Essay Example on No Higher Authority Amongst States to Ensure International Order


Iraq War








When looking at the Iraq war through a neorealist perspective it is essential to use its 3 main points when assessing such an event firstly how the international system s ordering principle is anarchy This simply means that there is no such thing as a world government Jakobsen With no overarching global authority that provides security and stability in international relations world politics is not formally and hierarchically organized Dibek Secondly it is that states seek security and finally it is a states superior function to secure itself Jakobsen The theory most often associated with Kenneth Waltz 1924 2013 who was an American scholar and political scientist explained that there is no higher authority amongst states to ensure international order He also argued that the anarchic structure of the international system has made into a self help system for states which in essence means that states are seeking power in order to secure themselves In relation to the Iraq war the structure of the international system helps to explain how America was easily able to invade Iraq without any serious consequences Seeing as there is no sovereign to govern interactions between autonomous nation states conflict is therefore more susceptible between states as there is no global sovereign to regulate interactions between these states Waltz Another perspective of the neorealist theory is that states need to secure themselves i e the Security Dilemma From the The security dilemma one of the most well known concepts in the international relations literature reflects the basic logic of offensive realism The essence of the dilemma is that the measures a state takes to increase its own security usually decrease the security of other states Thus it is difficult for a state to increase its own chances of survival without threatening the survival of other states Mearsheimer When looking at the case between the Iraq war and America it was then that a security dilemma had occurred Iraqi leader Sadam Hussein was seen to be in possession of weapons of mass destruction as well as having close ties to the leader of the Taliban who was suspected of carrying out the 9 11 attacks The US had then stated it had no other options but to engage in military combat in order to ensure security for its own state

The concept of the security dilemma moves on to the idea of relative power states can never be certain about the intentions of other states States ultimately want to know whether other states are determined to use force to alter the balance of power or whether they are satisfied enough with it that they have no interest in using force to change it The problem however is that it is almost impossible to discern another state s intentions with a high degree of certainty Mearsheimer Academic and classical realist John Herz explained in his book The Security Dilemma in International Relations how nations are constantly seeking to secure their states A quote from the book reads Striving to attain security from attack states are driven to acquire more and more power in order to escape the impact of the power of others This in turn renders the others more insecure and compels them to prepare for the worst It is clear from Herz analysis that he believes the best way for a state to ensure its own security and to survive in this anarchic world system is to gain power at the expense of other states by using both economic and military force and taking advantage of other states In his article Political Realism and Political Idealism academic Ken Booth explain that in a world where technological advances are continuously progressing especially within the international system the security dilemma is now even more important than ever He explains that security concerns are immeasurably increased by the invention of the means of potential annihilation Booth

The threat of WMD further enlarging the security dilemma is explained Jared Williams in his paper Iran and Its True Security Dilemma he explains that that all countries share the same goals to ensure the security of one s own state And that the possession of WMD from both sides was of course for security Williams He also explained how during the cold war the threat of nuclear weapons was still seen as a threat but it was only accessible to states Williams has argued that the world post 9 11 is seen as even less secure as these weapons could potentially be accessible to non state actors He believes that due to this a stronger security dilemma will most likely occur than that of the past Williams When looking at the war in Iraq the alleged WMD held by dictator Sadam Hussein and the Iraqi Army is what has incited a sense of insecurity leading to the US retaliating as they were seen to be facing a security dilemma

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