On “Humanitarian Intervention”

by Helena Cobban I am old enough to remember when a “humanitarian intervention” meant organizing collections of food and blankets to send to distant communities in distress. Heck, in my elementary school in England we knitted little 6-inch squares to… Continue Reading  

Review: The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention

by Paul R. Pillar Humanitarianism is the nicer of the main strains of thinking underlying military intervention inside other states, or the advocacy of such intervention. It offers a rationale that seems quite different from, say, American neoconservatism, in which… Continue Reading  

Reactions to the Use of CW in Syria: “A Touch of Insanity”?

by Peter Jenkins Once we came across a man-of-war anchored off the coast.…in the empty immensity of earth, sky and water there she was, incomprehensible, firing into a continent….There was a touch of insanity in the proceedings. — Joseph Conrad In… Continue Reading  

Too Early to Claim Vindication in Libya

Has the apparent overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi’s regime in Tripoli vindicated NATO’s decision to back the rebels? Notwithstanding the flood of facile commentary claiming vindication over Libya war skeptics, it remains too early to tell. And although I myself was… Continue Reading  

Libya, Iraq, and Humanitarianism

Glenn Greenwald has a typically thorough and well-argued piece attacking the claim that opposing intervention in Libya means that one is indifferent to the suffering of Libyans. Greenwald is, I think, certainly correct on this point; there are enough compelling… Continue Reading