Bestselling author Rory Stewart and political economist Gerald Knaus examine the impact of large-scale interventions, from Kosovo to Afghanistan in Can Intervention Work?, the second title in the Amnesty International Global Ethics Book Series. Below, an excerpt:
Our experience suggests the following rules of thumb: that interveners must distinguish brutally between the factors they can control, the dangers they can avoid, and the dangers they can neither control nor avoid (whether permanent features of the place or specific to the crisis). An outsider can—indeed, should—provide generous resources, manpower, equipment, encouragement, and support. Courage, thought, and pre-planning are relevant. But they are not enough on their own. The best way of minimizing the danger of any intervention is to proceed carefully, to invest heavily in finding out about the specific context, particularly after the intervention, and to define concrete and not abstract goals.