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What’s the Matter with Selective Intervention?

By Lea Brilmayer


\u22Nothing,\u22 most Americans would probably respond. Most Americanswould claim that it is for the United States to decide for itself whether it wantsto engage or not in conflicts that arise around the world, consulting only itsown people and its own preferences. Most Americans find nothing wrong withthe United States involving itself in the Persian Gulf but not in Yugoslavia; inHaiti but not Liberia; in Somalia but not Rwanda. Perhaps the patterns ofAmerican engagement we see are morally defensible; perhaps they are not. Butwhether or not it would actually be possible to morally reconcile our pattern ofselective action and inaction, what matters here is that most Americansexperience no need to try

Topics: Law
Publisher: Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository
Year: 1995
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