Monday, August 20, 2007

American Foreign Policy subordinated to a third party???

Matt, (or sorry, am I not supposed to use your real name?), you said:

"Next time the US gets the itch to invade a country that will require a decade of occupation, the logical thing for it to do will be to go in without consulting a single other country. Just like in Iraq. Oh, wait, they spent a year trying to get UN approval for the invasion (or, more accurately, get that approval for the 17th time, as they already essentially had it from 16 previous resolutions passed by the general assembly over the preceding decade.)

I don't think it's too hard to see the US subordinating its foreign policy to a third party."

I was wondering why you don't think this is so hard? Especially in light of the occassions the US has overridden the UN's decisions. Can you link me to where I can see the historical record of the UN backing or denying support of American-initiated invasions? I'm sure this is a two-way street.

Or did you mean that the US could hand over it's foreign policy so it could pursue a neo-isolationist policy?

Just wanted you to expand on those ideas.

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Keitousama said...

The thing with the UN is that it's a very imperfect prototype for whatever comes next. The representatives at the UN are not elected and thus in no meaningful way actually represent their people, in fact more often than not representing dictators, warlords and other thugs. This deprives the organization as a whole of a great deal of credibility.

You can think of the UN as a sort of international senate, similar to the original structure of the US senate with one appointed representative being sent from each state (congress, a much larger body, was directly elected by the people.) Add a directly elected body of people - though of course only from countries that have already got a handle on democracy internally - and the equation would look very different.

I very much doubt the US would hand over control of it's foreign policy directly, right from the outset. But wars that got support from the international congress would have a great deal more legitimacy, both at home and abroad; fighting such wars would be much easier, with the resources of an array of countries backing the effort rather than a single nation with advanced technology but a relatively small population. It would take a while, but given time, the interests of the US and the rest of the world (or at least those parts participating in the demosphere) would be so closely intertwined that the foreign policy of the US would essentially become the domestic policy of the world.

As for the linkage: you know as well as I do. Have fun with google, bro.

Anonymous said...

Clinton had the USA invade Haiti in 1993 without UN APPROVAL.

And later had us bomb Serbia and roll NATO into the Balkans without UN APPROVAL.

If China invades Taiwan it'll do so without approval - just as Iran is threatening to wipe Israel off the map - without approval.