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The Delusion of Impartial Intervention

Richard K. Betts
Foreign Affairs
Vol. 73, No. 6 (Nov. - Dec., 1994), pp. 20-33
DOI: 10.2307/20046926
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20046926
Page Count: 14
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The Delusion of Impartial Intervention
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Abstract

The United Nations and the United States continue to intervene in wars without forthrightly taking sides. Impartiality may sound sensible enough, but it has hamstrung would-be peacekeepers and worsened conflicts in Bosnia, Somalia, and, to some degree, Haiti. War is about who rules. If military intervention occurs, outsiders should ensure someone is in charge at the end of the day. Interventions that avoid the root issue and aim to be evenhanded become compromises that kill. They prevent the very peace they seek to create.

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