Yanks in Blue Berets
American UN Peacekeepers in the Middle East
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
Imprint: The University Press of Kentucky
Sales Date: 07/04/2023
In 1948 the United Nations launched the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization following the conflict that erupted between Israel and its Arab neighbors, who profoundly opposed the creation of a Jewish state. UNTSO quickly found itself overseeing the ceasefire lines between combatant parties.
In the ensuing decades, as countries along the eastern Mediterranean engaged in a series of escalating military conflicts, UNTSO was continually challenged in its peacekeeping mission, often having to alter its configuration. Matters came to a head in 1982, when Israel invaded Lebanon for a second time, calling into question the efficacy of UN peacekeeping operations and US support for them.
In Yanks in Blue Berets: American UN Peacekeepers in the Middle East, retired US Army colonel and former UN military observer L. Scott Lingamfelter chronicles the role of the US military in UN Middle East peacekeeping operations. Framed by his personal experiences, the book examines the difficulties faced by UN forces wedged between warring sides with limited trust in their authority as well as the challenging dichotomy of a soldier trained for combat yet immersed in unarmed peacekeeping. Yanks in Blue Berets is a "boots on the ground" perspective of the building Arab-Israeli tensions and geopolitics preceding the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.
2. Up to Jerusalem
3. A Legacy of Conflict
4. The UNTSO-US Culture
5. The Road to Damascus
6. The Bright and Dark Side of Syria
7. UNTSO in the Central Levant
8. The Woes of UNIFIL
9. UNMO Duty in "The Wild West"
10. UNMO Teams in "The Wild West"
11. The Gathering Storm Erupts
12. Peace for No One
13. Sentinels of Peace
14. Epilogue: The Yanks Reflect
The U. S. Armed forces are reluctant players in United Nations operations but nonetheless have a long history of supporting these missions both directly and indirectly. They have ranged from strictly supporting roles in the Congo to robust operations in Haiti, Somalia, and Bosnia. We do too little to prepare for these missions and then take little notice of our performance. Colonel Scott Lingamfelter's Yanks in Blue Berets: American UN Peacekeepers in the Middle East, illuminates the dangerous and vital role Americans played in working to keep the peace in Lebanon during the 1980s. Lingamfelter examines peace missions in Lebanon through the lens of his own service and considers them in both in the context of what he learned and what U. S. Armed forces can and should learn from these complex operations. Yanks in Blue Berets is a story well told of soldiers, sailors, marines, and airman succeeding in difficult operations and a worthy addition to the historiography of peace operations generally.~Colonel Gregory Fontenot, U.S. Army (Retired)