Books – Humanitarian Interventions: To Intervene or Not To Intervene

Saving Strangers by Nicholas Wheeler. Published by Oxford University Press

The World Today
2 minute READ

David Hannay

Crossbench Life Peer, House of Lords, Parliament of the United Kingdom

To intervene or not to intervene? That is the question that has tormented foreign ministries and defence establishments of the main powers, mainly the western ones, ever since the Cold War ended and the goalposts which excluded humanitarian interventions were shifted. Before then, as Nicholas Wheeler’s book illustrates, interventions which could quite reasonably have been presented as having primarily humanitarian purposes – by India in East Pakistan, by Vietnam in Cambodia, by Tanzania in Uganda – were not so justified. Humanitarian intervention during the Cold War remained a cause which dared not speak its name.

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