7.3.2 Military Intervention

(This is a current page, from the Patterns of Power Edition 3 book contents.  An archived copy of this page is held at http://www.patternsofpower.org/edition03/732.htm)

Governments sometimes make military interventions in other countries without trying to acquire territory.  They might want to strike against their enemies, to help politically-sympathetic groups, or to protect people at risk; the people they are trying to help may or may not be their own citizens.

Unless such interventions are explicitly authorised by the UN Security Council, they rely upon a trial of strength rather than upon a governance framework – so this book classifies them as Ungoverned Power.  They are invariably seen by the target country as acts of war.

As described in the following sub-sections, the country making the intervention can take on different degrees of risk:

  • it can deploy an invasion force (3.2.1);
  • it can make air-strikes from a distance (3.2.2);
  • or it can deploy unmanned drones (3.2.3).

These tactics are listed in a sequence of a diminishing risk of incurring casualties, and they can be used in any combination.  Their effectiveness is questionable (7.3.2.4).

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