The Interventionist Dilemma: Rules‐​Based Order Versus the Humanitarian Exception

Source: Cato Institute
by Ted Galen Carpenter

“Proponents of a highly activist U.S. policy in the world keep stumbling upon (and evading) a troubling contradiction. Washington repeatedly emphasizes the need to protect the ‘rules‐​based international order that preserves stability worldwide.’ The Biden administration and its supporters insist that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine poses a potentially mortal threat to that system, and must, therefore, be defeated. George H. W. Bush’s foreign policy team invoked the same rationale to justify assembling a coalition of countries that used military force to expel Saddam Hussein’s army of occupation from Kuwait in 1991. Yet the United States and its allies have launched military interventions on multiple occasions throughout the post‐​Cold War era that clearly violated the purported standards of a rules‐​based international system.” (03/17/23)