Critical Documents: Intervention

Did Qaddafi’s End Justify the Means?
Micah Zenko, Foreign Policy

Two contradictory global objectives have the potential to encourage nuclear proliferation. The international “Responsibility to Protect” threatens regimes committing crimes against humanity against their citizens. Simultaneously, a campaign against weapons of mass destruction threatens the strength of these states. Libya provides motivation for regimes to acquire WMDs, as the Qaddafi administration was overthrown that much easier without the threat of nuclear warfare.

RIP for R2P? Syria and the Dilemmas of Humanitarian Intervention
Stewart M. Patrick, Council on Foreign Relations

Although Patrick states that the international ‘Responsibility to Protect’ agreement is not yet dead, it is certainly being tested confronting the Syrian crisis. The Obama administration’s strict anti-atrocity message is now under pressure to confront this humanitarian disaster, especially considering it arguably fulfills the given criteria for intervention.

The War in Syria: Death from the Skies
The Economist

The increasing use of violence under Bashar Assad’s command has escalated, with the growing use of air power a clear sign of increased brutality. Intervention would require a higher quantity of military resources than did Libya, as the Syrian government maintains a strong army. At this point, “the least bad option may still, just, be to do nothing.” However, the Syrian death toll is drastically growing every day and the West must accept the moral consequences of that choice.

What Does Intervention in Syria Look Like?
Ed Husain, Council on Foreign Relations

Husain stresses the reality that international intervention is largely U.S. intervention. Syria is unique in that intervention would be complicated, encourage tension with states supporting Syria, and broaden expectations for intervention.

Intervention, Please: the “No-Fly Zone” Requests You Don’t Hear About
Micah Zenko, The Atlantic

Recent intervention and international policy in countries such as Libya are widely regarded as dire humanitarian necessities. However, countless humanitarian requests that are just as significant are ignored and never made known to the public. Zenko offers three reasons for this.