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Humanitarian Intervention Theory Notes

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Humanitarian Intervention Theory--Key dilemma:
o Humanitarian intervention poses problems for international society given the interaction between states are built upon the principle of state sovereignty

1990s saw development of a "clash of rights" between the rights of sovereign states to act as they pleased within their geographical jurisdiction, and rights of states to intervene to defend the human rights of individuals within other states

humanitarian intervention = the use of military force by one or more states to avert a humanitarian crisis in another state.
Responsibility to Protect - R2P
o Global political commitment endorsed by all member states of the UN at 2005
World Summit to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity

It is a norm - the most dramatic normative development of our time

3 pillars:

1. responsibility of state to protect its citizens

2. responsibility of international community to assist states in building protection capacity

3. responsibility of international community to respond in a timely and decisive fashion when a state is "manifestly failing" to protect its people. Measured response = military force, econ sanctions, arms embargoes, international crime prosecution - sometimes known as residual responsibility

Has a narrow implication to 4 crimes: It excludes natural or environmental catastrophes
 Genocide (as defined by 1948 Geneva convention)
 War crimes (violations of the 4 Geneva conventions)
 Ethnic cleansing
 Crimes against humanity
Why do we need it:
o Civilians make up vast majority of casualties

Genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia; crimes against humanity in Kosovo,
East Timor and Darfur = demonstrate massive failures by international community to prevent these atrocities
o 1999-2000, suggested by Kofi Annan

government of Canada formed international commission on intervention and state sovereignty (ICISS) - published R2P in 2001

consensus summit declaration included commitment to R2P in 2005

stimuli for R2P were divergent reactions by the UNSC to events in Rwanda and
 Kosovo: 78 day bombing campaign by NATO to prevent exploitation of
Kosovar Albanians, seens as too much too early
 Rwanda: lack of intervention enabled Hutu majority to systematically exterminate around 800,000 Tutsis in a period of just 100 days.
R2P and Humanitarian Intervention

R2P is different from HI in 3 ways:

1. HI only refers to use of military force, R2P first and foremost preventative -
force last resort, only when authorised by UNSC

2. While HI interventions in the past have been justified in different situations, R2P
focuses only on the 4 mass strocity crimes (genocide, war crimes, ethnic --cleansing and crimes against humanity). First 3 defined in international law and codified in Rome statute
 Had previously used a broader and more ambiguous formulation - "a population suffering serious harm, as a result of internal war, insurgency,
repression or state failure"; made some states nervous about potential overreach

3. R2P doctrine shifts away from state-centered motivations to the interests of victims by focusing not on the right of states to intervene, but on the responsibility to protect populations at risk. Right of states to intervene and responsibility to protect populations operate under assumption sovereignty is not absolute, but they go about this in different ways
R2P and military intervention:
o MI only justified when 5 criteria of legitimacy are met:

1. Seriousness of the harm being threatened

2. Primary intent or purpose of the proposed military

3. Issue of last report

4. Proportionality of the response

5. Balance of consequences - whether more good than harm would be done

Before R2P, intervention was sold on 'breach of the peace'
 Human level security fears may induce international conflict through threat of civil war and refugees
 So, intervention justified by reference to international order and its effects on states, rather than the rights of individuals
R2P and UN
o At 2005 World Summit, UN member states included R2P in the Outcome Document agreeing to Paragraphs 138 and 139

Reaffirmed April 2006 in UNSC Resolution 1674
o Mainly from Russia, China and non-aligned movement
 Russia put forward resolution in SC condemning NATO's intervention in
 China and Russia both abstained from military intervention in Libya, both vetoed US attempts to invoke R2P in Syria

Decolonized states particularly sensitive to R2P - Gareth Evans: 'sovereignty thus hard won, and proudly enjoyed, is sovereignty not easily relinquished or compromised'
o Only 4 states rejected it at world summit: Cuba, Nicaragua, Sudan and Venezuela

Countries suffering terrible atrocities made rousing pleas to strengthen and implement R2P eg. Rwanda, Bosnia, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, East Timor

First 4 BRICS countries refused to vote in favour of decision to intervene in Libya due to desire to pursue policies of non-intervention (Brazil, Russia, India, China)
R2P in Practice:
o Darfur:
 In 2006, Resolution 1706 passed calling for rapid deployment of UN
peacekeepers in Sudan, makes explicit reference to responsibility to protect
 During worst phase, international community didn't muster political will for military intervention, instead only humanitarian aid provided to small portion of affected population. Too little, too late
 Western states repeatedly reluctant to deploy forces in Darfur, partly in fear of sparking violent Islamist opposition against occupying troops

Libya: First case when UNSC authorized military intervention citing R2P
Defeat of Gaddafi seemed to have put new wind in sails of humanitarian intervention
 In conjunction with rebel forces, NATO air strikes brought down Gaddafi gov,
Gaddafi removed from power. Gaddafi's violent crackdown on protestors and promise to show no mercy to citizens of Benghazi was enough to =
international alarm
 2011 NATO intervention in Libya a legitimate development, not just because it received UNSC authorization, but also support from Arab and African states and a number even contributed
 Contrast with US intervention in Somalia, seen by many as an act of imperialism under guise of human rights. Successful by doing its initial job,
but didn't live up to need to rebuild state afterwards = state collapse
 However, weeks before UK intervention, documents revealed showing
British complicity and agreement on Libyan intelligence torturing individuals,
suggests R2P is a farce being utilized to further interests

Comparison: why was Libya initially a success and Darfur a failure?
 Libya population only 6.4 million, majority on narrow coastal strip, Sudan population of 30 million, so logistics of military intervention = heightened chance of civilian causalities
 Libya - credible opposition force calling for Western assistance
 Political nature of Darfur very complicated, insurgents were fragmented,
and these groups heavily internally fractionalized - suggests just because states should intervene to save lives doesn't mean they should in every circumstance, logistics must be taken into account

 Best example of R2P's success
 Dec 07 - Jan 08, Kenya experienced wave of ethnic violence triggered by disputed elections held end of Dec, both candidates accused the other candidate of cheating
 Characterized by ethnically targeted killings of ppl aligned with the 2 major political parties, Orange Democratic Party and Party of National Unity
 Mediation efforts = signing of power-sharing agreement end of Feb
 Rapid + coordinated international community reaction praised by human rights watch - more of diplomatic than military response, highlights R2P not confined to military interventions
Understanding Sovereignty:
o What is state sovereignty?
 After 17th century Treaties of Westphalia and emergence of modern system of nation states, doctrine of sovereignty as authority was institutionalized:
sovereign states did not and should not interfere in each other's internal affairs.
 Underpinned by formation of UN charter, stated in article 2(7) that "nothing should authorize intervention in matters essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State"
 4 characteristics of sovereign state spelled out in 93 Montevideo Convention
- territory, authority, population and independence
 sovereignty necessarily entails a non-intervention norm - HI seems incompatible with this
 BUT:

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