This paper will look at the current wave of interventionism in the Third World and at some of its implications for North-South relations. It will identify and discuss three related and somewhat contradictory trends – militarization, privatization and diversion – which seem to be increasingly important features of the new world disorder. The point of view is that of the humanitarian practitioner who observes with considerable disquiet the sea changes that are taking place in what used to be, at least conceptually, a simpler and more predictable universe. Gone are the crisp concepts of the Cold War era. Everything seemed to make sense then, and what did not could not be questioned: it was relatively easy to make stubborn facts conform to grand theory. In the space of half a decade the world has become a much more complicated place, and theory is sorely lacking.

The term ‘humanitarian intervention’ is imprecise at best and an oxymoron at worst (Rist 1994: 44). It is generally used to refer to mono or multilateral military interventions in support of ‘humanitarian’ objectives. It is also used in a wider sense to refer to the moral imperative and/or right to intervene, with or without troops and tanks, in order to provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable groups in conflict situations or when human rights are being violated, regardless of whether the legitimate or de facto authorities of the area agree to the intervention. The continuum thus ranges from Desert Storm to French Doctors (the latter, to be fair, having coined the French expression ingérence which more appropriately describes the wider concept).

Intervention, whether military or humanitarian (or both) is in itself nothing new in North-South relations. From the Crusades to the Vietnam war the moral high ground of the “intervenors” has often been invoked to justify war and invasion. Naturally God was with us and civilisation on our side. Colonization itself was a superior “mission” for the West, if not a “burden”. Moreover, humanitarian (mainly missionary) activity was the natural flip side of colonization. While the ideological underpinnings have evolved, the actual activities carried out by the proselytizing sort and by the new missionaries of relief or sustainable development may not be altogether that different. The point here is that military might and civilizing zeal have often gone hand in hand. What one imperial power did within its field of influence and exploitation was of no direct concern to other powers. The notion that certain rights and values transcended state boundaries and, ideally at least, overruled sovereignty, is new and relatively untested. It might be wise to keep this in mind when considering the current, apparently short-lived, infatuation with multilateral military intervention.

Since the end of the Cold War the problématique of peace and security has become a matter of concern to the entire international community, including “peoples” and civil society, and not just states. It is too early to say if this is but a brief interlude between “ages of empires” or if it is a more permanent phenomenon. It does seem, however, that the structures and instruments of the imperial peace of the past – based on the balance of nuclear terror, a system of alliances functional thereto, and its corollary, the taboo of intervention, – have lost all meaning. The Cold War dictated the parameters of permissible conflicts and provided the glue that kept countries and alliances together. It has become axiomatic to say that the dissolving of this glue has unleashed powerful and contradictory forces at the periphery of the old empires, particularly where artificial state structures had been established to paper over long-standing historical, cultural, socio-economic and ethnic fault lines.

This dialectical relationship between the imperatives of state security and the aspirations of peoples and individuals towards new forms of security — where the confines of identity cut across territories ranging from the individual and the family, to the village, tribe and ethnic group, to the state and beyond it to the planet — is likely to remain in the forefront in the years and decades to come. Sovereignty is no longer sacrosanct. The frequent reference to the concept of “failed states” is an implicit recognition that something has to be done to “mend” them. It is curious, in this context, to note that the concept is only applied to states in the Third and sometimes in the former Second World, as if the West were immune from such failure (or could it be that reinforcing the “us” and “them” syndrome is a convenient way of deflecting attention from “our” own failures, whether it is our inner cities or the prevalence of anomie as a weltangschaung). Sovereignty is being gnawed at also from above: capitalism, finally free from the threat of an antagonistic model, is rapidly strengthening its unifying web. The combination of the computer and of freak financial flows creates forces which seem to have a life and a logic of their own, a new and very real form of supranationality which lies beyond the control of even the most powerful of states. This combination of fragmentation and integration, or “fragmegration” as it has been called (Rosenau, 1992), may well be the new paradigm of the post Cold War era.

The functioning of the Market — and its nihilism in the sense that it has no ideology or values beyond those inherent in its own expansion — cannot be discussed here. For the sake of our argument let us assume that North-South transfers of resources — including development and relief assistance — are not unrelated to the functioning of the market, if only because such transfers are predicated on the existence of a surplus of resources, whether internally generated or “extracted” from other markets or theatres. In this sense, charity begins and ends at home. The same applies to the military: without resources and budgets paid for by citizens’ and corporate taxes, if not by sheer imperialistic rape, there would be no interventions, humanitarian or not.

The point here is that the globalization of the market and interventionism in the South, in the widest sense of the term, have historically been parallel processes. The surplus that made and makes aid and intervention possible was largely extracted from the South. Rosa Luxemburg’s intuition that the capitalist system had a functional need to progressively conquer new areas in order to expand and reproduce itself – and that when the limits would be reached the system would crumble – deserves another look. The countries at the bottom of the pyramid have nowhere to go to appropriate surpluses or to export the dysfunctions of market growth going on within them. Therefore, it should be no surprise that it is in those countries where the market has reached the limits to its expansion, where the structural obstacles to its penetration and to its homogenizing force are strongest, i.e weak or failed state structures, tribal or ethnically-based forms of governance, absence of social movements or civil society organizations, etc., that we find a positive correlation between aid dependency and military and/or humanitarian interventions. Consider Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Haiti, Liberia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan; while the causes and circumstances of crisis differ, the constant is the extent to which the society – rather than the state which in some of the countries mentioned has withered away – is dependent on outside intervention for some measure of functioning.

During the 1980s and 1990s, the survival as functioning entities of an increasing number of LDCs, particularly in Africa, was only made possible through international aid. Consider Mozambique — but the same would be true to a lesser extent in other countries — in 1991 foreign aid accounted for a staggering 78% of GDP, or $ 57 per capita, thus becoming the most aid dependent country in the world (United Nations, 1993). Sovereignty in such circumstances is a very relative reality. This reality was further eroded by the “intervention” of the peace process: the government was obliged to temporarily surrender additional elements of sovereignty for it to come to fruition. The donor and relief community were quick to fill the vacuum with operational plenum, the former by deciding which policies – privatization and the like – were to be implemented and the latter by carrying them out, often in the government’s stead, particularly in the health and welfare sectors (Hanlon, 1991).

Even with substantial external support, the government provision of social services, in many African countries south of the Sahara and in a few Asian ones, is erratic, shrinking and of deteriorating quality. As in Mozambique, NGOs tend to step in to fulfil traditional government functions. Even in Kenya, which is by no means a failed state, NGOs provide some 40 per cent of all health care services (Fowler, 1992). It has been rightly noted that when “a Southern state depends on external aid rather than the national economy for its existence it effectively becomes a local government in the global political order. Sovereignty is meaningless in a situation where primary governmental functions – security, economic management, the selection and implementation of public policies – cannot be minimally guaranteed or undertaken unless externally negotiated and financed” (Fowler, 1992).

Damage control in the marches of the system, i.e. in those areas of the periphery where the “magic of the market” does not work or cannot reach, is obviously a strategy whose time has come. The propping up of impoverished Southern Governments or the establishment of more “legitimate” ones through international aid and/or military intervention is likely to remain a frequent feature in Africa and parts of Asia in the years to come. This may be effected in a number of ways: the direct militarization of aid in an effort to impose functioning structures; the privatization of social welfare where governments are felt to be incapable of providing basic services to their citizens; the diversion of long-term development funds to quick-fix emergency relief programmes. Whatever the form of intervention, the decisions concerning it are likely to bypass the leadership and the populations of the territories concerned, a perspective which contains inherent risks for the legitimacy and sovereignty of Southern regimes.


One of the paradoxical consequences of the end of the Cold War is the sudden appearance of the military in the humanitarian arena, a front where they were seldom seen in the past. The Cold War had dictated the parameters of conflict: in a world political situation characterized by stalemate and confrontation “crises” were mainly mono-dimensional, either political/military or humanitarian. The concept of “complex emergency” was not relevant and the UN and other international regimes of activities for dealing with political/peacekeeping, humanitarian, human rights and development issues were kept in separate if not watertight compartments. For example, during the Cold War there was no consensus in the international community to mount a humanitarian intervention during the Vietnam war nor to launch peace missions in Biafra, in Ethiopia during the famine or when Czechoslovakia was invaded. Moreover the Security Council dealt – when it was not paralysed by crossed vetoes – with security and not with humanitarian issues.

Issues now refuse to stay in separate compartments. The Cold War had diverted attention away from many issues of identity and nationality which are now reappearing with renewed vigour. The rules of the game of the Cold War era no longer apply and the goal posts are continuously shifting. The complexity of contemporary crises is such that it escapes the grasp of the traditional institutional actors — states and international organizations. Non-state actors which had generally been quashed into compliance by the empires and their vassals are reappearing with a vengeance: numerous, vocal, unpredictable and armed.

For a brief moment the illusion of a “new world order” led Northern leaders to believe that the forces unleashed by the end of the Cold War could be “treated” through complex issue-linking and more or less coherent integrated approaches to problem-solving. Hence the notion of “complex emergency” and the acknowledgement of the linkages between the political, the military and the humanitarian. Hence the recent, perhaps fleeting, flirtation with multilateral military intervention, whether to counter acts of aggression or in support of humanitarian objectives, or both.

The question here is: what lies behind the militarization of North-South relations? Could it be that under the alibi of humanitarianism, military intervention is simply the clumsy expression of new forms of hegemony? We have noted above how, in weak states, “statehood” is often reduced to local government. Militarization is a powerful mechanism to force recalcitrant actors to conform and acquiesce. Intervention is by no means consistent: why Angola and not Afghanistan, why Somalia and not Sudan, why Liberia and not Zaire? This is not to say that militarization of humanitarian crises is necessarily guided by ulterior motives. The belated intervention in Rwanda is a case in point. Sometimes Northern powers are shamed into intervening by the pressure of public opinion or by Mediapolitik. More often than not, however, the eternal rules of Realpolitik guide the humanitarian helping hand. Two points deserve to be advanced here:

The first is that the international community does not appear to have made up its mind on whether the use of troops (and tanks) in humanitarian situations should be something truly exceptional, justifiable as a stop-gap measure in highly extreme circumstances where cost is not a primary concern, or whether the military are destined to become a regular feature of the world’s humanitarian regime. From a humanitarian point of view, the pertinence of military intervention is at best doubtful. In Liberia, Somalia and former Yugoslavia, the cynical (or perhaps realist) view is that intervention has prolonged the conflict and has often created obstacles to the provision of humanitarian assistance (Donini, 1995:37). Even in Rwanda, experience highlights the “unwieldiness of the military as a humanitarian instrument” when they are not fully integrated within the humanitarian effort (Minear and Guillot, 1995). The risks inherent in the militarization of humanitarian assistance cannot be underestimated. The broad question therefore is: should the humanitarians be better equipped by the international community to do their job or should the military be trained to take on tasks other than war and security?

The second, and more fundamental, point is best posited as a hypothesis. The use of military assets abroad, whether in support of humanitarian or global policing tasks, is, naturally enough, functional to the military-industrial establishments in the North. It ensures the reproduction of “military capital” both in the form of staff and materiel; it provides the justification for maintaining high military budgets and expenditures (and the opportunity to test new and sophisticated weaponry). But, there is more than meets the eye. Should we not look at the militarization of North-South relations within the framework of the extension of the market and of the triumphant capitalist system’s quest for planetary homogenization? The marches of the system are an obvious obstacle to its expansion – failed states, weak states or states that are attempting to resist the ideological uniformisation of laissez-faire economics – and the concept and practice of intervention can be seen as functional to higher political and economic strategies (Sabelli, 1994: 99). Even if there is no causal relationship between militarization and the uniformisation of the brazen law of the market, one cannot help but notice the parallel nature of the two phenomena. It is indeed somewhat paradoxical that a system which owes so much to “free enterprise” is in fact so intolerant of diversity. From Cuba and Mozambique to North Korea and Vietnam, not to mention rogue states such as Iran and Iraq, the punishment for non-conformism, i.e. for the iconoclastic sin of de-linking from the market and from the model, is economic ostracism, political arm-twisting, military muscle- flexing or worse.


The linkages between intervention, in the broadest sense of the term, and the market are even more evident if one considers the current trend towards the privatization of international development and humanitarian assistance. A digression on financial flows and their implications is in order here (for details see United Nations, 1994, paras. 16-28). The last twenty years have witnessed an exponential growth of financial transfers, by and through private organizations (NGOs), from the industrialized to the developing world. The total flow is estimated by OECD at $8.3 billion in 1992, or approximately 13% of all international development assistance, and probably over $10 billion in 1995. This is a much larger amount than the ODA currently transferred through the UN system and which is largely disbursed through government projects. Thus, in terms of net transfers, NGOs collectively represent the second largest source of development and relief assistance, second only to bilateral donors. This is largely the result of the increasing volume of official funding that is being channelled through NGOs to developing countries: public grants represented 1.5% of NGO income in 1970, 35% in 1988 and, with the explosion of humanitarian relief programmes in recent years, probably over 40% to-day. This has radically changed the funding picture of North-South relations: DAC member countries now transfer approximately 9% of their official ODA through NGOs, with much higher percentages in some countries. The figure for Switzerland is 19%. In 1993 the US was channelling 17% of its ODA through private groups; this has increased to an estimated 30% in 1995 and likely to increase to 40% under the “New Partnership Initiative” announced by the US at the 1995 World Summit for Social Development.

The above figures signal a major quantitative and qualitative change, the causes and implications of which should be fully analyzed and understood. Regrettably, data on the destination of funds channelled through private organizations — type of activities and beneficiaries, breakdown between development and relief — are notoriously unreliable. As for the origins of such funds, i.e. the precise mix of voluntary contributions from the general public, direct ODA funding and indirect funding through multilateral institutions, the situation is at best one of flou artistique. For example, the notion of co-financing, where privately collected funds are matched or mixed with public funds, is undergoing radical change: while ten years ago the then EEC and most governments tended to insist on a 50-50 rule, the portion of NGO “own” resources that are now going into the co-financing equation are rapidly shrinking. The EU and the US government now routinely accept to finance activities with a NGO contribution as low as 10 per cent, especially in the case of emergency relief assistance. In some cases, the remaining 10 per cent is financed by another public source, e.g. a UN agency.

While the expansion of the role of NGOs in North-South relations may simply be part of the larger growth of the non-profit sector worldwide, it does seem that an important restructuring in the functioning of significant sectors of society, in particular weaker Third World countries, is taking place: expatriate private organizations are now increasingly assuming state-type functions such as the provision of public services in areas like health and education to an extent that was unimaginable only a decade ago.

One explanation of this shift is that it represents lasting legacy of Reaganism-Thatcherism in the sense that it is an application of laissez-faire and anti-state ideology to international relations. A similar view holds that it is a manifestation of the North’s loss of patience with the perceived ineffectiveness of traditional bilateral mechanisms and of UN organizations as conduits for international assistance and of the corresponding faith in the operational superiority of “hands on” NGOs. In any event, the end of the Cold War seems to have accelerated a process which was already underway: the emergence of political conditionality. By privatizing aid delivery and by-passing government structures in the recipient countries, donor governments are in a much better position to pick and choose their projects. The Northern NGO community is certain to have benefited collectively from the fact that with the end of superpower confrontation the need for political state-to-state North-South support has all but disappeared (Duffield, 1993: 149).

Furthermore, the dramatic appearance of faltering states, and their corollaries, failed and arrested development, in the international panorama have also given a boost to privatization. The recourse to non-state actors for assistance delivery imposes itself when there is no Government or when there are competing claims on the State. Both bilateral donors and UN agencies are conceptually and institutionally ill at ease when governmental implementing partners exit the development or relief scene.

It remains to be seen if the current spate of complex emergencies is destined to become a permanent operational reality for the international community or if it is only a transitory phase in the post-Cold War movement of tectonic plates. It also remains to be seen whether the donor community will be able to continue to mobilize the political will and the resources for both quick-fix emergency assistance and for longer-term development programmes in the Third World. While serious prevention initiatives are nowhere in sight, donor exhaustion looms ominous. Some have argued that, absent public and media pressure for humanitarian aid, the rhetoric of political conditionality would more likely be used as an excuse for doing less (Duffield, 1993: 151).

The international NGO community is not an indifferent observer in this debate: the increasing donor tendency to direct ODA away from Third World governments has meant much more “business” for them. Its members are torn between the twin dilemmas of independence and subservience to donor priorities, on the one side, and between a “keep it simple” grassroots culture and the imperatives of “running a business” on the other. No figures are available on the numbers of northern expatriates and support staff who are in the employ of NGOs at home and abroad. Certainly these increasing numbers are sizeable and their lobby powerful (and to some extent humanitarian assistance functions as an unemployment subsidy for young people in the North). The T-shirt clad and often media-hungry NGO expatriate staff, scurrying around in white vehicles sporting over-sized logos, have become a familiar feature of complex emergencies. The role of NGOs in development assistance is perhaps less visible but just as sizeable. Or even more so: in Mozambique, an NGO – World Vision International – has recently become the single largest donor and employer, and probably the single largest provider of welfare services in the country.

Two questions are worth asking: to what extent does the readiness of northern NGOs to intervene in southern theatres, and of donor governments to finance them, detract from local coping mechanisms and from achieving self-reliance (i.e. might it not be possible to use the same monies to generate many more jobs and indigenous institutions in the South)? Can northern NGOs survive the quantum leap in interventionist capability without “losing their soul” or at least without fundamental changes in their ethics and culture (i.e. can they remain “free spirits” or are they destined to become vectors of North-South patterns of dominance and/or of Western rationality)?

Some disturbing trends are starting to appear. While “advocacy” NGOs do not seem to run the risk of being expelled from the ever-expanding marketplace of ideas, the “market” for operational NGOs is a very real one where the competition is increasingly tough for contracting resources. The explosion of humanitarian needs in the last five years seems to have resulted in a contradictory process of polarization and concentration in the NGO community. At one end, many new – often “truck-by-night” – operations have made their entrance on the scene. At the other end, the more established actors appear to be engaged in a process of “ganging-up”, by creating federations, coalitions or super-NGOs, primarily as a way of jockeying for position and resources and as a way of consolidating power and influence. This is tantamount to an oligopoly, where the major families or federations of international NGOs have come to control close to half of an $8 to 10 billion market. It is paradoxical that a process which owes so much to free-market ideology and to the notion that “a hundred flowers should bloom” has resulted in a situation where the smaller actors, not to mention indigenous actors in Third World countries, are at a distinct disadvantage. Perhaps deregulation has gone too far and some anti-trust control might be in order. It is also interesting to note that this process of concentration is paralleled by one of “homogenization” in the practices, management style and activities of NGOs. To a large extent this results from donor pressure to conform to established norms and standards and is functional to the needs of the expansion of the market and of laissez-faire economics: NGOs have to fit into the mold that the system requires.

Intervention in the form of militarization, as we have seen above, has obliged some Third World governments to temporarily surrender elements of sovereignty. Intervention in the form of privatization has similar but more durable results. Again, consider Mozambique: in parallel with the peace process, economic policies – privatization and the like – were set by a committee of donors which acted as a kind of Board of Directors for the country. Implementation was devolved to the myriad NGOs and private contractors. Government entities were deliberately weakened because they were perceived as “corrupt”. Moreover, implementation through NGOs and the private sector further weakens government structures by siphoning off the remaining competent national professionals who are naturally attracted by the higher and regular salaries paid by the outsiders. The nee d to keep track of the thousands of projects set up by the expatriate entities is an additional cost and burden for the government. Even with the best of intentions and even when these projects produce results which are positive in the short-term, the heavy reliance on outsiders – be these NGO or private contractors – for programmes in the social and welfare fields breeds dependency, if only because exogenous procedures and models are being imposed, often with little consideration for existing coping mechanisms.


The third trend resulting from the end of the Cold War and the interventionist mode of the international community is the diversion of resources and attention from development. Given the multiplication of crises and the increasing number of claimants on limited resources, short-term emergency needs are taking precedence over long-term development programmes. Both bilateral donors and multilateral organizations have had to “divert”: just to give one example, the World Food Programme used to be primarily a development and food for work organization; now 80% of its food resources are being devoted to emergency feeding programmes. Donor governments face difficult choices on how best to utilize their “kitty” for international assistance and on how to balance financial priorities between military (peace-keeping and humanitarian support), relief and development activities.

The quantitative trends of the global aid regime present a rather gloomy picture. While private flows of capital to developing countries continue to increase, the ODA of the 21 OECD/DAC countries has declined to its lowest level in the last two decades. In 1993 ODA as a percentage of the combined GNP of these countries reached only 0.30%, or less than half of the 0.7% goal agreed in the early ’70s and regularly reaffirmed since then. In fact, as the DAC statistics show, official resource flows to developing countries are negative: ODA is equivalent to only some 35% of annual debt service payments of developing countries. The situation is particularly grim for LDCs, especially in Africa, that are highly dependent on aid flows for their survival as viable state entities. Unlike Asia and Latin America, there is little indication that aid cuts in Africa will be compensated by increases in private resource flows. Despite progress on some social indicators, income gaps in the world are continuing to widen.

Moreover, it is not only the aid flows from DAC countries that have been cut. Traditional donors such as the former USSR and the countries of Eastern Europe have totally disappeared from the aid scene, most of them becoming net recipients, i.e. new claimants for shrinking resources. At the same time, the demands for emergency relief have dramatically escalated. The diversion from development to relief is difficult to quantify, as OECD statistics are sketchy on the subject and it is often difficult to make a straightforward distinction between funds for political/military, humanitarian and development activities. It is nevertheless estimated that before 1990 relief constituted less than 3% of bilateral ODA. Today, the corresponding figure is probably close to 15%. Multilateral expenditures – UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF – have increased in a similar fashion. The irony here is that the international community is capable of generating resources to save lives and protect victims in conflict situations, but when it comes to helping war-torn societies to consolidate peace and to move into recovery and reconstruction, its purse-strings remain tightly sealed. From Afghanistan to Mozambique to Rwanda the experience is the same: the loud emergency of conflict attracts attention and funds, but it is much more difficult to convince donors that the silent need for peace-building is just as dramatic.

In these circumstances, it was perhaps to be expected that political conditionality should emerge under the guise of donor fatigue, or more precisely of “development fatigue”. The reorientation of budgetary priorities towards quick-fix emergency relief provides an easy way to flex political muscles when apportioning the residual development assistance funds. More fundamentally, political conditionality – i.e. “human rights and privatization first, development assistance later” – is a practical way of deflecting attention from some of the more disturbing dimensions of North-South relations. Structural issues have all but disappeared from the debate – the present emphasis on concepts such as sustainable development and global governance, which do not really tackle the root causes of under-development nor the need to correct the structural imbalances which make its perpetuation possible, are a manifestation of this. Furthermore, the emphasis on market mechanisms and the privatization of aid allows donors (and to some extent Third World governments) to eschew the issue of the failure of the development strategies of the past, a failure in which the governments and elites of North and South are all complicit. Finally, the fact that both relief and development assistance, because of its privatization, increasingly by-passes and therefore weakens recipient governments is indicative of the increasing marginalization of the development discourse in international relations.

The UN has also failed, or has been allowed to fail, in defending the development paradigm. In the ’70s and ’80s the banner of development in the UN acted as a powerful “mobilizing myth” for the Third World, much in the same way as the goal of decolonization had mobilized the previous decades. Unfortunately, the UN seems to have abandoned this role. The quest for a more equitable international economic order, Third World militancy, and attending rhetoric, in such fora as UNCTAD, the Commission on Transnational Corporations and the General Assembly have all but disappeared. The mantra of national planning, on which development strategies had been built with the broad consensus of the “three worlds”, has been replaced by laissez-faire. It can be argued that the liturgical invocation of sustainable human development and of the role of civil society therein, further encourages the by-passing of the shrinking powers of recipient governments. Even UNDP, once the steadfast proponent of statism and of the role of planning in development, is now turning to civil society organizations – NGOs and the private sector – for project execution. Most Third World governments, whether they subscribe to the theory or not, are not in a position to resist the pressures to privatize. From a UN perspective, one must ask: does it work? Can we document that privatization promotes more healthy and democratic societies than the previous models? This remains to be seen (and constitutes a fascinating agenda for further research). Powerful new forces are rapidly changing the shape of the North-South scene and the context of the debate: “development” no longer seems to be the mobilizing paradigm, but a new paradigm has yet to emerge.

Time and tide, it is said, wait for no man: the rising swell of global economic and technological integration may well be stretching the market to its structural limits. But the trough beyond the wave is getting deeper and deeper, revealing an increasing number of collapsed Third World societies and the fragmentation of their identities. Absent the political will to confront the causes of poverty and underdevelopment, absent a Marshall Plan for failed and failing states, the next wave could have Tsunami proportions. Gale warnings will likely be issued in due course and much clumsy hammering to board up windows will surely follow, but as Bob Dylan would say, “you don’t need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowin'”.

About the author:

The author, a UN staff member, prepared this article while on a sabbatical with the Humanitarianism and War project, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University; he is solely responsible for the views expressed. This article will published in: Franz Nuschele and Tobias Debiel (Eds), “Humanitarian Intervention (Humanitare Intervention): Bonn, forthcoming.


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