Post-Cold War world: Liberalism End of the Cold War brought new optimism in the possibilities of international institutions. Immediately after the end of the Cold War, the UN was put to the test with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Here was a clear cut case of aggression by one sovereign state against another. The UN, led by the US, acted quickly, condemning Iraq, instituting Operation Desert Shield to protect Saudi Arabia, and demanding Iraq’s withdrawal. When Iraq refused, it was expelled through Operation Desert Storm. The US went to the UN, received authorization from the Security Council, and acted. The USSR (which would exist until end of 1991) and most of the Arab states in the region approved of the action – this was how collective security is supposed to work and represented a strong victory for the UN. The problems began emerging as the UN transitioned from its traditional peace-keeping tasks to peace-enforcement operations. Peacekeeping – deals with the UN intervening to oversee peace agreements between two
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