Sunday, March 20, 2011

U.S. is the unilateral power in a multilateral world

U.S. is the unilateral power in a multilateral world - Michael Barone at The Washington Examiner 3/19/11
One thing on which there seems to have been agreement during the month-long debate about how the United States should respond to the uprisings in the Middle East, and in particular to the anti-Gaddafi rebels in Libya, is that we must not act unilaterally.
It is a terrible thing, Barack Obama and his leaders have implied, for the United States to do anything by itself. We must have allies and the approval and imprimatur of some multi-nation institution--it doesn't seem to matter much which one--before we take anything in the nature of military action.

This is not an argument but an impulse that can be defended as prudent. There is often some advantage in international affairs in acting with others.

But there's sometimes a downside as well. Multilateral forces can, in strict military terms, be more trouble than they're worth.
Read the rest...