International Security Against Terrorists Politics
I would like to begin this research paper with the words of Walter Laqueur - research head at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, formerly a professor at Brandeis University and Georgetown University, lectured at Harvard, the University of Chicago, Tel Aviv University and Johns Hopkins University. He said: "History shows that terrorism can operate only in a free or relatively free society. There was no terrorism in Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia, it was not and is not even in less harsh dictatorships. But this means that under certain circumstances if the terrorists freely express themselves, and it turns into something more than a nuisance, then do away with them, you need to pay a high price in terms of restrictions on freedom and human rights", as stated in Same as it ever was: Nuclear proliferation and lessons from the Cold War.
When in 1989, Berlin Wall was broken, the Cold War ended, the countries of Eastern Europe regained their independence and when, finally, the Soviet Union collapsed, people around the world embraced the feeling that at last the peace of the world descended on Earth. As a fact, the fear of a war that could use nuclear weapons had disappeared. And as well, a leading political scientist wrote a book "The End of History." That fact did not mean that history has stopped, but it signified major conflicts between nations that have no longer existed, and that considering the main issues everybody has his opinion, as described in Same as it ever was: Nuclear proliferation and lessons from the Cold War.
As a fact, it was a beautiful moment, although the euphoria did not last long. As the skeptics, among who was the author, feared that in the world remain a lot of conflicts, which were either obscured or suppressed by the Cold War. But in other words, until the confrontation between the two camps continued, consequently, all kinds of other conflicts seemed minor and were not shown as clear and legible. Cold War was a strange and perverse way to conserve some order in the world, and it was a stabilizing factor.
As well, it was true that the danger of a new, terrible world war had probably been exaggerated. Before this there was a balance of fear (USA and Soviet Union were afraid to use their strength); there was a mutual deterrence - because the arsenal of destructive weapons was enormous. And since both parties of the conflict acted rationally - they knew what might be the consequences of such a war - the world was saved, as stated in Same as it ever was: Nuclear proliferation and lessons from the Cold War.
Could such mutual deterrence remain in force, once the Cold War ended? Or a new era would have led to the great disorder? The Cold War did not lead to stopping mass destruction weapons. But it certainly slowed it down. But today the situation has changed. Today, there is not only a danger that a few countries possess these weapons, as stated in Nuclear Proliferation: Crisis, Destiny, or an Excuse for Using Force?
In this occasion the real threat is the acquisition of weapons by a few, which led to a general desire to follow them, as their neighbors will feel vulnerable and threatened. "Also, can it already be obvious that those in possession of weapons of mass destruction will act as rationally as did these two sides in the Cold War? Or are they, led by religious, nationalistic or ideological fanaticism, forget the suicidal risk, which they would have if they used the weapons? Or they may persuade themselves that they could use these weapons with impunity against their enemies and destroy their marks in a proxy war?", as stated in Nuclear Proliferation: Crisis, Destiny, or an Excuse for Using Force?
As a fact, these are the troubling questions, which have disturbed the society in recent years, and they have always been acute. There is no arbiter, no ultimate authority to resolve conflicts. This function would be to implement the United Nations. But this organization just cannot do this, like its predecessor - the League of Nations. As a fact, the United Nations consists of almost 200 member states, large and small, democratic and authoritarian, along with all the kinds of shades in between these two classes. By some human rights are respected, by others - not. There are conflict interests; they have lack of military capacity to intervene in an emergency. And sometimes, they can help in negotiations with a view to reaching an agreement, but they are powerless if diplomacy fails as described in Abolishing all nuclear weapons. Necessary, feasible and increasingly urgent.
When finally the Cold War ended, the United States became a sole superpower, and it imposes on them great responsibilities in maintaining world peace. No other country has ever been in this position; there is no other country that could deal with the potential danger to the world peace as a whole. In any case the superpower is not omnipotent; and, as a result, there are limits to its ability to fulfill its international obligations. It cannot and must not act in isolation, but should act as a leader in international affairs as a means of persuasion, so if necessary, also using pressure, as described in Same as it ever was: Nuclear proliferation and lessons from the Cold War.
However, superpowers are never popular. This has occurred since Roman times and all other empires before and after. Weaker countries are not afraid only of their neighbors, as they fear and suspect them. And it's a real dilemma, which cannot be avoided. No matter how reasonably and decently they would behave, there would always be the fear that suddenly the mood and behavior may change. There is a trend: smaller countries are trying to unite against the leader. No matter how hard they are trying the superpower; there is no other way to gain popularity as a waiver of its power. As soon as the superpowers are no longer powerful, their chances of becoming more popular are greatly enhanced. But only few superpowers in history have chosen this path.
With the end of the Cold War appeared new centers of power, especially China and India. They have achieved impressive economic progress, which was considered almost unthinkable even a decade ago. But by this moment these countries have shown no interest to play a role in global politics to commensurate with their economic strength. As a fact, they are great regional powers, and at the determined time will play an even greater role. But the prospect for many years to come, and today they have not shown any desire to take responsibility in maintaining world order, as stated in Nuclear Threat: High or Highly Exaggerated?
As the Cold War was finished, it seemed that Europe can play a role of superpower and it played not always together with the United States. Some political analysts even argued that the 21st century would be considered "the century of Europe", as the European model was so attractive that it could probably copied by the other countries. That was the idea of Europe as a civic and moral superpower.
But now these optimistic voices remain very small and lately they have heard less and less. That is true - Europe had much that it could offer to the rest of the world, especially with regard to the movement of European continent to unity, since 1948 has been extremely successful. But the movement has exhausted itself, as soon as the Common Market and even the economy functioned worse than they hoped. Economy had grown not enough to finance the welfare of the state. European Union has joined a lot of new members, but there was no common European foreign policy, and also was not mentioned the military potential, as stated in Nuclear Proliferation: Crisis, Destiny, or an Excuse for Using Force?
As a fact, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has ensured security in Europe and it continues to do it now. Some experts argued that NATO has lost its meaning, at least to some degree, simply because the main threat, which led to the creation of this alliance, has disappeared. However, it is also true that if the old threats have disappeared, they would be replaced by new ones.
The arguments of the doubters of NATO would be stronger if they made an effort to create its own defense organization, but they could not do it. All this was combined with the demographic weakness of Europe - the shrinking and aging population of the continent - were the signs of weakness. An independent diplomatic initiative, such as the Middle East, was unsuccessful, and after the war in the Balkans, it proved unable to cope with it without outside help. It is obvious that the era of moral superpower, that would be desirable as an ideal, had not arrived yet, as described in Nuclear Threat: High or Highly Exaggerated?
Few will argue that it is time to abolish the police and other security forces inside the country. Despite this, many acted as if no forces to maintain order at the international level are needed, and this was at a time, when the threat from weapons of mass destruction, is more relevant than ever, as the damage and casualties in its application would be incomparably larger scale than in the past. I am talking about terrorism.
Watching the events on the international scene, I cannot find the reasons for optimism. Russia has not accepted its new status in the world, many contend, and quite naturally, about the loss of empire. As a fact, there is a strong tendency to explain all the external factors, and some dream to restore the former power and glory.
On the other hand, there is an African continent with its millions of victims in the terrible civil wars, which the international community was unable to prevent. Finally, the most difficult issue - is the Middle East, where there are tensions and terrorism - national and international. As it is known, terrorism is one of the oldest phenomenons in the history of a mankind. As a fact, it is very old. It comes in many forms and types, national separatism. But modern terrorism, fueled by religious and nationalist fanaticism, which takes place in failed states, and sometimes instigated, funded and used by governments, and was considered the most dangerous ever, as stated in Nuclear Proliferation: Crisis, Destiny, or an Excuse for Using Force?
There were a lot of misconceptions about the origins of terrorism. And also, it has been often argued that poverty and oppression, as a fact, the main causes. When poverty and oppression will be removed, terrorism will also disappear. Although, as a rule, terrorism rarely appears in the poorest countries, and as well, ethnic conflicts are very rarely resolved. History shows that the terrorism can operate only in a free or relatively free society. As an example, there was no any signs of terrorism in Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia, it was not and is not even in less harsh dictatorships. And consequently, this means that under certain circumstances, if terrorism has to give the ability to operate freely, and it turns into something more than just a nuisance to put an end to it, there is a need to pay a high price in terms of restrictions on freedom and human rights. Naturally, free societies are reluctant to pay this price. That is why this is considered one of the modern perplexities, as nobody has yet found a painless way to solve it.
So what efforts should make the international community to stop terrorists in their desire to acquire the nuclear weapons? First of all - to protect high-risk materials that must be expanded. This is an important area of work for the United States, the Group of Eight and other partners. Cooperation with Russia, taking into consideration its enormous reserves of weapons-grade materials, is the number one priority. Our strategy must ensure the security of weapons materials to comprise five main elements:
stop further production of fissile material suitable for weapons;
consolidation of high-risk materials and returning fresh and spent highly enriched uranium fuel from research reactors;
physical protection of vulnerable nuclear and radioactive materials through accelerated modernization of security systems and the deployment of detection systems at strategic transit points across the globe;
destruction of surplus weapons plutonium, the continued use of surplus highly enriched uranium for commercial purposes by its dilution and, if possible, to stop the usage of highly enriched uranium for civilian nuclear facilities;
guaranteeing that, within the approved national programs will be provided the appropriate control over nuclear materials and facilities, as described in The nuclear domino myth.
The United States and Russia are major nuclear states and have special responsibility to prevent the spread of nuclear and radioactive materials into the hands of terrorists. And, it is believed, that cooperation with Russia on nuclear security will remain a major priority for the United States. Cooperation programs have wide support, well-funded and often discussed by the U.S. and Russia, which was proved by the Joint US-Russian statement on cooperation in nuclear security.
The international community must also decide how it can support countries that have a strong commitment to the renunciation of nuclear weapons. Recently, the United States expanded the activities of the reorientation of the former Soviet nuclear scientists to peaceful commercial activity, including in this program Libyan and Iraqi scientists. These actions are necessary to prevent the leakage of know-how in the field of weapons of mass destruction, but in addition, they assist States, to renounce possession of nuclear weapons, to create their economic, scientific and technological base, as described in Is nuclear power really really dangerous?
Taking into consideration all mentioned above, I would like to make a conclusion. In my opinion, danger of nuclear weapon is not exaggerated. More and more countries dream about this leverage - to have an opportunity to make your neighbors recon with your policy. I don't think that the danger of nuclear weapon usage is real. This is the weapon of deterrence - the consequences of its usage are unpredictable (I mean in world policy and its world structure), but everybody knows the old saying: "if you want peace - prepare for war".
In this situation there is one destabilizing factor - terrorism. Terrorists have always been unable and unwilling to think about their actions. The risk that they can use nuclear weapon exists, although it is not high. However, this risk exists, and we must admit it. In my opinion, the ability to gain nuclear weapon by terrorists - is the most destabilizing factor and we must take measures to prevent it, to save the world.
Article name: International Security Against Terrorists Politics essay, research paper, dissertation