Report highlights value of UN peacekeeping contributions Trump admin wants to cut

A report released Tuesday by the Government Account...

Posted: Feb 7, 2018 12:09 AM
Updated: Feb 7, 2018 12:09 AM

A report released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office found that US contributions to United Nations peacekeeping efforts offer significant savings when compared to the cost of similar, unilateral operations conducted by the United States alone.

The findings follow a year of threats by the Trump administration to slash US contributions to the United Nations, and could embolden those in Congress who have resisted the cuts.

"There are places we can cut," US Ambassador the UN Nikki Haley told a crowd at the Council on Foreign Relations last March. "Everybody knows there's fat at the UN. Everybody knows there's fat in the peacekeeping missions."

The UN cut its peacekeeping budget by $600 million over the summer in response to such criticisms and internal calls for reform.

Haley welcomed the move, tweeting: "Just 5 months into our time here, we've cut over half a billion $$$ from the UN peacekeeping budget & we're only getting started."

The US currently provides more than one-quarter of the total funding for UN peacekeeping missions -- more than any other country.

The UN peacekeeping program has critics outside the Trump administration as well, many of whom point to cases of alleged abuse by peacekeepers, as well as corruption and mismanagement by authorities.

The new GAO report compares the actual cost of a UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic to an estimated hypothetical cost of a comparable US military mission, arriving at the latter figure through consultations with the UN and US departments of state and defense.

The agency found that US contributions to the actual mission were $700 million -- about 30% of the total $2.4 billion mission cost at that point, while the hypothetical unilateral mission would have cost US taxpayers nearly $5.7 billion.

The difference is due to a number of factors, including salary costs, and "some higher standards for facilities, intelligence and medical services" on the US side, the report states.

"The study is further evidence that continued engagement with the United Nations is not only in our national security interests but also very much in our economic interests," says Peter Yeo, president of the Better World Campaign, a group that promotes US-UN cooperation. "By supporting UN Peacekeeping efforts, the U.S. saves money and doesn't have to put its own boots on the ground -- it's a win-win."

The report, ordered by Congress as part of a State Department authorization passed in late 2016, presents the findings without offering any specific recommendations to lawmakers.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319381

Reported Deaths: 7354
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22264265
Hinds20634421
Harrison18381316
Rankin13862282
Jackson13677248
Madison10234224
Lee10050176
Jones8458167
Forrest7821153
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Washington5418136
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Warren4440121
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Monroe4155135
Union415576
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Hancock386087
Leflore3515125
Tate342386
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Pike3366110
Alcorn324172
Scott319374
Yazoo314171
Itawamba305077
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Clay187554
Stone187433
Tallahatchie180041
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Calhoun174032
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135247
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee127934
Perry126638
Amite126142
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Webster115032
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Jefferson Davis107833
Claiborne103030
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96628
Franklin85023
Quitman81816
Choctaw79018
Wilkinson69332
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 547873

Reported Deaths: 11274
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809141565
Mobile41984826
Madison35629523
Tuscaloosa26147458
Shelby25580254
Montgomery25075611
Baldwin21805313
Lee16248175
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Tallapoosa4127154
Escambia401180
Chambers3723123
Dallas3606156
Clarke352861
Marion3237106
Pike313978
Lawrence3124100
Winston283272
Bibb267664
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Pickens236662
Barbour234559
Hale226678
Butler223771
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Henry193743
Cherokee187245
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Monroe179141
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155157
Cleburne153144
Lamar146237
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