Friday, November 16, 2007
A Test of the Global Balance of Power?
If this happens, it does strengthen--and I'll admit it--the idea that the notion that the Western democracies can work together to implement stringent and coherent action that does bypass the UN Security Council or without specific UN authorization--although I would still lean against seeing this as proof of the viability of any League of Democracies.
But the second test is whether joint U.S.-EU action carries the same weight that it would have ten years ago--and if Russia and China are blocking more stringent action in the Security Council, whether they and other "world without the West" states could still cushion Iran from the full effect of those sanctions. Yes, they would have greater bite--but would they be sufficient? Readers of TWR may recall from several months ago Ambassador Freeman's contention that the reality is that there can no longer be really effective, really crushing international sanctions unless China takes part.
But this local [in time and space] context is "Everything".
To wit: I submit to you that the current policy towards Iran has been an abject failure: it has not altered Iran's behavior or calculations, it has given other [possibly rival] states veto over US policy, it has severely damaged NPT, and further eroded trust in the International Treaties and Institutions.
If for some reason Iran decides to tactically suspend her uranium enrichment activities what is it that US is going to offer her that Iran wants? In my opinion, Nothing!
"All politics is local."
I basically agree with this. Been reading recently about the *extensive* role - arguably greater even than the US's role- China is playing in propping up Pakistan's economy.