Human Security versus Traditional Security
Explain Human Security versus Traditional Security: Should the west intervene in Syria? Why/why not?
crisis in Syria is never ending and so is the debate related to the
intervention of the West in the security and other related matters of
Syria. Regularly, active and variety of arguments are carried on by the
pro activists regarding the matter of Western disturbances. Some
discussions are very legitimate and hold true values of discussion while
the others shows some kind of diplomatic approach towards their view
points that force to raise questions on the matter. In the recent
scenario it has become vital to intervene in the crisis situation or
regional or financial problems of other states. It is due to a
diplomatic relationship of the nation states with the other, interfering
in the matter of crisis has become a compulsory step of the developed
nation towards the nations facing internal crisis. As viewed by Rogers,
(2015), there is a difference between military and non-military
interventions. The interventions related to financial or social are
considered to be really helpful for the nation in trouble but military
intervention is something not acceptable by all.
This essay is
focused on the legitimate practices of West in the process of
intervention in the security matter of Syria. Approaches towards both
traditional security and human security will be made. A detail analysis
of the various approaches made by the Western countries in terms of
providing security to the countries like Syria will be done. On the
basis of analysis and evaluation of various facts and figures, an
approach can be made on the understanding of the importance or the
harmful effect of the military or humanitarian intervention in a foreign
An analysis of intervention of West in Syria:
Humanitarian interventions has been defined by International Commission
on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) as the perfect time for a
state to intervene in the matter of other states for the sole purpose
of protecting the state from the current risk faced by the nation.
Another concept that has been put forwarded by the ICISS behind the
purpose of human intervention in other states or nation is the idea that
certain states are not willing to protect their civilian from the human
violation that the state is facing (Ahmed, 2013). These human right
violations have also been categorized on the basis of certain actions
such as genocide, wars or crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.
In addition to these, the three stages of actions in lieu of
responsibilities towards protecting the civilians have also been
declared in the report. These are, responsibility to prevent,
responsibility to react (with due permission and sanction from the
authorities) and the responsibility to rebuild the nation, if assistance
for recovery is available.
As stated by Ignatieff, (2013), there
are no hard and fast rules regarding the particular situation where
these rules are to be applied. The concept that has been put forwarded
by ICISS is not accepted universally and regular shifts towards the
concept have been observed in the development of the nations like Libya,
Russia and even China. It has also been pointed out by Nafeez, (2013),
that there lay no such consensus on the justifications of humanitarian
intervention. If viewed legally, it has been stated in the Article 2(4)
of the UN Charter banned the use of force in the intervention of the
nations. Rettman, (2012) commented that moral justifications have given
some moral justification towards the intervention process of other
countries in the internal matter of countries where disputes arise. As
per the view point of Rettman, (2012), this can be justified by the
means of ‘Just-War’ theory. However, it is not any kind of moral
approach to risk the lives of the civilians to intervene in the lives of
the foreigners. Inconsistent selection of political leaders for
intervention process in the state might result in greater problematic
Human interventions have been observed in many cases with
varying degrees of success and failure. In this respect, the case study
of Kosovo and Libya can be highlighted. Separation of Yugoslavia
eventually leads to wars and ethnic cleansing. In fact, the peace-talk
in 1999 failed that compelled the government to take action against the
air strikes that accelerated the fleeing of Kosovo Albanians to its
neighboring countries (Charap, 2013). These situations molded the way of
how human intervention has been considered. Thus, the long run debate
towards the moral and ethical value of human intervention in a few
nation states has been resolved. It was even declared altruistic and
human to intervene for better cause. However, in the Western countries
these interventions are considered as abuses when NATO failed to provide
protection to the civilian lives that was essential for counter
humanitarian purpose (Stahn, 2014).
The moral and legal intervention
of NATO became the most important issue of discussion while talking
about international relationship. In the situations where NATO has shown
regular intervention in the name of protecting the civilians of the
nation, it has been found that although it had ended the violent attacks
but they have failed to protect the revenge killings of many of the
civilians that were a result of the nature of conflicts took place in
those regions (Aaronson et al., 2014). It was when NATO failed to
provide protection to the civilians of Rwanda that resulted in the death
of 800,000 people. Same scenario was repeated in Libya in 2011 that
raised the question over the intervention capabilities of NATO or other
Western forces in the conflicts of the nation states.
Mohammad Gaddafi’s regime, disturbances in Libya and mass destruction in
the year 2011 that lead to extreme violence created a good scope to the
Western forces for intervening in the matters of these nations. The
death toll at that time was ascending day by day and as per the data of
the World Health Organization, the death toll increased to 2, 000. The
Libyan government accounted for only 743 killings (Ackerman, 2013). All
these chaotic situations results in the intervention of the West to
participate and take a control of the degrading situation. It was being
noted that those who were killed were not directly related to the cause
of the war but they were innocent civilians of the countries. Questions
were raised on the protection of these civilians that definitely called
for help for the sake of protection of the lives of the people. In
particular, US showed the most intervention in the Libyan scenario. As
viewed by Evans, (2014), that the intervention of US in the territory of
Libya was only for the sake of gaining territorial acquisition. It was
not related towards protecting the nation and their civilians. As argued
by Hendrickson, (2013), that it was only due to the intervention of
NATO that the recovery was able to make quickly and effective. This has
resulted in the reduction of killings that would otherwise have caused.
it comes to Syria crisis, humanitarian crisis is the most heartbreaking
issue that the world is witnessing. As per UN figures, more than 60,
000 people died since March 2011. However, as stated by Anderson,
(2013), this number could be more than that is declared. It is not only
the Human catastrophic condition that is degrading the situation of
Syria, but issues related to geo-political scenario and other strategic
crisis are also leading to the worsening condition of the scenario day
by day. Due to the sectarian nature of the issues of the conflicts, the
affect over these countries are increasing from time to time.
this respect, it can also be added that not only Syria but other
countries like Libya, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and many such
countries are facing similar kind of crisis and intervention from the
West. Since Syria is located central to the Middle East countries, it is
most affected than rest of the countries. If the situation of Turkey is
observed, it is also prayed by regular border violation that results in
raising great terror among the people (Mueller, Martini & Hamilton,
2013). The Kurdish forces in the northeast Syria are a matter of sheer
horror to the people of Turkey. Similar to Turkey, Baghdad is also
subjected to such kind of terror and horror interventions from the
Middle East countries. All these factors are quiet enough to raise the
alarm among the developed countries of the world to think of ways to
curb these practices and think of a better environmental and social
condition for people to lead a terror free life (Paris, 2014).
power of Iraq and Iran is actively rising. The terrorist groups are much
active in their regular interventions in the activities of terrorist
attacks or supply of weapons or man force. Assad regime has been
actively supported by Iran, the Lebanese Shia Muslim terrorist groups
Hezbollah is found responsible for the supply of smuggling fighters and
weapons to Syria. These interventions are not for a short time but it
results in long term effects (Meyer, 2012). This violence is not limited
to the condition of Syria but is affecting the globe brutally.
was in the year 2000 when president Bashar al-Assad succeeded his father
and gained the authority. Within a brief period of his regime, he
showed some political relaxation. Debates were raised over the
capabilities of the new president (Chandler, 2015). In spite of intense
repression, al-Assad was re-elected in the 2007 election. However, the
situation was seen degrading and the country raised in protest with the
kind of activities that were taking place in his era. The first protest
highlighted was the arrest and torture of a teenager due to raising
revolutionary slogan in the country.
With the formation of the
organization Syrian National Council in Istanbul in the year 2011,
requests were made towards providing international protection to the
population. This approach was not supported for the military
intervention (Reeves, 2014). In respect to this organization, a rival
organization was formed that was entitled as National Co-ordination
Committee (NCC). However, in later stage it was found that the two
groups were united under the same government (Strong, 2015). The
president accepted the invitation of the UN-Arab league for a ceasefire
but Syrian population did not show their contribution towards the
approach made by the president. The Free Syrian Army showed their
determination that they would resume their attack if their demands are
not adhered (Allison, 2013). There were continuous attacks related to
the ceasefire. The scenario lead to the arrest of a few minors and extra
judicial executions were enforced in Syria and other bordering
countries as well.
The situation was seemed to get worsen day by day
with major disputes and rebels related to the crisis situation. There
were bombardment situations in the major cities of Syria. A serious
massacre was witnessed near Houla in 2012 that resulted in the killing
of 108 people. There were external interventions as well in Syria
(Pincus, 2012). The state intervention strengthened the opposing sides
in the conflict. In this respect, Western and Gulf Arab States came
forward with logistic and monetary help. On the other hand, the
government stayed stronger due to steady supply of weapons from Russia
and Iran. The umbrella organization on the other side acted to resolve
the conflict to return peace to the organization (Strong, 2015).
were raised against the mal practices and ill approaches made by the
country that resulted in mass slaughter of people in the country. In
fact, the ambassador of Syria was expelled for the chaotic condition of
the state. A consoling role has been played by the United Nations in
reminding Syria about their responsibilities towards taking care of the
civilians of the Nation. An issue was raised by the Gulf Cooperation
Council in issuing the statement in February 2011 (Paris, 2014). When
the situation was getting worsen the council showed its effort towards
the formation of Arab League. Russia and China enjoyed their Veto power
in this respect.
Humanitarian intervention could be of a few major
types. The kind of intervention using the military force is one of the
reasons of the rising of the Civil war in Syria. The civil war has been
going in the state since a long time, dated to be 2011. It might be said
in this respect that military intervention in a foreign state is
expensive. It has been proposed that the Government cannot agree to war
unless concerns are taken from the civilians of the state. However, as
stated by Kinsara et al., (2013), the Syrian regime that they have
committed various war crimes and are also responsible for violating the
domestic and the international laws of the country.
Since, Syria is
the neighboring state and bordered next to Turkey and Israel, both being
faithful allies of US, air strikes could be easily launched on Syria.
In this case, it has to be kept in mind that Syria is also sufficient in
terms of defense equipment available from Russia. Russia S-300 PMU air
defense system and the Pechora-2M system; these were the equipment
resulted as a major obstacle for the flying zone (Evans, Thakur &
Pape, 2013). Thus, it was an obvious scenario that would result in the
intervention of wars in the state. It was found that two major
countries, Turkey and Israel showed their broad support towards the
military intervention in Syria. As pointed out by Wong, (2013), Turkey
was greatly concerned about the consequences of the civil war in Syria.
Turkey finds it beneficial for them to intervene in the civil war of
Syria and support the NATO foundation.
It is not that interventions
have been made in the countries like Syria but these conditions are seen
in case of other scenario in Afghanistan and even in Canada. A wide
range of question rises towards the morality of the interventions of the
powerful nations in these countries which are not considered as among
the developed nations. However, situation does not remain same and the
condition of the people belonging to those regions declined. In order to
save them, it becomes a responsibility of the nation or the country
counted as developed nation to support the civilians and be available at
their call (Evans, Thakur & Pape, 2013).
According to the
Responsibility to Protect Act, it becomes a responsibility of the
developed and the prosperous nations to take care of the nations who are
facing some kinds of disputes or challenges in controlling their nation
states. As view by Rodger, (2013), if a country is prosperous in own
way, it becomes a responsibility of that nation to help other in need.
It might happen that the government of the nation does not want any kind
of help from the other nations, but the condition of the civilians of
the country might not be in a secured and fine position. Thus, for the
sake of the life of the civilians of the nation state, interventions are
much needed. On the other side, it has also been pointed out by Kinsara
et al., (2013) that sometimes the nation in problematic situation
needed help in terms of military and other protection forces. In this
respect, the countries of the West such as US are sufficient in terms of
their military power and number of militants. Thus, in case of chaotic
conditions and extreme worse situation intervention of these nations
become a responsibility from their part.
It has been widely observed
that the Western US and EU powers have been vested in securing the
security and confidentiality of Syria. Moreover, approaches have been
made towards improving the national security, economic gain and even
balancing the regional geopolitical situation of the state. It has to be
kept in mind that the Syrian regime is always backed by the state of
Iran, the West and the Israel (Eloul et al., 2013). These interventions
have greatly stopped the military intervention of countries like Russia
and China in the state of Syria. This has also lead to the situation
when the other states are intervened to enter the boundaries of Syria.
China has shown regular intervention in curbing the military
intervention of other countries in Syria.
By the end
of the discussion it can be said that there has been lot of issues that
has lead to the situation for intervention of the developed countries,
notably the Western power to exercise their power over the countries
facing issues related to civil war and other disturbances. Regular
disturbing situations of the degrading condition of the peace and
humanity in the states of Syria, it has resulted the process of
intervention indeed compulsory for the survival of the civilians of the
country. However, the intervening countries should also be aware of
their intervention capabilities and rights to intervene in some other
state. It would be a better idea if a framework is set up for the sake
of intervention capabilities and certain fundamental rights for the
existing civilians of the state.
It might also be included in this
respect that Syria also operates under an efficient governmental
framework. This shows a clear indication of their capabilities to govern
their own country. The adverse effect of the civil wars is also known
to them and in fact they are themselves responsible for whatever
situation they are facing or dealing with. If no such interventions are
made then there is a greater possibility of the increaser of the crisis
situation in the already affected states. The situation can be brought
under control only by the means of the intervention of those countries
that have enough military power to support the intervention in a foreign
country. In case of Syria it can be said that the civilians are
proactive in nature and are quiet aware of the aftermath situation of
the crisis and the war. They are quiet aware of the possible outcome and
thus it can be easily concluded that the civilians should be left to
decide and select their own government or leader who would be
responsible for taking care of the situations faced by the civilians.
M., Klune, C., Johns, L., Carment, D., Landry, J., Briscoe, H., …
& Norley, M. R. (2014). Syria and the Crisis of Humanitarian
Intervention.Into the Eleventh Hour, 57.
Ackerman, S. (2013). US Military Intervention in Syria would Create ‘Unintended Consequences’. The Guardian.
Ahmed, N. (2013). Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern. The Guardian, 8, 30.
Allison, R. (2013). Russia and Syria: explaining alignment with a regime in crisis. International Affairs, 89(4), 795-823.
K. (2013). Legality of Intervention in Syria in Response to Chemical
Weapon Attacks. American Society of International Law (ASIL).
D. (2015). The R2P Is Dead, Long Live the R2P: The Successful
Separation of Military Intervention from the Responsibility to
Protect.International Peacekeeping, 22(1), 1-5.
Charap, S. (2013). Russia, Syria and the doctrine of intervention. Survival,55(1), 35-41.
L., Quosh, C., Ajlani, R., Avetisyan, N., Barakat, M., Barakat, L., …
& Diekkamp, V. (2013). Inter-agency coordination of mental health
and psychosocial support for refugees and people displaced in
Syria.Intervention, 11(3), 340-348.
Evans, G. (2014). The
Consequences of Non-Intervention in Syria: Does the Responsibility to
Protect Have a Future?. Into the Eleventh Hour, 19.
Thakur, R., & Pape, R. A. (2013). Correspondence: Humanitarian
intervention and the responsibility to protect. International Security,
Hendrickson, R. C. (2013). Now that Congress will
decide on intervention in Syria, its leaders have moved to support
Obama’s plans for military action.LSE American Politics and Policy
Ignatieff, M. (2013). Bosnia and Syria: Intervention Then and Now. The Syria Dilemma, 51-52.
R. A., Kilgour, D. M., Hipel, K. W., & Martinovski, B. (2013,
June). Strategic modeling approach for third party intervention. In
Proceedings of group decision and negotiation 2013 conference (GDN 2013)
Meyer, H. (2012). Lavrov Says Qatar Call for Syria Intervention Violates Deal. Bloomberg Business week, March, 13.
Mueller, K. P., Martini, J., & Hamilton, T. (2013). Airpower Options for Syria. RAND Corporation.
Nafeez, A. (2013). Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concerns. The guardian, 30.
R. (2014). The ‘Responsibility to Protect’and the structural problems
of preventive humanitarian intervention. International Peacekeeping,
Pincus, w. (2012). Syria intervention isn’ta slam dunk. The Washington Post, 30.
S. (2014). To Russia with Love: How Moral Arguments for a Humanitarian
Intervention in Syria Opened the Door for an Invasion of the Ukraine.
Mich. St. Int’l L. Rev., 23, 199.
Rettman, A. (2012). EU unready for Iran oil ban, Syria intervention. EU Observer, 1.
Rogers, A. (2015). Human Rights Groups Divided Over Potential Syria Intervention.
C. (2014). Between Law-breaking and Law-making: Syria, Humanitarian
Intervention and ‘What the Law Ought to Be’. Journal of Conflict and
Security Law, 19(1), 25-48.
Strong, J. (2015). Why parliament now
decides on war: tracing the growth of the parliamentary prerogative
through Syria, Libya and Iraq. The British Journal of Politics &
International Relations, 17(4), 604-622.
Wong, K. (2013). Aftermath of US Intervention In Syria Would Cost Billions.Washington Times, August, 30.