What caused the 1992-1996 Afghan Civil War: will history repeat itself?
Khushal H. Safi
February 4, 2015 I. Introduction Many arguments are made for why war occurs and how to achieve peace. While the analysis helps humanity understand why conflict occurs, it fails to prevent the march toward war. This paper explores Kenneth Waltz’s three levels, or “images’ of conflict. Waltz, the founder of neorealism, established the foundation for one of the two currently accepted international relations schools, the other Neoliberalism. This essay compares Waltz’s theory to other contemporary thinkers, then applies it to the 1992-1996 Afghan Civil War. The paper concludes by noticing the similarities events during the …show more content…
Finally, Waltz depicts the international-system level of international institutions, principles, and systems as perpetually anarchic, or without a central enforcement mechanism (Waltz, 1988, pg. 618). Waltz contends multilateralism is a root of conflict because international systems are comprised of states at their core level, thus the response to wayward actors depends upon another state’s desire/need to confront the actor.
A. Individual-Level Analysis Waltz’s individual-psychological image looks at reasons why humans are drawn to conflict. At the most rudimentary level, Waltz assessed war is personally advantageous. Hans Morgenthau, the father of Political Realism (a principle which Waltz’s Neorealism theory is based), naturally agrees with Waltz’s individual image. Morgenthau’s “Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace” postulates world leaders seek power to “control the minds and actions of other men” (Morgenthau, 2006, pg. 30). The drive to achieve political power is not always based in war. However, it is always rooted in conflict because power is achieved at the expense of another.
In the article “Motivations for Conflict: Groups and Individuals,” Stewart and Brown also agree with Waltz. Their “private motivation hypothesis” argues leader and fighters seek profit through conflict (Stewart & Brown, 2007, pg. 224). Typically, marginalized and unemployed youth seek out a leader who assist them escape their meager existence.
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This paper attempts to place the authors from this weeks readings in conversation. In doing so, it becomes clear that Krasner and John Ruggie’s conceptions of international relations are shortsighted and problematic. However, Craig Murphy, Sol Picciotto, Cox, and Claire Cutler all have beneficial insights into global governance. In particular, Cox’s contention that multilateralism has been effective in institutionalizing a liberal economic order that should not be understood as synonymous with international cooperation aids us in our consideration of world order.
The international system is anarchic. It is very important to notice that anarchy, according to Mearsheimer, does not mean chaos or disorder, but absence of centralized authority, that stands above states and protects
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,
War is easily explained through the lens of social conflict theory, a sociological theory that suggests society tends toward conflict because it is made up of groups with competing interests and unequal resources. The theory proposes that a
The war between Afghanistan and the United States has been one that has lasted longer than any war; the civil war combined with both World War I and World War II do not match the duration the United States currently faces with Afghanistan. With both countries engaging little to no military conflict, the U.S. continues to be on Afghanistan’s territory, securing the country from the rise of militias potentially threatening our counterpart’s sovereignty. Many people have been arguing whether the US should withdraw from Afghanistan and when. Currently, as the U.S. plans to withdraw from the Afghan nation, the issue is not one that pertains to the U.S. and Afghanistan, for they are not the only two involved. American forces had planned to leave the opponent’s nation but fear the security along with the sovereignty of Afghanistan continues to be one that is porous. The initiation of the war was the 9/11 attack and has been lasting for 13 years. However, many people complain about the extreme high cost of the war The United States should withdraw completely from Afghanistan because of the high cost of the war, popular opinion’s support, and very few al-Qaeda members are left.
Another example of the “language of power” and the “dictates of realist logic” is provided by United States’ catastrophic invasion of Afghanistan. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor, admitted that the Carter administration lied to the American people and the world when it claimed that the US only became involved in Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion of December 1979(North, 2002). The Carter administration at that time portrayed the American ‘s involving as the defense of “human rights”, but indeed Carter signed a secret directive on July 3, 1979 ,nearly six months before Soviet troops entered Afghanistan, to support radical Islamic opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul, which was intended to tempt the Russians into the afghan trap and thus provoke a violent soviet response as exactly what the carter administration wanted.
Analyzing the political and historical context (the Cold War) in which this theory emerged, the binary opposition of Peace vis-à-vis War, was useful to explain the domestic and international political context. Currently, Realism fails as a lens to explain the world. Taking into consideration not only that the world economic situation, political structures and social context have changed dramatically, this theory is epistemologically weak. Gordon explained that binary approaches exclude all the nuances that exist in social reality. He argued that “there must be something essentially wrong with binaries and this is asserted by a critical perspective that is against making essential claims. Why must binaries be outlawed in an analysis? Binaries persist in many settings where they are not only accurate ascriptions but also productive […]-Binary opposition- constitutes a structure of is and is-not. […] the possibilities that constitute is-not are infinite. That which is-not is not necessarily in opposition to what-is without an added value of what it means for something to be. (2008, p.19). Therefore, Realism, Neo-realism and Liberal Peace theory have the same epistemological shortfall. Despite the basic premises of the three
The purpose of this essay is to inform on the similarities and differences between systemic and domestic causes of war. According to World Politics by Jeffry Frieden, David Lake, and Kenneth Schultz, systemic causes deal with states that are unitary actors and their interactions with one another. It can deal with a state’s position within international organizations and also their relationships with other states. In contract, domestic causes of war pertain specifically to what goes on internally and factors within a state that may lead to war. Wars that occur between two or more states due to systemic and domestic causes are referred to as interstate wars.
Today’s conflict environments are often asymmetric, decentralized and interconnected via the internet. These factors lead to multiple COGs that fall along the lines of structural/operational and ideological/moral. These variations of COGs are not separate, but mutually supporting
There are two, key conflicting theories in the study of international relations, idealism and realism, known to scholars as the ‘Great Debate’. Realism, offers an account of international affairs through four central ideas; that states are the key players in international relations, the decentralised international stage is anarchic, actors are rational and self-interested
Political Violence has been affiliated with governments and nations since the beginning of political history and plays a huge role in the causes of Wars around the world. What causes leaders to declare war? Many philosophers have based their studies and theories on this question; many have different perspectives. One philosopher, John Stoessinger, has expressed his theories on the causes of war through what he calls his “misperception framework.” Stoessinger shows great interests in the personalities of world leaders; he is less impressed with the roles of abstract forces such as nationalism, militarism, economic factors, or alliance systems as the causes of
Martin van Creveld wrote The Transformation of War book in 1991 when he detailed a predictive hypothesis about the changing character of war into what he called ?Nontrinitarian War. There were conflicts arise as intrastate wars and were not based on the simplified version of Clausewitz?s ?remarkable trinity? of government, people and military forces (Van Creveld, 1991, pg. 49). In his book, Van Creveld offers an account of warfare in the previous millennium and suggests what the future might hold. The drive was that major war was draining and the emergence of forms of war ?that are simultaneously old and new? now threatened to create havoc.
In order to explain how international orders emerge and how they change, we must first explain what international order is. We can describe the international order as “a pattern of activity that sustains the elementary or primary goals of the society of states, or international society.”3 Sovereign states in an anarchic world are the key actors in that pattern of activity that we call balance of power, and the primary goal of every state is their sovereignty and survival. Since there is no overreaching authority in an anarchic world
Neorealism has often been associated with Waltz (1979). Actually, neorealism is a response of realism theory devised by Hans Morgenthau (1948), which assumes that all affecting factors for “cooperation and discord” or “peace and war” are only under certain conditions (Keohane, 1986, p. 2 - 3). Neorealism has been the most prominent and influential approach in the field of IR theory since the early 1980s. Mikhail Gorbachev and Kim Il Sung were the examples of leaders that had neorealism approach in their foreign policy behavior (Malici, 2009, p. 132).
Neo-Realism and Neo-Liberalism, two of the most influential contemporary approaches to international relations, although similar in some respects, differ multitudinously. Thus, this essay will argue it is inaccurate to claim that Neo-Realism and Neo-Liberalism have far more similarities than differences. By contrast, it will contend that there are in fact more of the latter than there are of the former, on issues such as the nature and consequences of anarchy, the achievement of international cooperation, and the role of international institutions. Moreover, it will be structured in such a way so as to corroborate this line of argument. In practice, that is to say, this essay will first of all define what is meant by Neo-Realism and Neo-Liberalism.