February 3, 2012

REMOVE ALL THE QUALIFIERS AND YOU HAVE THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY:

Why We Shouldn't Attack Syria (Yet) (ROBERT A. PAPE, 2/03/12, NY Times)

A new standard for humanitarian intervention is needed. If a continuing government-sponsored campaign of mass homicide -- in which thousands have died and many thousands more are likely to die -- is occurring, a coalition of countries, sanctioned by major international and regional institutions, should intervene to stop it, as long as they have a viable plan, with minimal risk of casualties for the interveners.

The problem with his formulation is obvious it makes all the things he lists equal values, suggesting that we should countenance homicidal regimes if there is a risk of casualties or a lack of support from the UN or a shortage of allies or even a question about what will come after the regime change.  It effectively rules out all interventions.

Posted by at February 3, 2012 4:23 PM
  

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