Webinar Highlights Middle East Peacekeeping Mission

Webinar Highlights Middle East Peacekeeping Mission

Book cover
Photo by: Courtesy

The U.S. Army’s role in 1980s United Nations peacekeeping operations in the Middle East is the subject of an upcoming webinar hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army.

The event at noon Eastern Dec. 5 is part of AUSA’s Noon Report series and will feature retired Col. L. Scott Lingamfelter, author of Yanks in Blue Berets: American UN Peacekeepers in the Middle East. In the book, Lingamfelter chronicles what it was like for a soldier trained in combat arms to instead serve as a military observer in a peacekeeping mission.

The event is free, but registration is required here.

In 1948, the U.N. launched the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, or UNTSO, in response to the conflict that had erupted between Israel and its Arab neighbors, who were opposed to the creation of a Jewish state.

The UNTSO quickly found itself overseeing the ceasefire lines between combatant parties, and in the ensuring decades, as countries along the eastern Mediterranean engaged in a series of escalating conflicts, the UNTSO was continually challenged in its peacekeeping mission.

Matters came to a head in 1982, when Israel invaded Lebanon for a second time, calling into question the effectiveness of U.N. peacekeeping.

In Yanks in Blue Berets, with his personal experiences as a framework, Lingamfelter chronicles the role of the U.S. military in the peacekeeping operations and the difficulties faced by U.N. forces stuck between warring sides.

A 1973 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, Lingamfelter was a field artillery officer and a Middle East foreign area officer in the Army. He has significant experience in the Middle East, first as a military observer with the UNTSO and later with the 1st Infantry Division during Operation Desert Storm.

He retired in 2001 after 28 years of active-duty service.

He is also the author of Desert Redleg: Artillery Warfare in the First Gulf War.