John Boonstra on R2P and Burma
I had contemplated weighing in on commentators’ unfortunate tendency to equate the Responsibility to Protect doctrine with humanitarian invasion, but John Boonstra at UN Dispatch beat me to it. Here’s a snippet:
First, by and large, the R2P doctrine has been misunderstood or misrepresented in calls to “invade” Burma. R2P is often implied to boil down to a simple equation: if a government is unable or unwilling to adequately protect its citizens, then the international community has a right to forcibly intervene to protect these people. The first part of this conditional is accurate, but the second is a gross oversimplification. R2P does not prescribe invasion any more than the Constitution of the United States mandates impeachment. Military intervention is only one component of the R2P framework, and one of last resort, at that; it is only to be undertaken when a series of specific conditions are met, ensuring that intervention is justified, well-intentioned, practical, authorized by the proper authority (i.e., the UN Security Council), and will not cause more harm than good.
Wielding R2P as a Trojan horse for invasion and regime change, as Robert Kaplan seems to desire, is harmful to the integrity and future viability of the concept, as well as to the more pressing concern of alleviating the Burmese people’s suffering.
The whole post is well worth a read. It’s here.