The Justification of International Military Intervention in Response to Human Rights Abuses

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Ryan Vetticad


Interstate conflict, in layman's terms - war, is by nature a highly complex and debated issue. From absolute or total war, to multi, dyadic, or systemic level conflicts, to simply a war fought for personal or state glory, the nature of war and military intervention is no doubt a complicated and intricate issue. When the nuance of human rights is added to the picture, the entire concept as a whole becomes increasingly difficult to delve into. But the fact remains that even in the fog of war the question of whether or not international military intervention is justified by human rights abuses, is of the utmost importance.

This paper will analyze the salience of this question, and the fact remains that no matter the circumstance there are bound to be human rights violations where there is military intervention and that action is justified. Specifically the paper will discuss three underlying themes behind this rationale 1. Due to the inescapable nature of war, 2. Numerous case studies such as the Rwandan or Armenian genocide, and 3. Most government's Responsibility to Protect commitment. Overall the paper will come to the conclusion that international military intervention is undoubtedly justified by human rights abuses.

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