Humanitarian Intervention

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Comment, JUL/AUG 2014
Harold H. Saunders

In 1971, the Pakistani government orchestrated a brutal military crackdown against the Bengali population in East Pakistan -- while the United States stuck by its ally Pakistan. Gary Bass's new book spotlights the “significant complicity” of U.S. President Richard Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, in this “forgotten genocide.”

William Michael Schmidli

The ubiquity of human rights rhetoric in American political life today obscures the relatively recent origins of the U.S. human rights movement. It wasn’t until the late 1960s and the 1970s that grassroots organizers, lobbyists, and members of Congress embraced human rights in reaction to the excesses of America's Cold War policies.

Charli Carpenter

Despite diplomatic rhetoric, the goal of punishing violations of a near-universally held norm is not the same thing as the goal of protecting civilians. If that were really the purpose, the West would have intervened in Syria long ago. Its strategy now, moreover, would do more to take civilians into account.

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

The conflict in Syria will only end with a political solution. The United States should use the leverage it has -- through continued pressure and looming military strikes -- to help all sides get to the table and push for the transfer of power, however unlikely such an outcome might look right now.

David Kaye

The Obama administration has bolstered the International Criminal Court in an effort to prevent atrocities worldwide. Still, Congressional opposition and developments in conflicts abroad might make it hard for Washington to continue to cooperate with the court.

Brendan Simms

Margaret Thatcher re-established the United Kingdom as a major force on the international scene. But she failed to see that the best hope for Europe's future was integration.

Fiona Hill

Vladimir Putin's unwavering support for the Assad regime in Syria is best explained by his dread of fracturing states and Sunni Islamism -- fears he confronted most directly while brutally suppressing Chechnya's attempted secession from Russia.

Fotini Christia

Washington would do well to invest in one of the more responsible, effective, and aid-worthy factions of the Syrian resistance: women’s organizations.

Etienne de Durand

France's intervention in Mali has so far succeeded, but expelling Islamist militants was the easy part. Now Paris must turn its tactical achievements into a lasting victory -- which will require a light but enduring presence in the country.

Sebastian Elischer

Although France quickly achieved its goals in Mali, the Islamist and Tuareg militants it fought are still at large, having swiftly retreated into the northeastern part of the country. The most likely outcome of the French operation, therefore, is not an end to West Africa's problems but their spread into neighboring Niger.

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