This is exactly where we find the fault line between political motives and humanitarian motives: to remove Assad or to stop the killing. It is an impossible situation, to be sure. … More “It would need a savant to work out the geopolitical implications of a post-Assad Syria”
Undoubtedly, Russia and China would also block UN authorization of such an intervention while the geographical scope of the country would make Syria far more dangerous than Libya. The complex demographics, on the other hand, would make a post-Assad Syria better resemble a post-Saddam Iraq than a post-Qaddafi Libya. Yet the discussion continues. … More Intervention in Syria? Better Not Think First.
There are a number of very understandable reasons why Russia refused to agree to the UN resolution. Yet, the most interesting argument being made is that Russia is rejecting the international consensus on Syria because of how the intervention in Libya evolved into a regime change operation. … More More on Russia’s Syrian Stance
At least that is what Marc Lynch imagines Syria could become now that the Chinese and Russian UN vetoes have all but eliminated the peaceful transition option. While the resolution explicitly ruled out military intervention (due to fears of another Libya-esque regime change operation) the Russian and China vetoes, according to Lynch, are likely to … More “1980s Lebanon on Steroids”
Assad, for example, would be less likely to resign if it meant that the ICC would subsequently attempt to arrest him. Refusing to bring in the ICC means sacrificing justice to ensure – or at least encourage – a peaceful end to a conflict. … More Encouraging Democracy by Undermining International Law?
A couple weeks back I wrote a piece for the Foreign Policy journal issuing an eulogy for the Obama style application of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), that is a multilateral application. After what was arguably one of the most successful humanitarian interventions, in Libya, western efforts to increase pressure on Syria were shot down … More R2P R.I.P.
My new piece is up at Foreign Policy Journal: Critics of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and interventionism in general have long accused international humanitarian action of being a form of imperialism cloaked in humanitarianism. The BRIC/IBSA countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa; hereafter referred to as BRICS) are beginning to unite … More The End of the Responsibility to Protect?
So in the wake of the failed UNSC resolution condemning the violence in Syria, the Russian foreign ministry (Russia, along with China, vetoed the resolution) issued a statement explaining why they utilized the veto: Our wording proposals on the inadmissibility of external military intervention are not taken into account. And that, in view of the … More Syrians Should Blame Libya
Michael Ross wrote a pretty interesting piece in the latest Foreign Affairs (subscription required) about the possibility that the prevalence of oil in many Arab countries will dampen the effects of the Arab Spring. The boiled down thesis is that monarchs and dictators who are fortunate enough to run countries blessed with immense oil wealth … More Will Oil Drown the Libyan Revolution?
One could have easily predicted what Obama was going to say at the UN. Hooray for the fall of dictators; Iran is evil; doesn’t everyone love Israel; change can happen, guys! It is a pretty trite storyline that predictively had very little substance to it. And, of course, that is not the fault of Obama. … More Obama’s UN Speech