Security First Approach and Priorities of US Foreign Policy after 9/11

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Tahira Khan
If we look into the Social Contract Theories of Hobbes, Lock and Rousseau, all are having different assumptions about the human nature and the living conditions of people before the formation of state and civil society. But, surprisingly, their approach is based on one question: how to deal with the generated security dilemma? However, then different resolutions are provided towards the curtailment of this insecurity and fear of violence.
On the basis of this classical Philosophy, we have encountered different approaches of International Relations which uses the previous Organic concepts in order to deal states’ behaviour of this globalized world. Whether it is Liberalism or Realism or some other dimension of theoretical framework, all have been focused to manage anarchy in the world system. This anarchy could, then, be defined as implementation or absence of law or both. It also depends upon the situation being brought forth for solution and required answers.
Besides theoretical structure, ‘Practical Politics and the Actual Reality’ is another side of the same coin though, sometimes, very contradictory to each other. The foremost example could be witnessed in the dimensions of US Foreign Policy.
Before moving further, it must be noted that US Nation and intellectuals along with the Policy makers are suffering from MRDD (Multiple Realism Deficiency Disorder) which can explained as “Shortage of Realism”. According to them and because of MRDD, American society is believed to be the most perfect and ideal one before which any other notion of being civilized is having, almost, zero significance if they don’t meet the set standards of Respected Hegemon. That’s why we usually hear such unrealistic but notorious slogans from US establishment:
“If you are not with us, you are against us”.
The rallying cry of US foreign Policy is “Democracy” and they think this is sole way to manage this lawless world. The corner stone has been provided by Democratic Peace Theory which says that democracies don’t fight with each other. So, if the world wants to manage anarchy it has to bring forth the scheme of democratization in respective countries.
Bizarrely, both conservatives and liberals appreciated US created scheme of LDSE (Long Distance Social Engineering) which has been failed in most of the cases, drastically. One can’t find wisdom in the continuation of such impractical ideologies in pursuit of illusionary goals because it is not the case of how to bring one’s desired international order but the priorities must be set according to the international order which can be achieved at the moment and with the available resources.
Amitai Etzioni, Professor of Sociology and international Relations at the George Washington University, first pointed this blunder, in the context of US foreign Policy, in his book titled as “Security First”. His rationale is based on primacy of life and defines security in the following words:
“Security here refers to conditions- both domestic and international- under which most people, most of the time, are able to go about their lives, venture onto the street, work, study and participate in public life (politics included) without acute fear of being killed or injured.”
According to him, protecting human life must be the very first option of any state rather than political rights which has been envisaged by democratization. He suggested to extend this approach to the rogue states, particularly.
He, also, lamented the way US dealt the case of Libya which was judge on the extent of level of democracy not security. When Muammar Qaddafi voluntary announced the dismantling of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and newly crafted Nuclear Programme, he must be appreciated worldwide.
For him, Libya must be awarded not punished, and by using this exemplary and positive response, we would be at a much better position in having bargain with both the North Korea and Iran in accordance with stopping their nuclear progress- at least, to some extent.
The story doesn’t end here as same gaffe can be accustomed towards the case of Russia. It is said that 95% of weapons of the world, except that of US, is present in Russia. Despite securing these weapons which can brought fatal results, US establishment and the International media has been focused on the provision of fundamental Human Rights embedded in democracy. It can be observed when US criticized Russian announcement of abandoning the use of LGU (Low Grade Uranium) by civil lot. It’s high time to set priorities at the right direction unless there happens more damage to the already porous prestige of US- The Global Hegemon.
Amitai Etzioni also throws light on the case of both Afghanistan and Iraq and the impacts of Social Engineering in the respective social fabrics. According to his point of view, US has not learned any lesson from Kosovo where democracy failed bitterly.
Charles Kupchan, Council of International Relations, uttered his response as follows:
“In spirit as well as fact, multiethnic society is nowhere to be found. Pretending otherwise and denying or delaying independence risks a return to disorder and bloodshed.”
According to his point of view, parliamentary institutions, constitution and elections were not the need of hour. Basic Security was needed and because of this mistake Afghanistan is now witnessing a wide structural vacuum which is, estimated, to be filled by Taliban momentum and the substantiate presence of ISIS. This all occurred in the name of nation building which was assumed to be the product of democracy, reconstruction and economic development without taking account of the consent of natives, their history and the basic social/cultural fabric.
Fukuyama says in this respect:
“The state that emerges at the end of history is liberal in so far as it recognized and protects, through a system of laws, man’s universal right to freedom, and democratic in so far as it exists only with the consent of the governed.”
The best possible option for any foreign policy, in this era of Globalization, is to utilize Traige approach towards the emerging issues. Democratization is not the compelling resolution for both rogue and newly liberated states as it always require certain cultural resources and also a moral background. Security First is a call to make the protection of humanity, specifically from Nuclear Terrorism, as a new grounding for policy decisions rather than to promote some ideology or shelter some prestige.
Writer is a team member of Balochistan Voices and a Student of BS (Hons) Political Science in University of the Punjab, Lahore. She hails from Loralai District. Click here to read previous articles written by the author.
DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
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