How does “strategic culture” explains the patterns of state behavior in three cases: the United States, China, and Iran. What are the causal mechanisms (i.e. cause-effect explanations) in these cases? Is “strategic culture” a cause of the observed patterns? Or is other cause (e.g. hierarchy, power structure, etc.)?
Strategic culture allows scholars for the opportunity to recognize, analyze and explain patterns of continuity and change when it comes to the reasons behind state behaviors in the international system. Quite regularly, such behaviors are deeply intertwined with the state’s historical propensity to maintain its observed spheres of influence. Strategic Culture has shown to leave lasting legacies in the way states develop their …show more content…
“…Thus, in order for the United States to pursue war, the threat must be directly related to the survival of the country or be characterized as “evil incarnate”—as was fascism in World War II, communism in the Cold War, and terrorism during the current war on terror...” (Howard, 9.) United States strategic culture continues to be characterized by positive and idealist views in the evolution of human relationships. As a result of United States strategic culture and views on war, the world’s hegemon has developed great skills at problem solving since they are always looking for quick and effective solutions to international conflicts, as a way to minimize the cost of lives and resources, while maintain their hegemonic power. It could be said that the United States looks at international relations as a transaction, by focusing on immediate results.
In the case of China their history and culture seems to be rooted as well when it comes to their strategic thinking. Geographically China could be identified as a continental power, who throughout history has continue to be focus in the security and strength of their own territory, instead of looking for territorial expansions or conquests. Chinese strategic culture appears to
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The American “way of war” can be seen politically through the evolution of military policy as political perspectives changed. Post-World War II reveals primary and consistent policies that lead American military policymakers to avoid major international conflict. Coined the Cold War, Americans began waging war
Realists’ belief that, “war is unavoidable and natural part of world affairs.” According to Bova, there are over 200 sovereign states, and they all interest to gain power to defend themselves. As a result, state’s feeling of insecurity causes it to take any means to feel secure whether it is through the formation of ally with another powerful state or accumulation of military and economic power. Such action threatens other states provoke them take similar actions. This cycle applies to all states, and the feeling of threat and desire to survive is innate in humans In understanding International Relations, McNamara’s lesson is useful in the regards that actions that state takes to protect itself causes the complexity and conflicts of foreign policies that human beings are incapable of
Even though the United States emerged as a clear victor of World War I, many Americans after the war felt that their involvement in the conflict had been a mistake (Markus Schoof, “The American Experience During World War II,” slide 3). This belief, however, did not deter the country from engaging in many other international affairs in the future, most importantly the WWII and the Cold War. Right from the Manifest Destiny, which led to expand its empire at home and abroad, to the World War I, the country had come a long way from being somewhat a lonely-land to a global superpower of the 20th century. Its influence in the international arena grew unprecedently after its commitment to the World War II, and like they say, the rest is history. If the WWII was a resounding success to the American legacy, what followed, the Cold War, put many implications on the American diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union and to the world. Although the rising Fascism in Europe and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor drove the U.S. to enter the WWII, historians over the years have laid equal blames on both nations for starting the Cold War. These two events helped in shaping up many domestic and foreign policies for the U.S.
Ever since the beginning of time, there has been conflict and conflict will always play a role in the development of history. The world has experienced hundreds of wars with countless casualties, these wars date back to the 10th Century and forward to the present. The United States of America is no stranger to war having participated in over 100 wars either it being a small war or a world war. Michael C. C. Adams “The Best War Ever” gives a rational explanation on the events that led the U.S to become the powerhouse country after sacrificing so much for the war, or did they? In this paper we will support the argument made in Adams “The Best War Ever” Chapter four, appropriately titled “The American War Machine”, other primary sources used will be such as Harry S. Truman first speech to congress in April 1945 and General George S. Patton’s praise speech to the Third Army. The argument being that the U.S did in fact play an impacting role in the outcome of World War 2 but how it also used appearances as an advantage to further develop itself as an international force, just like the tale from the Trojan War, the Trojan horse was all about appearances but with a precise objective.
Jingoism intwined with governmental policy and “a majority…of Americans…grant[ing] spontaneous consent to foreign policy militancy” influences policies related to foreign and national security in the United States.1 European history of colonialism and imperialism impacted the development of foreign policy and national security. In Culture, National Identity, and the “Myth of America,” Walter L. Hixson leniently critiques American foreign policy, while advocating towards a more “cooperative internationalism.”2 Melvyn P. Leffler in National Security, Core Values, and Power fails to formulate an engaging argument for national security policies reflection of America core values. In reference to foreign and national security policy, both Hixson and Leffler refer to the impact of hegemony, with Leffler’s mention succinct and without specific detail. In the United States, foreign policy leans towards jingoism, while national security policy develops from general core values.
According to constructivism “The world of international relations is not just the world of material capabilities and materialistic opportunities it is also a social world”. Constructivists believe that actor states are occupied with both normative and material factors. They do not deny that the material world shapes their structure, but they believe that through reflections and discourse, actor states are malleable and influenced by each other. Constructivism thus deals with the process through which principled ideals become social norms. In being so, constructivism becomes a critical component for the international recognition of a state. This becomes crucial for actors, as the internationalization of social norms will ensure compliance over external pressure. Thus, democracy promotion can be subsumed under the socialization and internalization by actors. The persistence of democratic international institutions after the cold war as well as the mass identification of states as democracies and the absence of a strong alternative political ideology have contributed to a process of socialization promoting democratic cooperation. Therefore, after the Cold
At this point in time, the main actors in the international system are nation-states seeking an agenda of their own based on personal gain and national interest. Significantly, the most important actor is the United States, a liberal international economy, appointed its power after the interwar period becoming the dominant economy and in turn attained the position of hegemonic stability in the international system. The reason why the United States is dominating is imbedded in their intrinsic desire to continuously strive for their own national interest both political and economic. Further, there are other nature of actors that are not just nation-states, including non-states or transnational,
United States involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last thirteen years has resulted in much debate over the role of the United States military. This debate is encouraged, as it will sustain conversation of how to best employ an important yet dwindling national resource. The publication of Dominic Tierney’s article “Why Has America Stopped Winning Wars” speaks directly to this debate. The article argues that the US military has lost the capability of winning wars since World War II . Tierney posits that the world is a more peaceful place and the United States is incapable of adapting to the resultant style of low intensity conflict that normally rises with state peace. He believes the U.S. government has a lust for global hegemony. The excessive use of military force is the only way to quench Washington’s thirst He concludes with an implication that American’s victory culture has led to disillusionment of our government’s expectations, and that this culture should be reexamined in order to prevent unnecessary loss of life in the future. Although Tierney makes a valiant effort to question US military strategic efforts over the last 70 years, he fails to realize that America’s emphasis on national security is a major contributing factor for why the world has seen a reduction in state-on-state war.
The notion of an American way of war informs how scholars, policymakers, and strategists understand how Americans fight. A way of war—defined as a society’s cultural preferences for waging war—is not static. Change can occur as a result of important cultural events, often in the form of traumatic experiences or major social transformations. A way of war is therefore the malleable product of culturally significant past experiences. Reflecting several underlying cultural ideals, the current American way of war consists of three primary tenets—the desire for moral clarity, the primacy of technology, and the centrality of scientific management systems—which combine to create a preference for decisive, large-scale conventional wars with clear objectives and an aversion to morally ambiguous low-intensity conflicts that is relevant to planners because it helps them address American strategic vulnerabilities.
Many strategies have been devised by empires over centuries, these strategies and decisions have helped shape the world as it is in its present state. The author explains how strategic decisions made in the past were the wrong decisions in his opinion, as John Perkins had seen first hand the devastation that could be caused by the American government in its pursuit for a “global empire”.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States was the unquestioned hegemon of the western world acting in a unipolar world. However, recently the United States has fallen into a series of deprival causing its reputation to fall as a state. Despite this, under the Bush Doctrine, the United States currently has a preemptive hegemonic imperative policy. Under this policy, the United States takes into account that the world is a perilous environment in need of a leader to guide and to control the various rebel states unipolarly. Under this policy though, the United States acts alone with no assistance from other states or institutions. Global intuitions that would assist under other types of policies are flagrantly disregarded in this policy in spite of its emphasis on the international level. As well as not participating in international institutions, this policy states that the United States should act entirely in its own wisdom. The UN (the United Nations), GATT (General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade), along with other institutions advice is not heeded within this self-made policy. Though the United States currently acknowledges these global organizations, it no longer takes them into account with severity. Instead of acting under the international system, the United States currently acts through its military, and large economy to instill fear within the various actors in the intercontinental system. According to this philosophy the
The current international system is fragmenting rapidly since the end of the Cold War. A lot of regions in the world are still trying to find the balance of power in the international system, which the U.S. often intervenes to provide its brand of “global leadership”. Some countries like China are emerging as a global power since a few years ago. Subsequently, this will lead to a major threat to the U.S. status as a global major power. The rise of power by China in the international scene signifies the unpredictable nature of the international system. I would argue that the three most critical challenges for the U.S. arising out of this environment are the future world globalization that will cause a conflict between its domestic and foreign policy, the rise of China as a global power, and the ever globalization of terrorism. I believe that the U.S. should be pragmatic in handling its foreign policy and handle each situation independently without a fix doctrine in order to minimize the unintended consequences produced by the globalization of the world.
Revisionist states are seen as “challengers” who wants a “new place or share for themselves in global society” proportionate with their power. Revisionist states are generally unsatisfied with their position in the international society. They have a wish to modify the rules by which affairs among countries work. Robert Gilpin who is amid pragmatist scholars, offers possibly the most precise discussion of revisionist and status quo positioning. He simplifies by breaking down the rules of the game into rather more operationalizable components: the distribution of power, the chain of command of status, rights and norms that oversee relations among states.