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Post-Cold War Security

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Bernie Kaussler

on 12 September 2018

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Transcript of Post-Cold War Security

Fault Lines of Post-Cold War Security
Soviet and U.S. Goals in the Cold War
Soviets accused of being expansionist/revolutionary state
Soviet goals: possession goals such as territory (Yalta: Germany and Poland)
U.S. goals: milieu goals (establ. general settings of IR)
Soviets not bellicose but cautiously opportunistic
PROBLEM: in bipolar world difficult to distinguish defensive from offensive
(e.g. British Empire and Africa) appetite grows with the eating
Ambiguities of containment:
1. Ends: whether to contain Soviet power or communism
2. Means: whether to spend resources to prevent Soviet power in ANY areas, or only in key areas relevant to Balance of Power (BoP)
George Kennan:
akin to classical diplomacy (fewer military means and more selective use of them)
Case of Tito's Yugoslavia (military aid to totalitarian communist leader) contrary to Truman Doctrine
Post-Korea: National Security Council Report 68 (NSC-68) predictions of Soviet expansionism seemed justified
Entry into Vietnam
Soviet aim was to draw the West into debilitating contests in places of Soviet choosing
cost of 58,000 American lives
more than a million Vietnamese
$ 600 billion and domestic dissent
Phases of the Cold War
- 1958-1962: Berlin Crisis and Cuban Missile Crisis
- Khrushchev's attempt to consolidate Soviet hold of Europe and Third World
- negotiation style like Kaiser (full of bluster and deception)
- 1963-1978: gradual détente (NPT 1968, Limited Test Ban Treaty 1963)
- 1969-1974: Nixon used détente as means to pursue goals of containment
Politics of Detente:

Détente seen as cheaper way of containment (SALT needed to eliminate 1 billion dollar deficit )
1. negotiation to cap nuclear relationship at relative parity
2. to play China and USSR against one another
3. increase trade with USSR (carrots and sticks)
1973: War in the Middle East and Soviet support for anti-Western movements in Africa
U.S. build up of surrogates in Middle East (Israel and Iran)
Once Cairo turned against Moscow: Middle East policy more like containment not Détente
Secret bombings of Cambodia
1979: Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
Why did Détente fail?
1.Soviet defense buildup
2. Soviet interventions in Angola, Ethiopia, Afghanistan ("correlation of forces")
- “The calculation of the relation of forces is a most convenient means for internally and externally rationalizing the interpretation of Marxian ideology in pure power terms.”
- Soviets believed that history led inexorably to a revolutionary communist future.
- following the lead of Lenin: belief that the Party was necessary to sustain the momentum of revolution by orchestrating actions appropriate to the historical situation

3.Rightward tend in U.S. politics
Why did the Cold War end?
Kennan was right: US prevented Soviet expansion (no success to feed ideology)
new ideas would arise, communism seen as NOT an ideology of the future
Success of American soft power
Imperial overstretch by USSR / Gorbachev's policies
Forms of military competition
Conventional forces
focus of NATO was to provide a sufficiently daunting prospect to the Soviets that they would be deterred from starting a war
burden of democracy (Soviets could afford conscripts)
What NATO needed was "force multiplier" to enhance comparative capability of forces
Plans vindicated in both Gulf wars (highly mobile air-land battle concept, heavily armored concept for army and aircraft carrier-based Navy
Nuclear forces
Carter official Harold Brown: "We build, they build; we stop, they build."
Cold War "Leftovers"
Russia and the successor states
Amalgam of former Soviet intelligence service professionals, market-orientated business and economic professionals who internalized Western training in liberal economics, NOT liberal political theory
“sovereign democracy” without competitive political parties, without free and fair elections, independent media and autonomous civil society.
Russia and NATO
attempts to bridge historic mistrust with contemporary reality failed
Putin Doctrine: belief that Russia has the right to act to protect Russian-speakers, no matter where they are
NATO's failure to invest in European infrastructure: exposed its Eastern flank (e.g. Crimea, Ukraine 2014)
Putin's RUSSIA ("Soviet bag of tricks" + virulent form of nationalism)
Georgia 2008
Ukraine Conflict 2014
Intervention in Syria 2015
Interference in US elections 2016 / coup attempt in Montenegro 2016
Assassinations of defectors / opposition members (e.g. UK 2006, 2018)
new Russian type of shape-shifting warfare
"threw out the rulebook of post-Cold War security policy"
US and NATO post-cold war
NATO's enlargement
No Missile defense system in Poland and Czech Republic 2009
BUT: ship-based alternative "Aegis Missile Defense System"
NATO shed its specific assets for dealing with the Soviet threat
European members chose not to develop extensive naval forces or substantial airlift capabilities
Change after 2014 'Wales Summit':
continuous air, land, and maritime presence across the NATO frontier with Russia
increased the size and readiness of the NATO Response Force
established Very High Readiness Joint Task Force ( 5,000 troops with maritime, special operations, and aviation units) that can deploy to a crisis within 2-3 days
Defense Investment Pledge
Post Cold War Fault-lines
with the end of "operational communism" major systemic impact
power vacuum caused by loose bipolarity
physical and intellectual disorder in how to think about the world
Mearsheimer 1990: "Why we Shall soon Miss the Cold War" No more order and predictability of events and ability to act appropriately within the bounds of that order
Worst case scenario was removed from planning to lower order of likelihood
Reduction of troop strengths in US and USSR
More attention dedicated to developing world (Balkans, Haiti, Africa, Middle East)
Globalization: global economic integration followed by backlash
2nd Fault Line: a Post 9/11 World
revealed vulnerability of America revived interest in tool of geopolitics and military force
beneficiary has been military spending
emphasis on national security (procuring everything on the "menu"
questions of warfare and POWs, human rights
Perpetual war on terror and instability in Afghanistan and Middle East
Paradigm Choices
globalization and geopolitics have become intertwined
Role of the United States
American preeminence in all three Levels of Policy (politics, economics and military)
soft power (Nye): countries try to emulate the United States
whatever situation and issue, the US is affected and has interest in influencing/intervening in it
Charges of causing system shocks to the international order
Continuing Role of Force in Int. Relations
geopolitical realities of when to use force very different from Cold War (intervention matter of necessity)
Current system: goal to restore order (between or within states)
can no longer send forces "to fight and win", post-Cold war chaos of IR
horror of 9/11 feels like an outlier event in global history; a terrible tragedy that bred an irrational response but not one that transformed the world
any argument to be made that 9/11 was a before and after moment it comes not from the act itself, but from America’s response to it
US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq, amongst America's greatest foreign policy fiascoes
Memetic warfare ( Russian troll farms; 'Turn Away - Think Again' campaign by USGOV
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