scale of human suffering remains
prodigious and that for as much good as they do, humanitarians frequently do little in terms of
a net reduction in suffering and misery (think Haiti, Syria, Somalia, DRC, Myanmar, Sri Lanka,
South Sudan). Much suffering – private violence, civil and gang wars, state predation,
poverty, insecurity – is untouched by humanitarian intervention of any kind, yet this is
everyday reality for billions of people. One function of the entire humanitarian enterprise might be to obscure root causes and allow
those who, en
, an American attempt to secure global hegemony that was intimately connected to a struggle over the international oil market. Finally, despite the grave issues at stake, it was the peculiarities of the policy process inside the two main protagonist states that made a violent resolution of the conflict unavoidable. Without the interaction of all these levels, there would have been no second Gulf War.
Level one: formation of a ‘warstate’
Saddam’s Hussein’s decision to invade Kuwait provoked the second Gulf War but this was
part of a continuing process, the dynamic of fostering informal governance
arrangements has generated a cohabited context of citizens and military, exposing the inextricable relationships between war, state-making and resistance.
1 For an overview of academic debates see: (Autesserre 2012a; Cuvelier, Vlassenroot, and
Olin 2014; Turner 2007 Ch. 1).
2 Its latest mandate was extended until August 2016 (UN Security Council 2015).
3 A more general overview can be found in Pugh (2005); Williams (2008); World Bank
(1997; 2007; 2012a).
4 E.g., ex