The Effectiveness of Remote Interventions

When a country intervenes remotely in the affairs of another country, it doesn’t put its own military personnel at risk.  Its action is therefore more politically acceptable to its own population – but adverse consequences are still possible:

  • Countries that intervene in the affairs of others are politically damaged by doing so (
  • Interventions rarely help the target country either. The Syria profile – Timeline, published by the BBC, tells a sorry story of intervention by the French, British, Americans, Russians and others.  At the time of writing, the Syrian civil war has not yet ended, the country lies in ruins, and much of its population has fled.
  • There are numerous difficulties in any international use of force, and many resulting problems, as reviewed later in this chapter (7.4).


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