so... is that an argument FOR intervention? the little guys arent always the ones you want to support remember.
Exactly. I´m not saying interventions are bad per se. They should be made according to international law, though - i.e. get permission from the UN security council.
Please note: "intervention" is not the same as "invasion". There are lots of other ways to intervene.
well, pakistan developed its weapons under a democratic - even if disfunctional - government. iran is a damn site more democratic than many of its neighbours (and our allies) but democratic it is not. it was also, of course in response to indias development.
i do agree that iran has the right to these weapons if we allow states like israel, india and pakistan to have them - though no sane person on the planet should be under the impression that a nuclear iran would at all be a good thing.
No sane person on the planet thinks that any nation with nukes is a good thing. Nukes are bad. Period.
oh, and dont forget that Germany maintains a lot of economic links with Iran - something the US refuses to do.
Well, "a lot" is certainly a wild exaggeration, but in principle, you´re right.
all states that can do it, do it. you can even look at several states decision to ignore EU economic regulations regarding debt and GDP - i think Germany might be one of them.
The EU economic regulations regarding budget deficits are not that strict. The regulation is basically "new debts should not exceed 3% of GDP". Germany was over that mark several times, once AFAIK 3.8%. When a country is over that mark, it gets a "warning" from the EU and has to explain why that happened and what it is going to do about that. Germany argued there are still a lot of costs due to the re-unification and due to high unemployment. Benefits were cut down and taxes were raised. Germany´s deficit is well under 3% of GDP again.
Only if a country has a persistent high deficit and does nothing about it, there will be hefty fines from the EU.
The EU economic stability pact gives some very important benchmarks. Not dogmas. It is well understood that way.
exactly. why? because all states reserve the right to act unilaterally. that can only be guaranteed if the state has control of its own security. the british wont allow a german to control their military. why? because the UK reserves the right to (theoretically,not saying it'll happen) invade germany regardless of the feelings of europe. thats the nature of soveriegnty
or rwanda, of the no-fly zones of iraq that kept the kurds alive, or currently in darfur, or somalia, or burma, or tibet, or israel/palestine...
i like the idea of collective security, but states simply wont accept it because they have to give up control.
You will agree with me after you have lived in Europe for a while - guaranteed.
Maybe except for the UK, France and Switzerland (you read right!), the military plays no significant role in any political debate. It is regarded as a major pain in the ass. Except for the UK and France, no European country has any desire for military interventions anywhere.
EU countries have given up a lot of sovereignty in the last decades. 2 of 3 new laws in any country here come from Brussels, for example. A major part of the EU has even given up their own currencies. The right to print money is a lot more important then the right to command an army.
There is absolutely no debate about a single European military - not because nobody wants it, but because nobody thinks we need it!
the UN does a lot of good work - security and protection of human rights is NOT one of them.
Oh yes it is. Sucessful peacekeeping missions just don´t appear in the news very often - because they are successful. Just one example: UN troops successfully kept Israelis and Syrians from shooting at each other on the Golan.
it COULD do a lot of good work, but will only be effective as its members.
Partly true, yes. UN missions can also just be as good as theit mandates. Example: the UN mission to protect Srebrenica from the Serbs failed terribly, because the UN troups had an explicit mandate not to shoot at Serbs who want to invade the city. With a different mandate, the Dutch UN troups could have easily kept the Serbs away.
and most states couldnt give a rats about africa, only nato cares about the balkans, nobody wants to take on china.
True, nobody gives rats about Africa, but then everybody remembers what happened to the Americans in Somalia. I´m not so sure that nobody wants to take on China. I think everybody had the illusion it would somehow evolve into a good member of the international family in the last decade, but it becomes more and more obvious that this was wishful thinking. There will be more trade barriers for China, not least to protect our own jobs. That´ll hurt them awfully and give the industrialized countries a lot of leverage to improve the human rights situation in China.
if somebody invades your country, you call the army.
Who do you think would invade my country (I live in Austria)? Who would that be? We are surrounded by EU members.
I tell you why the Austrian army has choppers: to fly injured or dead cows from mountain slopes, where they spend the summer. That´s all they do.
If there is immediate danger of a big European war, I will not call the army. I will try to get as far away as possible, because if there is ever again a big war in Europe, the whole continent will be incinerated with nukes.
During the cold war, we were not very fond of the American term for Europe: "theater". Everybody knew we would not survive the first hour of WW3.
if somebody starts butchering a minority in a neighbouring country, you write a series of letters, hold a few meetings, maybe trade sanctions. nothing happens and thousands of deaths later, you try and convince countries (like the US) that its in their interests to send troops. they do. but the rules of engagement are designed to keep soldiers virtually impartial so thousands more die.
all it may have taken is one state to say '**** this, were going in guns blazing' and it couldve been prevented. to paint unilateralism with such a negative brush gives multilateralism WAAAY more credit than it deserves on security matters.
I guess you refer to Yugoslavia. Please remember that there was no all-out genocide all of a sudden. That country went down a slippery slope. The right time to go in "guns blazing" was not all that easy to determine.
- first, Milosevic was elected on a nationalist platform in Serbia. Too bad, but that sort of thing happens all the time everywhere.
- then, everybody else in Yugoslavia went into nationalist mode, too. Too bad, but fair enough considering Slobo´s slur.
- then, Slovenia declared independence. A few shots were fired, but nothing else happened.
- then, Croatia declared independence, too. Which in turn triggered Croat Serbs to declare independence from Croatia.
- then, fighting started within Croatia.
- and so on down the slippery slope.
Even when the situation started to get messy in Bosnia, it was hard to tell what could be done about it. Compare that to Northern Ireland: how on earth would you stop Catholics fron butchering Protestants (or vice versa) there???
No ethnic group in Bosnia was innocent. Everybody was shooting at everybody. In Bihac, Bosnians teamed up with Serbs to butcher Croats. Other places, Bosnians teamed up with Croats to fight off Serbs.
What do the terms "Bosnian", "Croat" ans "Serb" mean anyway? They all speak the same language. There were over two inter-"ethnic" marriages in Yugoslavia!
It´s pretty easy to judge the situation from the year 2008, but I´m not aware of anyone who had a good plan to sort out the mess in the nineties.
As we look back, I´d say it would have been appropriate to send a clear message to the Serbs before things got really nasty in Bosnia. Like: "make your Serb proxies in Bosnia to stop it or we´ll go in guns blazing, invasion-style ['we' = UK, France, Italy, Germany]".
As we look back, I´d also say shame on us we didn´t and shame on the US for doing it completely wrong.
many of the US's founding fathers thought the US should be a 'light upon the hill',a beakon for the rest of the world. but they were 100% unilateralists. they didnt think the US should get involved in other states affairs but if they had to, it should focus purely on its interests not on what the world wants it to do.
Of course they were unilateralists, because the UN wasn´t founded until almost 200 years later.
When the USA was founded it was as far away from Europe as the Moon is from Earth now. It required several weeks dangerous travelling in a ship. It was easy to completely isolate itself from the rest of the world.
Nowadays, the world is smaller, and Afghanistan´s problems are the world´s problems, too. This implies the role as "light upon a hill" cannot be played in any isolationist or unilateral way.