Humanitarian Intervention

Ask CFR Experts

What is preventing international action in Syria?

Asked by Jake C., from University of Texas at Tyler

A number of countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Qatar, have been providing support to the opposition in various forms, ranging from humanitarian aid to military supplies, such as weapons, armor, and communication devices. However, these efforts have not been enough to turn the tide, and after three years of fighting, a diplomatic solution still seems unlikely.

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Audio

A Military Perspective on Humanitarian Intervention

Speakers: John P. Abizaid and F.J. “Bing” West
Presider: Kathleen Troia McFarland

John P. Abizaid, retired U.S. Army general, and F.J. Bing West, former assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs at the Department of Defense, join Kathleen Troia McFarland, national security analyst at Fox News, to provide insight and on-the-ground perspective on intervention efforts over the past twenty years.

See more in Global; Humanitarian Intervention

Audio

Media Conference Call: Intervention in Libya - Options for the United States

Speakers: Micah Zenko and Matthew C. Waxman
Presider: Deborah Jerome

As fighting continues in Libya between anti- and pro-government forces, the Obama administration has warned that it is considering all options, including military intervention. Conflict prevention expert Micah Zenko and international law expert Matthew Waxman discuss the Obama administration's options in Libya and their implications.

See more in Libya; Nation Building; International Organizations and Alliances; Humanitarian Intervention; International Law

Audio

Arthur C. Helton Memorial Lecture: Holding World Leaders Accountable to Reducing Global Poverty and Protecting Civilians (Audio)

Speaker: Jan Egeland
Presider: Gillian M. Sorensen

Listen to Jan Egeland, special adviser to the secretary-general of the United Nations, discuss the current state of international humanitarian affairs and how world leaders can be more involved in solving related crises.

See more in International Organizations and Alliances; Conflict Prevention; Humanitarian Intervention; Global

Book

The Price of Indifference

Author: Arthur C. Helton

Refugee policy has not kept pace with new realities in international and humanitarian affairs. Recent policy failures have resulted in instability, terrible hardships, and massive losses of life. In this seminal book, Senior Fellow Arthur Helton systematically analyzes refugee policy responses over the past decade and calls for specific reforms to make policy more proactive and comprehensive.

See more in Global; Humanitarian Intervention; Refugees and the Displaced

Council Special Report No. 49

Intervention to Stop Genocide and Mass Atrocities

Author: Matthew C. Waxman

Recent events in Darfur raise the familiar question of whether international law facilitates the kind of early, decisive, and coherent action needed to effectively combat genocide. Matthew C. Waxman argues that putting decisions about international intervention solely in the hands of the UN Security Council risks undermining the threat or use of intervention when it may be most potent in stopping mass atrocities.

See more in United States; Genocide; Humanitarian Intervention

Council Special Report No. 22

Darfur and Beyond

Author: Lee Feinstein

This report argues that the new UN secretary-general should take the General Assembly's endorsement of responsibility to protect as a mandate and as a mission statement. And the United States and others must take steps to bolster UN action and be available when the UN is not.

See more in Sudan; Humanitarian Intervention

Event

Preventing Mass Atrocities

In 2005, the members of the United Nations embraced the idea of a “responsibility to protect” populations from genocide and other mass atrocities. Join us as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour discusses the role her office plays in helping states and the international community fulfill this responsibility. Having recently returned from a visit to Burundi, the Democratic RepublicofCongo, and Rwanda, she will talk about her office’s fieldwork there, as well as share her thoughts on the work of the UN Human Rights Council.

**Please note special time and location.**

11:00 - 11:30 a.m. Reception
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Meeting

See more in Rwanda; Sudan; Genocide; Humanitarian Intervention