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.
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.
Once the land of the unfree and the home of the coup, Latin America now exhibits many of the hallmarks of democracy: free and fair elections, smooth successions, free-market economies, and the birth of political parties. In spite of these recent advances, the region remains haunted by "fracasomania," or an obsession with failure. While Latin America has achieved the broad brushstrokes of democracy, it must confront corruption, protect the rights of indigenous peoples, and distribute wealth more evenly to resolve its crisis of representation.
A reported devastating chemical weapons attack stirs new debate in Washington and global capitals about intervention in Syria. This Issue Guide provides background and analysis.
As the United States and others look for new policy options on intervention and a post-Assad period, this CFR Issue Guide provides expert analysis and background on the escalating conflict in Syria.
In the wake of Egypt's tightly contested presidential election, this CFR Issue Guide provides expert analysis and essential background on the country's evolving political situation as the civilian leadership faces a growing power struggle with the military.
To ensure the success of Myanmar's historic democratic transition, the United States should revise its outdated and counterproductive sanctions policy.
Blackwill and Campbell analyze the rise of Chinese President Xi Jinping and call for a new American grand strategy for Asia.
Williams argues that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.
Kurlantzick offers the sharpest analysis yet of what state capitalism’s emergence means for democratic politics around the world. More
In a cogent analysis of why the United States is losing ground as a world power, Blackwill and Harris explore the statecraft of geoeconomics. More
Takeyh and Simon reframe the legacy of U.S. involvement in the Arab world from 1945 to 1991 and shed new light on the makings of the contemporary Middle East. More
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 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.
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