Perilous Interventions: The Security Council and the Politics of Chaos

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New York – “Perilous Interventions: The Security Council and the Politics of Chaos” (Harper Colins, 2016), a book providing a sharp analysis of the recent history of the UN and non-UN military interventions, by Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, was recently released at an Asia Society event in New York titled “The UN Security Council and Military Interventions.”

Puri, with a distinguished four-decade career in diplomacy spanning the multilateral arena, including as India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in both Geneva (2002-2005) and New York (2009-2013), reveals the Council’s decision-making processes and members’ general perspectives on intervention.

Perilous Interventions provides a fascinating insider’s account. It takes a clinical and forensic look at the contrived narrative of the Arab Spring and brilliantly analyses the core decision-making responsible for the prevailing dangerous situation: the use of military force, the arming of rebels, the unraveling of countries, and the resulting desperate migrations.

The explosive narration unveils the whimsical decision-making behind bids to maintain international peace and security. It warns against the not-so-shrewd arming of rebels and the reflexive authorization of force, instances of which since the Iraq invasion of 2003, have cyclically led to the evolution of hydra-headed monsters like ISIS.

Highlighting how some recent instances of the use of force didn’t go as planned – citing examples such as Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Crimea, as well as India’s intervention in Sri Lanka in the 1980s – Ambassador Puri in his book calls for reforms to Security Council working methods in the maintenance of international peace and security.

“While civil society has moved 500 years ago from “trial by combat,” aka “might is right,” to “trial by jury,” nations continue to near exclusively still engage in “might is right” by “interventions” – which by definition are “perilous,” in large measure,” noted Ravi Batra, Chair, National Advisory Council on South Asian Affairs, and Humanitarian & Legal Affairs advisor Ukraine mission to the UN.

“This book, Perilous Interventions” by world-respected Ambassador Puri is helpful as Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors – real or asserted – as the Vote for UNSC Resolution 1973 was taken: 9, with 5 abstentions. It is that Resolution, with moral imperative and R2P-joy, that took out Kaddafi and sent Libya into tribal conflict and ISIS to emerge as our reward,” concluded Batra.

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