Heritage Analyst: Obama Justification for Libya Intervention Wrong
Steven Groves, writing for The Heritage Foundation, criticizes President Obama’s use of “the responsibility to protect” as a justification for U.S. military action in Libya. Groves argues that adhering to the R2P (Responsibility to Protect) doctrine, as formulated by the Canadian led International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), which requires U.N. authorization, sets a dangerous precedent. He argues that as more nations subscribe to the doctrine, it will gain “normative status” which may cause it to be viewed as binding customary international law with obligatory, rather than voluntary principles. This would, Groves argues, constrain U.S. action in the future if and when the U.S. decided to act without U.N. approval. By using the R2P as justification for actions in Libya, Obama is “raising the bar for justification for future U.S. military actions.” Intervention in Libya should be pursued for the advancement of U.S. national interests, not in order to comply with a new ” ‘international norm’ cooked up by a Canadian NGO in 2001 [...],” he states.