The First Principle: There must be just cause to allow for armed intervention, political science homework help

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Our readings this week presented many different principals for conflict intervention, some which I agreed with and some which I did not. The five principles I describe below are based on some of the principles from our readings, but in a few cases, they are not quite the same as those we read about.

The First Principle: There must be just cause to allow for armed intervention.

The assumption here, of course, is that the international community has a right to armed intervention in other states’ conflicts—as long as that conflict meets certain requirements. Especially in Western culture, there has always been a recognition of protection for the “victims of cruelty and violence as a legitimate basis for the use of force” (Wheeler 2001, 5). This is especially true in situations where the victims do not have the means or the ability to protect themselves, as in most cases of extreme tyranny. As with “justified revolutions,” as Teson labels them, “Interventions are sometimes needed to secure a modicum of individual autonomy and dignity” (2006, 97).

As Teson says, “human rights deprivations must be extensive, although they need not reach genocidal proportions” (2006, 105). In keeping with the just cause principal, therefore, we should not approve armed intervention for warning signs of abuses—these abuses may never come to pass, or the situation could be handled through political negotiation without the loss of life that attends every armed conflict. Instead, armed intervention should be based on actual human rights abuses. Unfortunately, the question then becomes how many human rights abuses do we tolerate before we intervene? Wheeler says that there is no obvious answer (2001, 7).

The Second Principle: armed intervention must be the last resort.

I mentioned in the first principal that to warrant armed intervention, a conflict must meet certain requirements. Hence this second principle of “last resort.” We cannot throw armed intervention at every human rights violation committed around the world, as they may be isolated incidents or perhaps complicated by other factors that forbid armed conflict. However, Teson asserts that “persons trapped in such situations deserve to be rescued, and sometimes the rescue can only be accomplished by force” (2006, 97). This, I wholeheartedly agree with (for instance, I believe this is the case with North Korea.)

Although I believe strongly that armed intervention is necessary in some cases, it should be the last effort after all other avenues of approach have failed. That is, after international actors have tried and failed to negotiate for better treatment and governance; after they have tried and failed to affect change through sanctions and other barriers, and; smaller-scale intervention options (“surgical” strikes and the like) have been considered and ruled-out as appropriate methods for dealing with the problem.

The Third Principle: After armed intervention, there must be a reasonable prospect of ending the human rights violations and establishing a stable form of government to protect those rights in the future.

Some would argue that it is not the responsibility of international actors to insure the stability of a region or state after they intervene to end human rights violations (Wheeler 2001, 11). This is completely wrong. As intervening states, we cannot simply march in, remove the offending government or leader, and march back out again, leaving the people of the country to clean up the mess and establish a new form of government. This doesn’t make any sense, because it essentially leaves a power vacuum that anyone could step in to fill, including someone worse than before. Also, if a country has never experienced any form of leadership or government other than the abusive one, then it would be nearly impossible for them to establish a functioning government without guidance and support. Our main goal in intervening, after all, is to insure the integrity of human rights; the freedom, autonomy, and dignity of the people (Teson 2006, 101).

Therefore, we must be willing to maintain support long enough to assist a country in establishing a fair and just form of government that they can sustain without outside help. Intervening actors need to realize that what works in their country and with their culture is not necessarily applicable to the country they are intervening on behalf of. So, these actors need to sit down and come up with an achievable plan of government that will work with the existing culture of the country, instead of projecting their own values, which will inevitably fail if those values do not take culture and experience into consideration. In other words, they need to do their research.

The Fourth Principle: Tyrants forfeit the protection of their international rights of sovereignty when they commit grievous human rights violations.

A concern that international actors face when intervening in human rights violations is: at what point do the needs of the people outweigh the sovereignty of the state? This is another reason why armed intervention should be a last resort and should have just cause to support it. The international community recognizes that states have a right to self-governance; if it did not, then any state could go to war with any other state for no reason, and there would be no repercussions. However, government is a form of social contract. That social contract means that the purpose of government is to secure human rights—“rights that all persons have by virtue of personhood alone” (Teson 2006, 96). Kardas (2013) argues that “respecting human rights and providing life-sustenance to its citizens” are “internationally agreed-upon responsibilities” that all states must meet (33). Therefore, if a government violates these rights, the international community has right to intervene—even to the point of armed intervention—and the tyrants responsible for the violations no longer have “defensive rights against force aimed at them—against humanitarian intervention” (Teson 2006, 96).

The Fifth Principal: Armed intervention must be approved by the international democratic community, or a group of these states.

While Teson argues that approval for armed humanitarian intervention should not be limited to the United Nations alone due to procedural and political issues, he does insist that any intervention should “ideally be approved or supported by a democratic alliance or coalition” (2006, 108). While some cases that warrant unilateral intervention may exist, the intervention is legitimized by the participation of multiple democratic powers. Kahler, on the other hand, believes that the approval for intervention should come from the United Nations Security Council, although he recognizes the growing recognition for unilateral intervention in rare cases (2011, 30). What this type of approval lends to armed intervention is a consensus on the severity of the human rights violations, a condemnation of these violations, and legitimacy in acting to stop them. Basically, it prevents one nation from staging an armed intervention in order to grab power or resources, and instead requires consideration and agreement among actors in the international community. This means that there will most likely be more support for the operation, it has a better chance of succeeding, and there is less chance of an uproar regarding the military actions made by one country against another.

Just inculde a refernece.

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