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  1. #1
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Default The value of the State based international order

    Filipino troops pull `greatest escape' from Syria

    At one point, Syrian government forces fired artillery rounds from a distance to prevent the Filipino peacekeepers from being overwhelmed, said Col. Roberto Ancan, a Philippine military official who helped monitor the tense standoff from the Philippine capital, Manila, and mobilize support for the besieged troops.
    During the siege, the Philippine secretaries of defense and foreign affairs, along with the country's top military brass, gathered in a crisis room at the military headquarters in the capital to communicate with the Filipino forces and help guide them out of danger. The Syrian and Israeli governments, along with the United States and Qatar, provided support, the Philippine military said without elaborating.
    The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, or UNDOF, whose mission is to monitor a 1974 disengagement in the Golan Heights between Israel and Syria,
    Looking beyond the local dynamics of these actions, I think this scenario is illustrative of the importance of state governments in maintaining the international order. It was state governments that agreed to a peace, and an international organization that agreed to monitor it, while states agreed to provide forces to implement the agreement.

    When state governments are removed by other states and the territories left ungoverned by a recognized state, or a state falls due to rebellion, this results in a dangerous loss of control and limits the ability of other states to reach a negotiated peace agreement, or any agreement, until a recognized state power is established, resulting in protracted conflicts that are seldom in anyone's best interest, especially the people directly effected in the conflict zone. Established and recognized governments should mean more than we like those guys, and that they're considered legitimate with at least some of those governed. The state must have the means to enforce the law within and agreements between states. It sounds like victory to call the post conflict Libya a state with a recognized government, but it was a government in name only. It didn't have sufficient power to control its population and enforce the law. It didn't and still doesn't have the means to control it borders, and the list goes on. What do we imagine Syria will look like if the Assad government falls? A free for all for power, power that will only be able to be established through what the West would deem excessive force? This contributes to regional security, economic development, and human rights in what way?

    It is interesting to note that apparently the governments of Syria and Israel cooperated in helping the Filipino peace keepers escape from the rebels. Both Syria and Israel (as states) valued the UN supported settlement enough to see it as a common interest worth protecting, so they cooperated. They're still enemies, but rational enemies. They both had a voice with the UN as state actors enabling an adult conversation that led to tangible action. Non-state actors can behave rationally also, but they like states first need to exert authority and control to the extent needed over their constituents to be able to enforce an agreement.

    If stability is in our national interest, we may want to think twice about pushing our democracy crusade onto other states that are not ready for a transition for democracy. Instead, if we insist on crusading, an alternative approach would be to help states slowly prepare their societies for a new form of governance (democracy). Obviously such an approach would be seen as an act of war by what we call rogue states, so creative approaches emphasizing information power in the DIME would have to be the main effort. I really don't think the majority of the world's population desire to live in a stateless world if they actually think through the repercussions not just to their personal interests, but to the interest of humanity writ large.
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 09-01-2014 at 04:30 PM.

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