Segments in this Video

Debate "Housekeeping" (04:42)


Moderator John Donvan frames the debate on the efficacy of humanitarian intervention and introduces the panelists. Audience members record their preliminary votes.

Opening Statements For: Rajan Menon (05:31)

Senior research scholar at Columbia University and professor at City College of New York, Menon explains that humanitarian intervention has divided the world because there is no resolution on when a country should intervene. He describes how more affluent countries with good diplomatic relations commit atrocities against smaller poorer nations.

Opening Statements Against: Bernard Kouchner (04:48)

Former French Foreign Minister and co-founder of Doctors without Borders, Kouchner explains that humanitarian intervention does not mean military involvement. Neutral intervention is essential and must aid all individuals within the area, not just a single side of the conflict.

Opening Statements For: Frank Ledwidge (05:13)

Senior fellow at the Royal Air Force college and former British intelligence officer, Ledwidge describes how most interventions are performed by the military. He explains the difficulties in obtaining enough soldiers and resources for another country's civil war.

Opening Statements Against: Kori Schake (05:55)

Deputy Director-General, International Institute for Strategic Studies, Schake explains that Iraq and Afghanistan were wars. Humanitarian crises may need military involvement because they are acts of political malevolence. Not acting leads to strategic consequences.

Humanitarian Intervention in Syria (10:56)

Donvan summarizes the opening statements. Schake argues that if the world had intervened eight years ago and mitigated the Syrian air force, rebels would not have been radicalized. Ledwidge counters that destroying a country's air force would be tantamount to an act of war and Russia would have reacted.

Public Support for Military Intervention (04:55)

Schake describes how the American public has not disagreed with President Donald Trump increasing troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Ledwidge explains that the United States spent $5.6 trillion dollars on humanitarian intervention. Kouchner clarifies that Doctors without Borders does not ask any elected power for aid.

QA: Unintended Consequences in Iraq (03:09)

Ledwidge argues that ISIS arose because the Iraqi government supported and sustained Shia militias. Schake counters that the decisions that the United States made facilitated its rise.

QA: Sean Westmoreland and Humanitarian Intervention (02:51)

Schake explains how humanitarian intervention can worsen a crisis but is necessary. Menon counters that American intervention does not help the crisis in Afghanistan and Iraq.

QA: Protecting the Yazidis (02:50)

Ledwidge explains that well-planned, limited duration, and strategic humanitarian intervention can be successful. Schake and Kouchner counter that East Timor, Kosovo, and Kurdish interventions were successful.

QA: Political Action (01:25)

Schake describes how humanitarian interventions are political problems, which sometimes require military intervention.

QA: Improving Humanitarian Intervention Processes (03:41)

Ledwidge describes how political solutions might improve the crisis. Kouchner examines how thousands of refugees are dying in the Mediterranean Sea. Menon explains that military involvement makes humanitarian intervention controversial.

Concluding Statement For: Menon (01:48)

Filter moral issues through difficult circumstances. Government leaders need to examine political realities and military risks.

Concluding Statement Against: Kouchner (02:19)

Kouchner argues that the debate subject is incorrect. Volunteers cannot be guided by their respective governments and should act independently.

Concluding Statement For: Ledwidge (02:18)

There are times when humanitarian intervention can work. Libya is destroyed because of military action.

Concluding Statement Against: Schake (02:18)

Governments engage in humanitarian interventions without thoroughly considering the repercussions. Schake describes several successful campaigns including Mali, Sierra Leone, the Balkan islands, and East Timor.

Time to Vote (03:41)

Donvan instructs the audience to vote, thanks panelists and supporters, and introduces the next Intelligence Squared Debate.

Audience Vote Results (01:02)

Pre-Debate - For: 30% - Against: 51% - Undecided: 19% Post-Debate - For: 34% - Against: 59% - Undecided: 7%

Credits: Humanitarian Intervention Does More Harm Than Good (00:08)

Credits: Humanitarian Intervention Does More Harm Than Good

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Humanitarian Intervention Does More Harm Than Good: A Debate

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The international community currently faces a global refugee crisis and mass atrocities in Iraq, Myanmar, Syria, Yemen, and other countries. How should the West respond? Proponents of humanitarian intervention—the use of force to halt human rights abuses—argue that the world’s most powerful nations have a responsibility to protect innocent people around the planet. Beyond saving lives, they contend, intervention deters would-be abusers and ensures global stability, thereby strengthening peace, security, and order. But opponents argue that humanitarian intervention is a thinly veiled form of imperialism that imposes Western values on other nations and undermines state sovereignty and independence. It's also often ineffective, they add, and can increase death tolls and worsen the conflicts it sets out to resolve. Does humanitarian intervention do more harm than good?

Length: 70 minutes

Item#: FMK148967

ISBN: 978-1-64347-066-5

Copyright date: ©2018

Closed Captioned

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