Category Archives: Praise


‘An Evening with Hardeep Singh Puri’ –

The term “Iatrogenesis” comes from a Greek word that means “brought forth by a healer”. It has a negative connotation that entails the potentially damaging effects of misguided medical intervention. This could be the reason why the primary consideration for the Hippocratic Oath is “primum non nocere” which translates to first do no harm. For physicians, this oath is a guiding principle that necessitates the patients’ well-being as the healer’s primary consideration regardless of the interventions or procedures involved.
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Praise by Shyam Saran

Dear Hardeep,

I read your book with keen interest and wanted to compliment you on the skill with which you have approached a difficult subject and retained the interest of the reader throughout. I was able to read the book in just a couple of days since I found your experience at the UN quite fascinating and instructive. I am so glad that you decided to put this down in print. We are usually overwhelmed by someone else’s narrative. We needed an alternative perspective and you have provided a most persuasive one.

Many congratulations on the launch of your book!

With all good wishes


‘This is an outstanding book…’ -Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“This is an outstanding book on the side effects of interventionism, written in extremely elegant prose and with maximum clarity. It documents how people find arguments couched in moralistic terms to intervene in complex systems they don’t understand. These interventions trigger endless chains of the unintended consequences – consequences for the victims, but none for the interventionists, allowing them to repeat the mistakes again and again. Puri, as an insider, outlines the principles and legal mechanisms, then runs through the events of the past few years since the Iraq invasion: all of his chapters are models of concision, presenting the story of Ukraine, Syria, Libya and Yemen among others, as standalone briefings to the uninitiated.  It was high time that somebody in the international affairs approached the problem of ‘iatrogenics’, that is, harm done by the healer.   This book should be mandatory reading for every student and practitioner of foreign affairs.”  

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, risk specialist and bestselling author of The Black Swan and Antifragile


‘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’.