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.
Amid increasing fears of a civil war in Syria following the failure of the UN Security Council resolution, analysts remain divided over the question of intervention and how best to address the crisis.
Williams argues that the status quo for peace operations in untenable and that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Ashley's War tells the poignant and gripping story of a groundbreaking team of female American warriors who served alongside Special Operations soldiers in Afghanistan. More
Smith's insightful book explores the policy issues testing the Japanese government as it tries to navigate its relationship with an advancing China. More
This revolutionary new look at volatility and crisis in oil markets explores the conditions in which oil supply fears arise, gain popularity, and eventually wane. More
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.
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