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What Happened When We Kept out of the India-Pakistan Fracas?

March 7, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

America is the essential nation, the unipower, the country that
stands taller and sees further than all others. So naturally it
must meddle, righting wrongs, fixing problems, enforcing peace,
protecting allies, punishing evildoers, preserving order, and so
much more. Never mind that it does all this poorly, inconsistently,
and often disastrously, creating new and even greater problems as
it goes. Washington policymakers can’t allow any crisis to go
unsolved.

Yet uncharacteristically, in Kashmir, there has been no American
rush to make the lion lie down with the lamb. Two nuclear powers,
India and Pakistan, recently went closer to the brink than at any
time since their 1971 war. The result could have been
catastrophic.

Yet Washington apparently realized that it had limited influence
in both Islamabad and New Delhi. Both nations were dealing with a
potential existential crisis and not inclined to listen to others.
The United States decided it could do little more than issue
peaceful appeals.

Nothing. That should
teach us most of the world’s crises are none of Washington’s
business.

This response should become a model for the future.

The world is full of geopolitical upsets, national implosions,
military conflicts, internal collapses, humanitarian tragedies,
political instabilities, and regional hostilities. The U.S. can
safely ignore most of them. Indeed, America’s safety usually
requires ignoring them. Intervening puts Americans at risk for
little potential gain. Consider the other candidates for the South
Asia “do nothing” model.

Impoverished, dictatorial Venezuela. The
implosion of what was once a wealthy nation is tragic. But while
the ongoing crisis has been disruptive to Venezuela’s
neighbors, most obviously Colombia, it’s had little impact on
America. Our attempts at intervention are inevitably tainted by
more than a century of “Yankee imperialism” in Latin
America. Washington’s sanctions, meanwhile, have intensified
popular hardship without so far unduly discomfiting regime
elites.

Starving people into revolt has rarely succeeded. Triggering a
civil war would kill and destroy without guaranteeing anyone a
better future. Direct military intervention would be even worse,
opening an international Pandora’s Box while leaving America
responsible for the potentially disastrous consequences. Instead,
Washington should back the efforts of Venezuela’s neighbors
and other Latin American nations to peacefully defuse the
crisis.

Defense-dependent South Korea. The Cold War is
long over. The Korean peninsula is no longer tied to a larger
global struggle. The South has raced past its northern antagonist
and is well able to defend itself. America and North Korea are
attempting to reconcile.

The U.S. should withdraw its garrison and end its security
guarantee. The North’s acquisition of nuclear weapons, which it is
unlikely to abandon, makes that withdrawal even more imperative.
The U.S. does not want to be drawn into a new Korean …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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