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Streaming Live In
122015
Friday, March 9th 2018
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Debates / Upcoming Debates

Humanitarian Intervention Does More Harm Than Good

Friday, March 9th 2018
09:45 - 11:00 AM
Steigenberger Grand Hotel
Avenue Louise 71
Brussels

Debate Details

The international community currently faces a global refugee crisis and mass atrocities in Iraq, Myanmar, Syria, Yemen, and beyond. How should the West respond? 

 

Proponents of humanitarian intervention – the use of force to halt human rights abuses – argue that the world’s most powerful militaries have a responsibility to protect innocent civilians around the world. Beyond saving lives, they argue, intervention deters would-be abusers and ensures global stability, thereby strengthening the liberal world order. But opponents argue that military intervention is thinly veiled Western imperialism, and subsequently, an assault on state sovereignty. And, it’s ineffective: the West, with its military might, increases the death toll and worsens the conflicts it sets out to solve. Further, given recent waves of populism in the U.S., France, and U.K., they suggest that Western nations should spend their time looking inward rather than policing activity around the world.  This debate is presented in partnership with The German Marshall Fund's Brussels Forum, broadcast live from Brussels, Belgium.

The Debaters

For the motion

Frank Ledwidge

Frank Ledwidge

Senior Fellow, Royal Air Force College & Former British Intelligence Officer

Frank Ledwidge is a senior fellow at the Royal Air Force College and a former military intelligence officer. He spent fifteen years at the front end... Read More

Rajan Menon

Rajan Menon

Author, The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention

Rajan Menon is a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. He is the author of several books... Read More

Against the motion

Bernard Kouchner

Bernard Kouchner

Co-Founder, Doctors Without Borders

Bernard Kouchner, a medical doctor by training, is the co-founder and former president of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). The... Read More

Kori Schake

Deputy Director-General, International Institute for Strategic Studies

Kori Schake is the deputy director-general of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Previously, she was a distinguished research fellow... Read More

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The Research

The Research

The Dilemma of Humanitarian Intervention

Jayshree Bajoria and Robert McMahon
June 12, 2013

“The willingness to use armed force is also inevitably influenced not only by the desperation of the affected population but also by geopolitical factors, including the relevance of the country to the world community, regional stability, and the attitudes of other major players, say experts.”

Military Interventions on Behalf of Rebels Typically Lead to More Killing of Civilians Not Less

Matthew Yglesias
August 27, 2013

“… Historically speaking, intervening on behalf of rebels increases the number of civilians who are killed by increasing the desperation of government forces.”

Bystanders to Genocide

Samantha Power
September 1, 2001

“The U.S. government knew enough about the [Rwandan] genocide early on to save lives, but passed up countless opportunities to intervene.”

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