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International Security Has Changed After Cold War Politics Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Politics
Wordcount: 2587 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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In this paper we are going to discuss the extent to which the study of international security has changed after the end of the Cold War. It should be said that international security is the system of international relations based on respect for all nations recognized principles and norms of international law, which precludes the solution of disputes and disagreements between them by force or threat. The principles of international security include the assertion of peaceful coexistence as a universal principle of international relations, equal security for all states, the creation of effective safeguards in the military, political, economic and humanitarian areas – the prevention of an arms race in outer space, the cessation of all nuclear weapons tests and their complete elimination; dissolution of the military factions, unconditional respect for the sovereign rights of each nation; a just political settlement of international crises and regional conflicts, strengthening of trust between States, to develop effective methods of preventing international terrorism, eradication of genocide, apartheid, fascism sermons, with the exception of international practice, all forms of discrimination, rejection of economic blockades and sanctions (without the recommendations of the international community) to establish a new economic order that ensures an equal economic security of all nations. An integral part of international security is the effective functioning of the collective security mechanism enshrined by the UN Charter.

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Security problems have acquired fundamentally new traits in the modern world which has many faces, which is dynamic and down with the sharp contradictions. The present life is characterized by the retraction of all mankind in the world processes, the course of which is accelerating the unprecedented scientific and technological progress, the exacerbation of social, economic, commodity and other problems on a global character, to the 90s in the scientific literature at home and abroad the questions of the state international security mainly developed. This is explained by the increase of interdependence among nations and peoples of the world, the internationalization of their economies, the emergence of global weapons of mass destruction. The global threat to mankind from the production activity has also increased.

The need to study the international legal aspects of peacekeeping operations, as the main mode of carrying out the UN peacekeeping activities, aimed at ensuring the international peace and security, has even further increased in connection with the radical changes in international relations after the Cold War.

January 31, 1992 at the first session in the history of the UN Security Council on the Summit of the Heads of States and Government it was recognized that in the modern period after the end of the Cold War the threat of nuclear confrontation between East and West significantly reduced and the real prerequisites developed for the ensurance of the possibilities enshrined in the Charter of the UN to provide, through the cooperation among the member states, the prevention and settlement of various conflicts (Knight, 1995). But it was also pointed out that in modern times, the threat of escalation of ethnic and national conflicts was increasing and the voltage generated by the deepening of the differences in the development of the industrial nations of the North and poor South was mounting. World’s political leaders paid attention to possible violations of international peace by the proliferation of nuclear weapons and missile technologies in the areas of conflict, acts of international terrorism and the use of mercenaries.

The end of the Cold War removed the constraints that restrained conflicts in the former Soviet Union and other countries. As a result, in some newly independent States, wars broke out, which are often religious or ethnic in nature and are associated with unusual violence and cruelty.

Over the last two decades, mankind has witnessed dramatic changes that have occurred in the international arena. The collapse of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact seemingly indestructible, the emergence of dozens of new states led to the change in the entire international system which during the preceding 45 years was based on the concept of a bipolar world with two opposing blocs in the face of the capitalist United States and Western countries on the one hand and the USSR, China and the Warsaw Covenant – on the other side. The entire generation of people have been brought up in the raging Cold War and the arms race between the two poles of the ideological center of international politics – the USSR and the USA. Changing of the international political environment has led to the radical change of political consciousness in both camps (Mearsheimer, 1990).

By the end of the XX century, it seemed that a more or less stable international system based on the principles and purposes declared after the Second World War, the UN Charter, was formed. The system of international legal instruments developed and adopted in all that time also remained in force. Thus, the international community has managed to survive with honor the transitional period and to create a conceptually stable system of international relations based on the new realities of international politics. However, now the international community faced the new and worse forms of old problems and its very existence depends on how the international law deals with these issues.

International terrorism

Emerged in the XIX century as a tool of political struggle, terrorism adopted by the end of the last century, a form of a highly organized international network of terrorist organizations with branches in almost all countries of the modern world.

September 2001 was marked by three ominous acts of terrorism committed at the highest level of professionalism and with extreme brutality. The aircraft, piloted by the suicide bombers of the strongest of the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda attacked two multistory buildings of the World Trade Center in New York and the building of the defense department in Washington. These brazen acts of terror have created a qualitative change to the international community to the terrorism. The establishment of an international coalition against terrorism, military operations in Afghanistan and the adoption of other large-scale political and economic measures to prevent and eliminate international terrorism that followed the events in 2001, became the main international political history event of the first two years of the XXI century (Sheehan, 2005). In the framework of the antiterrorist coalition, almost all the countries have made a specific commitment to eliminate the hotbeds of terrorism at the national level. To this initiative regional organizations also actively joined. UN has played an important role both in the legal mandating the fight against terrorism (in particular, the military operation of the U.S. troops and allies against the political regime in Afghanistan, openly supporting terrorism), and in providing humanitarian sides of the antiterrorist operation.

The heyday of international terrorism in 1990 disturbed the international community. Since 1995 to 1999 about 15 international meetings devoted to this problem took place. These are the meetings of the Group of Seven in Ottawa in 1995, and the Summit in Sharm al-Sheikh (Egypt) in 1996 and many other meetings. In December 1997 the UN General Assembly adopted the International Convention of preventing terrorist acts involving the use of explosive devices (Knight, 1995).

The anti-terrorism legislation is also developed by national governments of certain countries. For example, in 1996 the Congress passed the law on anti-terrorism (Antiterrorism Act), which commanded the report on terrorist organizations. The law also forbad under pain of criminal prosecution all the activities that could help tthe terrorists in their actions, including financial assistance to terrorist organizations, the issuance of a visa to the United States for the aliens who are members of terrorist groups, etc.

 All the above mentioned legal acts are not sufficient to create a sufficient legal basis and should take a more unified codification at the highest level.

Local conflicts and the proliferation of mass destruction weapons

After the collapse of the socialist bloc and the end of the Cold War, local conflicts have taken a new look. Broke numerous conflicts on ethnic and religious grounds around the former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact. Karabakh, Abkhazia, Chechnya, Transnistria, Ossetia, Tajikistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serbia did not descend from the lips of the media for a long time and still appear there. On the other hand in the last decade of the century the intensity of inter-tribal conflicts in African countries, exacerbating the already tense situation in the region has increased.

By the mid-90’s, not without the efforts of UN and other international organizations, the tendency to gradual resolution and in many cases, the freezing of local conflicts outlined. As of today we have the hushed for the time being conflicts in the former Soviet Union, that are under scrutiny of the international community, which has made some efforts to find their solution in the framework of the principles of international law and through peaceful negotiations. The howling of cannonades in the former Yugoslavia has also ceased, where the tensions in Bosnia and Serbia (Kosovo) were extinguished with the help of the military intervention of NATO and UN peacekeeping missions.

Another problem of the contemporary international order is the danger of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Successful results of the nuclear programs in Pakistan and India have led to breaking the balance of power in the Asian and global context. The particularly frightening fact is that among these countries there is a long-term conflict, which at any time may result in a large-scale military action. According to some reports the nuclear program is also being developed by such dangerous countries from the standpoint of international security, like Iran and North Korea.

New security concepts

Researchers of international relations the 1990’s embarked on the search of new concepts of security, which was due to changing conditions in the world politics after the Cold War and the collapse of the socialist bloc. Thus, three new security concept have been formulated.

The concept of cooperative security.

This concept is divided into two main areas, which are called “Grotious” and “Kantian” conceptions. The “Grotious” concept is more appealing to international institutions and legal norms, while the “Kantian” one insists on the universality of moral standards and respect for individual rights as the basic safety criteria. The differences between these concepts are so large that they can be regarded as two independent concepts.

Grotious concept of cooperative security.

This concept was developed in the late 1980s by the scholars at the Brookings University, USA. According to the founders of the concept, the cooperative security is a mechanism to deter aggression through the creation of opposing threats and defeating the ones, whom it proceeds from.

According to the supporters of the Grotious cooperative security the set of measures offered by this concept can result in a genuine system of international security, which must improve the existing security system, which can lead the world to the next division on the block.

Kantian concept of cooperative security

The Kantian concept of cooperative security, the main provisions of which are reflected by Richard Cohen, is different from the Grotious one by the fact that the proponents of this concept, take the view of the ineffectiveness of the UN and are convinced that in the changed security environment it is not needed to act on the basis of existing international legal norms and principles but basing on the protection of humanitarian values and ideals. The proponents justify the right of the countries – participants of the cooperative security system for the “humanitarian intervention”, ie the use of force outside the system. The followers of the Kantian model consider that the main tool to achieve security is NATO.

Thus, the Kantian concept of cooperative security is a security system for a certain number of states united by a common ideology, which for the sake of their common interests should not stop before the use of force against countries that are not members of the system.

The Kantian concept of cooperative security is more radical and is the greatest opposition to the existing international legal system.

 The concept of human security

The concept of human security, developed in the second half of the 90s of the last century, is very close in its essence to the Kantian concept of cooperative security. According to one of the founders of this concept, Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy, security of individuals is at present a downward trend, especially because of the growing number of internal conflicts. New civil conflicts and massive human rights violations, the growth of violent crime, the spread of terrorism and drugs, and environmental degradation require the development of qualitatively new security policies. The main idea of the concept of human security is a refutation of the hypothesis that the safety of individuals is derived from the security of States (Williams, 2008).

The theory of democratic peace

The theory of democratic peace is based on the assumption that the monogenic international systems with the homogeneous in their ideology, socio-economic conditions and the level of democratic parties are less inclined to confrontation than the heterogeneous ones. This theory is close to a certain extent to the socialist concept of security, according to which the wars between the socialist countries are not possible. As a socialist concept, the theory of democratic peace is of the opinion that the conflicts taking place in between democracies are due to the fact that these societies are not democratic enough (Sheehan, 2005).

The supporters of the democratic world that has arisen in the U.S. adhere to the following principles to achieve the desired system of international security:

– Victory over poverty;

– Expansion of mutual understanding between peoples;

– Imposition of human values;

– Promotion of democratic change in countries;

– Increased focus on the desire of minorities to self-determination;

– Institutionalization of conflict resolution, etc.

As it can be seen, this theory is based on the concept of international security through the widespread planting of a particular model of democracy.

So, in this paper we have discussed the extent to which the study of international security has changed after the end of the Cold War and it should be stated that the greater importance to the study of international security has been given.


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