Inaction Breeds Impunity in #Syria #Cuba

Friday, August 30, 2013
During today's remarks on Syria, U.S. President Barack Obama correctly stated:

"[I]t is not in the national security interest of the United States to ignore clear violations of these kinds of international norms, and the reason is because there are a whole host of international norms that are very important to us. You know, we have currently rules in place dealing with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We have international norms that have been violated by certain countries and the United Nations has put sanctions in place, but if there's a sense that, over time, nobody's willing actually to enforce them, then people don't take them seriously."

On a lesser (non-military) scale, this is also important in light of the intercepted shipment of Cuban weapons to U.N.-sanctioned North Korea, which experts believe is in clear violation of the U.N.'s arms embargo.

If the U.N. is not willing to strongly sanction the Cuban and North Korean officials and companies responsible for this breach of international law, then the U.S. should consider further sanctions.

Otherwise, these regimes will only be emboldened by impunity.