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Perilous Interventions Summary
It was an exclusive lunch at a high-end Manhattan restaurant on 7 March 2011. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his A-team were present. It soon became clear that the main item on the menu was Libya, where it was alleged that the forces of Muammar Gaddafi were advancing on the rebel stronghold of Benghazi to crush all opposition. Over an $80 per head lunch, a small group of the world’s most important diplomats from countries represented on the Security Council discussed the possibility of the use of force. As things turned out, the Council’s authorization came only ten days later, and all hell broke loose. Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s envoy to the UN at the time, now reveals the Council’s whimsical decision making and the ill-thought-out itch to intervene on the part of some of its permanent members. Perilous Interventions shows how some recent instances of the use of force – not just in Libya but also in Syria, Yemen and Crimea, as well as India’s misadventure in Sri Lanka in the 1980s – have gone disastrously wrong.
About the Author
Hardeep Singh Puri is a former Indian Foreign Service officer who served as the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations in Geneva from 2002 to 2005 and in New York from 2009 to 2013, coinciding with the period in 2011-12 when India was a non-permanent member of the Security Council. He was president of the Council in August 2011 and November 2012.