Author Biography

Lance "Cajun" Kildron is a U.S Air Force Colonel and F-16 Pilot with over 20 years' active service. He is currently the Vice Wing Commander of the 20 Fighter Wing, Shaw AFB, S.C. He was the 77th Fighter Squadron Commander during Operation Unified Protector, Libya and is a recent graduate of the Naval War College, Newport R.I. Colonel Kildron is a graduate of the USAF Weapons School and a distinguished graduate of the USAF Air Command and Staff College. He holds three master's degrees, one in aeronautical science from Embry Riddle University, a second in military arts and science from the Air Command and Staff College and a master of science in national strategic studies from the Naval War College. Colonel Kildron is a veteran of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Expertise: Aerial warfare, Military Doctrine and Enemy Air Defenses.



Subject Area Keywords

Defense policy, Foreign policy, Human rights, Military affairs, National power, Small wars and insurgencies, Social movements, Strategy


Operation Unified Protector (Libya, 2011) is the latest example of how a limited-means military intervention in a humanitarian crisis can stop the murder of innocent civilians. Proponents of intervention in the name of "responsibility to protect" (R2P) have stated that the air campaign strategy used in Libya could be the model for future U.S. military engagement overseas. This begs the question of when the United States should insert itself militarily into a humanitarian crisis. For instance, Syria is a potential candidate for military intervention. The following article takes the reasons for military intervention in Libya, as explained by President Obama in his address to the nation in March 2011, and creates criteria for future humanitarian military intervention. By defining and applying these criteria to a humanitarian crisis such as Syria, it is revealed that the Libya campaign model does not fit Syria now, nor does the model provide a panacea for all future humanitarian crises. While the tenets of the Libya strategy could apply to other humanitarian crises, proponents for military intervention must meet the criteria laid out in this article, or the United States may find itself committed to a futile air campaign unable to achieve the nation's strategic objectives.