Military Overseas Dispatch and Soft Power: Focusing on Convergence between rok’s participation in un pko and mnf po



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Military Overseas Dispatch and Soft Power:

Focusing on Convergence between ROK’s participation

in UN PKO and MNF PO

Yoon-Jik Kim1

Kyu Young Lee2

Abstract

Since the end of cold war, the armed conflicts within the state have been greatly increased in their cases, while international conflicts between states have diminished gradually during the last decades. In order to manage international conflicts, international peace activities under the United Nations have become a much common practice for the participating countries to dispatch their military forces overseas. However, Korean public and particular political groups hardly quite understand the nature and characteristics of the UN peace operations. The United Nations Peace Keeping Operations (UN PKO) and Multinational Forces in peace operations (MNF PO) are the same but their operation commands consisting of UN forces or multi-forces in their operation. The peace operations of the Korean forces tend to promote cultural aspects of Korean life and values during their operations. The UN PKO and MNF PO engage mostly in the reconstruction and rehabilitation projects for the suffering population in the area. Therefore, the participation of Korean forces in these peace operations will greatly enhance Korea’s “Soft Power” in the region. This will be considered as the positive contribution of peace operation by Korean military forces to the foreign policy implementation. The purpose of this thesis is to verify the MNF PO’s contribution by comparing with UN PKO’s contribution to the improvement of ROK’s Soft Power. There are two cases of peace operations participating in East Timor as UN PKO mission and in Iraq as MNF PO mission. By dispatching military forces overseas, a good will and positive image of Korea have been transplanted in the mind of local populace in both countries. This will influence the foreign policy of hosting countries toward Korea. In other words, Korea’s peace missions through the UN PKO and MNF PO should enhance the influence of Korea’s soft power toward the hosting countries. As for the policy consideration, when any further request of Korean participation in the peace mission, this study argues for that the Korean government should take an opportunity to join to the UNPKO and MNFPO in the future.



Keywords: Soft Power, Military Overseas Dispatch, Peace Operations, UN PKO, MNF PO.

1. Introduction: Background and Purpose of Study

Since the post cold war, the intra-state conflict has increased sharply while the inter-state conflict has disappeared gradually. The spectrum of international peace activities has expanded so that it requires the ‘military overseas dispatch’ more to resolve intra-state conflicts. Through the ‘military overseas dispatch’, ROK can obtain good image from local populace and participating alliance countries in the dispatch if ROK’s dispatch policy pursues ‘legitimate’ and ‘attractive’ values, culture and foreign policy. The good image such as preferring ROK can be considered as another form of power. And it is the national interests which can be obtained through the military overseas dispatch. In other words, the good image which the dispatched country’s populace holds influences the country’s policies towards ROK, and ROK obtains the ability to get what it wants through such good image. The ROK’s good image is a ‘soft power’ which is defined as an ability to influence foreign countries through persuasion and attraction, rather than through coercion or economic inducement or sanctions.3

In general, the military overseas dispatches are divided into UN PKO and MNF PO according to whether the main actor is UN forces or multinational forces. In Korea the public and political leaders tend to consider UN PKO and MNF PO as different. Moreover, many Koreans, probably influenced by anti-war pacifist movements, still tend to misperceive that a UN PKO is an activity with a just cause, whereas an MNF PO is unjustifiable.4 However, we should notice that MNF PO is an activity based on UN resolution and the UN tends to mandate missions to regional organizations such as North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) due to personal and financial aspects. UN PKO and MNF PO are not separate from each other, but rather are on a continuum with the same aim.

This study deals with both UN PKO and MNF PO through the comparison between the two by applying the soft power theory. Especially, by establishing “soft power conversion mechanism,” the result of soft power is divided into three parts: (1) Cultural change, (2) public opinion and (3) image improvement. They give tangible and substantive examples of the soft power’s effects to verify the ROK’s soft power improvement by the military overseas dispatch.

The purpose of this thesis is to verify the MNF PO’s contribution by comparing with UN PKO’s contribution to the improvement of ROK’s Soft Power. By doing so, we can recognize a degree of contribution of the MNF PO to the improvement of ROK’s Soft Power and avoid any prejudice against MNF PO. This will help the government positively consider ROK’s military overseas dispatch as a member of MNF PO for international peace and the public will support ROK’s military overseas dispatch policy which contains MNF PO. This study will assert that we have to understand the real meaning (not prejudice) of MNF PO and need to consider not only UN PKO but also MNF PO positively when ROK’s military overseas dispatch policy is established.

. Theoretical Framework: Soft Power Analysis



1. Concept of ‘Soft Power’

Joseph S. Nye says that power is the ability to influence the behavior of others to get the outcomes one wants.5 Depending on the means that one uses to influence others, power can be divided into two: hard power and soft power. Hard power means a theory that military and economic might often get others to change their position, on the other hand, soft power rests on the ability to shape the preferences of others.6

Joseph S. Nye focuses on the soft power among them. Namely, Joseph S. Nye defines that ‘soft power’ is the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or payments and it arises from the attractiveness of a country’s culture, political ideals, and policies. He also says that “when our policies are seen as legitimate in the eyes of others, our soft power is enhanced.”7 Namely, to improve soft power, a country has to have the attractiveness of soft power resources ‘with legitimacy’.

Peace Operations’ soft power results are somehow intangible. However, the soft power theory can logically explain the relationship between soft power resources and results of Peace Operations by using ‘soft power analytical framework.’



2. Soft Power Analytical Framework

According to the spectrum of power, Joseph S. Nye argues that the soft power attraction of a country mainly comes from three resources: ‘legitimate’ culture, values and foreign policy. The three resources offer the key to analyze causes of soft power.



Figure 1. Spectrum of Power8

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‘Taekwondo’ and ‘Saemaul movement’ are attractive Korean culture which is included within legitimate soft power resources. They can be good tangible culture examples of soft power resources. And, Civil Military Operations (CMO) by ROK forces showed ROK’s values ‘promoting peace and human rights’ to the local populace. These devoted and self-sacrificing ROK forces’ CMO gained the local populace’s heart. Therefore, it can be good tangible values examples of soft power resources. Lastly, the foreign policy is one of the soft power resources to achieve soft power improvement. Kim Dae-Jung’s government pursued ‘human rights diplomacy’ as the foreign policy in the case of East Timor. His ‘human rights foreign policy’ is a potential resource of ROK’s soft power.

The study applies the Soft Power Conversion Mechanism as an analytical framework.9 Soft power ultimately refers to the ability to influence the behavior of others to get the outcomes one wants. Thus, the result of Soft Power Conversion Mechanism comes from looking at change of behavior by soft power resources. The results can be divided into ‘act’, ‘response’ and ‘outcome.’10 ‘Cultural change’, ‘public opinion’ and ‘image improvement’ are good examples of the soft power results. Through such examples, the study verifies the MNF PO’s and UN PKO’s contribution to the improvement of ROK’s Soft Power.

Figure 2. Soft Power Conversion Mechanism

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Chapter III. Current Peace Operations: Comparison and Conceptualization

1. Comparison between UN PKO and MNF PO

UN PKO is the operation conducted by UN forces. UN forces are defined as the international forces established by UN for international peace and security.11 MNF PO is the operation conducted by Multinational forces. Multinational forces are defined as the forces organized by several countries to conduct peacekeeping activities in a country or a region. The concept of multinational forces originates from the UN forces functions which help ceasefire and withdraw the troops or keep security.12

After the end of the Cold War, regional disputes over ethnic and religious differences, territories, and resources are increasing. Under these changes of international security environment, roles and functions of international peace activities have been expanded as sentinels of international peace and security. Namely, the boundary between UN PKO and MNF PO is fading.13

Table 1. Comparison between UN PKO and MNF PO14

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The main point of all comparison between UN PKO and MNF PO lies in the justification of participation. The ‘basis of establishment’ and ‘mission’ of UN PKO and MNF PO especially gives us the understanding of justification of participation. Since UN Security Council resolution is supported by UN member countries, it has a justification in the international politics. Therefore, there is justification for the participation of not only UN PKO but also MNF PO, which establishes its missions by UN Security Council resolution. As table 1 shows, it is difficult to distinguish the mission of UN PKO from the mission of MNF PO due to the PKO missions’ change towards ‘robust PKO.’ It is meaningless to distinguish the mission of UN PKO from the mission of MNF PO.



2. Conceptualization of Peace Operations

2.1. Trends of international peace operations

Since the late 1980s, the main threat to regional and global peace has not come from major inter-state confrontations, but from other sources such as internal conflicts and conflicts occurring within the borders of states.15 Figure 3 shows that the intra-state conflict has increased sharply since the post Cold War while inter-state conflict has disappeared gradually.



Figure 3. Intra-state and Inter-state Conflicts from 1945 to 200816

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In accordance to the change from intra-state conflict to inter-state conflict, a concept of international peace operations is also changed. Particularly, the peace operations are expanding beyond the concept of conventional peacekeeping through an active and multidimensional way which includes force enforcement if necessary.



Figure 4. Expansion of Spectrum of International Peace Operations17

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2.2. Concept of international peace operations of UN and other countries

Concept of UN’s peace operations: The terms ‘peacekeeping’ and ‘peace operation’ are not found in the UN Charter.18 The UN has still not clearly stipulated what it means by the term, and the UN has used the term ‘peace activities’ which is very inclusive compared to the term ‘peace operations.’ The UN regards ‘peacekeeping’ as a concept of peace operations.19 Peacekeeping is one among a range of activities undertaken by the UN and other international actors to maintain international peace and security throughout the world. The Department of Peace Keeping Operations (DPKO) which is a lower branch of UN simply identified ‘peacekeeping’ as one of five ‘peace and security activities.’

Namely, the concept of ‘peace activities’ of the UN includes not only UN PKO’s activities but also MNF PO’s activities although the UN uses the term ‘peacekeeping’ and ‘peace activities’ instead of the term of ‘peace operations.’



Concept of other countries’ peace operations: The United States uses the term of ‘peace operations’ which includes the concept of ‘peacekeeping operations.’ It regards the term of ‘peacekeeping operations’ as one method of ‘peace operations’ in Presidential Decision Directive 25 (PDD 25) which is an executive order drafted by President of the United States, Bill Clinton, on May 3, 1994. The United Kingdom, Australia and Sweden officially have used the term of ‘Peace Support Operations (PSO)’ which is a close concept of ‘peace operations’ including the concept of ‘Peacekeeping operations.’20

Namely, other countries such as the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia and Sweden are using the term of ‘peace operations (PO)’ and ‘peace support operations (PSO)’ which include the concept of ‘peacekeeping operations (PKO).’ International society generally tends to recognize all kinds of peace activities including ‘peacekeeping operations’ as ‘peace operations.’ Therefore, ‘peace operations’ in international society is defined as all kinds of peace activities conducted by the UN, regional organization and multinational forces for international security and peace.21



2.3. New Perspectives in Peace Operations

The concept of ‘peace activities’ of UN includes not only UN PKO’s activities but also MNF PO’s activities, and other countries’ concept of ‘peace operations’ such as PSO and PO also includes both of them.

However, ROK still has some prejudice about MNF PO due to the problem of using the term of ‘peacekeeping operations.’ The prejudice is that UN PKO is the only justifiable way for international peace and security because we consciously consider UN PKO as the only peace operation. However, their aim, which pursues international peace and security, is the same. For this reason, ROK needs a new concept which contains both concepts of UN PKO and MNF PO, instead of the term of ‘peacekeeping operations.’ The alternative concept is ‘peace operations.’

‘Peace operations’ is defined as one general type of activity that can be used to prevent, limit, and manage violent conflict as well as rebuild in its aftermath,22 so that it included both UN PKO activities and MNF PO activities.



Chapter IV. Case Studies: ROK forces’ UN PKO and MNF PO

1. ROK Forces’ UN PKO in East Timor

1.1. Soft Power Resources of ROK Forces

1.1.1. Culture as Soft Power Resource

Through the Taekwondo values such as manners, endurance, sacrifice or responsibility, the Evergreen Unit devoted considerably not only to spread the Korean spirit and culture to the East Timorese, but also to foster the sense of public order and democratic citizenship of the East Timorese.23 The Evergreen Unit also dispatched superior Taekwondo instructors to East Timor Military Academy of Defense Forces to teach cadets as their request.24 The education of Taekwondo was a notable example of soft power resource which gives preference of ROK’s culture to East Timorese.

Another example of culture as soft power resource was ‘Saemaul Movement.’ Basically, the Saemaul Movement is a movement seeking community development and modernization. It is a fight against old and deep pessimistic views such as ‘poverty is our fate’ or ‘it is impossible.’25 The Saemaul Movement model for ‘Home’ community was a plan to reform the consciousness of the local populace and to make a boom for the better life through the Saemaul Movement. The Saemaul Movement model for ‘Home’ community was recognized as a role model due to increasing the locals’ income. Especially, the Saemaul Movement changed the local populace’s mind from dependence to self-reliance. Therefore, the Saemaul Movement was an example of a soft power resource which gives a good image of ROK’s culture to the East Timorese.

The last example of culture as soft power resource is the Korean day’ event. Each contingent conducted the ‘Korean day’ event once per stationing. This was for publicizing Korea. The Evergreen Unit invited all UN organizations, NGOs, policemen and the local populace, and showed the Korean traditional percussion quartet such as Samulnori, and martial arts performances such as Taekwondo. This event increased close interrelationship with the local populace, while publicizing ROK, the ROK forces and the Evergreen Unit.26 Increasing close relationship between ROK forces and the local populace led preference for ROK in the local society.



1.1.2. Values as Soft Power Resource

This study focuses on ‘promoting peace and human rights’ by the Evergreen Unit in East Timor. As the ROK Ministry of National Defense assigned the Evergreen Unit’s missions which were to restore the peace and security of East Timor and to support the humanitarian aid effort, ‘promoting peace and human rights’ became the main values of activities of ROK forces. The values led the preference for ROK in the local society.

The best example of the soft power resource of values is the ‘Blue Angel Operation.’ The Blue Angel Operation is a multi-functional integrated CMO conducted by the Evergreen Unit. Friendship activities were advanced to cultural and physical events with the local populace through the Blue Angel Operation, providing them with orphan invitation, asylum visits, movie showing, haircut support, equipment operating, tune-up education and the Korean day event.27

Not only the local populace but also Peace Keeping Forces (PKF) headquarters were also interested in the Blue Angel Operation by the Evergreen Units. The Evergreen Unit dispatched officers in charge to regions located in other countries, and they spread CMOs cases and techniques of the ROK forces as their requests. Finally, other countries participating in UN PKF as well as PKF headquarters estimated the Blue Angel Operation of the Evergreen Unit as the representative CMO of PKF.28

The ROK’s devoted and self-sacrificing Blue Angel Operation could be very effective to gain the local populace’s heart because the Evergreen Unit had the legitimate values ‘promoting peace and human rights.’ As a result, the Blue Angel Operation was a good example of introducing values that induced preference for ROK in the local society.

1.1.3. Foreign policy as Soft Power Resource

Joseph S. Nye also argues that government’s foreign policies are another potential source of soft power and they strongly affect soft power. Jimmy Carter’s human rights policies are a case in point. In Argentina, American human rights policies that were rejected by the military government of the 1970s produced considerable soft power for the United States two decades later, when the Peronists who were earlier imprisoned subsequently came to power.29

When the East Timor crisis occurred, the ROK President Kim Dae-Jung insisted on a ‘human rights foreign policy’ very strongly because human rights was his belief.30 On September 11, 1999, he met Chinese President Jiang Zemin and asked for the agreement from China for International actions such as a PKF (Peace keeping Forces) dispatch. He also played a leading role in the discussion about the East Timor Crisis during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference and called on Indonesia to accept the PKF dispatch. He said that even though it was in a small area event, it would have a big impact on the development of democracy in Asia and the rest of the world.31

His ‘human rights foreign policy’ led all countries of the world to be interested in the East Timor Crisis actively. Eventually, Indonesian President Habibie invited UN intervention. His ‘human rights foreign policy’ was a potential source of ROK’s soft power and it influenced the Indonesian foreign policy.



1.2. Analysis by Soft Power Analytical Framework

1.2.1. Cultural Changes as ‘Act’ result

The diffusion of Korean culture which refers to Taekwondo and Saemaul Movement created some cultural changes in East Timor. East Timorese accepted Taekwondo as not only sports but also a spiritual culture. It inclined the local populace to prefer ROK forces. Through the preference for ROK, Taekwondo was booming in not only Lautem and Oecussi, in which Evergreen Unit was stationed, but also Dili which was the capital of East Timor.32 Especially, a lot of people who received education from the ROK instructors became Taekwondo instructor in East Timor later.33 They expended the Taekwondo, so that it led cultural changes that East Timorese changed their condition both physically and mentally.

Also, Taekwondo education became a regular subject in the East Timor Military Academy of Defense Force. Through Taekwondo minds such as manners, endurance, sacrifice and responsibility, the Korean culture and spirit could spread to not only civilians but also soldiers. Taekwondo became a new culture include Korean spirits in East Timor and it gave the ROK preference to the local populace.

The Saemaul Movement also changed the lives of the local populace. As the ‘Home Community Project’ proved to be successful, the participation of the local populace increased, and their response to the Saemaul Movement became positive.34 Their attitude converted to a voluntary and positive posture from a lukewarm posture in their life. The ‘living well movement’ which was the first objective of the Saemaul Movement was achieved successfully.35 East Timorese felt the diligence, self-help and cooperation as a spirit of Korean culture, it led the local populace to a positive image of ROK.



1.2.2. Public Opinion change as ‘Response’ result

When the Evergreen Unit arrived in Lospalos, East Timor for the first time, the local populace did not drop their vigilance against the ROK forces. It would be natural they were showing signs of rejection towards foreign military forces because of their history.36

However, CMO which were based on compassion and love by ROK forces earned trust and confidence of the East Timorese. The local populace even dubbed the Evergreen Unit ‘Malraimutin’ meaning the best of the multinational forces and ‘Maluc Korea’ meaning the Korean friend.37 Even a local musician wrote a song about ‘Maluk Korea’ (the Korean Friend) and Lospalos renamed after the main street, ‘Rua Maluk Korea’, in their honor. A mother chose her son’s name as ‘Peter Korea’ in gratitude to members of the Evergreen Unit who transported her to the hospital when she went into labor.38

The devoted and self-sacrificing performance of CMO by the Evergreen Unit changed the ROK’s perception among the East Timorese into a favorable one. The public opinion toward the Evergreen Unit changed from vigilance to friendship.



1.2.3. Image Improvement as ‘Outcome’ result

In order to verify the ROK’s image improvement in East Timor, this study analyzes high ranking officials’ speeches whose opinions have a decisive effect to decide East Timorese policy. Xanana Gusmao who was the president of East Timor, said “In place of all East Timorese people, I express my hearty thanks to the ROK forces which loved us sincerely and devoted themselves to peace and security of East Timor.” When the ROK forces returned to Korea in October 21 2003, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said “Since its arrival, the ROK Battalion played a very visible and positive role. We thank you, and say good-bye to friends who worked with us and have given their best.”39

Not only East Timor high ranking officials but also UN and PKF high ranking officials praised ROK troops. UN Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) and the PKF commander said respectively that “Those who lived in Area of Responsibility (AOR) under the ROK forces are blessed people”, “The ROK forces which have superior capability to accomplish their mission and to move the local people to tears are a good example of all PKF.”40

The impression of South Korea from high ranking officials as well as the locals was an enthusiastic welcome. Although the Evergreen Unit was just one battalion size and its stationing post was confined to Lospalos and Oecussi, favorable feelings for the ROK forces were spread nationwide.41

The speech of the President and Prime Minister who were figures of authority in East Timor, show the improvement of the local populace preference toward ROK Forces. It means the increasing ROK’s soft power through ROK forces’ soft power resources such as legitimate values, culture and foreign policy. The good impression spread throughout the region, so even high ranking UN officials and PKO commanders had a good image of ROK.

Figure 5. Soft Power Results in East Timor

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2. ROK Forces’ MNF PO in Iraq

2.1. Soft Power Resources of ROK Forces

2.1.1. Culture as Soft Power Resource

Such as the activities of Evergreen Unit in East Timor, Zaytun Unit also tried to spread Taekwondo and Saemaul Movement as a part of Korean culture. Through Taekwondo values such as manners, endurance, sacrifice or responsibility, it tried to establish a friendly relationship between the local populace and ROK Forces. Zaytun Unit opened 5 classes of Taekwondo and supported a Taekwondo belt test. Also, it held a contest of Taekwondo 3 times and implemented a visit to Korea of outstanding Taekwondo players.

The objective of Saemaul Movement was to establish the developing basis of local society by the local populace. The local populace could gain self-confidence from the Saemaul Movement. It included diligence, self-help and cooperation as a guiding spirit implemented step by step. The first phase mainly focused on ‘moral education’ and ‘reforming consciousness.’ The second phase carried out ‘self-help business’ and supported as the result of ‘self-help business.’ Lastly, the third phase conducted ‘system construction’ and supported the ‘business of income increase.’ The phases were as follows.

The last example of culture as soft power resource is the ‘Technical Education Center.’ Zaytun Unit established the Center to teach an advanced technology of Korea. By doing so, the center educated the local experts and publicized the Korean development. The education was composed of 7 courses as a local condition.

The education of Taekwondo is a notable example of soft power resource which shows ROK’s culture. As the Saemaul Movement which includes ‘diligence, self-help and cooperation’ changed the local populace mind from dependence to self-reliance, the Saemaul Movement is an example of ROK’s soft power resource. The Technical Education Center induced ROK preference to the local populace through the ROK’s developed technology. The Technical Education Center is also good example of ROK’s soft power resource.

2.1.2. Values as Soft Power Resource

Zaytun Unit pursued values of ‘human rights’ of Iraqis as a soft power resource. Namely, the Zaytun Unit respected the local populace sincerely and tried to become familiar. Based on the values, Zaytun actively carried out ‘Green Angel Operation’ as a Civil Military Operation. If a dispatch unit can not gain the local populaces’ sentiment, none of the Unit’s operations can be succeeded and continued. The Zaytun Unit knew the fact that ‘ensuring of public sentiment’ was a core point of CMO, so it actively carried out the ‘Green Angel Operation.

The humanitarian support which included Green Angel Operation was carried out successfully due to Zaytun Unit’s devoted effort focused on Iraqis’ human right values. The humanitarian support was a soft power resource which led ROK preference to the local populace.

2.1.3. Foreign policy as Soft Power Resource

On the 2nd Iraq dispatch policy, the President Roh decided on the 2nd dispatch of Korean troops with the consideration of the ROK-US relations but it was not the reflection of individual values and preferences but the reflection of his responsibility as the President. He pursued national interests of Korea such as promoting peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear problem and strengthening ROK-US alliance, by making decisions on the 2nd dispatch policy, instead of accepting breakaway of his supporters.42

Although the Roh administration mostly considered the factor of ROK-US alliance relations, it had emphasized Korea’s contributions in proportion to its economic power to the international society from its beginning.43 Therefore, when we consider the Roh administration’s basic line of foreign policy, Korea’s participation in the rehabilitation and peace making process in Iraq was natural so that this necessity functioned as another important factor to the Roh administration’s decision on the 2nd dispatch policy.44 Based upon necessity, the Roh administration consistently emphasized that the main goal of Korea’s additional dispatch is to help Iraqi people. The foreign policy could be the soft power resource which focused on Iraqis’ human right.

2.2. Analysis by Soft Power Analytical Framework

2.2.1. Cultural changes as ‘Act’ result

After the Iraq War, there were a lot of jobless people but less appropriate professionals. After the establishment of a ‘Technical Education Center’ in January 2005, the situation was changed. The education gave the local populace self-reliance. Especially, the center raised hopes that disabled people and women could enter the workforce. A lot of disabled people received the ‘computer education,’ so that they got a job successfully. Several women obtained ‘heavy a vehicles’ license,’ and they also entered the government organizations.45 The devoted effort of the ‘Technical Education Center’ changed the locals’ mind from despair to hope.

As Iraq’s saying “there is no friend except mountains” means, the Kurds basically took an unfriendly attitude to visitors. That was their culture. However, their atmosphere changed because of the Zaytun’s devoted ‘Green Angel Operation.’ Many people extended their hand and they greeted warmly as Zaytun Unit arrived again. These situations were very unprecedented in Iraq where terror and combat was occurring.46

Especially, Zaytun Unit changed the concept of military of the Kruds from the existence of fear to the existence of peace. The local populace said that Zaytun Unit was a gift from god as a response of Zaytun Unit’s CMO. Ibrahim Hasan who was a spokesman for the Krud Democratic Party said that the Kruds had bad experiences with military forces because the military forces were oppressive and killed them. However, Zaytun unit changed the perception of military of the local populace. They got much pleasure from Zaytun Unit which helped them, not oppresses, which reconstructs their city not destroys, which gives gift instead of bombs.47



2.2.2. Public Opinion as ‘Response’ result

In Seop Lee who is a professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies studied the effects of the dispatch of Korean troops to Iraq on image of Korea.48 According to his study “Effects of the Dispatch of Korean Troops to Iraq on Image of Korea,” the overall image of Korea tended to be favorable in the Middle East Area. Among five surveyed countries Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt and Arab Emirates, the Iraq’s ranking was second. The United Arab Emirates gave ROK the best evaluation (4.56d ) of national image and the evaluation (4.04c) of national image of Iraq followed. An interesting result was that Iraqi favored ROK more than the other countries in some items although ROK was taking part in the Iraq War.

Additionally, according to the result of public opinion poll which was conducted by a local Kurdish newspaper, 84% of local populace in Arbil agreed the dispatch of Korean forces.49 And the locals said “we cannot choose our brother but we can choose our friends. We choose Korea as a friend.”50 The local populace in Arbil kept Korea in their mind as a real friend.

2.2.3. Image Improvement as ‘Outcome’ result

A Kurd has a saying that “there is no friend except mountains.” As the saying suggests, the Kurd basically takes an unfriendly attitude to visitors. When Zaytun Unit was stationed at Arbil at first in January 10, 2005, the locals doubted the truth of ROK forces. However, Zaytun Unit’s devoted efforts changed their mind. Massoud Barzani who was the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said “we have another reliable friend such as mountains contrary to our saying.” Nechervan Idris Barzani who was the prime minister of KRG said “Zaytun became a member of our society.” Minister for the Interior Abdul Karim Sultan Sinjari also said “it was impossible to ensure of public security without Zaytun Unit.”51 And, a company CEO in Arbil said “Zaytun is the only one unit who can take flowers from the locals on road.” He asked for the extension of the dispatch of Zaytun Unit.52

Moreover, not only Iraqi but also other countries’ high ranking officials praised highly the Zaytun Unit’s achievement. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered pursuing the ‘Zaytun-like’ operations in the meeting of U.S. military commanders.53 MNF-I (Multi-National Forces in Iraq) commander Peter W. Chiarelli said that Zaytun Unit’s CMO showed the best direction of MNF-I’s CMO and asked for a publication of an English edition of ‘Zaytun Unit’s CMO handbook.’54 The handbook could be used very well for other countries’ forces.

From the speech of the President and Prime Minister who were figures of authority in the Kurdistan Regional Government, the improvement of the local populace preference toward ROK Forces was shown. It shows the increasing ROK’s soft power through ROK forces’ soft power resources such as the values of Iraqi human rights. The good impression spread throughout the region, so even U.S. high ranking official and PKO commanders were favorably impressed by the ROK forces.



Figure 6. Soft Power Results in Iraq

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Chapter V. Conclusion: ROK’s Soft Power improvement by UN PKO and MNF PO

In order to equally consider UN PKO and MNF PO as ‘peace operations,’ this study verifies that the result of the activities of UN PKO and MNF PO is positive and similar if the ROK uses its soft power resources such as ‘legitimate’ and ‘attractive’ values, culture and foreign policy in a positive direction.

In the East Timor case, ROK forces participated in the peace operation as a member of UN PKO. The ROK forces’ ‘Evergreen Unit’ had a lot of legitimate soft power resources such as Taekwondo, Saemaul Movement, ‘promoting peace’ values, and ‘human rights foreign policy.’ The resources changed the local populace’s thought and behavior in a positive direction towards the ROK. As a part of cultural changes, Taekwondo boomed and it was selected as a regular subject in the Military Academy. The local populace who learned Taekwondo developed voluntary and positive attitudes. As a part of public opinion changes, the public opinion changed from vigilance to friendship. The local populace even dubbed the Evergreen Unit ‘Malraimutin’, meaning ‘the best of the multinational forces’ and ‘Maluc Korea’, meaning ‘the Korean friend.’ As a part of image improvement, a lot of high ranking officials in the East Timor government admired the ROK forces’ achievement, and the good Korean image might influence the East Timor policy toward Korea.

In the Iraq case, ROK forces joined the peace operation as a member of MNF PO. The ROK forces’ ‘Zaytun Unit’ also had a lot of legitimate soft power resources such as Taekwondo, Saemaul Movement, ‘Technical Education Center’ and ‘humanitarian support based on human rights.’ The soft power resources were almost similar to Evergreen Unit’s soft power resources which focused on the local populace’s human rights and ensuring peace and security. Therefore, the resources also changed the Iraqi populace’s thought and behavior in a positive direction towards the ROK. As a part of cultural changes, Zatun Unit brought hope to not only the common locals but also the disabled and women. The hope changed the locals’ attitude from ‘unfriendly’ to ‘friendly.’ As a part of public opinion changes, Inseop Lee’s study shows the ROK’s good image in Iraq although ROK forces participated in the Iraq War as a member of MNF PO. As a part of image improvement, a lot of high ranking officials in the Kurdish government considered ROK forces as a reliable friend, and the good Korean image influenced the Kurdish policy.

Through ‘military overseas dispatch’ both of UN PKO (East Timor case) and MNF PO (Iraq case), ROK built a positive image among the local populace. The good image such as preferring ROK can be considered as the soft power. In other words, the good image might influence the country’s policies towards ROK, and ROK can obtain the ability to get what it wants through such good image. The study concludes that both the UN PKO’s and MNF PO’s activities increase the ROK’s soft power. As for the policy consideration, when any further request of Korean participation in the peace mission, this study argues for that the Korean government should take an opportunity to join to the UNPKO and MNFPO in the future.

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1 Captain, ROK Army, Master of National Intelligence, Graduate School of International Studies, Sogang University.

2 Professor, Graduate School of International Studies, Sogang University, Korea. E-mail: kylee@sogang.ac.kr

3 Joseph S. Nye, “The Benefits of Soft Power,” HBS Working knowledge, (Jan. 8, 2004), p. 1, http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/4290.html. (Search Date: Oct. 19, 2011)

4 Jei Guk Jeon, “Driven by peace operations: a balanced development of the ROK-U.S. alliance,” The Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, Vol. 22, No. 4 (2010), p. 416.

5 Joseph S. Nye, Bound To Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power (New York: Basic Books, 1990), p. 69.

6 Joseph S. Nye, Soft power: The Means to Success in World Politics (New York: Public Affairs, 2004), p. 5.

7 Joseph S. Nye (2004), “The Benefits of Soft Power,” op. cit., p. 1.

8 Ibid., p. 8.

9 Ji Young Lee, “A Study on local governments’ soft power in the ear of Globalization,” Diss., Seoul National Univ., 2007, p. 18; Seong Yeon Lee, “Reinterpreting the Marshall Plan as a Soft Power,” Diss., Seoul National Univ., 2010, p. 10.

10 Ji Young Lee, op. cit., p. 18.

11 “United Nations Forces,” Dusan Encyclopedia, http://www.encyber.com/. (Search Date: July 20, 2011)

12 “Multinational Forces,” Dusan Encyclopedia, http://www.encyber.com/. (Search Date: July 20, 2011)

13 Jei Guk Jeon, “Overseas Troop Development and Korean Security: The effect of Peace Operations on National Interests,” National Strategy, Vol. 17, No. 2 (2011), p. 40.

14 Yong Ho Choi, The Dispatch of the ROK Forces to East Timor and the Birth of Timor Leste (Seoul: MND Institute for Military History Compilation, 2006), p. 74.

15 Muzaffer Ercan Yılmaz, “Resolving Internal Conflicts in the Post-Cold War Era: Is Peacekeeping Enough?” Journal of Economic and Social Research, Vol. 8, No. 2 (2006), p. 27.

16 Conflict Barometer 2008 (Heidelberg: The Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research, 2008), p. 2, http://hiik.de/en/konfliktbarometer/pdf/ConflictBarometer_2008.pdf. (Search Date: Oct. 1, 2011)

17 Per Arne Five, UN DPKO Briefing (2008.6.25), quoted in Jei Guk Jeon (2011), op. cit., p. 38.

18 Alex J. Bellamy et al., Understanding Peacekeeping (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2010), p. 14.

19 United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Principles and Guidelines (New York: UN DPKO, 2008), p. 17.

20 Sung Yun Ko, The Route of World Country: Approach to strategic use of Peace Keeping Operations (Seoul: KIDA Press, 2011), pp. 193-194. (in Korean)

21 Ibid., p. 195.

22 Alex J. Bellamy et al., op. cit., p. 18.

23 Gi Chang Kwon, “Analysis on Military Operations of UN PKO in East Timor,” Diss., Seoul National Univ., 2007, p. 32.

24 Yong Ho Choi, op. cit., pp. 203-204.

25 “Saemaul Undong,” http://saemaul.com/english/saemaulundong.asp. (Search Date: Oct. 12, 2011)

26 Yong Ho Choi, op. cit., p. 212.

27 Yong Ho Choi, op. cit., pp. 207-208.

28 Ibid., pp. 208-209.

29 Joseph S. Nye (2004), Soft power: The Means to Success in World Politics, op. cit., p. 13.

30 “The background of East Timor conference by President Kim Dae Jung,” Yonhap News, Sep. 12, 1999, http:// news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=100&oid =001&aid=0004453805. (Search Date: Oct. 14, 2011) (in Korean)

31 “President Overrides MND on Troops to E. Timor,” Chosunilbo, Sep. 14, 1999, http:// english.chosun.com/ site/data/html_dir/1999/09/14/1999091461419.html. (Search Date: Sep. 11, 2011) (in Korean)

32 Gi Chang Kwon, op. cit., p. 31.

33 Yong Ho Choi, op. cit., p. 204.

34 Yong Ho Choi, op. cit., pp. 205-206.

35 Ibid.

36 “Four Years of the Evergreen Unit in East Timor,” MND Dispatch News, March 15, 2003.

37 Yong Ho Choi, op. cit., p. 255.

38 “The Evergreen Unit of Lautem Distric,” Newsletter Tais Timor, May 14, 2000, p. 3. http://www.un. org/en/peacekeeping/missions/past/etimor/untaetPU/newsletter6E.pdf. (Search Date: Sep. 11, 2011)

39 “ROKBATT bids farewell to Timor-Leste,” UNMISET Press Release, Oct. 21, 2003, p. 1.

40 Sa Jin Kim, The Activities of the Evergreen Unit: the 8th Contingent, (Seoul: KNDU Joint Staff College, 2003), p. 236. (in Korean)

41 Yong Ho Choi, op. cit., pp. 314-315.

42 Segyu Kim, “An analysis on the decision making process of Roh Moo-Hyun administration’s 1st and 2nd dispatch policy,” Diss., Seoul National Univ., 2010, pp. 64-65.

43 Peace, Prosperity and National Security, (Seoul: Office of the NSA, 2004), pp. 84-86.

44 Segyu Kim, op. cit., pp. 65-66.

45 Sun Tae Kim, “Study of Military peaceful role: focused on Civil Military Activities in Iraq,” Korea Association of Military Studies. Vol. 53 (2008), pp. 190-191. (in Korean)

46 “Korea Troops established peace in Iraq,” Sympathy Korea, April 15, 2007, http://www. korea.kr/newsWeb/pages/brief/hotIssue3/view.do?issueNewsId=71507386&newsDataId=148622490&packageId=49500195. (Search Date: Oct. 11, 2011) (in Korean)

47 Ibid.

48 In seop Lee et al., “Effects of the dispatch of Korean Troops to Iraq on Image of Korea,” Mediterranean Review, Vol. 8, No. 2 (2006), p. 185.

49 Geun Soo Lee, Chang Kwon Park, and Sang Don Jung, Achievements of dispatch of Korean troops to Iraq and future tasks (Seoul: KIDA, 2007), p. 98. (in Korean)

50 Eui Don Hwang, “Zaytun’s fruitful achievement and future challenges,” The Joint Chiefs of Staff, Vol. 26, (2006), p.27. (in Korean)

51 Seung Jo Jung, “Achievements and Future Tasks of Development in Iraq,” Wonkwang military review (2007), p. 79. (in Korean)

52 “Zaytun,” The Korea Defense Daily, Oct. 30, 2007. http://kookbang.dema.mil.kr/kdd/ GisaView.jsp?menuCd =3004&menuSeq=1&menuCnt=30911&writeDate=20071045?5305c3c8&kindSeq=7&writeDateChk=20071030. (Search Date: Sep. 20, 2011) (in Korean)

53 “Korean troops established peace in Iraq,” op. cit.

54 Seung Jo Jung, op. cit., p. 83.




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