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NATO’s Intervention in Libya: A Humanitarian Success?

  • Alan J. Kuperman

Abstract

On 17 March 2011, the United Nations authorized military intervention in Libya to protect civilians, responding to violence between government forces and opponents that had erupted the preceding month. Two days later, NATO initiated the intervention, including establishing a no-fly zone and launching aerial attacks on government forces. After seven months of NATO intervention, Libyan rebel forces conquered the country and killed the former authoritarian ruler, Muammar Gaddafi, in October 2011. Immediately, Western media and politicians praised the intervention as a humanitarian success for having averted a bloodbath in Libya’s second largest city, Benghazi, and helping replace the dictatorial Gaddafi regime with a transitional council pledged to democracy. Based on this ostensible success, many experts now cite Libya as a model for implementing the so-called ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P). Before embracing such conclusions, however, it is important to conduct a more rigorous assessment of the net humanitarian impact of NATO intervention in Libya.

Keywords

York Time Security Council International Criminal Death Toll Humanitarian Ground 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Alan J. Kuperman 2013

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