POL326Y Lecture June 12.docx

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14 Apr 2014
June 12/13
International Organization and US Foreign Policy
US has schizophrenic attitude towards international organizations and international law
The US had a very extensive role in their creation
oUS today is often perceived as being hostile to both international law and international
Opposition to the international criminal court
From the outset an intended component of the UN system
oUS didn’t sign on to the Rome Treaty because the ICC exposes a violation of US sovereignty
The ICC exposes US citizens to international judicial mechanisms not approved by the
US government and that these are a treat to the sovereign decision making of the US
And to it’s ability to engage in self defense
Since the US is the largest participant in humanitarian interventions around the
world, as well as anti-terror operations around the world
oThe US would then therefore be more vulnerable to accusations put out by the
ICC is also opened to abuse because of its lack of checks and balances
US suffers from a negative international image
oUS service member protection act
Commits the US government to do whatever is necessary to prevent any American
from being tried in front of the ICC
UN system as a whole
oAt the time of negotiations of the UN system they were keenly aware of the record of the
league of nations
There were people in the US that were deeply suspicious of international organizations
Wanted to make sure that the creation of the UN system did not threaten American
Assumption was that the great powers would be in harmony together
Lesser powers would be more likely to have emergence of conflict
oThe US was able to dominate the international system including the UN after WWII founds
itself more and more in the difficult position to do so as a result of international
developments during the 50’s and 60’s which made the UN less sympathetic to US foreign
Countries around the world (Africa) were gaining independence from their colonial
Countries of Eastern Europe were emerging after WWII
oAmerican leaders sought to ignore the UN and not let it affect its general interests
Took a turn for the worst under Reagan
He withdrew major financial funding for the UN
He was seeking to pressure the UN to reform
This was continued by George HW Bush
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