Argument Against Military Intervention For Humanitarian Relief

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ARGUMENT AGAINST MILITARY INTERVENTION FOR HUMANITARIAN RELIEF An understanding of where the Syrian healthcare system stood before the civil war, the toll of the fighting and intentional targeting of medical personnel/infrastructure, ongoing humanitarian efforts, and America’s actions to date enable an informed evaluation of whether or not to use American military forces in a humanitarian assistance role in Syria. This context allows for an examination of the limitations of humanitarian aid, the advantages/disadvantages of plausible courses of action involving the military and the threat of mission creep. Before evaluating the merits of available courses of action the military can take to address Syria’s medical crisis, it is important to identify and understand the limitations of humanitarian assistance in general. Taylor Seybolt, Associate Professor in International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh an expert on military and humanitarian intervention, cites the following inherent limitations of humanitarian intervention: it does not provide a lasting solution to conflict; it has the potential to prolong wars; it can foster economic dependence; and it inhibits strong state development.19 When these limitations are considered in regard to Syria, military intervention for the sole purpose of providing medical humanitarian support does not make sense. Providing medical aid in isolation to the Syrian people would address an effect of the civil war rather than
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