Here are four examples of historic humanitarian interventions by the UN with U.S. support since 2010:
Haiti: In 2010, the UN, with the support of the U.S., intervened in Haiti following a devastating earthquake. The intervention was justified on the grounds of providing humanitarian aid to the people affected by the disaster and to prevent a public health crisis.
Mali: In 2013, the UN, with the support of the U.S., intervened in Mali to restore the country's territorial integrity and to protect civilians from Islamist extremist groups. The intervention was justified on the grounds of protecting human rights and preventing a humanitarian crisis.
South Sudan: In 2013, the UN, with the support of the U.S., intervened in South Sudan to protect civilians from the violence that erupted after the country's independence. The intervention was justified on the grounds of protecting civilians and preventing a humanitarian crisis.
Central African Republic: In 2013, the UN, with the support of the U.S., intervened in the Central African Republic to protect civilians from escalating violence between Christian and Muslim communities. The intervention was justified on the grounds of protecting human rights and preventing a humanitarian crisis.
These interventions were authorized by the UN Security Council and were carried out with the aim of protecting civilians, preventing mass atrocities and promoting human rights. However, these interventions were not without pushback as some groups opposed them on the grounds that they violated the sovereignty of the countries in question. Additionally, some argued that these interventions only served to perpetuate conflicts and destabilize the region.
Despite these criticisms, the UN and its partners have been able to provide humanitarian assistance to millions of people affected by crisis and to protect civilians from mass atrocities. These interventions have also helped to promote stability, democracy and human rights in the countries in question.
A moral obligation
Many argue interventions in the past have saved lives and prevented mass atrocities. They also argue that the U.S. & U.N. have a moral obligation to intervene in cases of genocide and other mass atrocities, and that these interventions have also served the U.S.'s national security interests by preventing the spread of terrorism and instability. Additionally, supporters argue that these interventions have also helped to promote democracy and human rights in the countries in question.
Haiti's discouraging situation
The Republic of Haiti has been envolped in turmoil for well more than four years. The nation has not held nationwide elections since 2019 and following the assasination of the former President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, the situation in Haiti has only become more grim. Haiti's residents looked upon their new interm President Ariel Henry with annimosity and interpreted his rule as illegitimate. The nation's elected officials over the months that followed began to become overwhelmed by ongoing corruption and a new surge in gang violence especially within the nations capital city of Port-au-Prince. In September, a major Haitian gang took control of the cities largest port and further economic constraints on Haitian people would cause food-insecurity issues as recognized by the United Nations in recent months.
Currently, the last of Haiti's elected officials have ended their terms and many have chosen to flee the country to the United States and elsewhere. Major gangs continue to control large swaths of Haitian cities and due to such, this presents a major security concern to the United States and neighboring nations. Whats left of Haiti's government had already previously called upon the international community to recognize the urgency of the situation and the United States along with the U.N. have taken the initial steps towards a potential armed force intervention.
In conclusion, humanitarian interventions with U.S. support have been a contentious issue in international politics since the turn of the century. These interventions have been undertaken for a variety of reasons, including the protection of civilians, the prevention of mass atrocities, and the promotion of human rights. The U.S. has a moral obligation to intervene in cases of genocide and other mass atrocities, and those that serve the U.S.'s national security interests. Therefore, a U.S. backed U.N. intervention is the necessary action that needs to be taken soon before even more damage is done.
January 19, 2023
Author: Cherry Wang