Category Archives: Praise


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.’ –


‘Hardeep Singh Puri takes a forensic swipe at the United Nations Security Council’ – Humphrey Hawksley

“In Perilous Interventions, Hardeep Singh Puri takes a forensic swipe at the United Nations Security Council, forcefully arguing that if it continues to function as it presently does it will further discredit the cause of peace and security. Since his posting as a young diplomat in the Sri Lankan Tamil War, Puri had a ring-side seat on numerous faulty interventions and knows why they went wrong. He ended up at the heart of the Security Council and its ill-fated decisions on Libya and Syria where it was “clear as daylight” that arming rebels would create unprecedented chaos. He describes whimsical decision making without through consequences and asks poignantly why governments pursue policies which are against their own interests. Puri’s is a robust, refreshing and experienced voice explaining what many of us are wondering everyday: how it was ever possible that terror could have such a grip on global politics.  The insight is chilling and brilliant. His view is all the more important because it doesn’t come from the safe talking shops of the Washington Beltway, London’s Whitehall or a European Union committee. This is the eye of how and why things fall apart when run by an old guard global system that has not been reformed for more than seventy years.”


Humphrey Hawksley, author and former correspondent for BBC


‘Perilous interventions captures an important moment in India’s international experience’ – C.Raja Mohan

“As the world copes with the unending political tragedy in the Middle East, Hardeep Singh Puri offers a trenchant critique of the Western use of the military force and the abuse of the United Nations Security Council that are now widely seen as contributing to the regional crises.  The severe judgements of Puri who served as India’s envoy to the United Nations in both Geneva and New York, do not stem from the traditional Indian obsession with the principles of territorial sovereignty and non-intervention. They emerge from Puri’s first-hand experience at the UN Security Council during 2011-12, when India served as a non-permanent member and was eager to establish its credentials as responsible global power. Puri’s call for military prudence and revitalization of multilateralism are also shaped by India’s failed intervention in Sri Lanka’s ethnic crisis. Perilous interventions captures an important moment in India’s international experience and is a major contributor to the international debate on when, where and how to use military force”

– C.Raja Mohan , director, Carnegie India