This study focuses on the questions of when and how military intervention in conflicts can achieve humanitarian benefits. It uses the standard that an intervention should do more good than harm to evaluate the successes and failures. The author develops a methodology to determine the number of lives saved, as a minimalist measure. The analysis of 19 military operations in the 6 case studies of Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Kosovo and East Timor reveals both successful and unsuccessful interventions in the same locations. The study posits that an intervention's short-term effectiveness depends primarily on six factors within the control of the intervenor, rather than factors inherent within the conflict. Political and humanitarian dimensions are combined
to create a typology that compares the needs of populations suffering from conflict with an intervenor's military intervention strategies, motives, capabilities and response time. Hypotheses derived from the model are tested in the case studies and policy implications are offered.
Readership: Scholars and students of strategic studies, international relations, and humanitarian law
Taylor B. Seybolt, Senior Program Officer at the United States Institute for Peace
"Seybolt presents a quantitative analysis drawing lessons from seventeen interventions...Seybolt's explanation of his methodology is impressive." - Aidan Hehir, Political Studies Review
Review(s) from previous edition"Seybolt rejects the majority of abstract, philosphical literature on the subject, to focus on real problems, faced by real practitioners both in theatre and in the halls of power. Military intervention in the name of humanity will remain a central policy challenge in the near future, and Seybolt's work succeeds in providing valuable new insights for practitioners at both ends of the spectrum. [The] Interesting case studies are well researched and a pleasure to read.'
- Matthew Taylor, consultant in NATO's Public Diplomacy Division
1: Controversies about humanitarian military intervention
2: Judging success and failure
3: Humanitarian Military interventions in the 1990s
4: Helping to deliver emergency aid
5: Protecting Humanitarian aid operations
6: Saving the victims of violence
7: Defeating the perpetrators of violence
8: The prospects for success and the limitations of humanitarian intervention