Criteria for Armed Intervention Essay

Criteria for Armed Intervention

            Armed intervention is necessary and appropriate under several circumstances.  Non-imperialist countries prefer to use diplomatic means to resolve international conflicts whenever possible.  However, if a sovereign country like the United States determines that diplomatic efforts are insufficient to remedy a crisis that threatens our nation’s security, the president is within his rights and bound by his duty to protect the country and to act militarily.  Whenever our vital interests are threatened, at home or abroad, armed intervention should always be considered if diplomatic efforts fail. 

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            One such example was the Persian Gulf War conducted under George H.W - Criteria for Armed Intervention Essay introduction. Bush’s tenure as president.  When Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, we decided to intervene militarily to aid our ally, Kuwait, and to safeguard the supply of the industrial world’s lifeblood, oil.  Our nation, the leader of the free world, acted firmly and decisively to repel Iraq from Kuwait and “President Bush declared the (Iraqi) invasion ‘will not stand’” (PBS, 2009).

            Sudden, significant attacks on our country or on our allies should cause our commander-in-chief to strongly consider immediate and decisive military reprisal.  When our nation was attacked by terrorists in September 2001, President Bush steadfastly embarked on a policy that included military intervention.  The president embraced his primary responsibility to protect his nation’s security and firmly vowed that “so long as I’m president, we will pursue the killers and bring them to justice” (Kohn, 2003).

            A third case for military intervention is to join a conflict with the goal of stopping the spread of the conflict.  In the 1990’s in Bosnia, President Clinton decided that our military involvement was “essential to prevent a wider European war” (Carpenter, 1996).  Summarizing, national security interests sometimes require the use of military intervention.


Carpenter, T. (1996, August 15). Clinton’s Bosnia Intervention.

Kohn, D. (2003, September 10). The President’s Story.

Public Broadcasting Service. (2009). The Gulf War:  Chronology.


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