This paper is a robust effort to explain the United States intervention in international crises – majorly, genocides, atrocities and other foreign issues. The paper is a step by step systematic explanation of the problem, the proposed solution, the ideal future situation and the workability of the situation. The paper will broadly define the role of the United States as the only existing superpower in maintaining international order and peace. The next part will address the problems associated with intervention, especially the problems that are faced by the United States after the intervention. Additionally, the problems associated with the direct intervention, such as the loss of lives and property will be described. After giving this robust understanding of the problem, the paper will embark on the search for a solution. The solution will be structured in such a manner that it will directly and effectively remedy the problems. This section will describe the workability of the solution and how such a solution will be applied. Following this section will be the ideal situation. The ideal situation will be a description of the post-implementation projections i.e. the situation after implementing the proposed solution. In the conclusion, the paper will recap the main points.
U.S. intervention abroad in genocides, atrocities and foreign issues
It is a matter of common knowledge that the United States is the only superpower I existence, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. As such, it is a country that many look up to as a role model and a big brother. In many foreign crises the U.S. acts as the moral parent or police to help those that are victims to these acts that lead to death. These mass killings/atrocities have had a huge impact on many lives and rights of people in those places. The acts of torture and humiliation amongst the people play a major part in the huge amounts of death of children and adults that are absolutely innocent (Waxman 1). The U.S. has the reputation of helping out because “humanely” sitting back and watch many die because of heinous crimes is not what the United States was founded on, so this basically pressures the U.S. to intervene. With this being a major reason why the U.S. decides to intervene, there is also a controversy as to why in some situations the U.S. hasn’t always come quickly to the rescue. Recently in Syria the United States wanted to intervene to help cease the killings due to chemical attacks but due to allies and discrepancies, the U.S. decided not to get involved even though many died because of these attacks.
The United States has a strong foundation on human rights and morality. Internationally, every country doesn’t stand for what the US does. For example, women in the United States are able to work, wear what they please and go to the places men go, this is not the same case for many countries overseas whereas killing women that even attempt some of these actions is the norm. This causes the conflict and causes an issue of safety for civilians abroad. It makes it a priority to help cease these acts and also to help those victims of these attacks. The US must create a strategy that is successful in regards to funding, knowing the time frame of intervention, location/where to intervene and the set time that it takes to seal the deal on the intervention to cease what is taking place (Totten 77). The United States must set these boundaries in order not to go overboard in assisting and to keep order within the US.
There are a few problems that need to be addressed in regards to the U.S. intervening in mass atrocities and genocides abroad. This issue affects the United States government in the aspects of the economy, safety, military (defense) and the citizens of the U.S. and it affects those civilians in other countries. The problems affect the United States both directly and indirectly. For instance, through the intervention programs, the United States spends hefty amounts of money, which increase the country’s public debt, subjecting the citizens to potential problems with regard to all the services rendered by the government (Totten 85). The citizens of the United States living outside the United States, and especially in such volatile places like the Middle East stand the risk of being harmed by the terrorist groups. Such terrorist groups seek revenge through the US citizens, especially after the United States intervenes in crises perpetrated by such terrorist groups.
Worth mentioning also is the fact that the United States’ intervention adversely affects the civilians of the foreign countries in which such intervention takes place. The problem extends to delayed response and political interference. The Libyan example is perhaps the most potent one in explaining this point. Worth mentioning is that the Libyan case saw the western countries lead airstrikes that ousted Muammar Al-Quddafi from power (Waxman 1). Later, Russia was quick to criticize the move. Such criticism is unwarranted as it is politically motivated. Delays in intervention saw Rwanda lose close to 1 million lives in a historic genocide – perhaps the worst in the history of modern Africa. Summarily, the problem lies in the fact that the United States’ intervention efforts affect its stability as well as the civilians of foreign nations.
The U.S. could take more responsibility of trying to enforce neighbors and other countries to understand that stopping genocides and issues abroad is very important. Additionally, the United States government should set a budget (financial) that will give allowance to those assisting in fixing those atrocities as well as funds/weapons to go overseas and to not exceed it (Deibel 129). Financial preparation is sufficiently important because it will protect the country against increasing public debts. To this extent, the United States should set aside some reserves in terms of monetary resources, which will enable the country’s response forces to act swiftly in responding to international atrocities (Totten 162). What this means is that the response forces, will have to work closely with such bodies as FEMA in responding to international crises. With funds ready and resources adequately mobile, the military and other response agencies will be in a position to rescue lives and property that have been lost in the past due to delayed response, as was the case of Libya.
Another solution would be to make an agreement to take control when these events occur as an international agreement so that everyone could be on one accord in helping to save lives even if there is no benefit for themselves. This solution goes hand in hand with the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine (Waxman 1). The doctrine, rarified by the united nations security council, requires all the permanent members to take adequate responsibility to protect the civilians and other residents of countries faced by such atrocities as terrorism, civil wars and other forms of mass strife. Through observing the R2P doctrine, the United Nations will work effectively with other permanent members in providing protection to the general public and the legitimate institutions when adversity strikes (Bajoria and McMahon 67). Making international agreements will eliminate the political competitions that have adversely affected intervention efforts in the past. For instance, the Syrian case has motivated various opinions with regard to intervention, with the communist east and the capitalist west holding conflicting ideas.
Lingering in intervening while lives are being lost should definitely not occur and should be changed by way of an agreement of “urgency”. Such lingering usually occurs because the United States, much like other countries, is not adequately prepared for such unforeseeable atrocities (Bajoria and McMahon 67). Other reasons for delay include the slothful cooperation efforts among the world powers. For this reason, an agreement of urgency with regard to response should be ratified to ensure that countries move swiftly in preventing furtherance of international crimes. The urgency code can be ratified and observed by all permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. The
United States, as one of the permanent members should push other members into discouraging the use of vetoes where the international crimes against humanity are considerably clear. This was exceptionally essential in the just completed UNESCO meeting where the United States led other western powers in discouraging the use of vetoes in determining whether or not the Kenyan president and his deputy should be tried at the ICC for committing crimes against humanity. In furtherance of the urgency efforts, the United States should have the option of acting alone in serious cases of international crimes. It is not a matter of debate as to whether or not the United States is the most sufficiently equipped in terms of military equipment (Totten, Bartrop, and Jacobs 143). This is even more reason why the United States ought to act alone in responding to international crimes. Acting alone means quick response since consultations amongst nations could be slow. Ultimately, the solution to this problem lies in the ratification of the R2P doctrine and the preparation – both financial and political – of the United States, as the sole super power in the current times.
Long term Projections
The implementation of this solution will see the world crises managed more effectively in the future. When Muammar’s government was antagonizing the civilians and the foreigners in Libya, the world was silent. As a result, many lives were lost and property was destroyed. The delays caused by political differences among the world powers accounted for a great deal of the loss. With the “Urgency Code” in place, the loss will not be as much, because intervention will be done in a timely manner. These delays were also the cause of the derailed social development in Iraq – a country that was under oppressive rule for a considerably long time. Secondly, the ratification and application of the R2P Doctrine will see the world powers, and especially the permanent members of the UNESCO take it upon themselves to restore international peace and wellbeing.
The world will no doubt be a better place, almost perfect, if the United States and other world powers, such as Russia and France were to work out the differences – political ones for that matter (Totten, Bartrop, and Jacobs 121). The above proposed solution, especially the part mentioning the use of vetoes, will be one of the most potent ways of eliminating political differences between the communist east and the capitalist west. With such differences eliminated, responding to international crimes and atrocities will be effortlessly achieved and unnecessary differences will be eliminated. For instance, ideally, the Syrian case could have been solved, had it not been for the differences of opinion and principle between the capitalists and the socialists. Ultimately, the crimes against humanity will cease if all the above mentioned solutions will be implemented, because international cohesion and global human rights spectra would be held in high regard.
In conclusion, it is clear that from the foregoing discussion, the United States has a notable role to play as the sole superpower. The US is a country that many other look up to as a role model and a mentor. However, there are various problems associated with the intervention efforts. Primarily, the United States spends too many resources on the intervention efforts, leaving the government with hefty public debts. Secondly, it is evident that the civilians in the countries facing crisis suffer losses, including the loss of life and property. The proposed solutions revolve around preparation by the United States as a country, and the United Nations as an institution meant to bind the world powers together for purposes of managing international intervention. Ultimately, it is projected that the world will be a better place, far much better than what it has been, in terms of crisis management and intervention. The ideal situation can be described by quick response, minimal losses of lives and property, least political interference and minimal use of vetoes in clear international atrocities.
Bajoria, Jayshree, and Robert McMahon. "The Dilemma of Humanitarian Intervention." Jun 2013. Council on Foreign Relations. Dec 2013.
Deibel, Terry L. Foreign Affairs Strategy: Logic for American Statecraft. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Print.
Totten, Samuel, Paul R. Bartrop, and Steven L. Jacobs. Dictionary of Genocide. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2008. Print
Totten, Samuel. Impediments to the Prevention and Intervention of Genocide. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2013. Print
Waxman, Matthew. "Intervention to Stop Genocide and Mass Atrocities." Dec 2009. Council on Foreign Relations. Dec 2013