Essay on Military Ethics – Humanitarian Aid in Somalia

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In August of 1992, President George Bush Sr. sent US soldiers into Somalia to provide humanitarian relief to those Somalis suffering from starvation. The major problems in Somalia started when President Mohammed Siad Barre was overthrown by a coalition of opposing clans. Although there were several opposing groups, the prominent one was led by Mohammed Farah Aidid. Following the overthrow of Barre, a massive power struggle ensued. These small scale civil wars led to the destruction of the agriculture in Somalia, which in turn led to the deprivation of food in large parts of the country. When the international community heard of this, large quantities of food were sent to ease Somali suffering. However, clan leaders like Aidid routinely …show more content…
Each of these rules must be shown and satisfied. “Failure to fulfill even one renders the resort to force unjust, and thus subject to criticism, resistance, and punishment” (Orend 61). Just war theory is meant to be more demanding than international law. Even though the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) agreed to send troops to Somalia, this approving body does not automatically render the gesture moral. One must apply the principals of just war theory first. Throughout The Morality of War, Orend argues that there are only two just causes for resorting to war: a war of self-defense and a war of other-defense. With regards to Somalia, the US and its allies justified entering the war based on Orend’s other-defense position. Although Somalia never committed crimes of aggression against another state, arguably, Somalia committed “acts that shock[ed] the moral conscience of mankind” (Orend 91). Walzer states that this is the only time when armed humanitarian intervention is authorized. The only time a state can intervene in a humanitarian scenario, Walzer declares, is when the aggressor state in question is using military force to engage in “wicked and widespread human rights violations” (Orend 91). The death of 300,000 Somalis due to starvation at the hands of struggling power groups is more than enough to justify
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