Ethics & International Affairs Volume 14 (2000): Special Section: the Meaning of Kosovo: Casual War: NATO's Intervention in Kosovo [Abstract]

Dec 4, 2000

One of the most remarkable features of contemporary international relations is the new prestige accorded universal standards of human rights. However, NATO’s attempt to redeem the promise of human rights by way of military intervention during the recent Kosovo crisis may have established a disturbing precedent for humanitarianism. The Alliance exploited the capabilities of precision weaponry and digital information systems to wage war with air power alone, thus avoiding entirely the deployment of ground troops and the domestic political exposure such a deployment inevitably involves. The best available evidence is that this approach had little immediate effect on the atrocities carried out by Serbian troops in Kosovo and that NATO’s overriding concern with casualty-avoidance in war undermined both the effectiveness and the moral legitimacy of humanitarian intervention. Even more disturbing is the question whether NATO’s action implies that states endowed with the advanced military assets that were brought to bear against Serbia will adopt a casual policy on the conduct of limited war, a policy at odds with the lessons of the twentieth century.

To read or purchase the full text of this article, click here.

You may also like

AUG 2, 2022 Journal

Ethics & International Affairs Volume 36.2 (Summer 2022)

The editors of Ethics & International Affairs are pleased to present the Summer 2022 issue of the journal! The highlight of this issue is a roundtable organized ...

OCT 29, 2021 Journal

Ethics & International Affairs Volume 35.3 (Fall 2021)

The highlight of this issue is a book symposium organized by Peter Balint on Ned Dobos’s "Ethics, Security, and the War Machine," featuring contributions ...

MAY 11, 2021 Journal

Ethics & International Affairs Volume 35.1 (Spring 2021)

The highlight of this issue is a roundtable organized by Madison Powers on ethics and the future of the global food system. The roundtable contains ...

Not translated

This content has not yet been translated into your language. You can request a translation by clicking the button below.

Request Translation