Humanitarian Intervention Thesis

In our current political milieu, in which the discourse of rights-based individualism is so powerful, the significance of this question is apparent.

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The debate whether humanitarian interventions are effective in resolving conflict and saving lives and are not purely based on national interest of intervening states, triggered the research question of this thesis: Was NATO’s humanitarian military intervention effective in the cases of Kosovo (1999) and Libya (2011) in terms of achieving short and long-term humanitarian benefits?

This question will be answered by looking at each scenario through the focus on the short and long-term effectiveness of NATO’s missions.

Such an assessment appears here in the form of five theses.

Taken together, they provide reasons to oppose American preeminence in the realm of humanitarian interventions, especially if it means acting unilaterally.

To use theological language—not found in Power’s work—this was a recurring “sin of omission.” The nation’s failure to act was blameworthy, laying the ground for a new kind of critique of American foreign policy.

Most persons on the left who criticized American foreign policy in the second half of the twentieth century focused on actions. Hers is a distinctive voice, with a perspective partaking of both realism and idealism, and her critique helped to set foreign policy priorities, with Power serving as the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations in the second Obama administration.

This thesis examines the effectiveness of humanitarian intervention in the cases of NATO’s air campaign in Kosovo which lasted from March 24, 1999 – June 10, 1999, and NATO’s air campaign in Libya, which started on March 23, 2001 and continued to October 31, 2011.

The challenges of each intervention were similar, with the victims of war in each case needing to feel secure in their homes, while at the same time requiring aid in areas suffering from extended periods of conflict.

It would be less problematic for the United States to participate in humanitarian military interventions as part of multinational coalitions, but our nation should not universally or routinely lead such coalitions.

Furthermore, to show its commitment to international human rights, the United States should adopt policies such as promoting religious liberty abroad that would offset or counteract those factors that seem most responsible for massive human rights violations.


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