On R2P

R2P, the Right to Protect principle was born after the Rwanda genocide. It is not part of international law per se but rather is “a norm” meaning something to guide and aspire to. The UN Security Council Resolution 1973 which authorized the no-fly zone over Libya stems from R2P. We may have objections to our intervention in Libya and most of these are far from idle. It is also true that there are many unknowns and it is a strain on American forces and budget. But one thing many foreign policy experts agree upon, had there been no Resolution 1973, Gadhafi would have won and followed his victory by a massacre of the thousands who had risen against him. Preventing such a massacre is precisely why R2P exists. The consequences of protecting the innocent may not be convenient or easy, and as drafted and implemented they remain imperfect and subject to errors, but I for one would rather pay the price to implement R2P and whatever it entails, including any mistaken applications, rather than live in a world without it.