Tom Barnett, writing at his blog, described my article on UN peacekeepers as a tool of public diplomacy at World Politics Review as a "smart piece." My article, titled "UN Peacekeeping as Public Diplomacy", explores a third generation of peacekeeping that is appearing selectively. The new driver, one in which states contribute forces to further their own agenda, holds the potential of increasing the quality of UN engagement in some missions while at the same time reducing, or maintaining, the quality of engagement in others.
In his brief discussion of the article, Tom relates his personal and supporting experience with the Chinese with regards to Africa.
I myself have been surprised, whenever I met with Chinese military officers, how many of them have done time on the continent. It is really viewed as a prime operational experience.
I recommend both a read of Tom's review, which quotes my article, and a review of the article itself at World Politics Review (free trial subscriptions are available). Your comments below, here, Tom's blog, or at WPR are appreciated.