At the end of October 2006, the deployment of UN peace operations reached a record high. Both, the scope as well as the complexity of today’s peace operations place an immense strain on the UN’s capacities for such operations. Traditional peacekeeping, focussed on interposition between belligerents and the supervision of armistices in inter-state conflicts, is largely a phenomenon of the past ... [Show full abstract] which has been replaced by robust, multidimensional operations deployed to meet the dual goal of establishing a secure environment and addressing conflict causes through comprehensive peacebuilding processes. The predominant setting for such operations are so called failed states. Fragile peace agreements, the lack of state authority and eroding state structures, a multiplicity of conflict actors, the proliferation of diverse forms of violence and collapsing economies are testing the UN’s strategy as well as capacity to its limits.