From ‘dirty word’ to ‘critical enabler’: the evolution of peacekeeping-intelligence

Patrick Peprah Obuobi*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The article provides a historical analysis of the evolution of ‘Peacekeeping-Intelligence’ (PKI) as a UN intelligence system and tool of conflict management. It examines the processes leading to the development of the PKI Policy by analyzing the analytical entities that cumulatively contextualized these developments. It also examines the institutional mechanisms at the UNHQ, the underlying logic, and the challenges surrounding these processes. The article first traces the various iterations of information and analysis structures within the UN since the early 1960s. It then focuses on intelligence developments in the 1990s and the new millennium, where the lack of intelligence capabilities, particularly at the mission level, was identified as an underlining factor for the operational problems faced by the UN. It concludes with an examination of the PKI policy as an evolutionary step in UN peacekeeping. The paper argues that PKI offers a new pathway to effective
peacekeeping and provides a foundation for enhanced decision-making through situational awareness, the safety and security of peacekeepers, and the protection of civilians.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Intelligence History
VolumeLatest Articles
Early online date27 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Apr 2024


  • Peacekeeping
  • Intelligence
  • Peacekeeping intelligence
  • Strategic analysis
  • Information-gathering
  • Situational awareness


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