THE BLOG
02/22/2012 11:47 pm ET Updated Apr 23, 2012

The Union of Collaboration and Intervention In Global Affairs

Two weeks ago, China and Russia vetoed a United Nations resolution to urge Syrian President Basahar al-Assad to step down from office and relinquish his hold on the government. While China and Russia were obviously motivated by their own political agendas to such an action, it is important to recognize that they may have blocked what could have been the only successful international intervention in Syria's domestic conflict. Individual countries can now act on their own accord and send help to various rebel groups, or, as the United States has done, impose sanctions on Damascus, but these individual efforts will be smaller and met with more resistance than an effort sprung from a true international collaboration.

First off, any effort by any one country alone will inevitably be smaller than the collective acts of a group of nations; it's just simple math. With more nations united behind a single cause, there is more money and effort behind the project, not to mention more ideas and multiple different points of view. These points of view can be especially valuable when dealing with another country because one nation may not understand the cultural outlook of another, and when they collaborate with a nation with a similar cultural outlook, they may be able to aid the nation in question in a way that they may not have been able to before. To illustrate this rather abstract concept, an example: suppose that France has decided to embark upon a humanitarian project which involves helping to stimulate the Algerian economy. Since the French are culturally Western European, and have not been recently colonized by another nation, it could be difficult for them to understand the cultural and social forces behind the stagnated Algerian economy. However, if France chose to collaborate with a North African country that has a similar culture and a similar history of colonization until recent years (for example, Morocco), they would be able to be much more useful in their humanitarian endeavor, as they would be able to see what a culturally similar country in the same region (more or less) as Algeria thinks would best fit the needs of the Algerians and their economy. This collaboration is also quite important, as it breeds a kind of global tolerance that is truly unique to this type of collaborative experience. In an age where globalization is becoming an increasingly important force (and therefore increasingly touching more and more areas of our lives), it is necessary that we start to build at the very least a mutual tolerance, if not an amnesty, for each other, or else our planet will plummet into chaos; undergoing a sort of social apocalypse if you will. Therefore, through collaborative efforts (and especially collaborative efforts such as those of the United Nations where people of different national and ethnic backgrounds are able to come to together to help a group of people from yet another background), we as a planet can start to build this mutual trust and tolerance that is necessary to the progression of the globe as a whole.

That said, it is important to remember that we must collaborate on important national issues not only because it brings us together as a planet but also because unsolicited efforts by one individual nation to solve the problems of another nation will often be met with hostility, as well they should. The only time that one nation should get involved in the problems of another nation is when they have been explicitly asked, or when they are working as part of a larger collaborative project, such as one through the United Nations; unless of course they intend to go to war with that country. Such efforts can only lead to failure, as the United States showed throughout the period of the Cold War. By stepping into civil conflicts such as the one in Vietnam, the United States not only added heavily to the death toll by unrestrainedly destroying almost everyone and everything in their sight, but they also "skewed" the results of the civil war. If Vietnam had been left to its own devices, perhaps the entire country would have become Communist, but perhaps that would have been better than dividing the country in two because the former would have been a solution reached by the people that inhabit that nation and have their best interests at heart, and not by some nation that was attempting to divide Vietnam so that it could serve as a pawn in a larger political game. In addition, when one nation intervenes in the problems of another's, they will almost inevitably impose their values on the other nation, which nine times out of 10 will not be values that are compatible with the other nation's own.

So to conclude, intervention in the affairs of one nation should only happen when the group intervening is made up of a collaboration of nations, and not one nation alone. When one nation intervenes by itself, the acts can be interpreted by the other country as hostility; for example, Syria is most likely (and rightfully so) interpreting the sanction the United States has imposed on Damascus as hostile, and, because the United States is only one of the world's very powerful nations, not taking them too seriously. However, if a group of nations (especially powerful ones) were to impose sanctions on Damascus all at once, Syria would have no choice but to gravely consider the underlying reason behind why these sanctions were being imposed and what they could do to ameliorate their state.

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