Saturday, September 09, 2006

End of the Westphalian age

Earlier this week, I was reading a post on the Corner which revived some thoughts I had during the Israeli incursion into Lebanon last week regarding the Treaty of Westphalia. I had mentioned during that time that based on the conventions of the Treaty of Westphalia, that the Lebanese government is ultimately responsible for the actions of all actors within its borders and must deal with the consequences of such actions.

The Treaty of Westphalia ushered the age of the nation state, whereby governments were ultimately held sovereignty over the actions of those within its borders. This notion helped keep a certain degree of peace within the Western world, and prevented the spread of anarchy. However, it seems that we have started to evolve full circle.

We have a state in Iran which does not recognize international borders (see Mark Steyn's article in the City Journal for more on this). Syria can somewhat be lumped in with Iran on this. Lebanon is incapable of asserting it's sovereignty, allowing Hezbollah to become a state within a state.

Finally, we have the West, being so emasculated from it's knee jerk multi-culturalism and anti-military psychoses, unable to assert the need for these states to behave within this system. We are also seeing Europe unable to deal with unassimilated radical Mohammedan populations within its borders, which pose the possibility of becoming a state within a state unless put in check.

So we could see in the long run the disintegration of many nation states as we know it, in the sense that they are able to assert any control within their own borders.

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