Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Intervention's Realistic Future: Hope for R2P

In the wake of fighting in Iraq, many commentators on U.S. foreign policy are predicting the return of hardcore realism. Yet, in the The Washington Post last week, Robert Kaplan writes that will not be the case:
"This is nonsense. Our foreign policy is about to experience an adjustment, not a flip-flop. Neither political party will support anything else if it really wants to elect a president in 2008. Just look at the dismay in this country over our failure to intervene in Darfur, even given the burden we already carry in Iraq. To be sure, the recent evidence that our democratic system cannot be violently exported will temper our Wilsonian principles, but it will not bury them. Pure realism -- without a hint of optimism or idealism -- would immobilize our mass immigrant democracy, which has always seen itself as an agent of change."
Kaplan continues, "The lesson is not that we won't intervene again. We will, and often. But we will do so with the caution and hesitation shown in the 1990s and only as part of an authentic coalition." When I hear intervention, caution, hesitation and authentic coalition in the same thought, I think R2P. As these foreign policy discussions commence, now's the time to those of us who believe in the power and potential of R2P to advance the cause.


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