This paper argues that the advancement of Chinese capabilities in the areas of information warfare, anti-access measures, and strategic nuclear forces has substantially altered the balance of forces between China and the US, particularly regarding potential conflicts in China’s littoral waters, including over Taiwan. This challenge to US “command of the commons” may undermine America’s regional dominance in East Asia. More specifically, the article argues that the nature of any conflict between the two powers has been fundamentally changed by China’s development and implementation of technologies aimed at: degrading US communication and intelligence gathering capabilities; limiting the ability of the US to deploy air and sea assets in the Chinese theater of operations; and denying the US the ultimate trump card of an assured nuclear first strike capability.
In light of the political identification of Darfur as the first climate change violent conflict, this paper analyzes the Darfur case within the environmental securitization framework, discussing the underlying dynamics of the current situation. The paper argues that the environment-security nexus has to be analyzed in the domestic-international border and that the a-securitization of environmental policies with due regard to Darfur has been a fundamental, conceptual and operational obstacle to progress towards peace. Therefore, the internalization of this dialectic relation in politics and action is here understood as an essential step to address the root causes of violent conflict in Darfur.
Nuclear proliferation is often seen as a one-way street. The standard realist logic concerning proliferation is that states seek nuclear weapons to counter threats to their security, based on an often-narrow calculation of costs and benefits. Reality is much more complicated. When states do disarm, they base their nuclear decisions on their own highly subjective needs. The following paper attempts to capture this interaction by expanding traditional cost-benefit analysis into a framework that incorporates subjective as well as objective variables. This framework attempts to assess the viability of competing policy options facing promoters of disarmament.
This essay argues that there is a ground on which to build a legal case for a doctrine of humanitarian intervention. Instances of armed intervention to protect human rights without the prior authorization of the United Nations Security Council represent a conflict between core norms of the international community: the prohibition of the use of force, on one hand, and the prohibition of grave violations of human rights, on the other. Though many of the legal justifications put forth in the literature are inadequate, such action is legally defensible as a balancing between peremptory norms of international law. But to ensure proper balancing of these norms, a system must be adopted to regulate such intervention.
The rise of radical Islam along both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border has its roots in three major factors. The first is the disintegration of Afghan social structures at both the state and tribal levels, beginning in 1979 with revolts against the communist government and the subsequent Soviet invasion. The second is the increased sway of political Islam, due mostly to outside influences, including Salafist thought from the Middle East, and the more local Deobandi philosophy. The third is the radicalization of the Pashtuns, the dominant ethnic group along the border. This paper will examine how these three converging factors have created the current instability on both sides of the border, and where it might lead.
Peru and Colombia both faced severe internal conflicts between 1990 and 2002, in which guerilla groups challenged state sovereignty by contesting its monopoly of legitimate violence. Peru was able to defeat its insurgency during this time period through military and police actions, but Colombia was unable to resolve its conflict through either negotiations or military force. During this period, Colombia attempted to replace political violence with participatory democracy, while Peru’s democracy self-destructed and the country reverted to authoritarianism. These outcomes are surprising in light of prevailing political science literature, which argues that democratization is the key means to resolve internal political violence. This article tests the hypothesis that literature supporting the democratization peace theory was counter-productive in these two cases. It does so by examining whether democratic depth was inversely related to the resolution of internal conflict. The article concludes that democracy was not causally related to the resolution of internal conflict, but that this variance in outcomes can be explained by two variables outside the democratization peace paradigm: the nature of the guerilla groups and the socio-economic structure of the rural provinces in which the insurgencies were based.
The dissolution of the Soviet Union saw the outbreak of numerous ethno-political separatist conflicts, as well as intervention by a particular kind of outside actor that could be termed “fourth party” — local outsiders with preexisting linkages to a group rebelling against its parent state. Analysis of fourth-party intervention in Georgia and Moldova suggests the following: first, fourth-party ties to separatists that are political and based on mutual interests prompt more willing intervention than ethnic affinity; second, fourth parties make internal conflicts more complex by involving third parties; and third, more sustained fourth-party intervention (associated with political, interest-based ties) makes resolution more elusive.
What is the United States’ “vital national interest” in stopping the killing in Darfur? How can the United States best contribute to ending the bloodshed in Sudan? This essay examines the many American concerns in Sudan, from oil to the prosecution of crimes against humanity. But it settles on one decisive interest that tips the balance in favor of supporting intervention: the maintenance of international support for American policies as a primary source of US power. The United States should therefore offer serious support to an African-led intervention – an approach that will resolve the Darfur conflict without exacerbating already diminished perceptions of American legitimacy.
America’s “unnecessary wars” adhere to a basic pattern. They have been fought in the name of the broader mission that many Americans believe Providence has chosen their nation to carry out, but have been characterized by a prewar “fog” of incomplete or flawed information. They are the handiwork of a small but determined “war party,” and the US political system often acts as a stimulus to the use of force, rather than a check on it, as opposition politicians join the call for fear of being branded unpatriotic. Finally, from the War of 1812 to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, unnecessary wars have more often than not failed to advance the interests of those who pursued them. These lessons of the past are cause for serious reflection; the least that can be said after reviewing these wars is that the benefit of the doubt should never be given to those who urge military action.
This paper explores the long-standing energy tensions between Russia and Ukraine, examining developments in the politico-diplomatic role of Russian oil and gas pipelines in order to evaluate their effectiveness as instruments of intimidation. As the analysis will highlight, when Russia has used its energy exports as a “stick” with the goal of blackmailing leaders in Kiev into agreeing to Moscow’s foreign policy objectives, its leverage has been limited. Conversely, in the cases where Russia has used its energy exports as a “carrot,” Moscow has actually seen returns for its efforts. Thus, the Russo-Ukrainian energy relationship is interesting because it calls into question traditional perceptions of relative power.
With the election of Hamas, the Bush Administration’s democracy promotion policy in the Middle East appears to be a failure. However, an in-depth review of the theory, motivations and actions leading up to the election of Hamas in the Palestinian Authority parliamentary elections shows a more complex picture. The history of the Hamas movement proves that it is a pragmatic and forward thinking organization that has been able to adapt to the modern electoral system with great skill; furthermore, in its election may lie the seeds for a lasting peace through the democratic process.
The following essay attempts to identify and interpret the striking discursive similarities between the 2003 European Security Strategy and the 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States of America. According to the main argument of the essay, the Atlantic dimension of the European Security Strategy is not simply a result of American political-military supremacy. Rather, it reflects an ideological, institutional and material convergence between dominant sections of the European foreign policy establishment and the United States, under the banners of Atlanticism and new liberal imperialism.
This article attempts to respond to questions of public policy change that increasingly preoccupy political science given complex multilevel pressures at international and regional levels. To reveal the ways transformations at both the supranational and interstate levels constrain policymaking, and to understand the interactions at work, we first highlight how recent changes observed in domains as diverse as foreign and security policies, defense policy and family policy can be interpreted as signs of convergence. Secondly, in a more causalist perspective, we envision several variables as possible explanations of convergence. Finally, we seek to understand. convergence by observing mechanisms through which it may be produced.
This article examines cooperation between the EU and the US in the fight against transnational organized crime, especially terrorism. This includes the EU's internal reaction to the terrorist attacks on the US, as well as transatlantic initiatives involving Europol, judicial cooperation, container and airline security, and travel documents. Despite the emergence of transatlantic tensions, the period since 9/11 is notable for greater, not lesser, cooperation between the EU and the US.
Among the factors behind tensions in the relationship between the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), which erupted over the invasion of Iraq in 2003, is a change in the terms of discourse between the two blocs. How did the US move from a position where Europeans promised to stand 'shoulder to shoulder' with their ally in the aftermath of 9/11, to being cast as a threat to European interests and values? In attempting to explain contemporary transatlantic relations through an examination of foreign policy discourse, it is argued that a process of "Othering" in which the EU sought to construct differences between the two sides, particularly in its approach to international relations, is useful to our understanding of the place of identity in this changing relationship. By analyzing the European response to a set of policy differences in 2002, this article looks at deliberate attempts by Europe to elaborate a discourse of difference with the US in order to sustain its own foreign policy identity as a collective global actor.
How American discourse defines terrorism and identifies the factors responsible for its genesis and evolution has a significant impact on U.S. foreign policy. Since the events of September 11th the Bush administration has made a conscientious effort to establish the denigration of human rights as the root of terrorism. The narrowness of this formulation has had a negative impact on the development and deployment of an effective national security strategy.
This article criticizes the nature of relations between the West and the Islamic world by suggesting that current relations of "co-optation" are not beneficial to either party.
Four decades of the American embargo against Cuba have not led to significant political change on the island. It's time to contemplate a more effective policy against Castro: allowing unlimited investment and travel to Cuba. This will strengthen the nascent democratic movement already present there and promote real change from within, but a policy reversal this drastic will take political willpower that's unlikely in an American election year.