Foreıgn Polıcy Analysıs Dersi 8. Ünite Özet

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Foreign Policy Instruments Of States: War And Conflict

Defining the Concept of War

The term first evokes the condition of military conflict among states. In fact, in the Webster English dictionary war is defined as “a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations”. However, in the academic literature the definition of war resembles the technical definition in terms of the use of force, but it also comprises armed conflicts among nonstate actors. In this manner war can be defined as the use of force by groups with the aim of achieving their objectives. The famous definition given in the 19th century by a German strategist Carl Von Clausewitz at this point can add a new insight to facilitate our attempt for finding the correct definition. Clausewitz defines war as follows: “war is not merely a political act, but also a political instrument, a continuation of political relations, a carrying out of the same by other means.”

The quantitative view is an attempt to define war based on quantitative data which is possible to make a distinction between violent action and war. War can be defined as a threshold since the number deaths is over 1000. Accordingly , a specific criterion which is based on size, preparation and legitimation was formed to define such events as war. This definition excludes, unplanned, unorganized and nonlegitimized conflicts, such as riots, but on the other hand it includes large-scale civil wars which are ignored in the political perspective. The mentioned criteria are as follows (Dennen, 1981: 133):

  1. The event ought to result at least in 1000 battle deaths – Size
  2. It ought to be prepared and planned by largescale social organizations through recruitment, training and deployment of troops the acquisition, storage and distribution of arms – Preparation
  3. It ought to being legitimized by an established governmental organization, so that large-scale killing is viewed not as a crime but as a dutyLegitimizing

Types of War and Conflict

There are a number of attempts for classifying wars considering various criteria. Some classifications are based on criteria such as the size of the group that uses force, the type of means which are used or the extent of violence involved in the war. Correspondingly wars can also be classified according to their terrain and intensity as absolute war and limited war; according to the types of weapons used as conventional and unconventional; further according to the tactics as conventional warfare and guerilla warfare; according to the composition of the parties as international war and civil/asymmetric war or dyadic and complex war; according to the motives of the parties as religious war and ethnic war, and finally, hot war and cold war.

Absolute War – Limited War

Absolute war is a type of warfare which is unrestricted in terms of the weapons used, the territory or combatants involved, the objectives pursued and resources that are allocated. In an absolute war the whole society is seen as combatant and the land of the country is seen as a battlefield as a whole. Limited war, on the other hand is the quite opposite of absolute war; any war limited in space and involving restraint by belligerents is defined as a limited war. According to Clausewitz, limited war occurs when annihilation is impossible because of the political aims or because of inadequate military means to accomplish annihilation. This approach of Clausewitz reflects actually the 19th century approach to war which was common until the Second World War.

Conventional Warfare – Unconventional Warfare

Conventional wars are the ones waged through the use of traditional/conventional means. It refers to a battle between states’ regular armed forces, using conventional weapons against each other which do not include biological, chemical or nuclear substances. Unconventional warfare, on the other hand, uses unconventional weapons along with conventional ones, targets the civilian population as well as the armed forces, and specializes in unconventional tactics. The most distinctive feature of unconventional war is the means that are used, such as nuclear weapons.

Regular Warfare – Guerilla Warfare

One aspect of unconventional warfare is related to the military tactic used is the guerilla war. It is warfare without frontlines (Goldstein and Pevehouse, 2012: 166). The purpose is not to directly confront an enemy army, but rather to harass and punish it so as to gradually limit its operation and effectively liberate territory from its control. Rebels in most civil wars use such methods. One of the best examples of guerilla warfare can be found in the Vietnam War.

Civil War – International War

International war is the conventional definition of war taking place between sovereign states. Civil war on the other hand is a war between organized groups within the same country fighting with the aim of taking control of the country or a region, achieving independence for a region or changing government policies.

Two requirements are necessary for such situations to be classified as non-international armed conflicts according to the Geneva Conventions:

  • The hostilities must reach a minimum level of intensity.
  • Non-governmental groups involved in the conflict must be considered as “parties to the conflict”, meaning that they possess organized armed forces.

Asymmetric Warfare- Conventional Warfare

Asymmetric warfare is one of unconventional warfares. The most prominent feature of asymmetric warfare lies in the military capabilities of belligerent powers. When the military capabilities of belligerents are not simply unequal, but they are so significantly different that they cannot make the same sorts of attacks on each other. However, the difference between the tactics and means used by belligerent parties is much more important in characterizing asymmetric warfare.

Cold War – Hot War

The term is used to refer to intensive ideological and political struggles which do not reach the level of open armed warfare. The means of Cold Wars are political and economic activities, propaganda, espionage and proxywars. At this point, proxy-wars are worth mentioning in a more detailed way. A proxy war is an armed conflict between two states or non-state actors which act on behalf of other parties that are not directly involved in the hostilities

Dyadic War – Complex War

Wars with more than three participants are called complex wars, and they are longer and more uncertain than dyadic wars that are wars between two states. Dyadic wars are simpler in comparison to complex wars since there are only two foreign policies, sets of motives, and interactions. Dyadic wars are more prone to break out between neighbor states over territorial disputes while complex wars are more likely to exhibit complex power politics (Vasquez and Valeriano, 2010: 294-296). Because complex wars follow generally long term power politics, including arms races, these wars are more severe and longer than others. Dyadic wars, on the other hand, usually are not preceded by arms races, and thus, they are not severe as complex wars (Vasquez, 2009: 279).

Religious, Ethnic, Ideological Wars

Ethnic conflict is quite possibly the most prevalent conflict in current international relations. Ethnic conflicts are the conflicts which the objectives of at least one party are defined in ethnic terms, and the conflict and possible solutions are perceived along ethnic lines (Goldstein, 2012: 162). Religious wars are conflicts, primarily caused or justified by differences in religion. They are somewhat related to ethnic conflicts because religion often serves as a cultural marker or ideological rationalization for deeper ethnic and cultural differences. Ideological wars resemble religious conflicts, in that they serve as expressions of underlying differences between conflicting parties.

Causes of War

According to Garnett, the causes of war can be categorized under three broad categories:

Immediate Causes and Underlying Causes

Immediate causes are proximate while underlying causes are more fundamental. Immediate causes can be defined as causes that trigger the outbreak of war. The most famous example used for explaining the immediate cause of a war is the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo by a Serbian nationalist in 1914. This is the immediate cause that triggered the outbreak of the First World War. However, when it comes to the underlying cause the scene changes because it is widely accepted that the war would have occurred sooner or later even if the Archduke had not being assassinated, since in 1914 in Garnett’s words the war was in the air

Permissive Causes and Efficient Causes

Efficient causes are related to particular circumstances, for example if state A claims something from state B the efficient cause is the claim of state A. However, a claim needs the permissive cause to lead to war. Permissive causes do not promote war actively, but they allow it to occur (Garnett, 2007: 24-25). At this point the anarchical structure of the international system is one of most argued permissive causes of war.

Necessary Causes and Sufficient Causes

The sufficient cause is a condition that if it is present, it guarantees the occurrence of war. That state A and B hate each other so much is a sufficient cause because with this condition war between them becomes inevitable. While this example is a sufficient cause of war it is not a necessary cause. Sufficient causes can change through time A necessary cause is a condition that must exist if war is to occur, without that condition war cannot breakout. The existence of armed forces is a necessary condition because without weapons wars cannot be declared.

What Causes War

The first image finds the major cause of war in the first level of analysis, or the individual level. Different approaches in this level of analysis share their focal point with regard to man, but they differ in determining the main causes stemming from them. Rooting the causes of war in “human nature” is a very common approach, shared by a wide range of theories, ranging from the idea of “man is sinful from birth” of Christian philosophy to the realist theory of international relations. This view suggests that wars are caused by the egoistic, self-interested, power seeking and also offensive nature of human beings

The second image is the, state or domestic level. At this level, theories focus mainly on the relationship between regime type and war the type of the society and war, and the economy and war. It is asserted in this vein that certain political cultures, ideologies, or religions are more warlike than others, but this proposition finds little support from quantitative empirical literature (Levy, 1988: 657).

The third image is the international system level. The key element of this level of analysis is “anarchy” defined as the structure of the international system. As mentioned in the previous section regarding the permissive cause, this level of analysis yields an explanation of the possibility of war, not of any particular war. The assertion is that “war is possible because there is nothing in the international system to prevent war” (Suganami, 1996: 24).

War as a Foreign Policy Instrument the Contemporary International System

The United Nations (UN) and Use of Force

In this manner, article 2, paragraph 4 of the UN Charter stipulates that: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purpose of the United Nations” The Charter provides for few exceptions to the prohibition of use of force, and the most important one is self-defense stated in article 51: “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.”

Chapter VII – Action with respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression

Article 41 “The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.” Chapter VII – Action with respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression Article 42 “Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.”

Defining the Concept of War

The term first evokes the condition of military conflict among states. In fact, in the Webster English dictionary war is defined as “a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations”. However, in the academic literature the definition of war resembles the technical definition in terms of the use of force, but it also comprises armed conflicts among nonstate actors. In this manner war can be defined as the use of force by groups with the aim of achieving their objectives. The famous definition given in the 19th century by a German strategist Carl Von Clausewitz at this point can add a new insight to facilitate our attempt for finding the correct definition. Clausewitz defines war as follows: “war is not merely a political act, but also a political instrument, a continuation of political relations, a carrying out of the same by other means.”

The quantitative view is an attempt to define war based on quantitative data which is possible to make a distinction between violent action and war. War can be defined as a threshold since the number deaths is over 1000. Accordingly , a specific criterion which is based on size, preparation and legitimation was formed to define such events as war. This definition excludes, unplanned, unorganized and nonlegitimized conflicts, such as riots, but on the other hand it includes large-scale civil wars which are ignored in the political perspective. The mentioned criteria are as follows (Dennen, 1981: 133):

  1. The event ought to result at least in 1000 battle deaths – Size
  2. It ought to be prepared and planned by largescale social organizations through recruitment, training and deployment of troops the acquisition, storage and distribution of arms – Preparation
  3. It ought to being legitimized by an established governmental organization, so that large-scale killing is viewed not as a crime but as a dutyLegitimizing

Types of War and Conflict

There are a number of attempts for classifying wars considering various criteria. Some classifications are based on criteria such as the size of the group that uses force, the type of means which are used or the extent of violence involved in the war. Correspondingly wars can also be classified according to their terrain and intensity as absolute war and limited war; according to the types of weapons used as conventional and unconventional; further according to the tactics as conventional warfare and guerilla warfare; according to the composition of the parties as international war and civil/asymmetric war or dyadic and complex war; according to the motives of the parties as religious war and ethnic war, and finally, hot war and cold war.

Absolute War – Limited War

Absolute war is a type of warfare which is unrestricted in terms of the weapons used, the territory or combatants involved, the objectives pursued and resources that are allocated. In an absolute war the whole society is seen as combatant and the land of the country is seen as a battlefield as a whole. Limited war, on the other hand is the quite opposite of absolute war; any war limited in space and involving restraint by belligerents is defined as a limited war. According to Clausewitz, limited war occurs when annihilation is impossible because of the political aims or because of inadequate military means to accomplish annihilation. This approach of Clausewitz reflects actually the 19th century approach to war which was common until the Second World War.

Conventional Warfare – Unconventional Warfare

Conventional wars are the ones waged through the use of traditional/conventional means. It refers to a battle between states’ regular armed forces, using conventional weapons against each other which do not include biological, chemical or nuclear substances. Unconventional warfare, on the other hand, uses unconventional weapons along with conventional ones, targets the civilian population as well as the armed forces, and specializes in unconventional tactics. The most distinctive feature of unconventional war is the means that are used, such as nuclear weapons.

Regular Warfare – Guerilla Warfare

One aspect of unconventional warfare is related to the military tactic used is the guerilla war. It is warfare without frontlines (Goldstein and Pevehouse, 2012: 166). The purpose is not to directly confront an enemy army, but rather to harass and punish it so as to gradually limit its operation and effectively liberate territory from its control. Rebels in most civil wars use such methods. One of the best examples of guerilla warfare can be found in the Vietnam War.

Civil War – International War

International war is the conventional definition of war taking place between sovereign states. Civil war on the other hand is a war between organized groups within the same country fighting with the aim of taking control of the country or a region, achieving independence for a region or changing government policies.

Two requirements are necessary for such situations to be classified as non-international armed conflicts according to the Geneva Conventions:

  • The hostilities must reach a minimum level of intensity.
  • Non-governmental groups involved in the conflict must be considered as “parties to the conflict”, meaning that they possess organized armed forces.

Asymmetric Warfare- Conventional Warfare

Asymmetric warfare is one of unconventional warfares. The most prominent feature of asymmetric warfare lies in the military capabilities of belligerent powers. When the military capabilities of belligerents are not simply unequal, but they are so significantly different that they cannot make the same sorts of attacks on each other. However, the difference between the tactics and means used by belligerent parties is much more important in characterizing asymmetric warfare.

Cold War – Hot War

The term is used to refer to intensive ideological and political struggles which do not reach the level of open armed warfare. The means of Cold Wars are political and economic activities, propaganda, espionage and proxywars. At this point, proxy-wars are worth mentioning in a more detailed way. A proxy war is an armed conflict between two states or non-state actors which act on behalf of other parties that are not directly involved in the hostilities

Dyadic War – Complex War

Wars with more than three participants are called complex wars, and they are longer and more uncertain than dyadic wars that are wars between two states. Dyadic wars are simpler in comparison to complex wars since there are only two foreign policies, sets of motives, and interactions. Dyadic wars are more prone to break out between neighbor states over territorial disputes while complex wars are more likely to exhibit complex power politics (Vasquez and Valeriano, 2010: 294-296). Because complex wars follow generally long term power politics, including arms races, these wars are more severe and longer than others. Dyadic wars, on the other hand, usually are not preceded by arms races, and thus, they are not severe as complex wars (Vasquez, 2009: 279).

Religious, Ethnic, Ideological Wars

Ethnic conflict is quite possibly the most prevalent conflict in current international relations. Ethnic conflicts are the conflicts which the objectives of at least one party are defined in ethnic terms, and the conflict and possible solutions are perceived along ethnic lines (Goldstein, 2012: 162). Religious wars are conflicts, primarily caused or justified by differences in religion. They are somewhat related to ethnic conflicts because religion often serves as a cultural marker or ideological rationalization for deeper ethnic and cultural differences. Ideological wars resemble religious conflicts, in that they serve as expressions of underlying differences between conflicting parties.

Causes of War

According to Garnett, the causes of war can be categorized under three broad categories:

Immediate Causes and Underlying Causes

Immediate causes are proximate while underlying causes are more fundamental. Immediate causes can be defined as causes that trigger the outbreak of war. The most famous example used for explaining the immediate cause of a war is the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo by a Serbian nationalist in 1914. This is the immediate cause that triggered the outbreak of the First World War. However, when it comes to the underlying cause the scene changes because it is widely accepted that the war would have occurred sooner or later even if the Archduke had not being assassinated, since in 1914 in Garnett’s words the war was in the air

Permissive Causes and Efficient Causes

Efficient causes are related to particular circumstances, for example if state A claims something from state B the efficient cause is the claim of state A. However, a claim needs the permissive cause to lead to war. Permissive causes do not promote war actively, but they allow it to occur (Garnett, 2007: 24-25). At this point the anarchical structure of the international system is one of most argued permissive causes of war.

Necessary Causes and Sufficient Causes

The sufficient cause is a condition that if it is present, it guarantees the occurrence of war. That state A and B hate each other so much is a sufficient cause because with this condition war between them becomes inevitable. While this example is a sufficient cause of war it is not a necessary cause. Sufficient causes can change through time A necessary cause is a condition that must exist if war is to occur, without that condition war cannot breakout. The existence of armed forces is a necessary condition because without weapons wars cannot be declared.

What Causes War

The first image finds the major cause of war in the first level of analysis, or the individual level. Different approaches in this level of analysis share their focal point with regard to man, but they differ in determining the main causes stemming from them. Rooting the causes of war in “human nature” is a very common approach, shared by a wide range of theories, ranging from the idea of “man is sinful from birth” of Christian philosophy to the realist theory of international relations. This view suggests that wars are caused by the egoistic, self-interested, power seeking and also offensive nature of human beings

The second image is the, state or domestic level. At this level, theories focus mainly on the relationship between regime type and war the type of the society and war, and the economy and war. It is asserted in this vein that certain political cultures, ideologies, or religions are more warlike than others, but this proposition finds little support from quantitative empirical literature (Levy, 1988: 657).

The third image is the international system level. The key element of this level of analysis is “anarchy” defined as the structure of the international system. As mentioned in the previous section regarding the permissive cause, this level of analysis yields an explanation of the possibility of war, not of any particular war. The assertion is that “war is possible because there is nothing in the international system to prevent war” (Suganami, 1996: 24).

War as a Foreign Policy Instrument the Contemporary International System

The United Nations (UN) and Use of Force

In this manner, article 2, paragraph 4 of the UN Charter stipulates that: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purpose of the United Nations” The Charter provides for few exceptions to the prohibition of use of force, and the most important one is self-defense stated in article 51: “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.”

Chapter VII – Action with respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression

Article 41 “The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.” Chapter VII – Action with respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression Article 42 “Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.”

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