© 2022
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Dr. David Cortright, University of Notre Dame - International Intervention in Libya


Albany, NY – In today's Academic Minute, Dr. David Cortright of the University of Notre Dame provides some context for understanding the international community's intervention in Libya.

David Cortright is the Director of Policy Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He has written widely about nonviolent social change, nuclear disarmament, and the use of multilateral sanctions and incentives as tools of international peacemaking. Dr. Cortright has authored or edited 17 books, including the forthcoming, Ending Obama's War.

About Dr. Cortright

Dr. David Cortright - International Intervention in Libya

Is the current international military intervention in Libya just? An analysis using just war principles yields a mixed opinion. The cause of protecting civilians is certainly just. The air strikes have slowed Gaddafi's military advances and may help to prevent further mass killing of civilians. The action has proper multilateral authority through the endorsement of the Arab League and the UN Security Council. But what about the probability of success'? No end game is in sight, and it is not clear how the use of military force will contribute to a stable political settlement.

The dangers here are huge for the United States. If the campaign does not produce quick results the intervening forces will face pressures to escalate. If the operation falters and the rebels are not able to oust the regime, the U.S. and its allies will be blamed for a failure that was not theirs in the making.

Other options are available for saving lives. The Security Council could establish protected humanitarian corridors near Libya's borders. This would help the delivery of humanitarian aid and would provide a location where defectors could safely qualify for amnesty from future criminal prosecution.

Washington can also work to strengthen newly imposed sanctions targeted against the Gaddafi regime, and should support the International Criminal Court as it prepares indictments against senior Libyan officials who do not defect and have been responsible for mass atrocities.

Academic Minute Home