Interpreting US Foreign Policy (II) Levels of Analysis
Levels of Analysis…………… • Why didn’t US enter Baghdad in 1991? Background: • Iraqi invasion of Kuwait • August 2, 1990 • August 8: declaring Kuwait 19th province of Iraq • US response • August 7, US started to deploy Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force & Coast Guard units to Saudi Arabia • Urged other countries to be present militarily in the region • Moved to form a coalition under the UN’s sponsorship • UN response • Security Council Resolution 660 condemning the invasion • Resolution 661 imposing economic sanctions • Resolution 678: deadline to withdraw at Jan 15, 1991.
Levels of Analysis………… • Why didn’t the US enter Bagdad in 1991? US justification of the war? • Iraqi invasion violated Kuwait’s territorial integrity. • Iraq, a threat to Saudi Arabia, oil supplier of strategic importance. Coalition formation 33 countries (US, UK, France, Cze, Canada, Egypt, Hondrus, Germany, etc……) Coalition in action (Operation Dessert Storm) • Air strike started Jan 16, 1991, with over 1,000 sorties per day • Jan 17, Bagdad was bombed • Iraqi war planes paralyzed and escaped to Iran • Feb 9, coalition forces moved into Iraq
Levels of Analysis………… • Why didn’t the US enter Bagdad in 1991? Coalition in action (Operation Dessert Storm) • Feb 26, Iraqi forces began retreating out of Kuwait • Coalition forces moved to within 150 miles of Bagdad End of campaign • 100 hours after the ground campaign, President Bush declared a cease-fire • Feb 27, President Bush declared that Kuwait had been liberated. • March 10, 540,000 American troops left the Persian Gulf region. About 146 American soldiers died in 1991. Why not take Bagdad & overthrow Sadam’s regime?
Levels of Analysis………… Why not take Bagdad & overthrow Sadam’s regime? • Did he leave the job for his son, the current President? • Did he really believe that internal forces in Iraq would do the job? • Did he really not want to bog American troops down in ruling the country after occupation? Defense Secretary Dick Cheney defended the withdrawal in 1992: “And the question in my mind is how many American casualties is Sadam worth?” “And the answer is not very damned many. So I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the president made the decision that we’d achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in
Levels of Analysis………… Why not take Bagdad & overthrow Sadam’s regime? The problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq.” How to explain President’s decision? One explanation: “The New World Order in Theory and Practice: The Bush Administration’s Worldview in Transition” By Eric A. Miller & Steve A. Yetiv.In Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 31, Issue 1, p. 56-68. • Entering Bagdad would weaken coalition • Ousting Sadam would undermine Bush’s New World Order thinking that emphasized the importance of collective security and great power cooperation
Level One: the international setting • International system shapes foreign policy behaviors • Kenneth N. Waltz“Each state arrives at policies and decides on actions according to its own internal processes, but its decisions are shaped by the very presence of other states as well as by interactions with them.” • What makes the int’l system influential? • Anarchy: no centralized authority • Relationships among states or polar structures • Unipolar, bipolar, multipolar • Nation-states are sovereign, independent actors
Level One: the international setting • Level one theories & perspectives • Balance of power • When a state rises in power, others would • Form a coalition to check that rising power • Rally around and assist a potential victim state e.g., ASEAN • Nation-states strive to maintain equilibrium & status quo • Realism • Int’l politics = a struggle for power • territorial security (top priority) • economic & military strength (state efforts)
Level One: the international setting • Level one theories & perspectives • Realism • Nation-states = self-interested maximizers of power • State action guided by national interests • Pessimistic about int’l cooperation Niccolo Machiavelli Hans Morgenthau • Neo-realism or structural realism • Global society: anarchic & without governance • Nation-states: self-help & struggle for survival
Level One: the international setting • Level one theories & perspectives • Idealism • Int’l law, institutions for solving disputes • Collective security for world peace • Disarmament • Neo-liberalism • Global democratization • Open markets • Free trade • Int’l law, institutions, ethics, human rights & multi-lateral diplomacy
Level One: the international setting • Level one theories & perspectives • Geopolitics • Territorial size, location, topography, etc => foreign policy behaviors • Sphere of influence • Monroe Doctrine • Strategic Resources • Significance of natural resources in foreign policy decision making • Oil-related motives in foreign policy actions
Level One: the international setting • Level one theories & perspectives • Falling Dominoes • Perceived danger related to balance-of-power concept • The spread of Communism from one regime to another like a row of dominoes • U.S. involvement in Vietnam
Level Two: the national setting ……. Level Two Theories & Perspectives • Historical experience • A state’s historical experience as a foreign policy factor • Hitler’s annexation of parts of Czechoslovakia & the Gulf War of 1991 • “Century of humiliation” & China’s xenophobic foreign policy • Bloody Korean War & diplomacy to settle N. Korean nuclear issue
Level Two: the national setting ……. Level Two Theories & Perspectives • Constitutional framework • Separation of power • Executive power in treaty negotiation • Senatorial power in treaty approval/disapproval • Congressional power in war declaration • Presidential power as the commander-in-chief Example: The arms for hostages controversy
Level Two: the national setting ……. The arms for hostages controversy • When: 1985-1986 • Presidency: Ronald Reagan • What: • U.S. hostages held in Lebanon • Weapon sales to Iran • Weapon sales profits funding contra rebels in Nicaragua • Why secret dealing & fund transfer? • Article !, Section 8: Congress - power to spend • The Hughes-Ryan Act of 1974 (Congressional knowledge of important covert actions) • The Arms Export Control Act (1976) no shipment of arms to nations supporting terrorism
Level Two: the national setting ……. Level Two Theories & Perspectives • Institutional Fragmentation Agencies, offices or individuals within the foreign policy making body act singularly or in coalition for a preferred policy choice. e.g., CIA’s secret contact with the mafia to assassinate Fidel Castro (1960s) e.g., secret bank account in Swiss bank by a White House official to fund covert actions in Nicaragua
Level Two: the national setting ……. Level Two Theories & Perspectives • Institutional Fragmentation e.g., CIA officials prepared a manual on how to neutralize pol opponents in Nicaragua (1984) despite an executive order banning pol assassinations by President Ford
Level Two: the national setting ……. Theoretical models • Rational Actor (Allison & Zelikow) Foreign policy behavior = purposeful act of a government; There is but one actor, i.e., the unified government. e.g., N. Korea needs a-bomb to deter attempts at its downfall; e.g., Beijing opposes N. K bomb project to avoid being dragged into a 2nd Korean War e.g., U.S. opposes N. K bomb to preclude Japan going nuclear
Level Two: the national setting ……. Theoretical models • Organizational Process Model (Allison & Zelikow) • Multiple actors in foreign policy making • Organizational constraints & dynamics • Organizational interests & standard operation procedures (SOP) e.g., Pentagon response to Cuban Missile Crisis • Pentagon’s central role in crisis resolution • Blockade at sea (SOP) • Surgical operations (possible) (SOP)
Level Two: the national setting ……. Theoretical models • Bureaucratic Politics Model (Allison & Zelikow) • Multiple actors • Process how a particular policy is chosen • Bureaucratic compromise, bargaining, coalition building, & competition
Level Two: the national setting ……. Level Two Theories & Perspectives • Pluralism • Multiple societal forces competing for influence in decision-making • Media • Interest groups/Lobby • movements For example: • News coverage of Vietnam War – U.S. withdrawal • American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee • China Lobby • U.S. Chamber of Commerce • Anti-war movements of early 1970s
Level Two: the national setting ……. Group exercise: Interpreting Nixon’s China Game Watch movie & use one or more approaches to interpret the “Game” Group A: balance of power approach Group B: bureaucratic politics Group C: pluralism Group D: rational actor or geopolitics
Level Three: the individual decision-maker Propositions Foreign policy decisions are results of: • Emotions, personal idiosyncrasies, & other psychological traits of human beings • Subjective and less than rational choice • Personal bias, misperception & preference for one set of info as opposed to others • An individual’s occupation in particular office
Level Three: the individual decision-maker Theories & Models • Role-playing • Policy-maker’s office leads to decisions traditional to that office “Where you stand depends on where you sit.” Example: US-China: Change or Continuity • Candidate Ronald Reagan: America cannot abandon old ally. I’ll re-establish diplomatic relations with Taipei. (1980) • Candidate Bill Clinton: No kowtowing to Beijing butchers. Revoke Beijing’s MFN if no human rights improvement. • Candidate George W. Bush: America will defend Taiwan.
Level Three: the individual decision-maker Theories & Models • Distorted Perceptions & the causes • Self-delusion Brushing aside or bending facts that contradict one’s own worldview Soliciting info & advice from likeminded advisers e.g., Yuan Shikai & a specially printed newspaper • Leadership isolation • Leaders cut off from accurate perception of reality E.g., • JFK having no knowledge of CIA report on Castro’s regime
Level Three: the individual decision-maker Theories & Models • Distorted Perceptions & the causes • Groupthink • Tendency of individuals in a group to cast aside realistic views of alternatives in favor of cohesiveness among group members. E.g., the Bay of Pigs fiasco • Failure of JFK’s inner circle to detect any false assumptions and to solicit info from outsiders
Level Three: the individual decision-maker Why personal characteristics matter? • No two persons are identical • “give’em hell” Harry Truman • Soft-spoken Ike Eisenhower • Charismatic Jack Kennedy • Tricky Dick Nixon • “down home” Jimmy Carter • Hollywood “Dutch” Reagan • “read my lips” George Bush • How leaders’ peculiar traits impact their decisions
Level Three: the individual decision-maker What are the factors to look at? • Early childhood & Foreign Policy Behaviors • Punitive & stern childhood => Wilson’s desire for self-esteem => seeking greater US role in world politics (Alexander & Juliette George, 1964) • Lack of self-assurance, feared failure => faked helplessness to avoid the costs of failures => JFK’s use of missile decision to recover self-esteem & keep strategic balance rather than gaining superiority (Arnold A. Rogow, 1963) • Childhood hardship => Kissinger’s sense of insecurity, pessimism => perception of uncertainty in world politics, ability to use ambiguity, to negotiate compromise & operate in secrecy.
Level Three: the individual decision-maker What are the factors to look at? • Personal character & Foreign Policy Behaviors • How much energy do they put into the job? • Are they active or passive? • What is the level of job satisfaction? • Are they happy or unhappy? E.g., Active + Happy Presidents: • FRD, Truman, JFK, Ford, Carter E.g., Active + Negative Presidents • Wilson, Hoover, Johnson, Nixon E.g, Passive + Negative Presidents • Eisenhowever
Level Three: the individual decision-maker What are the factors to look at? • Worldview • Conservative or liberal • Political style • Level of dependence on aids • Motivation underlying their positions • Human rights or US competitiveness • Expertise & experience in foreign policy • Foreign policy climate when starting their jobs • Political socialization • Family, school, media, …