Global Security in the Post Cold War Essay

  • Length: 5 pages
  • Sources: 3
  • Subject: Government
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #6799611

Excerpt from Essay :

failed state is never able to sustain itself as a members of the international community (Helman & Rathner,1993).Rotberg (2002) pointed out that state failure can occur in various dimensions. These dimensions include security, political representation, economic prosperity as well as the distribution of income (Rotberg,2002,p.85).His argument is that nations that failure of states occurs as a result of their failure to deliver positive political gains to their citizens. These governments therefore end up losing their legitimacy and amidst the growing citizens plurality, they become illegitimate. Rotberg further pointed out that the collapsed state / failed state marks the final stage of a nation's failure (he gave Somalia as an example).The failure can occur simultaneously on all dimensions.

The role of Western nations and multinationals in state failure

The role of western nations and multinational corporations in the failure of states has been noted.A normal and functional sovereign state is expected to effectively perform certain minimal functions aimed at ensuring that both security as well as the well-being of the citizens is ensured. The state should also ensure the smooth running within the international system. Extant literature has been dedicated to the identification of the factors that leads to a state not being able to perform its main Weberian functions. The states that do not meet the minimum are deemed 'weak', 'poorly performing' or 'fragile' as pointed out by Torres & Anderson (2004,p.5). The failed states are the most dangerous states to international security and stability. This is because they served as perfect incubators for war and terrorist related activities that seem to affect the global security negatively.

Various western and non-western as well as multinational corporations have been noted to aid the slip of natural-resource bearing states to anarchy and state failure. This is through the concept of resource curse" that aff3ects countries that derive a huge portion of their total income from the exportation of high-value natural resources like oil, metals as well as gems. This is more notable in African countries such as Sierra Leone in which the "blood diamond" caused a decade of civil war. Wenar (2011) pointed out that there exists a correlation between the natural resources in failed states and pathologies such as corruption, authoritarianism, economic dysfunction and civil conflicts as noted in the five main African exporters of oil; Nigeria, Sudan, Angola, Algeria and Libya. This trend is not only in Africa. It can be noted in non-African states such as Burma, Turkemistan and Yemen. At the moment, there is not empirical study or evidence to directly link the western nations and corporations with state failures. All that exists are a myriad of conspiracy theories (Becker,2002).


The Western former colonial masters have also been noted to be responsible for state failure through their massive natural resource grab (Murray,2006).These colonial masters use destabilization and demonisation in their quest to grab minerals in these states.The consequence is a failure or weakening of these states. Example is the destabilization of Timor Leste by the Australian government and other western powers through class collaboration.

The security concerns due to a failed state

The security risks and threats posed by a failed state can be shown to occur at different levels. These threats to security can be noted at local, regional and international levels. The international studies of states that are fragile are usually aimed at the examination of the potential conflict in these states. This is due to the effects that these stability concerns have on the international systems and relations. This is to say that the poor state of security in fragile states is of concern to the international community due to the security threat that they pose to other states. Carment et. al. (2010) pointed out that the interest of the citizens living in the fragile states is never of primary concern but the effect that the threats pose to the international community. Hededam, Van Der Aa Kuhle and Olsen (2010) pointed out that the study of the fragile states should contain an analysis of the threats that they pose to the international community as well as to the domestic population and interests.

Domestic (internal) security concerns in a failed state

The concept of security to humans entails a consideration of all the things that poses direct and indirect risks to citizens of a state. Mortsensen (1998) pointed out that security is the process through which humans pursue freedom from all forms of threat. Tilly (1975) argued that the level of security in any given society can be gauged through the accumulations well as the concentration of all forms of violence.The accumulation of a violence denotes the amount of violence that exists in the society while the concentration of the same refers to control of violence is distributed in the society. In a failed state, the citizens lack capacity and therefore they end up lacking the basic security. They also lack the necessary governance structures and this results in the inefficiency as well as the inequitable wealth distribution. The citizens also lack control over the rampant violence in their territories. This results in the weakening of the state as a result of too much divisions. In order to bring peace and order (Law) to these failed states, it is necessary to instill peace through the control of the violence (Rubin,2008). Several variables are important in ensuring that there is security. Things such as resources are crucial.

Failed states and international security

Newman (2009) pointed out that there are several security pathologies that have been identified to occur due to failed states. These have profound effect on global peace and security. These situations usually involve the occurrence of violent conflict as either a cause or a dire consequence of a state failure or the weakness of a state. The outcome is negative transnational effects. These include migration flows of citizens (Collins,2007) that can ultimately lead to the rise as well as the spread of insurgency that can end up threatening regional and international stability on the basis of conflicts with neighboring and interested states. Example being the forcible displacement of Rwandans from the Uganda territory . This lead to the formation of the Rwandan Patriotic Front that engaged in an armed conflict with the Rwandan government in the 1980s and the 1990s.

Failed states have also been pointed out by Newman (2009) to be vulnerable to various forms of illegal smuggling and trafficking. These involves trafficking of small arms as well as light weaponry via the resulting porous boarders. This is a credible source of regional insecurity. They can also be used as drug trafficking hubs hence leading to social problems on an international scale. The weapons that were trafficked across the Balkans between Pakistan and Afghanistan in 1990s and caused a lot of regional and international insecurity (Glenny,1996).This is indicative of the fact that weak borders facilitate the flow of illegal and dangerous cargo such weapons and drugs that lead to further insurgency as well as conflicts across the world. Unmanned territorial waters have also been shown to harbor piracy such as in Somalia. This leads to international insecurity since the pirates capture and demand ransoms from citizens of different nations and use the money to fund their terrorist activities in their respective terror organizations such as Al-Qaeda (Luft and Korin,2004).Failed states have also been linked to the proliferation of WMD.

Failed states have also been shown to host a variety of war economies. This leads to illegal commercial networks as well as activities that depend on the environment in which there is no rule of law. Example is the growth of Coca in Afghanistan to be use din making cocaine, an international illegal drug.As Paul Collier pointed out, 95% of the global hard drug production takes place in the conflict-prone states (Newman,1999).Example is the fact that a large amount of Cocaine and Heroin are from Afghanistan and Columbia. The production of these drugs is linked to the absence of a central government to control the regions. In Somalia, lawlessness has lead to piracy.

Failed states have also been noted to have an adverse effect on the global natural environment (Newnam,1999).The effects are transnational. This is caused by the lack of effective regulations to be used for governing the terrible environmental degradation. Example is the conflict in Sudan's Dafur region that has exacerbated desertification and a reduction in habitable as well as agricultural land.

Failed states have also been indicated to have a myriad of health problems since the state have no control of epidemics as a result of the lack of a capacity in terms of health facilities as well as the lack of community health policies. Example is the Zimbabwean case in which cholera outbreak wrecked havoc across the region.

The post 9/11 situation has led to an argument that failed states lead to the formation of environment that are conducive for the formation and emergence of terrorist organizations. A weak and failed state acts as their breeding grounds. This has…

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