Wednesday, December 28, 2011

observer missions

i was a little suspicious whether observer missions like the arab league's current one in syria do any good anymore. in ye olden tymes, observer missions had value even if they didn't do anything but show up and report what they saw. that's because the missions would place outside eyes in a troubled region, threatening to tell the world if they found anything nasty and thus deterring regimes from doing nasty things. but these days ubiquitous video recorders plus youtube mean that outside eyes are always potentially present. the deterrence of being observed is already in the troubled regions of the world. so do observer missions still add any deterrent value?

apparently, yes. i guess the arab leagues mission brings attention as much as outside eyes. that's the added deterrent value. at least until the world media gets bored with this and the attention drains away.