Realism, in the context of politics, is a belief that states are primarily driven by the desire of economic and military supremacy and security, rather than ideals. On the other hand, liberalism is rooted on the presumption that individual liberty is the most important political goal for the government. The prevailing world politics right now instills values from both the realists and liberalists. In US government alone, though Americans are the leading proponent for liberalism, their political culture are contended to have realist attributes.
For example, their aggression against Iraq, which after several investigations have proven that Iraq posing a threat to US liberties is insufficient, the continuing chaotic situation brought by the aggression imposed by US government is an example of the influences from realist theories. PART II: Global Terrorism (1) International terrorism is rooted from different global movements of the post-World War era. The term international terrorism was coined to refer terrorist activities that concerns citizens of more than one country. It has four major dimensions: nuclear escalation, conventional warfare, guerrilla warfare and criminal terrorism.
Central upon these four, is the their goal of spreading fear amongst their targets and place doubts towards their leaders and authority. Moreover, this concept of internationalization of terrorism, has made it even more encompassing and more descriptive to include different actions rendered by different interest groups as a terrorist act. This uniform concept of terrorist activities set from associating the word “international” in the field of terrorism, created a standardized criteria on whether an incident of insurgency is to be qualified as a terrorist attack.
In the international community, anything that shall harness or nurture a culture of doubt and fear among civilians through use of violence, regardless of the motives or underlying principles behind such acts are rendered as terrorist activities. (2) Consequently, this brings in the issue of whether guerrilla movements. Guerrilla warfare is rooted on three major principles, first, as an attempt to end a colonial relationship; second, a reaction against a foreign force of occupation in their native land; and third, as a reaction against social injustices.
Therefore, guerrilla movements serve with a purpose of attempting to attain justice for their cause. Thus, their activities are held for noble reasons although their operational activities are done in such a way that violence is inflicted. Then it is unfair to say that fighting for noble principles such as liberation from oppression brought by colonization and innate social injustices, should be branded as a terrorist activity. PART III: Defense Policy (a) The article of Caresse, speaks of the role of US as the balancer for world defense and military power.
According to Caresse, there are five principles for foreign and defense policy. These principles are as follows: (1) priority for a decent republic guided by natural justice and truths on mankind; (2) civil authority over military authority at the same time, maintaining strength of the military force; (3) balance of liberty and security through a sound foreign and defense policy; (4) need for a statesman that shall employ balance, prudent and flexibility in strategies and tactics; and (5) balance interest, independence and justice through just war principles and upholding rights of nations.
Indeed, the US has played the balancer role in international relations. However, this role has only become useful to US alone, rather than catering for international welfare. These principles have been adopted as world standards towards keeping peace in the international, but nonetheless, the concentration of power in the hands of the American government has made it less likely to become effective. The purpose and aim of the said principles are ideally catering for the benefit of the majority, though the process at which these are employed are the ones in question.
(b) The article of Neibhur speaks of the US’ natural destiny to become a world superpower. This article says that the Americans are destined to become the leaders of the world, and that their economic strength which translated into political and military superiority over other nations is indeed the American’s destiny. The occurrence of the two world wars has been used as a proof that the US dominance is indeed what the world needed in order to establish balance amongst nations, and that they are really determined to have power, alongside is their responsibility to exercise such.
However, this power was decisively challenged by the emergence of the communist ideas. The communist views on power and strength strongly challenged the imminent role of US as a world power. These challenges are nevertheless ignored, though contested through the hostilities exemplified during the Cold War. But nonetheless, the current American occupation in world leadership is still prevalent. It is still the case that the US holds the power and leadership and by use of tactical force and strategies, US has maintained its hold for power, and destroyed the blooming communist ideas.
Power shall be employed with the aim to maintain order, but nonetheless, abuse of it through prioritizing self-interest shall be avoided. Abuse of authority by harnessing self-inflicted interest will be detrimental to society as it will generate conflicts amongst nations. Thus, the effectiveness of carrying out their responsibilities while exemplifying strength and moral justice has made them innately powerful and dominant in the international arena. (c) Just was theory has been incorporated in international law to explain occurrences of war, how they are fought and why they are fought.
However, old debates regarding old wars were replaced by the emergence of the Vietnam War. Vietnam War was highly opposed by certain interest groups, particular people from the left. And that this war, became more of a question on morality and opposition towards violence. The Vietnam War has opened another facet for lessons; that wars are not always fought on the basis of land and resources, but rather fought for liberation, fought with heart and mind.
In addition, a war that thrived to careless and brutish killings of civilians by militaries is never triumphant, rather caused counter insurgencies against the aggressor. Now, just war theory is incorporated with moral theory to set how a war shall and why it will be fought. Constraints of justice should be imposed on every warfare. Though there are reasons cited where war will be inevitable, it shall always be the case people will always have to be vigilant on how war breaks out, why it has to take place, and how it is to be fought.
Among the three articles and the theories they have discussed, I think that Caresse’s article is the one that is still most prevalent and applicable in this contemporary time. Until now, the US is still keen on their supposedly balancing role in the world politics. They still have been working according to unprecedented hegemonic role in the world, policing for the international community, and striking balance for world integration. Unlike Neihbur’s, although US is still indeed a superpower, the disintegration of the USSR and the falling popularity of communist ideals has make Neihbur’s article less appealing.
On the other hand, on Walzer’s just war theory, I think time has proven it again that US has failed in learning from the blunders of the Vietnam War. It is evident in the current US-Iraq aggression. Once again, the US has indulged in a war that inflicted so many unnecessary and brutal deaths. And on the other hand, the Iraqis has been continuing to fight not only for their existence, but also for their liberation and individual rights, and they have fought with alongside their hearts and principles.