Nato: Action against ISIS would prevent genocide

2014-09-15 17:35

Brussels - Military intervention against Islamic State militants could be justified on the grounds of self-defence or preventing a campaign "pretty close to genocide", Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday.

Rasmussen said the threat posed by Islamic State "requires a military response to degrade and defeat this terrorist organisation" but he said Nato as an organisation would not be undertaking military strikes against the group.

"We are not considering... a leading Nato role in this operation. A number of Nato allies are forming a coalition that also includes countries from the region," he told the Carnegie Europe thinktank where he gave his last speech in Brussels before stepping down at the end of this month.

The United States, Nato's dominant member, is already carrying out air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq.

Russia said last week that air strikes against Islamist militants in Syria without a UN Security Council mandate would be an act of aggression, raising the possibility of a new confrontation with the West in coming weeks.

Rasmussen said that, speaking as a "layman", he felt there was a basis in fundamental principles of the United Nations' charter to take military action against Islamic State.

"ISIS [Islamic State] commits horrific atrocities and I would say witnessing manslaughter, their attacks against religious and ethnic minorities, in my opinion it is pretty close to genocide. In my opinion that gives such a military operation legitimacy within the principles of the UN Charter," he said.

"I also consider this a kind of self-defence, which is also permitted within the UN charter," he said.

Nato agreed at its summit in Wales earlier this month to play a coordinating role in organising security assistance for Iraq in its fight against Islamic State militants, including coordinating the airlift of supplies.

Rasmussen said the world should learn from previous military operations, such as Libya, that it was important to work after a military operation to help such countries improve their security and good governance.

Since Nato-led air strikes in 2011 helped dislodge Muammar Gaddafi after 42 years of one-man rule, Libya has been unable to impose authority over brigades of former rebels who refuse to disarm and have carved out regional fiefdoms.

"That is one of the important lessons to be learned, that military operations should go hand in hand with civilian efforts to... build a new nation after such a military operation," Rasmussen said.

  • pmalungana - 2014-09-15 18:01

    Military operations against underground militants have often had dire consequences, as these militants turn to regroup and form a new group fighting the same course. NATO should cautiously guard against such resolutions without exploring other peaceful alternatives . Most leaders of these militants have been killed but they get resuscitated in another form.

      Positive Citizen - 2014-09-16 12:40

      usa have made mistakes . . . good thing is they learn and upgrade i.e. going forward it is less likely to happen based on their new policies/strategies etc. sure they have destabilised a country or 2 and created the void for this type trash (isis and the likes) to surface. i'd way rather have usa ruling the world than these crazy fu*&cks!

  • Neil Roux - 2014-09-15 18:11

    Yeh well NATO don't have a very good record. More like toppling regimes and destabilising countries. Why do the US and other "Western"countries now suddenly care.Is nothing more than to preserve oil and to stop it from spilling over to other countries like Saudi Arabia and putting oil supplys under threat.All they do is spread hatred.Let these countries sort out themselves.The USA don't care about human rights of some people far away.And we should take a pinch of salt with everything any US or NATO politician says.Why don't Turkey support it? They are Iraqs Northern neighbour. Cause they know these are all politics

      Derek Wright - 2014-09-16 10:30

      Have you seen footage of the mass executions, beheadings (even children) enslaving and raping women, of religious and ethnic majorities such as Christian communities. Thanks goodness the USA intervened to stop the carnage and potential genocide. The savagery of these vermin blows the mind. And the UK guy they beheade was an aid worker helping people in refugee camps

  • Aghora - 2014-09-15 18:27

    You right. The beheadings are atrocious - but so is bombing innocent people from the air. Look at the death toll in Iraq. The US is mad.

      Honeya Badger - 2014-09-15 19:04

      And let's not forget civilian casualties during the Iraq invasion ran into the thousands!

      Derek Bredenkamp - 2014-09-15 20:43

      yeah and we buy the logic that they must commit genocide to prevent it! Bombing for peace logic. It's criminal.

  • pmalungana - 2014-09-15 18:33

    To the contrary I think the resolve to militarily engage Isis will lead to genocide, mark my word.

  • pmalungana - 2014-09-15 18:36

    The US will become extinct if Does not adopt other means than war n dealing with terrorist organizations

  • pmalungana - 2014-09-15 18:40

    Historically the US has exerted extreme force which objectively had been viewed as an act of aggression and vengeance . It had especially under Bush expected the whole world to cow toe to its demands.

  • Bongani Hlongwa - 2014-09-15 18:50

    Its true that Nato action against Isis would prevent genocide. This is long overdue; if this action was taken earlier, lots of lives would have been saved, and the abductions and rapings of womenfolk from communities of beheaded males, would have been prevented. It would have been better if this punitive action was authorized by the UN, and I think all UN memder states would have supported the move; but if some countries had tried to block the destruction of Isis, on whatever technicality, then the coalation would have then carried the task of destroying this Isis, basing their action on these UN clauses on human rights.

      Derek Bredenkamp - 2014-09-15 21:05

      So to prevent them raping, abducting and beheading each other we should just kill them, right?

      Derek Wright - 2014-09-16 10:34

      Derek, they are not raping and beheading each other, they are executing innocent civilians who don't happen to be Sunni. Children have been beheaded! Can you imagine the carnage if the US didn't get involved!

  • Honeya Badger - 2014-09-15 19:08

    Listen to this Rasmussen idiot, "... that it was important to work after a military operation". This moron thinks that after an illegal military bombardment an utopia immediately follows. Well present-day Iraq and Afghanistan bears that out don't they.

  • Cecelia Hambides Rosa - 2014-09-15 19:23

    Nope, it will encourage it.

  • Xenswim1 - 2014-09-16 08:50

    It is an Arab problem. If the West was not so bloody PC and overly human right orientated they would target the Muslim religion the same as they do in their adopted countries and at home. There is a more pressing problem that of Putin's expansionist ideals. The Ukraine is in dire straights but the West wrings its hands in terror of Russia. Putin has no idea of what democracy means discussion to him are a sign of weakness and a way of buying time.

  • SimonC1969 - 2014-09-16 10:54

    'Action against ISIS would prevent genocide' Errr, where has this ideal been all the years that Israel has been committing genocide against the Palestinians??

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