US must realise it can’t continue operating outside the framework of international law and norms
Stanford Chiwanga–Bulawayo Bureau
THE recent false accusations made by the United States Ambassador to South Africa about the country selling weapons to Russia highlights the importance of respecting the sovereignty of other nations and the wisdom of doing due diligence before making accusations.
Ambassador Reuben Brigety said at a press conference last Thursday that South Africa had loaded weapons and ammunition onto a Russian vessel, which is under sanctions, at the Simon’s Town naval base near Cape Town in December last year.
The South African government strongly denied the allegations and called on the United States to provide evidence to support its claims.
The lack of evidence to support the accusation has led many to question the motives behind Ambassador Brigety’s statement.
Some analysts have suggested that the United States may be attempting to pressure South Africa into taking a harder line on Russia, particularly in light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
The accusations have also raised concerns about the impact that such unfounded allegations could have on the United States-South Africa relationship.
South Africa is an important regional player and a key ally of the United States in Africa.
However, if the United States continues to make baseless accusations, it could undermine the relationship and damage co-operation on issues of mutual interest.
The United States must realise that it cannot continue to operate outside the framework of international law and norms.
The false accusation made by the US Ambassador is a clear violation of South Africa’s sovereignty and a breach of the trust that underpins the relationship between the two countries.
It is essential that the United States takes steps to rebuild this trust by acknowledging its mistake, giving a proper apology and taking corrective action.
Sovereignty is a fundamental principle of international relations, which recognises that every country has the right to self-determination and to govern itself without external interference.
It is essential that countries respect the sovereignty of each other, as any violation of this principle can lead to tension, conflict, and mistrust between nations.
In addition to respecting the sovereignty of other nations, it is vital to do due diligence before making accusations.
The United States must have robust evidence to support its claims, particularly when they have the potential to damage relations with other countries.
Making false accusations can have serious consequences, including the erosion of trust and co-operation between countries, as well as the risk of retaliation.
It is also essential to remember that international relations are complex, and issues are rarely black and white.
By doing due diligence, the United States can gain a better understanding of the situation and work with other countries to find a solution that is in everyone’s best interests.
But that is not what the United States is known for internationally. For decades, it has positioned itself as the world’s police force, intervening in conflicts and crises around the globe.
The rationale behind this approach has been to promote American interests and values, and to maintain global stability.
However, this approach has often been criticised as overly aggressive and counterproductive, leading to unintended consequences and long-term damage to US relationships with other countries.
It is time for the United States to reconsider its role as the world’s police force. This does not mean that it should withdraw from the world stage or shirk its responsibilities as a global leader.
Rather, it means recognising that it cannot solve every problem on its own, and that interventionism has its limits.
One of the main reasons why the United States needs to stop seeing itself as the police force of the world is the cost.
The United States has spent trillions of dollars on wars and military interventions in the past few decades, with little to show for it.
These interventions have not only been expensive, but they have also cost countless lives and caused untold suffering in the affected countries.
Moreover, interventionism has often undermined the sovereignty of other countries and damaged United States relationships with other nations.
Many countries view it as a bully, and there is a growing sense that the US is using its military mighty to impose its will on other countries.
This perception has eroded trust and co-operation between the United States and other countries, and it has made it more difficult for the US to achieve its foreign policy objectives.
The United States must also recognise that it is not infallible. It has made mistakes in the past, including supporting authoritarian regimes and engaging in wars that have had disastrous consequences.
By positioning itself as the world’s police force, the United States risks repeating these mistakes over and over again and making new ones.
The President Joe Biden-led country needs to approach international problems with humility and a willingness to listen to the perspectives of other countries and stakeholders.
South Africa is not alone in facing external interference in its affairs.
Many other nations in the global south have experienced similar challenges, from economic sanctions to military interventions.
In some cases, powerful nations have even supported regime change efforts to install governments that are more aligned with their interests.
The need for the United States to respect the sovereignty of South Africa and other nations in the global south is clear.
The right of nations to govern themselves without external interference is a fundamental principle of the international system, and the United States should be committed to upholding it.
Furthermore, respecting the sovereignty of other nations is not only morally right, but it is also in its long-term interests.
When nations feel that their sovereignty is being threatened, they may become more hostile and less willing to co-operate on issues of mutual interest.
The United States can start the journey to redeeming its reputation by providing evidence to support its claims or retract them, and work with South Africa as a partner and ally rather than making unsubstantiated accusations that undermine its sovereignty.