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Dandruff Diplomacy

posted May 27, 2012, 10:34 PM by Kyle Willey
I'll be honest. I think American foreign policy right now is more than a little bit flaky. We no longer act in the interest of our citizens. Mind you, I'm all for the international community getting the best mutually beneficial outcome, but I really am disappointed in how things have gone recently. I'm not typically that into politics; I hate it with a vengeance, but quite frankly I'm appalled by what the US has been doing.

We have "allies" who sentence people who aid us to a life in prison. We still send them money. I'm speaking, of course, of Pakistan and the Doctor Afridi case, where someone who helped us was sentenced to treason. We've pulled $33 million in funding from Pakistan. We're giving them $7.5 billion over the next five years. Why? We're ignoring our own interests, and we're giving money to someone who gets decried by leading people in both parties. If we think we're buying allies, we're mistaken; lucre has no interest beyond the short term, and people aren't likely to remember a dollar in their pocket from five years ago if there's an ideological or political reason to swap sides.

Quite frankly, I'd appreciate if people stopped being flakes. We know there are people who don't like us. They probably will never like us on principle. It's time to stop apologizing and bribing people into doing what we want, and start having a spine again. If someone has a problem with us, we should confront them with our position and listen to theirs, and try to reach an appropriate outcome, not just toss some money at them. It's inefficient, insulting to us and to our "allies", and quite frankly it doesn't work. I'm not suggesting gunboat diplomacy, but it surely seems like we could stand to stop retreating from every challenger or trying to buy them to our side.

Similarly, I think we've seen sanctions pretty much do nothing. I have yet to hear of any historical record for a nation that opposed another suddenly start loving it on account of having sanctions levied, and unless you're closing down all the roads and laying siege to all the urban areas like in the medieval era you won't get any real impact. I don't think we should go to war with people, but we have to stop pretending that cutting people off from trade with us will keep them from doing things that could hurt us.