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If the debate about how the U.S. and the international community should respond to the carnage in Libya highlights one thing, it is that we still have not arrived at either a domestic or global consensus about when and why to intervene militarily in the affairs of a sovereign state. I include Iraq in the title of this post for three reasons. First, the pre-emptive nature of the Iraq invasion in many ways served to sidetrack the debate over humanitarian interventions. Second, the outcome of the Iraq War served to chasten the broad middle of the policy debate, if not […]

Who cares about the United Nations Security Council? Over the past year, major powers have certainly been taking the council increasingly seriously. U.N. experts who argue that the council’s credibility rests on its appeal to big players in the global system were comforted by Germany, India and South Africa’s successful campaigns for two-year seats on the council last year. But some poor, weak governments have decided to defy it, with a series of African leaders, in particular, showing contempt for the council’s authority. In January 2010, President Idriss Déby of Chad insisted that the U.N. withdraw peacekeepers charged with protecting […]