US and NATO Forces Should NOT be Involved in Conflicts Without Solutions

US and NATO Forces Should NOT be Involved in Conflicts Without Solutions

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On March 17th, the United Nations (UN) passed a resolution that gave the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)—with the United States at the helm—the authorization to establish a no fly zone. Although the subsequent celebration did not involve the explosion of fireworks in midnight air, 114 Tomahawk cruise missiles did the job just fine—hitting key military targets in Libya. With the massive bombardment of a foreign sovereign state, there is no doubt that the United States is at war for a third time. The rationale for the military action is both one of a cliché and one that evokes the passions of the inner soul: the belief that a humanitarian crisis will ensue and that world cannot idly stand by as the death toll rises (Economist). To some degree, this principal is indeed laudable. Who would not want the opportunity to prevent bloodshed? But, because of the lack of effective options and US interest, the case for military intervention is severely flawed.

The case for military action mainly hinges on the past events of the 1990s. Notably, many proponents of military intervention in Libya point to the Rwanda Genocide of 1994. They disparage the actions of the then President Bill Clinton, who largely chose to stand idly by as Rwandan the death toll mounted. These proponents warn that Mr. Obama—and largely the US—will face the same regret if the US does not act and establish a no fly zone. One possible subscriber to such a view is Professor Christine Chinkin at the London School of Economics. She mainly asserts that the US is plainly hypocritical; that despite the talk of humanitarianism and rooting out tyranny wherever it hides, the US, at the end of the day, seems to have a policy that values some peoples’ rights over those o...


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...surrounding Libya is a power keg. With ruthless dictators suppressing their peoples for decades, it is no surprise that many peoples want a change in their government. Head of states, from Libya to Iran,—who are quaking in their boots—are trying to prevent the powder keg from exploding by giving concessions to their citizens.
These efforts may prove futile however, as philosopher John Stuart Mill noted during the middle of the 19th century, democracy derives best from self governance absent “foreign coercion” (122 and 124). If native protestors, who persuade their fellow citizens, take to the streets in droves, there no doubt that the status quo will change. Ruthless heads of states can try to tame the crowds with security forces, but is only a matter of time before the powder keg explodes. It is best for the US and NATO forces not to be in the middle when it does.

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