The Pros and Cons of the International Involvement in Civil Conflicts

On September 5th, 2011, Posted by author

Last modified: October 26, 2015

Civil conflicts and regional uprisings have mushroomed in the recent past. There are diverse opinions regarding international intervention in such civil, domestic or regional conflicts based on factors

such as: the criteria that justify such an action, the appropriate kind of intervention and the length of time the intervention should last (Haskin, 2006). Three conditions for intervention are suggested by other scholars: the Security Council is not capable of safeguarding peace in the region, the long-term independence and integrity of the state will not be endangered and there are no other alternatives other than foreign intervention that would be more beneficial than detrimental (Haskin, 2006). A massive action right in the beginning of the intervention would serve to strike down the opposition and garner public support, like the eleven-day bombing by the US during the Bosnian conflict (Haas, 1999).

However, just ending the war or conflict should not be the only aim of the international involvement. The conflict-ridden province must be brought back to normalcy by establishing a stable governing body and ensure peace among all the warring ethnic groups or other factions. For instance, the Operation Joint Endeavour by the NATO established the peace operations by the US government comprising of operations other than war such as support activities to foster stable civil governments, disaster relief, humanitarian aid, security assistance, police training and so on in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Cimbala, 1998).

The concept of sovereignty is one of the main stumbling blocks for intervention in another country’s conflicts. It is necessary to chalk out the justifiable circumstances to intervene in the civil uprising in another country. Michael Walzer (Just and Unjust Wars, 2000) sets three conditions for international involvement: when two or more political blocs are engaged in a widespread military combat for independence; when foreign armies have already transgressed the borders to support one or the other faction; and when large-scale dreadful massacres or enslavement occurs.

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