A deontological approach to humanitarian intervention

What is a Humanitarian Intervention?

Humanitarian intervention debate

A significant contribution to a number of issues and discussions, albeit challenging in its sophistication and conclusions rooted in a Kantian approach to moral theory. The same inequalities of capability result in an unequal distribution of the right or responsibility to intervene militarily on humanitarian grounds, with all the attendant costs of such interventions. The crisis that developed in the Balkans in the early s was suggested to be the result of long-brewing ethnic hatreds and tensions — local problems of local people. Other major facets of just war theory and its tradition — jus in bello, and jus post bellum — are also employed, though less prominently, as there has been much less philosophic attention to the conduct of interventions or what follows the use of armed force to rescue, protect, or defend others. Furthermore, Shue argues later, if and when the primary holder of the correlative duties that is, the state fails to meet its obligations, then the duty to protect and defend human rights defaults to others. Direct consequentialist arguments appeal to the morality of preventing extraordinary suffering when possible, that is, if and when there is opportunity and capability that is not more costly in its effects on human lives than not acting with deadly force. Whether authority is seen as effective control or as a right, the merits of sovereignty as independence are mixed.

In arguing for humanitarian intervention, many cosmopolitans claim not only that there is a right to intervene, but also that those who are in a position to effectively respond have a duty to do so Archibugi, ; Brock, ; Caney, ; Fabre, ; Fine, ; Hayden, ; Held, ; Kaldor, ; Pattison, ; Pogge, ; Sangha, ; Smith, Indeed, much of the discussion deals not so much with whether humanitarian intervention is justified as with when it is justified and for what reasons.

New York: Oxford University Press, In addition, there is also now a considerable body of empirical evidence to suggest strong links between current global economic systems and the perpetuation of abject poverty, and since poverty can be seen as a key driver of organized and disorganized violence Newman, :it would seem that there are prima facie relational global conditions where Jus ante Bellum can be reasonably said to apply.

humanitarian military intervention examples

The first section will undertake a brief survey of two moral arguments generally employed by cosmopolitans when justifying the use of humanitarian military intervention. Arguments for just war pacifism typically focus on a few jus bellum requirements: proportionality considerations, in bello discrimination as providing immunity for non-combatants, and the idea of war only as a last resort.

military intervention pdf

Attention to violations of basic human rights, however, presupposes a hierarchy of such rights for all humans. Although detailed here only briefly, the implications are considerable.

humanitarian military intervention examples

Is an intervention likely to succeed, or be worth the costs, on balance? As mentioned earlier, in the case of cosmopolitan humanitarian military intervention, the grounding for the protection of individuals stems from their inherent moral worth and the equal dignity we owe them as fellow human beings.

Calling attention to the undeniable destructive consequences of war and use of military force, just war pacifists deny that the benefits do or can sufficiently outweigh the costs.

Is humanitarian intervention justified

Nevertheless, it is also fair to say that these institutional accounts have either assumed this connection or have not sufficiently and explicitly linked these socio-economic concerns to long-standing advocatory positions on cosmopolitan humanitarian intervention. Justifying the Recourse to War jus ad bellum and Interventions The jus ad bellum framework of just war theory identifies about a half dozen considerations relevant to justifying the recourse to war. How many rights violations or how many horrors or how extraordinary must the violations be in order to satisfy the threshold condition for armed intervention? Second, interventions being morally justified is not inconsistent with only some interventions taking place. Direct consequentialist arguments appeal to the morality of preventing extraordinary suffering when possible, that is, if and when there is opportunity and capability that is not more costly in its effects on human lives than not acting with deadly force. On the other hand, some see armed interventions as aimed at reducing human suffering, regardless of whether there are violations of specific human rights. Thus, humanitarian interventions are justifiable as discharging a default duty to protect and defend basic human rights not being respected by the target state. Lastly, although we recognize that the concept of Jus ante Bellum has clear heuristic links to just war theory, human security and institutional cosmopolitanism, due to limitations of space, a focus on cosmopolitan military intervention is maintained. The first question relates to the nature of deontological arguments themselves and an inherent tension that becomes manifest when innocent life is destroyed as a result of military operations. It has also been suggested that interveners are more akin to a police force, which suggests that justified interventions are discharging a duty to protect and defend others in grave danger. Proportionality, for example, requires that the benefits of military action are not overshadowed by the inevitable costs, destruction, and other negative effects.
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Introducing Jus ante Bellum as a cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention