From Afghanistan to Syria and Beyond: A Post-Interventionist Era?

OPEN LECTURE WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 20 FROM 12 TO 13 IN THE NORDIC HOUSE

‘From Afghanistan to Syria and Beyond:

A Post-Interventionist Era?’

This lecture will explore trends in international military intervention in light of the Syria conflict and NATO’s impending withdrawal from Afghanistan. It will suggest that the experiences of Western states, especially the US, in Iraq and Afghanistan will make them more reluctant to engage in large-scale military interventions in future. This will not, however, equate to a full-scale retreat from intervention. Western states may continue to engage in smaller-scale or limited duration interventions, ranging from drone strikes to short-term ground operations. The model of United Nations peacekeeping which has emerged since the end of the Cold War will also continue. Nevertheless, large-scale interventions involving the deployment of tens of thousands of troops or sustained air operations may now be rare. The consequences of such a post-interventionist era may be contradictory: some disastrous interventions (the next ‘Somalia’ or ‘Iraq’) may be avoided, some necessary interventions may not be undertaken (the next ‘Rwanda’), but larger global power and normative constraints make it unlikely that potentially threatening states will exploit the new reluctance to intervene.

Andrew Cottey is Senior Lecturer and Head of Department in the Department of Government, University College Cork, Ireland. His publications included Security in 21st Century Europe, 2nd ed. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

Moderator: Alyson Bailes, Adjunct Lecturer at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Iceland.

The event is organised by the Institute of International Affairs in cooperation with the Nordic House.