Daudelin: What was the most significant development in international affairs this year?

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December 19, 2013
Professor at Carleton University's Norman Paterson School of International Affairs

Bashar al-Assad’s surviving the opposition’s military onslaught and the international pressure for his resignation ranks first because of its implications for the remaining dictators of the world, and their budding imitators: the age of humanitarian intervention, Responsibility to Protect and tutti quanti is over. The International Criminal Court bubble is busted and now appears as an obstacle to the easing out of tyrants. If you have enough military might and can keep your officers in line, you are in business. Mugabe, Dos Santos, Kim Jon Un, Kagame, Castro, or their chosen heir will have taken note, just like budding autocrats like Nicaragua’s Ortega and Venezuela’s Maduro.