U.S. Foreign Policy: May 2008 Archives
[Image: AP/Wide World Photos - Donald Rumsfeld and Islam Karimov]
Sabrina Tavernise wrote yesterday in the NY Times about how the
Western governments say further ostracizing Uzbekistan by extending sanctions -- America's come up for consideration in June -- will cause it to close back up, increasing instability in a region of vital energy transportation routes and strategic proximity to the war in Afghanistan.
A newly softened tone has already paid political dividends. After Andijon and a volley of criticism from Washington,
Uzbekistanejected the United Statesfrom a military base that was supplying the war effort in . Though there are not yet plans for the base to reopen, the Uzbeks have allowed the Americans limited access to a German base at Termez, and Afghanistan Uzbekistanrecently offered NATO the use of its railway to ship goods to . Afghanistan
That highlights the difficult questions that relations with
Uzbekistanraise for American foreign policy: How much influence should the try to exercise -- if any at all -- over another country's behavior? And will that country be receptive, given the abuse, indefinite detentions and closed tribunals that have been part of the United States ' record in recent years? United States
It may comfort some in the
However, these diagnoses are mistaken.
The dysfunctional international political system permits an
unconstrained superpower like the