February 10, 2004

The Long Death of Westphalian Politics

A new element of the long term US strategy has been unveiled.

President Bush's Greater Middle East Initiative will ignore sovereignty issues and reach into middle east societies to support liberal reformers inside their own country. He's currently unveiling it to Europe and there seems to be some cautious willingness to come on board in a partnership where "there's work enough for everyone." What's being ignored is the institutional tearing of Westphalian assumptions of sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs.

This initiative has some chance at success but win or lose, the implications for the permissibility of interfering in the affairs of other countries is profound and hardly noticed (or at least noticed publicly) at all by the present leadership of the international system. That's something of a shame as these assumptions weave through an awful lot of the current international system including the UN Charter and a great many bilateral and multilateral treaties. When will the adults in the foreign policy establishment start to address the precedent aspects of this?

HT: Instapundit

Posted by TMLutas at February 10, 2004 02:45 PM