Making the case for humanitarian intervention: national interest and moral imperative
Benitez, Ryan L.
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Complex considerations challenge U.S. political leaders when faced with the possibility of humanitarian intervention by means of military force. Humanitarian intervention is a delicate matter in which decision makers are constrained or compelled by circumstances of national interest and moral imperative. This examination of humanitarian intervention reviews the foreign policy context and debate within the U.S. government across three case studies: Rwanda, Kosovo, and Libya. Each case study reveals the role of national interest and moral imperative in driving policymakers to a tipping point at which they make the final determination to use or refrain from military force. Both national interest and the desire to end human suffering serve as incentives for intervention, and one may be stronger than the other in any given situation.
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