The conclusion considers the limits of military force in the central contested relationship, the Israeli–Palestinian one. Hamas and Israel clung to force as the best tool in 2014 and both paid a steep price. The chapter considers US foreign policy as well. US administrations have bolstered the dominance of the idea that force is the answer through a strong alliance with Israel while simultaneously pushing diplomatic processes that are meant to raise the profile of negotiations and mutual concessions. Israeli and Palestinian policy today both reflect the prioritization of military force and reveal the expected ramifications like insecurity and missed diplomatic opportunities. One or both could turn in a different direction, but that would require challenging the over-emphasis on forceful instruments of statecraft.
In documents and statements, some Arab and Israeli leaders and analysts tout the effectiveness of using force for advancing their basic goals like national security and independence. In 2008–2009, the battle between Israel and Hamas contained multiple examples of this perspective. There are also other historical cases where this idea is a plausible explanation: the 1967 Arab–Israeli war and how it shifted Egyptian and Syrian policy toward Israel; Israel’s strength in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a factor undermining the Palestinian national movement’s military approach; the first intifada, which pushed Israel toward a negotiated resolution of the Palestinian question; and two Israeli unilateral territorial withdrawals that emboldened the ‘force works’ narrative, from Lebanon in 2000 and from Gaza in 2005.
The primacy of military force as an instrument of statecraft can often create greater insecurity, failed political objectives, and new problems. The reliance on force may cause the possibility of peace to grow more distant as the threat and use of force result in increasing counter-attacks, an arms race, bolstering a rival’s international political standing, undermining support in one’s own society for negotiations, strengthening a rival’s view that one is hostile, casualties and loss of territory, and the creation of a wholly new enemy organization. Moshe Sharett, in the 1950s, and Mahmoud Abbas, in the 2000s, both pushed for recognition of the dangers of always turning to a forceful resolution. Case studies of the Gaza Raid and Suez war (1955–1956), the 1967 Arab–Israeli war, the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and the second Palestinian intifada (uprising) that began in late 2000 show how force may backfire.
The flipside of thinking military force is the best policy tool available to achieve national aims has often been the notion that negotiations and concessions are an inferior means, one that signals weakness and leads to being taken advantage of by one’s rival. In addition, structures of violence and coercion exert themselves, thereby undermining or leading to the premature closure of negotiating opportunities. In short, ideas and institutions combine to undermine diplomatic pathways. If a government or organization really have wanted to try to change the direction of Arab–Israeli or Israeli–Palestinian relations by de-emphasizing the reliance on military force, violence, and coercion, there were numerous moments that could have been creatively built upon to effect change. Case studies of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s ten-point programme in 1974, the Arab Peace Initiative in 2002, and Israel’s disengagement in 2005 illustrate missed opportunities and some of the muddled signals that go along with those moments.
Military force and the resultant wars cannot compel either party to sign a final peace agreement. In order to reach a peace treaty, they need to negotiate and offer concessions. Contingent factors like leadership and third-party mediation still matter for closing the diplomatic deal. Egypt and Israel fought wars, but the Camp David Accords (1978) and the peace treaty (1979) that fundamentally changed and stabilized the strategic relations between the two countries came through a diplomatic process. A second example, Israel and Syria, shows that force alone is not enough to produce peace. Their negotiations failed, and they remain adversaries to this day.
The Arab–Israeli conflict has been at the centre of international affairs for decades. Despite repeated political efforts, the confrontation and casualties continue, especially in fighting between Israelis and Palestinians. This new assessment emphasizes the role that military force plays in blocking a diplomatic resolution. Many Arabs and Israelis believe that the only way to survive or to be secure is through the development, threat, and use of military force and violence. This idea is deeply flawed and results in missed diplomatic opportunities and growing insecurity. Coercion cannot force rivals to sign a peace agreement to end a long-running conflict. Sometimes negotiations and mutual concessions are the key to improving the fate of a country or national movement. Using short historical case studies from the 1950s through to today, the book explores and pushes back against the dominant belief that military force leads to triumph while negotiations and concessions lead to defeat and further unwelcome challenges. In The sword is not enough, we learn both what makes this idea so compelling to Arab and Israeli leaders and how it eventually may get dislodged.
This chapter draws out Brazilian confusion regarding China by focusing on the
economic and political factors at play. Attention is first turned to the
basis for the relationship, which grew out of good intentions and optimistic
readings of the global system. This 'Southern solidarity' approach
has offered some results in the science and technology spheres, but
nevertheless coloured Brazilian perceptions of what can be done with China.
The chapter maps out how China's surging economic growth contributed to
the economic foundations of Brazil's rise to an important position on
the global stage. Simultaneous gain and loss are also presented, which
examines Brazilian efforts to mobilize Chinese support for global governance
reform projects. More chillingly for Brazil's leading agro-industrial
business sector, Li Jinzhang noted that a central policy goal of the new
administration in Beijing was food security with an ultimate aim of
This chapter maps out how an unwillingness to provide concrete leadership
goods has created resistance to Brazil's leadership. The nature of this
resistance paradoxically suggests that key elements of the consensual
hegemonic project have been internalized throughout the region resulting in
a sustained challenge to prevailing structural power frameworks in the
Americas and the wider South. Latin America with a special emphasis on South
America thus becomes the central launching pad for the Brazilian foreign
policy of challenging not just regional, but also global structural power
realities. In South America the Bolivarian project was advanced through the
vocally anti-neoliberal bloc ALBA, which attracted membership from Bolivia
and Ecuador, as well as curious glances from a Paraguay contemplating an
opportunity to play Brasília off against Caracas. As Luiz Alberto Figueiredo
noted in his summary of long-standing Brazilian diplomatic strategy,
Brazil's neighbourhood is the foundation for its inward and outward
Brazil has traditionally had a somewhat ambiguous view of its position in the
Global South. This chapter focuses on the key questions driving
Brazil's engagement with the South. Attention is first paid to the
dependency analysis underpinning the Southern agenda. Next, the chapter
considers institutional frameworks and the rise of development cooperation
provision policy as strategies that Brazil is using in an attempt to manage
engagement with the South. A focus on the immediate regional neighbourhood
was the first step in rebuilding Brazil's credibility as a serious
country and as an international actor. The chapter highlights the inherent
contradictions that come from the competing ambitions and lack of
homogeneity across the South to suggest there is little new in the foreign
policy track launched by Lula other than a geographic diversification of
Brazil's foreign relations, which Dilma has quietly maintained.
To provide a sense of how relations with the US fit into Brazil's global
insertion, this chapter begins with a rapid historical survey concentrating
on the Baron of Rio Branco's 1902 decision to shift his country's
diplomatic focus away from Europe and to the US. The importance he foresaw
the US having for Brazil is then surveyed by looking at trade and investment
flows in the post-Cold War era, setting the economic ground for the
contradictions examined. In a pattern that has parallels with the PT foreign
policy of the 2000s, Brazil moved to a foreign policy of 'resposible
pragmatism', becoming a Third World country pushing for structural
changes in global economic governance and actively campaigning to head the
Group of 77. The chapter unpacks the tensions of structural versus relative
power by looking at the extent to which Brazil cooperates with the US and
the corresponding 'nationalist' backlash.