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The Concept Of A Rogue State Politics Essay

Info: 5568 words (22 pages) Essay
Published: 1st Jan 2015 in Politics

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There were always problems between nations. The states compete with each other and sometimes are at war. As the result, the “enemy image” is well known in international law and politics and is investigated quite well beginning from the ancient times. The problem is that the globalization processes as well as the rise of the human rights and democracy movements shifted core reasons for the international conflict from the key principles of the Westphalia’s system (such as the territorial sovereignty and the right of the state to choose its religion and to determine its own domestic policy) [1] to the preventive actions against those who jeopardize international peace and security, violate accepted international norms of behavior and do not respect the basic human values.

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The second factor that favored the emergence of the new doctrine was the collapse of the Soviet Union. It happened because of internal contradictions, primarily economic, as well as because of the end of the communism’s exclusive power. As Jack Matlock, a U.S. Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. during the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations, states, the people who present it as a victory of one country over another are incorrect, … it was the victory of one idea over another. [2] Nevertheless, the idea that somehow the U.S. beat the Soviet Union has led to a spirit of triumphalism and a feeling of omnipotence as the “sole superpower,” that became apparent in politics.

The combination of these phenomenon – pursuing the new priorities in the foreign policy (like international peace, security, and human rights) and the “sole superpower” politics — gave rise to the process of fundamental transformation of the “enemy image” and emergence of the new concepts in politics, one of which was the “Rogue States” concept.

The term “Rogue States” became popular in the 1980s, mainly in the United States, to describe minor dictatorships (the list included Cuba, Iran, Libya, Nicaragua, and North Korea) that posed a threat to the Cold War order. After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, as Nader Mousavizadeh, an International Institute for Strategic Studies Consulting Senior Fellow argues, the term described states unwilling to accommodate themselves to the “end of history” and to conform to US values. [3] Michael Klare, professor of Peace and World Security Studies, agrees to this standpoint and notices that these states “bent on sabotaging the prevailing world order.” [4] Unfortunately, though the “Rogue States” term was used extensively in the post-Cold War period, more precise definition of this label never appeared. Lumping nations together as rogues only demonized them, that is why the Bill Clinton administration replaced the one-size-fits-all label with the more diplomatic-sounding “states of concern” in 2000. The label, however, was resurrected by the George W. Bush administration.

In our time, some researchers, like Robert Litwak, Vice President of The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, raise doubts as to whether “Rogue States” are indeed a distinct category. [5] Others, like Albert Carnesale, chancellor emeritus and professor of public policy, state that there is no need to define a rogue state: “it’s sort of like pornography — you know it when you see it.” [6] Our research will examine the origin of this concept, the reasons and the countries the US policymakers implied while using this label and what the focus of the American post-Cold War policy was. In future, defining the core characteristics of “rogues” at that period will help us to examine if the policy that the US pursued toward “Rogue states” was reasonable and justified.

LITERATURE REVIEW

There are two ways to understand the connection between the “rogue states” concept and the United States politics. The first group of theories states that the realization of the essence of the “problem states” impacts political choices.

For example, according to political psychology, when we categorize the political world, we organize the international environment in terms of types of states or images, such as the enemy or the ally. Image theory is a political approach that draws connections between policymakers’ image of the country and its resulting behavior. [7] For example, the rogue is inferior in capability and culture, but controlled and supported by the enemy and, as the result, is also very harmful in their intentions. [8] Besides, people have emotional responses to political issues, actors and events as well as to political principles and ideals that they value. These certain emotions are closely associated with particular images [9] . If we add to the scheme the attitude, or “the organized set of beliefs, persisting over time, which is useful in explaining the individual response to the tendencies,” [10] we will find out that the rogue is the “bad seed”, the irresponsible child that can not be dealt with the rationality and constructively. Responses to this type of state are driven by a sense of superiority. They are bad children who must be taught a lesson with a force. One does not negotiate with bad children, one punishes them. [11] 

One more idea is based on the using of historical analogies in the policy decision-making process. It builds on previous attempts to understand the role of “learning from history” in international politics. The term “historical analogy” signifies an inference that if two or more events separated in time and agree in one respect, then they may also agree in another. [12] Yuen Foong Khong mentions that the policymakers often use analogies to analyze or make sense of their foreign policy dilemmas and then propose the possible alternatives. [13] Thus, the implication of the “rogue states” doctrine is rooted in experience of dealing with enemy states.

The other group of theories argue the dependence of the “rogue state” concept on the political priorities. With the end of the Cold War, prominent international relations scholars began sketching out the dimensions of the new international structure and speculate about its future. Central to much of that discussions was the expectation that new great power rivals would inevitably emerge to balance the power of the United States.

Rogue states were a Third World phenomenon; the great power rivals of the future, the states that really mattered for American security, would come from Europe, [14] East Asia or even a resurgent Russia. [15] In such a setting, Kenneth Waltz argued, there are few immediate threats to American security and thus the United States enjoys great freedom to determine where and when it will become engaged internationally. [16] As Waltz argues, foreign policy is driven not by external security interests, but “internal political pressures and national ambitions.” This claim has a particular relevance for the study of the rhetoric and reality of rogue state behavior and the origin and impact of policies intended to manage and transform such states.

Those scholars who have examined the emergence of the rogue concept in American foreign policy link it to the Pentagon’s quest for a new post-Cold War mission that would justify retaining as much as possible of its Cold War-era force levels and budget. [17] Thus, in keeping with Waltz’s claims concerning the forces driving foreign policy making during this period of structural change, the American fixation on rogue states may be understandable not as a reaction to genuine security interests, but to political pressures emanating from an entrenched national defense and foreign policy establishment fighting to stay relevant in a drastically altered international environment. Similarly, policies like the Clinton administration’s dual containment strategy, John McCain’s “rogue state rollback” [18] proposal, or the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive military action against emergent threat states, may be seen as reflections of an American national ambition to extend its writ to regions where its influence or control have historically been far from complete. Under Waltz’s approach rogue state policy can be understood as a matter of choice: American decision makers focused on rogues because they could, not because they had to.

Alternatively it can be argued that US policy maker’s concern over rogue states, and the policies that emerged out of that concern, are both consistent with and stem from the requirements of hegemony, of “preserving the unipolar moment” as Michael Mastanduno puts it. [19] A strategy of preponderance requires the dominant power to respond to serious challenges to its power and authority if it is to maintain its position of primacy, regardless of where those challenges arise. [20] One of the consequences of the end of the Cold War is that Third World states have both greater freedom and increasingly greater capability to threaten the interests of the United States, including militarily. [21] In short, the focus on rogue states that came to dominate American foreign and defense policies in the 1990s was a matter not of choice but of necessity after all. Whether driven by choice or necessity the fact remains that American policy makers in their rhetoric justified the foreign and defense policies that emerged in the 1990s as required to meet the immediate and persistent threat represented by aggressive states.

One more idea of the origins of “rogue states” comes from Burry Rubin. He argues that this concept also has a specific link to America’s own self-image and its relationship with the world. Protected by both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, with no other strong powers in the Western Hemisphere, American political culture was largely shaped in the absence of the kinds of external threats which determined European diplomatic concepts. From the other hand, America was the first modern democratic state, produced by an anti-colonial revolution and it sought to project its ideology – anti-monarchical, pro-democratic, and pro-human rights. The United States needed a motive to become involved in international affairs, and issues surrounding democracy, human rights, maintaining stability, and opposing aggression were the most likely candidates. [22] 

THEORY AND HYPOTHESIS

Theory: Our point of view is based on the assumption that the “Rogue States” concept is related primarily to the US security interests. Primary objective of the US foreign policy at the post-Cold War period was nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and thus preserving the security in the world.

Hypothesis: It is likely that the concept of “Rogues States” became a significant part of the US post-Cold War policy as the issue that was related primarily to the security interests.

Units of analysis: Periods of time. The first one will be the “Cold War period,” the second — the “post-Cold War period.”

Concepts: 1. “Rogues States.” Although politicians use a large number of terms and definitions regarding enemy states, in our research we will examine only one — “Rogue States.” First of all, this concept appeared earlier than other labels for the problem states. Secondly, the terms like “Axis of evil,” “Sponsors of Terrorism,” “Beyond the Axis of Evil,” “Axis of Terror,” “Outposts of Tyranny,” “Pariah States” etc. usually have a single meaning (for example, as a state that sponsors terrorism or oppress their own people). The “Rogue States” concept is a broader one and includes the special examples of tyranny that are not only repressive but also aggressive. [23] 

2. “Significant part of the US foreign policy.” Politics implies not only to the processes within civil governments. All the society groups, including single people, civil institutions or academic communities that influence the authorities, participate in political processes. Thus, in our research we will examine all the documents that contain the word “rogue”, including the speeches or press conferences of government officials, scholars, researchers, public etc. The “significance” will be determined if the term is used more often and by the most important policymakers (like President or Secretary of State) than it was before (or) and as part of the American foreign policy.

3. “The end of the Cold War.” The researchers have a lot of ideas about the exact date of the end of the Cold War. It could be either the year when Mikhail Gorbachev started “perestroika” (1988), or when the Eastern Europe countries rejected socialism and the Warsaw Treaty broke down (1989), or when the USSR collapsed (1991). Taking into account the different opinions about the dates about the Cold War, we will compare the periods from 1981 till the Jan 1, 1988 and from Jan 1, 1992 till 1994.

4. “Security interests.” The component of the US post-Cold War policy, that was expressed in the nonproliferation of nuclear weapon and the preserving the “status quo.”

Variables. We will use four independent variables: “Frequency of Use,” “Speaker,” “Countries,” and “Policy.”

The first two variables will refer to the first part of our hypothesis — “concept of “Rogues States” became a significant part of the US post-Cold War policy.” The “Speaker” variable will include the next three elements: President, vice-President, and Secretary of State (1); other officials (2); and researchers (3).

The second part of the hypothesis — that the concept was related primarily to the security interests — will require the identification of the countries and policies associated with “Rogue States.” In addition to the list of countries that we will get during the research, we will use the element “No Name,” that means that the policy is used without mentioning any country. The possible kinds of policies are: Peace Threat, Wish to Acquire WMD, Weapon trafficking, Terrorist Support, Democracy and Human Rights, Refusal to Support US Policy, and No Reason.

METHOD

Historical source material: In order to minimize the potential adverse effect of selectivity and bias, we will use the archive of the “New York Times” newspaper.

1. Using this source will eliminate the problem of superior sources, because the archive includes both the evidence contemporary to the event and the issues that were written about the after the event. 2. This kind of investigation (historical research) is simple: it requires neither money nor translation from another language that can misrepresent the essence. Moreover, in comparison with other important policy newspapers (“USA today,” “The Wall Street Journal,” “The Washington Post”), “The NY Times” has an easily accessible archive. 3. The chosen method increases the reliability of the variables, producing identical results if replicated by other researchers. Note, however, that we cannot assure that the results of the same research will be absolutely identical if we use another newspaper, for example “The Washington Post.” Nevertheless, the content of the above mentioned papers is so similar as to not substantially bias the results.

The periods: We will compare the data that will be collected from two periods: 1981-the end of the 1987 (first period) and 1992-the end of 1994 (second period). It does not matter that these periods have different time length, because we will compare the obtained means.

The recording units: In the case of the first variable (“Frequency of Use”) we will calculate the number of articles in which the word “rogue” is used. In the case of the second variable (“Speaker”) we will examine the number of times when the “element” uses the word “rogue”. Why do we apply different methods of calculation? We consider that sometimes speaker repeats the phrase in order to strengthen the effect of the words. Thus, the fact of reiteration is important.

The elements for the third variable (“Countries”) will be found out during the research. After that we will record all the cases when the current country is linked to the specific “Policy.” For example, the phrase “rogue leaders who threaten to use their own nuclear, chemical or biological weapons” will be interpreted like +1 to “No Name” and +1 to “Peace Threat.”

Corrections: We will remove from the data list all the documents that use the term “rogue” in a way that is inconsistent with the research, like “rogue elephant,” “rogue operations” etc. Moreover, we will subtract from the second period and add to the first one all the data that refer to the Cold war period.

RESULTS AND ANALYSIS

To examine our hypothesis we will divide it into two parts and analyze them separately.

The first part of the hypothesis — “concept of “Rogues States” became a significant part of the US post-Cold War policy.”

Usage of the term “rogue” by American policy makers during the periods examined can be summarized as follows (Table 1). During the last years of the Cold War period, the concept was used on average about one time per year. And zero times this concert was used by the leaders of the country. Much more attention was compelled to this concept after the end of the Cold War. Only during the period from 1992 through the end of 1994, 48 articles (or 16 per year) used this label. Although the usage of the term “rogue” by elite and other officials decreased slightly, from 37.5 percent in the Cold War period to 30.9 percent in the post-Cold War period, in 10.9 percent of cases (6/6+11+36) or 2 times per year this concept was used by the leaders of the country. This fact can demonstrate greater attention to the “Rogue States” concept by the political elite.

Table 1. Public Statements by Speakers and Frequency Of Use

PERIODS

SPEAKER

FREQUENCY OF USE

President, vice-President, and Secretary of State

Other officials

Researchers

1981-1987

0

3 (37.5%)

5 (62.5%)

8

Per Year

0

0.43

0.71

1.14

1992-1994

6 (10.9%)

11 (20.0%)

38 (69.1%)

48

Per Year

2

3.67

12.67

16

But did rogue states become a significant political phenomenon? To understand it, we need not only to calculate the number of statements but analyze them. As the following statements illustrate, the struggle with the “rogues” became indeed a priority.

Madeleine K. Albright, Secretary of State, 1993.

In the speech to the United Nations, Madeleine K. Albright enumerated the “four overarching goals”– bond-strengthening, emerging-democracy aid, rogue-state isolation, chaos-containment — as a strategy that “looks to the enlargement of democracy and markets abroad.” [24] 

Anthony Lake, President Clinton’s national security adviser, 1994

Anthony Lake said, that “America is involved in an extension of the struggle for democracy and against authoritarianism … the struggle is Manichean: the forces of evil (rogue states, terrorists, tribalists) against the forces of good (democracies, tolerant societies).” [25] 

Furthermore, in describing “rogues,” policy makers in the post-Cold War period expend considerable energies in public statements solidifying the “us against them” nature of the relationship. During this period, policy makers used the phrases like “forces of evil against forces of good,” “overarching goal,” “Manichean struggle,” etc.

Taking into account that we did not find the evidence that the statements and emotions like these were made in the period of 1981-1987, the obtained results can corroborate the theory that the concept of “Rogues States” became a significant part of the US foreign policy after the end of the Cold War.

The second part of the hypothesis – “the concept was related primarily to the security interests.”

The obtained data can placed in tables in concordance with the examined periods. If we look at the Cold War data (Table 2), we notice that the list of countries that are called “rogues” is quite diverse. Apart from Iran, North Korea and Libya, it includes the USSR and even the USA (one of the policy makers called the USA “rogue” because of the aggressive policy toward Third World states). On the other hand, the policy that made the state “rogue” was extremely general and vague – like the Peace Threat (87.5 percent of cases). Only once the country was charged with the Wish to Acquire WMD. These results tell us that the “Rogue States” concept during the Cold War period was indistinct and had more political and emotional rather than intelligent meaning.

Table 2. Use of Rogue State Language by Country and Policy, 1981-1987

Country/

Policy

Peace Threat

Wish to Acquire WMD

Weapon trafficking

Terrorist Support

Democracy and Human Rights

Refusal to Support US Policy

No Reason

No

Iran

3

37.5%

N.Korea

1

12.5%

Libya

1

12.5%

USSR

2

25%

USA

1

12.5%

87.5%

12.5%

With the end of the Cold War the American policymakers started paying more attention to the substance of the “Rogue States” label. The results of the post-Cold War analysis require scrupulous attention (Table 3).

Table 3. Use of Rogue State Language by Country and Policy, 1992-1994

Country/

Policy

Peace Threat

Wish to Acquire WMD

Weapon trafficking

Terrorist Support

Democracy and Human Rights

Refusal to Support US Policy

No Reason

No

9

10

2

2

1

1

25/29.0%

Iran

2

3

1

4

1

2

13/15.1%

Iraq

6

8

2

1

3

20/23.2%

N.Korea

1

4

4

1

3

13/15.1%

Libya

2

3

1

6/7.0%

Sudan

1

1/1.2%

Pakistan

1

1/1.2%

Ukraine

2

2/2.3%

Serbia

1

1/1.2%

Gaiti

1

1/1.2%

Сhina

1

2

3/3.5%

21/

24.5%

31/

36.0%

7

8.1%

10/

11.6%

6/

7.0%

3/

3.5%

8/

9.3%

86/

100%

How can we interpret these results?

First, the obtained data demonstrate that in spite of the absence of a clear definition, the “Rogue States” term applied mostly to the specific group of countries. Three states clearly emerge as those most frequently designated as rogues in American political rhetoric. They are Iraq with 23.2 percent of all mentions, Iran with 15.1 percent, and North Korea with 15.1 percent (altogether – 53.4 percent of cases). In fact, during the Cold War period, Iran was frequently called a “rogue state” as well (3 cases or 37.5 percent), but the small number of cases in the Cold War period will not let us call the situation with Iran “a tendency.” Besides, during this period, the frequent labeling of Iran as a “rogue” can be explained by its war with Iraq which was supported by the US at that time, while Iran was supported by the USSR. The other states mentioned as rogue (Libya, China, Ukraine, Sudan, Pakistan, Serbia, Haiti) are for the most part not very surprising from a political standpoint (with the possible exception of China and Ukraine) though their frequency of mention is considerably less. The case of China can be explained not by its “rogue” nature but its permanent opposition to the sanctions in the UN Security Council that caused the negative reaction of the United States. Ukraine actually was not mentioned as a “rogue” state, but the wish to retain WMD on its territory, as American officials stated, “would make Ukraine a rogue nation.”

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Second, two of the six areas of behavior clearly dominate the attention of American policymakers when they consider the actions of rogue states: their alleged pursuit of WMD (36.0 percent of cases) and the perceived threat such states pose to their neighbors and the world at large (24.5 percent). The results of our research show very little concern of the American policy makers about the Democracy and Human Rights in the post-Cold War period (only 7.0 percent). As we see, their attention was focused primarily on the issue of Peace Threat. But comparing with the Cold War period, Peace Threat has the concrete meaning and is supported by the issues that are related to this concern, like nonproliferation of WMD, Terrorist Support and Weapon Trafficking (altogether 80.2 percent of cases). Besides, the “Rogue States” concern in 3.5 percent of cases was applied to the countries which refused to support US sanctions toward North Korea.

Third, in practically 38% of cases (33 of 86) when US politicians and researchers used this stock phrase, they did not associate it with the specific country or policy. How can we explain this fact? The alternative theory could tell us, for example, that policymakers used the “Rogue States” concept in order to create the stereotype and the tension in society and thus to explain the aggressive policy toward the selected countries.

On the other hand, the situation when the labeling was not accompanied by any explanation consists of two parts. The first number of cases includes labeling the country without any reason (N.Korea, Iran and Iraq with 9.3 percent). And the second one is labeling the policy without mentioning specific country (29.0 percent of cases). Actually, there is a difference between these two cases. When we label the country without any reason, it could be the example of the gutter politics. The example of this kind of politics can be the phrase “For many Americans, North Korea, along with Iraq and Iran, is the archetypal rogue state.” [26] Otherwise, when we mention the policy that we associate with “Rogue States,” we just try to define the concept. We need to mention here that among 25 cases of calling the policy “rogue”, 40 percent holds Wish to Acquire WMD and 36 percent – Pearce Threat.

CONCLUSIONS

Two key conclusions can be drawn from the research.

First, with the end of the Cold War American policymakers have adopted the “Rogue State” concept as a significant part of the US foreign politics.

Second, in spite of the fact that no clear definition of “Rogue States” appeared, this concept became more intelligent and clear. Three states clearly emerged as those most frequently designated as rogues in American political rhetoric. Moreover, the areas of behavior that could be considered as the “rogue behavior” were distinguished by American policy makers.

As the result, we can state that the “Rogue States” concept in the post-Cold War Period was related primarily to the security interests and is based on the assumption that even if the Cold War ended, the nuclear weapon remained. The primary objective of the US foreign policy at that period — nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and preserving security in the world – support this theory and our hypothesis.

Nevertheless, it is clear that while there is a relationship between state behavior and the application of the rogue label, it is not automatic nor absolute. Regarding the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, Paul D. Hoyt, the professor of political science, argues that the greatest challenge to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the 1990’s did not take place in countries such as Iraq, Iran or North Korea but instead occurred in South Asia where both India and Pakistan not only have acquired, but detonated, nuclear devices. [27] Yet, neither India nor Pakistan have been characterized as rogues even at that time.

Similarly, Egypt and Syria do not appear as rogue states in the rhetoric of American policymakers despite US government reports that they both are actively engaged in the pursuit of missile technology and Syria is reportedly actively seeking to further develop its chemical weapons capability. [28] Some states which reportedly act as suppliers of weapons of mass destruction, such as China and Russia, also have escaped the designation of rogue state, though others, such as North Korea, have not.

With regard to the policy of allegedly sponsoring international terrorism, again we see that engaging in this r

 

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