It’s called the pottery store rule: “you break it, you own it”. But it doesn’t just apply to pots and mugs, but to nations. In the build-up to the catastrophic invasion of Iraq, it was invoked by Colin Powell, then US secretary of state. “You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people,” he reportedly told George W Bush. “You will own all their hopes, aspirations and problems.” But while many of these military interventions have left nations shattered, western governments have resembled the customer who walks away whistling, hoping no one has noticed the mess left behind.

Owen Jones, Guardian, 21 March 2014

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This book presents a inside view of the UN Security Council from the perspective of a seasoned Indian diplomat at the UN. It shows how UNSC was manipulated by political & strategic self-interest of a few powerful nations and how it was even left marginalised the power play of modern geopolitics. It also renders naked the notion that unsophisticated simplistic views propounded by most Western media and think tanks are extrapolated as ground realities by those deciding such ‘Perilous Interventions’.

The carnage in the intervened nations like Iraq, Libya, Syria, Crimea etc. have left a massive international refugee crisis along with vast swathes of internal displacement of citizens in their home countries. The very powers that so vigorously engaged militarily in the name of humanitarian intervention seem to have curiously lost their humanity in providing asylum to refugees.

Mr. Puri examines the doctrine of Responsibility to Protect (R2C) and how it became a pretext of military interventions and regime change. He introduces the doctrine of Responsibility while Protecting (RwP), propounded by former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, as a measure if UNSC has to maintain its legitimacy in the eyes of a changing world.

Is the UNSC just a puppet of the P5 nations or does it still hold the relevance it did in the immediate post war era?

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