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UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's call for highly mobile, rapidly deployable UN 'battle groups' reflects a growing requirement worldwide for what are termed 'third generation' peace-enforcement operations. First and second generation operations would typically describe the 'classical' UN peacekeeping mission mounted during the Cold War. Such operations dating between the 1940's and 1990's were normally deployed with UN Security Council approval and with the prior consent of the belligerent parties involved. The political maneuvering necessary to secure such consent allied with the typically large numbers of peacekeepers deployed during this period normally meant that it was usually several months, even years before peacekeepers arrived in the zone of conflict. The bitter experience of UN peacekeepers deployed to the Balkans in the 1990's led the UN to reassess the manner in which future operations would be configured and deployed. In particular, the mass murder of thousands of Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in July 1995, despite the presence of Dutch peacekeepers, forced the UN to conclude that future military interventions would have to be more robustly configured and – crucially - allowed the adequate mandate and 'operational consistency' necessary to mount sustained, high-tempo combat operations. This assessment was confirmed in the UN commissioned Brahimi Report of 2000.
Clonan, T., 2003: Ireland's Chance To Sway Security Policy In The EU, Dublin: The Irish Times.