I’ve been watching the Obama administration dither over the chaos in Libya, and it got me starting to think. I’ve been developing the “Jay Tea” Doctrine for foreign policy.
Now, I’m not saying that this is the solutio nto our problems. Hell, I’m not even saying it’s a good idea. But it’s something, I think, worth kicking around.
Here’s the situation: Country X — let’s say Belgium — is really pissing us off. They’re threatening our citizens, our interests, and taking actions that directly challenge us. We’ve tried sanctions, diplomacy, and whatnot, and they’re still committed to making life difficult for us.
So, after we’ve tried a bunch of other approaches, we give their leader one last warning: 72 hours to leave his country. He will be immune from any kind of retaliation, legal or otherwise, and can take all the money he can steal. All he has to do is stay out of his old country for the rest of his life.
At hour 73, we go into full Fist Of An Angry God mode. We take out the assets of his country that are threatening us, him, and his top leadership — along with anything that gets in our way.
Once we’ve decapitated the government that was bugging us, we simply walk away. We call up the UN and say “it’s all yours — you fix it. But pass along the word that if the next leadership pisses us off as much as the old one did, we’ll do the same thing again.”
Simple, impersonal, professional, and effective. Carrot and stick. We shouldn’t have to do it more than once or twice before it becomes clear that when we give the final warning, we mean it.
One drawback is that dictators who do take the offer and run will never face justice for their crimes. But that’s a price to pay for their cooperation and capitulation that I’m willing to pay. I’d have been OK with it if Saddam had resigned to… oh, I dunno, Venezuela with a couple of billion and lived out his days in luxury. Hell, it would never have happened, but if Hitler had done the same in 1939, I’d say it would have been worth it.
Yeah, it’s high-handed. Yeah, it’s extremely unilateral. And yeah, it’s us imposing our will on the world.
But I’m OK with that, too. As Churchill once noted, nations have no permanent allies or enemies, just interests. And our interests should always put us first.