In an earlier age island nations like Great Britain and to a lesser degree the

In an earlier age island nations like great britain

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In an earlier age, “island nations” like Great Britain (and to a lesser degree, the United States) could build-down, even decimate, their peacetime armies with impunity, as intervention was typically limited to redressing violations of a sovereign state’s territory by an aggres- sor and a restoration of status quo ante-bellum . But since the 1990s, the global security environment demands more from its great powers and especially its leading state. Today’s interventions, to be considered right and just, must establish a better state of peace post-bellum . 13 The prevail- Geneva Conventions, increasingly assumes the more demanding form of a Responsibility to Protect capable of triggering (or at least justifying) uses of military force for humanitarian purposes by an ever-growing 13 Jus post bellum (“justice after war”) obligations are on the rise, and have been for the past two intervention forces to not only wage just interventions, justly, but also to stay the intervention “be- JUS POST BELLUM : The Moral Responsibilities of Victors in War,” Naval War College Review 57, no. 3/4 (Summer/Autumn 2004): 33-52, - bd08f28387d5/Jus-Post-Bellum--The-Moral-Responsibilities-of-Vic.aspx
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22 Parameters 43(4) Winter 2013-14 oftentimes pitting one or more nation-states against roguish regimes making national claims of self-determination, adds yet another ill- causus belli. 14 A sustainable security strategy in this day and age must be based on a provision of force and a doctrine for guiding its application capable of attaining “viable peace.” 15 A sustain- able security posture depends on marrying the right capabilities with the right strategic goals (balance) and a capacity for mobilizing and sustaining force that can achieve economies of scale in international interventions (durability). The ability to marry so-called hard and soft power in effective-cost and legitimate ways is the supreme test of secu- rity strategy making. This has not, however, been the United States’ favored mode of intervention. Instead, the history of American intervention reveals an inclination to using martial instruments to cure what are, essentially, instrument has secured its prominence in the minds of American strat- egists, and yet the American record in unconventional interventions (“dirty little wars”) has actually been quite dismal. This is especially so when the United States has found itself an external patron to the coun- terinsurgent in intrastate wars and military-humanitarian interventions. Many of the United States’ experiences in these types of interventions 16 The Vietnam War was a complete war-loss for the United States; it is perhaps too early to tell how Afghanistan and Iraq will be remembered, but the trends do not give much reason to hope these interventions will free the United States from its historical trend. These interventions began well enough, but like a boxer replete with years of bout experience and a reach that outdistances younger, less-experienced competitors, the United States is
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