Check out this blog comment by Dutch historian and journalist Nick Ottens, who argues that “strategic interests always trump humanitarian missions” and that it would be a mistake for Western nations to intervene in Syria in the face of the UN Security Council resolution vetoes by Russia and China.

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1 Comment

  1. Daniel Walker

     /  02/03/2012

    I don’t agree with all of the views here, but I think there are some good points. The R2P doctrine is not empty, and it’ll probably feature quite prominently in other foreign policy decisions in years to come—but there is a danger that it could become a bit ‘vacuous’ if it is not further defined. Logistically, issues like the Syrian dilemma will have to be taken on a case by case basis, but this does not necessarily mean that R2P is redundant. And I seriously disagree with Ottens when he says that strategic interests always trump humanitarian endeavour. Just because strategic interests are taken into account does not mean that they are at the forefront of considerations.


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