United States counter-narcotics policies towards Burma, and how the illegal myanmar regime is manipulating those policies to commit ethnic genocide.
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US counter-narcotic policies towards Burma have possessed a singular-focus. In other words, they have been based on the traditional bilateral triumvirate strategies of eradication, education, and interdiction. Eradicate the crops used to produce illicit narcotics, interdict the flow of illicit drug traffickers, and educate the general population on the dangers of continual drug usage. In the country of Burma though, there are other US policies which also have a singular focus, which have undermined the effectiveness of these policies. Since the Burmese military regime's brutal suppression of the pro-democracy movement in 1988, the US has severed all economic relations with the country. The Burmese economy, which was already far from stable, fell into a downward spiral as a result of these US-led policies. This did not result in a democratic transition. Over seventeen years since these economic sanctions have been in place, the US has not achieved a peaceful regime change in Burma. Furthermore, the attempts to remove the significant flow of illicit narcotics from the country have failed as well. The reason these two singular-oriented policies have failed is that they are targeted at a country much more complex than these strategies have been designed to handle. First of all, there are 135 ethnicities in Burma, while only a small portion of the Burman population maintains political and economic control. Although this would result in ineffective policies with little collateral impact, the ruling Tatmadaw regime has manipulated these policies to commit ethnic genocide upon the ethnic minorities within their territory. Unless a re-assessment of these policies is undertaken by the US and its allies, the only result of their policies will be the elimination of millions of ethnic minorities in this totalitarian state. Therefore, the US must re-assess its position of isolating the Myanmar regime, and focus on a policy of engagement. Only if a structured and progressive incentive policy of economic development is created in conjunction with the regime, can the separate triumvirate policies of counter-narcotics against the ethnic minorities in Burma become effective.
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