Mongolia is proposing to send 1,500 peacekeepers to Cote d'Ivoire, in what would be by far its largest troop contribution to an international mission (and, if we want to be cute about it, the largest troop deployment abroad since the days of the Mongol Empire).
The United Nations made the request of Mongolia last month, but bureaucratic wrangling appears to be holding up the deployment, according to the country's defense minister Luvsanvandan Bold:
The Government has approved the request but some high state officials’ bureaucratic attitude is stalling any further action, to the dismay of the Ministry of Defense. We can send a large contingent of 1,500 soldiers to help in peace keeping there but officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade are sitting on the issue. The UN request came more than a month ago, but no reply has been sent.
An earlier report suggested that Mongolia was asked to send 850 troops, and it's not clear what accounts for the increase.
This blog often neglects poor Mongolia, but the country is doing interesting things with its military, and is a useful comparison to other post-Soviet states, in particular Central Asian ones, which have similar cultures and histories. But Mongolia has been much more active than any of those countries in contributing to UN missions. Over 2,300 Mongolian peacekeepers have served in Sierra Leone alone, with contributions in several other UN missions, as well as in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The only comparable country in the Caucasus and Central Asia would be Georgia, which has contributed several thousand troops to the U.S.-led efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. But while Georgia is trying, with its contributions, to gain favor with the West and especially the U.S., Mongolia is taking the UN peacekeeping approach to gain international support, stuck as it is between two large powers, China and Russia.
Mongolia now has 228 (pdf) soldiers on UN missions, mainly Sudan and Sierra Leone. Compare that to 22 UN peacekeepers from Kyrgyzstan, 2 from Kazakhstan, and not a one from any other country in the Caucasus or Central Asia.
Sending an additional 1,500 troops to Ivory Coast would make Mongolians about 1/6 of the total force there, where 54 UN troops have already been killed.