Saturday, March 19, 2011

International first?

The just beginning Operation Odyssey Dawn may be the first time that the international community has managed to move quickly enough (thought still very slowly) to get involved in protecting civilians while military action is still going on.  Previously UN involvement has always has the prerequisite that hostilities needed to cease prior to any action.  This is even more ground breaking in view of the fairly recent failures of action in Bosnia and in Rwanda.  I applaud this new rapid reaction.  However, it does beg the question.  What is the point at which the international community will feel the necessity to intervene in the internal situations in sovereign nations?

If the use of the national military against the civilian population is the tipping point, then that opens up many other nations for potential intervention.  Bahrain would be the most obvious current situation, but also Iran, Syria, Yemen, and even China's actions in Tibet.  If anything, this current UN sanctioned operation raises more questions than it answers.  But it is encouraging to see rhetoric about freedom and democracy being put into action.


  1. These are interesting times we live in. It really is important that we have some tangible support from our allies instead of trying to save the world by ourselves, I think.

  2. Thanks for your comment. We certainly need more than just support, we need them to take the lead on some of these things. It is good to see us working under a UN resolution at least.