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Doklam

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The Old Silk Route, East Sikkim. By Madhumitaworld – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

I think it’s good that the US hasn’t over-involved itself in the dispute between India and China on the Doklam Plateau.  I’d like to use the word “sensible,” but that implies an intentionality that is not evident from the Trump administration foreign policy decision-making “process.”

There are certainly good reasons why the United States might resist even rhetorical intervention in this particular crisis. It would be nice to believe that the Trump administration was approaching the situation with care, refusing to give India the appearance of a free hand (thus limiting escalation concerns), while maintaining its effort to get Chinese cooperation on the North Korea issue. Conversely, it might even be nice to think that the Trump administration had given the issue a great deal of thought, and deliberately decided not to engage; this would be in keeping with Trump’s distaste for international entanglements, although perhaps not with his bombastic rhetoric towards China.

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