Realistic repercussions of leaving the UN

Nick Vidal, Junior Political Science and Russian Major at UVM

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Let’s clear a few things up here. The United Nations isn’t an obstacle to American “sovereignty.” The idea that the United States would somehow be more powerful or independent were it to relinquish its commitments to the UN is misguided, frightening, and deeply problematic.

Not only does it ignore the fundamental role of the UN as a peacekeeping institution but it encourages a train of logic that could jeopardize the relative peace the world has enjoyed over the past half century.

Since 1945, the UN has stood as the physical embodiment of international diplomacy, helping to mediate conflicts and encourage peaceful cooperation between great powers while providing a platform for all world leaders to voice the prerogatives of their respective nations.

The potential decision of the United States to leave the United Nations would accomplish little beyond galvanizing world opinion against the US, empowering rival states, and ultimately weakening America’s influence abroad.

Granted, this bill is unlikely to pass. Senator Rogers has either proposed or supported similar legislation at least three times over the past ten years and frankly, isolationist factions have remained stubbornly present in American government since the nation’s founding.

However, the fact that such action would even be plausible over the next four years given the president’s isolationist rhetoric, skepticism towards NATO, and his generally questionable foreign policy acumen is what truly shakes me to my core.

The UN, much like NATO, does not constitute a threat to American sovereignty. It seeks and serves to protect it.

Threatening to leave the UN isn’t “America First,” it’s diplomatic suicide. Relinquishing the the UN’s constraints on American sovereignty would simply empower others to do the same.

We cannot allow the emergence of a multipolar world to weaken our commitment to international law, diplomacy, and peaceful cooperation between powers. If we do, then God help us.