A Short Note about "Humanitarian War"

Liam O'Hagan


The justification of NATO actions in
Kosovo in "humanitarian" terms leads
us to examine what exactly is meant by
this concept, whose definition is not exactly
clear. Indeed, the term suggests
something different when used by "humanitarian
organizations" such as the
ICRC, than when used by state actors.
This is not to say that the actions of
NATO in Kosovo, which may be better
understood in conventional human
rights terms, are necessarily invalid.
Rather, it is to draw attention to the differing interpretations
of the concept, the
consequences of which are significant for
aIl involved.

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