d. Intervention*.docx

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University of California - Berkeley
Political Science

Humanitarian intervention I. Introduction Humanitarian intervention: a coercive action by a state(s) usually involving use of force in another state without that government’s consent; designed to stop/prevent human rights violations & violations on laws of war o Has been a particular interest since the end of the Cold War –military intervention in the domestic affairs of another state for at least partially humanitarian reasons increased dramatically o Ex) No fly zones in Iraq, Intervention to stop starvation in Somalia, UN mission to end Syrian civil war, NATO campaign ethnic cleansing in Kosovo o Sometimes hard to understand through traditional IR perspectives that assume states to be materialistic Ex) Why did US intervene in the Kurds all of the sudden without material interest? II. Forms of Intervention: spectrum of outside involvement in domestic affairs of another state o Lowest end of spectrum: Issuing warning assessments, publications, shaming states o Directly call on govt. to change & provide incentives to do so; words still matter Ex) Bush called the Iraqi people to overthrow Saddam Hussein o Highest end: o Offer economic assistance or military assistance (military advisors -not forceful) to influence domestic affairs or engage in selective military strikes o Withdraw diplomatic recognition as a state unworthy of diplomatic relations o Place sanctions or arms embargo (but economic sanctions’ effectiveness depends on the govt. and how much pain they are willing for their people to suffer) o Ex) Economic sanctions successful with South Africa in ending apartheid but not in Bosnia’s arms embargo because the Serbs didn’t abide so Bosnia, the weaker state, was suffering even more) limited shows of force o Get involved with post crisis activity (rebuilding, supervising elections, state building –to what extent is controversial) III. Humanitarian Intervention during the Cold War o Idea that states could intervene to actually change and do something about human rights abuses was put on hold during the early high points of the Cold War o Human rights principles held hostage to the Cold War lens through which any action abroad was evaluated was the lens of the Cold War: Is it good or bad to the Cold War struggle? o Not much could get authorized in the SC because the US and SU o Ultimately, COLD WAR politics > humanitarian principles decided where states would intervene, mostly in Latin America –whether they were going to support non- communist dictators, many who were involved in widespread human rights abuses, or people who wanted to overthrow left-wing governments Ex) Nicaragua: US supported the Contras during Cold War, human rights abuses by communist govt. by definition were worse than non-communist states A. Human rights on hold: o Today with tribunals, humanitarian intervention is sometimes seen as legitimate or the idea supporting humanitarian intervention is legitimizing. Ex) Bush Administration put humanitarian efforts on the list as a legitimizing factor of the Iraq War but o Opposite case for the Cold War: humanitarian reasons were downplayed for intervention in favor of strategic reasons Humanitarian intervention B. Chapter VII- was invoked twice during the Cold War; Clearly overwhelming human rights crises both cases, nonetheless strategic problems were emphasized, 1) South Africa: arms embargo was placed to stop apartheid but with the SC’s emphasis that it was a threat to its neighbors rather than human rights violations 2) Zimbabwe C. Unilateral interventions o Each case a significant human rights aspect was downplayed o Multilateral intervention is recognized to be more legitimate but was hard to coordinate/orchestrate with UN having very little influence o 3 unilateral instances –recognized as humanitarian intervention, but downplayed humanitarian aspect 1. India’s intervention in East Pakistan (Bangladesh): 1971 Pakistan divided into East and West, East was under military rule by the West Pakistani since the partition, when East P. won majority votes in parliament, West P. saw this as a threat and started raids—clear human rights crisis, India intervened, West Pakistani Army surrendered & Bangladesh was established India had an array of strategic interests and humanitarian concern: in light of the post WWII norms and laws established around human rights and intervention, this could have been arguably justified on humanitarian terms however! issue of sovereignty took precedence and India did not have rights to intervene  later turned to strategic reasons that this was happening on their borders, etc. 2. Tanzania and Uganda 1979- Tanzania army intervened in Uganda by joining with Uganda rebels, toppling the Uganda govt. and rebuilding a new one clear humanitarian and non-humanitarian reasons BUT never claimed the humanitarian reasons that happened to coincide with a internal revolt; the UN and everyone let it go and left as a clear violation on Ugandan sovereignty Vietnam and Cambodia: Pol Pot border invasion on Vietnam and installment of a new govt. in opposition to 1975 Khmer Rouge purification policy  humanitarian motives, which would have given a popular cover, were not the central concern Since 1945, multilateral approval/ action is seen as the norm; partly why
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