PNM THEORY: REVIEWING THE DELETED SCENE ON THE RULE-SET SHIFT PART III.
Continuing the review of the deleted scene on the Rule-set shift after the Cold War
, usual format prevails with Dr. Barnett's text in bold:
"A sixth rule set change emerges directly the previous: our definition of problem Third World states. During the Cold War we called them "client states," and they belonged either to our bloc or the other guy's. During the nineties, these largely fragile states typically failed to attract the generous sponsorship of any major power, and in many instances collapsed into endemic internal conflict, and so we called them "failed states." But after 9/11, the new rule set says that the states we tended to ignore over the nineties, or the ones that became increasingly disconnected from the global community, became havens for such dangerous transnational terrorist networks as Al Qaeda. So now we pay very close attention to these "disconnected states."
Several comments here come to mind. Decolonization was roughly a thirty year process of retreat by the Europeans starting with the British in India and ending with the Portuguese in Africa when the creaky Salazar regime collapsed. In their wake was left a variety of new states of varying degrees of nationalist " authenticity" and indigenous governmental competence. Some were highly artificial, ethnic crazy-quilts that were the chance accidents of the routes of 19th century white explorers claiming land for king and country. Others, like India, had extensive cadres of western educated nationals and a decades of civil service experience.
The artificial states were held together mainly by the intrinsic pressure of a local " Big Man" ruler who enjoyed clientage with the United States or the USSR and the extrinsic pressure of superpower resistance to sanctioning changes in borders from old-fashioned wars of annexation. You could subvert a neighbor but you could not readily absorb them and expect to have your ill-gotten gains be recognized. These artificial states, already " fragile" were further weakened by extensive looting and the whole appearance of places like the Congo(Zaire) was a gradual loss of all momentum from colonial days as the system leaked energy and regressed toward the Hobbesian state of anarchy in which the Europeans had found it.
When the East-West rivalry vanished, externally-imposed political barriers to globalization vanished in the Third World. After the collapse of Communism we only spoke of a " North-South" divide for a few years in the early 1990's. The rise of the Asian tigers and Russia's economic implosion soon made that concept an ill-fitting term as some " Southern" nations like Malaysia and India demonstrated their readiness for connectivity. Globalization avoided states where autarkic, despotic, rulers like Kim JongIl, Saddam Hussein, Hafez Assad and Burma's generals kept their societies behind a secret police firewall. Disconnection became a political survival strategy for the orphaned client state dictatorships of the Cold War.
"Our concerns about such disconnected states yields a rule-set shift in the area of weapons of mass destruction. The old Cold War rule set said arms control was the way to go in controlling a stand-off with an enemy we knew -- deep down -- we could deter. In the 1990s, a misalignment emerged thanks to our over-reliance on the instrument of sanctions to stem what we feared would be a "fire sale" of WMD from the collapsed Soviet Bloc states to rogue nations. As Al Qaeda proved on 9/11, mass deaths can be achieved without recourse to WMD, and yet, does anyone doubt Osama Bin Laden would have used WMD on 9/11 if he had had the capability? So now the new rule set says that, rather than hoping sanctions will be enough, America preempts in those special situations where we judge the "bad actors" in question are potentially undeterrable."
As bad as the Soviets were - and frankly they were horrible - their own self-interest mandated keeping a number of bad actors and potential loose cannons in line, lest they get blamed for some outrage. The Soviets, through cut-outs like East Germany, Romania and Cuba, trained a lot of terrorists including Arab terrorists of the secular, Third World, radical, variety. The politburo kept a tight rein on the approval of assassinations in the West and simply would not have permitted Abu Nidal
, Yasser Arafat or Carlos " the Jackal" to pull off an operation like 9/11. Even the Iranians had qualms about doing one of their Hezbollah-style truck bombings inside the United States itself and were quick to disavow any responsibility after the Oklahoma City bombing.
Today there is no other countervailing pressure on al Qaida type catastrophic terrorism other than what the United States can bring to bear preemptively or in sure retaliation. After Afghanistan, Iranian hardliners are now aware that sponsoring terror they cannot control could bring a very high price. So they will stick to terror they can control through reliable clients and so long as they do not deal too obviously with al Qaida operations the United States will not attack and the EU will not enact sanctions.
The United States must
construct a credible nuclear deterrence policy for non-state actors and their societal supporters who act in contradiction to or independently of their own government's policies. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia come to mind here. While these regimes are friendly, within reason, we dare not let it be thought that elements in those countries that support radical Islamism could attempt to facilitate nuclear terrorism aganst the United States without bringing the gravest of consequences on their own heads and their nations. Furthermore, we must
have " buy-in" from the rest of the Core on making nuclear terror both as unattractive and as difficult to execute as we possibly can manage.
Next, in Part IV, preemption and its alternatives.
End Part III.