Power and War - Chapter 8

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Political Science
Political Science 2231E
Rado Dimitrov

IR Chapter 8 Power and War Reading Notes Week of October 23 rd  Security dilemma: armaments amassed by states for what they claim to be defensive purposes are seen by others as threatening, and this has driven the alarmed competitors to undertake, as countermeasures, additional military build-ups Realist Approaches to War and Peace  Realism – school of thought that teaches that the drive for power and the domination of others for self advantage is a universal and permanent motive throughout world history  Practical choices for states to national and international security o Arming themselves o Forming or servering alliances o Contstructing strategies for controlling destinies thorugh military and coercive diplomacy  Coercive diplomacy – the use of threats or limited armed force to persuade an adversary to alter its foreign and or domestic policies  Realism = war at top of states concerns Power in World Politics  Belief that all people and states seek power  Power is the poltical capacity of one actor to exercise influence over another actor to the first’s benefit  Power as a combination of factors that gives states the capability to promote national interests Elements of State Power  Realists see military capability as the central element  Reject the view of liberal strategic thinkers that view other things like economic, polical capabilities are rated higher than war  One way to estimate a states power potential is to compare the extent to which they spend money on acquiring military capabilities o US military powerhouse in the world (614 billion/yr) o power potential – the capabilities or resources held by a state that are considered necessary to its asserting influence over others o also derives from factors like size of economy, population, territorial size, geographic position, raw materials, technological capacity, political culture and values, efficiency of governmental decision making, volume of trade, educational level, national morale, internal solidarity  Quest for security through arms and the realist belief in military force remain widespread The ‘Cost’ of Military Spending  1.63 trillion in 2011  Rich countries have spent the most on arms acquistitions (historically and currently)  Poor countries are copying the past costly military budget habits of the wealthiest states  opportunity costs is when what is gained for one purpose is lost for other purposes so that any particular choice means the cost of some lost opportunity must be paid o the sacrifices that result when the decision to select one option means that the opportunity to realize gains from other options lost  The United States = 41% of world military spending in 2011, but has also been dominant investor in research and development funding  “guns vs butter” o how to allocate scared finances for military preparedness or meeting human needs such a food o national vs human security o National security = country’s psychological freedom from fears that the state will be unable to resist threats to its survival and national values emanating from abroad or at home o Human security – the degree to which the welfare of individuals is protected and promoted, in contrast to realists emphasis on putting states interests in military/national secutiry  Relative Burden of military spending is the ratio of defense spending to GDP, o Customary way to measure the sacrifices required by military spending o But difficult to generalize about the precise relationship between a country’s defense burden and its citizens’ standard of living, human development or stage of development o Relative burden of military spending- measure of the economic burden of military activities calculated by the share of each state’s gross domestic product allocated to military expenditures o Skeptics of high military spending believe the high costs can easily reduce citizens’ human security Changes in Military Capabilities  Global south and terrorists = business of manufacturing modern aircraft, tanks  Growth of private military services enhances military capabilities, as it allows governments to conduct operations with fewer troops than would otherwise be needed o The outsourcing of activities of a military specific nature to private companies such as armed security, equipment maintenance, IT services, logistics and intelligence services Trends in the Weapons Trade  Volume of arms transfer continues to grow  Major recipients of all global arms shipments = Global south  Post 9/11, US increased its worldwide supply of weapons to countries that agreed to be partners  Private companies also suppliers  Outsourcing of military like activities enables governments to maintain their force structure for a lower cost than otherwise possible Motives of Arms Trade  Economic gain  Military industrial complex is widly believed to exercise enormous power over US defense budgets and arms sales agreements o A combination of defense establishments, contractors who supply arms for them, and government agencies that benefit from high military spending, which acts as a lobbying coalition to pressure governments to appropriate large expedenitures for military preparedness Strategic consequences of Arms Trade  Less democratic countries receive the greatest amounts of U.S. arms  But supplying weapons can backfire – blowback to describe what can happen when foreign activities such a covert shipments of arms are later used in retaliation agsinst the supplier o Unintended consequence of provoking retaliatory attacks when relations later sour Trends in Weapons Technology  Explosive global environement  Nuclear Weapons o Could destroy entire worlds population o Proliferation of arms (the spread of weapon capabilities from a few to many states in a chain reaction, increasing numbers of states gain the ability to launch and attack on other states with devastating weapons o Nth country problem – the expansion of new nuclear weapon states o Horizontal nuclear profilieration (increase in the number of nuclear sttes) and vertical nuclear proliferation (increases in the capabilities of existing nuclear powers) are probable o Enhance the security and diplomatic influence of their possessors o Nuclear proliferation Treaty (NPT) as hypocrisy because it provides a seal of approval to the US, Russia, China, Britian and France for possessing nuclear weapons while denying it to all others  And international agreement that seeks to prevent horitzontal proliferation by prohibiting further nuclear weapons sales, acquisitions or production o Non proliferation regime- rules to contain arms races so that weapons or technology do not spread to states that do not have them The Revolution in Military Technology and Weapons Delivery Capabilities  Multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) – a technological innovation permitting many weapons to be delivered from a single missile  Fire break separated conventional and nuclear wars o The psychological barrer between conventional wars and wars fought with nuclear weapons as well as WMD’s o Prevent most intensive forms of conventional combat from escalating into nuclear war  Strategic weapons- WMD’s that are carried on intercontinential ballistic missiles, submarine launched ballistic missles, or long range bombers  Change in the type of arms being developed to wage war: high tech, nonlethal weapons, made possible by revolution in military technology  New generation includes sounds, shocks, and smells to disperse or incapacitate crowds o Non lethal weapons- soft kill, low intensity methods of incapacitating an enemy’s people, vehicles, communications systems, or entire cities without killing either combatants or noncombatants o RMT – sophisticated new weapons technologies that make fighting war without mass armies possible  smart bombs – precision guided military technology that enables a bomb to search for its target and detonate at the precise time it can do the most damage o asymmetric warfare – individual solders equipped with the latest technologies are needed for search and destroy missions against guerrilla mili
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