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The Wave of the Future: The United Nations and Naval Peacekeeping

Robert Stephens Staley II
ISBN: 978-1-55587-379-0
1992/64 pages/LC: 92-21076
International Peace Institute Occasional Paper Series


Though the United Nations will face numerous challenges on the world's oceans in the next decades, it has not yet developed the capability to operate effectively in the areas of maritime peacekeeping or enforcement.

This study examines the various regional maritime challenges confronting the United Nations and describes several organizational and experiential models—ranging from Claiborne Pell's early suggestions for an International Sea Patrol, through various NATO standing forces and U.S. Coast Guard models, to recent experience gained through multinational maritime cooperation in the Gulf—from which planners might extract important lessons. The author concludes with specific recommendations for the establishment of a UN Maritime Agency, seeing that step as crucial in the effort to ensure peace and prosperity on the world's oceans for the benefit of all concerned.


Robert Stephens Staley II is a research fellow with the International Peace Institute. Previously he was professor of strategy and policy at the U.S. Naval War College and was a member of the US Air Force Academy faculty for thirteen years. His publications include Land-Based Air in a Maritime Strategy: The Need for a Joint Strategic Doctrine.


  • Introduction.
  • Objectives of UN Maritime Activities.
  • Regional
  • Maritime Challenges.
  • Organizational and Experiential Models.
  • A UN Maritime Agency.
  • Appendix: Naval Peacekeeping Operations.