Monday, April 2, 2012

Myanmar: How To Help Emerging Democratic Nations

The election of Suu Kyi yesterday in Myanmar is a great opportunity for US foreign relations in terms of assisting the evolution of democracy in a new part of the world.

The traditional USA role of "all or nothing" support for the pro-democracy forces has to be abandoned by a willingness to work with the entirety of the Myanmar government, including President Thien's ruling party in spite of it's human rights history.

America has the opportunity now due to softening hard-line domestic policies there to act as a consultant along with other foreign powers rather than as an unilateral force which imposes it's will. The best way to lay a foundation for a free and democratic future in Myanmar is to offer expertise and infrastructure and not militant rules and threats.

As many more emerging countries enter the global economic community, I would suggest that an advisory group be established that represents many national and private interests such that Myanmar and others avoid many of the democratic failures which ultimately end up no further ahead in the long run (look to just about every country in Africa for examples).

The advisory panel goals should be to stabilize the country, encourage and protect foreign investment, educate the citizens on democratic principals and support the ruling party. The advisory board needs to be collaborative rather than punitive such that the nation can move forward in the right direction and will also help to avoid the attempted coup's and public rebellion which seem to be inevitable in the 21st century.

A democratic and economically focused international advisory board would be a first step in assisting emerging countries cope while maintaining their sovereignty through non-political or military intervention.

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