International Relations and Security 1. What is your idea or theory of international relations and how does this unit change or complement it?
My international relations theory is realism. I believe that the world lacks a global police. In this regard, the world is anarchic because it lacks a central authority that is bestowed with the responsibility of regulating and monitoring the actions of nation-states. One thing that is worth noting is that nation states did resources to survive (Patrikarakos 149). However, the lack of a global central authority gives nations the option of pursuing resources in the way they deem best. Due to the competition for resources nations are in constant suspicion. Nations hardly trust each other. This explains the constant shift of alliances and the bandwagon of smaller weaker states with states that are considered to have stronger military.
Considering the survival is preference of every nation-state within the international system, nations are forced to enhance their security. State to state aggression is the traditional source of insecurity among nation states. In order to boost security, nations have to have a strong military. This explains why nations like Iran have embarked on the enrichment of Uranium (Kaplan 137). Iran for instance claims that the country’s enrichment of Uranium is for energy purposes. However, it is important not to forget that Iran’s geographic locates motivates the country to want to have a nuclear weapon. Countries like Israel already possess nuclear weapons. The armament of one nation creates disability within a given region. The fact that Israel has nuclear weapons makes Iran more prone to attack by Israel. However, if Iran is able to acquire a nuclear weapon, this would deter Israel from wanting to attack Iran. Armament is an important tool in enhancing stability.
The principle of deterrence asserts that attacking an armed state is expensive for the aggressing state. The consequences that are likely to face a given nation after attacking a given armed nations are dire compared to promoting peace. In realist theory, it is important to note that a strong military symbolizes power. Every nation’s aim is to be powerful. This means that unbalanced military power between nations makes one state prone to aggression (Jackson 134). Nations within the international system, according to realist theory, view competition as the most rational action to take in its relations with other nations. Realist state actor view cooperation as likely to affect the relative power of a given state. Many nations are concerned that cooperation might be unilateral and would therefore benefit one nations without benefiting the other. The only rational relationship between states is to compete.
This unit argues that states are rational actors. This dough tails with the idea of the real politick articulated in realist theory. This means that nations have the ability to conduct a cost benefit analysis of their action towards another nation-state. Realists argue that the individual composes the state. Therefore, states are rational entities that seek to maximize gains and reduce loses. Since human beings are constantly in competition with aim of acquiring power in terms of economics and the military, this trait is reflected at the state level. Power and influence just like the individual level are among the key priorities of nation-states as they seek to survive within the international system.2. Should the US lose interest in security issues and simply look the other way in order to focus some of its own conflicting issues?
The United States is the strongest nation in the world, both economically and militarily. Many scholars have argued that the United States is the hegemon. The United States has the responsibility of enhancing global peace and insecurity. One thing that is worth noting is the world in the past century has changed radically. Forces of globalization have resulted to the socio-economic and political integration of the world. This means that there is more mobility of peoples and exchange of information across territorial borders. This has led to a new reconceptualization of the idea of sovereignty (Kaplan 127). Territorial borders can no longer be a way that can prevent peoples from sharing information across states. For example, despite the constant security on the US-Mexico border, drugs have continued to be smuggled into the United States (Gonzalez 145).
Technological and communication advancements that have been witnessed in the past century have allowed people to easily move from one nation to another easily and the same time share information across long distances. The forces of globalization have been attributed to the Arab Spring that was witnessed in Northern Africa in 2011(Anderson 58). The exchange of information by people across territories allowed many people in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya to stage revolutions against their tyrannical government. This illustrates the magnitude at which globalization has change the role of nation-states and global politics.
The happening of 9/11 in the United States has led many scholars and policy entrepreneur to conceptualize the notion of security. Many policy entrepreneurs have championed for the securitization of government sectors that were initially not considered as being security hotspot. For example, the immigration sector the United States was revamped after 9/11. The department of civil defense in the United States was converted to the department of homeland security (DHS) in order to address the current security issues. This reconceptualization of security has been contributed by the fact that the traditional insecurity threat of the state was an enemy state. However, this is not the only source of state any more. Individuals have become sources of insecurity. In addition to the weapons of mass destruction that many states were concerned about in the cold war era, nations have to be also stay on the alert about weapons of dual capability that are used by individuals.
The fact that security threats have moved from the state-level to the individual, makes the United States prone to insecurity. This means that the United States should at no time lose interest in security issues. This is because the United States might find itself in a difficult security issues. The United States should be on front runner in dealing with insecurity networks across the world. In this way, the United States can protect itself from future security threats. Because of the complexity of global insecurity the United States has to continue to invest in security infrastructure. Some of the ways that the United States can be able to achieve this is through developing high-tech military equipment (Robert 160). In addition, the United States should focus on improving its cyber space as well as improving its security. It is worthy to understand that the United States cannot rest on its current military capabilities because new technologies continue to be invented on a frequent. It is there the prerogative the US government not to lose interest in security issues because it might be expensive for the country.
Anderson, Lisa. Demystifying the Arab Spring: Parsing the Differences between Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Routledge Publishers: New York, 2011. Print.
Gonzalez, Francisco. “Drug Violence Isn't Mexico's Only Problem.” Global Issues. Jackson, Robert M., Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013. 140-145. Print.
Jackson, Robert M. “A Himalayan Rivalry,” The Economist, (2010): 17-20, in Global Issues. Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013. 133-136. Print.
Jackson, Robert M. “War in the Fifth Domain.” Global Issues. Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013. 159-161. Print.
Kaplan, Robert D. “The Revenge of Geography.” Global Issues. Jackson, Robert M., Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013. 126-132. Print.
Kaplan, Robert D. “Living with a Nuclear Iran.” Global Issues. Jackson, Robert M., ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013. 137-139. Print.
Patrikarakos, David. “Deliver Us from Evil.” Global Issues 12/13. 28th Ed. Robert M. Jackson. New York: McGraw Hill, 2013. 149-152. Print.