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The Kosovo Crisis and the Evolution of a Post-Cold War European SecurityThe Evolution of Post Cold War European Security$
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Martin A. Smith and Paul Latawski

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780719059797

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719059797.001.0001

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NATO, Kosovo and ‘humanitarian intervention’

NATO, Kosovo and ‘humanitarian intervention’

Chapter:
(p.11) Chapter 1 NATO, Kosovo and ‘humanitarian intervention’
Source:
The Kosovo Crisis and the Evolution of a Post-Cold War European Security
Author(s):

Paul Latawski

Martin A. Smith

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719059797.003.0001

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's (NATO) use of military power against the government of Slobodan Milosevic of the former Yugoslavia over Kosovo has been among the most controversial aspects of the Alliance's involvement in South East Europe since the end of the Cold War. The air operations between March and June 1999 have been variously described as war, ‘humanitarian war’, ‘virtual war’, intervention and ‘humanitarian intervention’. Key features of the debates over NATO's employment of military power have been concerned with its legality and legitimacy (that is, the role of the United Nations and international law), its ethical basis, and its impact on the doctrine of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of states. The conceptual debates that have raged over these issues are important not only within the context of European security but more generally for their impact on the international system as a whole. This chapter examines these issues by exploring why NATO undertook military action over Kosovo, the kind of armed conflict that it engaged in, and whether such a resort to force can be justified.

Keywords:   North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, military action, Slobodan Milosevic, former Yugoslavia, Kosovo, humanitarian intervention, legitimacy, United Nations, doctrine of non-intervention, armed conflict

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