Western policy-makers can ill afford to ignore internal conflicts in remote states. Such conflicts have a capacity to fester and to surprise, to draw in neighbouring states and to destabilise an entire subregion. From Bosnia to Burundi, these hostilities have in common major human-rights abuses and large-scale civilian suffering. Pictures of carnage, of traumatised children cradling AK-47s, and of seven-digit refugee movements are transmitted instantly around the world. 1 Such dramatic reporting of suffering can generate an emotional response in its audience, leading to public appeals for dramatic interventions.2