There was an interesting story in the Washington Post on June 14, titled “India’s withdrawal of helicopters from Congo points to wider trend.” You may have heard that India is pulling its last four helicopters from the UN peacekeeping force in Congo. The author, Colum Lynch, sets this in a wider context of how these UN missions are actually implemented. The general arrangement has been that the larger, wealthier member nations pay for the missions and developing nations provide the soldiers and equipment. Now the question is whether India’s growing reluctance to play that role signals a larger shift among the boots-on-the-ground countries. If so, the UN’s capacity to continue to play this kind of role could be weakened. That’s not good news for Congo, with the national elections coming up in November. Read more….