(C) Kapok Tree Diplomacy. Feb 2011. All rights reserved. Jeff Dwiggins.
The conduct of international relations post 9-11 has certainly been dramatically shaped by the US. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, in the former as a pre-emptive attack to remove WMD and the Ba’athist regime of Saddam Hussein, and in the latter to hunt down al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists and eliminate the training bases that harbored these non-state actors. In both cases, massive reconstruction projects have been undertaken to prevent Iraq and Afghanistan from becoming failed states and help them adopt political and economic reforms of a Western orientation.
But these U.S. interventions are not the only factor explaining the conduct of IR after 9-11. Paul Diehl notes that the demand for peace operations and subsequent escalation in third party interventions rose dramatically following the Cold War due to “superpower retrenchment in providing aid to other states,” an explosion of failed states and civil wars that spawned out of the power vacuum, an increased advocacy for democracy and free markets, greater international concern for human rights, and globalization (52-55). Read more
(C) Kapok Tree Diplomacy. 2010. All rights reserved. Jeff Dwiggins. FREE CONTENT
There’s a number of economic tools that may be effective in preventing conflict. Most seem to fall under good governance. The first one that comes to my mind is export diversity. If you depend on one item for 44% of your exports and that one item is a commodity as it is with Sierra Leone’s diamonds, your economy is extremely vulnerable to global price fluctuations in that commodity. A downward dip in prices can have a devastating effect when all your eggs are in one basket. If people have to be laid off or you have to cut their wages, then social dissent can escalate as a result.
The second item that comes to mind is avoiding growth without development. If a nation choose to ignore its infrastructure and social services at the expense of corruption and out-of-control government spending, or spending on things that do not have a long-term impact like million dollar conferences, then that nation will suffer the consequences in decreased foreign direct investment and increased social dissent.
The third economic tool I can think of is well-developed economic and market institutions that are capable of opening up the economy to increased trade. Peter Sutherland adds that increased trade may “challenge domestic corruption, encourage competition, release entrepreneurialism, ensure affordable services, “provide cover for reformers”, increase foreign investment (examples: Saudi Arabia, Cambodia, China), and increase personal civil rights and freedoms by virtue of access to greater levels of information via the internet, cell phones, etc.” (2008).
The posts, views and opinions expressed on this site are completely my own and do not represent the views or opinions of the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of the Navy (DON) or any of the Armed Forces. Read more
Jeff Dwiggins: Kapok Tree Diplomacy. All rights reserved. March 2010.
Dominant Issues in Free Trade and the International Economic System – FREE CONTENT
This study will analyze some of the most important themes of global trade beginning with the effects of globalization and interdependence on developed and developing countries and the benefits of trade liberalization. Institutional leadership and governance are discussed, and the argument is made for free trade over protectionism with the caveat that protectionism may have a place in the strategies of developing countries. The paper reviews the advantages of bilateral over multilateral agreements, the impact of technology on the diversification of trade, and how the elimination of barriers to trade and agreement on certain agricultural issues and subsidies would open up free trade to more players. The paper concludes by offering differing opinions on how best to help developing nations.
The views and opinions expressed in this paper are completely my own and do not represent the views or opinions of the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of the Navy (DON) or any of the Armed Forces.
Section One – Globalization and Interdependence
The National Intelligence Council (NIC) describes globalization as a “growing interconnectedness reflected in the expanded flows of information, technology, capital, goods, services and people throughout the world” (“2020 Project”). One way this growing interconnectedness has manifests itself is in the sheer size of the world economy and the number of new economic powerhouses rising to prominent places on the global stage. The NIC states, “The world economy is projected to be about 80 percent larger in 2020 than it was in 2000, and average per capita income to be about 50 percent higher” (“2020 Project”). Read more