strong.

Science improves our health and enables us to see our world in ways never before envisioned, uplifting spirits and boosting national prestige.

But for the past four decades, despite ever-increasing science budgets, American science has continued to decline toward third-world status.


Because fundamental mistakes underlie the methodology by which the U.S. Government supports science.

The problem is this:

That methodology is flawed and those flaws have been gradually undermining, corrupting, and trivializing American science for decades.

J. Marvin Herndon’s American Science Decline: The Cause and Cure

This trivialisation and corruption has led some observers to declare The End of Science.

In The End of Science, John Horgan makes the case that the era of truly profound scientific revelations about the universe and our place in it is over.

Interviewing scientific luminaries such as Stephen Hawking, Francis Crick, and Richard Dawkins, he demonstrates that all the big questions that can be answered have been answered, as science bumps up against fundamental limits.

The End Of Science – John Horgan – 1996

This trivialisation and corruption has also led to the introduction of the oxymoronic concept of Settled Science.

Are there any phrases in today’s political lexicon more obnoxious than “the science is settled” and “climate-change deniers”?

The first is an oxymoron.

By definition, science is never settled.

It is always subject to change in the light of new evidence.

The second phrase is nothing but an ad hominem attack, meant to evoke “Holocaust deniers,” those people who maintain that the Nazi Holocaust is a fiction…

The Unsettling, Anti-Science Certitude on Global Warming
The Wall Street Journal – John Steele Gordon – 30 July 2015

This trivialisation and corruption of science is also a huge risk for the American Empire.

Once the American Empire starts believing its own propaganda regarding The End of Science and Settled Science then it risks losing its superiority in science, technology and engineering, its superior kill distance and [ultimately] its empire.

Following the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the idea of American imperialism was reexamined.

On October 15, the cover of William Kristol’s Weekly Standard carried the headline, “The Case for American Empire.”

Rich Lowry, editor in chief of the National Review, called for “a kind of low-grade colonialism” to topple dangerous regimes beyond Afghanistan.

The columnist Charles Krauthammer declared that, given complete U.S. domination “culturally, economically, technologically and militarily,” people were “now coming out of the closet on the word ’empire.'”

The New York Times Sunday magazine cover for January 5, 2003, read “American Empire: Get Used To It.”

For the American Empire [like any other empire] its not a case of “if” but “when” [will it lose its superior kill distance].

However, its possible the American Empire has already lost its superior kill distance.

The first visual suggestion that Russia was experimenting with new technology arrived late in 2009 when intriguing photographs appeared across the internet [and in the press] that reportedly captured the embarrassing in-flight failure of a new generation of Russian military missile.

Missile test-fired from the submarine Dmitry Donskoi in the White Sea - 2009

Russia’s new nuclear-capable missile suffered another failed test launch, the defence ministry said Thursday, solving the mystery of a spectacular plume of white light that appeared over Norway.

The Bulava missile was test-fired from the submarine Dmitry Donskoi in the White Sea early Wednesday but failed at the third stage, the defence ministry said in a statement.

The pre-dawn morning launch coincided with the appearance of an extraordinary light over northern Norway that captivated observers.

Images of the light that appeared in the sky above the Norwegian city of Tromso and elsewhere prompted explanations ranging from a meteor, northern lights, a failed missile or even a UFO.

Describing the latest failure of the Bulava as a major embarrassment for the military, leading Russian defence analyst Pavel Felgenhauer said the images were consistent with a missile failure.

“Such lights and clouds appear from time to time when a missile fails in the upper layers of the atmosphere and have been reported before,” he told AFP.

“At least this failed test made some nice fireworks for the Norwegians,” he joked.

The White Sea, which is the usual site for such missile tests by Russian submarines, lies close to Norway’s own Arctic region.

This was the 12th test launch of the Bulava and the seventh time the firing has ended in failure, the Interfax news agency said.

The submarine-launched missile is central to Russia’s plan to revamp its ageing weapons arsenal but is beset by development problems.

New Russian missile failure sparks UFO frenzy
Phys.Org – Stuart Williams – 10 December 2009

Norway Light Sprial 2009

A mysterious spiral of light has appeared in northern Norway one day before President Obama arrives to give his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Oslo.

The spiral has baffled experts who do not believe it is related to the Aurora Borealis. Speculation that it is a rocket launched by the Russian Northern Fleet has been denied by Russian authorities.

Mysterious Light – Michael Salla – Honolulu Exopolitics Examiner – 9 Dec 2009

After first denying any missile test in the White Sea region where mysterious spiral lights could be seen over much of Norway on December 9, Russia one day later announced an embarrassing failure of a new intercontinental ballistic nuclear missile.

Norway Light Spiral – Michael Salla – Honolulu Exopolitics Examiner – 10 Dec 2009

Then, in 2013 conflicting reports appeared relating to the in-flight destruction of one or two US ballistic missiles [over the Mediterranean] by either Israel or Russia – depending upon source.

Reportedly, on 3 September 2013, Russia shot down two US ballistic missiles that were heading towards the Syrian coast, allegedly ‘in the direction of Damascus’.

Aangirfan – 14 Sept 2013

Russian radar detected the launch of two ballistic “objects” in the Mediterranean Sea on Tuesday but there was no sign of a missile strike on the Syrian capital Damascus, Russia’s state-run RIA news agency said.

A Defence Ministry spokesman told Russian news agencies the launch was detected at 10:16 am Moscow time (0616 GMT) by an early warning radar station at Armavir, near the Black Sea, which is designed to detect missiles from Europe and Iran.

“The trajectory of these objects goes from the central part of the Mediterranean Sea toward the eastern part of the Mediterranean coast,” Interfax news agency quoted the spokesman as saying.

The spokesman did not say who had carried out the launch and whether any impact had been detected, but RIA later quoted a source in Syria’s “state structures” as saying the objects had fallen harmlessly into the sea.

The Russian Defence Ministry declined comment to Reuters.

Russia detects ballistic launch in Mediterranean; Israel denies knowledge
The Jerusalem Post – Reuters – 3 Sept 2013

A well informed diplomatic source told As-Safir newspaper that “the US war on Syria had started and ended the moment those two ballistic missiles were fired, leaving inconsistent information, as Israel denied and Russia confirmed, until an Israeli statement was issued indicating they were fired in the context of an Israeli-US joint drill and fell in the sea, and that they were not related to the Syrian crisis.”

The source further told the Lebanese daily that “the US forces fired these two rockets from a NATO base in Spain, and were instantly detected by the Russian radars and confronted by the Russian defense systems, so one of them exploded in the airspace and the second one diverted towards the sea.”

Truth of US-Russia Confrontation – Daoud Rammal – As-Safir
Source: Assafir Newspaper Translated by Sara Taha Moughnieh

The launches took place at 10:16 am Moscow time (0616 GMT) and were detected by the ballistic missile early warning system in Armavir in southern Russia, the defence ministry said in a statement quoted by Russian news agencies.

Shortly after 11am, Israel announced that it had carried out a joint missile test with the US in the Mediterranean, using a missile designed to shoot down incoming missiles.

Missiles launched in Mediterranean towards Syrian coast, claims Russian defence ministry
The Telegraph – Roland Oliphant in Moscow – 03 Sep 2013

Quite where the truth lies is impossible to tell but it is intriguing to note that this missile incident occurred just a few days after David Cameron failed to gain approval for military action in Syria.

MPs have rejected possible UK military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government to deter the use of chemical weapons.

Syria crisis: Cameron loses Commons vote on Syria action
BBC – 30 August 2013

Then in 2014 reports emerged regarding the disabling of the combat management system installed on the USS Donald Cook by a Russian electronic countermeasures system.

Russian Sukhoi Su-24 with the newest jamming complex paralyzed in the Black Sea the most modern American combat management system “Aegis” installed on the destroyer “USS Donald Cook”.

Pavel Zolotarev, Deputy Director, Institute of USA and Canada, shares details about this version which is being actively discussed in the Russian media and by bloggers.

US destroyer “Donald Cook” with cruise missiles “Tomahawk” entered the neutral waters of the Black Sea on April 10.

The purpose was a demonstration of force and intimidation in connection with the position of Russia in Ukraine and Crimea.

The appearance of American warships in these waters is in contradiction of the Montreux Convention about the nature and duration of stay in the Black Sea by the military ships of countries not washed by this sea.

In response, Russia sent an unarmed bomber Su-24 to fly around the U.S. destroyer.

However, experts say that this plane was equipped with the latest Russian electronic warfare complex.

According to this version, “Aegis” spotted from afar the approaching aircraft, and sounded alarm.

Everything went normally, American radars calculated the speed of the approaching target.

And suddenly all the screens went blank.

“Aegis” was not working any more, and the rockets could not get target information.

Meanwhile, Su-24 flew over the deck of the destroyer, did battle turn and simulated missile attack on the target.

Then it turned and repeated the maneuver. And did so 12 times.

Apparently, all efforts to revive the “Aegis” and provide target information for the defence failed.

Russian Su-24 scores off against the American “USS Donald Cook”
Russian Radio – 21 April 2014

The State Department acknowledged that the crew of the destroyer USS Donald Cook has been gravely demoralized ever since their vessel was flown over in the Black Sea by a Russian Sukhoi-24 (Su-24) fighter jet which carried neither bombs nor missiles but only an electronic warfare device.

On 10 April 2014, the USS Donald Cook entered the waters of the Black Sea and on 12 April a Russian Su-24 tactical bomber flew over the vessel triggering an incident that, according to several media reports, completely demoralized its crew, so much so that the Pentagon issued a protest

The USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) is a 4th generation guided missile destroyer whose key weapons are Tomahawk cruise missiles with a range of up to 2,500 kilometers, and capable of carrying nuclear explosives. This ship carries 56 Tomahawk missiles in standard mode, and 96 missiles in attack mode.

The US destroyer is equipped with the most recent Aegis Combat System. It is an integrated naval weapons systems which can link together the missile defense systems of all vessels embedded within the same network, so as to ensure the detection, tracking and destruction of hundreds of targets at the same time. In addition, the USS Donald Cook is equipped with 4 large radars, whose power is comparable to that of several stations. For protection, it carries more than fifty anti-aircraft missiles of various types.

Meanwhile, the Russian Su-24 that buzzed the USS Donald Cook carried neither bombs nor missiles but only a basket mounted under the fuselage, which, according to the Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta , contained a Russian electronic warfare device called Khibiny.

What frightened the USS Donald Cook so much in the Black Sea?
Voltaire Network – 8 November 2014

The Pentagon on Monday criticized a Russian jet’s repeated buzzing of a U.S. antimissile ship sailing in international waters in the Black Sea.

The action happened on Sunday and involved a nuclear-capable — but unarmed — Su-24 fighter aircraft that made a total of 12 flying passes close to the Aegis-equipped USS Donald Cook while it conducted patrol operations in the western Black Sea, the Defense Department told reporters.

“The aircraft did not respond to multiple queries and warnings from Donald Cook, and the event ended without incident after approximately 90 minutes,” department spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren was quoted as saying in a Pentagon press story. “This provocative and unprofessional Russian action is inconsistent with international protocols and previous agreements on the professional interaction between our militaries.”

Pentagon Protests Russian Jet Buzzing Antimissile Ship in Black Sea
The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) – 15 April 2014

Sukhoi Su-34

Khibiny (L-175V) is Soviet / Russian aircraft electronic countermeasures (ECM) system.

The system is designed for radio direction-finding probing signal source irradiation followed by a distortion of the reflected signal parameters, namely

– detection delay of the aircraft carrier ECM as an object of attack by the enemy;
– masking the true subject against false;
– difficulties ranging from the object, its speed and the angular position;
– derating Maintenance Mode “on the aisle” when scanning antenna beam radar ;
– increase the time and difficulty of capturing an object in the transition to the continuous-finding.

On 8 April 2014, U.S. military officials confirmed the deployment of Donald Cook to the Black Sea as part of the latest U.S. military effort to demonstrate support for Eastern European allies concerned about Russia’s troop buildup along its border with Ukraine.

On 12 April 2014, state run Voice of Russia claimed that USS Donald Cook was “buzzed”, 12 times by a Russian Su-24 attack jet.

According to the report U.S. military officials said the crew aboard Donald Cook made several attempts to radio the Russian warplane asking the pilot what his intentions were and sending warnings to remain at a safe distance, but the Russian pilot did not respond.

Retired US Navy officer, Defense analyst Christopher Hammer described the event as the “standard harassment package” and “about as tame a flyby as you can get.”

On 14 April 2014, Donald Cook visited Constanta, Romania.

Again, where the truth lies is hard to tell but fast forward to October 2015 and the American Empire seems to be changing tack when its confronted by the Russian intervention in Syria.

Firstly, the press is now reporting the American Empire is no longer directly training and equipping Syrian rebels.

First, Bloomberg reports that a week into Russia’s military intervention in Syria, some top White House advisers and National Security Council staffers are trying to persuade President Barack Obama to scale back U.S. engagement there, to focus on lessening the violence and, for now, to give up on toppling the Syrian regime.

And then moments ago, the NYT confirmed that the de-escalation process has begun, when it reported that “the Obama administration has ended the Pentagon’s $500 million program to train and equip Syrian rebels, administration officials said on Friday, in an acknowledgment that the beleaguered program had failed to produce any kind of ground combat forces capable of taking on the Islamic State in Syria.”

Obama Weighs “Syria Retreat” As White House Ends Training Of Moderate Rebels – Tyler Durden – 9 Oct 2015

Secondly, it appears the American Empire is positioning its navy to challenge China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea instead of challenging the Russian intervention in Syria.

Well, don’t look now, but the US is set to direct its own ships to sail around Beijing’s South China Sea islands simply to prove that Washington hasn’t lost all military credibility.

So essentially, the US is doing this just to see if it still can without getting shot at.

Of course Washington got a hint of how determined China is to enforce what amounts to a no-fly zone over these islands earlier this year when the PLA essentially threatened to shoot down a PA-8 Poseidon spy plane with a CNN crew on board over Fiery Cross.

All of the above is also interesting for what it says about international diplomacy.

Just last week Chinese President Xi Jinping made the PR rounds in the US and dined at the White House and apparently, America’s Nobel Peace Prize winning commander in chief was unable to come to some kind of understanding that de-escalates the island issue.

As is the case with countering Russia in Syria, the US needs to decide what to do quickly lest Washington should effectively be left with no options at all other than to just fold.

In Major Escalation, US To Sail Warships Around China’s Man-Made Islands – Tyler Durden – 8 Oct 2015

According to Reuters, earlier today China said “it would not stand for violations of its territorial waters in the name of freedom of navigation, as the United States considers sailing warships close to China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea.”

As noted above, a U.S. defense official told Reuters the United States was mulling sending ships within the next two weeks to waters inside the 12-nautical-mile zones that China claims as territory around islands it has built in the Spratly chain. Washington has signaled it does not recognize Beijing’s territorial claims and that the U.S. navy will continue to operate wherever international law allows.

China’s response was quick, clear and unequivocal:

“We will never allow any country to violate China’s territorial waters and airspace in the Spratly Islands, in the name of protecting freedom of navigation and overflight,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing.

“We urge the related parties not to take any provocative actions, and genuinely take a responsible stance on regional peace and stability,” Hua said in response to a question about possible U.S. patrols.

China Threatens The U.S., Says Will “Not Tolerate Violations Of Its Territorial Waters” – Tyler Durden – 9 Oct 2015

Either way, only time will tell whether the American Empire of Settled Science has actually lost or retained its superior kill distance.

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8 Responses to The Empire of Settled Science

  1. CW says:

    China’s artificial islands are not in violation of U.S. waters, but of international waters and international treaties and conventions. And, why no mention of satellites, the longest reach of all?

  2. oldbrew says:

    Technology overkill perhaps?

    [quote] Vladimir Balybine – director of the research center on electronic warfare and the evaluation of so-called “visibility reduction” techniques attached to the Russian Air Force Academy – made the following comment:
    “The more a radio-electronic system is complex, the easier it is to disable it through the use of electronic warfare.”

  3. andrewfitts says:

    It’s all unraveling for the great hegemon….a dangerous transition lies ahead…a new word awaits us

  4. malagabay says:


    Last week the biggest event that took place in Syria as part of Operation Hmeymim was the use by the Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla of 26 seaborne land-attack cruise missiles (LACMs) that hit 11 Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra military targets inside Syria, which were located about 1,500 km. away from the missile launch site:

    This was the first time that Russia’s armed forces had deployed this type of weapon in an actual combat situation – not during exercises – at targets that were so far away. The second important point is that every one of the 26 missiles that were launched struck their intended targets, none deviated from their previously calculated trajectory, not one experienced a technical glitch, and none fell to earth while still on its approach to the object of the attack. (CNN’s incorrect report about four missiles crashing in Iran has been discredited, not only by Russian and Iranian sources, but also by State Department and Pentagon speakers). Some targets were dealt a double blow.

    Now that the Russian armed forces have debuted such high-precision weaponry, the Pentagon can stop throwing away its money trying to build up its military options that are aimed squarely at Russia.

    In other words, there is no need to spend significant amounts to station American tactical nuclear weapons in Europe or to deploy its land- and sea-based antiballistic infrastructure in Romania and Poland – or in the Asia-Pacific region – since it is perfectly clear that from now on all of that will stay in the cross-hairs of not only Russian LACMs, but quite soon of some even more effective hypersonic, high-precision long-range weapons equipped with non-nuclear warheads.

    Rating the foe: strategic implications of the Russian cruise missiles’ launch – Vladimir Kozin – 13 Oct 2015

  5. malagabay says:

    The US appears to be responding by demonstrating it can incept ballistic missiles.

    First time in Europe: US Navy successfully intercepts missiles during war games
    Published time: 21 Oct, 2015 04:32

    The US Navy says it has successfully tested its anti-missile defense system during an exercise in Europe, when anti-ship cruise missiles fired from the Scottish coast were shot down by a pair of guided interceptors with the help of tracking from allied ships.

    The exercises on Tuesday involved the US Navy and its European allies. A Dutch ship tracked the target and relayed targeting information about the missile to the US naval ship, the USS Ross. A guided missile interceptor built by Raytheon was then fired on the dummy target from the Ross.

    “This was the first time a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA guided interceptor was fired on a non-US range and the first intercept of a ballistic missile threat in the European theater,” said a US Defense Department press release.

  6. malagabay says:

    Pepe Escobar explains how the balance of power is changing because of “a mix of surface-to-air missiles and anti-ship missiles that can be deployed to prevent any player from entering or crossing a certain area.”

    Dr. Strangelove is naked – Pepe Escobar – 20 Oct, 2015 14:00
    But the subtext is even more intriguing: The Pentagon never saw it coming.

    And they are absolutely terrified of the inevitable consequences.

    The panic was palpable, as relayed by Dr. Strangelove, sorry, NATO’s top commander Gen. Philip Breedlove, a.k.a. Breedlove/hate, the man who announces every week Russia is invading Ukraine.

    Although proverbially handicapped in his geopolitical analysis – Russia wants to hinder US and “coalition” operations in the region – Breedlove/hate is clearly puzzled by the new, unforeseen, intricate layers of Russia’s defense network.

    In his own words: “We’re a little worried about another A2/AD bubble being created in the eastern Mediterranean.”

    In Pentagonese, A2/AD means anti-access/area denial.

    Translation: a mix of surface-to-air missiles and anti-ship missiles that can be deployed to prevent any player from entering or crossing a certain area.

  7. malagabay says:

    It will be interesting to see whether a change in the balance of power will enable Russia to reform the United Nations which has a nasty habit of either ignoring or enabling US foreign policy.

    Russia calls for fairer UN, criticizes US, UK and France for ‘usurping’ key positions
    Published time: 21 Oct, 2015 05:16

    Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations has accused the US, the UK, and France of “usurping” top UN positions.

    Vitaly Churkin also slammed the US for abusing its powers as the UN’s host country, including showing indiscriminate bias in issuing visas.

    “It can’t be considered normal when you have a situation with three highest positions – Under-Secretaries-General of peacekeeping, political, and humanitarian affairs – virtually usurped by three countries,” Vitaly Churkin said during a speech at the UN Security Council.

    The envoy has called for making the UN fairer by rotating the key posts between all member states, including the position of the UN Secretary General.

    The current chief, Ban Ki-moon, will be stepping down at the end of 2016.

    The Permanent Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations has traditionally been a representative from France, with the position currently occupied by Herve Ladsous.

    The Political Affairs post has usually been taken by the US, now under Jeffrey Feltman’s supervision, and the Humanitarian Affairs position has always been assigned to British representatives, at present Valerie Amos.

    The Korean War [25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953] was a war between North and South Korea, in which a United Nations force led by the United States of America fought for the South, and China fought for the North, which was also assisted by the Soviet Union.

    The first peacekeeping mission was launched in 1948.

    This mission, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), was sent to the newly created State of Israel, where a conflict between the Israelis and the Arab states over the creation of Israel had just reached a ceasefire.

    The UNTSO remains in operation to this day, although the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict has certainly not abated.

    Almost a year later, the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) was authorized to monitor relations between the two nations, which were split off from each other following the United Kingdom’s decolonization of the Indian subcontinent.

    As the Korean War ended with the Korean Armistice Agreement in 1953, UN forces remained along the south side of demilitarized zone until 1967, when American and South Korean forces took over.[citation needed]

    Returning its attention to the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the United Nations responded to Suez Crisis of 1956, a war between the alliance of the United Kingdom, France, and Israel, and Egypt, which was supported by other Arab nations. When a ceasefire was declared in 1957, Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs (and future Prime Minister) Lester Bowles Pearson suggested that the United Nations station a peacekeeping force in the Suez in order to ensure that the ceasefire was honored by both sides. Pearson had initially suggested that the force consist of mainly Canadian soldiers, but the Egyptians were suspicious of having a Commonwealth nation defend them against the United Kingdom and her allies.

    The end of the Cold War precipitated a dramatic shift in UN and multilateral peacekeeping.

    In a new spirit of cooperation, the Security Council established larger and more complex UN peacekeeping missions, often to help implement comprehensive peace agreements between belligerents in intra-State conflicts and civil wars. Furthermore, peacekeeping came to involve more and more non-military elements that ensured the proper functioning of civic functions, such as elections. The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations was created in 1992 to support this increased demand for such missions.

    By and large, the new operations were successful.

    In El Salvador and Mozambique, for example, peacekeeping provided ways to achieve self-sustaining peace.

    Some efforts failed, perhaps as the result of an overly optimistic assessment of what UN peacekeeping could accomplish.

    While complex missions in Cambodia and Mozambique were ongoing, the Security Council dispatched peacekeepers to conflict zones like Somalia, where neither ceasefires nor the consent of all the parties in conflict had been secured. These operations did not have the manpower, nor were they supported by the required political will, to implement their mandates.

    The failures — most notably the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica and Bosnia and Herzegovina — led to a period of retrenchment and self-examination in UN peacekeeping.

    That period led, in part, to the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, which works to implement stable peace through some of the same civic functions that peacekeepers also work on, such as elections.

    The Commission currently works with six countries, all in Africa.

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