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International Relations theories - Essay Example

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Question 1- Using the theory of realism and its associated methodology; critically evaluate the role of NATO in Afghanistan. The realist perspective in foreign policy from Machiavelli to Kissinger is based in the belief that States only justify the use of power when it serves their interests…
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International Relations theories
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Download file to see previous pages In that NATO countries view an attack upon one member State as an attack upon all treaty members collectively, the legal justification for the use of armed forces in Afghanistan in self-defence is not a matter of legal dispute in international law in the manner that the Iraq war was under contention. As professor Patrick Thaddeus Jackson wrote in ‘Theories of International Relations’ (2006) “Realism is characterized by a concern with material coercive power. It treats states as the primary unit of analysis. Power is primarily viewed in military terms, and the military power of other states presents the greatest potential danger to an individual state. Economic leverage is also considered an important element of national strength, and Realist analyses of international economics assume that hegemonic actors define not just political but economic structures.” (Jackson, 2006) In evaluating the realist concern for global security, the US and NATO powers are the primary police force for international trade and commerce, which was threatened directly by the World Trade Center attacks. The costs of the attack led to $40 to $60 billion USD in insurable costs according to a Congressional study, plus a large drop in the stock markets, contraction of the economy, support for the airline industry, and militarization for the war on terror internationally. (Makinen, 2002) Where international trade and business was impacted in such a major way by terrorism, the realist argument is given as the primary justification for the deployment of military forces in a police action to secure this. Where the 9/11 attacks also harmed the perception of America internationally as a hegemonic power, it also required a realist response to restore the balance of power to hegemony in a “zero sum” game of national interests. The natural resource interest in Afghanistan is arguably in natural gas, minerals, or pipelines. Yet a greater interest can be seen in NATO of a containment of Iran, arguably a major concern due to the Islamic theocracy in the country and nuclear program. In establishing bases in both Afghanistan and Iraq, this can be seen as part of a NATO-US led policy of containment of Iranian power as well as regime change in Sunni States with the goal of democratization. The democratization argument applies to realism when NATO, the US, and others decide it is in their best interests to promote democratic governments around the world to support global security and the expansion of their social and economic interests. Finally, a critical view of realism can be seen in the interest of the Military-Industrial Complex to deploy in Afghanistan to further the expansion of the contracts related to the war and Department of Defence as they relate to private profit, ownership, and control. Question 2- How does Marxist theory address poverty and land reform as global security concern? In the economic theory developed by Karl Marx, there will be no true peace or security in the status quo internationally unless or until the developed nations make a commitment to economic rights and shared, egalitarian, economic development on a humanitarian and moral basis. It is the landless poor who in many regions suffer the most at the lowest levels of global capitalism internationally. Many of these ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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