T HE G LOBE
W ORLD N EWS F ROM A LL S IDES WINTER 2009 | ISSUE 02
AMERICAN HUBRIS AND EXPANSION BY BARNETT KOVEN RUSSIA AND UKRAINE: THE NEXT EUROPEAN WAR? BY PHILLIP BARTEL THE MAKING OF AFRICOM: ONE YEAR LATER BY JESSICA THOMPSON AFTER THE WASHINGTON CONSENSUS: HOW SUPRA-NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS HAVE FAIRED BY BILAL AHMAD THE FORGOTTEN COLONY: US POLICY ON WESTERN SAHARA BY JOSHUA LASKY
A PUBLICATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS SOCIETY OF THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
The Globe: World News From All Sides
TABLE OF CONTENTS LETTER FROM THE EDITOR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 AMERICAN HUBRIS AND EXPANSIONISM BY BARNETT KOVEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 RUSSIA AND UKRAINE: THE NEXT EUROPEAN WAR? BY PHILLIP BARTEL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 THE MAKING OF AFRICOM: ONE YEAR LATER BY JESSICA THOMPSON. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 THE WASHINGTON CONSENSUS: HOW SUPRA-NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS HAVE FAIRED BY BILAL AHMAD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
............................... 20 THE FORGOTTEN COLONY: US POLICY ON WESTERN SAHARA BY JOSHUA LASKY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
COPYRIGHTED 2009 © Copyright © 2009, [The Globe]. Unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content, in whole or in part, without the express permission of the Chairman of the International Affairs Society is strictly prohibited. Violations are subject to legal action. The Globe is a production of the International Affairs Society and is a registered student organization of The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of The George Washington University, its entities, or the International Affairs Society.
Elliott School of International Affairs
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Dear Readers:
I am proud to present the second edition of the The Globe: World News from All Sides for the 2009-2010 academic year. The Globe is the only undergraduate academic journal at the George Washington University devoted solely to International Affairs. The Globe is an amazing opportunity for International Affairs Society members, Elliot School students, and those interested in international affairs to publish their academic papers and articles in a professional manner. More than that, it is an opportunity to open discussion, publish ideas and to think and write critically on world issues. The Globe and its submissions are drawn from many different areas of interest within international affairs; from economics, to politics, to interdisciplinary discussions. This second edition is no exception, and it is my hope that the papers in this issue will lead to further academic exploration and discussion in your study of international affairs. Enjoy this winter print edition, a culmination of the best submissions received throughout the semester, and I look forward to reading many more fantastic submissions for this publication as the year goes on! Cheers, Lauren Jacobson Editor-In-Chief
The Globe: World News From All Sides American Hubris and Expansion By Barnett Koven The United States government’s decision to build an empire in the Philippines in 1898 reflects the majority mindset regarding America’s role in world affairs, which has been the prevailing view since the inception of the United States. This position was expanded upon and modified as necessitated by circumstance over the next century. This is best illustrated by examining developments in political thought and key domestic and foreign policies. Political Thought: Ezra Stiles, writing in 1783, describes the preeminence of the American political system and espouses the virtue of expanding this system to other areas of the world.1 Stiles argues the U.S. system is exceptional because it lacks the ‘impediments’ of a feudal history.2 Stiles illustrates this point when he states, “In our civil constitutions, those impediments are removed which obstruct the progress of society towards perfection: Such, for instance, as respect the tenure of estates, and arbitrary government. The Vassalage of dependent tenures…still remains all over Asia and Europe.”3 Stiles’s fervent belief in the superiority of the American system leads him to conclude that the new world would choose to emulate the United States. In furthering this point he posits, “navigation will carry the American flag around the globe…”4 Stiles’s writings set the foundation for American expansionism in general and are relevant to U.S. empire building, more than one hundred years later, in the Philippines.
Ezra Stiles. "The United States Elevated to Glory and Honour," in Major Problems in American Foreign .Policy, ed. Thomas G. Paterson (DC: Heath 1989). 2 Ibid., pg 38. 3 Ibid., pg 38. 4 Ibid., pg 39.
Elliott School of International Affairs Over the next century, arguments similar to those put forth by Stiles would be reinterpreted to justify continental and then overseas expansion. For example, the arguments made by Stiles relating to the cause of American exceptionalism are reiterated by John L. O’Sullivan, “our nation’s birth was the beginning of a new history…”5 However, O’Sullivan uses this as a rationale for territorial expansion (on the continent), rhetorically asking “what can, set the limits to our onward march?”6 Later, missionary Josiah Strong would reinterpret it along social Darwinist lines in the form of an argument in favor of overseas expansion. Imbued with social Darwinist ideas, exceptionalism now justified expansion overseas as a means to save the ‘inferior races’. This is poignantly illustrated by Strong’s argument that “nothing can save the inferior races but a ready and pliant assimilation.”7 The aforementioned examples illustrate how the belief in American exceptionalism evolved to rationalize continental and later, overseas expansion. Domestic Action: In addition to similarities between arguments in favor of westward and overseas expansion, there exists a striking correlation between the U.S.’s approach toward Native Americans on the continent and the establishment of an American empire in the Philippines. Walter L. Williams argues that American dealings with Native Americans constituted colonialism and was not just a product of expansionism.8 Williams believes most nations have been expansionist at times and that expansionism can include spreading into neighboring areas
John L. O’Sullivan. “Manifest Destiny,” in The Great Nation of Futurity (Cornell: Cornell University Press 1839), ….1. 6 Ibid. 7 Josiah Strong. Anglo-Saxon Predominance, 3.. 8 Walter L. Williams. “United States Indian Policy and the Debate over Philippine Annexation: Implications for the …..Origins of American Imperialism,” in The Journal of American History 66 (1980).
The Globe: World News From All Sides and assuming political authority over the population when the inhabitants “share many similarities with neighboring societies…”9 Williams qualifies this, indicating that the ‘inhabitants’ are then absorbed into the political structure of the ‘neighboring society.’10 Williams continues, stating that expansionism also occurs when occupants are removed from a specific area. Colonialism, on the other hand “involves the conquest and control of a culturally different peoples…”11 In support of this he cites Chief Justice John Marshall, writing for the Supreme Court in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831), where Marshall characterizes Native Americans as part of a “domestic dependent nation”, which could be likened to a protectorate12. Moreover Marshall refers to Native Americans as “wards,” “subjects” and “conquered inhabitants.”13 Later, in 1845, Chief Justice Roger Taney characterizes Native Americans as “subjects to the government’s dominion and control.”14 Additionally, Williams references Attorney General Caleb Cushing, who opined “Indians are domestic subjects of this Government…”15 In summary, colonization occurred because Native Americans were seen as inferior to whites and thus unfit to be absorbed into the political structure. Senator Albert Beveridge uses this same rational in arguing for U.S. expansion stating “the rule of liberty that all just government derives its authority from the consent of the governed, applies only to those who are capable of self government.”16 He continues, invoking the conduct towards Native Americans as an example, “we govern the Indians without their consent…”17 Thus the
Ibid., pg 811. Ibid. 11 Ibid., pg 812. 12 Ibid., pg 811. 13 Ibid., pg 811. 14 Ibid., pg 812. 15 Ibid., pg 812. 16 Albert Beveridge. “The March of the Flag,” Campaign speech, 16 September 1898. 17 Ibid. 10
Elliott School of International Affairs justifications for the treatment of Native Americans are fraught with similar rhetoric to those used to exculpate U.S. intervention in the Philippines and supports the thesis that the decision to colonize the Philippines is rooted in previous colonialist actions. Foreign Policy: In 1823, President James Monroe delivered his seventh annual message to Congress in what came to be known as the Monroe Doctrine.18 At the time the Monroe Doctrine was issued the U.S. still had not completed continental expansion, nor did it posses the military strength required to expand abroad. Yet, the Monroe Doctrine served to establish the preconditions for U.S. expansion into the Americas at a later time. The Monroe Doctrine reads “…we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere, as dangerous to our peace and safety.”19 Essentially, the Monroe Doctrine aims to bar European powers from future colonial expansion in the Americas. In the short term, European meddling in the hemisphere is seen as dangerous to the United States, “it is impossible that the allied powers should extend their political system to any portion of either continent without endangering our peace and happiness…”20 However, the Monroe Doctrine was later used to justify U.S. expansion in the hemisphere. According to J. Fred Rippy the U.S. first used the Monroe Doctrine for expansionist purposes in response to Mexico’s inability to meet its financial obligations to European creditors during the ‘disorderly decade.’21 As a result, in 1859, the U.S. concluded a treaty with Mexico wherein the U.S. was afforded “a number of transit privileges
James Monroe. “The Monroe Doctrine,” Seventh annual message to Congress, 2 December 1823. 19 Ibid. 20 Ibid. 21 J. Fred Rippy. “Antecedents of the Roosevelt Corollary of the Monroe Doctrine,” in The Pacific Historical Review ..9 (1940), 267.
The Globe: World News From All Sides and granted broad rights to military intervention to suppress disorder.”22 The Monroe Doctrine herein provides evidence of the U.S.’s expansionist intensions seventy-five years before it intervened in the Philippines. In 1895, just three years before the U.S. would begin building an empire in the Philippines, the U.S. asserted its jurisdiction in the Western Hemisphere, as claimed in the Monroe Doctrine. In response to a territorial dispute between Great Britain and Venezuela, Richard Olney issued what became known as the Olney Note.23 In it, Olney implores Great Britain to agree to arbitrate the dispute.24 The Olney Note is important, irrespective of the territorial dispute, because of its affect on U.S. foreign policy. The Olney Note’s extensive reference to international law as a justification for U.S. involvement in the dispute strengthens the Monroe Doctrine and served to legitimize the U.S.’s position in the hemisphere. Furthermore, the U.S.’s assertiveness and Great Britain’s agreement to arbitrate this dispute bolsters national confidence and marks an important shift towards activist foreign policy. Thus the Olney Note set the stage for an activist foreign policy that would ultimately led to U.S. involvement in the Spanish-American War, which in turn led to the U.S. acquiring the Philippines from Spain in the Treaty of Paris. In conclusion, ideas professed in early American political discourse were gradually adapted to justify American continental expansion and ultimately expansion abroad. Additionally, domestic policy toward Native Americans provides a justification (uncivilized people are incapable of self governance) for empire building in the Philippines and is instructive as it is an example of American colonialism that predates 1898. International developments 22
Ibid., pg 268. Richard Olney. "On American Jurisdiction in the Western Hemisphere," Papers Relating to Foreign Affairs, U.S. …..Department of State, (1895): 545-562. 24 Ibid. 23
Elliott School of International Affairs fostered a new level of U.S. assertiveness and the activist foreign policy that ultimately led the U.S. to war with Spain. All three factors shaped American perspectives on world affairs such that an empire in the Philippines was the logical conclusion.
Russia and Ukraine: The Next European War? By Phillip Bartel Armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine is imminent. War between Russia and Ukraine would assume an extension of both sides’ foreign policies, and is seemingly the only logical resolution to their political goals.25 The two nations have had a tenuous relationship since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Ukrainians celebrated their newfound independence, while Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin lamented the collapse as the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century”.26 Today there are three primary factors that will ultimately drive these nations from conflict to violence; the ongoing gas crisis between the two nations, the impending expiration of Russia’s lease of Sevastopol from Ukraine, and finally, Russia’s desire to gain control of the Crimean Peninsula.27 In what has become something of a New Year’s tradition, Russia and Ukraine aggressively negotiate the gas contract for the upcoming year. The two consistent areas of contention during negotiations are the price that Ukraine will pay for gas from Russia, and the tariffs that Russia must pay to Ukraine for the rights to use their pipelines to ship gas to Europe. Tensions have risen so high as a result of the negotiation that on New Year’s Day 2009, Gazprom, Russia’s state run gas company, cut off gas to Ukraine, arguing that Naftogaz, 25
Karl Von Clausewitz. On War, tr. J.Graham (1873). Washington Times, (2009). 27 Rector, Lecture (2009). 26
The Globe: World News From All Sides Ukraine’s state run gas company, had failed to pay their gas bill in full.28 In turn, Ukraine sought to deter Russia from continuing to cut off gas supplies when they denied Gazprom the rights to use their pipelines. This conflict ultimately lead to widespread gas shortages across Europe in the dead of winter, the European Union imports roughly one-quarter of their gas from Russia, with 80% of that passing through Ukrainian pipelines. While Ukraine claims it had only slightly reduced the flow of gas in order to maintain pressure in its pipelines, Russia has accused them of stealing gas meant for paying European customers. Gazprom contends the flow reduction was business related move however in reality, both economic and political goals are in play. Russia has realized the necessity of establishing public opinion in their favor in this matter, manipulating it so as to make accommodation of the enemy unpopular.29 Eager to win support on the issue, Russia has repeatedly run anti-Ukrainian propaganda over its state-run television networks. According to Chris Weafer, chief strategist at UralSib a Moscow investment bank, “There is potentially a lot more at stake here than just money, Russia needs to win the PR war on this issue as much as it needs the higher price”.30 In addition to stimulating support from its people, Russia needs a way to transport their gas to Europe.31 The first option is to continue to use Ukrainian pipelines, however a second option proposed by Russia is to bypass Ukrainian pipelines through the construction of the North Stream and South Stream pipelines that would run through the Baltic and Black seas, respectively. Though seemingly a viable solution to the Russian-Ukrainian gas crisis, it has been met by fierce criticism from Ukraine during the bargaining process, further escalating tensions between the two nations. Chief among Ukrainian concerns is the pipeline would insure the route of the gas, but not the supplier. Adding to these 28
Business Week, (2009). Thomas Schelling, Arms and Influence (1966). 30 Ibid, pgs 1-3. 31 Ibid, pgs 1-3. 29
Elliott School of International Affairs concerns is the fact that the proposed North Stream pipeline would be constructed across the sea floor running through the economic zones of the Baltic Countries. According to Volodymyr Vakhitov, Ukrainian expert on energy economics, "This creates additional tension over national security concerns, land ownership and environmental issues. A purely economic issue here is ownership of the gas and the transmission pipelines. Economic theory usually suggests separating the object of transportation (gas) and the transportation system (pipelines) to avoid vertical integration and monopolization of the market.â€?32 Quite simply, the proposed Russian pipelines are not a reliable means by which to diversify gas transportation through Ukraine, while at the same time ensuring constant gas supplies for European customers.33 The overarching problem is not merely gas transport, but the monopolistic power Russia wields over Europe. Russia has shown that it is not afraid to use this power to achieve political goals through the process of coercion. In this case, Russiaâ€™s threat to cut off gas supplies is an option afforded to them by their monopoly over European gas. Nevertheless, with its goals of constructing the North and South Stream pipeline in peril due to global financial crisis and Ukrainian opposition, Russia will ultimately be forced to transport gas to Europe through Ukraine and consequentially, will seek to claim control of Ukrainian territory in the application of brute force. Fundamentally, this action indicates the pursuit of political goals through alternative means, in this case war.34 The looming expiration of Russiaâ€™s lease of Sevastopol from Ukraine further heightens tensions between the two rivals. Sevastopol is a port city, located on the Crimean Peninsula of
Ibid, pgs 1-3. (International Press Service, 2009, p. 1-3). 34 Ibid., pg 87. 33
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The Globe: World News From All Sides Ukraine where the Russian Black Sea fleet is currently based. Under a 1997 lease agreement between the two nations, the Russian navy must leave the city by the year 2017. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has refused to extend the lease, however Russian officials contend that Kiev’s maritime laws do not apply to them and thus they will not leave the port regardless.35 As a result, Ukraine has attempted to deter Russia’s presence in Sevastopol repeatedly. First, Ukrainians repeatedly detained Russian military personnel transporting missiles in Sevastopol. Additionally, they expelled a Russian diplomat who was overseeing naval issues and banned Federal Security Service (FSB) officers from working within Sevastopol. This current situation leads to rightful fears that any spark in Crimea will trigger a violent confrontation, potentially one as severe as that seen between Russia and Georgia over the breakaway of South Ossetia.36 It is increasingly probable that Ukraine’s policy of defense and deterrence will be met by offense and compellence from the Russian’s, resulting in armed conflict. Furthermore, Sevastopol strategic location on the Crimean Peninsula is a region Russia desperately desires to control. Having already established control over the secessionist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia through invading Georgia, Russia now wishes to take control of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine. Its desire to control the peninsula is two fold. First, it would give them control of the aforementioned Sevastopol, a naval base both strategically and historically important, as it is steeped in a history of Russian military glory dating to the Crimean War and World War Two. Secondly, the Crimean Peninsula is population by approximately 60 percent ethnic Russians,that the government believes should be a part of Russia. The acquisition of this land falls directly in line with the desires of Orthodox Slavophiles such as Russian Prime Minister Putin who wish to create a “Slavic Union” composed of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. In what is a sign of things to 35 36
New York Times, (2009). Ibid
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Elliott School of International Affairs come, Russia has begun distributing thousands of Russian passports to their supporters on the peninsula. An identical practice was used preceding the invasion of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, creating a seemingly legitimate reason to send Russian peacekeepers to protect supposed Russian citizens.37 However, Ukraine is no Georgia. It is a country of both military power and more importantly, a country with a strong resolve, hardened by recollections of Soviet oppression. This resolve gives way to the notion that Ukraine would be willing to incur great losses to protect the peninsula if Russia engages in pre-emptive war.38 Each sideâ€™s resolve to control the peninsula may well lead to the crossing of the ultimate limit, serving a catalyst for ultimate war. A common assumption against the concept of full-scale war states that both sides will agree to a settlement, as it is preferable to war.39 However based on modern events, this does not seem to be the case. Russia consistently plays the role of aggressor against Ukraine: cutting off gas supplies, refusing to leave the port of Sevastopol, and striving to take control of the Crimean Peninsula. Ukraine is keenly aware of the threat from Russia and therefore, embraces western organizations such as the European Union and NATO to seek greater security. Russian Prime Minister Putin in an attempt to deter Ukraine from joining NATO, has gone so far as to state that Ukraine will cease to exist if they join the organization. Continued Russian aggression will inevitably lead to armed conflict spurring a disastrous war, possessing dangerous ramifications throughout Europe.40 Such a conflict would likely pull Poland and the Baltic States into the conflict, unleashed a European wide calamity.
Ibid, pgs 1-3. Ibid 39 Ibid 40 (Schelling, 1966, p.198) 38
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The Globe: World News From All Sides Two clear motives for war are present in this conflict: hostile feelings and hostile intentions.41 A peaceful resolution to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is no longer in sight. Russia will continue to pursue their political goals outlined above, reaching their policy goals by any means necessary, this instance potentially necessitating war.
The Making of AFRICOM: One Year Later By Jessica Thompson On February 6, 2007 President George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced the creation of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). This new regional military command was the result of a ten-year evaluation and reflection process that ultimately recognized the African continent as occupying a more strategically important role in U.S. defense policy than it had in the past. As Alan Dowd notes, “The Bush administration deserves credit for something that few Americans have noticed over the past seven-plus years: elevating Africa to more than a foreign policy footnote.” Although AFRICOM proponents champion the new command as a unique, integrated structure that combines military, diplomatic, and humanitarian facets, much of Africa remains skeptical about AFRICOM’s true intentions and the actual influence and force it plans to exert. Ultimately, AFRICOM is a novel endeavor in U.S. foreign and military policy towards Africa and although its exact role is still being questioned, it is clear that AFRICOM has the potential to either alienate or attract African allies and interests. II.) Background to U.S. Military Operations in Africa
Ibid, pg 76.
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Elliott School of International Affairs Historically the United States has played a very limited role in Africa in terms of the presence of American ground forces on the continent. Until 1983 sub-Saharan Africa was not included under of the purview of any of the U.S. regional combatant commands. During the Cold War U.S. involvement in Africa increased, however it had little to do with African issues and more so with proxy engagements with the Soviet Union. Additionally, although many African leaders had hoped for the contrary, the fall of the Berlin Wall did little to propel Africa up the priority ladder of U.S. foreign policy. Especially after the killing of eighteen U.S. soldiers in the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993, the U.S. shied away from committing military personnel to intervene in African conflicts. At present, the American troop presence in Africa is limited to the 1,500 troops stationed in Djibouti as part of the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa under the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and the State Department funded African Contingency Operations and Training Program. This Force aims to strengthen the capacities of African militaries in the Horn of Africa to more effectively conduct humanitarian relief operations. Whether similar, additional forces will be established in other parts of Africa under AFRICOM remains to be seen. Prior to the turn of the twenty first century, the Department of Defense openly admitted its lack of interest in Africa. In its 1995 Security Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, the Department noted that, “ultimately we see very little traditional strategic interest in Africa.” As did virtually the entirety of the American security framework, this stance changed drastically after the attacks of September 11, 2009. President Bush’s 2002 National Security Strategy declared that “weak states…can pose as great a danger to our national interest as strong states”, suggesting that Africa could become a greater focus of U.S. security efforts abroad. In 2006 the AFRICOM Implementation and Planning team, composed of representatives from the
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The Globe: World News From All Sides Department of State, USAID, the Department of Defense, and other relevant government agencies, facilitated the fusion of civilian and military interests in shaping the new U.S. security policy and institutions for Africa. III.) Rationale for the creation of AFRICOM Prior to the establishment of AFRICOM, U.S. military activity in Africa was divided between three central commands: the European Command, the Central Command, and the Pacific Command. Considering the sheer size of the African continent, as well as its everincreasing importance to U.S. security interests, AFRICOM was a logical outgrowth. Criticisms abound, however, in regards to what role exactly AFRICOM plans to assume and the extent to which AFRICOM will impact African security and military operations. According to the AFRICOM commander, General William “Kip” Ward, AFRICOM represents collaboration between security and development that is gaining increased prominence in U.S. foreign policy. In response to widespread fears about a heightened, tangible U.S. military presence in Africa, General Ward explained that, “The creation of Africa Command does not mean the U.S. military will take a leading role in African security matters, nor will it establish large U.S. troop bases. Rather, Africa Command is a headquarters staff whose mission entails coordinating the kind of support that will enable African government and existing regional organizations…to have greater capacity.” The Department of Defense has emphasized extensively during the two years since AFRICOM’s creation that this Command is to operate in conjunction with and support of African governments and existing security arrangements. The deputy assistant secretary of defense for African affairs, Theresa Whelan, explained that AFRICOM is focused “on war prevention rather than war fighting…AFRICOM is about helping Africans build greater
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Elliott School of International Affairs capacity to assure their own security.” Many proponents of AFRICOM note that although much of the rhetoric surrounding the new Command is rather untypical of U.S. military policy, AFRICOM has been born of lessons learned out both the Cold War and since 9/11; the American security apparatus is learning to tolerate the use of soft power to achieve its goals in certain parts of the world. One of the primary goals of AFRICOM is counter-terrorism. As of October 2008, AFRICOM has overseen the U.S. counter-terrorism programs in place in Africa, such as the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa and the Trans-Sahara Counter Terrorism Initiative, and it is also poised to take on a greater role in the maritime security of the Gulf of Guinea. Although terrorism in Africa does constitute a growing threat, the nature of this threat must be examined in the proper context. Robert Berschinkski explains that the “litany of terrorist activity in Africa indicates the presence of local, regional, and worldwide actors comprising the global insurgency. Yet a laundry list of events and potential hot spots does little to differentiate between localized populations, their grievances, and the insurgencies that purport to act in their name.” Thus while terrorism is a major concern for AFRICOM, this threat refers more so to the possibility of marginalized populations taking an anti-American stance and turning towards terrorist organizations as opposed to the emergence of state sponsors of terrorism. The creation of AFRICOM underscores that the U.S. defense community no longer strictly views threats through the Cold War lens that dealt exclusively in terms of hard power. AFRICOM is sharpening the U.S. military focus on Africa and providing the Department of Defense with expertise on African security issues that were unavailable under the previous system that placed Africa under the ambiguous, often overlapping control of three disparate
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The Globe: World News From All Sides military commands. In addition to the four traditional phases of a military campaign (deter/engage, seize initiative, decisive operations, transition), AFRICOM has legitimized a fifth phase as its primary purpose: a preventative “phase zero.” Sean McFate affirms that these prevention efforts are to be achieved through the symbiosis of development and security: “The relationship between security and development, long avoided by the military, will be the epicenter of AFRICOM’s mission.” In 2006 Congress passed Section 1206 of the National Defense Authoritization Act to Build the Capacity of Foreign Military Forces, coupling the efforts of the Department of State and the Department of Defense for the expansion of programs such as Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration and Security Sector Reform. Additionally, AFRICOM’s commander, General Ward, has appointed two deputies—one civilian, Ambassador Mary Carlin Yates, and one military, Navy Vice Admiral Robert T. Moeller. These institutional and legislative securities ensuring that AFRICOM will work through an interagency approach signals that the rhetoric about fusing development with security concerns will be implemented in the long term. IV.) Reaction to AFRICOM Since the beginning of its operations in October 2008, AFRICOM has been based in Stuttgart, Germany, near the U.S. European Command headquarters. AFRICOM and other Department of Defense spokesmen have not, however, ruled out the possibility of eventually establishing AFRICOM’s headquarters on the African continent. Thus far only Liberia has offered to host the AFRICOM headquarters, but AFRICOM passed on the offer, as Liberia’s potential to be a stable site for a U.S. military command is uncertain at best.19 Resistance to an
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Elliott School of International Affairs increased U.S. military presence in Africa has come not only from individual states, but also through channels of regional consensus. South Africa, Nigeria and Libya, all regional hegemons on the continent, have voiced strong opposition to the introduction of AFRICOM forces into their “zones of influence.” Additionally, organizations such as the South African Development Community (SADC) have collectively agreed to prevent the establishment of an AFRICOM headquarters in their member states. There are a number of factors underlying African resistance to AFRICOM’s presence on the continent and its core mission. Although AFRICOM’s troop presence and physical military assets are expected to be less in Africa relative to other military commands, AFRICOM is nonetheless seen as a potential catalyst for the expansion of American military hegemony in Africa and the militarization of U.S-Africa relations. There is great concern both from AFRICOM critics and others in the American foreign policy apparatus that because of AFRICOM’s civilian-military hybrid structure it may overstep its mandate and overshadow diplomatic initiatives that will risk the Department of State’s primacy in the American foreign policy agenda. Two outspoken AFRICOM critics, Danny Glover and Nicole Lee, purported that, “In truth AFRICOM is a dangerous continuation of US military expansion around the globe. Such foreign policy priorities, as well as the use of weapons of war to combat terrorist threats on the African continent, will not achieve national security. AFRICOM will only inflame threats against the US, make Africa even more dependent on external powers and delay responsible African solutions to continental security issues.” Criticisms such as this do not consider AFRICOM to be the unique break from the historical pattern of U.S - Africa relations that its creation purports.
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The Globe: World News From All Sides The success of AFRICOM relies in large part on its ability to forge fruitful, cohesive partnerships with African leaders and security forces. At present, many if not most Africans view AFRICOM as a springboard for further American exploitation of the African continent and interference into African domestic affairs. One analytical article suggests that, “AFRICOM may have rendered itself irrelevant in the eyes of African leaders who would have welcomed concrete, substantial security assistance from the United States.” Underlying a variety of criticisms is a conviction that despite U.S. rhetoric, AFRICOM’s creation is a clear, direct response to growing Chinese influence in Africa. In this context, AFRICOM has been accused of engaging in a modern-day “Great Scramble” for Africa and that it’s façade of democratic idealism is a contemporary euphemism for the “white man’s burden.” V.) Conclusion Ultimately, one year into AFRICOM’s operation, its future remains considerably unclear. While AFRICOM to date has not given any express reason for its intentions to be questioned and doubted, U.S. military pursuits in other parts of the world as well as the rocky history of U.S.Africa relations raise a number of concerns about the role AFRICOM will play on the continent. AFRICOM critics and supporters alike have put forth a number of recommendations concerning the Command’s proper role in counter-terrorism, African security capacity building, and the long-term goal of state building. A common thread among the vast majority of assessments, however, is that in order to succeed as a trustworthy partner in African development, AFRICOM must integrate into its approach a realistic assessment and consideration of African perspectives.
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Elliott School of International Affairs After the Washington Consensus: How Supra-national Economic and Financial Institutions have Faired By Bilal Ahmad When anatomizing the current global economic order, it is essential to focus on supranational financial and economic institutions, which play a pivotal role in illustrating the picture of world economics and development today. Among them, the most historically prominent have been those envisioned and formulated by the Bretton Woods agreement in 1944, which include the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and what are now regarded as the World Bank and World Trade Organization (WTO) respectively. This paper seeks to examine the historical context in which these institutions were inaugurated, the purposes for which they were devised and the consequences of a) their mechanisms in and of themselves and b) the reconstitution of their roles in recent times with respect to the policy proposals made in the Washington Consensus (1989). Greater emphasis will be granted to the latter whereby an analysis of the IMF and World Bank's joint structural adjustment effort dictated by the tenets of the Consensus and its ramifications on the global South will be made. The first half of the 20th century was by no means stable, particularly in terms of political economy. The world had fallen prey to two World Wars and a Great Depression, leaving much of the European continent, particularly Britain in economic ruins and other industrial nations in similar crises as we saw in 1932, whereby "unemployment in the USA reached 27 per cent, and in Germany 44 percent". 42 With capitalism showing signs of faltering in the '30s, a trend towards communism spearheaded by the USSR, a growing industrial power that had remained
Peet, Richard. Unholy Trinity, London and New York: Zed Books, (2003).
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The Globe: World News From All Sides unfettered by the crises of capitalism, began to threaten capitalism's stronghold over the international economy. It was for these purposes of financing "窶ｦthe rebuilding of Europe after the devastation of World War II and to save the world from future economic depressions" coupled with the need to counter the communist threat that 44 representatives from nations around the world convened at the UN Monetary and Financial Conference at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire (July, 1944).43 It was here that three new structures to help supervise and control global economics were conceived namely, the IMF, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD窶馬ow generally referred to as the World Bank), a vague conception for an organization to oversee international free trade which would later translate to the GATT (General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs) and ultimately, the WTO (World Trade Organization). The role of the IMF was "窶ｦto encourage international cooperation to cope with recession and protectionism on a world scale and to discourage individual countries from pursuing policies that would beggar their neighbors and eventually themselves", whereas the World Bank was to focus on long-term investment possibilities for countries to ensure the longevity of any development attained.44 The urgency of formulating a means for global economic control within the parameters of embedded liberalism can be seen in academic writing from the 1940's, such as the following extract from an article written in 1945: "The real alternative to the acceptance of the Bretton Woods agreement is no international agreement at all".45
Josepht Stiglitz. Globalization And Its Discontents. USA, Great Britain: The Penguin Group, (2002). 44 Graham Bird. "Changing Partners: Perspectives and Policies of the Bretton Woods Institutions." Third World Quarterly 15.No. 3 (1994): 483-503. 45 Mabel Newcomber. "Bretton Woods and a Durable Peace." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 240 (1945): 37-42.
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Elliott School of International Affairs Shifting focus to the 1980's, the era regarded as the initiation of Reagan-Thatcher neoliberalism, the economic paradigm of the time returned to "â€Śideas about individual freedom, political democracy, self-regulating markets and entrepreneurship".46 After the failure of postWar Keynesianism, manifested in the multiple recessions after World War II such as the economic downturns of 1973 and 1981, and the collapse of the Soviet Union which led to "â€Śdisenchantment with socialist ideas and central planning" in portions of the developing world, there was a resounding need to formulate a new formula for development and economic progress.47 It was in this context that economist John Williamson coined and codified the ten reform policies instituted by the Washington D.C. based Bretton Woods Institutions for countries aspiring to develop: the "Washington Consensus". The ten proposals in the Consensus predominantly encouraged fiscal discipline, tax reform, competitive exchange rates, trade liberalization, privatization and deregulation, amongst other things, for developing countries.48 "Stabilize, privatize, and liberalize" became the mantra of a generation of technocrats who cut their teeth in the developing world and of the political leaders they counseled".49 With this historical evolution of worldwide economic affairs in mind, subsequent analysis will be made on two tiers: firstly, whether or not the IMF, World Bank and WTO managed to accomplish what their founders envisaged for them in terms of the roles prescribed to them in 1944; secondly, the effects of the structural adjustment programs executed by the joint forces of the IMF and the World Bank, operating on the tenets of the Washington Consensus.
Ibid, pg 40. Moises Naim. "Washington Consensus or Washington Confusion?." Foreign Policy .No. 118 (2000): 86-103. 48 Ibid, 89. 49 Dani Rodrik. . "Goodbye Washington Consensus, Hello Washington Confusion? A Review of the World Bank's "Economic Growth in the 1990s: Learning from a Decade of Reform".Journal of Economic Literature 44.No. 4 (2006): 973-987. 47
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The Globe: World News From All Sides As far as the IMF is concerned, its original job was to ensure global stability, i.e. to examine whether or not a country was spending within its balance of payments with a particular focus on inflation. The problem with the IMF in this context, explains Joseph Stiglitz, former chief economist for the World Bank, in his book "Globalization and its Discontents" is that often when a nation has managed to construct a strong macroeconomic superstructure, the IMF suspends its programs for fear that foreign aid fuelling this process of economic restructuring is too volatile a source of income, jeopardizing the prospects for sustainable development for that nation as was seen in Ethiopia in 1997 where strong initiatives were being taken for good governance and rural development. Clearly, the IMF was not flexible enough to alter its adherence to the economic principles of the Washington Consensus to consider Ethiopia a country capable of recovery. Moreover, Ethiopia's neighbor Kenya also had experienced the adversity of IMF policy whereby there had been "fourteen banking failures…in 1993 and 1994 alone" due to IMF demands for financial market liberalization.50 The entire continent was apparently anguished by IMF and World Bank policies and this was empirically clear: "During the 1980's when most African countries came under World Bank and IMF tutelage, per capita income declined by 25% in most of sub-Saharan Africa".51 As a result of the aforementioned, and the privatization of health services advocated by the Bretton Woods institutions, the amount of money spent on health budgets was compromised, causing "the closure of hundreds of clinics, hospitals and medical facilities".52 This ultimately resulted in the average life expectancy of Africans to drop by 15% during the last two decades.53 The fact that “2.8 million people (were) living on less than $2 a day—more than 45% of the 50
Ibid, pg 42. Ibid, pg 141. 52 Ibid, pg 141 53 Ibid, pg 141. 51
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Elliott School of International Affairs world’s population” in 1997 (the absolute number has since increased) does not bode particularly well for the IMF and World bank, especially for the latter whose motto was “Our dream is a world without poverty”.54 With the East Asian Crisis of the 1990’s being blamed on IMF policy (ironic since the Fund’s first responsibility was to prevent economic crises) and facts like Russia in 2000 having “…a GDP that (was) less than two-thirds of what it was in 1989” after inculcating IMF reform policy and the UNCTAD Trade and Development Report for 2002 noting that “the massive increase of exports has not added significantly to developing countries’ income”, it was blatantly clear that the Bretton Woods institutions were not living up to expectations.55 The statistics speak for themselves when it comes to the Structural Adjustment venture of the IMF and World Bank whereby countries would receive quick liquidity for debt-financing if they implemented certain structural reforms (i.e. those codified in the Washington Consensus). With over “70 Third World countries submitting to IMF and World Bank programs in the 1980’s” the SAP became a common phenomenon that often made bad economic conditions worse.56 Facts such as “total debt for sub-Saharan Africa now amounts to 110% of GNP”, “Some 200 million of the region’s 690 million people are now classified as poor”, post-SAP “capital accumulation slowed in 20 countries”, and environmental costs such as massive deforestation, overfishing and “reckless dumping of toxics from mines and industries” in countries like Ghana, the Philippines and Chile serve as proof that the “one-size-fits-all approach” of these institutions is just not working.57 58
Ibid, pg 25. Ibid, pg 163. 56 Bello, Walden, Shea Cunningham, and Bill Rau. Dark Victory: The United States and Global Poverty (Transnational Institute). Oakland, CA: Food First, 1999. 57 Ibid, pg 63. 55
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The Globe: World News From All Sides Even if we limit our examination to Mexico alone, often touted as a success story for the SAP, we can observe the disastrous impacts of the implementation of the program. Mexico has not managed to attain significant debt relief since agreeing to the SAP. In fact, “In 1991 Mexico’s debt was US$98 billion, or about $3 billion more that it had been when the agreement was concluded in 1989”.59 Additionally, the “value of Mexico’s exports was actually less in 1988 than it had been in 1982”, and with about 7-11% of the GDP being put aside for debt-servicing annually, the Mexican government was left unable to invest in domestic projects.60 Lowering tariffs led to the shutting down of hundreds of local industries and real wage cuts “reduced the labor’s chare of the national income from 43% in 1980 to 35% in 1987”. “These conditions drove half the population below the poverty line and worsened an already very unequal distribution of income. The country was trapped in a vicious cycle of low consumption, low investment, and low output”61 A review of this sort of the Bretton Woods Institutions reveals the incompetence of the IMF, World Bank and WTO to adjust to an international economy in constant flux, and the crippling effects of pushing incessantly for one model of development over all others for a diverse array of developing nations. Indeed, the neoliberalist approach built on the foundation of the tenets of the Washington Consensus taken to international economy has resulted in the increase in global poverty, and creating the chasm between the global North and South. It is these consequences more for the global economy and the developing world in particular, that have led many individuals in the worlds of public policy, academia and civic society to reiterate
Ibid, pg 34. Ibid, pg 37. 60 Ibid, pg 39. 61 Ibid, pg 40. 59
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Elliott School of International Affairs what Dani Rodrik uttered in 2006: “The question now is not whether the Washington Consensus is dead or alive; it is what will replace it”.
The Forgotten Colony: US Policy on Western Sahara By Joshua Lasky Problem With the election of a new administration, the State Department has a new opportunity to revise its policy towards the status of Western Sahara. The United States must decide whether to support the treaty-based claims of Morocco, the right to self-determination of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), or to support neither and continue to take a role in support of the United Nations’ efforts to mediate the conflict. While the United States does not have significant economic ties to the region, the choice that the government makes on this issue will be a strong indicator of its future foreign policy priorities. Background While many of the Western colonies in Africa such as Angola have achieved independence since the beginning of decolonization after World War II, the territory of Western Sahara has thus far failed to gain the right to self-determination enjoyed by its peers. Western Sahara was a Spanish colony since Spain claimed the area in 1884. While the colony was generally hard to control due to frequent raids by the native Sahrawi people, Spain was not compelled to completely withdraw from the area until the 1970’s. At this time it was coping with instability due to the failing health of Francisco Franco and its administration chose to relinquish control of Spanish Sahara. In a rush to get rid of the territory, Spain made an agreement with Morocco and Mauritania in 1975, the Madrid Accords, to divide Western Sahara between the two African
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The Globe: World News From All Sides states. At the same time, the SADR was founded and received direct economic and military support from Algeria, an enemy of Morocco, in order to establish an independent state for the Sahrawi people. Although Mauritania was compelled to withdraw in 1979 after several setbacks, Morocco and the Polisario Front, the armed forces of the SADR, fought for twelve additional years until a UN moderated ceasefire in 1991. Today Morocco administers the majority of the territory since the withdrawal of Spain and Mauritania. It erected a defensive wall in the 1980â€™s called the Berm to delineate their claims over much of the land. As the situation stands, the Polisario Front is confined to a narrow section of desert in the southeast of the territory which is mostly barren desert. The United States supported the Baker plan which was characterized by frequent stalling and hints at future agreements. While there was supposed to be a UN mandated referendum for citizens of Western Sahara to determine their political status, it has been indefinitely postponed following Moroccoâ€™s departure from the negotiations in 2003. Most recently there have been the Manhasset negotiations in New York between delegates of both sides in addition to mediators from Algeria and Mauritania. Much like previous talks, there has not been a great deal of progress. Today, there is no clear path forward for a resolution to this conflict. It is a sign of weakness for the United Nations that it has thus far not been able to bring these sides together for a final resolution. Policy Options The government of the United States has a set of options for future involvement in the Western Sahara crisis. These options are diplomatic in nature; there is no possibility of directly intervening with the military to force a solution. As such, options 1 and 3 involve tilting negotiations one way or the other; option 2 involves the United States remaining neutral.
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Elliott School of International Affairs Policy Option #1: The US government can increase its support for Morocco’s control over Western Sahara. Advantages: By taking this option, the US will be able to build stronger ties with Morocco, an important ally for its foreign policy objectives. By right of the Madrid Accords signed by Spain, Morocco and Mauritania, Morocco obtained at least a significant portion of Spanish Sahara from Spain in 1975. Despite the desire of the United Nations to “decolonize” this area, the United States would act in the right by supporting the fulfillment of this treaty. Morocco is clearly the stronger of the two entities and stronger relations would benefit the US far more than advocating for SADR self-rule. As it stands right now, trade between the United States and Western Sahara does not even reach into the millions of dollars. Also, compared to the strategic situation of the SADR, Morocco has a strong advantage in negotiations which would be difficult for any entity, including the United States or United Nations, to negate. Disadvantages: On the other hand, taking a clear position on this issue will antagonize the SADR and its supporters, including Algeria, Iran, and Venezuela. As the United States is likely to try and engage these countries in the next few years on important topics, opposing them on this issue might complicate negotiations. The United Nations will also disapprove of American efforts to intervene while biased towards the Moroccan side; however, if the conflict can be resolved in this manner, the UN’s disapproval will not mean much. Policy Option #2: The United States can continue its current policy of supporting United Nations arbitration. Advantages: Western Sahara is on the UN list of non-self-governing territories that has existed since 1946. While this list has shrunk over the past sixty years, the organization has come under heavy fire for not being able to resolve the legal status of this last prime example of
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The Globe: World News From All Sides Western colonialism. The United Nations initially took the lead in resolving the Western Sahara crisis; it would be a strong endorsement for that organization if the United States supported a UN solution for the end to the conflict. Especially after the US-UN rapport strained during the Bush administration, President Obama and the State Department could begin to repair that damage by supporting the UN on this issue. If the United States stays neutral on this issue, it will demonstrate the governmentâ€™s commitment to the will of the United Nations. Disadvantages: The United States will not gain benefits from staying neutral in this situation. By not advocating for either side, the United States does not directly gain significant goodwill from either Morocco or developing nations. Also, mediators from the United Nations itself express doubt that independence would be a viable option for Western Sahara; the political and economic situation would make it very difficult for it to survive without Moroccan support. If UN negotiators themselves are doubtful about its prospects for independence, support from the United States for a weak-willed arbitration will be a meaningless gesture. Policy Option #3: The United States can increase its support for the self-determination of the Sahrawi people and sovereignty of the SADR. Advantages: Shifting support to the government of Western Sahara would be a strong indication of the future of American support for self-determination worldwide. Developing states as well as groups seeking independence could become friendlier to the United States in the future. States, such as Iran, who recognize the SADR, could be persuaded to negotiate with the US on other issues. Also, as the largest supporter of Western Sahara, the United States would be able to advance development in the area and lure the government away from its current tilt towards states unfriendly to the US. Disadvantages: This action would certainly take a toll on relations with Morocco. The
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Elliott School of International Affairs government of Morocco is a strong supporter of the United States for its current foreign policy objectives; the relationship with this country would be jeopardized if the United States withdrew support for Moroccoâ€™s sovereignty in the territory. Also, the US government must consider the nature of the SADR government. There is not currently any democratic structure in the territory; while the Polisario Front promises to shift into a democratic political party upon the recognized independence of Western Sahara from Morocco, there are no guarantees that it will not try to remain in power. Support for a blatantly non-democratic government will challenge the foreign policy objectives in other areas of the world such as in Afghanistan and Iraq. Recommendation Based on the policy options available, the best solution for this issue would be for the United States to follow option #1 and support the sovereignty of Morocco over the territory of Western Sahara. While supporting a UN mediated resolution to the conflict is the status quo and seen by many to be the clear choice for US policy makers, there are more advantages in supporting the Moroccan position. The United Nations has not been able to mediate this conflict because Morocco is operating with a huge strategic advantage. Within current US policy, allies such as Morocco cannot be antagonized without a clear advantage for the United States. While there could be goodwill generated by the recognition of the SADR among developing countries, the benefits are too vague and not guaranteed to come. Thus, recognition of Moroccan rule over Western Sahara is the best route to take in this crisis.
*Any comments or responses to the papers published in this edition can be forwarded to the Editor-In-Chief, Lauren Jacobson at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Elliott School of International Affairs
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Published on Feb 7, 2012
The Globe | International Affairs Journal A Publication of The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs and The...