The Psychological State of Peacekeeping Soldiers

1351 Words Jan 31st, 2018 5 Pages
It was commonly thought that their major difficulties were boredom and isolation (Harris, Rothburg, Segal, & Segal, 1993). However, soldiers were frequently frustrated with their seemingly inactive role, and often thought they were less important than other units of operation (Mortensen, 1990). Historically, peacekeeping missions involved soldiers serving simply as impartial observers during the interrogation and enforcement of peace between previously warring parties (Moskos, C. C., & Burke, J., 1994). However, the role of peacekeepers has changed greatly post-Cold War. The contemporary peacekeeper faces a more complex, multi-faced duty, entailing direct enforcement of peace between warring parties, and giving humanitarian aid when necessary (Eyre, Segal, & Segal, 1993; Henshaw, 1993; Litz, 1996). These new peacekeeping soldiers face an array of new hurdles such as coping with the unpredictability of their mission, managing engagement, and struggling with personal and political views of the conflict at hand (Lundin & Otto, 1996). The neutral-ness of the soldiers may lead to role-conflict and uncertainty on which actions to take in a threatening situation (Litz, 1996). Today’s peacekeeping soldiers have many more duties, obligations and responsibilities than pre-Cold War soldiers. The additional stressors put upon these peacekeeping…
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