How the World Dropped the Ball on Burma

And how we can pick it back up
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2007 11:33 AM CDT
In this photo released by the Democratic Voice of Burma, Myanmar soldiers, center, block a road leading to Sule Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar on Wednesday Sept. 26, 2007. Security forces fired warning shots...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – International policy on Myanmar is at an impasse because the world went two different ways on the military junta—the US chose isolation while its neighbors chose constructive engagement—and both strategies failed. The country has gone from “antidemocratic embarrassment and humanitarian disaster” to “serious threat” to security, Foreign Affairs’ Michael Green and Derek Mitchell argue.

Only a US-led global consensus can reverse course, they say. Despite thousands of activists and citizens behind bars, 2,500 villages destroyed, a million people displaced, and narcotics and human trafficking spreading across Asia, the country is operating with impunity. Washington must convince Beijing and Delhi, along with other neighbors, to present Burma with the real benefits of reform and the deep costs of intransigence.