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International Politics, Essay Example

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How the Historical Development of Foreign Policy Analysis Resulted from the Cold War Era

Arguably, the attacks against the United States on 11 September 2001 caused an unexpected close to the transitional phase that preceded the end of the Cold War (Herbert Simon, 1985). However if the destruction of the Twin Towers Manhattan and the attacked Pentagon acted as a defining moment in our understanding of recent history, then there could be no period that could come to a close on that particular time. In light of the cultural origins and politico-religion motives of the suspected victims, the tragedies consequently act as a harbinger of a return to the civilization clash that could be enunciated by the political scientists called Samuel P. Huntington in 1993, with its concomitant ethnic and religious determinants. Also, the attacks were not so much linked to the resurgence of old civilization fault lines and their underlying antagonisms without the presence of bipolar ideological conflict but rather the impacts of a palpable United State unilateralism, by extension also, Western political and military preponderance in the decade after the Cold War.

Apart from the fact that watersheds in history lead to conceptual devices informed by individual preferences, the questions that were raised could not even be conclusively answered at this stage because historical analysis is predicated on an ex post facto event assessment (Herbert Simon, 1985). Additionally, there is invariably neither silver bullet nor single explanatory model that might give a definitive answer to the rise of violent conflict of every kind at every stage in history.

The reorientation of Soviet foreign policy under Mikhail Serveievich and the East-West reconciliation is brought about constitute a formidable challenge to international relations theory. Neither realists, liberals, institutionalisms, nor peace scholars recognized beforehand the likelihood of such moments change, and they have all been struggling to find explanations consistent with their theories. The continuing transformation of the international system represents system and double surprise for the profession. Most theorists and policy analysts assumed the fact that bipolarity and associated Soviet-American rivalry could persevere for the foreseeable future.  In the unlikely event of a system change, the catalyst for it would be superpower war.

The old balance of power between the Great Powers of Europe had crumbled before the rampant expansionism and nationalism; the logic of the Cold War gave birth to the world, a global system in which the new strong nations maintained a precarious nuclear balance. Just after the World War II, the Cold War became the defining nature of the international system (Herbert Simon, 1985). After 1975 the entire world witnessed the rise of the Second Cold War including the fundamental change in the global system, changing it into a multipolar system as economic forces increasingly interlocked with political matters in shaping history.

Nonrealists and realists were interested in how and why the East-West conflict was resolved. To answer this particular question, they require a more specific understanding of the nature of that conflict and the stages via which it passed. The dependent variable should be delineated before the search for independent variables can start. Most analysis of the end of the East-West conflict aimed on the regulations of Mikhail Gorbachev. This is quite understandable as his liberalization of the Soviet system, sponsorship of political transformation in Eastern Europe, and commitment to disarmament were the catalysts of accommodation. However, as Kenneth Oye and Richard Herr-man pointed out in their essays here, major improvement occurred in East-West relations long before the coming of Gorbachev to power.

The Cold War is generally believed to have started in 1947 and to have had twin had twin top of tension. The first top, between 1948- 1954, was typified by acute confrontations in Korea, Central Europe, and Taiwan Straits.

During the time of Gorbachev, East-West relations were importantly stable. Twenty-three years had elapsed after the last-threatening problem. The superpowers perceived each other’s commitment to avoid war for granted and had gone into a series of arms control and “regulations of road” agreements that controlled their strategic competition and interaction.

This anxiousness review of the Cold War suggests that the policies given by Gorbachev initiated the last phase of reformations that had been proceeding fitfully from the death of Stalin. Gorbachev could not have contemplated or have been permitted to undertake his basic reforms, asymmetrical arms control agreements, and liberation of Eastern Europe if he or the majority of the Central Committee had expected a hostile West to respond violently to a visibly weaker Soviet Union (Herbert Simon, 1985). The availability of Gorbachev and his major associates to make unilateral concessions showed that for them the Cold War had already receded into the past. They were doing away with its atavistic institutional remaining to enable the cooperation with their former adversaries and the important this was anticipated to come up with.

The aged equilibrium of power between the Great Powers of Europe had disintegrated in the countenance of rampant expansionism and nationalism; the reason of the Cold War provided birth to the bipolar world, a global system in which the new superpowers upheld a precarious nuclear balance. In the instant result of World War II, the Cold War was at first meddled in Europe. In only a decade, however, the Cold War became the defining characteristic of the international system. The conflict’s second decade (roughly 1955–1965) brought the world to the edge of total destruction, but a significant step in the direction of the relaxation of relations between the superpowers was achieved thereafter. After 1975 the world witnessed the coming of the Second Cold War, as well as a basic change in the global system, changing it into a multipolar arrangement.  This caused the economy to gradually interlock with political issues in shaping the history (Herbert Simon, 1985). Lastly, economic pressures, as much as politics, decided the outcome of the Cold War: the Soviet Union eventually paid a high price for collectivism and the attendant command economy it had established, while democratic system and capitalism showed more tough in the West.

Apart from the two most important parties to the Cold War, there were those who achieved and even more who lost. More always than not, for those wedged between the competitors there was no option. They became the victims of the Cold War. It was no coincidence that the hot spots of the Cold War were located in the third world, where millions yearned for national independence only to struggle with massive impoverishment and political unsteadiness once they achieved it. To the superpowers, Europe as the terminus a quo (point of origin) of the Cold War did not present itself as a possible battleground for a significant reason: the hazard of growth—conventional and nuclear—was too high. While most wars of the Cold War were battled in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East in Europe the Cold War advanced into a long calm. As of the late 1950s, the superpowers wooed developing countries with an intention of turning them into auxiliaries, thereby spreading and perpetuating the dynamic of the Cold War beyond its erstwhile limits.

Basing on the above information, the historical development of Foreign Policy Analysis is a result of the Cold War era. The principal dissimilarity between preceding wars, even international wars, and the Cold War was that the previous wars (with the exemption of the U.S. bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in August 1945) had all been battled with conventional weapons, while the adversaries of the Cold War had nuclear caches at their fingertips. The destructiveness of nuclear bludgeons, to state the apparent, far surpassed that of any conventional bludgeon. If the balance of the Cold War had yet been seriously agitated—say, in the late 1970s—this successive endeavor at composing a history of global relations would, in all likelihood, never have been printed (Herbert Simon, 1985). More commonly, the chances and jeopardy of the Cold War whereas it lasted were privileged still than those for which World War II had been battled. Symbolically speaking, if the Cold War had increasingly turned hot, it factually would have been the conflict to end all battles, plunging the world into a nuclear holocaust of unprecedented stages. It is to the starting of this story and its narration that we now revolve.

References

Seweryn Bialer, (1980) the Soviet Paradox: External Expansion, Internal Decline New York: Cambridge University Press.

Gardner, (1985) the Mind’s New Science: A History of the Cognitive Revolution. New York: Basic.

For instance, see Sarah Mendelson, (1993) “Internal Battles and External Wars: Politics, Learning, and the Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan,” World

Herbert Simon, (1985) “Human Nature in Politics: The Dialogue of Psychology with Political Science,” American Political Science Review.

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