An important analysis about what happens when the U.S. (and other countries although you might consider them part of a rogue’s gallery) fail to ratify or accept treaty obligations. In the case of the U.S., the system that it helped create post-WWII rolls on, possibly without one of its architects. What is the impact?
The United States’ commitment problem has grown so entrenched that foreign governments no longer expect Washington’s ratification or its full participation in the institutions treaties create. The world is moving on; laws get made elsewhere, with limited (if any) American involvement. The United States still wields influence in the UN Security Council and in international financial and trade institutions, where it enjoys a formal veto or a privileged position. But when it comes to solving global problems beyond the old centers of diplomatic and economic power, the United States suffers the self-inflicted wound of diminishing relevance. Administrations operate under the shadow of Senate rejectionism, harboring low expectations that their work will be ratified.
via Stealth Multilateralism | Foreign Affairs (full article requires subscription)
Elsewhere, David Kaye writes that “treaty-making…is an expression of sovereignty, not a threat to it.”