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U.S. Intervention to Restore or Install Democracy

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Alex Biltz

on 29 April 2017

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Transcript of U.S. Intervention to Restore or Install Democracy

Some Historical Context
Post 9/11
Still in the name of Peace and Democracy?
Democracy and the Cold War
U.S. Intervention to Restore or Install Democracy
Do Our Good Intentions Improve Our National Security?
America, through many of our leaders, has emphaiszed the promotion of Democracy as a key element to ensuring and advancing our National Security Interests
1912 to 1933 the United States occupied Nicaragua
1915 to 1934 U.S. occupies Haiti
1916 to 1924 U.S. occupies the Dominican Republic
And much MORE !

World War 2
Why not this approach?
Executive's Constitutional Powers
The President's Foreign Affairs Power
-Article 2 section I of the Constitution vests the executive power in the President of the United States

-President recognized as the "Sole Organ of Foreign Affairs"

-United States v. Curtiss-Wright

Charter of the United Nations
Article 2(4)
"All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state."
Domestic Authority
International Authority
Authorization for the Use of Military Force?
(Post 9/11 and Iraq Resolution of 2002)
Iraq Liberation Act of 1998
-"It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq..."
Congressional Appropriation and Acquiescence
-At least Category 2 if not Category 1?

-Congress has continued to appropriate funds to the efforts in both Iraq and Afghanistan

-Declined to draft a new AUMF, but have also chosen not to seriously challenge its continued usage.
U.S. v. Nicaragua
-A State may violate Art. 2 (4) UN Charter either directly through intervention by its own forces or indirectly by, for example, providing certain assistance to rebel groups in civil wars
What about Preemptive self-defense?
A State’s right to self-defense against an armed attack, preserved in Art. 51 UN Charter, provides an independent legal justification for regime change. All acts of self-defence must meet a test of proportionality
-Islamic Republic of Iran v United States of America] [2003] ICJ
Right of Self-Determination
Is it worth it?
Has our National Security actually improved?
What do the numbers tell us?
Thoughts on why it's not working as we'd like:
So, any suggestions on what to do...?
Alternative Approaches
Time for the next frontier?
-“more liberal Middle Eastern political systems are
actually more susceptible to the threat of terrorism than are the more dictatorial regimes"

-“from World War II to 1987, more terrorist groups were found in democracies than in non-democracies.”

-In Iraq, steps towards greater democratization from 2003-2007 were also accompanied by a steady increase in terrorist attacks. (The same has been true in Afghanistan)

-Several studies have found that democracies are actually more likely to experience terrorist attacks than autocracies. A study of suicide terrorist campaigns from 1980-2001, found that, “every suicide terrorist campaign since 1980 has been targeted against a state that had a democratic form of government.”

-An examination of U.S. military interventions from 1898 to 1992 found that 85 percent of the interventions did not result in democratic change.

-A Study conducted on state failure and terrorism that examined 197 countries from 1973 – 2003, found that “countries beset by significant state failures are more likely to be the source and target of transnational terrorism regardless of their regime type, size, age, level of economic development, degree of ethno-religious diversity, and whether or not they are experiencing an international war.”
Some Good News:
-The 21st Century has seen more people participate in "free and fair elections" than ever before.

-Bad News: There's evidence to suggest that Democracy's expanse has come to a halt, and democracy promotion as a national security initiative to counter terrorism (especially by way of military intervention) does not appear to be an effective strategy.

-The US should focus on encouraging "good governance" regardless of form and shift the focus from outright democracy promotion to more readily obtainable measures such as transparency in government, anti-corruption initiatives, the development of civil society (including specically the promotion of education, job creation, and poverty prevention ), and civic involvement. By aiding foreign central governments without attempting to dictate the State's regime type, the US can improve stability in the region and lessen its foreign entanglement while helping to reduce the appeal of joining a terrorist organization.
And one more thing... How West Texas can help the world
Energy Independence
-The presence of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan has helped extremists recruit new members. Foreign occupation is the dominant frame through which U.S. involvement has been depicted to the Arab world by extremists and even some mainstream foreign media. Terrorists have skillfully exploited this perception, and continually use it as a recruiting tool in order to attract new members.

-The short-term cost of regime change are higher than we originally expected.

-By displaying double standards we hurt our credibility in the region and provide more rhetoric to the groups who oppose the spread of democracy
"To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States."
Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer
Friendly Relations Doctrine of 1970
-"all peoples have the right freely to determine, without external interference, their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development"
-So who has authority to speak for the State?
Indications of Legality?
-Few States criticized either the US’ invocation of a right of self-defence or its objective of regime change. The Security Council passed two resolutions in September 2001 affirming the right of self-defence and finding the ouster of the Taliban to be a proportionate response.
-The U.S. intervention in Iraq however, was heavily criticized and not viewed as being proportional.
-Virtually no jurisprudence exists to support a right of pro-democratic intervention
-Disagreement under Article 51: "Preemptive Self-Defense
-The UN Security Council, as outlined in Article 39 of the UN Charter, has the ability to rule on the legality of the war.
-Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan expressed his opinion that the invasion of Iraq was "not in conformity with the UN charter [...] from the charter point of view, [the invasion] was illegal."
-The General Assembly or the Security Council may request that the International Court of Justice provide an advisory opinion on any legal question.
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