Maximizing Naitonal Security Through Foreign Policy

3040 Words 13 Pages
Foreign policy can be understood as a set of political goals that aims to outline how a particular state will interact with others For Beach (2012), “Foreign policy actions can be undertaken using a variety of different instruments, ranging from adopting declarations, making speeches, negotiating treaties, giving other states economic aid, engaging in diplomatic activity such as summits, and the use of military force”. No matter which instruments are used, the primary objective of states in outlining their foreign policies is to maximise their national security. As such, states go about maximising national security through different means such as by military force, economic prosperity and/or the welfare of its people. However, it has been …show more content…
States within the international system are said to be existing under the same conditions as there is no effective overarching authority mediating disputes between nations (Waltz 1979). Realists argue that states are compelled to seek power in order to ensure their own security. They posit that the primary national interest of all states is national security. Though there have been different strands of realism within IR theory, they are all united in their subscriptions to the concepts of survival and self-help (Dunne & Schmidt, 2011).
Due to realists depicting the international realm as anarchic, the first priority of state leaders is to ensure the survival of the state. Because there is no guarantee that states can ensure their safety from external threats, the use of force which can escalate to war is seen as a legitimate tool of statecraft – such force can be used to start wars or be used as an element of coercive diplomacy (Art & Cronin, 2003). For realists, the possibility of states using force against one another is ever-present, generating insecurity between them. But anarchy is not the only factor that generates insecurity between states. First, most states possess some form of offensive capability which they can use against rivals. Second,
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