Thursday, February 24, 2005

Darfur Comments

Over at Dean Nation, I've posted a case for action in Darfur. Here's the meat of it:
"Since this nation was founded, the world has become increasingly interdependent, and at least since Woodrow Wilson worked passionately for the League of Nations, Americans have been at the forefront of efforts to build an international community based off the interests of all rather than narrow alliances for the interests of the participants. And the international community has declared that there is no greater atrocity than the extermination of those whose only crime is to be both different and inconvenient. Genocide and ethnic cleansing are not mere instances of local conflict, but threats to the very foundation of an international order based on the interactions between peoples.

"The time has come to enforce these principles, not merely with the words of diplomats and campaigns of activists, but, when necessary and practical, with strength. This is not just a humanitarian principle. There are today weapons which could render this world uninhabitable. Weapons spread when people and nations lack confidence in the institutions which exist for their defense, and because weapons, whether conventional, chemical or even nuclear can fall easily onto the black market where some are willing to buy, in an age of asymmetrical warfare, any conflict anywhere threatens all people everywhere. The only true long-term security comes not from hegemony which others will always seek to resist, but from enshrining a system of international norms with swift and certain justice meted out to those who violate them."

In the comments, someone has already raised the issue of the U.S.'s limited manpower, and I also anticipate objections to my doctrine as stated that we cannot become the world's police. I agree with both these concerns. When I make specific suggestions, my "we" should be interpreted as referring to the broader international community. The Bush administration has actually been pretty good on Sudan. As far as the "world's police" concern, I'd argue that we need to at least be a community leader, willing to jump on these issues wherever and whenever they arise. However, the actual military burdens should be born whenever possible by regional actors who have the most at stake in a given situation. In the case of Darfur, my understanding is that the African Union can do most of what is needed, and simply lacks logistical support.


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