Dole attacks America's role in the UN: Clinton officials accuse Republican Senator of performing policy U-turn in attempt to score political points

THE UNITED NATIONS came under attack again yesterday from its fiercest critic in the US Congress, Senator Bob Dole, the Republican minority leader. In his efforts to smother UN peace-keeping operations by withdrawing congressional support, Mr Dole yesterday introduced the draft of a 'peace-powers act' that would severely restrict US military involvement in UN operations.

The Clinton administration, which supports continued and even expanded peace-keeping operations, is confident Mr Dole's effort will be defeated. Officials privately regard Mr Dole's latest attack as overtly partisan, accusing the Republican Senator of campaigning for another shot at the presidency.

Mr Dole's effort comes at an especially delicate time for US-UN relations, and will not make those relations any better. The Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, has irritated the administration by his insistence on a wider consultation role than the administration is prepared to give him in policy decisions about deployment of US forces.

The Secretary-General has sought to control key decisions on Nato air strikes in Bosnia, and wanted prior consultations with the US about its operations in Haiti. Mr Boutros-Ghali's insistence on these matters has given Mr Dole an opportunity to complain about UN 'interference' in US foreign policy.

Specifically, Mr Dole's 'peace-powers act' seeks a prohibition on US troops serving under foreign command in UN operations not directly in Washington's interests. The Republican leader also wants a ban on US troops serving in any UN standing army.

In support of their charge that this is a purely partisan move, Clinton officials point out that a proposal to ban US troops from serving under foreign command in UN operations was voted down in Congress last year. As for plans for a UN standing army, these are still on the drawing board, without much hope of ever moving forward unless member states increase their contributions to UN peace-keeping.

In other 'points of principle' in his peace-powers act, Mr Dole is asking for more consultation between Congress and the administration's mission to the UN, led by its ambassador, Madeleine Albright. Clinton officials respond by saying they have done more consulting with Congress than any administration, and certainly more than during the Bush and Reagan years.

By calling for a greater congressional role, Mr Dole has done an about-face for his own political reasons, the Clinton officials charge. When presidents Bush and Reagan were in office, Mr Dole was a champion of executive power; now he wants Congress to hold sway.

Finally, Mr Dole is seeking to limit the US contribution to the UN peace-keeping budget - now standing at 31 per cent - unless there are tighter congressional controls. Mr Dole complains that, in addition to being the largest contributor - at 25 per cent - to the UN's overall budget, the US gets overcharged for peace-keeping operations. He accuses the UN of 'warped' accounting practices in which the organisation does not include the substantial costs incurred by the US of transporting personnel and equipment to conflict areas.

The position of the administration, as put forward by Ms Albright, is to support peace-keeping operations at present levels, and even to expand them. She regards peacekeeping as a 'growth industry'.

However, the administration is constantly mindful of Mr Boutros-Ghali's obsession with his own prerogatives and what they regard as his unreasonable demands to be involved in unilateral decisions by Washington over troop movements. There is also the plain fact that UN peace-keeping operations are already underfunded. As Ms Albright observed, recently, the Security Council is not so ready to 'throw a peace-keeping operation' at every trouble spot.

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?