Myanmar’s Opposition Should Focus on Diplomacy, Not War

Myanmar’s Opposition Should Focus on Diplomacy, Not War
Protesters hold a banner calling on world leaders to recognize Myanmar’s National Unity Government, outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, Sept. 11, 2021 (SIPA photo by Vuk Valcic via AP).

With Myanmar’s junta laying waste to the country’s economy and bungling its COVID-19 response, the country stands on the verge of becoming a failed state. The economy may shrink by around 18 percent this year, according to the World Bank, and over 200,000 people have been internally displaced since the February coup. The United Nations estimates that nearly half the country could fall below the poverty line by 2022. At the same time, the country’s COVID-19 tests are coming back positive at a rate of over 7 percent.

This mismanagement creates an opportunity for the parallel National Unity Government, formed to oppose the junta, to show it can rule effectively—from exile now and perhaps in the capital, Naypyidaw, in the future. With the armed forces ratcheting up their violent suppression of pro-democracy protesters and killing large numbers of civilians, the NUG and its allies also hope to form a fighting force that can confront, and possibly win victories against, Myanmar’s military. 

Opponents of the coup seem far closer to the first goal than to the second. 

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.