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POL208Y1 (500)

IR Week 8- Grand Strategy Excercises

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Political Science
Jean Yves Haine

12/11/2013 Hierarchy on perceived threats. Many way to make sense of threats and their meanings. 1. Man Made vs. Natural Threats: environment is a man-made threat, traditionally focussed on man-made threats, strategic threats. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the perpetrator. Natural causes have no game of inference. Can’t protect. From this first cut, you can infer a distinction between addressing threats and addressing vulnerabilities. Two aspects of terrorism- the group and their weapons, the threat itself, and addressing your own vulnerabilities regarding terrorism- border control, critical infrastructure. Previously, the power of the Soviet Union was the risk- nuclear proliferation, attack, accident. Overall threat of security was simple- well known, addressed, only ambiguity was the advancement in technology. After 1979 this disappeared. 2. a) Rapidly, the idea of nation vs. nation became obsolete. Security was defined outside of this traditional distinction. Transnational actors. First terrorist group that were active were in north Africa, moving from country to country. Moved from national to transnational issue. Groups as problematic for security as states before. b) Second evolution was the blurring of a classic line between internal and external threats. Line became murky because groups were moving across borders with ease. After 9/11, most focussed on internal threats. Ministry of Security became most important for defining security measures. c) Explosion of the level of analysis about security threats. The individual in some instances became the number one focus of security issues. More and more this became the number one criteria. Food security, safety, even in peace-keeping practices. The citizen became paramount. The same happened for strict security policy. Immigration as a security concern. The individual became the number one focus. 3. All three of this signify the same phenomenon- globalisation. A disease in one country can become a national security threat if it comes from an airport- travel of people means threats travel faster. Global framework makes these more urgent. Necessities come from crises. Crises mean government resources. Crisis assessed- declaration, policy change, allocation of resources. Resource allocation. Crises are either urgent . Crises lead national actors to revert back to egoist national solutions, not knowing what’s going on. Where threats become visible, when it’s too late this happens. Containment- a limited policy. Vis-à-vis Iran- containment of the Iranian problem (the regime and the potential nuclear proliferation). For a long time there was containment vis-à-vis Iraq. After 9/11 this changed- became preventio
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