preview

Humanitarian Intervention After Iraq: Legal Ideals vs Military Realities

analytical Essay
658 words
658 words
bookmark

What, for Kurth, are the preconditions of genocide, and what are the implications for responding to it? In this essay, James Kurth talks about how the face of Humanitarian efforts has changed in the last decade. There had been no effective humanitarian intervention in the 2000’s and he claims that like the “Vietnam syndrome”, Iraq has made states less inclined to get involved with foreign powers on humanitarian issues. He begins his explanation by debunking common myths about genocide, he says they “are commonly thought to be the product of longstanding and widespread hatreds” but “there has always been a large organization, usually a modern bureaucratic state, behind them” (196, 7). This distinction has huge policy repercussions. Instead of being focused on trying to develop cordial relationships and interdependence between groups that have a long history of mistrust - something nigh impossible because no outsider can get to the root of the conflict (197) - a militaristic solution can be found. Kurth suggests that since these genocides are backed by a specific state or military, it will take a foreign state’s military “to defeat and stop the killing” (197). The problem is both military might and a political will are essential to decide upon, authorize, and carry out a military intervention (197), however, lately the states with the proper political authority have not wanted to get involved. What does he mean by the “legitimacy/efficacy trade-off”? Kurth has a theory that the powers with the most legitimacy also have the least efficacy, or ability to implement an intervention, in the political sector. The UN has the greatest legitimacy in the world, however, it is greatly hindered by the Permanent-5’s veto power (197). A hu... ... middle of paper ... ...ople who were not helped, like those in Darfur, because the U.S. ground forces were held up keeping the peace in Iraq (204). He says that the impact of Iraq will be felt and deter interventions for years, creating an “Iraq Syndrome” (205). He goes on to say that the U.S. will say out of Human Rights interventions in favor of more concrete interests, and since the other two major powers also unlikely to intervene unless it is in their sphere of influence, “there is not much hope for humanitarian intervention in the modern-state formula” (205). So how does Hurth say that humanitarian intervention can occur? By giving aid and helping to organize regional organizations like the AU (206). There are certainly problems to overcome but we must help strengthen the political will and military might of the organization because it might just be the world’s only hope (206).

In this essay, the author

  • Describes kurth's preconditions for genocide and his implications for responding to it.
  • Analyzes how james kurth's essay explains how iraq has made states less inclined to get involved with foreign powers on humanitarian issues.
  • Explains that most powers cannot intervene in humanitarian issues due to a lack of political legitimacy, power or organization. the iraq war contributed to the major power’s unlikeliness to interven.
  • Explains that hurth says that humanitarian intervention can occur by giving aid and helping to organize regional organizations like the au.
  • Explains kurth's theory that the powers with the most legitimacy also have the least efficacy, or ability to implement an intervention, in the political sector.
Get Access