the inaugural issue
CLAREMONT Journal of International Relations
Lily Lousada PZ ‘14 Kyle Roland PZ ‘14
Jack Shaked PZ ‘14 Sophia Baldwin PZ ‘14 Nicholas Sundback PO ‘14 Kevin Jay Tidmarsh PO ‘16 Evan Roe PO ‘13 Milia Fisher PO ‘13
Jaya Williams PZ ‘14
Dear Reader, Let us start by saying it is our privilege to welcome you to the inaugural issue of the Claremont Journal of International Relations. The Claremont Journal of International Relations is a student run publication that strives to promote discourse and engagement about world affairs. The aim of this forum is to offer diverse opinions and perspectives on numerous aspects of international affairs related issues through the publication of academic articles regarding political theories, foreign policy and global events. We hope to foster open discussion to bridge our academic studies with personal learning outside of the classroom. Each article in the Claremont Journal of International Relations reflects the opinion of its author(s) and does not represent the Claremont Journal of International Relations, its editors, its staff, or the Claremont Colleges. Sincerely, Kyle Roland and Lily Lousada Co-Editors-in-Chief Claremont Journal of International Relations
If you have questions, comments, concerns, or want to get involved, please contact email@example.com Sponsored by Pitzer Student Senate
Heather Byrne | PO â€˜15 Conflict Resolution on the Korean Peninsula: Evaluating the Theoretical Potential and Current Failings of the Kaesong Industrial Complex
Kyle Roland | PZ â€˜14 The Future of the United Nations
Jack Shaked | PZ ‘14 21st Century Realism
Evan Roe | PO’ 13 Communist China and the Third World
Lily Lousada | PZ ‘14 International Involvement in Intra-State Conflict: Prolongation and Profiteering
International Involvement in Intra-State Conflict: Prolongation and Profiteering Lily Lousada | Pitzer ‘14
This paper will address international actors’ involvement in intra-state conflicts. Specifically, it will examine the role of international actors in the perpetuation of conflicts examining both actors ostensibly working towards liberal peace and those profiting from the maintenance of conflict. This will consider the inter-linked process of the empowerment of competing sides through international humanitarian aid and extra-legal war profiteering. It will be grounded in the historical development of states and the origins of warfare; From the co-evolutionary process of state-making and war-making too the contemporary relationship between the nationstate and modern warfare. Inevitably, this necessitates a parallel history of the transformation of the global international economic order. Secondly, this paper will argue that the globalized nature of intra-state conflict influences the perpetuation of these conflicts. It must be noted that while recognizing the multi-faceted causality of conflict and the duration of conflict, for the purpose of specialization this paper will examine the international involvement in intra-state conflict. As Neil Cooper noted in his article Picking out the Pieces of the Liberal Peaces: Representations of Conflict Spring 2013 | Claremont Journal of International Relations
Economies and the Implications for Policy: …the focus on the factors inside the state essentially absolve (by simply taking them as given) the broader structure of the global economy and the role of hegemonic power in creating the conditions for under-development, state failure and conflict1.
This analysis hopes to provide an insight into the nature of the international political economy. Given this unipolar moment, the liberal political, social, and neoliberal economic philosophies prevalent in the US have global implications. We witness the prioritization of global peace from two predominant sources: solidarism and security2. The first is a socially driven rejection of violent conflict, finding moral qualms with most warfare and feeling solidarity with the ‘victim’. As Cooper noted: “the promotion of human rights, free speech, civil society (via effective application of the rule of law) have become staples of peace-building discourse and policy”3. From a constructivist standpoint, a social norm against the brutality of ‘unjust’ war has developed. The second is a more politically driven development that places concern on the global security ramifications of weak states. This manifests as support for international and humanitarian intervention as Cooper asserts:
7 “the securitization of underdevelopment has underpinned the new ‘liberal peace’ aid paradigm, centered around the restoration of order through the application of neoliberalism and the formal accoutrements of democracy and civil (but not economic) rights (Duffield, 2012)”4. It is critical to note that Cooper recognizes a key facet in policies of intervention of not simply ceasing the conflict but of maintaining a vested interest in the ‘victims’ outcome and indeed the democratic re-structuring of the state in question. In cases of the United Nations’ approved international involvement, there exists a pre-determined consensus among the Major Powers on the desired, morally correct and necessary outcome. This is structurally enforced by the nature of the Security Council’s composition and their respective veto power. Accordingly, international peace efforts in intra-state conflict come with a meta-goal of not simply a resolution of the conflict at hand, but the ‘right’ resolution as shaped by liberal western values. This involvement predominantly takes the form of humanitarian assistance but at times covert operations arming the chosen side by individual or coalition nations as the US armed the Libyan rebels in 20115. Therefore this international involvement comes with a determined interest in controlling for a particular outcome may prolong the conflict.
‘New War’ dynamics, often marked by the presence of non-conventional combatants like paramilitary or rebel groups, and, as Kaldor notes, “Regular armed forces are in decay, particularly in areas of conflict”6. The decay of conventional forces armed by governments, and the rise in non-state forces increases the black market demands for weaponry; a demand met by international firms. Neil Cooper recognizes the inherent nature of these war economies: “In such explanations, then, economic activity in conflict did not need explaining: it was simply of the conflict, explicable by reference to the conflict itself, and the end of conflict would bring the end of the conflict entrepreneurs”7. The only interest of these actors is in conflict maintenance.
Though these war profiting international actors may appear to operate within a distinct, parallel economy, their operations are, in realty inseparable. Intra-state conflict economies demonstrate a time in which formal and informal economies converge. In conflict areas, there is limited infrastructure for safe international involvement of aid or illegal goods delivery and so, as Carolyn Nordstrom explains in her book Shadows of War: Violence, Power and International Profiteering in the Twenty-First Century at the logistical core of international involvement legal and illegal goods move along the very same routes8. She examines the use of transport flights within conflict economies noting that they “offer a view into the deeply internaThere exists simultaneously, and quite intercon- tional character of extra-state shadow activities nected, additional international involvement in and power systems”9. Nordstrom illustrates this the form of actors profiting from war, interested interconnection through accounts from a transin maximizing their market by continuing the port flight pilot: conflict. Recognizing the high profitability of conflict economies, businessmen connect in- Here we are killing ourselves flying five or six runs from dawn to dark to get essentials to starving bombed-out people under dividual conflicts to a broader world of parallel the good auspices of one side, and then find ourselves flying economies. This paper has already established weapons and supplies to the other side that night. That guy –the the shifting nature of conflict from conventional European- who ran the company that chartered out to10 humanitarian aid...what an operator! He played all sides of it . inter-state war to intra-state war and it follows accordingly that these conflicts create new war This pilot witnesses the direct interrelation of economy demands. Mary Kaldor writes on these Claremont Journal of International Relations | Spring 2013
8 conflict as the result of international involvement. This paper purports that that involvement is further, a conflict of the formal- normalized as legal- and informal illegal actors: a conflict within a conflict. In this context what at first appears as a ‘civil-war’ is in reality fought by international actors as a result of the highly interrelated nature of the international economic order and the international communities desire The success of extra-legal war profiteering is to control the process of state-formation. in part due to the process of globalization. Advancements in transportation technology and In conclusion, international involvement, both the proliferation of more advanced military ca- legal and illegal, prolongs intra-state conflict pability leave military groups wanting more and by competing within the conflict economy. black marketers able to provide. Neil Cooper This paper has attempted to show how conflict blames this development on the neoliberal na- economies can provide insight into the interrelation of formal and informal facets of the inture of globalization. ternational political economy. Nordstrom quotes …the application of neoliberalism has fostered a particular Manuel Castells on this topic: “’Complex finankind of globalization that, in simultaneously weakening states cial schemes and international trade networks and fostering the free movement of goods, has created the link up criminal economy to the formal econocondition under which local conflict entrepreneurs have been able to utilize flexible world-wide trading networks to generate my…the flexible connection of these criminal global revenues from local predation11. networks in international networks constitutes an essential feature of the new global econoThe ease of conflict trade is thus facilitated by my’”13. Castells recognition of this interrelation the nature of the globalized international politi- has important implications the understanding cal economy. Ironically, this same sense of glo- of where legitimate economic interactions end balization can be noted in uniting international and illicit ones begin. These perceptions are actors attempting to promote peace. based on legal definitions; the idea of these distinctions exists as a construction of an inWhen informal economies of war profiteering tersubjective understanding. If states do desire, combine with formal international involvement as a rationalist would posit, security and stabilthey artificially sustain the forces’ ability to con- ity through a globally peaceful order then they tinue living and fighting, prolonging the conflict. should pay close attention to the link between Through this altered conflict, international in- their involvement in intra-state conflicts to mitivolvement interrupts the historically practiced gate suffering and the inseparable opportunity it process of war-making and state-making. In grows for extra-legal war profiteering in conflict Dietrich Jung’s book Shadow Globalization, Eth- economies. nic Conflicts and New Wars: A Political Economy of Intra-state War he proposes that “In current intra-state wars, we do not observe an unrestricted elimination contest within formally established states, but rather an internationally restricted process of ongoing internal conflict”12. Here Jung remarks on prolonged intra-state international humanitarian involvement and war profiteering within war economies. Here we see international forces working against each other: as the international political community works to support there chosen side with aid and strength, while private economic actors militarily support the prolongation of the conflict to maximize profits.
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9 1 Cooper, Neil. “Picking Out the Pieces of the Liberal Peaces: Representations of Conflict Economies and the Implications for Policy.” Security Dialogue 36, no. 4 (December 1, 2005): 463–478. doi:10.1177/0967010605060451. 6. 2 Cooper, 2. 3 Cooper, 7. 4 Cooper, 10. 5 Hosenball, Mark. “Exclusive: Obama Authorizes Secret Help for Libya Rebels.” Reuters. Washington, March 30, 2011. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/30/us-libya-usa-order-idUSTRE72T6H220110330. 6 Kaldor, Mary. New and Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era. 1st ed. Stanford University Press, 1999. p 92 7 Cooper, 2. 8 Nordstrom, Carolyn. Shadows of War: Violence, Power, and International Profiteering in the Twenty-First Century. 1st ed. University of California Press, 2004. 92-93. 9 Nordstrom, 89. 10 Nordstrom, 91. 11 Cooper, 7. 12 Jung, Dietrich, ed. Shadow Globalization, Ethnic Conflicts and New Wars: A Political Economy of Intra-state War. 1st ed. Routledge, 2003. 22. 13 Nordstrom, 94.
Claremont Journal of International Relations | Spring 2013
Communist China and the Third World Evan Roe | Pomona ‘13
During the long rule of Mao Zedong, Chinese foreign policy went through a number of twists and turns, the most famous and thoroughlystudied of which were the Sino-Soviet Split of 1963 and the reestablishment of relations with the United States in 1971 following President Nixon’s historic visit. Yet it is China’s relations with the countries of the Third world, especially those in South and Southeast Asia, that best captures the Chinese approach to foreign policy in the Mao era. The Chinese relationship with Third World countries primarily wavered between periods of amity based on a mutual anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist Third World solidarity, and hostile periods of either aggressive actions taken in the name of Chinese self-interest and/or Chinese support for local communist revolutionaries. These changes in the Chinese approach to the Third World during the Mao era are best understood as consequences of domestic Chinese political events, the relative status of officials within the Party bureaucracy, and local events in the Third World nations.
the changes and continuities in Chinese foreign policy. India shares a long land border and a long historical relationship with China, and accordingly the Chinese have spent much time and energy trying to maintain both. The SinoIndonesian relationship is not quite as deep, but provides a good example of Chinese behavior towards the countries in its near abroad, especially those with which it does not share a border. Accordingly, when examining the nature of Chinese foreign policy towards the Third World, this paper will use the example of these two countries and the radical changes that outside events and internal politics played in their respective relationships, touching on the Bandung Conference, the Sino-Indian border war, and the military coup which brought Suharto to power and lead to a break in diplomatic relations between China and Indonesia.
Before starting, though, one further point must be made. Perhaps the most important Third World country (from the Chinese perspective) was North Vietnam, later Vietnam. Yet this reTwo particularly important Third World coun- lationship, while of much relevance to China’s tries in the minds of the Chinese leadership dealings not only with the Third World but with were India and Indonesia. An analysis of these the two superpowers of the Cold War era (the two countries also proves useful in highlighting United States and the Soviet Union), is in most Spring 2013 | Claremont Journal of International Relations
11 respects an entirely separate area of Chinese foreign policy than that of the general Chinese approach to the Third World. The Vietnam War, and China’s extensive involvement as an ally for the North, makes this point plain. While China certainly based its relations with the other Indochinese nations, and Southeast Asia more broadly, on its support for the North in an “antiimperial” struggle against the United States, any analysis of the Sino-Vietnamese relationship benefits more from an understanding of the war and those two countries’ history, rather than the general framework which China applied to its relations with the rest of the Third World. Put simply, Vietnam and the Vietnam War should be treated as a major, separate topic in any discussion of Chinese foreign policy, best discussed in the context of Sino-American and Sino-Soviet relations. The modern Chinese relationship with the Third World, and in fact its relationship with the rest of the world in general, has deep roots in China’s long and glorious past as an empire. For a long period of time, China was the richest and most advanced nation in the world, and the Chinese have never forgotten this fact. The Chinese had always been relatively inward facing, content to develop a strong national culture and receive tribute from neighboring vassal states than to venture far abroad. Chinese power over the years ebbed and flowed, but in many ways China and its place in the world seemed relatively stable. The key takeaway here is that the Westphalian system of nation-states never took root in the Chinese context, and China thus never had to enter into relations with countries that were superior to it and demanded respect.
ing rise of historically inferior Japan to the ranks of the Western colonizers, the Chinese people and the Chinese nation were humiliated. Even following the Rebellion of 1912 that established a new era of Republican governance, China was a poor, weak country that barely mattered on the world scale. Torn apart by the West’s control of its cities, and eventually local warlords who carved out areas of influence across the country, there was a very real fear that the Chinese nation would soon cease to exist altogether. And so it was with great relief on the part of the vast majority of the Chinese people when Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party unified the country (reclaiming Qing-era territories save Taiwan) and vowed to end this “century of national humiliation”1. In Mao’s words, China had “stood up” and would once again shape its own destiny as a pivotal actor on the Asian and World stage2. A poor, overwhelmingly peasantled movement had defeated allies of the most powerful nation in the world, and so China entered a new era in it history, and for the first time in a long time a stable, unified China could bring its attentions to bear on political problems happening outside of its country.
In many respects, though, the Chinese foreign policy apparatus was not up and running at the end of Chinese Civil War. China did have a very strong, newly-victorious military, however, and in a first sign of its newfound power China sent this military into Korea, ultimately fighting the United States to a stalemate. This had enormous domestic and international political benefits for Mao and for China, as in the eyes of the Third World the Chinese had once again stood up to Western/American imperialism. The And so China inculcated a historical sense of Korean War, coupled with the brief “liberation” greatness, which made it all the more difficult of Tibet in the face of objections from India and for its people to accept China’s dramatically the West, represented nothing more than a conlower position during the late Qing-era of the tinuation of the civil-war era military policies of 19th century. Now subjugated in a state of Mao. Chinese rhetoric at the time emphasized semi-colonization, and witness to the astonish- communist themes and worldwide revolution, Claremont Journal of International Relations | Spring 2013
12 reflecting China’s status as new junior partner to the Soviet Union. In the early days of communist rule, China was without a fully formed government, and it was not until 1954 that an early provisional constitution was replaced with the first proper Chinese Constitution. This reorganization of the Chinese state paved the way for the professionalization of the Chinese foreign policy apparatus, now to be carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (though with policies emanating from the Politburo and State Council at the very top of the Chinese hierarchy). This change in structure enabled Zhou Enlai, a longtime ally of Mao and China’s Premier, to consolidate his control over the workings of Chinese foreign policy and subtly promote his vision of China in the modern era3. Zhou’s freer hand in the foreign policy sphere paid immediate dividends in both the Geneva Conference of 1954 that ended hostilities in Indochina (based on the concept of “neutralization,” or keeping the area neutral in the scheme of the wider Cold War), and the promulgation of the policy of Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. The Five Principles, which included ‘mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty’, ‘mutual non-aggression’, ‘mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs’, ‘equality and mutual benefit’, and ‘peaceful coexistence’, formed the basis of the Sino-Indian Agreement in 1954, and indeed the new direction in Chinese foreign policy4. Although Mao and other leaders had spelled out the essence of the Five Principles since 1949, it was Zhou who creatively put them into practice, in the process discarding Liu Shaoqi’s earlier tactic of support for wars of liberation5. The 1955 Bandung Conference, held in Indonesia, presented itself as a chance for Zhou to show this change in Chinese foreign policy on a bigger stage. Sukarno, leader of Indonesia, organized the conference to assert himself and Spring 2013 | Claremont Journal of International Relations
his country in the diplomatic sphere, partnering with India to promote the doctrine of nonalignment and anti-imperialism6. While Chinese stature had grown considerably following the end of the Civil War, there was still considerable fear among the members of the conference that China would follow the logic of its own rhetoric and recent actions in Korea, Tibet, and Taiwan (the Taiwan Straits Crisis) by pushing for communist revolutions in their respective countries. These countries may have been critical of the West, but following their policy of non-alignment, they remained wary of entanglements with the Communist world, represented by the Soviet Union and China. By the end of the conference, Zhou had almost entirely assuaged these concerns, firmly promoting himself and China as friends to all Third World nations on the basis of the Five Principles (in the process forging new diplomatic relationships with many Asian nations, among them Indonesia)7. Four of the principles, in fact, were included in the final declaration produced at the conference8. By the mid 1950’s, Zhou had managed to alter the tone of Chinese foreign policy, ending China’s isolation and establishing some sort of diplomatic relationship with the many countries in its neighborhood. Zhou and Nehru met often and by all accounts got along well. Yet any analysis of Chinese foreign policy has to acknowledge the ultimate power of Mao Zedong. Had Mao not come around to Zhou’s way of thinking, China would have maintained its previous ideological position and most likely cost itself allies and status in the process. Yet Mao was at times a pragmatic leader, and he recognized that Zhou was the most worldly and experienced in foreign affairs of all the senior members of the CCP, and Mao trusted his judgment. Mao sincerely did not want war breaking out in or near China, and Zhou’s success at the Geneva Conference proved the value of the “Five Principles” strategy9.
13 This brief period of regional peace, internal political stability, and economic growth, however, was not to last. The Great Leap Forward and subsequent Three Years of Famine represented a massive shock to the Chinese system. Where China had been outward facing and economically confident in the mid 1950s, by the early 1960s the massive, self-inflicted famine took up most of the attention of Mao and China’s leaders. By a bad stroke of timing, the two biggest remaining sources of tension between India and China (Tibet and the undefined border between the two countries) both burst into view, with negative repercussions for all involved.
same time building roads in the disputed Aksai Chin area to enable transport from Xinjiang to Tibet. While waiting on the Indians, Zhou was in fact able to fix similar border disputes with both Burma and Pakistan12.
Unfortunately, Zhou was never able to use the same means to solve the Indian border dispute. On this issue, Nehru held fast to two beliefs. One, all the areas under dispute were rightfully India’s, and two, given the good relationship, based on ‘peaceful coexistence’, between India and China, there was no chance that the Chinese would start a war, even if India sent soldiers into the disputed zones. What Nehru couldn’t underWhile Zhou and Nehru maintained amicable stand, however, was the inherent changeability diplomatic relations, the Chinese and the Indi- of Chinese foreign policy, given that the man he ans never got around to officially demarcating had established a strong working relationship the border between their two countries. This is- with (Zhou) ultimately answered to Mao when it sue has a long and complex history, stemming came to foreign policy. from the imprecise nature of boundaries in the pre-modern state of Tibet as well as confusing The Dalai Lama (the spiritual leader of the Timaps drawn up by India’s British rulers. Had Ti- betan people) led an uprising in 1959, and bet become an independent nation (a process when it failed he fled to India, and was subseit attempted only haltingly, and with a surpris- quently allowed to establish a safe haven and ing lack of support from India), the border is- government-in-exile. Domestically, Zhou was in sue would likely have been settled peacefully, a weaker position during the Great Leap Foras Tibet and India had always had peaceful re- ward. Mao had grown fed up by this Indian inlations10. When China annexed Tibet, however, transigence and harboring of enemies, and so it was anxious to control as much territory as he allied with Liu Shaoqi in pushing for military possible, and so it used the ambiguity of the action. Zhou was powerless to resist, and thus ancient, never-demarcated borders as an op- came around to Mao’s way of thinking. The portunity. Sino-Indian border soon became the site for a massive military buildup, and when Indian Zhou dearly wanted to solve the border dispute troops launched a minor skirmish in Tawang in in a fairly equitable fashion using land swaps 1962, the Chinese retaliated heavily13. based on where each country maintained actual, not nominal, sovereignty, given his overarch- The Sino-Indian War was over quickly, and at ing goals of promoting Third-World solidarity the end the Chinese retreated to their previous and non-alignment11. But Nehru and the Indian positions, relinquishing any gains made in the government refused to even acknowledge that Eastern sector. Both sides had clearly violated there was a border crisis, issuing maps show- any principle of ‘peaceful coexistence’, with Ining Indian control of all disputed territory. The dia going so far as to call on the United States Chinese attempted to raise the issue in their for tactical support. It was precisely to avoid diplomatic relations with India, while at the dealing with the United States that the Chinese Claremont Journal of International Relations | Spring 2013
14 retreated and pushed for the quick peace, and thus the true nature of Zhou’s policy became clear. China had based its support for nonalignment on a pragmatic basis, and so when the facts changed the policy changed. China used non-alignment as the basis for an essentially realist stance in foreign policy, where India treated non-alignment as an ideological article of faith, leading to their defeat. Ultimately, the border war, though an internal defeat for Zhou, did not do much harm in the long term (China did win, after all), and fairly soon after the ceasefire, Zhou was again free to pursue the policies of non-alignment and ‘peaceful coexistence’.
growth. He had badly mismanaged Indonesia’s economy in the years following independence, nationalizing colonial-era Dutch industries without the capital and technical knowledge to keep the factories running. Furthermore, he racked up major debts from first the United States and then the Soviet Union to pay for his military adventurism. Things got so bad that by 1965 inflation reached crisis levels of 600 percent. Yet Sukarno remained a powerful orator as well as a canny political operator, deftly balancing the two major political factions of the country, the military and the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), under a general framework of political Islam. As Indonesia could not repay its debts to the Soviet Union, it turned again towards China, with Sukarno talking of a ‘Jakarta-Peking Axis’ while opening arms negotiations with the Chinese15. The Chinese were delighted to turn a former Soviet ally into a Chinese one, and even though Sukarno himself was not a communist, he had the backing of the PKI (to which China had also provided major financial and rhetorical support). The PKI at this time had in fact become the world’s largest communist party in the non-communist world, with over 3 million members and further ancillary membership organizations.
Even as China won the war, the horrific effects of three years of famine would prove to have much greater impact. Mao had retired from day-to-day control of the government (though of course he was still paramount leader), and so Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi sought to economically reverse the damage of the Great Leap Forward. Furthermore, by 1963 China and the Soviet Union ceased to be allies, and in the so-called Sino-Soviet split, China took to lumping the Soviet Union in with the United States as an imperialist superpower. On the foreign policy front, it was absolutely critical that China maintain good relations with its neighbors, and to work on expanding China’s influence across This state of affairs in early 1965 seemed althe Third world14. most perfectly in tune with China’s interests Relations with Indonesia had been fairly low- (of course a communist Indonesia was still to key, if broadly harmonious, and would strength- be preferred), but it was not to last. Indonesia’s en to a larger extent following the split. In the major economic problems proved too impordecade from 1955 to 1965, Sukarno had fol- tant. On September 30, 1965, a group of junior lowed the Indian approach of non-alignment, military officers launched a coup against rightreceiving military backing from the United wing members of the military, supposedly to States all the while maintaining good relations prevent a right-wing military takeover16. Their with the Soviet Union and China. Unfortunately, plans proved woefully inadequate, and the refor all his attempts to project Indonesian power maining right-wing generals (chief among them on a regional level (most explicitly during the general Suharto) launched a counter-coup to 1963 Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation), Su- “restore order”. The background and motives karno proved a dismal leader in the one area to what came to be called the 30 September that mattered most to Indonesians: economic Incident remain murky to this day (many scholSpring 2013 | Claremont Journal of International Relations
15 ars believe Suharto himself planned the coup hold any Chinese diplomatic initiatives and isoin order to then crush it and increase his own lating China from the rest of the world19. power), but the political repercussions were immediate17. The nadir of the Cultural Revolution came during the brief moment when Red Guards took conThe PKI was blamed, though to this day little trol of the Foreign Ministry in 1968, and Zhou proof has been found, and a military-led com- and other leaders could do nothing but support munist witch-hunt began. Over a million sus- them. Under radical Red Guard control, China pected communists were executed, and the PKI once again started to engage with the outside was decisively destroyed, never to re-form. Su- world, but under the most radical policies it karno went into internal exile, and through fur- had ever endorsed. Gone was any pretense at ther political maneuvering, Suharto established non-alignment, the Chinese were now firmly in himself as Indonesia’s new military dictator18. support of the communist cause and of world The Chinese looked upon all of this with great Revolution, regardless of any facts or previous alarm, and as Suharto soon allied himself with diplomatic relations. China now gave support to the United States and the West, the Chinese communist insurgencies all over Asia (alarming found themselves shut out. By 1968, diplomatic India, in particular), and broke diplomatic protorelations between the two countries would be col by interrogating foreign diplomats in Beijing, broken, a stunning reversal from China’s earlier accusing them of spying for their home counposition just three years earlier. tries. The coup in Indonesia proved doubly unfortunate for China as it hit just at the beginning of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. In 1966, Mao launched a new movement that aimed in part to destroy the Chinese communist bureaucracy, which he felt was no longer revolutionary. The entire country was soon engulfed in chaos, as communist party members at all levels fell in purges and counter purges, and young Red Guards roamed the country “seizing” government organizations. Once again, as during the Great Leap Forward, Chinese domestic political events dwarfed in importance any international affairs, and China once again turned inward. While the Great Leap Forward proved more disastrous to regular Chinese, the Cultural Revolution proved highly damaging to Chinese officials, including those of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. These officials spent their time fighting to maintain their jobs and their lives, rather than concentrate on diplomacy. In fact, by 1967 Mao had called back nearly all of China’s diplomats from their posts abroad, quite literally putting on
Sino-Indian relations, never great following the war, grew much worse in these years, as Chinese support for an insurgent group in the Indian northeast gave rise to the (currently ongoing) Naxalite Maoist movement. Sino-Indonesian relations fared even worse. With the Cultural Revolution in full sway and radicals in charge of China’s foreign policy, coupled with a right-wing military leadership consolidating itself in Indonesia, it now seems inevitable that both sides would find diplomacy nearly impossible, causing the decades-long diplomatic break between the two countries. Thankfully, the Cultural Revolution era of Chinese foreign policy proved short-lived (if damaging), and Zhou was able to once again reassert himself and his pragmatic brand of foreign policy. And so, looking at Chinese foreign policy in this era, full of such chaotic changes in approach to dealing with an unstable part of the world, a few things reveal themselves. First, Chinese policy ultimately vacillated between either a pragmatic embrace of non-alignment Claremont Journal of International Relations | Spring 2013
16 and Third-World solidarity, or an ideological embrace of China’s role as the center for World revolution. For most of the Mao era, Mao deferred to Zhou Enlai’s expertise, and Zhou was able to pursue a particular, moderate approach to international relations sharply at odds with other top CCP members, and indeed with much of the domestic anti-foreign propaganda produced by the Chinese government. When Zhou was sidelined however, the Chinese began to make policy explicitly informed by their rhetoric of world revolution, sometimes enhancing Chinese national interest in the short term but greatly damaging their diplomatic relationships20. On a related note, these changes in Chinese foreign policy can be directly traced to China’s domestic events. Without this context, the massive changes in outlook and emphasis of the Chinese Foreign Ministry would make no sense, but given China’s occasional leftward tilts and radical changes, these new approaches to foreign policy make much more sense. Put simply, when China was internally stable, it could look outward under the pragmatic leadership of Zhou Enlai. When dealing with internal crises, however, an inward-looking China grew more belligerent towards the outside world, guided by an ideological Mao Zedong. The cases of India and Indonesia serve to highlight different aspects of these wild swings in Chinese foreign policy, as well as revealing the further salience of domestic affairs in those countries as well. In a broad sense, diplomacy reveals itself as a two-level game, implemented abroad between nations but drawn up at home based on domestic politics. China’s foreign relations with the Third World during the Mao era, then, serves to highlight the difficulties but also successes of foreign policy conducted under this framework.
Spring 2013 | Claremont Journal of International Relations
1 Feng, Huiyin. Chinese strategic culture and foreign policy decision-making: Confucianism, leadership and war. (London; New York: Routledge, 2007), 22. 2 Scott, David. China Stands Up: The PRC and the International System. (New York: Routledge, 2007), 1. 3 Ford, Christopher A. The mind of empire: China’s history and modern foreign relations. (Lexington, Ky: University Press of Kentucky, 2010), 87. 4 Ray, Jayanta Kumar. India’s foreign relations, 1947-2007. (New Delhi; Abingdon: Routledge, 2011), 245. 5 Zhang Baijia, ‘Zhou Enlai – The Shaper and Founder of China’s Diplomacy’, in Michael H. Hunt and Niu Jun, ed., Toward a History of Chinese Communist Foreign Relations, 1920s-1960s: Personalities and Interpretive Approaches (Washington, DC.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1995), 83. 6 Herbet Feith and Lance Castles. Indonesian Political Thinking 1945-1965. (Cornell University Press: Ithaca, 1970), 126. 7 Kuo-Kang Shao. Zhou Enlai and the Foundations of Chinese Foreign Policy. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996), 214. 8 Chi-Kwan Mark. China and the World Since 1945. (New York: Routledge, 2012), 39. 9 Ibid. 43. 10 Arpi, Claude. The Fate of Tibet. (New Delhi: Har-Anand, 2001), 203-26. 11 Bruce A. Elleman, Stephen Kotkin, and Clive Schofield, editors. Beijing’s power and China’s borders: twenty neighbors in Asia. (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 2013), 130. 12 Sherwani, Latif Ahmed. China, India, and Pakistan. (Karachi: Council for Pakistan Studies, 1967), 120. 13 Ray. India’s Foreign Relations, 1947-2007. 249. 14 Luthi, Lorenz M. The Sino-Soviet split: Cold War in the communist world. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008), 28. 15 Cribb, Robert and Colin Brown. Modern Indonesia. (New York: Longman Publishing, 1995), 87. 16 Ibid. 92. 17 Brackman, Arnold. Communist Collapse in Indonesia. (New York: Norton & Company, 1969), 59. 18 Ibid. 86. 19 Shao. Zhou Enlai and the Foundations of Chinese Foreign Policy. 149. 20 Shao. Zhou Enlai and the Foundations of Chinese Foreign Policy. 151.
Claremont Journal of International Relations | Spring 2013
Conflict Resolution on the Korean Peninsula: Evaluating the Theoretical Potential and Current Failings of the Kaesong Industrial Complex Heather Byrne | Pomona ‘15
The Korean War, between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (ROK, South Korea), lasting from 1950 to 1953, resulted in the establishment of the Korean Demilitarized Zone approximately along the 38th parallel of the Korean Peninsula1. Since the Korean Armistice Agreement in 1953, there have been many attempts to reduce tensions between the North and South. While a ceasefire was established, no peace treaty was produced, and as a result the Korean Peninsula remains a region of unresolved conflict today2. Rising tensions exacerbated by the 2007 election of ROK President Lee Myung-Bak, two military strikes by the DPRK in 2010, and various missile shows by the DPRK have resulted in the shutting down of many joint-Korea peace attempts, such as the Mt. Kumgang Tour, and the discontinuation of the ROK Ministry of Unification’s Sunshine Policy3. However, the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC), an industrial park located in the DPRK, has remained largely unaffected by this weakening of inter-Korean relations, displaying a possible potential to contribute to conflict resolution on the Korean Peninsula4. Dick K. Nanto and Mark E. Manyin of the Congressional Research Service go so far as to name the KIC, the “last vestige Spring 2013 | Claremont Journal of International Relations
of inter-Korean economic relations.” In the year 2010, the KIC accounted for 76 percent of the 1.9 billion dollar trade between the DPRK and the ROK5. In order to evaluate the extent of the impact the KIC has or has not made on the conflict resolution process between the DPRK and the ROK, the history, developments and goals of the park must be examined. Furthermore, the KIC’s resilience to political tensions can be explained through investigating the incentives the KIC provides to both the DPRK and the ROK governments. Conflict resolution theories can provide a framework for evaluating the KIC and its underlying goals and perceived outcomes in relation to DPRK-ROK tensions, and an analysis of the KIC’s effectiveness will be concluded with recommendations for the future of the complex, noting the probable significance of the recent Presidential election in South Korea. The Hyundai Asan branch of the South Koreabased conglomerate was the architect for the KIC6. Located in Kaesong, former capital of the Koryo dynasty, the KIC is a territory in the DPRK on the edge of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. South Korean companies employ over 50,000
19 North Korean workers. Hyundai Asan proposed the KIC to specifically promote the “co-prosperity” of the two Koreas to North Korean officials in 1989. Hyundai Group founder Chung Juyung met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in 1998 to propose the plan for the complex. Negotiations continued until 2000, when Hyundai Asan offered 500 million US dollars in return for exclusive business rights to the region in and surrounding Kaesong, totaling sixty-six square kilometers7. Hyundai Asan, the North Korean National Economic Cooperation Federation and North Korea’s state-sponsored Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee reached an official agreement in 2000, followed by an agreement between Hyundai Asan and the North’s Korea Land Corporation, which received licensing rights in 2002 for the KIC’s initial phase. Plans set forth for the KIC by the ROK government included a total of sixteen hundred companies to employ ninety-nine thousand workers with an annual output of 17.1 billion US dollars8.
pears essential to measurable progress. A key factor in working toward conflict transformation in this situation is overcoming the security dilemma and working to promote mutual prosperity through changing the pay-off structure and introducing mutual gains12. The South-North Joint Declaration in 2000 stated that the Koreas had committed to promoting “balanced development of the national economy through economic cooperation”13. This solution would aim to transform the conflict into a non-zero-sum conflict with an emphasis on mutual gains negotiation, promoted by scholar Mary Parker Follet as “integrative bargaining”14. Such a term suggests a degree of cooperation that is not close to being realized on the Korean Peninsula. Hyundai Group’s website consistently emphasizes “co-prosperity,” as well as specifically stating that the inter-Korean economic cooperation of Hyundai Asan aims to “promote mutual benefit and trust and mutual prosperity”15. Johan Galtung, in discussing the Korean Peninsula, praised the benefits of trade between the conflict parties, creating wealth, changing the discourse to economic cooperation, and reinvigorating a common ancestry. Contrary to Hyundai Asan’s proclamation of promoting both mutual gains and trust, Galtung emphasized that each country had no need to develop mutual trust, but could rely on self-interest to benefit from mutual prosperity16. The KIC fails in this regard, as significant economic benefit has yet to be seen for South Korea. Though some individual companies are benefiting from the KIC, the impact is relatively small seeing as these companies are usually small to mediumsized and invest only a portion of their operations in the KIC.
The end product of this economic integration and increased cooperation is conflict transformation, which includes but is not limited to the goal of unification. In the case of the Korean peninsula, one can take the term conflict to apply to two conflict parties that perceive they have mutually incompatible goals9. In this paper, conflict transformation is defined and used as the deepest form of conflict resolution. The use of the term transformation indicates that, “deep-rooted sources of conflict are addressed and transformed”10. According to Morton Deutsch, the ultimate goal of conflict resolution is to “transform” a potentially violent conflict into “peaceful processes of social and political change”11. The term conflict transformation applies well to the Korean Peninsula as overt violent conflict has been more or less abandoned and the amount Galtung’s idea of mutual prosperity can be exof time since the ceasefire agreement is so vast tended to include ideas similar to and incorpothat changing the structure of the conflict ap- rating mutual trust. Benjamin Broome’s idea of Claremont Journal of International Relations | Spring 2013
20 a “third culture” in conflict resolution theory is deemed essential for success in conflict transformation17. Often referred to as a “fusion of horizons;” the third culture is not just focused on mutual prosperity, but emphasizes relational empathy. ShinWon Corporation Chairman Park Sung-chul stated, “At the Kaesong Industrial Complex, the sons and daughters from the two Koreas are working. Even if a war breaks out, the Kaesong complex will be the last place of shelter, because no side will level a gun at their own children”18. A survey of DPRK workers showed that after the initial weeks working in the KIC, workers “identify with the company,” creating a level of trust centered on a common identity19. This indicates that the contact between DPRK and ROK workers has been substantial enough to create a small-scale identity similar to Broome’s “third culture.” The people of the North and South have had little contact for over 50 years. This suggests that cultural, lingual, and even national differences may have developed. The small-scale success seen in the KIC at creating a situation where DPRK and ROK workers can interact and develop relationships is significant due to its uniqueness and would have a greater impact on the peacebuilding process if reproduced on a much larger scale. Finally, an additional criticism of the KIC as a conflict transformation project lies in Johan Galtung’s conflict triangle. According to Galtung, conflict can be drawn as a triangle with contradiction, attitude, and behavior at its three points. Galtung describes contradiction as the underlying clash of interests, attitude as the emotive and cognitive perceptions of the conflict by the conflict parties, and behavior as the actions taken by each party. All three elements must be diminished in order to change the conflict structure20. This transformation suggests that behavior “is no longer violent, attitudes are no longer hostile, and the structure of the conflict has been changed”21. In regard to changes in attitude, hostility is still the primary Spring 2013 | Claremont Journal of International Relations
strategy of each government, though attitudes may be changing in a micro sense in the KIC plants. Without changes in policy on both sides, for example, denuclearization of the DPRK, Galtung’s triangle predicts a failure of the conflict transformation process. A talk between the two governments in 2009 regarding the KIC broke off just 22 minutes after beginning, highlighting the failure of the KIC to encourage non-hostile dialogue between the governments22. Additionally, underlying discrimination against North Korean defectors living in the South, both by the ROK government interrogators and the South Korean public, indicates a change in attitudes is a long way from being accomplished on a wider-scale23. Though the KIC shows great potential according to conflict resolution theory, a careful critique shows it has yet to fulfill these goals, especially on a large, inter-governmental and societal scale. My research shows that steps toward a more successful future as a conduit of conflict transformation require improved operations in the park, increased incentives, prospects of growth, and profits for ROK companies looking to invest in the KIC, as well as changes at the structural level in terms of policy of each government toward the other. President Lee Myung-bak and his administration brought a change in ROK policy toward the DPRK when they took office in 2007, derailing optimistic plans for developing the KIC. Lee’s administration cancelled many inter-Korean projects that former President Kim Dae-jung had promised to finance, and Lee replaced the engagement policies of his predecessors with a policy of reciprocity toward the government in Pyongyang, emphasizing the need for North Korea to denuclearize24. President Lee’s administration did not cancel the KIC; in fact today the number of workers traveling to and from the KIC daily has almost doubled since 200725.
21 In 2012, annual output of the complex surpassed 400 million Korean Won26. The ROK Ministry of Unification states that in 2011, the KIC had 49,866 DPRK workers, surpassing 50,000 in January 2012, employed by 123 companies. These figures are far less than those boasted by Hyundai Asan’s three phases for the KIC’s development. The KIC was supposed to have reached Phase Three by 2012, employing 350,000 DPRK workers. Instead, the KIC remains in Phase 1 of development with fewer companies and DPRK workers than projected28. Hyundai Asan had three main goals for the Kaesong Industrial Complex. The first was the development of a “national economy” which entailed the integration of ROK capital with DPRK labor. The second entailed “inter-Korean exchanges,” and the third envisioned the KIC as providing a connection between the Korean Peninsula, China and Europe29. The South Korean government incentivized the project by offering a 10-14 percent corporate income tax, exempt for the first five years after turning a profit. This compares favorably to corporate tax rates in South Korea, China, and Vietnam; a respective 12-28 percent, 15 percent, and 10-15 percent30. Furthermore, the KIC offers a duty free zone, extensive insurance coverage, and many other benefits and subsidies designed to increase incentives31. Despite such favorable conditions, it remains unresolved as to whether these South Korean companies are investing in the KIC for political or economic purposes32. The KIC was pitched to attract small and medium sized companies, whose operations in China had a low success rate. In spite of high initial costs related to worker training, and what Romanson Corporate executive Kim Ki-seok describes as “burdensome” political risks, companies such as Romanson have relocated to Kaesong due to its cheap labor and shared language with the ROK. In the first half of 2012 output increased by 23
percent, a considerable success emphasizing the complex’s relative resilience to political changes and tensions33. This resilience has resulted predominantly from the large economic stakes in both the ROK and DPRK. The KIC supplies fifty million US dollars a month to the North Korean economy34. Families in the Kaesong region are now dependent on their relatively high-paying jobs, and shutting down the complex would likely create unrest among its population of 200,00035. North Korea’s transfer of power to Kim Jong-un comes after the 2009 currency reform exhausted personal savings of North Koreans36. There is a desire of the new DPRK leadership to show economic prowess and the ability to improve living standards. Additionally, though China currently dominates foreign investment in the DPRK, the KIC provides a possibility of attracting other countries if it shows itself to be profitable for South Korean companies37. With the DPRK increasingly dependent on China, alternative sources of foreign investment are desirable. The associate director for research at the AsiaPacific Research Center at Stanford states, “It’s clear that the Chinese have enormous leverage over North Korea in many respects”38. China has already used that leverage in order to bring DPRK to six-party peace talks on more than one occasion39. This leverage could become threatening to the DPRK regime. For the ROK, closing the KIC would obligate the government to provide millions of dollars in insurance to the companies operating in the KIC40. It is important to evaluate the extent to which the KIC has met its goals in the context of the history, developments, and stakes of the KIC. Due to the multiplicity of factors effecting the relationship between the DPRK and the ROK including but not limited to third party stakeholders, denuclearization, and human rights violations – evaluating the impact of the KIC on North-South relations is difficult. The Global Claremont Journal of International Relations | Spring 2013
22 Peace Index produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace can provide a general indicator of tensions in the region41. Measured on a scale of one to 158, with 158 being the least peaceful, the DPRK increased from 131 in 2008 to 152 in 2012. The ROK increased from 30 in 2008 to 42 in 2012. In regard to the specific indicator measuring “neighboring country relations,” on a scale of one to five with five being the least peaceful, both the DPRK and the ROK have dropped one point since 2008. This is only one indication of the increase in political tensions, but it is clear from the repeated missile launchings of the DPRK and the break down of the six-party talks that the KIC has not had a significant impact on the greater peacebuilding process. However, the KIC’s relative resilience to political tensions suggests some lasting contribution toward peace could be possible. The KIC’s impact can be evaluated through examining its goals, efforts, and outcomes in reference to conflict resolution theories. The term peacebuilding is used in this paper to refer to the part of the peace process that aims to solve the underlying structural causes of the conflict and remove hostility from the long-term relationship between conflict parties42. Peacebuilding is an appropriate aspect of the peace process for this case study and conflict due to the extended cessation of violence yet continuance of conflict.
measure should be examined, followed by an analysis of the lack of societal and structural impact the KIC has made on relations between the two Koreas. The KIC was originally anticipated to be a catalyst for capitalism in the DPRK. Here, the effects of capitalism on North Korea will not be discussed in great detail, as this part of the critique operates under the assumption that the introduction of capitalist policies in the DPRK would further expose the country to the world market and put pressure from the civilians on the government therefore increasing opportunities for cooperation, specifically between the North and South. There is disagreement as to whether this effect has been felt, though if it has it is only on a small-scale and is therefore relatively insignificant to the peace process thus far. A case study on the South Korean dessert, the Choco Pie, demonstrates the liberalizing impact of the KIC on market systems in the DPRK. Companies with plants in the KIC began to hand out Choco Pies and other foods as incentives since the North Korean government controlled wage rates. The Choco Pies were then sold in illegal markets across the rest of the country. Three Choco Pie snacks are reportedly valued at the equivalent of one hundred grams of rice in these markets43. The acceptance of the incentive system, the popularity of the Choco Pie in markets, and the spread of South Korean products with wrapping that emphasizes the prosperity of the South all demonstrate the receptiveness of North Korean people to the market economy, and could contribute to a spread of anti-Communist values amongst North Korean civilians. Chosun Media reports that the government at Pyongyang has ordered company owners to provide cash or instant noodles in place of Choco Pies, singling out the product, validating its potential for impact44.
To attempt to measure the impact of the KIC on peacebuilding between the DPRK and the ROK, the KIC’s potential and current impact as a catalyst for capitalism can be assessed, before questioning whether the KIC is providing useful economic assistance to the DPRK or merely funding DPRK government activities. Additionally, the KIC’s effectiveness at conflict transformation should be evaluated. Furthermore, the efforts of the KIC to help overcome the security dilemma between the DPRK and the ROK can However, if implemented carefully, the spread be critiqued. The KIC as a confidence building of capitalism could only further fund the govSpring 2013 | Claremont Journal of International Relations
23 ernment at Pyongyang rather than exposing the economic weakness of the government’s policies, counteracting the hopes that the spread of capitalism would cause empowerment of civilians and pressure on the North Korean government to negotiate with the South45. The KIC allows a monopoly of involvement to the DPRK government, resulting in wages that are processed through the government, not directly distributed to the workers46. North Korean authorities keep a percentage of their workers’ wages, estimated at 45 percent, for tax and insurance payment purposes47. The government at Pyongyang recognizes a linkage between political threat to the government and the liberalization of the economy. The North Korean government’s approach to economic reform has been careful to override this linkage, and has taken a statist-nationalist approach to globalization. To avoid creating alternative power centers such as these local institutions, the North Korean government has emphasized authorizing state-sponsored institutions, such as the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee that handles the KIC, to reinforce existing leadership structures whilst conducting economic activities to procure capital for the DPRK48. It is estimated that two million US dollars of the fifty million per month that funnels into North Korea through the KIC goes directly to the North Korean government49.
in North Korea, solely economic integration between the two Koreas may be even more beneficial for the peace building process. Economic integration projects such as the KIC could pave the way for a monetary union, free trade agreements, or even an economic union similar to the early European Economic Community, even if political union remains unrealistic51. South Korea has an economic incentive for promoting the economic development of North Korea if the government wants unification to be an attainable goal, as unification at its current state would be economically catastrophic for South Korea52. Under President-elect Park Geun-hye, the KIC has the potential to become economic leverage for the denuclearization issue. In the discourse surrounding denuclearization of the North, economic assistance has consistently been a primary leverage method in negotiations53. In fact, in 2005 the North declared its nuclear program to be “bargaining leverage” in order to persuade the rest of the world to “maintain the present regime and rehabilitate the country’s stagnant economy”54. Although at its current state, the KIC does not make a significant impact compared to North Korean trade with the PRC – in 2011 88% of DPRK trade was with China -, North Korea may be unwilling to relinquish the foreign investment due to an increased awareness of their dependency on the PRC, creating the opportunity for leverage55.
Despite the fact that much of the KIC’s money goes into the pockets of North Korean officials, economic reforms in the DPRK suggest a willingness toward more drastic economic reform. The North Korean government reportedly passed the June 28 New Economic Management System in 2012, which introduces a system of incentives for workers in place of the rationing system50.
The KIC has much potential, yet is prevented from realizing these possible gains by current weaknesses such as its failure to create sufficient incentives to ROK firms looking to open plants in Kaesong. Though the KIC has brought together North and South Koreans and is working to integrate the economies as well as spreading the idea of market economies and an awareness of contemporary South Korean culture in Kaesong, there has been limited obEven if the KIC has not been the catalyst for servable impact on DPRK-ROK tensions. Concapitalism or the regime-toppling project desired flict transformation attempts at creating mutual Claremont Journal of International Relations | Spring 2013
24 prosperity and trust remain at the micro level, as any efforts by the KIC to make a large-scale impact on the peace process rely heavily on the greater political and societal tensions between the DPRK and the ROK. The KIC has yet to fulfill its goals, remaining in the initial phase of production, lacking economic viability, and failing to become the extremely attractive business opportunity it promised. It appears that incentives for South Korean companies to invest are too low to drive growth, and that the KIC is reliant on support that has not been forthcoming from both governments to reach its potential. Unless it becomes a profitable option for South Korean companies, it is unlikely that the KIC can be more than a weak political show by both governments in a pretense of cooperation. However, the KIC is the only lasting image of North-South cooperation, and has the strength to remain so due to the economic stakes it has created for each side. The steadfastness of the KIC is a testament to its potential as a conduit for conflict transformation on the Korean Peninsula. The KIC provides for continued communication between the two governments in times of increased tensions, and contains great potential under the right political conditions for future economic and cultural integration.
May 2013 Update On April 9th, 2013, operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex were suspended by the DPRK government, who have prevented their workers from commuting to the complex56. All but seven South Koreans have left the KIC and returned to the ROK. Thus far, the DPRK has rejected the ROK government’s calls for talks to discuss a return to normal operations in the park. The ROK government announced on May 1st 2013 that the DPRK should “make the sensible choice” to and reopen operations57. Implications of these recent events call for further research and a reevaluation of current analysis of the KIC. Spring 2013 | Claremont Journal of International Relations
1 Korean War Armistice Agreement, July 27, 1953; Treaties and Other International Agreements Series #2782; General Records of the United States Government; Record Group 11; National Archives. 2 Stefan Wolff and Christalla Yakinthou, ed., Conflict Resolution: Theories and Practice (New York: Routledge, 2011). 3 Mark E. Manyin and Dick K. Nanto, “The Kaesong North-South Korean Industrial Complex,” Congressional Research Service (2011): 4. 4 Mark E. Manyin and Dick K. Nanto, “The Kaesong North-South Korean Industrial Complex,” Congressional Research Service (2011): 2. 5 Mark E. Manyin and Dick K. Nanto, “The Kaesong North-South Korean Industrial Complex,” Congressional Research Service (2011): 2. 6 “Hyundai Asan,” Hyundai, accessed December 7, 2012, http://www.hyundaigroup.com/eng/product/product_06.html. 7 Daniel J. Knudsen and William J. Moon, “North Korea and the Politics of International Trade Law: The Kaesong Industrial Complex and WTO Rules of Origin,” Yale Journal of International Law 35 (2010n): 251-252. 8 Daniel J. Knudsen and William J. Moon, “North Korea and the Politics of International Trade Law: The Kaesong Industrial Complex and WTO Rules of Origin,” Yale Journal of International Law 35 (2010): 252. 9 Oliver Ramsbotham, Tom Woodhouse, and Hugh Miall, Contemporary Conflict Resolution (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011), 9. 10 Oliver Ramsbotham, Tom Woodhouse, and Hugh Miall, Contemporary Conflict Resolution (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011), 31. 11 Oliver Ramsbotham, Tom Woodhouse, and Hugh Miall, Contemporary Conflict Resolution (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011), 32. 12 Oliver Ramsbotham, Tom Woodhouse, and Hugh Miall, Contemporary Conflict Resolution (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011), 20. 13 “South-North Joint Declaration,” United States Institute of Peace Library, June 15, 2000. 14 Oliver Ramsbotham, Tom Woodhouse, and Hugh Miall, Contemporary Conflict Resolution (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011), 38. 15 “Hyundai Asan,” Hyundai, accessed December 7, 2012, http://www.hyundaigroup.com/eng/product/product_06.html. 16 Johan Galtung, “Conflict Transformation by Peaceful Means: The Transcend Method,” United Nations Disaster Management Training Programme (2000): 5. 17 Oliver Ramsbotham, Tom Woodhouse, and Hugh Miall, Contemporary Conflict Resolution (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011), 61. 18 “Business Owner Calls Kaesong ‘needed for peace,’” Hankyoreh, January 5, 2007. 19 Mark E. Manyin and Dick K. Nanto, “The Kaesong North-South Korean Industrial Complex,” Congressional Research Service (2011): 11. 20 Oliver Ramsbotham, Tom Woodhouse, and Hugh Miall, Contemporary Conflict Resolution (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011), 10-11. 21 Oliver Ramsbotham, Tom Woodhouse, and Hugh Miall, Contemporary Conflict Resolution (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011), 31. 22 “North and South Korea Talks Last Only 22 Minutes,” CNN World, April 22, 2009. 23 Hong Yong-duk, “NK Defectors Report Abuse After Arriving In South Korea,” Hankyoreh, October 26, 2012. 24 Mark E. Manyin and Dick K. Nanto, “The Kaesong North-South Korean Industrial Complex,” Congressional Research Service (2011): 4. 25 Kim Kyu-won, “Business is Booming at the Kaesong Complex,” Hankyoreh, February 2, 2012. 26 Kim Kyu-won, “Business is Booming at the Kaesong Complex,” Hankyoreh, February 2, 2012. 27 “Major Statistics in Inter-Korean Relations,” Ministry of Unification, accessed December 7, 2012, http://eng.unikorea.go.kr/CmsWeb/viewPage. req?idx=PG0000000541. 28 Mark E. Manyin and Dick K. Nanto, “The Kaesong North-South Korean Industrial Complex,” Congressional Research Service (2011): 7. 29 “Kaesong Industrial Complex,” Hyundai Asan, accessed December 7, 2012, http://www.hdasan.com/english/kaesong/incentive01.jsp. 30 Mark E. Manyin and Dick K. Nanto, “The Kaesong North-South Korean Industrial Complex,” Congressional Research Service (2011): 12. 31 “Kaesong Industrial Complex,” Hyundai Asan, accessed December 7, 2012, http://www.hdasan.com/english/kaesong/incentive01.jsp. 32 Mark E. Manyin and Dick K. Nanto, “The Kaesong North-South Korean Industrial Complex,” Congressional Research Service (2011): 8. 33 “Kaesong Industrial Park’s Output up 23 Pct in H1,” Yonyap News, August 21, 2012. 34 Martin Fackler, “A Capitalist Enclave in North Korea Survives,” New York Times, July 6, 2010. 35 Mark E. Manyin and Dick K. Nanto, “The Kaesong North-South Korean Industrial Complex,” Congressional Research Service (2011): 3. 36 Mark E. Manyin and Dick K. Nanto, “The Kaesong North-South Korean Industrial Complex,” Congressional Research Service (2011): 3. 37 “The China-North Korea Relationship,” accessed April 2nd, 2013, http://www.
25 cfr.org/china/china-north-korea-relationship/p11097. 38 “The China-North Korea Relationship,” accessed April 2nd, 2013, http://www. cfr.org/china/china-north-korea-relationship/p11097. 39 “The China-North Korea Relationship,” accessed April 2nd, 2013, http://www. cfr.org/china/china-north-korea-relationship/p11097. 40 Mark E. Manyin and Dick K. Nanto, “The Kaesong North-South Korean Industrial Complex,” Congressional Research Service (2011): 4. 41 Oliver Ramsbotham, Tom Woodhouse, and Hugh Miall, Contemporary Conflict Resolution (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011), 66. 42 Oliver Ramsbotham, Tom Woodhouse, and Hugh Miall, Contemporary Conflict Resolution (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011), 66. 43 Kim Young-jin, “Choco Pies Fuel Productivity at Gaeseong,” Korea Times, September 17, 2012. 44 “N. Korea Appears to Crackdown on Choco Pies in Kaesong,” Chosun Ilbo, October 20, 2011. 45 “Exogenous Zones: An Opening for Chinese Investment in a Benighted Country,” Economist, June 16, 2011. 46 Tae-Hwan Kwak and Seung-Ho Joo, North Korea’s Foreign Policy Under Kim Jong Il: New Perspectives (Burlington, England: Ashgate Publishing, 2009), 52. 47 Kim Kyu-won, “Business is Booming at the Kaesong Complex,” Hankyoreh, February 2, 2012. 48 Tae-Hwan Kwak and Seung-Ho Joo, North Korea’s Foreign Policy Under Kim Jong Il: New Perspectives (Burlington, England: Ashgate Publishing, 2009), 46. 49 Mark E. Manyin and Dick K. Nanto, “The Kaesong North-South Korean Industrial Complex,” Congressional Research Service (2011): 3. 50 Kim Young-jin, “Choco Pies Fuel Productivity at Gaeseong,” Korea Times, September 17, 2012. 51 Marcus Noland, “The Economics of National Reconciliation” (paper presented at the fall symposium of the Institute for Korean-American Studies, Washington, D.C., October 12, 2000). 52 Malcom Moore, “North Korea Opens US-Style Fast-food Restaurant – But Don’t Mention the Hamburger,” Telegraph, July 26, 2009. 53 Tae-Hwan Kwak and Seung-Ho Joo, North Korea’s Foreign Policy Under Kim Jong Il: New Perspectives (Burlington, England: Ashgate Publishing, 2009), 54. 54 Jeehye You, “Legislative Reform of the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea,” UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal 36 (2011-2012): 45. 55 “Korean Peninsula,” United States Institute of Peace, accessed December 7, 2012, http://www.usip.org/countries-continents/korean-peninsula. 56 “S. Korean Companies in Kaesong Suffer Financial Losses,” Xinhua News, April 30, 2013. 57 “S. Korea Urges DPRK to Normalize Operation of Kaesong Industrial Complex,” Xinhua News, May 5, 2013.
Claremont Journal of International Relations | Spring 2013
The Future of the United Nations How to protect the UN from suffering the same fate as the League of Nations Kyle Roland | Pitzer â€˜14
In the last century, arguably the greatest development in global politics has been the emergence of international institutions of governance. The increasing prevalence of global organizations demonstrates the acknowledgment by world powers that a form of international community is necessary to effectively manage global integration.
Background In recent years the perceived effectiveness of the United Nations as an institution of global governance and facilitator of international peace has been questioned. Motivation for this concern stems from the changing nature of the worldâ€™s political and economic balance of power. As the international balance of power continues to shift from the traditional powers to emerging nations, many are left to wonder if the sanctity of the current structure of the UN is threatened. However, as expected, those who currently hold the influence within the UN, specifically the veto-wielding members of the Security Council, are reluctant to cede influence to the emerging countries. As a result, the solidity of the UN is increasingly vulnerable to fracture.
Today there exists hundreds of non-governmental and governmental organizations, all of which influence the direction the character of the globalized world. This essay will focus on the United Nations and its predecessor, the League of Nations, both of which will be analyzed in their historical and contemporary contexts. This essay will identify some of the main structural and ideological flaws within both institutions and ultimately present an argument citing the proper steps needed to preserve and improve the influence of the United Nations. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States has established itself not only as the This analysis will provide the historical background worldâ€™s superpower, but also as the leader of the necessary to understanding the complexity and UN. Accurately described as the rise of the West, significance of the problems facing the modern the economic and political reach of the United day United Nations. An understanding of the past States grew substantially throughout the two offers a critical perspective essential to creating a decades following the fall of the Soviet Union. pragmatic approach to address the challenges of However, with the current rapid rise of develthe future. oping nations, primarily in the East, this phrase Spring 2013 | Claremont Journal of International Relations
27 may need some restructuring. Thus, with the changing global landscape, the responsibility is largely presented (directly and indirectly) to the United States to preserve the cohesiveness of the UN and prevent the development of external and internal political factions from threatening the ability of the UN to act as a capable institution. To understand how the United States can effectively preserve the UN from fracture, it is vital to look back at the rise and eventual disintegration of the League of Nations leading up to WWII.
1) The United States must acknowledge that today’s global powers are not the same as 65 years ago during the founding of the UN. Furthermore, the United States must be willing to economically and militarily accommodate the new and emerging powers of today, explicitly China. This acknowledgement must be visible in the United States’ actions in the Security Council and in the General Assembly. Most importantly, if the consensus is made for either an expanded Security Council – most likely to include Through the analysis of several interventions either Japan or Germany - or an alteration to the and conflicts by former League of Nations pow- structure of the Security Council’s monopoly on ers, such as the Italian invasion of Abyssinia the veto power, the United States must be open (present day Ethiopia), the Japanese Invasion to majority consensus. of China, and the German rise to power, while acknowledging the profound global influence 2) For the sake of the strength of the UN, the of the Great Depression, and finally examining United States must not disregard the ability and the innate flaws within the very structure of the importance of the institution today or in the fuLeague of Nations, this paper will posit that a ture. It is vital for the United States to commit to fair comparison can be made to the modern day being a leader of not only global security, but of UN. As the United States (and much of the West) multilateral global security. The UN today needs sluggishly pulls itself out of the Great Reces- a fair leader to stabilize global security and tosion, while simultaneously balancing the rise in day the United States is the only option. Presiforeign power (especially in the East), it finds dent Obama has hinted toward such a policy, itself on the receiving end of two sides of criti- the start should be to immediately and accucism. The first, representative of Wilsonian ide- rately pay any and all arrears owed to the UN. alism, is to expand its influence (unlike the interwar period) and hold the UN together through In the words of President Obama, the United strong-handed diplomatic force; and the sec- Nations is a “flawed” but “indispensible” instiond, as demonstrated most recently by Presi- tution1. dent George W. Bush’s decision to enter the Iraq War, is to disregard the structure of international Wilson’s Dream security agreements and take unilateral action based on American interests. Both of these cri- Following the conclusion of World War One, Eutiques will be analyzed and discussed, however rope was left in shambles and upwards of eight the solution that this essay will put forth takes a million soldiers were left dead. To finalize the middle ground. Much of the discussion present- end of the war and begin to lay out the post-war ed on the future of the United Nations will be in age, the allied powers congregated at the Paris terms of political ideology, however, when ap- Peace Conference in 1919. The Allied Powers, propriate, explicit changes to the UN structure led by Britain, France, the United States, and Itawill be presented in order to establish a realist ly, parceled the colonies and conquered lands of standpoint. Two vital and practical solutions are the defeated Central Powers. In discussions of Claremont Journal of International Relations | Spring 2013
28 the post-war world, President Woodrow Wilson, brought forth the concept of a global institution comprised of all the countries of the world with the common goal of maintaining peace, primarily ran by the allied powers of WWI2. The creation of the League of Nations, meant to be a global consortium of peace that integrated the strongest nations of the world into a single liberal international democracy, was Wilson’s greatest aspiration. However, while Wilson considered his concept to be the perfect solution to the future of world conflict, not all of his fellow congressmen, especially Republicans William E Borah and Henry Chabot Lodge, felt the same, eventually leading to debate over aspects of the League’s Covenant. Wilson was a man of courageous idealism whose passionately noble beliefs of national righteousness sometimes impaired his ability and willingness to negotiate. It was this that first plagued the League of Nations from the beginning. Wilson’s refusal to negotiate the wording of the Covenant, especially that of Article 10, resulted in the Senate refusing to ratify the League without the reservations put forth by congress, and ultimately the United States not joining. Sadly, it was Wilson’s unquenchable pride for his own creation that first weakened the League of Nations, a pride that caused a refusal to negotiate what would most likely be a matter of semantics3. In the words of Edwin S. Corwin, “no presidentially devised policy can long survive without the support of Congress”4. For it is clear today that if Wilson did in fact alter the wording of the League’s Covenant, the impact on the strength of the League would undoubtedly have been minimal. Alternatively, if the United States had joined the League, the impact would have been enormous. The strength of the League was not in its tight legal wording, but moreover, in the concept of a universal community of peace5. The second crucial weakness to the League also originated in the halls of Versailles in 1919. Spring 2013 | Claremont Journal of International Relations
Reflecting the leftover emotions of the war, the atmosphere at the Paris Peace Conference and thus the rise of the League was one of “exalted nationalism, enthroned hate, [and] nourished revenge”6. Historian George Scott describes the initial signing of the League of Nations Covenant to be of the sort of a victor’s party. First off, the League was created by and reserved for the allied powers, specifically the five great powers of the United States, France, Britain, Italy, and Japan - each of whom had two representatives. Next came Belgium, Brazil, China, Portugal, and Serbia – each given one representative. The neutral countries were scarcely acknowledged in policy-making and the Central Powers were not included at all7. The initial exclusivity of the League of Nation’s founding, in hindsight, clearly foreshadows the motivation behind the vengeful rise to power of Hitler’s Germany. The prejudice against the defeated powers of the Great War contributed to the inherent flaws of the League’s framework. Nevertheless, despite the flaws of the Paris Peace Conference and Woodrow Wilson’s prideful reluctance to change, the importance of the emergence of the League of Nations should not be undervalued. The ideals behind the creation of the League were exemplary of Wilson’s foresight toward the future of international law and a testament to his commitment to world justice over the power of a single nation. The creation of the League of Nations established the foundation needed to spearhead the movement toward international governance.
The Decline By the time Irish diplomat Seán Lester took office as Secretary-General of the League of Nations in August of 1940, Wilson’s dream had already been dealt its fateful blow. The twenty-one years between the end of WWI in 1918 and the beginning of WWII in 1939 can be characterized as an era of protectionist hesitancy.
29 The leftover tensions and international despair from the death and destruction of the Great War caused nations to turn inward both politically and economically8. As Germany and the other Central Powers struggled to pay reparations, the Allied countries, deeply indebted to the United States were forced to borrow from creditor nations creating a speculative bubble. This resulted in high rates of inflation and balance of payments problems in many European countries. As a result, tariffs across Europe and in the United States were raised to high levels in order to protect struggling domestic industry. Driven by monetary problems, a weak gold standard, and a drop in demand following the war, post WWI international trade was extremely sluggish. This led to a period of struggle for the League of Nations, a community based on the principles of international peace, but driven by the forces of mutual economic growth. On October 29, 1929 the Great Depression hit the United States causing banks to fail and their depositor’s money to be lost. The depression quickly spread to Europe where industrial production fell, jobs were lost and wages cut. The Great Depression can be seen as the turning point in the life of the League of Nations. The turn of the decade began the events that publicly demonstrated the flaw of the League and began the League’s shift toward insignificance. The beleaguered international economy and its influence on the failure of the League of Nations is an issue of utmost importance. The lingering stagnation of the world economy following the Great Depression paved the way for the Second World War by discouraging member countries of the League from aiding in the political and economic development of fellow members. The economic depression opened the platform for the rise in authoritarian governments appealing to the floundering and unemployed working class. Fascist regimes rallied latent nationalism and quickly arose in Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan, while movements away from liberal
democratization were evident in Stalin’s Soviet Union and in China. In the Pacific, Japan recovered from the Depression relatively rapidly in comparison to the Western economies and made a full turn toward industrialization. In 1931, with China fighting a civil war between Chiang Kai-Shek and the Nationalist Party of China (KMT) and Mao Zedong and the Communist Party of China (CPC), Japan saw its opportunity to conquer the resource rich land of a weakened China and invaded Manchuria breaching the Kellogg-Briand Pact. The League’s response to the Manchurian Incident set a precedent of weakness within the leaders of the League of Nations. With Japan acting as the clear aggressor, the League, led by John Simon, the British Foreign Secretary, was unwilling to uniformly enact sanctions against one of its own high ranked members. The United States stated its defense of the League’s actions, however did not involve itself much in the situation. Eventually, in 1933, after over a year of indecisiveness, the League voted to condemn Japan as the aggressor and not recognize the newly conquered Japanese state of Manchukuo by a vote of forty-two to one9,10. Immediately after the vote, Japan removed itself from the League of Nations – the first of disastrous subsequent exits from the league. The second example of inaction on the part of the League of Nations to be examined is the Italian invasion of the Ethiopian empire of Abyssinia. Benito Mussolini, the fascist dictator of Italy wanted to connect his two weak colonies of Eritrea and Somalia by conquering the nation that divided them – Ethiopia. The actions taken by the League of Nations and the United States could be described anywhere from passively indifferent to inviting. With the knowledge that there was no doubt of the imminence of an Italian invasion of Ethiopia,11 the cabinet of Britain’s ambassador to Italy and former Secretary General of the League of Nations Sir Eric DrumClaremont Journal of International Relations | Spring 2013
30 mond, made an official statement immediately mann. However, deeply hurt by the depression before a meeting with Mussolini in May of 1935, and war reparations, the “shallow, puny, inch or two of top soil” that was the democratic govIt is therefore the utmost importance that the course of pro- ernment of the Weimar Republic fell in 1933 cedure at the meeting of the Council should be such as shall and the Third Reich began with the initiation of satisfy the due discharge of the duty of the united kingdom as a 14 member of the Council without impairing in the lest degree the Hitler as the chancellor . Almost immediately friendly co-operation between the United kingdom and Italy in Hitler showed his opposition for the League of all matters12. Nations and withdrew Germany’s membership. In 1936 he daringly (or in hindsight, not so darOn October 3, 1935, Italy attacked Ethiopia from ingly) occupied the Rhineland, in direct violaSomalia and Eritrea. On October 7, the League tion of the Treaty of Versailles. The occupation of Nations unanimously declared Italy as the agagain showed the unwillingness of the British gressor but very little effective action was takand French to act on behalf of the League of en. It appeared that the French, British, and U.S. Nations. The British urged the nervous French were afraid to confront the Italians out of fear of from acting in order to prevent a sure European implicating the other fascist powers of Germany proxy-war. Two years later Germany annexed and the Soviet Union. In this sense, the League Austria and then the Czech Republic, who were was fighting against itself. To maintain peace, ready to fight, but encouraged to surrender by the leaders of the League of Nations were reNeville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister. fusing to act on clear infractions of the CoveThe idea behind Britain and thus the League nant. The war lasted seven months and ended of Nation’s strategy of appeasement was to with the Italian annexation of Ethiopia. On June prevent an upheaval of the status quo, a shift 30th Haile Selassie addressed the assembly of that was clearly occurring by its own means. the League of Nations in Geneva, The League’s goal of preventing a catastrophic change by means of containment only fostered I assert that the problem submitted to the Assembly today is much wider one than that of the Situation created by Italy’s ag- the boiling desires for expansion of the disadgression… It is collective security: it is the very existence of vantaged Axis Powers. Harvard professor C.H. the League of Nations. It is the confidence that each State is to McIlwain recognized this in 1937 - as is written place in international treaties… Have the signatures appended to a Treaty value only in so far as the signatory Powers have a in his book review published in Foreign Affairs, personal, direct and immediate interest involved13?
Following the trend, the League of Nations took passive roles in both the Spanish Civil War in which fascist ruler Francisco Franco’s Nationalists, funded by Germany and Italy, launched a coup d’état of the Spanish Republicans and the Second Sino-Japanese war in 1937, in which Japan again invaded China. The League, as a result of the French and British policies of appeasement, did not condemn both decisions. Finally, in 1926 Germany had been admitted into the League after advocating for its commitment to peace led by the rational and diplomatic German Foreign Minister Gustav StreseSpring 2013 | Claremont Journal of International Relations
The preservation of the status quo is a solution that can satisfy none but the contented; and just now most men are not contented...Liberalism means a common welfare with a constitutional guarantee…so called liberals have ignored the first part of the definition and have fouled the nest by invoking the guarantee for privileges of their own, conducive only to the destruction of any true common wealth15.
By this time the League of Nations proved itself incredibly weak and essentially rendered itself useless as a moderator of international conflict. In the end, the League could not maintain the integrity of the General Assembly or adapt to a changing political and economic European theater. These reasons, complemented by passive actions taken by the United States, led to the Second World War.
31 Round Two The League of Nations failed to prevent the Second World War. Before the Second World War began it was clear the organization would not survive, but it was also clear, at least to Franklin D. Roosevelt, that Woodrow Wilsonâ€™s dream of unifying the independent nation-states of the world into a global organization should not die. The United Nations, officially incepted in October of 1945, is the second great attempt of the 20th century to organize a global community for the prevention of international conflict, this time it has endured. The League of Nations was largely written by the idealist, Woodrow Wilson and was based on principles of universal equality among nations who all were given a single vote. Indeed, the four great powers the emerged from the First World War were given influential priority, but this was not reflected in the direct voting structure of the League, which required unanimity on all resolutions. Roosevelt on the other hand maintained the Wilsonian sentiment of moral idealism, but with a more realistic tone. The United Nations has proven to be more enduring, more resilient, and more adaptable since its inception at the San Francisco Conference in 1945 than its predecessor, despite facing its share of challenges such as the Korean War, the Cold War, the Iraq War, the Arab Spring, the Taiwan Conflict, the conflict in Syria, and more broadly, the shift in global macroeconomic power. The strength of the United Nations is its ability to persevere through global conflict and remain a backbone of international conflict resolution. Its success, in this sense, has been the result of a history of cohesive assertiveness and relative peace and cooperation among the leading powers of the institution, a quality that was not seen in the League of Nations. The following analysis will first take a look at
several instances that have challenged and defined the United Nations, then it will present several predictions of possible conflicts that the United Nations might face in the near future, and lastly using the League of Nations as a historical reference point, solutions will be presented to mitigate those problems.
Cold War Era The Korean War (1950-1953) was the first great test of the newly adopted United Nations. With the Soviets boycotting the United Nations to protest the Republic of China (ROC) still holding the Chinese UN Council seat (and continuing to do so until 1971) despite its defeat at the hands of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), the Security Council was able to vote to authorize military action against the invading North Korean army. It was crucial that the UN took hard military action in order to set a precedent of dependable and committed response to international conflict and demonstrate its separation from the failed appeasement policies of the League of Nations. The UN sponsored forces (which came from more than 15 countries, but were more than 75% US) had fast initial success and quickly forced the Soviet backed North Korean army to the 38th parallel16. However, Douglas McArthur, the leading Pacific Ocean general of the time decided to pursue the North Korean army further, which had the profoundly negative effect of implicating the Chinese Communist Army, who had warned against further Allied pursuit. Eventually, in 1953, a cease-fire was signed and the war was over. The repercussions of the Korean War on international politics were severe. With the Chinese and Soviets fighting for one side and the Western powers of France, Britain and the United States fighting for the other, the Security Council was essentially split down the center. This divide between Eastern and Western blocs marked the beginning of the Cold War and the bipolar world. Lastly, following the Cold War it was evident how different Claremont Journal of International Relations | Spring 2013
32 the conflict could have been if the Soviets were able to veto the UN intervention in Korea. Thus, the influential Resolution 377, or the “Uniting for Peace” resolution, was adopted. Resolution 377 stated that in matters of international conflict, if the Security Council does not reach unanimity the matter will be given to the General Assembly to decide17. The United Nations demonstrated early in its history its ability to evolve based on the necessities of international law. The tensions of the Cold War made cohesive peacekeeping in the Security Council difficult. The Cold War divided the world into two competing ideological blocs, which was reflected in the Security Council. In the first ten years, the Soviet Union used its veto power 79 times – nearly half of the total vetoes ever used - and a total of 124 times in the United Nation’s lifespan18. The United States used its veto for the first time in 1970, but since 1970 has used its veto power more than any other nation. The polarized nature of the Cold War caused little to be agreed upon in terms of large military conflict, however peacekeeping missions were used more often. In the end, the mere fact that the United Nations was able to remain intact throughout the tensions of Cold War should be seen as a success in itself; in many ways the Security Council acted as a forum of discussion between the two powers19. The fall of the Soviet Union left the United States in a completely different environment, different than any previous era and wildly different than the creators had predicted in 1945. The global powers following WWII of Britain, Russia, and the United States were in completely different positions at conclusion of the Cold War. Russia was broken and had collapsed upon itself like an empty house of cards; Britain and France were effectively bereft of their overseas territories and reduced to middle-sized powers; and China was a colossal, but underdeveloped pseudo authoritarian-capitalist nation strugSpring 2013 | Claremont Journal of International Relations
gling to finding its position in the global political economy. The United States, however, was an economically and military powerful nation and emerged as the world’s sole superpower. As Bill Clinton noted in his 1993 speech to the United Nations, the end of the cold war “simply removed the lid from many cauldrons of ethnic, religious, and territorial animosity”20. This chaos was illuminated by the events that occurred on September 11, 2001 in New York City. On that date, the direction of global politics was profoundly changed. The United States, led by President Bush and his largely hawkish cabinets headed by Dick Cheney, began its unilateral tirade against what was classified as forces of terrorism. Possibly the most disputed breach of Security Council protocol occurred during the preceding up to the Iraq War of 2003. The concept of war was brought up to the General Assembly and the Security Council based on the speculative grounds that Saddam Hussein had breached various resolutions sanctioning the development of weapons of mass destruction and, in accordance with Middle Eastern terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, posed an immediate and imminent threat to the United States. The supermajority of the Security Council stated the intent to vote against an intervention against Iraq. In fact, despite important interests in countries such as Chile, who was awaiting a free-trade agreement with the US, and Angola who was hoping for an aid package to be approved, at no time during Security Council discussions were there more than four votes in support of war (UK, US, Spain, Bulgaria) out of the fifteen votes possible – nine votes are necessary for action21. Nevertheless, the United States, disregarding the United Nation’s clear stance on Iraq, unilaterally went outside the constraints of international law and engaged in what was to be a nine year war with Iraq, in which hundreds of thousands of deaths and casualties occurred. In response to the United States’ decision to go to war, then Secretary
33 General of the United Nations Kofi Annan said, “I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter. From our point of view and from the charter’s point of view it was illegal.” The United States openly broke the United Nations charter, setting a precedent of dissent and forever maiming the integrity of the institution.
Moving Forward The privilege of the United States to go outside of UN protocol in order to instigate war speaks to the structural weaknesses of the United Nations and mirrors the flaws that fragmented the League of Nations. Currently, despite being the largest debtor to the United Nations, the United States guarantees approximately twenty-two percent of the annual UN budget, making it an indispensible authority22. In fact, in order to garner support for various resolutions the US has threatened to withhold its required dues. United States, however, does not contribute a significant amount of troops to the UN Peacekeeping force – the only military branch of the UN; last year the United States on average contributed less than one percent (123 troops) of the 97,982 troops23. Instead, since the Cold War, the United States has commonly contributed its own troops to humanitarian intervention, reducing the power of UN Peacekeeping and thus the United Nations. Moving forward, accepting the importance of the United Nations as a global moderator and as an effective humanitarian resource, the United States needs to devote more troops to the United Nations to further the ability of multilateral peacekeeping. Furthermore, contributing more troops to the UN would force the United States to be more invested in the UN, a vital aspect to maintaining the integrity of the institution. Using monetary contributions as an excuse for its commitment to the United Nations is not effective due to the fact that the US military budget is 140 times the size of the United Nations budget24. The UN as an institution is only as good as its ability to complete its
goals. Without a legitimate intervention force, it will never be an absolutely vital institution. Since the end of the Cold War and most recently exacerbated by presidency of George Bush, the cooperation within the Security Council has not been very democratic. It is evident that the United States sees itself in many ways as an independent power unrestricted by international law, inside and outside of the United Nations. This has brought about tensions within the United Nations. In the coming decade, as global economic weight shifts and new security threats arise, large changes will be seen in the global community. As the United States slowly recovers from its economic recession and removes itself from the costly wars in the Middle East, it must turn its head toward the Far-East. First, and most importantly, the United States must give China room to grow. Preventing the economic growth of China, a population who sees itself as being held down for the last century, would be the quickest route to violence. Furthermore, it is in the United States’ best interest to establish greater economic and diplomatic relations with both developed and emerging Asian economies in order to achieve greater importance in the region. The comparisons to the League of Nation’s treatment of expansionary Japan, Germany, and China are clear. This time, however, the Western powers of the Security Council must give room to China, but not cede total authority; a repeat of the Munich Agreement would be too disastrous for US global stature. The issue in the East is of China’s imperative need for resources to drive its economy. Although the chances of a Chinese-U.S. war in the near future are remote, for the sake of maintaining both U.S. strength and peaceful relations in the Security Council, China’s growing global presence should not be ignored. The final vital flaw in the United Nations, that of Claremont Journal of International Relations | Spring 2013
34 shifting power dynamics, ties in nicely with the theme of Chinese growth. The United Nations is a system born out of the years immediately following World War II. The fact is, power will shift and international relations will change, however, the United Nations as an institution struggles to do the same. Just as the United States must accept a rival power in the global economy to prevent violent friction, the United Nations must also accept such changes. The Security Council is not an accurate representation of the great powers of today; it is a representation of the world 68 years ago. Japan and Germany two of the largest and developed economies in their respective regions, deserve to be included in the Security Council – especially as they continue to devote a large proportion of resources to the UN. Furthermore, in recognition of the large and rapidly emerging powers such as India and Brazil, adjustments should be made to better reconcile for changing global power dynamics. Additionally, at this point it would be practical to remove the most irrelevant country on the Security Council by vote (at this point it would be either Russia, Britain or France) and have the vacant seat set on a rotational basis so that other countries can rotate into the Security Council periodically and use the veto power25. Most important, is that the UN recognizes that the status quo is changing and willingly facilitates necessary changes. If the United Nations is not able to adapt to the uniquely changing world of today, it will soon face problems large enough to fatally weaken the institution and embroil the world yet again in conflict. The need for global institutions of peace is more important today than ever before. For today’s world is more globalized, more integrated, and more rapidly changing than any previous epoch when have seen.
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1 “Obama’s 4-Part Plan to Fix the United Nations.” The Atlantic. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012. 2 It should be noted that this was not the first time such a global institution was proposed or conceived. The concept for an international community of nations created to promote peace was outlined in Immanuel Kant’s Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch (1795). Furthermore, events such as the Geneva Conventions, the Congress of Vienna and the Hague Conventions all outlined aspects of international law. Finally, the forerunner to the League of Nations, the InterParliamentary Union united the nations of Europe as early as 1889. 3 Scott, George. The Rise and Fall of the League of Nations. New York: Macmillan, 1974. 15. Print. 4 Dexter, Byron Vinson. The Years of Opportunity; the League of Nations, 19201926,. New York: Viking, 1967. 62. Print. 5 Dexter, 62-65 6 Scott, 11 7 “There was no question of neutrals being included, and even when they were consulted later is was only informally. The defeated had no say whatsoever” (Scott,15). 8 William Hynes & David S. Jacks & Kevin H. O’rourke, 2012. “Commodity market disintegration in the interwar period,” European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 119-143, May. 9 Scott, 238 10 Walters, F. P. A History of The League of Nations. London, UK: Oxford University Press, 1960. pg 491-492 11 Scott, 320 12 Scott, 322 13 “Haile Selassie, “Appeal to the League of Nations,” June 1936.” Haile Selassie, “Appeal to the League of Nations,” June 1936. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012. 14 Armstrong, Hamilton F. “Hitler’s Third Reich: The First Phase.” Foreign Affairs July 1933: n. pag. Print. 15 McIlwain, C.H. “The Reconstruction of Liberalism.” Foreign Affairs Oct. 1937: n. pag. Print. 16 “United Nations Official Document.” UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2013. 17 “Uniting for Peace - Main Page.” Uniting for Peace - Main Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012. 18 “Global Policy Forum.” Changing Patterns in the Use of the Veto in the Security Council. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. 19 “D@dalos - The Development of the United Nations (II): The UN During TheCold War.” D@dalos - The Development of the United Nations (II): The UN During TheCold War. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012. 20 “William J. Clinton: Remarks to the 48th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.” William J. Clinton: Remarks to the 48th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012. 21 Bennett, Ronan. “Ten Days to War.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 07 Mar. 2008. Web. 17 Dec. 2012. 22 Top 15 countries by UN budget contribution, percent (Security Council is in bold): US – 22.0%, Japan – 12.53%, Germany – 8.018%, UK – 6.604 percent, France – 6.123%, Italy – 4.999%, Canada – 3.207%, China – 3.189%, Spain – 3.177%, Mexico – 2.356%, South Korea – 2.260%, Australia – 1.933%, Brazil – 1.611%, Russia – 1.602% “United Nations Official Document.” UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012. 23 “Troop and Police Contributors. United Nations Peacekeeping.” UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012. 24 “Global Policy Forum.” UN Regular Budget Expenditures. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012. 25 Another popular reform is to enlarge the Security Council to seven members and extend the veto to additional deserving countries such as Japan, Germany, and Brazil (this would require a change in Security Council voting such as requiring 6/7 votes to approve a resolution)
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21st Century Realism Jack Shaked | Pitzer ‘14
The second decade of the twenty-first century will be a crucible for America’s continued role as a superpower and for the liberal world order it represents. The world is moving ever faster away from the 20th century that American power came from, and was built for. Over the next decade, globalization, encouraged by the United States, will continue to move wealth and power from the north and west to the east and south while disseminating capabilities that were once the sole province of the state to a variety of non-state actors1. It will rewrite the rules of traditional geopolitics by which the U.S and the liberal world order function. Thus, United States’ relative (in terms of closing the power gap between the U.S. and others) and, as a result of misguided policy, real (in terms of deteriorating political, economic and military capabilities/dominance) decline is inevitable; making an eventual retrenchment away from a hegemonic global role unavoidable.
icy approach that reveals has been a crowded one among the foreign policy elite2. Yet it has curiously been devoid of any consent regarding what Obama’s possible doctrine could be. After the Libyan intervention many asserted that Obama had become an idealist prone to Clintonesque humanitarian interventions, while others stressed his obvious realism3. But before one can argue one way or the other, realism must be clearly defined. For the debate over what Obama’s doctrine is has shown how ill-defined realism really is; it is characterized as everything from isolationism (which could be seen as a reaction to the interventionism of the idealist Bush administration) to simple state, power-politics4,5. Realism, as defined here, is a broad, adaptable, theoretical framework that emphasizes identifying actors and their core interests, without ideology or morals clouding one’s analysis, and then developing a strategy that is most effective in pursuing one’s own interests.
This is the situation that the Obama presidency was brought into. In light of these new chal- From this theoretical framework have come lenges, the debate over what Obama’s doctrine many realist schools of thought. The most inis (or if he even has one) and what foreign pol- fluential and traditional ones are classical and Spring 2013 | Claremont Journal of International Relations
37 neo-classical realism. For the purposes of this paper, they will both be equated under the term nineteenth century realism for they share four main characteristics6. Nineteenth century realism sees states as the main and preeminent actors in geopolitics and identifies survival as their core interest. It believes that the acquisition and application of power is the only way to assure survival and that states will inevitably apply that power offensively to defend their own core interests. This in turn puts a value on military capabilities above all others. Finally, nineteenth Century realism has a general Socratic outlook on the interactions of states; assuming that once their motivations are understood their interactions can be explained by simple direct cause and effects analysis. This leads to well defined but rigid models for state interactions, which in turn lead to a reliance on doctrines to guide interpretations. Obama’s foreign policy is most certainly realist, by broad theoretical standards, and it is here that his foreign policy can be seen as a continuation of Bush’s second term reconversion. The Bush administration was forced to rejoin the “reality based community” in its second term and Bush began flirting with multilateralism and diplomatically engaging with enemies , actions Obama has certainly taken7,8,9. Yet that is where the continuation ends, for Obama goes both wider and deeper in his multilateralism and realist pragmatism but also pursues a realism that fits the realist theoretical framework but doesn’t adhere to nineteenth century realism; hence the confusion among commentators10. Obama’s foreign policy belongs to a different realist school of thought, twenty-first century realism.
three main new realities that states must now contend with: first, threats are no longer easily defined11. Second, there is a relative dearth of conventional enemies (e.g. Soviet Union). Which have been replaced by “intangible, fluid systems or networks” such as Hezbollah or even more subjective forces such as global warming; as a result of the interconnectedness of the globalized world, even the smallest of these threats can have a huge impact on the international system12. The third and most important reality for the survival of the liberal world order, is the fact that the most powerful state, which underwrites the international world order, is losing its unilateral capability to support a hegemonic global role13. In the 20th century, “America’s economic and national security were largely self-determined…[but] now we live in an integrated world where American jobs rely on the economic policies of governments in Asia or Latin America, while our security is subject to the whims of a cleric living in a cave”14. Combined with America’s dwindling resources, accelerated by our commitments abroad and the 2008 financial crisis, America’s ability to unilaterally sustain the liberal world order or even pursue its own interests, is seriously diminished. America is slowly, but inevitably going to have to reduce its international commitments, at a time when an increasingly unstable globalized world will need a fully committed America the most.
Twenty-first century realism shows the most effective way of handling the unique challenges that a globalized world poses. There are three key aspects of twenty-first century realism that allow it to be flexible and resilient, characteristics that will be vital in the future. First, twenty-first century realism recognizes that this new globalized world Twenty first century realism could best be de- is one of “sand pile dynamics” , where actors scribed as pragmatic realism. It is based on and forces (manmade and not) are “connected entirely different assumptions than nineteenth one to another by ties of contact and technology century realism, because the world it inhabits is that we can’t fully map or monitor”15,16. These inone of globalization, not geopolitics. There are creasingly complex systems are “organized into Claremont Journal of International Relations | Spring 2013
38 instability”, constantly shifting and reorganizing in unexpected ways. One need look no further than the sovereign debt crisis that spread from the American housing crisis to Europe. A foreign policy for a world this volatile and unpredictable must be extremely flexible and pragmatic, which doesn’t mean always compromising, supported by a policy process that is constantly reviewing assumptions and is willing to apply multiple creative solutions to different parts of an issue, in a non-linear fashion17. Recognizing that increasing global interconnectedness results in the potential for multiple factors to influence the problem at hand; a twenty-first century realist foreign policy would take factors as varied as climate change and the price of oil into account, not separating between domestic and foreign, when analyzing almost any aspect of geopolitics18.
connected nature. Twenty-first century power is harder to quantify and categorize than conventional military manpower25. Since not only are the threats different but the nature of power is as well, power must be approached and applied differently to deal with threats. Power should no longer be treated like gold, increasing in value the more you and the less others have, and gained unilaterally at others’ expense or used to buy security. Instead it should be treated as water, increasing in value the more widely used it is in an effective manner (irrigation, raising livestock), increasing in amount and value through cooperation26. The direct result will be social, economic and political stability, which in a newly globalized world, where threats are constant and varied, is the new standard of security27.
Second, twenty-first century realism focuses on power like nineteenth century realism but understands the new nature of power in a world of globalization, thereby approaching and applying power in a way that encourages effective multilateralism. There are two characteristics of the new nature of power. Firstly, power is now more asymmetrical19. America’s predicted offensive power monopoly, where threats would vanish in the face of America’s military technology, never materialized20,21. In fact, the opposite is true, attacking even powerful entities is now cheap, and creating more havoc while doing it will only get easier22. A prime example of this are China’s “Assassin’s Maces”, low tech weapons that “for thousands of dollars, [can undo] several billion dollars of American killing power”23. As a result, our conventional way of war “is increasingly useless”, which means that we must “begin to change how, where, and why we…fight”24. To do this, a new type of foreign policy (and really a new way of approaching and using power) is needed.
Third, twenty-first century realism eschews doctrines. Doctrines limit the ability to review assumptions and creatively analyze information; they limit policy options28. In today’s world they are even more dangerous because they freeze “a picture of a world that can be profoundly shifting even as you try to fix its most basic dimensions into some sort of map”29. The quantity and unpredictability of threats in a globalized world require a “deep-security immune system instead of an old-style Grand Strategy”30. Yet that does not mean that idealism does not have its uses. It can be pragmatically used to realist ends by improving relations or justifying realist actions; but it can be used to decide ends as well. This may sound surprising for a realist theory but there is nothing wrong with hoping to achieve a goal, especially if it increases global stability, as long as idealism is used as a rationale to increase global cooperation and is kept carefully separated from a realist policy process.
Lastly, twenty-first century realism accepts that The second characteristic of power in the twen- because of the nature of this interconnected ty-first century is it’s more dispersed and inter- globalized world, the threats and problems that Spring 2013 | Claremont Journal of International Relations
39 inhabit it often do not have a “solution” in the traditional sense; sometimes the best that can be expected is to suppress or lighten the effects of problems. This means defensively improving America’s resilience to threats, and offensively focusing on indirect approaches to elusive problems. The challenges of the state caught between globalization (the twenty-first century) and geopolitics (the 20th) can all be viewed through the essential dilemma between the problems of Hobbes “that is, anarchy and power insecurities”, and the opportunities of Locke, “the construction of open and rule-based relations”31. The former must be solved to take advantage of the latter. Obama’s challenge will be acknowledging that the problems of Hobbes are almost always unsolvable and finding a way to adjust the opportunities of Locke to that reality (making them strong enough and equipping them to deal with the problems of Hobbes); while undertaking this task, “In this new age of international order, the United States will not be able to rule. But it can still lead”32,33. Obama’s twenty-first century realist response to this challenge can best be seen through U.S relations with the Middle East, Russia, and China. Mandelbaum correctly called the Middle East “The Heart of Geopolitics,” as more than in any other region on earth (including Russia and China), states are involved in “geopolitical competition”34,35. The main reason for this is energy; the Middle East has more oil than any place on earth. The Middle East also has an unusual amount of powerful non-state actors, from tribes (e.g. Yemen and Libya) to Hezbollah to Sunnis and Shiites. This mix of a multitude of actors, combined with a large amount of resources makes the Middle East a region in which globalization’s sand pile is very prevalent. America is intimately involved in the Middle East; in addition to currently drawing down two wars, it is trying to stop Iran from getting nuclear
weapons and trying to maintain its influence in the region while democratic revolutions topple governments, allied and not. All of these efforts are related to assuring a stable and cheap flow of oil to the U.S. In handling this wide array of core interests in the Middle East, Obama has employed many of the concepts that twentyfirst century realism advocates. No event of the past eleven years represents the type of challenges we will face over the next eleven than the Arab Spring. It took America by complete surprise, and has many broad implications for multiple core interests of America; from continued influence in the region , to Israel’s power in the region, to Iran (with implications for relations with China and Russia)36. It also highlights the effects of America’s decreased capacity (tied up in Afghanistan/Iraq) on its policy options; all the while offering an explicit contrast between traditional American values (idealism) and American interests, making it one of the best case studies to analyze Obama’s unique brand of Realism38. In handling the challenges of the Arab spring, Obama took a realist assessment of the situation as a whole and each case in particular, than pragmatically applied idealist means where appropriate and realist means where appropriate eschewing the need for a doctrine to dictate what he could and could not do. But when he did take direct action he did it mainly through multilateral cooperation, reducing both the resources and risk required. For example, in Libya, Obama saw an opportunity to depose of a longtime adversary in a country that had large oil resources, and any country with oil resources coming into America’s orbit would affect Iran’s influence as well. But by employing a Clintonesque multilateral humanitarian intervention instead of a Bush-style, unilateral military occupation, which was supported by the Arab regional state actors, and mainly relied on NATO effort that was not led by America, Obama was Claremont Journal of International Relations | Spring 2013
40 able to support the organic rebellion against Gaddafi with little risk and, since it was more subtle and less controversial than using ground troops, he was able to indirectly improve the chances that whatever power replaces Gaddafi will be somewhat pro U.S38. An interesting point is that by multilaterally engaging regional state actors, Obama strengthened the Arab League, GCC and especially NATO, in turn strengthening the liberal world order. In Bahrain, Obama took a largely different approach. He did absolutely nothing other than have his Secretary of State offer token condemnations. For unlike Libya, Bahrain is an oil rich ally and a revolution (in a majority Shiite nation) there would increase Iran’s influence and put a puppet state right in Saudi Arabia’s backyard. Saudi Arabia is the most important American ally (other than Israel) in the Middle East. After diplomatically abandoning Mubarak the Saudis were already getting anxious about the wisdom of staying with America. So Obama made a cold realist calculation and allowed Bahraini and Saudi troops to violently put down the uprising. Iran (and its pursuit of nuclear weapons) is the perfect example of a traditional geopolitical situation in a globalized world. Iran, it can be argued, is simply trying to gain power in relation to the other countries in the region that also produce oil. Iran sees gaining offensive nuclear capability as the most effective route towards that goal. Naturally, America wants to stop Iran from gaining this geopolitical power to counter its own. At the same time, this threat has taken on characteristics common to a new globalized world. Firstly, Iran’s ability, it could be argued, to gain nuclear weapons underplays the shifting power relations in the world. Then, even with a threat as traditionally geopolitical as this, it is not perfectly clear what systems or networks are actually in control or what role they play. What is the relationship between Ahmadinejad and Ali Khamenei; which actions and policies are attributable to whom? Is the revolutionSpring 2013 | Claremont Journal of International Relations
ary guard a separate entity that can be played against one faction or the other? Thirdly, this conflict has wide implications both locally (in the Middle East) and globally. Obama has shown an intricate understanding of these concepts, in his handling of Iran. Examples include: holding back on the idealist impulse to support Iran’s own democratic revolution, which would have done more harm than good, to emphasizing multilateralism and diplomacy in dealing with the Iranian government, but at the same time allowing for harder measures (i.e. sanctions) if Obama’s open hand is not taken39,40. The military option has not been seriously discussed because, as a realist, Obama understands that America cannot afford another military conflict at the moment and wants resources freed up to be applied to the much more strategically important areas of Russia and East Asia. The benefit of twenty-first century realism is that by applying a pragmatic multilateral approach, America can, indirectly, positively affect those areas of greater strategic interest by establishing relationships of cooperation that can be used towards other (even bigger) issues41. Since the end of WWII Russia has always been a geopolitical rival for the U.S and for half a century was our main one. As a result it has had a major impact on our foreign policy, one that was mostly negative, stemming from our “mistaken understanding of how and why the great conflict with the Soviet Union ended….[which we saw] as a kind of military victory. In fact, it was “a negotiated outcome that benefitted both sides”42. This misconception of history created a Hubris of Dominance that, from expanding NATO to placing missiles in Eastern Europe and flirting with expanding them to other former Soviet states, increasingly antagonized Russia; climaxing in the Russian invasion of Georgia43. The conflict with Georgia was a reassertion of Russia’s sphere of influence and represents the broader geopolitical power shifts that make up America’s new reality44. It finally led to a real-
41 ization in the Bush administration “that perhaps the United States cannot have it all, and may have to choose its priorities, particularly when it comes to Russia.”
order it will inherently play a somewhat revisionist role; altering the system to better represent the redistribution of geopolitical power. Regardless, the U.S should undertake a policy of full engagement with China, with the ultimate goal of making it a valuable partner in assuring the functioning of the liberal world order. The best way to assure the greatest American influence in a world post Pax Americana is to make sure that the international system is (generally) the same one that was created by America. According to the power transition theory, the alternative struggle for influence is likely to result in conflict; which is currently not a realist option for the United States51. Obama’s main challenge will be to manage this integration, and handle the many challenges that China is now a vital part of (a nuclear Iran, global warming, the national debt) at the same time. All while America’s capabilities (and the capacity to use them) dwindle, as is characteristic of hegemony under retrenchment52.
In his “restart” of U.S/Russia relations, Obama has pursued a policy of twenty-first century realist engagement. As with any effective engagement, this entailed giving Russia some of what it wanted, which was (as is often the case) acknowledging a simple geopolitical reality or ceding ground in the short term, like taking the mid-range missiles out of Eastern Europe so that both sides can come together and exploit their shared interests, establishing cooperation through the re-activated NATO-Russia council on a missile defense shield, making each other more powerful45,46. And now that “U.S-Russian strategic competition has subsided, Washington should be able” to apply its resources elsewhere with greater possibility of Russian cooperation47. Other than Iran, those excess resources and cooperation will most likely be applied towards China and the East Asian/Pacific region. From the start of Obama’s presidency it was understood that twenty-first century realist China, personifying the global shift in resources engagement was the best approach towards and power away from the Global North/South China53. And so, in the beginning, Obama’s tone (also represented by the BRIC countries), is the with China was often conciliatory, and he did not most direct challenge to American power48. confront China on human rights and did not visit As Obama said “no region [more potential] to the Dalai Lama on one of his first visits to China. shape our long-term economic future than the As a result, an article by Andrew Higgins, noted Asian- Pacific region”49. For not only is China’s in that in the first year of Obama’s presidency, capacity growing, with an economy that has “In many ways, the United States and China had double digit growth for the last ten years have never been closer, as reflected in a raft while ours is steadily shrinking, but our fall and of joint projects outlined during Obama’s visit their rise are intricately linked by both finances here”54. Yet, as Mandelbaum notes, “At the end and resources. Luckily, China’s long term aim of the first decade of the twenty-first century... is not to be a revisionist power, overthrowing China [has] not yet fully become what American the current world order; in fact, it wants to be officials hoped it would eventually be- an interthe opposite. It sees the existing capitalist, rules national stakeholder committed to upholding based, liberal world order as the most profitable existing global economic and security norms”55. and effective route to power50. But that doesn’t “An unprecedented need for resources” commean unseen events could change China’s mind bined with overconfidence in America’s decline, and even if it does seek to be a status quo pow- as a result of the 2008 financial crisis and the er and play within the rules in the liberal world wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, has led China to Claremont Journal of International Relations | Spring 2013
42 an aggressively self-centered foreign policy. From pursuing relationships with energy rich powers hostile to America (Iran, Sudan), even ones in America’s “backyard” (Venezuela, Bolivia etc.), and attempting to establish the (energy rich) South China Sea as its sphere of influence, to enacting one-sided trade policies and disregarding the terms of its WTO membership China has shown a rampant disregard for diplomacy in the area of energy56. Until recently, Obama has tried dealing with these threats through diplomacy, partly because any twenty-first century realist attempts diplomatic engagement first and secondly, because American resources were tied up in the Middle East. This diplomatic engagement has had limited success but now that Obama has almost completely drawn out of Iraq and is beginning the same process in Afghanistan he is signaling that “the U.S. intends to be a permanent strategic player, maintain if not increasing its presence”58. For twenty-first century realist retrenchment may narrow a state’s core interests but it doesn’t necessarily dampen down the vigor of its pursuit of those core interests. On his recent trip to Asia, Obama has not only voiced America’s dissatisfaction with China’s financial policies and power intimidation but has shown it through actions, by not inviting China to the new multilateral “trans Pacific partnership” free trade zone; he has established a new military presence in Australia and allied the U.S. with other powers in the region (such as India and Burma)59,60. In geopolitical terms, Obama is telling China that it is it will be much easier (and in their best interest) to play ball and rise to power through the established liberal world order61. Behind this is the implicit message that if China tries to rise to power completely on its own terms, it will be challenged. This is a perfect example of the flexibility that twenty-first century realism advocates and the understanding that sometimes you have to “speak softly but carry a big stick”62. Spring 2013 | Claremont Journal of International Relations
Twenty-first century realism accepts the new realities of globalization and uses them to its advantage. It defines core interests as narrowly as possible yet addresses those interests in as many ways as possible; in the new globalized “sand pile” world, all factors are connected and sometimes the indirect approach is more effective than nineteenth century realism, which would have advocated some form of military containment against Russia and Iran and would be leading us on the way to war with China. Above all, twenty-first century realism stresses multilateral engagement and diplomatic cooperation, for globalization has redefined the nature of both threats and the power that must be used to face them. The traditional, liberal economic and security order is the main avenue assuring the peaceful transition of power from North and West to East and South and its safe arrival into the globalized world. At the same time the liberal world order, and the increasingly interconnected world it represents, will become more and more vital for solving (or at least handling) intractable, international problems. The United States’ capability to maintain this international liberal order (which is, for the foreseeable future, vital to its functioning) is diminishing as is the sovereignty of states in general. Twenty-first century realism is the best tool available to smooth the transition from the traditional geopolitics of the 20th century to the globalization of the twenty-first century and help states navigate the truly flattened landscape of actors and capabilities that awaits them.
43 1 “In “ an “era of globalization” in which “the whole concept of sovereignty is less meaningful than it once was….With global interdependence comes a certain lack of control, a vulnerability to disparate influences beyond our territorial borders that are less obvious and less easily answered than the launch of a Soviet satellite.” Bai, Matt. “The Presidency, Chained to the World.” New York Times [New York]. Print. 2 Exerting their more limited (thanks to external factors) influence. Paper 2 3 Heilbrunn, Jacob. “Samantha and Her Subjects.” Web. 4 “All this talk of dithering and deference would be interesting if it didn’t confuse realism with isolationism” McCormick, Ty. “Beyond Realism and Idealism: Explaining Obama’s Shifting Middle East Policy.” Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. Web. 10 Dec. 2011. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/>. 5 “From the war on terror to the current unrest in Egypt, his foreign policy has owed far more to conservative realpolitik than to any leftwing vision of international affairs.”- Douthat, Ross. “Obama The Realist.” New York Times. Print. 6 19th instead of 20th because classical realism was developed during the heyday of European colonial power struggle and its inability to adapt to the changing circumstances of the 20th could be argued to have contributed to WWI and WWII. And when it did, neo-classical realism did not change much. 7 Suskind, Ron. “Without A Doubt.” New York Times Magazine. Web 8 “The president returned from his February 2005 trip and announced that the United States would support the “eu-3” negotiations being conducted by France, Germany, and the United Kingdom and even throw some of its own “carrots”—airplane spare parts and support for World Trade Organization accession negotiations—into the mix”. Gordon, Phillip H. “The End of the Bush Revolution.” Foreign Affairs. Web. p.82 9 “the Bush administration accepted an arrangement with Pyongyang in September 2005 that would have provided North Korea with energy aid, security guarantees, and the gradual normalization of relations in exchange for North Korea’s abandoning its nuclear weapons programs. Such an agreement could almost certainly have been reached years before, but it was anathema to the ﬁrst Bush team. Although the September 2005 deal has effectively collapsed, it is telling that the Bush administration was willing to reach it in the ﬁrst place” Ibid. p.82 10 “a consistent theme of active engagement and unyielding diplomacy, a sharp contrast to President Bush’s policy of refusing to deal with countries that did not first meet conditions set by the United States”. Obama the Realist 11 That are caused by the forces of globalization mentioned in the beginning of this paper, movement of capital from north/west to east/south and diffusion of capabilities to a range of non-state actors. 12 “how fickle the second world can be, its alignments changing on a whim and causing headaches and ripple effects in all directions. – Khanna, Parag. “Waving Goodbye to Hegemony.” New York Times. Print. 13 “Mr. Obama and his immediate predecessors have been forced to contend with the erosion of self-sufficiency”. The Presidency Chained to the World 14 Ibid. are 15 Ramo, Joshua Cooper. The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us and What to Do About It. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2009. pp. 52-54 16 Ibid. p.60 17 Ibid. p.80 18 As opposed to 19th century realism which concerned itself mainly with military power, and saw domestic politics as beneath it. 19 Meaning that “The strong cannot expect to command the weak as in the past; the now can resist, and do”. Gelb, Leslie H. “Necessity, Choice, and Common Sense.” Foreign Affairs. Web. 20 Ramo p.94, 95. 21 Though its mirage did appear during the Nineties 22 “the offense-defense balance switch has flipped” Ramo p.97 23 Ramo p.87 24 Ibid. p.99 25 “In the global body politic, real power isn’t always loaded into obvious implements like armies or bombers”. Ramo p.210 26 Because of the flattening of military power and the diffusion of power in general throughout the global polity 27 In order of relevance 28 Paper 2 29 Ramo. p.73 30 Ramo p.202 31 Ikenberry, G. John. “The Future of the Liberal World Order.” Foreign Affairs. Web. 32 Ibid. 33 “This is what will end up defining this era of the presidency — the diminished power, the diminished authority, the diminished capacity to shape events,” says Robert Dallek, the presidential biographer. “It’s the presidency in eclipse.” The Presidency Chained to the World. 34 Mandelbaum, Michael. The Frugal Superpower: America’s Global Leadership in a Cash-strapped Era. New York: PublicAffairs, 2011. Print. p.137 35 Ibid. p.137 36 “a surge in Arab self-determination that left the U.S. without its most reliable client
state in the region and threatens to rob it of a long list of reliable autocratic allies” McCormick, Beyond Realism and Idealism: Explaining Obama’s Shifting Middle East Policy 37 “The uprisings in Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and now Syria all embody the tension between U.S. interests and values,”. Ignatius, David. “Tom Donilon’s Arab Spring Challenge.” Washington Post. Print. 38 Of course this course of action was justified under idealist reasoning as any pragmatic realist would. 39 “Returning to harsh criticism now would only erase this progress, empower hardliners in Iran who want to see negotiations fail and undercut those who have risen up in support of a better relationship,” he [Kerry] said”. Pleming, Sue. “Obama Team Grapples with Iran Tactics.” Sakai. Web. <https://sakai.claremont.edu:8443/portal/ site/CX_mtg_56247>. 40 ”The window of outreach to Tehran appears to be closing, with Obama speaking more frequently of applying new international sanctions to deter it from building a bomb”. LaFranchi, Howard. “Obama at One Year: New Realism in Foreign Policy.” Christian Science Monitor. Web. 41 “if the outreach to the toughest cases like Iran “means greater cooperation on this and other issues from the Chinas and Russia as of the world,” as Kupchan says, that could end up an even bigger prize”. Ibid. 42 Mandelbaum, Michael. “Overpowered?” Foreign Affairs. Web. 43 Beinart, Peter. The Icarus Syndrome: a History of American Hubris. New York: Harper, 2010. Print. 44 Interestingly here Russia’s growth in strength might only be relative to America’s shrinking power rather than an independent one. 45 making “clear to Moscow that both countries [Ukraine and Georgia] are years away from NATO admission, a point the Obama administration, unlike its predecessor in the White House, quietly concedes”. DeYoung, Karen. “Obama Team Seeks to Redefine Russia Ties.” Washington Post[Washington D.C]. Print. 46 This breakthrough was “in large part to the “reset” in relations with Russia that began when Obama came to office and pledged to start over with Moscow. Parsons, Christi. “US-Russia A Side Meeting and Then a Breakthrough.” Washington Post. Print. 47 Charap, Samuel, and Alexandros Petersen. “Reimagining Eurasia.” Foreign Affairs. Web. 48 “China is the most obvious candidate to disrupt the twenty-first century international order”. Mandelbaum p.112 49 Nicholas, Peter, and Christi Parsons. “On Asia Pacific Trip Obama’s Focus Is on China.” Los Angeles Times. Print. 50 “Any effort to overturn the economic and security arrangements in East Asia, let alone globally, will make China poorer, not richer”. Mandelbaum p.121 51 “While China struggles to manage its growing pains, the United States, as the world’s hegemon, must somehow make room for the rising giant; otherwise, war will become a serious possibility. According to the power transition theory, to maintain its dominance, a hegemon will be tempted to declare war on its challengers while it still has a power advantage. Thus, easing the way for the United States and China -- and other states -- to find a new equilibrium will require careful management, especially of their mutual perceptions”. Zweig, David, and Bi Jianhai. “China’s Global Hunt for Energy.” Foreign Affairs. Web. 52 “This is what will end up defining this era of the presidency- the diminished power, the diminished authority, the diminished capacity to shape events”. The Presidency Chained to the World 53 “We are now going to engage economically, politically and on a security basis in new ways to shape the future of the Asia-Pacific”. On Asia-Pacific trip Obama’s focus is on China 54 Higgens, Andrew and Kornblut, Anne. “Obama’s China Trip a Stark Contrast with the Past.” Washington Post, November 18, 2009. 55 Mandelbaum p.124 56 Holland, Tom. “Beijing Is Riding Rough Shod over Its WTO Pledges.” Sakai. Web. <https://sakai.claremont.edu:8443/portal/site/CX_mtg_56247>. 57 China’s lack of opposition to sanctions against Sudan and letting its currency value rise slightly. 58 On Asia-Pacific trip Obama’s focus is China 59 Beijing is riding roughshod over its WTO pledges 60 Showing that twenty-first Century realism doesn’t inherently write off Containment as long as it is used pragmatically and in concert with other strategies. 61 “Almost everything the United States is asking of China falls directly in line with China’s interests”. Christensen, Thomas. “The Advantages of an Assertive China.” Foreign Affairs, March/April 2011, p. 2. 62 The Realist Theodore Roosevelt
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