Like a severely disturbed individual, a failed state is a danger not just to itself but to those around it and beyond.
… there is no chance that the government can defeat the rebels; there is, however, a small but growing possibility that the rebels could defeat the government.
If this were purely an internal matter, the world could afford to look shamefacedly away. But it isn’t. Nepal’s Maoists have formed links with India’s own Maoist insurgents, who go by the local name of Naxalites, and, says India, with some of the vicious groups fighting secessionist wars in its north-east.
The Acorn‘s prescription follows.
It does not take much to take the wind out of the Maoists’ (already flagging) sail — usurp their agenda, especially the one calling for a new constituent assembly. Even in the absence of the Maoist threat, King Gyanendra has sufficiently distorted Nepal’s politics that a return to the 1990-system is next to impossible. Clearly, Nepal needs reconciliation, but the Maoists are the worst possible agents to provide it.
The constituent assembly can then decide whether Nepal becomes a republic, or ends up with a Japanese-style constitutional monarchy. India should intervene to bring about this outcome by bearing down on the king and his prime minister. Should the Maoists continue their armed struggle even after this, India would have no alternative left but to intervene militarily. In that case it must take up the responsibility, preferably but not necessarily with the sanction of the UN Security Council.