Conflict, displacement and human security in Burma (Myanmar)
Hazel J. Lang
This chapter emphasizes the significance of a human security framework for examining the widespread and devastating implications of internal conflict for civilian populations living in the war-affected regions. It conceptualizes Burma's internal conflict and displacement within the context of critical security studies, with particular reference to a human security approach. Attention to the human security dimensions of internal conflict and displacement is vital for present and future efforts in resolving conflict, building durable peace and achieving a sustainable repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). With some exceptions, Thailand has adhered to the principles of refugee protection. The chapter outlines the nature of conflict in Burma, and provides an analysis of the key dimensions of the militarized entanglement of civilian populations in insurgency and counter-insurgency dynamics. With the unitary Burmese state as the primary referent, the regime's 'national security' ideology conflates the state with the regime and the tatmadaw.
In this chapter, Israel is the immediate context for exploring gender roles ascribed by national security, and the cleavages that result from a society in constant state of war. It explores the gendered aspects of national security in Israel and considers the ways in which women are domesticated within their protection systems. The chapter also considers how current gender boundaries have developed historically and in relation to the political process in Israel. It discusses the politics of women's resistance in order to explore women's alternative understandings of security. Israeli women have organized around two main responses to the gendered structures of war, responses that correspond to the mainstreaming versus independence debate in feminist theory. Israeli women have always had a difficult relationship with the Israeli military-industrial complex. Since the 1990s, significant changes have taken place in the Middle East military-industrial arena because of the evolution of the strategic environment.
Chapter 3 examines Obama’s rhetorical employment of the taboo as the situation in Syria progressed. Whatever his views against intervention, Obama would engage with the taboo as a core theme of his rhetoric on Syria. This is explained as a strategic move on the part of Obama; explicitly, that it comprises the construction of a strategic narrative. While his inadvertent reference to the taboo forced him towards a more interventionist stance, this also gave him the discursive tools to limit expectations for greater action to a policy that – while this did not reflect his preferences perfectly – was a significantly better fit with his desires than full-on intervention.
Making environmental security ‘critical’ in the Asia-Pacific
This chapter deploys a critical security studies approach to 'unpack' environmental security in the Asia-Pacific. A critical approach resists a disciplinary neo-liberalism as the paradigm for achieving 'freedom' or overcoming environmental harm. As Axel Honneth suggests, harm is implicated in the problems of recognition. Environmental harm arises in part through the costs to life and health associated with environmental degradation and unsustainable development. Environmental degradation and resource decline, and the important matter of how to overcome them, have become crucial challenges for the Asia-Pacific. The chapter claims that 'emancipatory change constitutes the primary purpose' of critical security studies. A human security approach provides a broader window on the relationship between environmental decline and insecurity. The human security dimension of environmental degradation is acknowledged in the Asia-Pacific, in official policy discourse and in what might be called the 'commentary' and research community.
This book examines the intellectual frameworks within which the case for war in Iraq has developed in the US and the UK. It analyzes the neoconservative roots of the decision to go to war. The book also analyzes the humanitarian intervention rationale that was developed in the context of the Kosovo campaign, Tony Blair's presentation of it, and the case of Iraq. It looks at the parallel processes through which the George Bush administration and Blair government constructed their cases for war, analyzing similarities and divergences in approach. The book considers the loci of the intelligence failure over Iraq, the lessons for the intelligence communities, and the degree to which the decision to go to war in Iraq represented a policy rather than an intelligence failure. It then complements the analyses of US prewar intelligence failures by analysing what post-war inquiries have revealed about the nature of the failure in the UK case. The book discusses the relationship between intelligence and policymaking. It looks at how US Congress dealt with intelligence before the war. The book also examines how the Bush administration tried to manage public opinion in support of its war policies. It then looks at the decisionmaking process of the Bush administration in the year before the war in Iraq. Finally, the book also provides excerpts from a number of speeches and documents which are key to understanding the nature of national security decisionmaking and intelligence failure.
Richard Kerr, Thomas Wolfe, Rebecca Donegan, and Aris Pappas
The intelligence community's uneven performance on Iraq from 2002 to 2004 raised significant questions concerning the condition of intelligence collection, analysis, and policy support. The central focus of national intelligence reporting and analysis prior to the war was the extent of the Iraqi programs for developing weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The Iraqis took pains to carefully hide their WMD programs. The Iraqis had learned well about US intelligence during more than 10 years of confrontation and war. No single act of omission or commission accounts for the inconsistent analytic performance of the intelligence community with regard to Iraq. It appears to be the result of decisions made, and not made, since the fall of the Soviet Union, which had an impact on the analytical environment analogous to the effect of the meteor strikes on the dinosaurs.
The most serious problem with US intelligence is that its relationship with the policymaking process is broken and badly needs repair. Public discussion of prewar intelligence on Iraq has focused on the errors made in assessing Saddam Hussein's unconventional weapons programs. The intelligence community limits its judgments to what is happening or what might happen overseas, avoiding policy judgments about what the United States should do in response. The George H. W. Bush administration deviated from the professional standard not only in using policy to drive intelligence, but also in aggressively using intelligence to win public support for its decision to go to war. In its report on prewar intelligence concerning Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said it found no evidence that analysts had altered or shaped their judgments in response to political pressure.
The Asia-Pacific region is divided into distinct security paradigms that are governed by differing normative and structural frameworks and differing levels of greater power influence and involvement. This chapter outlines the combination of theoretical, policy and institutional frameworks in the region and the ways that they can be challenged by a critical security analysis. The first approach to critical security can be defined as a reconstructive project, aimed at advancing alternative claims of what security is or should mean. The North Korean regime's nuclear test in October 2006 served to underscore the sense of volatility associated with the Northeast Asian region, for some indicating the primacy of traditional modes of thinking about security and threat. The comprehensive security appears to capture the holistic and interdependent nature of insecurity processes and to incorporate the kind of liberal norms present in numerous Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) documents.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book examines the intellectual frameworks within which the case for war in Iraq was developed in the US and UK. It analyzes the neoconservative roots of the decision to go to war and traces the evolution of neoconservative thinking on foreign and security policy issues, highlighting the complexity of, and potential contradictions within, neoconservative thought. The book looks at the parallel processes through which President George H. W. Bush's administration and Tony Blair's government constructed their cases for war, analyzing similarities and divergences in the approach. It examines how the Bush administration tried to manage public opinion in support of its war policies. The book also looks at the decisionmaking process of the Bush administration in the year before the war in Iraq.
The problématique of culture in international conflict analysis
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book. The book develops a non-totalist understanding of international conflict resolution in general, and of problem-solving conflict resolution in particular. It seeks a non-totalist understanding by studying conflict and conflict resolution in the light of constructionist ideas of the social world. The book examines John Burton's conflict and conflict resolution theory and its relation to his human needs theory. By applying phenomenological concepts, an understanding of conflict and conflict resolution can be gained which differs in many respects from Burton's theories. The most important point of departure is the account of culture, which Alfred Schutz's theories provide for conflict and conflict resolution theory. The book concludes with practical suggestions for international problem-solving conflict resolution.