Recent events in Syria could lead to serious questions about the UN and international system that has been created out of WWII. Does it even work? Can a Security Council that excludes India, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and Germany address the most pressing global security threats? What should follow the Millennium Development Goals? And how could a system meet the United States’ needs while providing a more stable, prosperous world.
A big job, needing some big ideas. A new article from teh World Policy Journal gives it a shot:
But future military interventions like the Libyan case will and should be rare. The real test of American constructive internationalism won’t be dramatic hard power showdowns. Most of the world’s first order challenges, like the basic needs of the bottom billions, destructive climate change, nuclear proliferation, and unsustainably unbalanced globalization cannot be solved by military force. They are not amenable to crisis-management internationalism—by Washington or any other global or regional power. And they are far too dangerous to keep ignoring or under-resourcing.
Dealing with these challenges will not require budget-busting aid programs or massive global transfers of wealth. What they need is sustained steady funding and commitment, which is harder than it sounds. Trillion dollar wars are politically easier to fund than much more modest and constructive assistance programs. Consider the history of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.