Some Corner of a Foreign Field: Intervention and World Order by Roger Williamson

By Roger Williamson

When is a conflict now not a warfare? below what situations is humanitarian intervention by way of the foreign group justified? In what situations can a kingdom legitimately positioned in danger the lives of contributors of its defense force? those are many of the questions raised throughout the essays contained in a few nook of a overseas box . The authors think of the most moral and political arguments surrounding the topic of intervention, and, among them, conceal quite a lot of components, coming to target overseas associations and foreign legislations, household and political viewpoints, humanitarian concerns, the applicability of the simply struggle idea, and the position of public opinion and the media. the result's a publication that throws open new doorways and extends the diversity of dialogue in the ongoing debate on defence and disarmament.

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This would be particularly so if the intervention contemplated were, as in Chamberlain's infamous description of Czechoslovakia, in 'a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing'. It may, moreover, be argued that there are especially compelling arguments against the use of conscript forces for such foreign adventures. In this chapter I shall assess some of the ethical issues raised by these arguments. I shall also consider two related issues: first, whether in order to minimise the casualties suffered by its own forces it is morally permissible for a state to maximise the damage wreaked on an adversary's forces, as was arguably done by the coalition forces in the Gulf War; and second, what basis there is for choosing between interventions.

It is odd to think that Ugandans under ldi Amin had a moral right to overthrow Amin, but that it would have been wrong Roger Williamson 25 for Tanzanians a few miles away to assist them - yet one is also keen to uphold the taboo (or at least considerable, but not total, inhibition) against external intervention. But we need to think more deeply about who has the right to use force to protect others and how it should be exercised. Where there is a state which is good, or even acceptable, or perhaps even bad but not tyrannical, the state is usually seen as the appropriate primary body to defend its people.

To what extent was this a UN response? Would a similar response be forthcoming if the issue was of less obvious interest to the USA and other industrial nations? ) For all its shortcomings, national sovereignty has also been a means of limiting the possibilities for intervention by outside powers. If now, under the guise of concern for human rights, the 'world community' (which may in practice mean 'powerful nations' Roger Williamson 21 or alliances involving powerful nations) has an accepted reason for intervention in the internal affairs of other nations, this could lead to protracted wars of a new kind.

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