Monday, May 4, 2009

Why Do We Need A Burma Policy?

That was my first thought when I read the title, "Burma: Time for a New Approach by Ralph A. Cossa," an article posted yesterday at The author, Ralph Cossa, describes U.S. policy toward Burma, or Myanmar -- whatever you want to call it -- as "one of total isolation and strict sanctions." He laments that our policy hasn't worked to bring democratic reform, and that the military junta is still firmly in charge. So what does he think we should we do? 

According to Cossa,

U.S. sanctions need to be more targeted against the government and its leaders and not against the people themselves...The bans on Burmese garments, agriculture and fishery products and restrictions on tourism should be lifted.

Along with a reduction in sanctions he argues for greater diplomatic engagement with the junta, and more humanitarian aid.  I have no problem with removing sanctions on Burma. But the last thing we need right now is to get more involved in a situation that is none of our business, not to mention spending more money on aid. Why is it our problem what type of government rules Burma? Other than in World War Two, the country has never really been of strategic concern to the U.S. True, they grow many opium poppies. But we can't even stop opium production in a country, Afghanistan, where we have  large military presence, let alone in Burma. As long as it isn't hostile, and doesn't pose a threat to U.S. interests, how about we just deal with it like any other state?  

No comments:

Post a Comment