Waging War to Make Peace: U.S. Intervention in Global Conflicts

Waging War to Make Peace: U.S. Intervention in Global Conflicts

Waging War to Make Peace: U.S. Intervention in Global Conflicts

Waging War to Make Peace: U.S. Intervention in Global Conflicts

Synopsis

A revealing examination looks at the decision-making in four NATO capitals about waging war in Kosovo and Iraq.

• Utilizes case studies to explain the most fundamental dilemmas of world affairs, including the question of whether the UN Security Council must authorize war and what constitutes proper justification for the use of force

• Incorporates numerous interviews, speeches, private conversations, and UN and government documents to expose the debates among the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, and the United States about waging war in Kosovo

Excerpt

That is the real issue. That is the issue that will continue in this country when
these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the eter
nal struggle between these two principles—right and wrong—throughout
the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the
beginning of time; and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the com
mon right of humanity and the other is the divine right of kings.

—Abraham Lincoln, 1858

Debates about humanitarian intervention endure because they pose some of the most important political, legal, and moral questions of our time: about the meaning of sovereignty, the nature of international law, the just use of force, and the nature of international order. Humanitarian intervention in practice remains highly contentious because of the irreconcilable tension between the hope of achieving liberal internationalist aims using the ultimate realist means, military force.

This tension has made for odd bedfellows in U.S. foreign policy. Liberated by the end of the cold war during the 1990s, hopes ran high for putting troops to use for humanitarian ends. By the turn of the century, many scholars and practitioners hailed a new international norm of humanitarian intervention—war for primarily humanitarian purposes. Some saw the powerful combination of human rights and their enforcement through intervention as a means of transforming the world. It was for some the sign of the collective enlightenment of the international community. Finishing what they started after . . .

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