Obama Backs Security Council Seat for India

(public domain photo by Pete Souza)

I’m glad to see Barack Obama announce support for giving India a Security Council seat. Reform of the UN Security Council is something of a doomed endeavor, but in my view that’s all the more reason for the United States to play the role of good guy rather than protector of the status quo. India and Japan should have permanent Security Council seats. Brazil too. We should work something out with Africa. The EU should have some kind of consolidate seat instead of separate ones for France and the UK. There shouldn’t be unilateral vetos of UNSC resolutions. The “Forging a World of Liberty Under Law” report from John Ikenberry and Anne-Marie Slaughter (currently at the State Department) had a lot of good ideas along these lines.

Will it happen? Not in the short-term, that’s for sure. But let China and France be the spoilers here.

Over the long run, either these structures will shift or else they’ll become decreasingly relevant. The former would be clearly preferable to the latter, but in either case it makes sense for the United States to try to get ahead of the curve.