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The sweeping changes of the early 1960s gave rise to a new cycle of struggle across the North Atlantic. It was in this context that the United States escalated its involvement in Vietnam. At the forefront of the antiwar struggle were radicals who advanced a systemic critique, arguing that ending the war meant transforming the system that had created it in the first place. Believing that the system exceeded the borders of the United States, these American radicals internationalized the struggle by reaching out to antiwar activists across the globe. Radicals in Western Europe proved especially responsive to the call, with the French in particular insisting on the strategic value of internationalist coordination in the North Atlantic. French activists took a lead in not only uniting activists across borders but creating a new sense of radical internationalism centered around Vietnam. For their part, Vietnamese revolutionaries played a central role in facilitating this new internationalism. By 1967, tens of thousands of activists across North America and Western Europe had come together in a new radical international.
What role do international organizations play in international law? Similar to states, they have international legal personality, responsibilities, and immunities. This chapter focuses on the preeminent global intergovernmental organization, the United Nations, and details the functions and limits of its principal organs. Special attention is given to the General Assembly, Security Council, and International Court of Justice. The European Union is the leading example of a regional, supranational organization, and its authority and institutions are discussed in detail as well. The chapter concludes with brief considerations of other major international organizations, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organization of American States, the African Union, and the World Health Organization.
Trading Power traces the successes and failures of a generation of German political leaders as the Bonn Republic emerged as a substantial force in European, Atlantic, and world affairs. Over the course of the 1960s and 1970s, West Germans relinquished many trappings of hard power, most notably nuclear weapons, and learned to leverage their economic power instead. Obsessed with stability and growth, Bonn governments battled inflation in ways that enhanced the international position of the Deutsche Mark while upending the international monetary system. Germany's remarkable export achievements exerted a strong hold on the Soviet bloc, forming the basis for a new Ostpolitik under Willy Brandt. Through much trial and error, the Federal Republic learned how to find a balance among key Western allies, and in the mid-1970s Helmut Schmidt ensured Germany's centrality to institutions such as the European Council and the G-7 – the newly emergent leadership structures of the West.
This chapter surveys the rapid growth of globe-spanning organizations and institutions over the past 120 years – from the League of Nations to the UN to today’s International Criminal Court and European Union. Spurred by the world wars, economic crises, and environmental disasters of the twentieth century, humanity has already come much farther than most people realize in building innovative instruments of global concertation and crisis management. Therefore, the pathways of constructive change that lie ahead of us can best be understood as continuations and extensions of the remarkable gains already achieved. Four institutions – OECD, UN, NATO, and EU – exemplify distinct levels of rising integration across national boundaries. Institutions such as International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) have offered powerful new pathways for citizens’ concerted action beyond borders. The recently-adopted UN doctrine of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) reflects a newfound legitimacy of cross-border ethical obligations and proactive interventions to halt large-scale humanitarian disasters.
Chapter 9 examines the collapse of communism in Albania and the rise of political pluralism. Seemingly overnight Albanians are released from one of the most restrictive political systems in Europe and in the process experience yet another profound shift in every aspect of life. This transition is complicated by a lack of experience with democracy and a free-market economy. The political elite seem to prioritize power over progress and Albania once again slowly slips into authoritarianism. Oligarchs and crime lords increase their influence on many aspects of the economy, the media, the government, and the administration. Relations with neighbors and the world as a whole constitutes a bright spot in postwar development as Albania joins NATO and becomes a candidate member of the European Union. The chapter concludes with a examination of Albania’s current status as well as the remaining challenges it faces including the extensive emigration of the best and the brightest as well as the lingering legacy of the brutal communist period.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Policy for the Protection of Civilians was adopted in 2016. In 2021, NATO further adopted the ‘Protection of Civilians Allied Command Operations Handbook’, an additional document aimed at advancing the PoC agenda within the Organization. NATO’s aerial intervention in Libya was indirectly authorised by the UN Security Council under Resolution 1973 with the use of force specifically authorised to protect civilians. It remains the most controversial operation NATO has yet mounted – even NATO Member Germany had abstained from voting in favour of the resolution – and is considered to have politicised the notion of the protection of civilians.
Chapter 6 focuses on Libya and Yemen, both cases in which the former ruling dictator was removed – and eventually in both cases killed – but the result was the fragmentation and near-collapse of the state accompanied by direct and competitive foreign military intervention. Although ‘tribalism’ is often presented as a common factor in producing this outcome in both states, the chapter presents a materialist account of the tribe: just as in the case of the sect, tribal identification and forms of mobilisation acquiring their importance from previous forms of political economy. In both Libya and Yemen, the inheritance of previous revolutions from above – Gaddafi’s in Libya, and the anti-monarchical and anti-colonial revolutions of the 1960s in North and South Yemen, respectively – also shaped the revolutionary-counter-revolutionary conflicts after 2011. Although the NATO campaign in Libya in 2011 has been taken as a paradigmatic case of humanitarian intervention, assimilating the uprising to mid-2000s US policies of ‘regime change’, this chapter demonstrates that in both Libya and Yemen counter-revolutionary external intervention has been much more substantial and consequential.
The conclusion offers new perspectives on how after the crises of the 1930s and the even more horrific Second World War a more durable Atlantic order for the “long” 20th century could be created – an order that was founded as a western system led by the new American superpower and rested on the Marshall Plan, the European Recovery Program and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Reappraising the global significance of these developments, it emphasises that what the principal American and west European decision-makers constructed was not just propelled by the escalating cold war with the Soviet Union but rather, on a deeper level, the outgrowth of longer-term learning processes: attempts to draw deeper lessons not only from the rise of National Socialism, authoritarianism and Stalinism and the Second World War but also from the earlier crises and catastrophes of the “long” 20th century, particularly the First World War and the deficient or unfinished efforts to create a modern international system in its aftermath. Finally, it reflects on the challenges of preserving a functioning and legitimate Atlantic and global order in the early 21st century.
Critiques of NATO’s involvement in the Libyan crisis have argued that a sober understanding of the intervention in Libya will only come to light through future studies on those that manipulated information about the conflict. However, no empirical evidence exists on the actual textual structures and strategies brought to bear by journalists in the discursive reproduction of the framework that allegedly guided the involvement of Western powers in the uprising in Libya that eventually led to a civil war in 2011. This chapter examines textual structures and discourse strategies used by CNN between February 14, 2011 and October 31, 2011 – the period General Muammar Gadhafi was killed. The authors propose new questions that may inspire arguments on whether semantic, narrative, and pragmatic acts had impacted on attitudes that validated and inspired the war in Libya.
This chapter chronicles military incursions on behalf of humanity into Somalia, Haiti, and the Balkans twice to feed the starving, restore democracy, and rescue populations from annihilation. These altruistic missions, known as “military operations other than war,” or MOOTW (pronounced as “moot-wah”) were viewed skeptically by the traditionally minded Pentagon brass. They regarded MOOTW as a diversion from real soldiering. But troops died in them. George H. W. Bush committed US forces, under United Nations auspices, to Somalia so as to distribute food to the starving Somalis in their volatile and violent land. This humanitarian mission led to a bloody skirmish in Mogadishu during William J. Clinton’s presidency that politically humiliated America. Also in 1993, a military junta in Haiti ousted the democratically elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide. When desperate Haitians landed on American beaches, Clinton tried sanctions to restore Aristide. Then he militarily invaded the Caribbean nation to put defrocked Catholic priest back in power. Sobered by the “Mog” firefight, Clinton refused to help halt the bloodbath in Rwanda. He could not avoid the raging war in the Balkans to rescue Bosnian Muslims from Serbia in the worst conflict since World War II. In 1995, Washington corralled Britain, France, and other NATO members into bombing the Serbs and then occupying Bosnia to preserve the peace. Next, the tiny Muslim-dominated province of Kosovo erupted against its Serb overlords. A three-month sustained bombing campaign compelled Serbia to surrender.
Thirty-years on, the high expectations that accompanied the end of the Cold War and the collapse of Soviet communism have been largely confounded by the emergence of the autocratic Putin regime and the rekindling of Great Power rivalry between Russia and the United States. In this chapter, we argue that these outcomes were not inevitable, but rather were significantly the result of failures in Western, and particularly American, statecraft during the 1990s. First, the democratic transition was undermined by the type of economic transition, which Western policy networks promoted in post-Soviet Russia. Had Western influencers promoted a New Deal or social democratic model of economic transition, the distributional effects which undermined the legitimacy of the Yeltsin regime would have been far less severe. Second, the American failure to devise and pursue a strategy to effectively integrate Russia into a post-NATO European security architecture made it almost certain that “left out” Russia would react negatively to NATO expansion to the East. Had the United States followed up on Gorbachev’s vision of security architecture for a “Common European Home,” the ongoing clash between Russia and the West might well have been averted.
The Cold War’s denouement not only saw profound political changes throughout Eurasia, but an unprecedented power shift resulting from the Soviet Union’s decline that ultimately ushered in the United States’ “unipolar era.” Nevertheless, the United States’ response to the late Cold War power shift remains underexplored. This chapter fills the gap by examining the processes by which the United States recognized the power shift underway and adapted its foreign policy. I make three arguments. First, American policymakers in the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations acknowledged that Soviet decline rebounded to the United States’ geopolitical advantage. Second, American policymakers responded by exploiting Soviet problems, driven by recognition that Soviet decline allowed for American gains, yet worried that the window for gains would soon close. Third, this effort altered European security, as the United States undercut the Soviet Union as a challenger while fostering conditions that could allow it to dominate European security irrespective of whether Soviet problems continued. Put simply, the United States used the Soviet decline to reify American advantages in Europe, garnering oversight over a region that had long been the cockpit of geopolitical contestation. The result meant that unipolarity also translated into American near-hegemony in Europe.
NATO’s 1999 air campaign over Kosovo represents a rare example of a purely coercive air power campaign. Most coercive air campaigns are combined with a ground element, making it difficult to empirically distinguish the specific role played by air power. In Operation Allied Force, though, the prospect of a ground campaign was discussed and no meaningful ground threat materialized. There is also little evidence that Slobodan Milosevic perceived NATO was seeking to generate a threat of invasion. Accordingly, this is an unusual case of a significant military campaign that led to a successful outcome relying on air power alone. NATO did not plan for the campaign to last as long as it did, nor were plans in place that would have guaranteed the Western alliance’s desired outcome. Nevertheless, the campaign achieved NATO’s primary goals. It thus represents an example of a purely coercive military strategy leading to a successful result.
In 2011, the Arab Spring led to numerous uprisings against authoritarian leaders across the Middle East. While the reactions of governments varied, Libya sparked the most interest given its notoriety as a pariah state and Colonel Qaddafi’s provocations against the regime’s domestic enemies. This chapter examines how the anti-Qaddafi coalition formed under the guise of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and how the imposition of a no-fly zone to protect civilians slowly transitioned into a mission to destroy pro-Qaddafi forces while defending rebel positions. Momentum shifted as anti-regime forces developed innovative ways of communicating with NATO air forces, which provided more precise targeting. However, the downfall of Qaddafi – aided by air power – was a short-lived victory as the country fragmented along numerous political and tribal lines, with a full-blown civil war reigniting in 2014. To this day, numerous countries are backing different rebels that claim to represent the Libyan government.
Chapter 4 delves into the practice of the international judiciary and, specifically, international war crimes tribunals and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). By analysing the approaches of post–World War II tribunals, the committee established to review the 1999 NATO bombing campaign in the Former Yugoslavia, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the International Criminal Court, the first part of the chapter reflects on the conceptual, normative, and practical limitations of international criminal law. The second part provides a critical reading of two important ICJ cases, the Nuclear Weapons Advisory Opinion and the Armed Activities case (Congo v. Uganda), dealing respectively with the ecological devastation of nuclear weapons and pillage of natural resources in the Congo. The chapter ultimately contends that international justice, both in its criminal and inter-state dimensions, is concerned about individual/state agency, quantifiable harm, and its proximate causes. Thinking in these narrow terms about the ecological impacts of militarism and resource extraction associated with conflict fails to grasp the structural dimensions of the problem, the plurality of actors involved, and the obligations owed to other human and non-human beings.
The field of grand strategy is exceptionally American-centric theoretically, methodologically and empirically. Indeed, many scholars treat the United States as a unique case, and thus incomparable. This Element addresses the shortcomings of this approach by developing a novel framework for the purpose of systematic comparison, both within and among different countries. Using the United States as a benchmark, three dimensions are considered in which grand strategy can be compared: first, attributes of the major types commonly discussed in the literature; second, similarities and differences in the implementation of grand strategies over time, using US strategic relations with contemporary Russia as an example; and finally, across space, properties of the grand strategies that are interactively employed by other major powers in relation to the United States in the Indo-Pacific. The Element can be used by scholars and students alike to expand analysis beyond the confines that currently dominate the field.
The adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) at the United Nations General Assembly and its movement toward ratification raises both hopes amongst some and fears amongst others regarding the development of customary practice under international law. Although the TPNW purports to strive for universality, significant questions remain regarding the Treaty’s aims and achieving legal unity within the international legal order. The purpose of this chapter is to explore these and other issues regarding the TPNW’s prospects of achieving universality under customary international law and opinio juris.
The text of the TPNW was agreed during a relatively short negotiation period. It includes comprehensive prohibitions regarding participation in any nuclear weapon activities, including undertakings not to develop, test, produce, acquire, possess, stockpile, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons. The Treaty prohibits the deployment of nuclear weapons on national territory and requires states parties to prevent and suppress any prohibited activity by persons within or on their territory or under their jurisdiction or control.
Advocates of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) invariably view nuclear weapons as a threat to international peace and security. The ideals presented by the humanitarian disarmament movement challenge conventional nuclear deterrence policies and defense doctrines currently held by the nuclear-weapon states and their allies. An aim of the TPNW is to challenge basic deterrence assumptions with the intention of advancing normative change by delegitimizing nuclear weapons and changing how they are perceived throughout the world. The position of some states that nuclear weapons provide a military deterrence for overall global security and protection against war is under increasing scrutiny and now there is an actual treaty – the TPNW – opposing this position.
Nothing about developing and implementing a treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons is easy. While supporters of the TPNW undoubtedly claim a victory in its coming into being, its opponents note its shortcomings warning of the adverse and dire consequences. The degree to which such concerns will materialize remains to be seen. What is certain, however, is that the adoption of the TPNW has marked the beginning of a new schism in the international community. The word schism is appropriate in this context, loosely defined as “a split or division between strongly opposed sections or parties, caused by differences in opinion or belief.”