An Analysis of Human Intervention in Somalia
Just war theory acknowledges that humanitarian intervention through means of war should be taken by the international community to help a country torn by its own internal political struggles resulting to grave violations of human rights of its own citizens. The morality of this theory has always been a subject of heated debates, with arguments stating that we are obliged to help whoever and not just those “whom we are bound in community by contract, political tie, or common locale” (Boyle, 2003, 177). Others argue that endangering the lives of a country’s own soldiers in order prevent the people of a conflicted nation from killing each other. Then president George Bush’s decision to launch a humanitarian intervention, dubbed “Operation Restore Hope,” was anchored on the objective of opening supply routes for food to reach the starving citizens of the war-torn nation, and to pave the way for a UN peace-keeping force. While the motive behind the intervention was in keeping with the goal of just war theory, the surmounting number of US soldier casualties pushed Bush to call for the retreat of the military troops in order to protect his own people, which consequently is the moral obligation of a leader. This shows that his decision to intervene in Somalia was a direct violation of his primary duty as a leader, which was to “think and act in terms of the national interest” (Morgenthau, 1978, 5), to look after and guarantee the security of the people and the state.
Intervening in the affairs of other countries poses significant risks to the US and its people as it could result to various conflicts that bear no relevance to the interests of the country. Humanitarian intervention may be able to prevent the global spread of a country’s ill deeds, but there could be nothing more effective preventive measure than conserving the forces of a country and have it prepared to ward off such threats from infiltrating the country. In sum, the US use of force in Somalia was not justified morally as it did not only endanger the lives of the US soldiers, but sacrificed 18 of them in a goal that did not benefit America and its people.
Boyle, J. (1992). Natural Law and International Ethics. In T. Nardin & D.R. Mapel
(Eds.), Traditions of International Ethics. Retrieved from http://books.gogle.com
Morgenthau, H.J. (1978). Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace [pdf].
Retrieved 26 Feb. 2014 from http://www3.nd.edu/~cpence/eewt/Morgenthau2005.pdf