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.
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.
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.Despite scholarly engagement across different disciplines, several matters in these discussions are often overlooked or slighted.Focusing on those matters yields a more accurate assessment of what the United States can accomplish and whether it should feel obliged to assume a special burden as “the great protector” in the community of nations.To receive future issues as soon as they are published, become a subscriber today.In roughly the last 20 to 25 years, debates about America’s foreign policy have often included discussions of “humanitarian military interventions” as a possible moral obligation given the superior strength of American armed forces.Important reference points in this policy discussion include the civil war in Syria; crises in the 1990s in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda, and Kosovo; and similar ones earlier in the twentieth century, such as the widespread slaughter of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War, the destruction of European Jewry from 1939 to 1945, and the mass murders in Pol Pot’s Cambodia from 1975 to 1978.Political and moral catastrophes such as these raise many questions about state sovereignty, the purpose and efficacy of international institutions, and strategies to avoid similar outcomes in the future.This article first appeared in Issue of Providence’s print edition.Subscribers can view all the content from that issue.Power seeks to distill the core issue into the book’s epigraph.It came from Lincoln: “We—even we here—hold the power and bear the responsibility.” Power also stresses the legal obligations that the United States has under international law, especially the Genocide Convention, ratified by the Senate in 1986.