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POLI 244 (71)

Comparing Caveats.docx

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 244
Jason Scott Ferrell

Comparing Caveats: Understanding the Sources of National Restrictions upon NATO's Mission in Afghanistan (Auerswald and Saideman) Caveats • restrictions on what coalition militaries can and cannot do • diminish overall effectiveness and create resentment within the coalition • troops from presidential or majoritarian governments tend, on average, to have fewer caveats • some nations bearing a greater burden and paying a higher cost than others ("rations-consumers") • International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) ◦ cavets affect • based on political institutions and individuals operating in those institutions • Principal-agency theory ◦ explains how much discretion is given to agents via contingent delegation contracts ◦ how domestic variables affect conflict behaviour • must determine who has control over conflict decisions in any particular country • coalition parliamentary governments: collective decision makers, requiring bargaining and compromise, impose more caveats, and tighter caveats • presidential or majoritarian parliamentary systems: single-party governments empower individuals (PM, president) to decide how much authority is delegated to ground commander • an attack on one is an attack on all ◦ BUT each member state is free to decide whether and to what extent it will respond militarily • can be official and written, or unofficial and unwritten • countries less open about unofficial caveats • soft caveats: self-imposed restrictions by deployed military units in anticipation of or in response to political debates back home • PM in majoritarian system may have more foreign policy power than presidents since the opposition has few avenues to block policy • Individual Preference: as individuals went through their careers, they observed and experienced the effect of specific patterns of military discretion ◦ made decisions later based on those experiences ◦ focus on military outcome: fewer caveats ◦ focus on military behaviour: more caveats (end never justifies the means) Canada • model of British-style majoritarian parliament (except often led by minority governments) ◦ serves as exception that proves the rule • initially tight restrictions and micromanagement from home (2002) • 2005 Colonel Noonan has more power, allowed to act first and explain later • Canadian minority governments have actually been empowered by the inability of the opposition partners to coalesce around restrictions on Canadian forces ◦ Liberals always oppose Conservatives ◦ Bloc is not an appealing partner (separatist) ▪ spoils Liberal+NDP hopes • Individuals ◦ Henault ▪ views shaped by Somalia ▪ Canadian soldiers beat an arrested Somali to death ▪ unit disbanded ▪ chiefs of defense staff and minister of national defense resigned ▪ focus on avoiding risk ◦ Hillier ▪ learned from Canadian reactions to Somalia ▪ tight constraints in B
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