Throughout the humanitarian crises of the 1990s, the international community failed to come up with rules on how and when to intervene, and under whose authority. Despite the new focus on terrorism, these debates will not go away. The issue must be reframed as an argument not about the "right to intervene" but about the "reponsibility to protect" that all sovereign states owe to their citizens.
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.
Events on the ground in Afghanistan are evolving rapidly, and prospects are growing for the disintegration of the Taliban. This raises the possibility of the repatriation to their homes in Afghanistan of millions of refugee and displaced persons. This paper discusses what should be done now to facilitate voluntary return, and what should be done over the long-term to sustain return.
Americans have spent much time in the last ten years arguing whether to intervene in places like Kosovo, Rwanda, and East Timor—and there will almost certainly be no policy consensus in future humanitarian crises of that nature, according to this report. Instead of phony consensus, this Council Policy Initiative lays out three separate arguments that would support distinct policy emphases on humanitarian intervention.
The State Department released this January 2000 report for a FOIA request on April 24, 2000. The report reviews U.S. actions during Kosovo, Sudan, Afghanistan, and the Hurricane Mitch in Central America and makes recommendation for future policy regarding humanitarian intervention.
The intervention in Somalia was not an abject failure; an estimated 100,000 lives were saved. But its mismanagement should be an object lesson for peacekeepers in Bosnia and on other such missions. No large intervention, military or humanitarian, can remain neutral or assuredly brief in a strife-torn failed state. Nation-building, the rebuilding of a state's basic civil institutions, is required in fashioning a self-sustaining body politic out of anarchy. In the future, the United States, the United Nations, and other intervenors should be able to declare a state "bankrupt" and go in to restore civic order and foster reconciliation.
Richard N. Haass traces the evolution of the critical debate surrounding U.S. military force, taking into account the impact of new technologies, new states, new weapons, and new thinking about new sovereignty and intervention.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »