The end of the Cold War opened the door for states to cooperate on behalf of peoples in need around the world. The creation of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the promulgation of UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali’s ‘‘Agenda for Peace’’ pushed states, including the great powers, to fund and participate in a new kind of international relations: institutionalized, multilateral humanitarian intervention. While the actions taken were not without some historical precedent, the nearly euphoric period of dramatic expansion of peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention of the early to mid-1990s seemed to promise that the world would not collectively stand by and watch people suffer and die simply because they were across a sovereign border. That euphoria faded quickly with the disconnection of the great powers, particularly the United States, following the development of strong perceptions of mission failures, rising costs, and increasing disagreement among the powers and international institutions on how and where to intervene. Regardless of this estrangement, the need for humanitarian intervention did not fade away with the reluctance to intervene. In fact, events in the late 1990s and on into the twenty-first century have proved time and again that the need to intervene may never dissipate. Political unrest, military conflict, economic crises, and health and environmental disasters all continue to constitute a clear and present danger to millions of the people of the world, and, in most of these cases, the only hope is multilateral humanitarian intervention.
Saladino, Christopher J.
"Book Review: Thomas G. Weiss, Humanitarian Intervention: Ideas in Action,"
Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal:
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/gsp/vol3/iss2/10