02 May 2012

If I ruled the world?

Things might look a little more like this...

Maybe somewhat more like this too.



I definitely second the opposition to Iraq, Libya, nation-building projects, Balkans, security theater methods of dealing with terrorism, shifting attention and balance to deal with rising Chinese influence and power, and less alliances that can free-ride (NATO?). Also less nukes and torture. And support for dealing with the Taliban/al Qaeda (I was okay with special forces and air power type interventions to go after key players and deter support of international terror strikes. I'm not totally comfortable with it, but I could live with it. I was not okay with much of anything that happened after that in Afghanistan.)

One can point to the Georgia-Russian war started by Georgia a few years ago to see examples of overly aggressive allies. Even if one doesn't want to point to the Israeli settlement, blockade, and occupation of Palestinian territories. Or Lebanon for that matter (or any Lebanon invasion by Israel). Plus our messy and numerous support or interventions of counterinsurgency campaigns (Colombia, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Mexico, Uganda).

It might be correct to say there are on balance some humanitarian gains here or there. It's possible that interventions in Somalia or Rwanda or Sudan had some utility advantage to them (though Sudan seems an open question, and encouraging Kenya or Ethiopia to intervene in Somalia hasn't gone well). Saddam or Milosevic being out of the picture for example is useful. But whether these are net goods has to be balanced against a lot of costs (especially in Iraq, and to an uncomfortable degree in Bosnia or Kosovo. Serbia seems better off). They are not unalloyed goods with no tarnished steel to point to.
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