In the aftermath of the NATO intervention in Libya, the responsibility to protect (RtoP) doctrine has received considerable blowback. Various states, most notably some of the ‘BRICS’ states (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), claimed that NATO exceeded its mandate given to it by United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1973 (by allegedly focusing on regime change rather than on the protection of civilians), was inappropriate in its target selection, violated the arms embargo by transferring arms to rebels, and generally caused too much harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure.1 It was also suggested that the UK, US, and France—the so-called ‘P3’—acted bombastically and arrogantly in UNSC, ignoring reasonable concerns (see Evans 2012). Regardless of the actual merits of these claims, the allegations have stuck to some extent and they have since framed some of the recent discussions about RtoP.

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