As the Burmese junta’s brutal crackdown on opposition activists continues, with police still rounding up and defrocking monks and hunting down leaders of the protests, the outside world scrambles to have any impact on the ruling generals. Despite
But none of these measures appear likely to have much impact. Shrugging off the United Nations's condemnation, the junta has bunkered down.
To make an impact in
A similar strategy might work in
With a North Korean-like regime that doesn’t care about the world, but is dependent on it for critical items, you have to hit them where they hurt. Long reported to be ailing, Than Shwe flies out of the country for medical care in neighboring Southeast Asian nations. His family also frequently heads outside the country, likely for shopping trips--during the September protests, the senior general parked his family in
So, smarter sanctions could include efforts to prevent certain top generals from accessing nearby health care and luxury shopping. They also could crack down on bank accounts in
Unlike broader sanctions, smarter sanctions might enjoy the support of critical countries in the region. Speaking with some regional diplomats this week in
Targeted sanctions also might help unite Burmese themselves. Inside
Joshua Kurlantzick is a special correspondent for The New Republic.
By Joshua Kurlantzick