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doctrine and the risks it can generate are unlikely to stabilizeand transform the rules-based system into a more equitable form. A growing literature now argues that prevailing western approaches to understanding,
managing and ameliorating global insecurity and its violent symptoms are inadequate and unsustainable.They are proving, and will continue to prove, increasingly incapable of providing security for both the world’s poor and immiserated, concentrated in the Global South, and the world’s elite of around one billion, mainly located in the North Atlantic community, Australasia and parts of East Asia, which will remain unable to insulate itself from violent responses to pervasive insecurity. 93 This is not to suggest that the UKshould not exercise elements of national power to alleviate others’ suffering as a consequence of natural or man-made disasters. Indeed, the Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty’s 2001 ‘responsibility to protect’ doctrine sets out clearly the principle of conditional sovereignty and the grounds for legitimate intervention when a state cannot or will not protect its citizens from pervasive and severe harm. 94 More broadly, if we accept that in an increasingly complex, interdependent world the human security of UK citizens enmeshed in global networks of risk and opportunity is intertwined with the human security of others, particularly in conflict-prone regions often characterized by poverty, weak governance and underdevelopment, then actions to improve others’ long-term human security does constitute a form of ‘enlightened self-interest’. But we must question the assumption that war-fighting interventionist missions of choice do, in fact, serve the long-term human security interests of UK citizens as opposed to the interests of the state based on prevailing conceptions of national role. Utility of force Connected to this critique is a reappraisal of the utility of force within the conception of national security as global risk management, on two counts. First, security risks are increasingly likely to arise from a complex mixture of interdependent factors. Environmental, economic, military and political sources of insecurity could include the effects of climate change, mass poverty and economic injustice, global pandemic disease, mass migration and refugee flows, poor governance, weak and failing states, international terrorism and asymmetric warfare, the spread of WMD and advanced conventional military technologies, ethnic and sectarian nationalism, and competition over access to key resources such as oil and water. Future conflicts are therefore likely to be complex and diverse. They are unlikely to be susceptible to purely military solutions, and the use of military force in regional crises will be messy, indeterminate and of limited value and effectiveness. 95 It is not obvious that the armed forces have a significant war-fighting role to play in mitigating these risks, as opposed to supporting police, intelligence