Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Some points.

First off, since these sort of humanitarian problems often as not come about from civil war, would not a decisive intervention on one side or the other, followed by a traditional humanitarian operation in cooperation with the now-friendly government make more sense?  Sure, taking sides is a violation of sovereignty, but since that's already on the table, might as well think about the BEST violation of sovereignty.

Putting sovereignty aside, one should also think about partition.  In many parts of the world, current borders are ridiculous post-colonial artifices that have proven unworkable.  If a nation is prone to constant civil war between two regional/ethnic factions, shouldn't the two just be separated?

These are rather heavy handed tactics that reek of imperialism.  No - they are a form of imperialism.  But this is a discussion to have, I suppose - is the imperialistic suppression of dysfunctional elites preferable to the humanitarian catastrophe that results when those same dysfunctional elites decide to fight it out over crumbs?

Finally, let's think this through in a historical context.  If the global community has a responsibility to intervene in cases of a states abdication of its duty to protect its own citizens, then should Europe have intervened to stop Stalinism?  Or Maoism?  The reasons why Europe didn't are obvious, but it's worth thinking through them in this context.

by Zwackus on Mon Mar 9th, 2009 at 06:25:12 AM EST

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