Henry Kissinger about the situation in Côte d’Ivoire

It can happen that humanitarian suffering is so great that one makes an exception, I understand why one made an exception in Libya. But we cannot enunciate a general principle of military intervention by the United States wherever there is human suffering, because it is beyond our capacity. And other nations have to bear some of that burden.

[…]

In the case of the Ivory Coast, if the African union were to raise this as a huge issue or genuine African issue and if other countries were willing to support a military operation, I could understand the United States gives support.But as a general principle we should alleviate human suffering with our resources, and we should be willing to be helpful, but we cannot be in a position where the United States military, already overstretched, has to enter every civil conflict in the world. When we do it, it has to be an exception and it has to be tied to very specific national security objectives which you can explain to the families that lose people, because in any significant intervention American lives will be at stake.

 

From LexisNexis

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