Gert Rosenthal, former permanent representative of Guatemala to the United Nations.

‘As the saying goes, everyone has twenty-twenty hindsight.  That saying certainly is applicable to events that took place in the United Nations Security Council in 2011 and 2012 regarding Libya and Syria – events which ultimately led to what Hardeep Singh Puri describes as “the mess that the world finds in”.  That mess includes the catastrophic consequences of the intervention in Libya and, even worse, the protracted war in Syria, with over 300,000 dead and over four million of its citizens displaced.  Perhaps even more significant is the rapid and related rise of the ISISI as a new brand of militant terrorism.  But it turns out that Puri has no need to invoke hindsight vision: he demonstrably got it dead right during his two year participation in the Security Council regarding the future consequences of actions (and inactions) on the part of the Council (and, unilaterally, on the part of some of its permanent members) in both instances.  He provides us with an insider’s view, having been a direct participant in the events described so chillingly in this narrative.  It is a must read for anyone trying to decipher the mysterious process of decision making in the Security Council.’  

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