IR3001 Middle East security

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Information about IR3001 Middle East security

Published on April 23, 2008

Author: Berta


IR3001 International Security:  IR3001 International Security Security Challenges in the Middle East Introduction:  Introduction Part 1: Trends in Conflict, Proliferation and Security co-operation Political Economy of Conflict Islamist opposition The ‘War on Terror’ Part 2: Focus: The Palestinian Question Images of the Middle East:  Images of the Middle East The most conflictual region in the world? On a collision course with the ‘West’? History of conflict (Lewis) Clash of Civilisations (Huntington) Political Economy confers exceptional status? Geostrategic needs vs. imperialism Resource Wars (Klare): internal (water) and externally prompted (oil) Is there a (global) ‘Green Peril’? Can the Arab-Israeli conflict be resolved? Post-1945 Conflicts:  Post-1945 Conflicts Arab-Israeli conflicts: 1948, 1956, 1967, 1969-1971, 1973, 1982, 2006 Israeli-Palestinian Conflicts: Intifada (1987-1991), al-Aqsa Intifada (2000-) Three Gulf Wars: Iran-Iraq (1980-1988), Iraq-Kuwait (1990-1991), US-led invasion of Iraq (2003-) Afghan Tragedy: 10y resistance against Soviet occupation (1979-1989), followed by civil war (warlords) & post-9/11 US-led invasion Conflict over status of Yemen, civil war in Algeria (1992-1998), water skirmishes b/w Turkey and its neighbours (& in Israel/Palestine), Kurdish uprisings… Analytical Trends:  Analytical Trends External dimension: weak on int’l law enforcement (e.g. UNSC Res 198, 242, 338) heavy on intervention: direct or indirect involvement by France, UK, USSR and US Internal dimensions: Focus on Israel as common ‘aggressor’ frames co-operation, but conflict among Arab/Islamic states & civil wars also occur Relations with Israel have regional significance, but it is only one of many issues Unsatisfactory conflict resolution  repeated conflicts in the same area: legacy, restitution, instability… Arms Proliferation:  Arms Proliferation Proliferation function of statehood: no army = no independence… Postcoloniality: armed forces for internal security Question of prestige and regional competition Weak regional institutions, little transparency, creates spirals of insecurity? Some arms control initiatives. Weapons of Mass Destruction Chemical weapons used by Saddam on Iranian troops & Kurdis (US blocks UNSC Res.) Only Israel has (undeclared) nuclear weapons: a key foreign policy goal is to keep its regional monopoly Iraq’s WMD programme halted in 1990s Iran considered development of nuclear capacity since the days of the Shah (prestige and power projection) Egypt & Jordan now also exploring nuclear programme Key suppliers: UK, France, Russia, USA Security Cooperation: Alliances:  Security Cooperation: Alliances Arab states against Israel (1947, 1973) Cold War: Baghdad Pact/CENTO is a weak instrument of Soviet containment (1955-1979) ‘Non-aligned Movement’ (flexible alliances with Superpowers) (E.g. Nsaser’s Egypt) Arab League (1945-) discussion of all aspects of regional co-operation excludes Iran, Turkey…and Israel Arab Unification projects (e.g. UAR, 1958-1961) Organization of the Islamic Conference (1971-): more inclusive, but weaker on security Gulf Co-operation Council: security and economic Euro-Med Partnership / ENP (1995-): framework for bilateral relations: e.g. EU, Israel, Malta, Cyprus & PA Assessing Security Cooperation:  Assessing Security Cooperation Reluctance to be a zone of influence Postcolonial legacy Weak level of institutionalisation? Growing but not binding Focus on collective security? Change of dynamics at the end of the Cold War Weaker patronage, pressure to resolve Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the US (short-lived…) Ambiguities: More transparency and co-operation, but states compete for regional dominance Funding of Islamist groups in other states in the region… Post-9/11 distancing Political Economy of Conflict:  Political Economy of Conflict Energy supply recognised as US national interest MENA is a geostrategic region Strong alliances with undemocratic Saudi Arabia, Iran (until 1979) and Iraq (until 1990) Oil Power: OPEC hikes prices up after October War (1973), and Iranian Revolution (1979) can a cartel stand up to superpowers because of its resources? Water: Occupied Territories hold water reserves Israel needs… (Selby) Internal Security: Identity clash or representation crisis?:  Internal Security: Identity clash or representation crisis? Nationalism was historically key to independence and state-building… Dominance of Pan-Arabism hides ethno-religious diversity Populist developmental dreams betrayed by Economic failures growing Authoritarianism Authoritarianism, Democracy and Radicalisation: Non-recognition of ethnic minorities (Turkey) Rise of Islamism as main opposition to regimes Pressures to democratise in the 1990s lead to ‘cosmetic results’ (façade/pseudo-democracy) Internal stability often maintained through mixed strategies of co-optation, compromise and repression Islamist Politics:  Islamist Politics ‘Islamism’ is not Islam ‘Islamism’: range of political & social movements aiming to ‘bring Islam back’ Armed/revolutionary groups are v. small minority Bids for power: Iran, Sudan, Algeria, Turkey… Populist roots: emphasis on lack of corruption, authentic values, empowerment and resistance to foreign interference The New Bogeyman of Global Politics? ‘Green Peril’ arguments began in early 1990s, ultimately in 1979 Only took root in West after ‘9/11’ …But groups are varied in goals and tactics…No unified regional network Can Islamism be fought with traditional security tools? Islamism(s): Roots of Regional Movements:  Islamism(s): Roots of Regional Movements Choueiri: resistance movements in name of Islam are cyclical in history Response to times of economic and political crisis Modern Islamism born in Egypt in 1920s: Hassan al-Banna’s Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al-Muslimun) Setting up a Muslim state free from imperialist meddling Purification of society through Muslim values Creation of groups elsewhere to recreate a powerful community Methods: education, infiltration of power channels, assassination of political leaders (…later) 1960s: Repression under Nasser  Sayyid Qutb: obligation to overthrow governments living in ‘ignorance’, radical interpretation of jihad From 1970s: economic/political crisis of postcolonial dev’t projects  varied groups mushroom across Middle East 1990s: pressures for democratisation mean new opportunities 9/11 and the ‘War on Terror’:  9/11 and the ‘War on Terror’ Increase in globalisation of radical Islamist activity Greater focus on international events [Bosnia, Chechnya] Training and ideological gateway in Afghanistan Greater focus on US as enemy [Israel, Iran, troops in Saudi Arabia…] Attacks on US assets in Middle East (USS Cole, embassy bombings) & first attempt on the World Trade Centre (1993). 9/11: reflects Islamist terrorism’s focus on high-profile, high-casualty attacks US response is confrontation, but agenda becomes coupled with confronting ‘rogue states’ [‘Axis of Evil’ unrelated to ‘9/11’] Successful dismantling economic networks, increased information-sharing Undermining civil liberties at home and abroad [Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay, rendition flights, Abu Ghraib torture scandal] Both wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are won easily militarily, but poor record on post-conflict reconstruction Can democratisation be imposed? Prepared for outcomes (Islamists often win elections)? can authoritarian regimes elsewhere still be supported? From Palestine Mandate to Israel:  From Palestine Mandate to Israel Mixed population (mostly Arab Palestinian) under the control of the Ottoman Empire (Turkish) until WWI British encourage Arab rebellion against Ottomans Post-WWI: betrayal of the British who deny promise of independence and gain mandate to rule Palestine McMahon-Husayn (1915-16): promises to Faysal Sykes-Picot Agreement (1916): colonial creation of boundaries Balfour Declaration (1917): promises to Zionists Zionism becomes influential under British mandate - mass migration is encouraged, but divide and rule policy with Arabs is tool of control Continued clashes lead to complete reversal in British policy in 1940 This happens at the very time a safe asylum is most needed - estimated 6 Million Jewish victims in Holocaust Gave Zionism international support in the aftermath of WWII and a new impetus for a ‘safe’ homeland Independence and the 1948 War:  Independence and the 1948 War Use of violent tactics (1946-47) to force Britain out International mediation fails and issue goes to the UN Partition plan for Palestine is rejected in 1948 under Arab pressure Jewish Council pushes for creation of Jewish state when British Mandates runs out (15 May 1948). 8 hours before mandate runs out Ben Gurion declares the creation of the State of Israel Arab neighbours (Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Egypt) attack on the 15th to prevent a fait accompli Ambiguous Arab attitudes towards Palestine Surrounded and outnumbered, Israel resists invasion 600,000 Palestinians become refugees Israel gains UN membership in May 1949 Agreed boundaries create recognised Israeli territory The Six Day War: 5-11th June 1967:  The Six Day War: 5-11th June 1967 Tensions with Arab neighbours are mounting Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian troops mass at borders Israeli pre-emptive strike destroys Egyptian air force After six days, territory controlled by Israel has almost doubled: new land known as ‘Occupied Territories’ Interpreted as humiliation by the Arab World (Naksah) UN SC Res. 242 condemns land acquisition through war (with little effect: never enforced; ambiguity…) Another 500,000 Palestinians displaced Sinai returned to Egypt in 1979 through peace deal, other Territories remain under Israeli control Camp David Accords (1978): Sinai for peace and recognition The price: Egypt is isolated, Sadat assassinated in 1981…PLO radicalised The 1970s:  The 1970s Egypt and Syria launch offensive in 1973 (October / Ramadan / Yom Kippur War) Israel wins again, but not as confidently as 1967: Crossing of the ubur casualties are high, UN still refuses recognition Highlights Israeli dependence on US support OPEC oil embargo demonstrates Arab power Palestinians become a political force Palestinian violence with PLO and Abu Nidal (e.g. 1972 Olympic Games) Rise of right-wing Likud party in Israel and more systematic approach to colonisation of the OTs The Lebanese Wars 1982-2000, 2006:  The Lebanese Wars 1982-2000, 2006 Violence in Israel by PLO incursions from S. Lebanon: IDF believes short war can wipe out PLO invades Operation Peace in Galilee (6 June 1982) successfully expels PLO (goes to Tunisia), but Israel does not withdraw South Lebanese Muslim resistance becomes organised to expel Israel (Hezbollah) War helps descent into civil war in 1980s Atrocities: Israeli complicit in massacres of Palestinian refugees in Sabra and Shatila Withdrawal in 2000, but as Hezbollah launches rocket attacks, Israel decides (again) that a short war can be decisive in securing its border in 2006 End result of the short war is indecisive militarily, but serious blow to Israeli (military) reputation The Peace Process:  The Peace Process Palestinian resistance grows in OTs: from 1987, the Intifada demonstrations attract a worldwide audience and sympathy Negotiations: PLO: Tunis Declarations implicitly recognise Israel & renounce violence US brokers early negotiations, but Israel does not recognise PLO and refuses to deal with a Palestinian delegation Madrid Summit (1991) creates a foundation for discussion and ‘secret’ negotiations sponsored by Norway Election of Rabin (Labour) in 1992 leads to recognition of Palestinians as a people, and fosters talks 1993 Oslo Accords lay foundations for peace: ‘land for peace’ formula: 2-state solution, partial autonomy with creation PA Many problems remain: Israel makes less compromises than the Palestinians, issue of right of return for refugees, Jerusalem, etc. Arafat can return to OTs and set up the Palestinian Authority (PA) Rabin assassinated by Jewish extremist in Nov 1995 process starts to unravel (Netanyahu explicitly rejects & reverses it) Current Issues:  Current Issues February 2000 election controversy: Sharon leads a more confrontational approach Second Intifada (sparked by Temple Mount visit by Sharon) Hamas and Islamic Jihad adopt terrorist tactics focused on civilian casualties IDF adopt military incursions & extra-legal killings ‘Security Wall’: officially, to keep terrorists out; but also ‘secures’ some OTs for ‘final status’ negotiations (creating facts on the ground) Palestinians giving up on a peaceful solution by voting for Hamas to head the PA? Failure of accountability under Arafat Corruption and authoritarianism foster support of Islamism; negotiations with Israel seem futile Little US pressure for resolution under Bush Jr Conclusions:  Conclusions Regional security is complex: Weak institutionalisation, rivalries for military power and influence Lack of mutually agreed resolution to conflicts fosters further conflict External involvement for economic and geostrategic reasons Islamism: domestic, regional, & international dimensions The question of OTs remains a major factor for opposition to Israel The region remains undemocratic, with gross economic inequalities, ethnic and religious divisions, and a growing sense of siege

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