pasic and weiss, the politics of rescue

pasic and weiss, the politics of rescue - SIX The Politics...

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Unformatted text preview: SIX The Politics of Rescue: Yugoslavia’s Wars and the Humanitarian Impulse Amir Pasic and Thomas G. Weiss The humanitarian impulse is remarkably prevalent in the post—cold war world. Whether or not we have actually entered “the age of humanitarian emergencies” is open to debate,1 but the dramatic increase in the number of humanitarian in— terventions since 1991 has been Widely noted, as has sobriety after debacles or dis- appointments in Somalia and elsewhere.2 Humanitarianism as an expression of concern for the victims of armed conflict and political disorder has traditionally been spearheaded by nonstate actors. That states themselves have begun to in— clude humanitarianism in their policy architectures is evidence of the extent to which this orientation has become a prominent feature of both contemporary transnational civil society and interstate relations.3 The notion of rescue is also emerging in the philosophical and policy literature.4 There is, however, a dramatic downside to what might otherwise be considered a positive moral development at the international level. Rushing to rescue victims on the basis of a visceral reaction to their suffering may, depending on the circum— stances, be a palliative or, even worse, counterproductive. A poor basis for policy, it builds erroneously on the metaphor of saving a drowning stranger and distorts the context surrounding humanitarian efforts. It seems to initiate a new relationship With distant peoples who are suddenly of concern to us because they are subject to unacceptable suffering. At the same time, this link is exceptional and limited only to the duration ofa particular rescue effort. It does not alter significantly the relation— ship between the rescuers and the rescued. The multiple ties that bind rescuers and victims long before the onset ofa complex emergency, and throughout its evolution, are ignored. In particular, rescue does not 1 08 Challenges __—_—.—_——————_— capture sufficiently the absence of secure ground in war zones to which to bring im— periled victims. Furthermore, those in danger are not as foreign, unknown, and un- connected to us as often is implied by the rescue metaphor. Before, during, and after complex emergencies, rescuers and victims are related through many relationships that their representatives conduct in economic, diplomatic, and cultural domains. States have always intervened in one another’s affairs. Justifications and rational- izations for incursions across sovereign boundaries have included past grievances and the protection of co—religionists or nationals.S Remarkably, interventions along with other less invasive but more routine human rights intrusions into domestic af— fairs are now being justified in terms of humanitarian concerns.6 National interests and other justifications have not disappeared, not will they, but they have acquired a definite humanitarian flavor. Moreover, the humanitarian impulse is not limited to the most obvious agents: protectors, aid deliverers, peacekeepers, and journalists.7 It has also seeped into for- eign ministries and security agendas as heads of states proclaim the virtues of “doing the right thing,” despite the usual warnings that moral sentiments should not guide the ship of state.8 Indeed, pundits and professors use that nebulous term, “the international com— munity,” as a stock concept to analyze contemporary world politics, increasingly with the implication that there is a moral obligation to act even ifthere is no consen— sus about the requirement to do 50.9 Furthermore, a focus on multilateral military endeavors with humanitarian justifications is becoming a standard feature of strate— gic, operational, and doctrinal discourse in the United States military and NATO.10 In the process, humanitarians from both the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are being recognized as natural partners in what the British military first labeled “operations other than war,” now the preferred term in most militaries.11 Given the surge in humanitarian intervention and its impact on foreign policy, it is imperative to examine its limitations. This chapter explores the ethical challenges presented by the emergency mode of humanitarianism in war zones. One example is the former Yugoslavia, where the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Ref— ugees (UNHCR) was designated the lead agency by the UN secretary—general and orchestrated rescue operations in Europe’s largest involuntary displacements since World War 11.12 The UNHCR’S relative success in bringing assistance to 4 million victims in the Balkans reflected a principled extension of the organization’s charge to take care of refugees—that is, people who have no state to protect them. At the same time, the experience of the refugee agency in this instance demon— strates the limits of rescue. The Balkans benefited from a substantial resource abun— dance vis—a—vis the rest of the world, and the international community is unlikely to devote such ample material resources and political attention to other complex emer~ gencies. In 1995, the former Yugoslavia received more than 100 percent of esti- mated aid requirements—as it had in previous years—which contrasted with less than 50 percent received by Angola, Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sierra Le~ one, and others.13 Yugoslavia's Wars and the Humanitarian Impulse 109 However, rescue served also as a substitute for robust diplomatic and military en- gagement and prolonged the need for assistance. Moreover, as former U.S. assistant secretary of state Richard Holbrooke has pointed out, “the damage that Bosnia did to the UN was incalculable.”14 As long as something was being done to assuage the suffering, international leadership could declare that it had a policy for dealing with the former Yugoslavia. The means available amounted to what the former UN se— nior political adviser characterized as “trying to hold back the ride with a spoon.”15 The outpouring of help was manipulated by those political authorities who did not share humanitarian goals, thus damaging the long-term interests of endangered populations and the quest for peace and stability. Aid was diverted, access to civil- ians was denied in order to extort resources and recognition of territorial claims, and the multilateral humanitarian presence became a pawn in the capricious maneuvers of irresponsible demagogues whose policies would ultimately exacerbate the difficul— ties that the region would have in rehabilitating itself when peace finally came.16 The delivery of relief settled into a bizarre pattern, sustaining civilians who were be— ing manipulated by leaders whose primary political resource was their capacity to threaten civilians and even humanitarians. Simultaneously, scores of opinion leaders in the West and in the Islamic world agonized over the rescue effort and its meaning for the moral identities of all of us who were witnessing the tragedy.” Although it seeks to moderate the ugly realities of international politics, rescued even with the exceptional level of commitment it received in the former Yugosla— via—in actuality adds new ethical dilemmas to international politics. Perhaps the foremost of these dilemmas regards the proportionality of needs and the affirmation that life is as precious in one part of the globe as another. Thus, the “privileged posi— tion” of Yugoslavia’s Victims should trouble us as much as the failure of a policy based on such an extensive expenditure of resources. Rescue affects the political lives and identities not simply of victims but of the res— cuers as well. It reveals a troubled and unsettled link to sovereignty, which separates humanity into integral units, each pursuing a distinctive way of life. Does rescue seek to establish a new kind of “revolutionary” humanitarian relationship among peoples or is it “restorative,” seeking to rebuild the capacity of endangered popula— tions to continue their distinctive way of life under state authority as before the cri— sis? The former option would establish a transcendent moral link among human be— ings as such, thus overriding or at least going beyond sovereignty; the latter would seek to restore the autonomy of suffering populations within a self—contained polity, thus sustaining traditional sovereignty. On the one hand, revolutionary humanitarianism makes rescuers self—conscious participants in a “foreign” political community, thus rearranging the boundaries of the political space occupied by victims. Restorative humanitarianism, on the other hand, accepts the necessity of tolerating blatant abuses of rights because relief efforts are fundamentally directed toward reestablishing the endangered population’s au— tonomy with as little outside political involvement as possible. Rescue is thus a radi— cally ambiguous principle, persisting incoherently between revolutionary and restor— ative humanitarianism. Although these two points are at either end of a continuum, 1 10 Challenges with many gradations between them, they are not merely heuristic devices to amuse analysts. They are principled choices that circumscribe policy options. The funda- mental purpose of this chapter is to explore the normative tension between them, hoping to better explain why rescue founders. We begin with an overview of apolitical attempts to rescue the “wretched of the earth,” during which both outside aid personnel and victims are implicated in the politics of rescue. Then, by focusing on the UNHCR and its attempt to deal with the people displaced by Yugoslavia’s wars, we discern the shortcomings of any epi— sode of rescue and the implicit principles that could guide future rescue missions. This serves as background for a discussion of the ambiguity of humanitarianism—a principle that can be used either to buttress sovereignty or to challenge it. Whether one opts for the more conservative (restorative) or, alternatively, the more radical (revolutionary) vision, the Yugoslav case suggests the limits of humanitarianism. THE POLITICS OF RESCUE Disrinctions between humanitarian and political concerns are instructive, reflect— ing the difference between the goals ofrescue and ofstability. In spite ofthe ini— tial lofty rhetoric of the post—cold war world, the various members of the interna— tional community are becoming aware of the necessity for more reflection and fewer automatic responses to humanitarian tragedies. Removing superpower ri— valry clearly has been insufficient for the international humanitarian system to move from the pursuit of rescue to the institution of political order.18 There are inevitable trade-offs between the two goals. To pursue rescue is to seek the immediate and unconditional alleviation of human suffering. To institute politi— cal order is to seek to create and sustain viable social institutions that will prevent the need for subsequent rescue efforts. Political strategies to create an enduring sociopolitical order will sometimes require reining in the impulse to save lives and alleviate the suffering of noncombatants with all available means.19 In the prescient prose of Alain Destexhe, the former secretary general of Me’de’cins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders): All over the World, there is unprecedented enthusiasm for humanitarian work. It is far from certain that this is always in the victims' best interests. . . . In deal- ing with countries in ongoing wars of a local nature, humanitarian aid has ac quired a near—monopoly of morality and international action. It is this monop— oly that we seek to denounce. Humanitarian action is noble when coupled with political action and justice. Without them, it is doomed to failure and especially in the emergencies covered by the media, becomes little more than a play thing of international politics, a conscience—solving gimmick.20 To complicate matters, the use of the term “peace” as a synonym for “stability” is philosophically loaded. Decolonization, for example, showed that everything can— not be sacrificed at the altar of peace, and that not all political orders are worth pre— serving no matter how apparently stable. We confront the age-old tensions between Yugoslavia’s Wars and the Humanitarian Impulse 1 1 1 order and justice. There are situations in which it would be justifiable to increase suffering and create disorder for the purpose of fashioning a more equitable and sus— tainable political order in the long run. It is, of course, by no means obvious when we may justifiably calculate the costs and benefits of such endeavors. In fact, conflicts between order and justice have been temporarily obscured by a superficial consensus about the values of democratization and liberalization. Or— derly, just, and peaceful liberal democracies and their mutual relations do not neces- sarily provide guidance for states going through the potentially destabilizing transi- tion to democracy, where violence may become a favored option.21 Also, the normative guidelines are even less clear for a conflict that has become about whom to include or exclude from membership in a state. When the bounds of a state and its identity are contested, it is also not clear for whom there should be order and justice. What makes the problems of rescue, order, and justice stand out so vividly is the conventional wisdom regarding the impulse—some, for example, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), would say “imperative"——of rescue even in cases where de jure sovereignty presents a prima facie legal prohibition.22 Most hu- manitarian endeavors without the consent of a state take place in areas of turmoil supposedly governed by failed or collapsed states.23 That sovereignty should be sub— ordinated to the demand for rescue from calamity is less problematic than the moral and operational implications of actually assuming responsibility for those rescued. The subordination of sovereignty, even if it is only in situations where effective po- litical authority is absent, still implies an obligation to assume a longer—term per— spective, a commitment to the sustainability and health of a society rather than merely to one episode of rescue. Without such a commitment, rescue can become self‘defeating. No matter how intense and heroic an intervention to deliver food, resettle people, or even eliminate an irresponsible tyrant or an armed threat, such an intervention is only a start. A simple declaration that sovereignty presents no bar to our interven— tion against intolerable suffering only begins to expose obligations across borders.24 We do not know how the decentralized international humanitarian system might work to maintain order after an intervention. Nor do we possess normative criteria to trigger interventions and guide them so that there is more consistency, or perhaps less selectivity, in unleashing the humanitarian impulse.25 The dilemmas of humani- tarian challenges—in particular the reality of unanticipated negative consequences resulting from well~meaning but counterproductive humanitarianism—are thus truly unsettling.26 Ideas move people figuratively and can also serve to displace them literally, espe— cially as manipulated by Serbian and Croatian politicians to justify ethnic cleansing. And in situations Where people are not threatened at gun point, fear can move them whether or not it is ultimately warranted. In the Yugoslav context, ethnic identity became a potent guiding principle, even for those national and international actors who most wanted to stop hostilities and were appalled by the disappearance of a multiethnic society. As Susan Woodward writes of the September 1992 peace con— 1 1 2 Challenges ference in the Hague, convened under the auspices of the European Community: “No pro-Yugoslav parties were represented in the formulation, nor were the repre— sentatives of non—ethnic parties, the civilian population, or the many civic groups mobilizing against nationally exclusive states and war consulted.”27 Genocidal exter- mination, forced migration to achieve ethnic purity, and national animosity did not fester in a vacuum. They were clearly and faithfully reported and legitimated by the actions of humanitarians, governments, and the media even before Violent hostilities commenced. The overarching lesson to be extracted from the lot of war victims in the former Yugoslavia is the extent to which humanitarianism and politics are inextricably in— tertwined. The policy response thus should not be to try to keep the two as separate as possible, but rather to understand how they should be addressed simultaneously. Those who support the apolitical approach of separating the two advocate keeping the issue of who makes decisions about the distribution of aid to those at risk their own affair. As such, humanitarians can only provide relief to those in need, making Whatever compromises are required. Aid providers typically respond Viscerally to massive human suffering. As such, immediate and direct access to civilian victims becomes an absolute priority. Issues of sustainable order, much less its quality, ap— pear so distant that even thinking about them detracts from the immediacy of the life—saving tasks at hand. Thus, humanitarianism becomes the emergency-response mechanism of the sovereign state system, seeking to restore the viability of sovereign compartments that have temporarily become irresponsible and dysfunctional, as re— vealed by the gross suffering that they contain. Mitigating the suffering begins to re— store the viability of the sovereign container. That outside intervention can save lives and reduce suffering without advancing anyone’s political agenda is at best an outmoded notion. This notion—long cham— pioned by the ICRC and many other humanitarians—is increasingly viewed by crit- ics as naive and wrong. Humanitarian efforts have never really been neutral; there is no such thing as “pure” humanitarianism because the distribution of aid always has political ramifications. As former US. secretary ofstate for African affairs Chester A. Crocker reminded us in commenting upon the November 1996 crisis in Zaire, “in— tervention (just like nonintervention) is an inherently political action with inescap- able political consequences.”28 Even Without military forces, humanitarian efforts are profoundly political; and unless they are carefully designed, they can actually exacerbate conflicts.29 If done properly, civilian humanitarian efforts, and certainly ones supported by the use of military forces, should alter the balance ofpower in favor ofvictims. Decisions to re— main on the sidelines can be considered a form ofintervention in that by failing to help the oppressed, humanitarians comply with the oppressors. This latter view, championed especially by Méde’cins Sans Frontieres, has been gaining ground in the debate with the more traditional view espoused by the ICRC. Those of us who support the more calculating and political approach recognize that virtually all humanitarian agencies, even the iZS—year—old ICRC, are necessarily involved in political calculations and have had to compromise in many post—cold Yugoslavia’s Wars and the Humanitarian Impulse 113 war efforts.30 For example, the ICRC, in spite of its principles, relied upon armed escorts, including the infamous “technicals” in Somalia, because sometimes only such private mini—armies or gangs can secure access and protect humanitarians in ar— eas of turmoil. By actually diverting a portion of aid as bribes to those who control infrastructure, or giving in to extortion, humanitarian efforts are already deeply in~ volved in political affairs.31 As UN high commissioner for refugees Sadako Ogata has stated, ignoring the political consequences ofhumanitarianism is not an option: “Mass displacement of the most cruel kind imaginable has become a conscious ob— jective of the combatants in many armed conflicts. Humanitarian assistance is used as a weapon of war.”32 An incident in Bosnia can serve as a particularly poignant illustration of how p0» liticized humanitarian efforts have become despite their purveyors’ fervent desire to remain neutral and impartial. At the beginning of 1993, the United Nations was un— able to convince the Bosnian Serbs to let humanitarian convoys through to besieged towns in eastern Bosnia where people faced imminent starvation. Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb president who was subsequently indicted for war crimes, offered to guarantee “humanitarian corridors” of safe passage to the Muslims of Gorazde, Srebrenica, and Zepa, provided that they removed themselves from their besieged towns and thus from their islands in territory occupied by Bosnian Serbs. The Bosnian government—responding with indignation to what it saw as a pro~ posal for an abandonment of political commitment to eastern Bosnia and ethnic cleansing under humanitarian auspices—banned all aid deliveries to Sarajevo with the intention of goading the United Nations into a more aggressive stance vis—a—vis the Bosnian Serbs. Viewing this as blackmail and a clear indication that the warring parties were unwilling to respect internationally sanctioned procedures, Ogata sus— pended all relief in Serb—held Bosnia and ordered staff to withdraw from Sarajevo. On the next day, February 19, them—UN secretary-general Boutros Boutros—Ghali reversed Ogata’s decision. This incident illustrates the degree to which humanitarian endeavors can become part of the local political landscape, especially when they help to change the demo— graphic composition of an area in an ethnically charged war over territory. Even though Karadzic’s plan for eliciting humanitarian endorsement for ethnic cleansing was not accepted, on many occasions well—meaning humanitarians have greased the wheels of ethnic resettlement. This has been especially the case, understandably, when the apparent alternative was the death of civilians. Ethnic cleansing is an utter abomination. At the same time, accepting Karadzic’s offer had a strong allure. It might have been sensible, especially because the alterna— tive would have been unmentionably worse for the endangered people as a result of the West’s unwillingness to use adequate military force. We now know that Srebrenica and Zepa were overrun by Bosnian Serbs in the summer of 1995, and that the flight of tens of thousands from the area led to mayhem and murder, in— cluding a massacre in Srebrenica under the watch of Dutch UN soldiers.33 Our hu— manitarian impulse would have us turn back the clock and accept Karadzic’s “humanitarian corridor.” 1 14 Challenges ________—_—_————— Yet, this perspective and calculation are incomplete because Srebrenica’s citizens would not have been the only victims of Karadzic’s proposal. The movement out of the enclaves in eastern Bosnia would also have changed the strategic situation dra- matically by creating what the Serbs had long sought—an ethnically homogenous swath of territory bordering on Serbia itself. The delicate balance on the ground, however fragile, maintained by the various actors would have been altered. The moral justification for order is conservative, reflecting fears that tampering with established procedures could bring about an even worse state of affairs. Al- though the rejection of Karadzic’s proposal seems to have included embracing the argument on the need to preserve the strategic order, it also went beyond that to considerations of justice and morality, in that the welfare of other potential victims, especially in Sarajevo and other so—called safe areas, was part of the policy calculation. Sometimes the need to preserve order does not dominate. We are often confident that improvements can be made without risking chaos, and we even judge that dra— matic changes are imperative. In such situations, the long-term collective good may require a sacrifice of the short—term interests ofa group. Although the Bosnian gov- ernment and the United Nations did not have to sacrifice themselves, they did face the almost certain prospect ofinstitutional failure if all of eastern Bosnia turned into killing fields. They could not bow to Karadzic even though he seemed to have the capacity to realize his implied threats. In the case of Karadzic’s corridors, govern- mental and interg0vernmental officials went beyond the knee—jerk reaction charac— teristic of restorative humanitarianism. They ignored the injunction against political involvement to become thoroughly enmeshed in the political fate of threatened populations. There are many moral facets in judging appropriate responses to Karadzic, but ul— timately the justifiable rejection of his proposal involved a political judgment by both the United Nations and the Bosnian government that overrode the normal and visceral impulse to do anything in order to rescue the Muslims of eastern Bosnia. There was a greater value to be gained by not rushing to succor victims. There was also the outright rejection of the manner in which Karadzic’s proposal was framed. His implied threat that aid would not be allowed was met with a momentary stiffen— ing ofNATO resolve. His proposal made him even more ofa pariah because its con— sequences were beyond What was considered imaginable abuse even by the deterio— rating standards of behavior in the Balkans. It took some time for the United Nations and the West to realize that negotiating with Karadzic was not fruitful, even if the failure to negotiate was at loggerheads with the humanitarian impulse. Can we generalize about the unspoken, yet prag— matic, political judgments that rejected Karadzic as a partner? Can we find a system— atic way to consider relevant factors? Are there ways to analyze conflicts and leaders more quickly and directly so that We do not waste so many lives and resources in the process of blundering our way into situations Where help is counterproductive? A logical starting place would be to spell out political and ethical principles that might guide, and occasionally constrain, the humanitarian impulse. An unusual case Yugoslavia’s Wars and the Humanitarian Impulse 1 15 of principled adaptation can be seen from the UNHCR’s experience in the former Yugoslavia. RESCUING THE DISPLACED FROM YUGOSLAVIA’S WARS Humanitarian action requires effective management of inevitable political pres— sures rather than maintenance of the myth that humanitarianism and politics oc— cupy separate spheres. In the former Yugoslavia, the UNHCR’s performance il— lustrated the most that can be expected even from the most successful rescue effort. What was especially vital to the UNHCR’S leadership was the expansion of its guiding mission to include not just the right of asylum and the protection of refu— gees but also assistance for all those with a well-founded fear of persecution. From its inception, the refugee agency has operated in the interstices of sovereignty, catering to the one right in the pantheon of human rights that is both national and interna- tional.34 In the process of expanding its mandate to cover internally displaced per— sons (IDPs) and even those who were not displaced but whose lives were endan- ' gered, the UNHCR extended the legitimate purview of international organizations, although the debate will continue as to whether states have consented to this exten- sion or been unable to mount an effective protest.35 Whom should humanitarians rescue? Here it is instructive to adopt and extend the definition of displacement. “Refugees” in the sense discussed here are no longer only those persons who have crossed the border of a sovereign state with a legitimate fear of persecurion, as they were defined by the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees. They also include those who have not crossed state boundaries and thus are not entitled to special treatment by host states.36 Most are confined to the states of which they are citizens or nationals. Furthermore, in war zones such as Bosnia and Croatia, many of the neediest victims are not physically removed from their homes at all. Rather, the economic and social conditions necessary for survival are removed from them, just as they are for involuntary migrants. Displacement broadly defined to include all the victims of war is the most appropriate focus of rescue. It encompasses all those who do not have a polity or a state to which they can appeal and through which they might alter their condition without outside assistance. In the former Yugoslavia, involuntary migration was not a side effect of armed conflict; it was an explicit war aim. The theme of forceful displacement was mixed with vituperarive rhetoric, and this volatile combination preceded the actual up— rooting of groups and individuals. Being a Muslim or a Serb in the “wrong” suburb of Sarajevo or a Muslim or a Croat in Mostar or a Serb or a Croat in Vukovar meant being “in the wrong place.” The idea spread that each ethnic group had ex— clusive rights to certain geographic areas, and that these physical spaces could not be shared. This sentiment then accompanied political developments that situated ethnic or national groups within legal jurisdictions that they or their leaders found unacceptable.37 1 1 6 Challenges ——_—_—__—___— People were aware that they found themselves in the wrong political space before they were physically displaced from it. The political process—which reconstructed relations between people and their places of residence as well as made an issue of “who” would govern, rather than “how”—eliminated the basic trust that allows pol- itics to proceed without violence. For too many people, even those who did not suf— fer physical displacement, fear and hatred dominated as they were excluded from a common social and political space because of their ethnic backgrounds. The former Yugoslavia’s proximity to Western Europe and the relative socioeco- nomic privilege of its populations distinguish this case from most other complex emergencies. Geopolitical position had consequences for a variety of issues, ranging from military logistics and journalistic coverage to emigrant destinations and hu- manitarian access. Distances, logistics, the literacy of the populations, and available infrastructure were obstacles only because they were affected by the political con— flict. Unlike other complex emergencies, there was no shortage of material resources; like others, however, political will was certainly absent. Another atypical characteristic of Yugoslavia’s wars was the prevalence and sa- lience of international security organizations as actors, including the European Community (now Union), NATO, the Conference (now Organization) on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Western European Union. Although their im- pact was limited—and some observers would argue counterproductive—such a for— midable array of politically powerful and resource—rich actors is unusual in current war zones. A comparable range and depth of involvement by the West or other pow— erful military actors in other future cases of displacement would be hard to imagine. The substantial military presence meant that the UNHCR, as lead agency for the first time in the midst of armed conflict, was obliged to innovate with military liai- son and personnel. Officers borrowed from Western armed forces were temporarily based at UNHCR headquarters to help plan the airlift and manage large numbers of new recruits in the field who had no previOus military experience. Subsequently, a recently retired military officer was engaged as an adviser to the high commissioner, and the UNHCR published a manual for staff who were working side by side with outside military forces.38 Nonetheless, these organizational innovations and formi— dable military capabilities proved largely beside the point until there was political will to use them to stop the carnage in tandem with a Croatian—Bosnian military of- fensive in August through September 1995. Most important, with the urging and financial backing of a host of donors, the UNHCR succored all casualties of Yugoslavia’s wars, whatever their juridical status or physical location—a sharp departure from its traditional mandate and previous reluctance to pursue this task with the energy and enthusiasm required. As is dem— onstrated by the data presented in table 6.1, “populations of concern” to the refugee agency included all the casualties of Yugoslavia’s wars, 85 percent of whom fell out— side the mandate of the refugee agency. The UNHCR helped everyone who needed help. From the beginning, the UNHCR has expanded its protection and assistance ac— tivities. After its inception as a temporary institution with a restricted scope for refu— Yugoslavia‘s Wars and the Humanitarian Impulse 1 17 TABLE 6.1. Populations of Concern to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 1991—95 (year-end statistics) Country Population 1991 1992 I 993 I 994 1995 UNHCR Refugees .. .. 0 0 0 Assistance IDPs .. .. 1,290,000 1,282,600 1,097,800 War victims .. .. 1,450,000 1,456,700 1,442,800 Total 0 810,000 2,740,000 2,739,300 2,540,600 Croatia Refugees .. .. 280,000 183,600 188,600 1DPs .. .. 344,000 307,000 198,700 War victims .. .. 176,000 0 60,000 Total 0 648,000 800,000 490,600 447,300 FYROM Refugees .. .. 15,000 14,900 9,000 IDPs .. .. 0 0 0 War victims .. .. 12,000 0 0 Total 0 32,000 27,000 14,900 9,000 Yugoslav FR Refugees .. .. 479,100 195,500 650,000 IDPS .. .. 0 0 700 War victims .. .. 150,000 0 0 Total 500 516,500 629,100 195,500 650,700 Slovenia Refugees .. .. 45,000 29,200 22,300 iDPs .. .. 0 0 0 War Victims .. .. 0 0 0 Total 0 47,000 45,000 29,200 22,300 Total Refugees .. .. 819,100 423,200 869,900 lDPs .. .. 1,634,000 1,589,600 1,297,200 Warvictims .. .. 1,788,000 1,456,700 1,502,800 Total 500 2,053,500 4,241,100 3,469,500 3,669,900 Nate.-1DPs = internally displaced persons; FYROM = Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Yugoslav FR = Yu- goslav Federal Republic. Sourte: Compiled from various data issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. gees following World War 11, it became permanent under the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees, and global under the 1967 protocol. A concern for IDPs emerged in the 19903, though it has not been codified. The organizing principle is protecting and assisting people who require refuge in the broadest sense—those who do not have access to a state’s protection and are vulnerable to persecution. The UNHCR has been struggling to square its mandate, which is confined to ref— ugees, with the stark reality that other persons involuntarily displaced by wars are “refugees in all but name,” while still others live in “refugee-like conditions.” With civil wars on the increase in the 19905, lDPs began to outnumber refugees in many crises and eventually worldwide. The UN secretary—general and donors increasingly asked the UNHCR to assume responsibility for assisting and protecting both refu— gees and IDPs. UN high commissioner for refugees Ogata commissioned a study to spell out a “comprehensive approach to coerced human displacement.”39 1 1 8 Challenges The UNHCR truly acted as the “lead agency” in the former Yugoslavia; in UN jargon, it was in the humanitarian driver’s seat. It played a role that a growing num— ber of observers see as vital: a “UN Humanitarian Organization for Casualties of War.” With the blessing of donors, the UNHCR moved away from its usual statisti- cal preoccupation with categorizing refugees—as distinct from other civilians in need—and ceased to restrict assistance and protection efforts to those victims who had crossed an international boundary. The UNHCR seized responsibility Where the leaders of the former Yugoslavia had failed dismally. This is not to say that the UNI-ICR’s activities were without problems. It is rather the enterprising interpreta- tion of its mission along with competent implementation in difficult circumstances that needs to be emphasized.40 Accompanied by the lack of international political will, however, helping victims was clearly insufficient. HUMANITARIANISM AND SOVEREIGNTY Observers of and participants in humanitarian endeavors in the former Yugosla- via see these efforts as reweaving a tattered social fabric. They work to reconsti- tute a society in disrepair whose rescue was as successful as any such effort is ever likely to be. But this approach avoids confronting sovereignty—the principle that upholds the autonomy of populations and their polities. Humanitarian practice points us toward the ambiguity of the principles that regulate the crossing oflines demarcating autonomous societies, cultures, and nations as well as the states that represent and protect them. In normal times, these sovereign boundary lines are indispensable. In the words of Article 2(7) of the UN Charter, “nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state.” When the fabric of a community has been shredded, seeking that community’s consent for aid is problematic; its weakened condition does not allow it to respond as it might in less trying times.41 In discussions about when humanitarian intervention is justified, the fact is often overlooked that even forceful intrusions do not necessarily challenge the principle of autonomy, but rather may seek to bolster what outside soldiers are violating tempo— rarily, for the sake of restoring it. This is because there are temporarily no viable in- stitutions to exercise or express the autonomy that is presumed to be present. Hu— manitarianism is not exclusively a cosmopolitan effort to unite all humanity at the expense of the autonomy of political communities encapsulated by sovereign states. The humanitarian impulse is triggered precisely in circumstances in which the au— tonomous continuation ofa population under minimal standards ofhuman dignity is jeopardized. The UNHCR’s efforts in pre—Dayton Yugoslavia can be usefully viewed as a response to the condition of displacement broadly understood, whereby people had no ground on which to stand, no place in which to exercise their autonomy. The essential question then becomes not one of respecting it but rather one of un- derstanding the nature of the processes through which outside humanitarians partic— Yugoslavia’s Wars and the Humanitarian Impulse 119 / ipate in reweaving an unraveled autonomy. Are humanitarians restoring the auton- omy of the people whom they rush to rescue or are they partic1pating in a more revolutionary pr0cess through which they are establishing a lasting link With the en— dangered population, contravening the habit of moral separation reflected by sover— eignty? A direct examination of this question should help clarify the difficulties in defining the exact role of the humanitarian impulse in contemporary world politics. The activation of the humanitarian impulse shines a new light on the boundaries that once preserved the integrity of a polity and its dignity as an independent cul— ture. We suddenly recognize the salience of boundaries that in normal times are taken for granted. Populations “over there” are no longer primarily an autonomous strand of the global fabric; they become humans in inhuman distress. Is the goal to restore autonomy along pre-emergency lines or to reweave a cloth so that it will be better able to Withstand future crises, something that implies a deeper intrusion into the political lives of the distressed population? Before considering the justification for each alternative, it would be useful to de— lineate the relationship between humanitarianism and sovereignty. The original overriding concern of the former—best exemplified by the venerable ICRC and in— ternational humanitarian law—was to limit the most destructive and indiscriminate consequences of armed conflicts among sovereign states and a few aspects of civil war.42 If there were questions regarding the status of the belligerents and their links to populations for whom they claimed to be fighting, their control over such popu— lations and a fixed territory provided a reliable guideline to the domain of their re— sponsibilities.43 Outsiders would adjust their relations to a particular conflict'or complex emergency by recognizing a specific government or authority as reflective of legitimate sovereignty. Today, the humanitarian impulse often responds to Situa— tions in which there are no integral polities—no viable unities of government, peo— ple, and territory to serve as candidates for sovereignty. With the agents of outside assistance as the saintly executors of a universal moral sense, the humanitarian impulse collapses the barriers that normally separate Ameri— cans and Swedes from Bosnians and Rwandans. The moral barriers between “us” and “them” dissolve as we encounter naked humanity and are exposed to misery that is no longer mediated by social differences and distance. No culture, custom, reli— gion, or ethnicity ever justifies the suffering that befalls individuals in a complex emergency. Individuals just like us, possibly huddling together in families or family— like groups, await assistance from those to whom they have established a direct link of common humanity by virtue of having fallen out of the social and cultural web that had made them closer to one another than they were to us. Now, as humanitar— ian subjects, they are equally close to all of us. . The recent unleashing of the humanitarian impulse reveals the extent to which sovereignty is no longer sacrosanct.44 When the suffering of entire populations over— whelms their capacity to fend for themselves, we sometimes bound over the barriers of sovereignty because the victims are no longer strangers. Their threatened exrs— tence connects them intimately to us through their ineffable humanity. Differences of culture, nation, ethnicity, and religion are no longer a concern because they will 120 Challenges . . . . . S ersist only in diminished form, if at all, should their carriers perish. In suclfitirréef, , . . 1 _ Idistressed humanity is “over here,’ unadorned by soc1al artifice and shorn 0 its ferences and exoticism. . . ' k ' a ers Nonetheless, the Shibboleth of sovereignty remains hkeylsvlgen decisior; S ' ' ' ' ' on e examine ispa - n intervention. Sovereignty s I contemplate humanitaria ‘ . . I . 45 t ls sionately- we should not delude ourselves into thinking that it is anatural fact. I J . a- not an insurmountable mountain. As a conceptual shorthand, sovereignty summ ' ' 46 ' ' l conSiderations. rizes a series of other mora - 4 . Sovereignty promises and protects much that is valuable. 7 It is meant tfo preserve . m_ autonomy in the same way that we mean to preserve the independencle 0 our co , u n n - n s n x munities workplaces, and family life in domestic politics. In panic: at, we e p I ’ ' om . n and insist that others, espCCially the state, respect our separatenelss at; :utlpn dyrics ' ' ' ' t e oun a i ' ' delineates the units of surViva an international affairs, sovereignty I heir ofidentity But it is not only for the protection of people who want t: preslerve td . ' — imite — distinctiveness Humanity benefits from knowledge no matter ‘ow B I ' er— about the variety of potential modes of human existence and association.l ultjsov . . . . . 0_ ignty also remains frustrating for humanitarians because it diVides pjop es dy pr 6 u n - O ' ' ' ' oral distance an prov1 es n ’ ereignty establishes a m . tectin their diversity. Sov _ I s- guidegwhen the autonomy that it so absolutely enshrines Collapses or is used to in ti intolerable abuse. . . . ~ . an fyHumanitarianism can thus be viewed as a prinCiple that indirectly linksfhum ' ' ‘ ‘ rmist beings recognizing the fallen barrier of sovereignty to resurrect it. I}; its re obl' h, i ' ' ' ' ' ' t a means or reesta is — ' ' anism is not an end in itself bu restorative guise, humanitari . I . to the ing the sovereign separateness of target populations. Humanitarian rgsponsles k in ’ wor failures of sovereign divisions can be compared With the emergence‘o sou:l n r . . . . C _ domestic polities The progress of capitalism and modernization ineVita y g? . u . u 4 re— ates victims whose suffering demands mitigation, and soc1al workers help peop e ' ‘ 48 am their autonomy. . . n— g The comparison of humanitarian efforts to soc1al work 154apt because ofdthe co d ' i ' ' 9 n ere trast with conventional notions of foreign policy practice. Mortally er;1 a. gd t . . . . e 0 opulations lose their diplomatic VOice because no one in particular is apt oriz p eak or act on their behalf. 50 In spite of their broad mandates, various intergovern— s n - I ~ . . t1- riiental and nongovernmental humanitarian organizations inev1tably seek to nego ' ‘ ‘ ' ‘ enous sovereign to as— " ‘ sentatives, but there is no indig ate With authoritative repre . I . red sume responsibility. And the relationship of other sovereignsuto‘the kelndarfifge. ' ' ' ‘ttle to a evxate t e su ering ‘ ‘ Conventional recognition does li opulation is not clear. ' . i to ad- fhat indigenous aspirants to sovereignty are usually unprepared or.unWillhng' a dress Humanitarianism, then, helps reconstitute a moral community so t at it y .a ain function as an autonomous member of international soc1ety, permitting 0 . u n us to rfturn to and reinforce the habits of moral separation that undergird the in national society of sovereigns. I . . ‘ . ‘ e Diplomacy rests on a process of competition, be it cooperative or Canlleth', ' ' ' usi— through which agents of sovereign populations occasionally gather to cinI uclt1 h ' ' . n t e u— ness and reaffirm the distinctiveness of the peoples for whom they spea Yugoslavia’s Wars and the Humanitarian Impulse 121 N manitarian context, there is no sovereign to speak for the destitute. Those mortally endangered have lost the capacity to assert their separate identities, and they require outside humanitarian attention because the vessel that carried them has run aground. Foreign ministers and heads of state have seen their role in the emergence of humanitarianism as an effort to simultaneously save the drowning wretches and rebuild their vessel—to relocate them in the ship of state that carried them before the onset of disaster. That the person at the helm may be a war criminal who has of— fended humanity itself is frequently attributed to the unavoidable realities of world politics. Certainly the more privileged sovereigns may come to the conclusion that social work is not their business, and that there is virtually no national interest to be pursued or protected in complex emergencies. If that is to be the case, we should recognize and acknowledge the nature of such decisions, being careful not to delude ourselves into thinking that to resist the hu- manitarian impulse is simply to realize that there are limits to what can be done in the uncertain and insecure international realm. Such decisions also question the lim- its of our identities and what we think of ourselves.51 When humanitarians rush to rescue, sovereignty fades. Moral barriers crumble as the suffering of now-intimate others authorizes assistance and insists upon access to on of boundaries that preserve diversity and pluralism becomes a weak excuse for not acting according to our moral sense, which says that we cannot vival, which obviously is the pre argument is further complicated ascertain. One dilemma is a heig digenous survival mechanisms,52 “Do no harm.”53 condition for their continued dignity. This line of because the benefits of rescue are often difficult to htened dependence that distorts and displaces in- Which has led one analyst to a new bottom line: pulse is a reflection of a universal moral sense that sover— ei n does not bar our concern for stran ers in distress. The ex ansion of humani- P tarian efforts in the post—cold war era indicates that sovereignty is waning, though those Whose powers, prerogatives, and rect connection to distressed humanity. Humanity, however, is not a category for which we have prepared our political concepts, despite the seeming internationalization of human rights and humanitar— ian discourse.54 Hannah Arendt, Who drew on her own experience of displacement, discussed “the terror of the idea of humanity” and the existential burden that it placed on fellow humans.SS Indeed, the history of the stateless and of refugees was a Arendt, we can appreciate the challenge displaced populations represent to the deCi— ' overei n states. . Slogialcifrlfgreat tribulations in the twentieth centurywas statelessnfessziwhich Arendt equated with rightlessness. For her, the exerCise of rights that was ulnd amen— tal to the human condition was n0t a question of moral philosophy or lega. ocigrine but a matter of political action. The horror of displacement was the COdI'ldltlon ol‘nOt being engaged in the political construction of one 5 life: She looke to.a poditics across state domains as an alternative to the arbitrary deciSions of States {)0 ipcbu e o; exclude portions of humanity. And this mode of politics. was to be ui t y an around precisely those people who had no state to call their'own. . d ‘ 1 Rescue in complex emergencies is problematic because it is triggere precte y when the autonomy of a society is in jeopardy. To return to our original met-ap (1)11', we seek to bring the drowning person back to a beach Whose sands shift cofifitinua Z and which is occupied by deadly armed combatants who hamper relief e orts an often menace victims and aid personnel as well. Such rescue efforts attempft to re- turn the endangered populations to a status quo ante. The central paradox o relcue thus is that it seeks to restore a social order that has failed to protect its mem ersl from natural or manmade deprivations. Triggering the humanitarian impulse, soICia collapse leads to justifications for the rush of aid, relief, and crisis diplomacy. t 1is then, at best, short—sighted to restore any soc1al order that Will be autonomous on y to the extent that outsiders will have politically disengaged themselves. d h The case of the former Yugoslavia illustrates that while we may want tof o :1 e right thing, the right thing to do is not always obVious, although we have 0 :ierirhe ceived ourselves into embracing a simplistic idea of rescue as an absolute glpo1 . is concept implies that one is going to pull drowning strangers from a tur u est sea and restore them to firm ground, whereupon they Will be able to continue a igni— fied life as the same strangers they were before the peril. In spite of the reluctance to utter the “N-word”—nation building—after Vietnam and Somalia, :e hoqe to rec—1 store populations to conditions in which they Will be able to sustainlt erlnseges an 1 remain a self-contained entity “foreign” to us and separated by the ega an mora ' e soverei n . i ' bo$::f1lfi:p);:ri:twhen thegnetZd for rescue becomes episodic and almost routinized? Interventions closely modeled after Good Samaritan rescue often seefm to requi}:e repetition—for example, Liberia, the Sudan,.and Rwanda. In the past 5w years, e term “exit strategy,” which provides a deadline for disengagement an not a (Efrite rion of success, has entered the humanitarian lexrcon. I-Iowever, future rescue e orts almost become assured in such cases, as experiences in Somalia and Haiti suggest.f The exit of outsiders is simply not an adequate test for the autonomy of the target, (1 that is to be our concern. As UN high commissioner for refugees anra ha; state I, time and patience are required because “there is certainly no such thing as a umani— ' ' rike.”56 ‘ mfg]: 11:35:: tyet thought through what it will mean to move beyond the ineffefi— tive and sporadic conscience-salving variety of rescue whose main motivation is t e Yugoslavia’s Wars and the Humanitarian Impulse 123 removal of horrific images from our television screens and newspapers.57 Popula— tions in danger require sustained commitments that are different from the current approach of rescue. i Institutionalizing such a sustained humanitarianism is problematic because it would establish a direct moral link to “foreigners” and a lasting responsibility to— ward them. Moreover, we could not easily extricate ourselves, contrary to George Kennan’s argument with respect to the US role in today’s humanitarian interven- tions. He has proposed that the United States return to the kind of policy promoted by John Quincy Adams, whereby we would help not by actually getting involved but by concentrating on perfecting our own polity and allowing it to serve as an ex- ample for others: The interventions in which we are now engaged or committed represent serious responsibilities. Any abrupt withdrawal from them would be a violation of these responsibilities. . . . Only when we have succeeded in extracting ourselves from the existing ones with dignity and honor will the question of further interven— tions present itself to us in the way it did to Mr. Adams.58 Kennan implies a responsibility to ourselves and to those whom we seek to help, but the nature of this responsibility is unclear. Removing the official agents of states from the territory of a failed sovereign makes matters appear simpler for those who have the capacity to help. But it does nothing to clarify the inevitable continuation of relations among different populations and their representatives, which relations are neither terminated nor simplified by outside military and diplomatic engage- ment or disengagement. To see sovereignty as an unquestioned idea that aims to preserve the good of a plurality of nations, societies, and cultures seeking to survive on their own is to evade responsibilities that attach to already existing relations among societies. At present, we are trapped between two principles: one that asks us to restore sover— eignty and one that tells us to embrace the long-term transnational responsibilities that emerge from the pursuit of humanitarianism as an end in itself. CONCLUSION Bridging the normative gap between restorative and revolutionary humanitarian- ism—between actions that seek to rebuild state sovereignty and those that seek to transcend it—is a central foreign policy challenge. Groping to go beyond res— cue—having learned, often painfully, about its limitations—is the priority agenda item for humanitarians, be they scholars or practitioners. We cannot rely on sovereignty to take care ofitself, nor are we certain how to control the humani— tarian impulse that causes us to rush in to rescue those who can no longer look to a sovereign to assure their survival. Rescue is misleading in that it fails to ac— knowledge the possibly irreparable disorder that preceded the crisis that moti— 124 Challenges \ vated the rescue. Moreover, rescue fails to recognize the moral implications {h manitarian connections across borders. 0 u— The UNHCR’s experience in the former Yugoslavia exemplified its role as an ' stitution located at the interstices of sovereignty. It was designed to help the Com— munity of states manage the people who fled beyond the borders of certain mem- bers, relocating them in appropriate sovereign jurisdictions. With the emer enc Inf internal displacement as a global problem and its direct, violent politicizatioi met}? case of the former Yugoslavia, the UNHCR extended the principle of caring for refe ugees to encompass all victims. Its legitimacy rested on its charge to assist all tho - without refuge, whatever their physical location or juridical status. However limit 8: its discretion as an agent of member states, the UNHCR and the humanitarian cor: munity that it led sought to rescue endangered populations where neither indi — nous not outside political authorities took their responsibilities to these populatioge— seriously. HS Although the UNHCR extended itself admirably as rescue coordinator in the for mer Yugoslavia, it was not in a position to challenge the political problems that caused the suffering in the first place and, in fact, allowed it to continue.59 The man- agement of the conflict almost exclusively through the politics of rescue also served to delay and perhaps eclipse consideration of the mutual obligations of the rescuers and the rescued beyond the immediacy of the emergency phase. The final outcome of the Dayton process is far from clear as of this writing, but the international com- munity, with the United States at the helm, seems intent on restoring minimall sustainable sovereign boundaries as a prelude to an eventual disengagement of out): side military forces.60 The peoples of the former Yugoslavia were rescued under the restorative princi le of humanitarianism. We should realize the limits of humanitarianism inherentpin the politics of rescue; otherwise, we can do additional injustice by not considerin the political relationships that accompany the humanitarian impulse. Thus it is no? so much the separation ofhumanitarianism and politics that presents a challen e for the future as it is the conscious analysis and management of the tensions betgween them. From a global perspective, dilemmas attending the scarcity of resources and the burgeoning demands for rescue can be compared with triage in medical emer— gencies.61 Decisions regarding who gets first attention and scarce medical resources are based on a stock of medical knowledge and a corpus of medical ethics sup orted by well—worn practice. In the rapidly changing field of politically conscious hupmani— tat1an engagement, however, we have only begun to digest the profound im lica- tions of “humanitarian war”62 and the inherent limits of multilateral militap ef— forts.63 There is no return to the apparent clarity and simplicity of the decades ghen cold war politics persuaded us too easily that who was worth rescuing and who was not depended upon ideological or geopolitical affiliations. We can continue to assume the appropriateness and applicability of an apolitical and automatic response to earthquakes or other natural disasters. Although these also will have political implications, they will be relatively minor in comparison with Yugoslavia’s Wars and the Humanitarian Impulse 125 /____—— the straightforward charge to alleviate suffering. Complex humanitarian emergen— cie5, however, are different. They often overwhelm in not just short—term but also long—term local coping capacities, as well as the coping capacities of the international humanitarian system. It is necessary to contemplate the need, rationale, and conse— quences of lending helping hands in such circumstances. Developments that bring about deterioration in the human condition, cause international outrage, and cata— lyze responses are also part of the social fabric that outside assistance is supposed to mend. Humanitarians must proceed into this maelstrom with care, reflecting before responding rather than acting impulsively. They must recognize that they are not simply mending a rent fabric but also participating in the process through which it is being repaired. The rescue model of intervention implies discrete acts of assistance that seek to re— store a person or a group of persons to a position of autonomy. The person in need is a stranger, a fellow human with whom we share little besides our common hu- manity. When we help, we also enlarge and dignify ourselves. Our humanity be- comes more expansive and encompassing. The relationship between the rescuer and the rescued is based on a simple occurrence. Nothing significant changes in the rela— tions between the strangers—except perhaps a warm afterglow of common affec— . tion—because isolated acts of kindness are not integrated into an ongoing relationship. But this image misrepresents the mutual involvement of the agents of the interna— tional humanitarian system and the peoples of the former Yugoslavia. Thus, rescue provides no guidance or justification for the politics that it is supposed to guide. This was clear from 1991 to 1995, and it also was evident from the implementation of the Dayton agreements. Bosnia’s displaced people—those who were rescued and promised the choice of returning to their home5*continue to complicate what might otherwise have been a symbolically multiethnic state divided along orderly ethnic lines.64 It is in our vacillating commitment to the promise made that we again see the inadequacy of rescue as a guiding principle. If we are unable or unwilling to provide a clear justification for the political action that we undertake in response to the humanitarian impulse, we should at least be honest and skeptical about our own kindness. NOTES / This chapter draws on the authors’ study of human displacement in the former Yugoslavia. See Weiss and Pasic, “Dealing with Displacement and Suffering from Yugoslavia’s Wars: Concep— tual and Operational Issues,” in Masses in Flight, ed. Roberta Cohen and Francis M. Deng, Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1998). The authors thank Jarat Chopra for his comments and Béla Hovy for his help in generating statistics. 1. Raimo Vayrenen, “The Age of Humanitarian Emergencies,” draft working paper, World Institute for Development Economics Research, Helsinki, June 1996. 126 Challenges 2. 10. 11. See Samuel M. Makinda, “Sovereignty and International Security,” Global Governance 2 (May—August 1996): 149—68; and Thomas C. Weiss, “Military—Civilian Humanitarian- ism: The ‘Age of Innocence’ Is Over,” International PeacekeepingZ (summer 1995): 157— 74. Paul Wapner, “Politics beyond the State: Environmental Activism and World Civic Poli- tics,” World Politics 47 (April 1995): 311—40; and Kelly Kate Pease and David P, Forsythe, “Human Rights, Humanitarian Intervention, and World Politics," Human Rights Quarterly 15 (1993): 290—314. See a special issue, “Rescue—The Paradoxes of Virtue,” Social Research 62 (spring 1995), especially Michael Waller, “The Politics of Rescue,” 53—66. See also David Rieff, “The Humanitarian Trap,” World Policyjournal 12 (winter 1994—95): 1—1 1. See Stephen Krasner, “Sovereignty and Intervention” in Beyond Westphalia? State Sover— eignty and International Intervention, ed. Gene Lyons and Michael Mastanduno (Balti- more: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995); and Hedley Bull, ed., Intervention in World Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984). Complete bibliographic information and its interpretation are found in Oliver Famsbotham and Tom Woodhouse, Humanitarian Intervention in Contemporary Conflict (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1996). See also John Harriss, ed., The Politics of Humanitarian Intervention (London: Pinter, 1995); James Mayall, ed., The New Interventionism: United Nation: Experience in Camhodia, Former Yugoslavia, and Somalia (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996); and Jan Nederveen Pieterse, ed., World Order: in the Making: Humanitarian Intervention and Beyond (London: Macmillan, 1998). See Larry Minear and Thomas C. Weiss, Mercy under Fire: War and the Glohal Humani— tarian Community (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1995); and Minear and Weiss, Hu— manitarian Politics (New York: Foreign Policy Association, 1995). Bill Clinton, “Why Bosnia Matters to America,” Newsweek, November 13, 1995, 55. Here it is interesting to note the alteration in the French literature from devoir (or duty) to droit (right). See Bernard Kouchner and Mario Bettati, Le devoir d ’ingerence: Peut—on les lairser mourir? (Paris: Denoel, 1987), and Mario Bettati, Le droit d ’inge'rence: Mutation de l ’ora're international (Paris: Odile Jacob, 1996). U.S. Department of State, Clinton Administration ’5 Polity on Reforming Multilateral Peace Operationr, Pub. 1061, Bureau of IO Affairs (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 1994), which explicates a presidential directive known as PDD—25. See also Chris Seiple, The U.S. Military/NCO Relationships in Humanitarian Intervention: Washing— ton, D.C.: U.S. Army War College Peacekeeping Institute, Center for Strategic Leader— ship, 1996); Com. Richard R. Beardsworth, Com. Richard V. Kikla, Lt. Col. Philip F. Shutler, and Col. Guy C. Swan, “Strengthening Coordination Mechanisms between NGOs and the U.S. Military at the Theater/Country Level During Complex Humani— tarian Emergencies," draft, Harvard University National Security Program, Cambridge, Mass., March 1996; and Kenneth Allard, Somalia Operations: Lessons Learned (Washing— ton, D.C.: National Defense University Press, 1995). For a critical perspective proposing that preparation-for and engagement in peace operations diminish the military’s pre— paredness, see Col. Charles J. Dunlap, “The Last American Warrior: Non—traditional Missions and the Decline of the U.S. Armed Forces,” Fletcher Forumfin WorldAfiairs 18 (winter—spring 1994): 65—82. See R. M. Connaughton, Military Support and Protection for Humanitarian Assistance.- Rwana’a, April—December 1994 (Camberly, U.K.: Strategic and Combat Studies Insti— Yugoslavia’s Wars and the Humanitarian Impulse 127 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. tute, 1996), 71. See also Hugo Slim, “The Stretcher and the Drum: Civil—Military Rela— tions in Peace Support Operations,” paper presented at a conference in Pretoria, South Africa, March 13—14, 1996. See Thomas G. Weiss and Amir Pasic, “Reinventing UNHCR: Enterprising Humanitar— ians in the Former Yugoslavia, 1991—1995,” Glohal Governance 3 (January—March 1997): 41-57. U.S. Mission to the United Nations, “Global Humanitarian Emergencies,” New York, February 1996, 24. The periods vary slightly, and there may be some needs and some dis- bursements not reflected in the data. The accuracy of the broad comparative data and the privileged position of the former Yugoslavia, however, are clear. Quoted by Alison Mitchell, “Clinton’s About—Face,” New York Timer, September 24, 1996, A8. Cedric Thornberry, “Saving the War Crimes Tribunal,” Foreign Policy 104 (fall 1996): 72—85; quote at 75. For an elaboration of the foundational role played by neutrality and impartiality at the core of the identity and mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, see Denise Plattner, “ICRC Neutrality and Neutrality in Humanitarian Assistance,” International Review of the Red Cross 36 (March—April 1996): 161—79. Clearly, our discussion assumes that humanitarianism , cannot be apolitical and that the dilemma at hand revolves around the principled relation between humanitarianism and sovereignty. E. g., see Rabia Ali and Lawrence Lifschultz, eds., Why Bosnia? Writing: on the Balkan War (Stony Creek, Conn: Pamphleteer’s Press, 1993). For a review of the limits of the post—cold war ambitions of humanitarian intervention, see Stephen John Stedman, “The New Interventionists,n Foreign Aflairs 72 (winter 1993): 1—16. For a normative argument in the opposite direction, see Nigel Rodley, ed., To Loose the Bondr of W/ickednerr: International Intervention in Defence of Human Right: (London: Brassey’s, 1992). The most controversial analysis is Rakiya Omaar and Alex de Waal, Humanitarianirm Unhound? Current Dilemmas Facing Multi-Mandate Relief Operations in Political Emer- gencies, Discussion Paper 5 (London: African Rights, 1994). There is also a rapidly grow— ing literature on the political dimensions of humanitarian action and peacekeeping; e.g., see Jarat Chopra, “The Space of Peace—Maintenance,” Political Geography 15 (March— April 1996): 335—57, and Antonio Donini, The Policies ofMercy: UN Coordination in Af3 ghanistan, Mozamhique, and Rwanda, Occasional Paper 22 (Providence: Thomas Wat— son Jr. Institute for International Studies, 1996). Alain Destexhe, “Foreword,” in Population: in Danger, ed. Francois Jean (London: Me’de’cins Sans Frontieres, 1995), 13—14. For a recent infusion of sobriety, see Ed Mansfield and Jack Snyder, “Democratization and the Danger ofWar,” International Security 20 (summer 1995): 5—38. A less technical version can be found in Foreign Afiairr 74 (May—June 1995): 79—97. For a general argu— ment regarding the priority of order over justice, see Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977). For collections of essays, see Marianne Heiberg, ed., Suhduing Sovereignty: Sovereignty and the Right to Intervene (New York: Saint Martin’s Press, 1994); Lyons and Mastanduno, Beyond Westphalia? and Paul A. Winters, ed., Interventionitm: Current Con— troversies (San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1995). 128 Challenges \ 23 24. 25. 26. 27, 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. . See Gerald B. Helman and Steven R. Ratner, “Saving Failed States,” Foreign Poli 89 (winter 1992—93): 3—20, and I. William Zartman, ed., Collapsed States: GIT/jg 1D9i;i5n)tegration and Restoration of Legitimate Authority (Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner See Stanley Hoffmann, Duties beyond Borders: On the Limits and Possihilities ofEthical I ternational Politics (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1981). n- For a brief overview of the political obstacles that marred the humanitarian mission i Bosnia, see Mark Prutsalis, “Humanitarian Aid: Too Little, Too Late,” in With No Peacn to Keep: United Nations Peacekeeping and the War in the Former Yugoslavia ed Ben Coe hen and George Stamkoski (London: Grainpress Ltd., 1995). , i — One analytical effort to understand this phenomenon is Thomas G. Weiss and Cind Collins, Humanitarian Challenges and Intervention: World Politics and the Dilemmas 0)} Help (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1996) Susan Woodward, “Redrawing Borders in a Period of Systemic Transition,” in Interna— tional Organizations and Ethnic Conflict, ed. Milton Esman and Shibley Telhami (Ithaca N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1995), 213. , Chester A. Crocker, “All Aid Is Political,” New York Times, November 21, 1996 A29 See John Prendergast, Frontline Diplomacy: Humanitarian Aid and Conflict in) Africa (Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner, 1996); and Michael Maren, The Road to Hell: The Rav— aging Eflects of Foreign Aid and International Charity (New York: Free Press, 1997) For discussions of the I CRC’s principles and approaches, see David P. F orsythe Human- itarian Politics (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977), and James’A Jo ce Red Cross International and the Strategy fitr Peace (New York: Oceana, 1959). i y ’ See the discussion of the use of relief resources to feed soldiers and as bribes for safe pas- sage in Age Eknes, “The United Nations’ Predicament in the Former Yugoslavia ” in The United Nations and Civil Wars, ed. Thomas G. Weiss (Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner 1995); in mid—1994, Eknes wrote in this chapter: “The accusation that the United Na: tions has indirectly legitimized ethnic cleansing and territorial aggression does not bite as much today—not because it is less true but because it has become a fact of life” (p. 124) For a discussion of the possible manipulation of aid agencies by belligerents, see Gayle E. Smith, “Relief Operations and Military Strategy,” in Humanitarianism across Borders: Sustaining Civilians in Times of War, ed. Thomas G. Weiss and Larry Minear (Boulder. Colo.: Lynne Rienner, 1993). ’ Quoted by Christopher S. Wren “Resettling Refu - U ' ” , gees. N Facm N B d York Times, November 24, 1995, A15. g CW ur en) VNew See 0. van der Wind, Report Based on the Dehrity‘ing on Srehrenica (Assen: Netherlands Ministry of Defense, 1995). Ernst Tugendhat, “The Moral Dilemma in the Rescue of Refugees,” Social Research 62 (spring 1995): 127—41. For a discussion of migration as a multifaceted security issue, see Michael S. Teitelbaum and Myron Weiner, eds, Threatened Peoples, Threatened Borders: World Migration and US. Foreign Policy (New York: Norton, 1995), and Myron Weiner, ed., International Migration and Security (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1993). For an overview of the issues raised by the secretary—general on internally displaced per— sons, see Francis M. Deng, Protecting the Dis-possessed: A Challenge for the International Community (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1993). See also Roberta Cohen and Jacques Cuénod, Improving Institutional Arrangements for the Internally Dis- placed (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1995), and Deng, “Dealing with 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. Yugoslavia’s Wars and the Humanitarian Impulse 129 the Displaced: A Challenge to the International Community,” Global Governance 1 (win— ter 1995): 45—58. See Bogdan Denitch, Ethnic Nationalism: The Tragic Death of Yugoslavia (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994), 173-85; Norman Cigar, Genocide in Bosnia: The Policy of “Ethnic Cleansing” (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1995), 22— 37; V. P. Gagnon, “Ethnic Nationalism and International Conflict: The Case of Serbia,” International Security 19 (winter 1994—95): 130—66; Branka Magas, The Destruction of Yugoslavia: Tracking the Breakup 1980—92 (London: Verso, 1993); Slavko Curuvija and Ivan Torov, “The March to War (1980—1990),” in Yugoslavia} Ethnic Nightmare: The Inside Story ofEurope} Unfolding Ordeal ed. Jasminka Udovicki and James Ridgeway (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1995); Misha Glenny, The Fall onugoslavia: The Third Balkan War (New York: Penguin, 1992); Susan Woodward, Balkan Tragedy: Chaos and Dissolution after the Cold War (\Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1995); and Richard H. Ullman, ed., The World and Yugoslavia} Wars (New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1996). See Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Handhookfitr the Military on Humanitarian Operations (Geneva: Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 1995). Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Division of International Protec- . tion, UNHCR} Operational Experience with Internally Displaced Persons (Geneva: Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 1994). See Alex Cunliffe and Michael Pugh, “The UNHCR as Lead Agency in the Former Yu— goslavia,” journal ofHumanitarian Assistance (April 1, 1996); http://131.1 11.106.147/ articles/A01 1.htm. For an explication of the need to have consent and preserve “the autonomy of the ‘tar« get’,” see Michael Joseph Smith, “Ethics and Intervention,” Ethics é“InternationalAflizirs 3 (1989): 1—26. See Geoffrey Best, Humanity in Warfare (New York: Columbia University Press, 1980); Sheldon M. Cohen, Arms and judgment: Law, Morality, and the Conduct of Warfizre in the Twentieth Century (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1989); and Hilaire McCoubrey and Nigel D. White, International Law and Armed Conflict (Aldershot, U.K.: Dartmouth, 1992). The classic text is Hersch Lauterpacht, Recognition in International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1947). See also James Crawford, The Creation of States in International Law (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979). See Jarat Chopra and Thomas G. Weiss, “Sovereignty Is No Longer Sacrosanct,” Ethics é“ International Aflizirs 6 (1992): 95—1 17. See Thomas Biersteker and Cynthia Weber, eds., State Sovereignty as Social Construct (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996). Indeed, when scholars defend the principle of nonintervention, they elucidate the posi» tive aspect of sovereignty. See, e.g., Michael Waller, “The Moral Standing of States: A Response to Four Critics,” in International Ethics: A Philosophy and PuhlicAfl‘airs Reader, ed. Charles Beitz et 31. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1985). See Terry Nardin, Law, Morality, and the Relations ofStates (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1983). See, e.g., June Axinn and Herman Levin, Social Welfizre: A History of the American Re~ sponse to Need (New York: Longman, 1992). See Michael Mandelbaum, “Foreign Policy as Social Work," Foreign Aflizirs 75 (January- February 1996): 1—16. 1 30 Challenges —_—’—_——————— 50. For a discussion about living up to the responsibilities of sovereignty with particular refer— ence to IDPs, see Francis M. Deng, “Frontiers of Sovereignty,” Leiden journal ofIntema_ tional Law 8 (1995): 249—86. 51. For a psychological description of the processes that lead to international human rights advocacy and the concern for those outside one’s own domestic polity, see Todd E_ Jennings, “The Developmental Dialecric of International Human Rights Advocacy,” Pa- litical Psychology 17 (March 1996): 77-95. 52. See John Prendergast and Colin Scott, “Aid with Integrity: Avoiding the Potential of Hu— manitarian Aid to Sustain Conflict; A Strategy for USAID/BHR/OFDA in Complex Emergencies,” draft manuscript, Center of Concern, Washington, DC, March 1996, 53. Mary B. Anderson, Do No Harm: Supporting Local Capacities for Peace through Aid (Cam— bridge, Mass.: Collaborative for Development Action, 1996). 54. See David P. Forsythe, The Internationalization of Human Rights (Lexington, Mass,; Lexington Books, 1991); Jack Donnelly, Universal Human Rights (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1989); and Jonathan I. Charney, “Universal International Law, ” Ameri— can journal ofInternational Law 87 (October 1993): 529—51. 55. See Hannah Arendt, “Peace or Armistice in the Near East,” in The few as Pariah, ed. Ron Feldman (New York: Grove Press, 1978). See also Jeffrey C. Isaac, “A New Guarantee on Earth,” American Political Science Review 90 (March 1996): 61—73. 56. Sadako Ogata, <(Opening Address,” in Healing the Wounds: Refugees, Reconstruction and Reconciliation (New York: International Peace Academy, 1996), 5. 57. For discussions of this phenomenon, see Robert I. Rotberg and Thomas G. Weiss, eds., From Massacres to Genocide: The Media, Public Policy, and Humanitarian Crises (\Washing— ton, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1996); Larry Minear, Colin Scott, and Thomas G. Weiss, The News Media, Civil War, and Humanitarian Action (Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner, 1996); Edward Girarder, ed, Somalia, Rwanda, and Beyond: The Role if the Inter— national Media in Wars and Humanitarian Crises, Crosslines Special Report 1 (Dublin: Crosslines Communications, 1995); Johanna Newman, Lights, Camera, War(New York: Saint Martin’s Press, 1996); and Nik Gowing, Real—Time Television Coverage affirmed Conflicts and Diplomatic Crises (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard Shorenstein Center, 1994). 58. George Kennan, “On American Principles,” Foreign Afiairs 74 (March—April 1995): 116—26, at 124. 59. See Thomas G. Weiss, “Collective Spinelessness: U.N. Actions in the Former Yugosla- via,” in World and Yugoslavia} Wars, ed. Ullman, 59—96. 60. The role of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia as an agent of the international community in the reconciliation process may imply a more lasting com— mitment to the peoples who were rescued. See Madeleine K. Albright, “Bosnia in Light of the Holocaust: War Crimes Tribunals,” US. Department of State Dispatch 5 (April 18, 1994): 209—12. For a more skeptical view, see Thornberry, “Saving the War Crimes Tribunal.” 61. Thomas G. Weiss, “Triage: Humanitarian Interventions in a New Era," World Policy journal 11 (spring 1994): 1—10. 62. See Adam Roberts, “Humanitarian War: Military Intervention and Human Rights,” [n- ternational Aflairs 69 (1993): 429—49. 63. For a straightforward realist perspective, see John J. Mearsheimer, “The False Promise of International Institutions,” International Security, winter 1994-95: 5—49. 64. See Open Media Research Institute (OMRI), “Pursuing Balkan Peace,” OMRI Special Report 1 (Chlumova, Czech Republic: OMRI, 1996). SEVEN Humanitarian Intervention: Which Way Forward? Richard Caplan One of the fundamental weaknesses of the international order highlighted by the crisis in Kosovo is the gap between entitlements to human rights and the avail— ability of mechanisms to ensure respect for these rights. By virtue of customary law and numerous international covenants, individuals enjoy formal protection from genocide, crimes against humanity, and violations of the laws ofwar, among other guarantees. Yet states may choose to ignore their humanitarian obligations, as several have done in recent years, and though there are a number of enforce— ment mechanisms at the disposal of the international community, many of these rely for their effectiveness on the consent of the parties involved or, if resort is made to the use of force, on the support of the UN Security Council. NATO’s bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999 represented a bold attempt to overcome this weakness of the interna- tional order. When the UN Security Council proved unwilling to take stronger measures in defense of humanitarian principles in Kosovo, the nineteen—member NATO Chose to arrogate the responsibility to itself. The absence of a Security Council mandate raised serious questions about the legality of the NATO opera— tion, but NATO’s member states saw their actions as possessing in legitimacy what they may have lacked in lawfulness. As French President Jacques Chirac explained when NATO first threatened to use force against Yugoslavia in October 1998, France “considers that any military action must be requested and decided by the Se— curity Council [but] the humanitarian situation constitutes a ground that can justify an exception to a rule, however strong and firm it is.“1 This approach, though perhaps effective, was and remains a risky proposition. In principle, any state would have been within its rights to come to the defense of Yu— ...
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pasic and weiss, the politics of rescue - SIX The Politics...

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