"Every Western military intervention in the 21st Century—Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria—has left the countries in a humanitarian crisis much worse than before the invasion."

The primary argument of Konneh's book on recent international conflict posits that the United States (and Western Europe), have more often than not intervened militarily in poorer, non-industrialized countries not out of humanitarian concern but rather in service of powerful self-interest. The author provides detailed documentation that this has been the driving force behind military intervention by the West for well over a century.

Konneh begins with an overview of the legal framework for established international law, including treaties, human rights law, the United Nations Security Council, and the concept of state sovereignty. He then examines "selected cases of foreign intervention in the twenty-first century," focusing on the Arab Spring uprisings, generally viewed as beginning in December 2010, and including such places as Bahrain, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. Konneh then turns his focus to the winter of 2013, when certain world events led to what the West (and especially the U.S.) viewed as Russian aggression into Ukraine. Actions by both the Obama and Trump administrations vis-à-vis Putin's Kremlin are addressed, including international ramifications. Finally, the case is made for all governments to "finally make humanity an advanced civilization which truly values every human life, and respects the principals of equality and justice among all peoples."

Perhaps the strongest quality of this book is that while geopolitical issues can often be fraught with specialized jargon difficult for the layperson's understanding, the information presented here keeps the reader informed and fully engaged. Whether one agrees with all of the finer points and specific details argued, Konneh is unquestionably a passionate scholar of the modern history of international conflict. His book opens one's mind to a framework, allowing the reader to think beyond that which the American media (not to mention politicians on both sides of the aisle) tend to paint as one-sided truth.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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