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When to intervene

Neither Robert Skidelsky's revival of just war theory nor the latest plan for the UN solve the intervention riddle

By Anthony Dworkin   January 2005

For more than a decade, the question of intervention has been the most important issue in international politics. When if ever is it right to attack a state that has not itself attacked another state? And is the explicit authorisation of the UN security council essential before such an attack can be legitimate? Since the US carved out a safe area for the Kurds in northern Iraq in April 1991, theory and practice have shadowed each other through actions taken and not taken in Somalia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Kosovo, East Timor, Afghanistan and most recently Iraq again and Sudan.

Armed intervention…

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