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Mark Safranski is elaborating at his defense issues blog Zenpundit on the problems raised by R2P, Right To Protect, or what I termed “Transnational Elites Uber Alles,” for intervention on humanitarian grounds against those nation’s rulers who our liberal elites dislike.
…it extends the uncontrolled reach of liberal elites within our government to act regardless of our laws or popular will….Transnational self-elected elites making “the world safe for democracy” or for their own supremacy?
Regimes who are not in disfavor with our liberal elites, however oppressive, get off more lightly.
…like the rise of pop-centric COIN, it will be an electrifying idea that has the potential fire the imagination of foreign policy intellectuals, make careers for its bureaucratic enthusiasts and act as a substitute for the absence of a coherent American grand strategy.
Neither COIN nor R2P are strategies. Unlike COIN, however, which is a set of tactics that may be applicable in some circumstances in pursuit of strategic goals (even if those goals may be arguable), R2P doesn’t have any operational tactics. R2P is more a clarion call to action, including actions that are contrary to US laws or popular will, in pursuit of internationalist goals for global governing as defined by transnational elites.
Further, R2P is cloaked in humanitarian rhetoric that allows liberal elites to preen, displaying their caring feathers, regardless of their ignorance of the military, regardless of the cost-benefit to US national security, and regardless that it isn’t their children being sent into harm’s way.
Lastly, R2P is reactive, not prescriptive of avoiding future threats to US security as a strategy must be. Much the same coterie who want to raise R2P to dominance over US foreign and military policies are largely dismissive of severely hobbling US allies or hollowing our military.
The second part of Safranski’s series is R2P is the New COIN: Slaughter’s Premises, Anne-Marie Slaughter being a prominent intellectual proponent of R2P. Slaughter defines a state as legitimate, effectively governed, only if it provides social goods to its populace, regardless of other sources of cohesion or democratic means of choosing leaders. Illegitimate states are targets for R2P, US core security interests aside.
Safranski writes me that Part 3 will focus on Authority and International Law, R2P resting upon amorphous, internationalist rule proposed to override US laws, Part 4 on Sovereignty, discussing the radicalness of R2P proponents’ program to replace nation states’ independence, and Part 5 on Legitimacy, Networks and Power, discussing the undemocratic, oligarchic views of the R2P proponents.
I suggest you read all five parts if you want to be up on the intellectual fad trotted forward to undermine US sovereignty and core security interests.