AbstractThe differences in the styles of theories inIR has been a topic of interest in this field of IR. Many debates have happenedbut the core focus of these debates is that they negate the idea of the otherwithout actually winning ground in being the best type of theory in theInternational System. The differences are more than just miscommunication asthey all vary in ideas and theory. The mere example of how realism is fromliberalism is comparable to extremes. The study analyzes the commonality amongstall the discussed theories in the class.
Its goal is to increase the amount ofknowledge regarding the effectiveness of prevailing theory in the internationalsystem.Currently the most effective form ofinternational governments are those that are regional organizations (i.e.ASEAN, EU, AU, etc.). What has really drawn flack because of its infectivity isthe UN. Infectivity in terms of having member states to act accordingly whenneeded.
As time goes by the UN seems to be losing control of its members and isalso losing funding (Lynch C. 2017) primarily because of the UN’s number onedonor the US seems to be reverting back to a realist ideology because of thenew president. The US accounts to 22% of the UN’s financial donor which amountsto a staggering $2.5 billionReview ofLiteratureA Realist worldA good rubrics cube for InternationalRelations Students: Why is a distinguished and well-known approach to foreignpolicy confined to the margins of public discourse, especially in the pages ofour leading newspapers, when its recent track record is arguably superior tothe main alternatives?I refer, of course, to realism.
It’snot imperative that realism and realists are completely marginalized these daysafter all, you’re reading a realist right now but the public visibility and policyinfluence of the realist perspective is relatively weak when compared either toLiberal Democrats or conservative Republican.As the years progress it is quite astonishinginsofar as realism is a well-established tradition in the study of foreignaffairs, and realists like Kenneth Waltz, Hans Morgenthau, Chris Brown, KenBooth, and many more who have given input about U.S. foreign policy in thepast. Realism has remained a foundation in academic study of internationalaffairs for a good reason.
One would think this sophisticated body of thoughtwould have a prominent place in debates on foreign policy and thatcard-carrying realists would be a visible force inside the world of punditry.Furthermore, realism’s predictions over thepast 25 years have proven to be much better that that of the liberals that hasdominated U.S. foreign policymaking since the beginning of the Cold War ended.Time and time again, presidents have pushed the liberal agenda and ignored thecounsels of realism.
At the fall of the wall in berlin, the United States wasin amiable with all the superpowers in the world there was calm, Bin Laden wasa speck of dust, a Israel has come into terms in the Middle East, and Americawas enjoying its moment on the top of the world. At this point a lot of peopleargued that power politics was no more and that people will be getting rich ina globalized world where concerns about prosperity, democracy, and human rightswould increasingly dominate the international political agenda. Liberal valueswere destined to spread to every corner of the globe, and if that processdidn’t move fast enough, American power would help push it along. But in today’s modern narrative, a very tenserelation is visible between the U.S. old friend Russia and the rising powerthat is China. Since the botched imposed democracy in Libya and Iraq, democracyis in shambles in Eastern Europe and Turkey. While the whole Middle East narrativeis experiencing a bipolar system in the character of Iran and Saudi while therest are out for grabs.
Since the Iraq war, the U.S. has not been able to win asingle war.
The Liberal Hegemony of the U.S. has left them spending billions intaxpayer’s money and the war in Afghanistan is still as it is from day one. 20years of U.
S. strong man mediation in the Israeli – Palestinian conflict areslowly collapsing. Even the EU is in shambles (Gutteridge N. 2017) with theBrexit and the Catalonian Exit from Spain. Perhaps the modern world hasprovided tantamount of struggle for the Liberal Ideology. As we all know, the world is a harsh anddangerous place. The only certainty in the world is power.
A powerful statewill always be able to outdo—and outlast—weaker competitors. The most importantand reliable form of power is military power (Waltz K. 2011).A state’s primary interest isself-preservation.
Therefore, the state must seek power and must always protectitself (Mearshimer J. 2011). There is no overarching power that can enforceglobal rules or punish bad behavior. Moral behavior is very risky because itcan undermine a state’s ability to protect itself. The international systemitself drives states to use military force and to war. Leaders may be moral,but they must not let moral concerns guide foreign policy.
Internationalorganizations and law have no power or force; they exist only as long as statesaccept them.Politicians have practiced realism as long asstates have existed. Most scholars and politicians during the Cold War viewedinternational relations through a realist lens. Neither the United States northe Soviet Union trusted the other, and each sought allies to protect itselfand increase its political and military influence abroad. Realism has alsofeatured prominently in the administration of George W. Bush.
One of the mostknown realist is the Italian Niccolo Machiavelli. In his book ThePrince (1513), he urged rulers to use deceit and violence as toolsagainst other states. Moral goals are so dangerous, he wrote, that to actmorally will bring about disaster. He also gave advice about how to deal withconflicts among neighboring states and how to defend one’s homeland.Machiavelli’s name has been synonymous with what has been the original realist.But then again the argument now is that, it’salready 2017.
So to speak the world hasn’t blown up yet nor has the superpowers of the modern time took over one another. True that bipolar world stillexists but these bipolar states are battling their own narratives at variousfronts. True that the US vs Russia narrative is still there.
But now it’s US vsChina (Tikhonova P. 2017) narrative that’s gaining ground. One will alsohave the realist North Korea vs US. In the Middle East a different bipolarnarrative is happening. Iran vs Saudi in the proxy wars of Yemen (Hamasaeed S.2017). You also have Saudi vs Israel (Novak J.
2017) where Saudi wishes to playas the hegemon in the Middle East.One cannot help but ask the role of the lastthree (3) presidents had played a pivotal role in the shifting of the worldtoday. The U.S. imposed this responsibility on them in wanting to be superpower(Adelman J 2017). Would the world be in a better shape if the U.S.
remained asa hegemon? My answer is Yes.Just a quick recap, Realism is about having “power”(Waltz K. 2011) as the centerpiece of its political life and deems the state asprimarily concerned with ensuring the security of a world where there is noworld government or no night watchmen.
I realists heavily clings on the factthat military power is crucial in defending a state’s independence and autonomyand yet have the decency to acknowledge that this is a crass form of tool thatleads to irreconcilable outcomes.Realism is fueled by a strong belief ofnationalism and local identities in the level of the individual and state. Itis common knowledge that realists states are inherently selfish, unselfishnessis a diamond in a haystack, and that trust isn’t something that comes by sooften and as we all know, Norms like the R2P so rarely have impact of whatstrong states do in their international policy. It was Tom Hiddleston fromAvengers (2012) who told Nick fury that “an ant has no quarrel with a boot”.Which in all realms of reality is true. Never did an ant filed a complaint whentheir rights are “Stepped” on so to speak.
And we’ve seen that narrative. Whenthe U.S. and its coalition invaded Iraq in 2003. No one in the world had theurged to oppose the U.S. and the U.
K. in ridding of Saddam just cause theybelieved in the two arches theory where no two countries with a McDonalds in itgoes to war (Friedman T. 1999)So if the predecessors of Trump had followed arealist playbook. Would we be seeing a different world today? In retrospect yes.
First things first, had W. Bush listened to Collin Powell and other knownrealists and be open minded with the fact that there are no weapons of massdestruction in Iraq we wouldn’t be having ISIS today. His administration wouldsolely focus on hunting down al qaeda instead of getting stuck in a quagmirethat is Iraq. Millions of lives wouldn’t have been wasted for a few barrels ofoil and ISIS won’t be using the oil rigs they used at first.Second would be, had Clinton not had pushedfor the NATO expansion during his term, or would have cut the boundariessomewhere in Poland, you wouldn’t be having this tense atmosphere with theKremlin. Realism acknowledges the fact that great powers (Russia) do not liketo be confined in a small box in the deepest and coldest part of the world.
Itwas George Kennan who warned NATO that doing these would leave a lastingimpression with Russia (Freidman T. 2015) I mean looking back, the addition ofnew member states in the NATO did not strengthen the alliance at all. It justcommitted the U.S. to defend a cluster of weaker states from a polar bear that’sa stone’s throw away. This may sound like a Trump propaganda but these arefacts. NATO wasn’t able to stabilize the region hence Crimea happened and gotannexed to Russia.
And the pipeline? That fuels most of Eastern Europe to givethem a warm light for the cold night? It’s controlled by Russia. It’s theidealistic and false promise of having international organization or a liberalmindset that lead the weaker eastern European countries to believe in NATO(Mearshimer J. 1995)A better narrative was the original “Partnershipfor Peace,” which was aimed to build close security ties with former WarsawPact members, including Russia. But lo and behold, this sensible approach wasabandoned in the idealistic rush to expand NATO, a decision reflecting liberalhopes that the security guarantees entailed by membership would never have tobe honored.
Third, had a president followed a realistplaybook, he would not have embraced the strategy of “dual containment” in thePersian Gulf. Instead of pledging to contain Iran and Iraq simultaneously, arealist would have taken advantage of their mutual rivalry and used each tobalance the other (Jackson R, Sørensen G, 2015). Dual containment got the U.S.in a tight corner to opposing two countries that were bitter rivals, and itforced Washington to keep large ground and air forces in Saudi Arabia and theGulf. Osama bin Laden took advantage of this indefinite long term presence inthe Middle East which was why he was able to gain traction in gainingsupporters that lead to September 11.
A realist approach to Persian Gulfpolitics would have made that attack less likely, but not know the psycheof an Osama Bin Laden this of course was not impossible as well.Fifth would be for a realists playbook, thenuclear deal with Iran shows what the United States can accomplish when itengages in tough-minded but flexible diplomacy. But Washington might havegotten an even better deal had the U.
S. took the realists experts advice andconducted serious diplomacy back when Iran’s nuclear infrastructure was muchsmaller and not when Ahmadinejadwas rallying nationalism with the Iranians. Realists repeatedly warned thatIran would never agree to give up its entire enrichment capacity and thatthreatening Tehran with military force would only increase its desire for alatent weapons capability. Had the United States shown more flexibility earlier— as realists advised — it might have halted Iran’s nuclear development at a muchlower level.
More so had a U.S. realist diplomacy might even have forestalledthe election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005 and moved the two countries towarda more constructive relationship instead of having to approach Iran immediatelyas the enemy in the narrative.Sixth, realists of various stripes have beencrucial when it comes to America’s “special relationship” with Israel and thereare serious repercussions in the long run for both states.
In contrast to whatsmears that are directed at them by some of Israel’s more ardent defenders,this position did not root from an intrinsic hostility to Israel’s existence norto the idea that the United States and Israel should cooperate when their interestsalign. Rather, it came about from this belief that the unconditional U.S.support for Israel was undermining America’s image in the world, which wasturning the war on terror for worse, and allowing Tel Aviv to continue itsself-destructive effort to create a “greater Israel” at the expense of thePalestinians. A realist’s playbook would have argued that the best way toapproach the crisis is to have a two state solution between Palestine andIsrael in which both should be pressured by the U.
S. to enact changes that are beneficialto both and not to have the U.S. act as a lawyer for Israel at this point,could you seriously question the accuracy of this view, given the facts of repeatedfailures of alternative approaches?Finally, if Obama only heeded to his more realisticadvisors, he wouldn’t have found himself in the middle of the mess that isLibya. He created a vacuum of power in the region that lead to the death of oneof his ambassadors and created a failed state that is much like Iraq (didn’tlearn from W). True that Qaddafi was a despicable ruler, no qualms there, but humanitarianintervention from International Organizations exaggerated the risk of”genocide” and did not foresee the disorder and violence that would follow thecollapse of Qaddafi’s theocracy.In summation, had a playbook of realism been playedby the commander in chief of U.
S. foreign policy over the past 2 decades, it islikely that the world would have less pockets of turmoil than what we areexperiencing today and some important points would have been realized. Onemight question some of these claims, but on the whole realists have a muchbetter track record than those who keep insisting the United States has theright and responsibility to manage virtually every important global issue, wasleft in the hands of an intern who doesn’t even know how to run his companythat filed for bankruptcy and had to be bailed out multiple times is left todecide what would be best for the world just cause he predecessor had anIdealistic view.