Humanitarian intervention had better be avoided because it is difficult for foreigners to enforce human rights”. Liberals argue that states are recognized by the knowledgeable consent of their citizens argued that fairness could only be established by a local struggle for liberty. Human rights cannot take root if they are carrying out or enforced by outsiders. On the occasion of northern Iraq in April 1991, on the other hand also Somalia in December 1992, local public opinion played a significant role in forcing representatives into using force for humanitarian resolutions.
In the face of an enormous refugee crisis produced by Saddam Hussein’s domination of the Kurds in the result of the 1991 Gulf War, US, British, French, and Dutch armed forces intervened to create a secure safe place for the Kurdish people. According to Cushman in Humanitarian Arguments for War in Iraq, in the same way stated, “The US military intervention in Somalia in December 1992 was a reaction to opinions of sympathy on the part of US citizens. On the other hand, this sense of solidarity vanished once the United States started supporting victims.
The fact that the White House dragged the plug on its Somali intervention after the loss of eighteen US Rangers in a fight in October 1993 shows how unpredictable public opinion is. Television photographs of hungry and dying Somalis had convinced the removing of the Bush administration to take off a humanitarian saving assignment, but once the US public saw dead Americans dragged through the roads of Mogadishu, the Clinton administration declared a program for departure” (2006. 29-51).
What this incident reveals is that the media is a two-edged sword: it can force governments into humanitarian intervention, nonetheless with equal speed produce public discouragement and calls for withdrawal. However, these cases propose that even if there are no vigorous national interests at stake, liberal states might launch humanitarian rescue missions if enough public pressure is militarized. Indeed, there is no evidence in either of these cases to support the pragmatist claim that states robe power political motives behind the appearance of humanitarianism.
Since the war on terror began the United States has set its own purposes, interests ahead of anxiety for human rights, both in an alien country and at home. It might have been hard to marshal Western commitment to humanitarian intervention in the 1990s, it has become virtually impossible after 9/11. Agreeing with Evans, in Foreign Affairs Intervention, “ since 2001, the Western contribution to public security operations has markedly worsened.
Just as caring for the skeptics is the fruit that the US and its allies are actually undermining the consensus on humanitarian intervention by abusing humanitarian principles in justifying their role of violence”. It leaps from the core premise that Western countries will only militarily intervene in humanitarian emergencies if they believe vital security interests are at stake. Afghanistan seemed to indicate that there is frequently a vital link between failed states and terrorist act.
Thus, they anticipated that the war on terror could provide the necessary strategic interests to motivate intervention that is defensible on grounds of both human rights and national security (Evan 2004). The Afghanistan experience might be envisioned as holding up the optimistic viewpoint, though important question marks can be raised over whether military means have been properly calibrated to humanitarian ends since the intervention.
In relation to Iraq and Afghanistan suggests not, but that the war on terror has fractured the fragile consensus over humanitarian intervention, but also that the problem of political will continues to bedevil effective humanitarian intervention as it did over Rwanda. Indeed, the Afghanistan case suggests that the commitment of to the war on terror is making it less probable that it will intervene to save strangers in strategic unimportant regions. Although the US-directed intervention in Afghanistan was a war of self-defense, the US President nevertheless felt the demand to create a humanitarian argument to back up his lawsuit.
He told Afghans that, „the oppressed people of Afghanistan will know the generosity of America and its friends. As we strike military targets, we’ll also throw food, medicine and provisions to the starving and suffering men and women and children of Afghanistan? (Bush 2001). The United States took steps to minimize non-combatant suffering in Afghanistan, but at least two operational choices undermined the humanitarian credentials of the warfare. The foremost was the decision to bank heavily on intelligence supplied by different Afghan factions for the designation of military objectives.
This reflected the US determination to reduce the dangers to its own armed forces. But this decision left US forces subject to manipulate by Afghans eager to settle scores with their competitors, resulting in a number of attacks where innocent civilians were shot down. The second failure was Washington’s refusal to give ground troops to the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force and create a sustained contribution to reconstructing Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, the humanitarian impulse has been less significant than political and strategic considerations, the protection of allied soldiers has been prioritized over the security of Afghans, and there has been an insufficient commitment to post-conflict reconstruction (Wheeler 2004, Wheeler and Morris 2006). This adds credence to the skeptical view about humanitarian intervention in a post-9/11 world. The role of humanitarian arguments by the United States, to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq posed a crucial challenge to the legitimacy of humanitarian intervention in international company.
The Iraq war was primarily justified as one demanded by the peril posed by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass demolition. Yet, as the offending weapons became more elusive, thus excusing the employment of force to murder Saddam Hussein relied increasingly on humanitarian principles. As criticism of the war mounted, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair frequently retorted that regardless of weapons of mass destruction, the war was justifiable because „Iraq is a better place? without Saddam.
Many commentators and political leaders believe that the role of humanitarian justifications in relation to Iraq damaged the emerging norm of humanitarian intervention by highlighting the potential for the norm to be misused by the powerful to justify intervening in the affairs of the infirm. Of course, many states were deeply doubtful about humanitarian intervention before Iraq, but there is evidence that some states that were initially supportive of humanitarian intervention have become less so as a result of the perceived misuse of humanitarian rationales over Iraq.
Overall, the skeptical position has proven more accurate than the optimistic one in relation to humanitarian intervention after 9/11. Humanitarian justifications are being applied with greater frequency to justify a wide reach of military operations, but the developing consensus on a new norm charted in the previous segment has been put back by the perceived misuse of humanitarian claims in relation to Afghanistan and especially Iraq.
This worrying development was manifested in the international society’s failure to prevent or stop the humanitarian disaster in Darfur. However, at the same time, the inroads that humanitarian concerns have reached into the sovereign prerogatives of states can be imaged in the agreement at the 2005 UN World Summit with the idea of the responsibility to protect.
The United States disapproved the idea of the criteria on the reason that it could not offer commitments to employ its military forces where it had no national interests at stake, and that it would not attach itself to measures that would tighten up its right to determine when and where to employ strength. A salient feature of all post-cold war humanitarian interventions is that no Western government has thus far chosen to risk its military force in defense of human rights where there was a significant risk of death.
Since 9/11, Western states have expressed humanitarian sentiments in relation to many different types of war. Whilst this suggests the rising power of humanitarianism, the downside of this is that states might abuse humanitarian rationales in justifying their role of violence, whilst only selectively responding to humanitarian crises in strategically significant fields. For many in the developing world, this is exactly what the United States have got done in Iraq, damaging rather than advancing the humanitarian agenda.