Macfarlane Et Al’s View on the Case That Humanitarian Intervention Is an Unacceptable Assault on Sovereignty

1964 Words Nov 27th, 2012 8 Pages
MacFarlane et al’s View on the Case that Humanitarian Intervention is an Unacceptable Assault on Sovereignty
By Euan Brady For quite some time now the question of whether humanitarian intervention is an unacceptable assault on sovereignty has been at the top of the list of priority questions for international relations professors. In 2004 Neil MacFarlane, a professor of international relations, Carolin J Thielking, a doctoral candidate in international relations, and Thomas G Weiss, the director of the Ralph Bunch Institute for International Studies, gathered together to review the question of whether anyone cares about humanitarian intervention anymore. Central to their argument was the ‘responsibility to protect’ idea, and the effect
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The reason this theme is so important is that MacFarlane et al believes that the war on terror, namely the American intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, has the ability to have a corrosive effect on people’s opinion of humanitarian intervention. The fear is that future attempts of humanitarian intervention based on human rights violations may be shunned based on the Iraqi war. (MacFarlane et al, 2004, pp.977-992). MacFarlane et al also states that the rising death toll associated with American involvement in the Middle East could make it difficult to generate support for humanitarian intervention in the future. (MacFarlane et al, 2004, p.985). In their review MacFarlane et al argued a number of reasons as to why the war in Iraq was not a humanitarian intervention. After the Americans failed to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and failed to establish links to Al Qaeda, the Americans tried to put the war in the category of humanitarian intervention. However, the war didn’t fulfil any of the criteria put forward by the ICISS’s just war framework. (MacFarlane et al, 2004, p.984). First off the war didn’t fulfil the criteria of right intention. The primary motive of the Americans involvement in the war was not to halt or avert human suffering. Secondly the criterion of right authority was not fulfilled. The Americans had no UN mandate or enough international support to undertake the

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