The UN intervention in East Timor amply illustrates the type of complex operation that the United Nations increasingly is being asked to undertake.

Michael Smith analyzes the successes and failures of the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), which was designed to work in partnership with the East Timorese in guiding the country to independence following the 1999 vote to secede from Indonesia. Evaluating the lessons learned from the experience, he highlights the urgent need for reforms within the UN. The absence of those reforms, he believes, will lead to more failed states, more refugees, more poverty, and more dead peacekeepers.

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