Philip Bobbitt: What's in it for US?

America will defend human rights successfully only when its own key interests are threatened writes Philip Bobbitt

Those who favour humanitarian interventions must bear this in mind: without mixed motives, without American participation, such interventions will bear the stamp of Srebrenica and Ituri, not Kabul or Baghdad. The best way of persuading governments to risk the lives of their armed forces for humanitarian goals is to establish a strategic nexus. Partly this will mean redefining what constitutes a strategic interest; partly it will mean not playing this absurd game of pretence that a state, or its leaders, can have one and only one value in mind when contemplating intervention.