January 16, 2005

Call For Views I

Here's a note I penned to Victor David Hanson:

In your recent article on triangulating war, you state "[a]fter all, there is no government handbook entitled, 'Operation 1A: How to remove a Middle East fascist regime in three weeks, reconstruct the countryside, and hold the first elections in the nation's history all within two years.'" Put more generically, there is no process to handle politically bankrupt (often called failed) states. Historically, what has kept us from writing such a thing have been the Westphalian rules of sovereignty established in the Peace of Westphalia of 1648.

Since we've pretty much chucked westphalianism out the window as part of the Bush doctrine and Prime Minister Blair explicitly called for its replacement in his own nation's foreign policy at a speech in Sedgefield, isn't it time such a manual was written and a new foreign policy consensus was forged? Westphalianism will either die a tragic death as we slide back into our pre-westphalian sins (see: Thirty Years War et al) or we will forge some sort of post-westphalian improvement, perhaps on the split Dr. Thomas Barnett has suggested that westphalian limits are prudent and remain functional for the Kantian and well ordered Functioning Core states but the disconnected Non-Integrating Gap requires a different, more hobbesian regime of international relations. What is your view?

I hope that something interesting might come of it and will continue to write such notes to interesting thinkers to see what happens. If I am lucky and good at writing, I expect a 1% positive response rate to this sort of call to civic participation.

Posted by TMLutas at January 16, 2005 08:52 AM