Chapter 8 War and Strife
Security Issues • Security is fundamental, upon which all other values depend • Global trends, see: http://www.humansecurityreport.info/ • Security increasingly seen in broader terms; human security includes economic/social well-being, literacy, adequate health care, safe environment, etc. • Security dilemma • Situation in which one state improves its military capabilities, especially its defenses, and those improvements are seen by other states as threats; each state in an anarchic international system tries to increase its own level of protection leading to insecurity in others, often leading to an arms race • In absence of centralized authority, one state’s becoming more secure diminishes another state’s security • Results in permanent condition of tension and power conflicts among states • Key questions: • Is self-help only alternative? • Can states mitigate the effects of the security dilemma? • How can insecurity be managed short of war?
Causes of War • Individual level • Aggressiveness of individual leaders • Misperceptions by leaders • Attributes of masses • Communications failure • State level • Liberal capitalist states • Nondemocratic regimes • Domestic politics, scapegoating (diversionary war) • Struggle between groups for economic resources • Ethnonational challengers • International system level • Anarchy (states final authorities; no enforcement) • Lack of arbiter • Prominence of long cycles of war and peace • Power transitions • Aggressiveness of international capitalist class • Most wars product of interaction of various factors at different levels of analysis
Types of Wars • General war = designed to conquer and occupy enemy territory, using all available weapons of warfare and targeting both military establishments and civilian facilities; involving massive loss of life and widespread destruction; many participants, multiple major powers • Less frequent since WWII • Civil war = armed conflict within a state between factions that wish to control the government or exercise jurisdiction over territory; may have international repercussions with the flow of armaments and refugees, often leading to intervention by other states • Ethnonationalist movements -- to gain autonomy, secede • Have not declined as much as general wars • Limited war = wars fought for limited objectives with selected types of weapons and targets; objective less than the total subjugation of the enemy • Also have not declined as much as general wars
Modes of Warfare • Conventional means • Weapons of choice defined by technologies available • Two key developments (since 1980s) • More precise targeting and increased miniaturization and lighter-weight weapons • Increase in size of international armaments market • Weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)= nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, distinguished by their lethality and inability to discriminate targets • Controversy continues over whether nuclear weapons/proliferation are destabilizing or not • Asymmetric warfare = war between parties of unequal strength, in which the weaker party tries to neutralize its opponent’s strength by exploiting the opponent’s weaknesses • Guerilla warfare = irregular militaries who hide in civilian population and use hit and run tactics to wear down enemy • Terrorism = use of violence by groups or states usually against noncombatants to intimidate, cause fear, or punish their victims to achieve political goals
Just War Tradition • Just war tradition = view that there are criteria that if met can make going to war ethical (jus ad bellum) and that there are standards for how war should be ethically fought (jus in bello) • Just cause (jus ad bellum) • Self defense, the defense of others, or a massive violation of human rights (humanitarian intervention) and a declaration of intent by appropriate authority (Security Council) • Leaders have to have correct intentions (end abuses, establish just peace) • Exhausted all other alternatives (war as last resort) • Just conduct (jus in bello) • Differentiation between combatants and noncombatants (protected from harm as much as possible) • Violence proportionate to ends • Undue human suffering avoided • Humanitarian intervention (responsibility/imperative to protect) still controversial
Liberal Approach to Security • International institutions coordinate actions to manage power • Collective security • Unlawful aggression met by united action; states join together against aggressor • Assumptions: wars are prevented by restraint of military action; aggressors must be stopped; aggressors easily identified; aggressor always wrong; aggressors know international community will act • Deterrent effect doesn’t always work; threat to take action may not be credible; potential lack of cohesion, commitment to act in concert; hard to carry out against permanent member with veto power • Arms control and disarmament • Fewer weapons means greater security • Regulation of arms proliferation (arms control) and reducing amount/type of arms (disarmament) reduces costs of security dilemma • Does not eliminate security dilemma; verification can be difficult
Realist Approach to Security • Reliance on force or threat of force to manage power • Balance of power • States make choices to increase capabilities and undermine capabilities of others, thereby maintaining balance of power (internal and external) • Alliances are tool to enhance power and check power potential of rival (example of external balancing) • Assume it is compatible with nature of man/state, which act to protect self-interest by maintaining power relative to others; if a states seeks preponderance through military acquisitions or offensive actions, war against that state is acceptable to maintain balance • Unable to manage security during periods of fundamental change; especially problematic during periods of transition • Deterrence • War can be prevented by the threat of use of force • Key assumptions: rationality of decisionmakers; nuclear weapons pose unacceptable level of destruction; alternatives to war are available; depends on credible and clearly communicated threat • Decisionmakers may not be rational; it may not be possible to clearly communicate threat; rise of nonstate actors; preeminent hegemon (US nuclear primacy)