ABSTRACT

Bureaucracies are often thought of as organizations which simply carry out the instructions of their superiors, be they in the public or private sectors. Hilsman argues that, while this is certainly the case much of the time, government bureaucracies also have the ability to influence the policy they are charged with implementing, through their roles as sources of information, legislation and innovation. 1 What persona did the bureaucracies exhibit in this case? Were they merely scribes putting the vision and ideas of their superiors into words, or were they sources of substantial input in their own right? Finding straight answers to these questions is all the more challenging when one considers the context. In the previous chapter, the limited US experience with peacekeeping during the Cold War was discussed, and it was noted that the United States, for a number of reasons, simply did not contribute combat units to UN-led missions. This lack of experience affected not only the views of both Presidents Bush and Clinton, but also the two major foreign-policy bureaucracies serving each administration, the State Department and the Defense Department (DoD or the Pentagon). Not only was there a general absence of a peacekeeping 'culture' within these two departments, but they were also each regrouping and in the process of developing new paradigms for the post-Cold War era. For the State Department that meant casting the UN in a more favourable light and working with it and in it accordingly. Meanwhile, the Pentagon was preparing itself for implementing the 'peace dividend' - reducing troop levels and shrinking budgets as a result of its principal adversary disappearing from the political map.