Political Science 2231E Lecture Notes - Gulf War, Directional Drilling, Preemptive War

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Published on 21 Apr 2013
School
Western University
Department
Political Science
Course
Political Science 2231E
2231 March 13 3/13/2013 7:34:00 AM
The Unipolar Era
What defines unipolarity?
One major power
Command of the global commons
o The US can credibly threaten to deny use to others
o Sea, space, air
The absence of competition
Is unipolarity peaceful?
Yes
o no great power conflict: only one great power
o no structural sources of conflict: balancing is not possible
given power preponderance
o the US acts as a global policeman: conflicts do not escalate,
rogue states are kept in check
no - there has not been a threat comparable to the Soviet Union
but,
o the us has been at war for 14 of the 20 years since the
system became unipolar
o the type of conflict that emerges depends on the strategy that
the United States adopts
Unipolar Grand Strategies
An approach to controlling the world system
Primacy
o Aims at preventing the rise of a peer competitor though
overwhelming power preponderance
o Makes it impossible for minor powers to deter
o Make sit difficult for other countries to project power in
defense of the state without US approval
o Arguably characterized the Bush administration policy of
preemptive war fought to keep an opponent from acquiring
military capabilities that would shift the balance of power in
its favor, not because you simply think they may attack you
Selective engagement
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o Emphasis on strategies to defend the status quo
o Military force should be used with discrimination based on
limited conception of national interests
o Us unable to deter smaller powers form obtaining means of
defense unless it engages in preventative action
o Example: North Korea and US under Obama
Cooperative Security
o Aims at maintaining an interdependent world at peace
through international institutions and collective action
o Presumes that democracies will not compete or go to war with
one another
o Contends that use of military force should be sanctioned and
preventative
Intervene before all out war erupts, more act against
wars happening
o Example: Syrian situation and Libya (how everyone came
together and helped and shit)
o Problem: assumes a high level of strategic interdependence
and that states will rise above narrow conceptions of national
interests
Restraint
o The US is physically secure
No nation is going to attack the US homeland
o Economic interests do not require the projection of military
power
o Peacetime military commitments and deployments may be
harmful to long-term security
They tend to attract opposition and threats
o This requires a very high degree of self-restraint and a public
figure to actually say “we aint doin this shit”
o Involves avoiding the responsibilities of maintaining world
order
Most major powers often expect the US to show
leadership in these situations
US foreign Policy in the Unipolar era
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Pursuit of primacy
Pivot to Asia and concern about balancing China
Prevention of Terrorism
Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, actions in Yemen
Prevention of spread of WMDs to rogue states
Focus on North Korea and Iran
Commitment to help solve regional conflicts
Palestinian negotiations, support for South Sudan, etc
Essay
Formal structure from last semester not necessarily the proper format here
depending on your topic/thesis
Small Wars, Civil Wars and Intervention
Major Wars
The United States has engaged in 5 major wars post cold-war
o The Gulf war
o Bosnia
o Kosovo
o Afghanistan
o Iraq
The gulf war (1991)
17 Jan 1991
goal was to force Iraq out of Kuwait, which it had claimed as a
province in August 1990
Iraq was pissed because they though Kuwait was slant drilling, and
used that as an excuse to occupy
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Document Summary

Command of the global commons: the us can credibly threaten to deny use to others, sea, space, air. An approach to controlling the world system. Restraint: the us is physically secure. No nation is going to attack the us homeland: economic interests do not require the projection of military power, peacetime military commitments and deployments may be harmful to long-term security. They tend to attract opposition and threats: this requires a very high degree of self-restraint and a public figure to actually say we aint doin this shit , involves avoiding the responsibilities of maintaining world order. Most major powers often expect the us to show leadership in these situations. Pivot to asia and concern about balancing china. Wars in afghanistan and iraq, actions in yemen. Prevention of spread of wmds to rogue states. Palestinian negotiations, support for south sudan, etc. Formal structure from last semester not necessarily the proper format here depending on your topic/thesis.

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