All posts by perilious_user


‘Hardeep Puri’s voice is one the whole world should heed’ – Gareth Evans

‘Hardeep Puri’s voice is one the whole world should heed.  His message to the global North is that coercive military intervention has been, as often as not, catastrophically counterproductive – even when conducted for the highest-minded of stated reasons: to halt feared mass atrocity crimes.  But he also tells the global South not to abandon the principle of the Responsibility to Protect but rather to reinforce it – by demanding that it be given military application only after the most rigorous prudential debate in the Security Council, and with mandates strictly monitored to ensure no overreach.  This is an authoritative and informed insider’s account, and it makes compelling reading’ Gareth Evans, chancellor of the Australian National University, former Australian foreign minister, president emeritus of the International Crisis Group, and ch-chair of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty

Gareth Evans, chancellor of the Australian National University


‘Those wishing to avoid repeating the tragic perilous interventions of recent history had better read this book.’ – Ramesh Thakur

‘A distinguished professional diplomat from India offers a unique window into the geopolitical cockpit of the United Nations Security Council during two tumultuous years in Libya, Syria and elsewhere.  The book provides a necessary corrective to the dominant narrative of the three western permanent members and cautions that when you destroy a state, the gates to every corner of hell are opened.  Those wishing to avoid repeating the tragic perilous interventions of recent history had better read this book.’ 

Ramesh Thakur, former assistant secretary-general of the UN


Antonio Patriota, permanent representative of Brazil to the United Nations and former foreign Minister

‘With his extensive diplomatic experience and inimitable eloquence, Hardeep Singh Puri tackles the central dilemmas confronting the United Nations Security Council as it struggles with new and persisting challenges to world peace.  At a time of geopolitical redistribution of international influence and emerging multipolarity, Ambassador Puri exposes ill-conceived military strategies and questions both the morality and the effectiveness of interventionist ideologies.  The analysis and insights emanating from his personal involvement in the Security Council’s deliberations are required reading for all who are ready to learn from the misconceptions of the first years of the twenty-first century in order to allow the United Nations to fulfil its mission more responsibly and effectively in the decades ahead.’ 


Jimena Leiva-Roesch, senior policy analyst, International Peace Institute

‘Hardeep Singh Puri brilliantly depicts a new trend of world powers unleashing their vision and interests on the rest of the world.  We are privileged to a front-row view of what took place at the ever-secretive horse-shoe table of the UN Security council directly after the Arab Spring.  The action (and in action) recounted sheds new light on this turning point for the Middle East and the world as a whole.  A must read for neophytes, seasoned diplomats and anyone who is seriously interested in the future of the UN.’ –


Dr. Manoj Joshi, distinguished fellow, Observer Research Foundation.

Perilous Interventions is an important work of scholarship of the world order and the institution which was supposed to maintain it, the United Nations Security Council.  Clearly, as Puri tells it, the world order is frayed and the UNSC is no longer in a position to honestly exercise the enormous powers that were given to it by the UN Charter in the wake of the second World War.  The UNSC was the realpolitik part of the idealistic UN system.  Unfortunately, what Puri tells us is that realpolitik has gone haywire and little or nothing is left of the ideals for which all the nations of the world agreed to sign the UN Charter.’  –


Dr. Simon Adams, executive director, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.

‘Hardeep Singh Puri is a rare diplomat – a real political thinker who is not afraid to write fiercely and challenge stale assumptions.  I may not agree with everything he says, but by the bottom of the first page, all I wanted to do was to keep reading.  Just like when I used to interact with him when he was on the UN Security, every thought is engaging, intelligent and provocative and equal measure’. 


John L. Hirsch, former US ambassador to Sierra Leone

 ‘This remarkable account of the UN Security Council’s role in the Libyan intervention and its continued difficulties in Syria provides a very valuable insider’s perspective.  As India’s permanent representative to the UN, and with extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy, Hardeep Singh Puri probes beneath the broad public declarations (protection of civilians) to examine the underlying motives of the principals actors, especially the US, UK and France.  His account of the ambivalence of the US, still reeling from inaction in Rwanda fifteen years earlier but feeling propelled to act, leaves the reader with an acute sense of uncertainly as to how the US will respond to ongoing crises in Syria, Yemen and Libya.  This is a must-read account for anyone who wants to probe beneath the conventional narrative to understand how the Security Council actually decided and acted in Libya and its longer-term consequences.’ 


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.’  


Warren Hoge, former correspondent New York

‘Hardeep Singh Puri’s Perilous Interventions opens a welcome window into the closed-off inner sanctum of multilateral diplomacy, the United Nations Security Council.  The look is a privileged one – both because Puri, a former Indian ambassador, was a member of the Council himself at a critical intervention-minded moment and because he wields a pen that cuts through institutional self-regard and obfuscating UN speak to reveal how the panel can end up undermining the very thing it is charged with insuring: international peace and security.’ –