decade. Countries like Libya already suffer under bizarre tyrannies.rnNations like Zaire long ago descended into chaos, withoutrnhelp from Sudan. Moreover, the fact that so manv countriesrnsurround the Sudan suggests that enforcing an embargo wouldrnbe no easy task. Tragic Sudan is. Require American interventionrnit does not.rnThen there’s Burundi. With this Central African nationrnthreatening to go up in flames again, Thomas Friedman wantsrnAmerica to “use [its] power to try to stop potential genocide.”rnPauline Baker of the Fund for Peace and Lionel Rosenblatt ofrnRefugees International contend that the United States shouldrnsend troops now, since if it “does not take the lead in pushingrnfor early intervention, we may be drawn in anyway.” But whyrnBurundi and not Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan,rnCambodia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Liberia, Mozambique, Rwanda,rnSierra Leone, Somalia, Tajikistan, and Uganda, to name just arnfew murderous hellholes past and present? American soldiersrnshould be able to enjoy the fact that America is at peace, justrnlike the civilians they are defending.rnMoving further around the globe we come to Burma,rnwhich has not been important strategically since WorldrnWar n. But columnist Lally Weymouth calls for “direct orrncovert military action—or bilateral action with the Chinese,”rnto eradicate drug producers in the Southeast Asian state. Whatrnmakes Burma so critical? Many countries produce drugs, andrnAmerica does not—at least, not yet—invade them. Indeed,rnWashington cannot even eliminate the domestic demand forrnillicit substances. How, then, can it claim the right to bombrnproducers halfway around the globe? Using this precedent,rnSaudi Arabia could rightly strike, say, a beer producer inrnMilwaukee. What of Weymouth’s proposal to cooperate withrnChina in military operations? Perhaps she should ask other nationsrnin the region, including American allies like Thailand,rnwhich fear Beijing.rnIn fact, because of China the New York Times’ Friedman,rnfresh from demanding American involvement in the Balkansrnand Burundi, calls for “dusting off” the charter of SEATO, thernSoutheast Asia Treaty Organization, which collapsed back inrn1977. He hopes that engagement with China will moderate itsrnactivities, but wants the United States to maintain its forces inrnthe Far East and to undertake “hidden containment.” But whyrnshould America take the lead when the threat is regional ratherrnthan global, and containable by prosperous and populous regionalrnpowers? The United States established its dominantrnmilitary role in East Asia when hegemonic communismrnseemed on the move around the globe and there were no effectivernregional counterweights. Today, the potential Chinesernthreat does not extend to the United States, and a combinationrnof such nations as Japan, South Korea, Philippines, and evenrnVietnam could cooperate to offset and deter Chinese aggression.rnWashington should encourage them to create their ownrnSEATO—like today’s ASEAN—without the United States as arnmember.rnThen there is Cambodia. Richard Fisher of Heritage wantsrnto provide economic and military aid to Cambodia, as well asrnwork with Thailand and, yes, Vietnam—which at last noticernwas still communist—”to promote democratic and free-marketrneconomic reforms in Cambodia.” Fisher would also pressurernBangkok into allowing America to pre-position war materials inrnThailand “in order to deter conflicts on the Korean Peninsularnand the Persian Gulf.” Alas, it is hard to imagine that eitherrnKim Jong II or Saddam Hussein would be frightened by a fewrntanks stationed in Thailand. Especially Kim Jong II, since Thailandrnis further from Korea than Guam and barely closer thanrnWake Island. The North Korean dictator would probably bernmore impressed if increasingly wealthy South Korea upped itsrnown defense outlays.rnSpeaking of Korea, more than a few policymakers and analystsrnhave proposed bombing the North if it refuses to concedernits nuclear potential. Richard Haass of the Council on ForeignrnRelations, for instance, argues “we should also develop optionsrnto destroy the North Korean nuclear complex in a preventivernmilitary strike,” a step feared by the South Koreans—who obviouslyrnhave the greatest interest in forestalling a nuelearizedrnNorth—because it could easily start a full-scale war on thernpeninsula. Even people less inclined to pour gasoline and thenrntoss a lighted match on the most militarized chunk of groundrnon earth would have the United States increase its conventionalrnmilitary presence in the South. Columnist Tony Snow wantsrnAmerica to “get tough” and to “send in reinforcements if thernSouth Koreans and our other regional allies agree.” Whyrnshouldn’t they? They have enjoyed American protection forrndecades and have no reason to stop now.rnIndeed, these days Americans routinely insist that otherrncountries allow us to defend them. Fisher, for instance, said atrnthe height of the North Korean nuclear scare, “South Korearnmust be defended.” Certainly, but why by the United States?rnSeoul has some 18 times the economic strength and twice thernpopulation of Pyongyang. Why American taxpayers, who arerneach already spending more than Korean citizens just to defendrnKorea, should pay even more is not immediately obvious.rnWashington’s allies have become a bunch of international welfarernqueens.rnAs we move closer to home, narcotics is the favorite justificationrnfor foreign intervention, including possible military action.rnFormer drug czar William Bennett and Senate Foreign RelationsrnCommittee Chairman Jesse Helms, for instance, have demandedrnthat the administration “stiffen its spine and showrnsome resolve in its anti-drug efforts” in response to the “narcodemoeracy”rnof Colombia. The Heritage Foundation’s JohnrnSweenev proposes that the United States “consider every possiblernavenue for compelling the Colombian government to crackrndown on” drug cartels. Including, one wonders, nuclear strikes?rnAfter all. Representative Dan Burton, chairman of the HousernInternational Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere,rnwants to “send in some of our people” to arrest Colombianrndrug producers and suggests stationing aircraft carriersrnloaded with herbicides off of Bolivia and Peru to implement,rnapparently forcibly, drug eradication programs. Well, why not?rnWhat else are we going to do with our fleets, as the Red Navyrnrusts in port and sells its carriers for scrap?rnThe world remains a dangerous place, even after the endrnof the Cold War, but the form of danger—and especially thernrisk to the United States—is quite different. Today, anyway,rnnot all international problems are our problems. Rather thanrndreaming up new purposes for Cold War institutions andrnforces, policymakers should stop encouraging Washington tornact as an international cop out to police the rest of the globe.rnThen we could turn the Pentagon into a true Department ofrnDefense and cut the military budget accordingly, finallyrnallowing the American people, who spent some $13 trillionrn(in today’s dollars) to win the Cold War, to enjoy the fruits ofrntheir costly victory. £rn18/CHRONICLESrnrnrn