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“States of Concern” Predicting Foreign Policy Behavior.

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Presentation on theme: "“States of Concern” Predicting Foreign Policy Behavior."— Presentation transcript:

1 “States of Concern” Predicting Foreign Policy Behavior

2 Which states pose greater threats than others? Commonly used criteria: “Rogue states:” States that ignore international norms and international law “Revisionist states:” States that seek to upset the status quo “Failed states:” States that lack government authority due to collapse, extreme poverty or civil war

3 I. “Rogue States” A. Characteristics: 1. Ignore international law 2. Build “weapons of mass destruction” 3. Sponsor terrorism 4. Violate the human rights of their own people B. Which states meet these criteria?

4 Rogue States: The American View (1998)

5 Compare 1998, 2002, 2005 speeches 1998: “Rogue States” -- Iran, Iraq, Libya (85% of mentions) Other mentions: Sudan, North Korea, Serbia, Cuba 2002: “Axis of Evil” -- Iran, Iraq, North Korea “Beyond the Axis of Evil” Speech (2002): Libya, Syria, Cuba 2005: “Outposts of Tyranny“ – Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Belarus, Zimbabwe, Myanmar

6 1. Who ignores international law? What is the only country which managed to violate the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Nonproliferation Treaty, and the Biological Weapons Convention all at the same time? North Korea, but… Iran is probably trying

7 1. Who ignores international law? What is the only state opposing an “anytime anywhere” inspection system under the Biological Weapons Convention, similar to the one that already exists under the Chemical Weapons Convention? United States

8 1. Who ignores international law? Which two states have not ratified “the most widely and rapidly ratified human rights treaty in history,” the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child? Somalia and United States

9 1. Who ignores international law? What is the only country which has failed to ratify at least one of the following treaties: Chemical Weapons Convention, the Nonproliferation Treaty, and the Biological Weapons Convention? Israel

10 2. Who has WMD? Suspected Arsenals: 9 Nuke, 5 Biological, 10 Chemical ? ?

11 3. Who sponsors terrorism? Which state sponsored the following act? After a prominent dissident escapes the country and proceeds to criticize his government back home, that government sends a secret agent with an umbrella. The umbrella has a tiny poison capsule in its tip. The dissident is “accidentally” poked with the tip of the umbrella and dies the next day. Bulgaria (while still Communist)

12 3. Who sponsors terrorism? Which state sponsored the following group? An Islamic fundamentalist group fighting a civil war has the nasty habit of tying down prisoners, pouring gunpowder on their eyeballs and setting it alight. However, when it isn’t killing other groups in the civil war, it targets the military forces of a hated enemy. Its state sponsor gives it tons of weapons, including portable missiles for shooting down aircraft. It continues this aid even after the group targets a civilian airliner. United States (Gulbuddin Hekmatyar)

13 3. Who sponsors terrorism? Which state sponsored the following group? This militia fought a vicious many-sided civil war, with tactics including car bombs that killed hundreds of civilians. Its sponsor provided it with weapons and intelligence. In fact, its sponsor established refugee camps for its opponents and allowed this group to enter the camps – the militia then indiscriminately slaughtered everyone it could find. The government continued its sponsorship for years following these massacres, even after the end of the civil war. Israel (the Phalange militia in Lebanon)

14 3. Who sponsors terrorism? Pakistan (Kashmiri insurgents) India (Tamil insurgents, Hindu fundamentalists) Iran (Hezbollah) Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Angola, Namibia, Congo Republic, etc. Let’s just say Africa… Wait a minute: Central America too …and Asia, North America, South America, Australia (!), and Europe… Problem: Just about everyone has provided some aid to “terrorists” / “freedom fighters”

15 4. Which states violate human rights? Autocracies: Repress dissent, rig elections, imprison or murder opponents, far more likely to commit “democide” Notable democracies: Israel: Assassinations, detention without trial, denial of voting rights, torture United States: Execution of juveniles (until 2005), secret and indefinite detention without trial, abuse of prisoners India: Selective enforcement of law, support for fundamentalist mobs, torture Europe: Migrants, Refugees, Ethnic minorities Japan: Racial discrimination, Secret executions

16 5. Conclusions a. Many states ignore international law, including prominent democracies such as the US b. Even more states sponsor terror in some form c. Similarly, most states violate human rights – although mass killing is rare among democracies d. Only WMD narrows the field substantially – and this field also includes prominent democracies e. Summary: “Rogue state” is not a useful concept for predicting differences between states – perhaps we need something else to predict state-level foreign policy behavior

17 II. Are some states more aggressive?

18 A. Power 1. Great powers fight more – but also cooperate more (foreign aid, support for IGOs, etc) 2. Power cycle theory a. Relative power follows a cycle b. Certain points on the cycle create war risk (because they involve changes in expectations about the future)


20 c. Evidence for Power Cycle Theory


22 i. Some inflection points correspond to major wars


24 c. Evidence for Power Cycle Theory i. Some inflection points correspond to major wars ii. Prediction: US, Japan, Russia near danger zones

25 B. Regime: Democracy makes a difference 1. War initiation. Democracies: May be slightly less likely to wage war in general Are less likely to initiate war Rarely fight other democracies Turn to covert means when overt means are unpopular 2. Warfighting. Democracies at war: Win battles and wars more frequently Suffer fewer casualties Undermine enemy morale by taking prisoners Are not notably better at extracting resources to fight wars

26 3. War Termination. Democracies: Are more likely to accept a draw once war is underway Are more likely to win short wars than long ones Reduce war involvement as casualties mount Punish leaders for wars – even successful ones!

27 C. Other state-level theories of war 1. Status Inconsistency: States demand respect (difficult to measure) 2. Nationalism: May lead to irredentist demands (anecdotal, counterexamples) 3. Militarism: Prepare for war  war (requires dyadic analysis of arms races)

28 D. Conclusions: Which states are aggressive? 1. Watch out for powerful countries at critical points 2. Democracies start fewer wars but fight just as often as autocracies 3. Evidence for status inconsistency, militarism and diversionary war is weak 4. Intangibles like “nationalism” are difficult to measure and evaluate

29 III. Using the Theories to Prioritize Relationships Which relationships are most important? System level: Beware rising challengers and declining hegemons Dyad level: Beware mixed-regime dyads and contiguous rivals State level: Beware great powers and autocracies

30 A. Mapping Power Go ahead and indicate countries you think should be vital based on their power

31 1. Population: 2005

32 1. Population: 2050

33 2. Economics: GDP Per Capita

34 2. Economics: Hunger

35 3. Military: Spending

36 3. Military: WMD ? ?

37 3. Military: Spending as % GDP

38 4. Resources: Oil

39 B. Relations with the US Which countries should receive high priority due to relationships with America?

40 1. Military Aid

41 2. Bases and Troops

42 3. Trade

43 C. Flashpoints: Current and Recent Wars

44 Questions 1. What criteria should determine America’s areas of interest? 2. Which ten countries best meet those criteria? 3. Should the US change its current foreign policy towards any or all of these ten?

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