Category Archives: Current Operations

On-going Naval Ops or Maritime Current Events

NAFAC Week Concludes on CIMSEC

By Dmitry Filipoff

Over the past week-and-a-half CIMSEC featured content from the 57th annual Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference, themed “A New Era of Great Power Competition.”

Our coverage began with overviews of major talks and panels that took place during the conference including: Rear Adm. John Kirby’s (ret.) address on fundamentals of decision-making and a panel on whether great power competition is occurring; Gen. John Allen’s address on global mega trends and the four-plus-one construct of international threats; Vice Adm. James Foggo’s III address on the fourth battle of the Atlantic and the panel on technology and cyber competition; Dr. Kathleen Hicks’ address on formulating policy to address present challenges and a panel on rival power perspectives on competition.

We followed our coverage with a full week featuring the top student essays selected from the 16 topical round tables. Their writings are listed below. Finally, we concluded with an interview with Jack McCain on the main takeaways and insights of the conference.

CIMSEC would like to recognize MIDN 1/C Charlotte Asdal, NAFAC Director, and her staff for allowing us to participate in this year’s events and for inviting our readership to virtually share in the conference’s rich academic proceedings.

Science Diplomacy in the Arctic by Jackie Faselt

“Due to its importance in environmental security, sizable natural resource reserves, and remote location, the Arctic incentivizes cooperation through science diplomacy.”

The Threat, Defense and Control of Cyber Warfare by Lin Yang Kang

“The ubiquity and reliance on cyberspace to improve the efficiency and capability of government, military, and civilian sectors lead to the Internet of Things (IOT) for day-to-day operations and in this pervasiveness of the use of Internet lies the potential for devastating cyber-attacks.”

Understanding Systems of International Order by Kimmie Ross

“Foundational literature exploring the respective merits and shortcomings of unipolar, bipolar, and multipolar international orders largely evaluate these systems in terms of their durability and propensity for peace. This essay serves to challenge these criteria as the main bases for evaluation, arguing that consideration of global prosperity and human rights is key in assessing the advantages of each system.”

Saving the Lives of Maritime Passageways: The Coast Guard and Maritime Chokepoints by Victoria Castleberry

“Coast Guard presence provides what no other U.S. asset can to this hostile region: provide security without an escalation of arms and the facilitation of transnational cooperation through various interagency programs. Expanding this model of strategic deterrence by increasing the U.S. Coast Guard’s presence internationally, the United States will be capable of protecting our most precious passages, promote international cooperation, and give the U.S. an advantage in determining how the international maritime waterways are governed.”

India’s Bid for Global Power in a Multipolar System During Development by Corey Bolyard

“By engaging in economic reform, India will have the opportunity to develop and exploit its large population and economic opportunity to become a global power in an increasingly multi-polar system, thereby allowing for an ambitious foreign policy permitting India to protect its interests in South Asia and act as the preeminent power in the region.”

Great Power Cooperation and the Role of International Organizations by Emil Krauch

“The atrocities of World War II have led to the creation of a union of countries that is unprecedented in its cooperation and interdependence. I intend to explore the European Union as an international collaboration of great powers, and to make the case for its importance and success.”

Iran and Saudi Arabia’s Proxy War in Yemen by Rose Cote

“While religion is a factor for the conflict, particularly for Iran supporting the Shia Houthi rebels, this conflict is primarily centralized around Yemen’s strategic value for both Iran and Saudi Arabia.”

Multinational Corporations in the Oil Industry by Monica Sullivan

“As multinational corporations are involved in the development of foreign infrastructure, their relationships abroad should be considered as a viable alternative for diplomatic action when military and state actors fail.”

A Balancing Act: U.S. and the Cross-Strait Relation by Jenny Chau Vuong

“There are three most likely outcomes in this conflict: Taiwan declaring independence, maintaining the status quo, or reuniting with China. In order to maintain positive relation with China, the U.S. should not bolster Taiwan’s confidence to declare independence.”

The Middle Way: A Balanced Approach to Growing America’s Navy by Riley Jones

“The United States Navy should adopt an intermediate approach to growing the fleet in order to maintain a favorable balance of power while also making efficient use of limited budgetary resources.”

The Reawakening of the Russian Bear by Jared Russel

“Thus, it is evident that Russia is not an emerging power in the global landscape, and furthermore, it is safe to assert that they are not ‘reawakening’ under any conditions. Instead, amidst their decline (or possibly even within the monotony of stability via mediocrity), the United States must be cautious of the dangers posed by a disruptive nation that acts like it has nothing to lose.”

The Beijing Consensus: A Threat of our own Creation by Jhana Gottlieb

“Contrary to the beliefs of Western alarmists, the Beijing Consensus’ power derives mostly from its definition as an alternative to Western neoliberalism, not from any ideological strength of its own. In emphasizing the dichotomy between the Washington and Beijing Consensuses, Western observers thereby only further extend China’s ideational power.”

The Unfriendly Scramble for Everywhere: Investment’s Role in Foreign Policy by Phillip Bass

“Investment changes a state’s foreign policy if the state is the investor, or if invested states have more to gain than by pursuing an alternative avenue.”

Assessing the United States’ Bioterrorism Preparation by Samuel Klein

“Because the United States’ biological WMD preparedness is inadequate, the United States government should substantially increase its investment in biological weapons response, including private- and public-sector biomedical research, treatment coordination infrastructure, and intelligence-driven threat mitigation.”

The Next Great Space Race: From a Sprint to a Marathon by Madison Fox

“Now, as tensions rise once again, and not only as space exploration but habitation become realistic possibilities, America will once again be called upon to lead. In this work, I hope to illustrate how the U.S. has done so thus far, and will continue to do so in the coming decades, with particular assistance from their most valuable resource, competitive innovation.”

Understanding the Role of Hybrid Warfare and U.S. Strategy for Future Conflicts by Rebecca Farrar

“By deconstructing the idea of hybrid war, the U.S. can better articulate an effective form of strategy, like budget reform and multilateral cooperation, to address inherent threats without the fervor created by the exaggerated significance given to this dystopic concept.”

Dmitry Filipoff is CIMSEC’s Director of Online Content. Contact him at Nextwar@cimsec.org

Featured Image: U.S. Naval Academy (Wikimedia Commons)

Understanding the Role of Hybrid Warfare and U.S. Strategy for Future Conflicts

Note: Original essay title: “Deconstructing Dystopia: Understanding the Role of Hybrid Warfare and U.S. Strategy for Future Conflicts.”

NAFAC Week

By Rebecca Farrar 

The boundaries of war have widened significantly with the technological investments each new era brings. Some believe war has lost the boundaries it once possessed, prompting an adoption of what some see to be a new way of war. The idea of “hybrid warfare” has become the 21st century political obsession, and allegedly poses a problem for the United States’ military strategy against growing powers like Russia, China, and even non-state actors like Daesh. While it may be true that the U.S. has reached a difficult point in foreign relations, the notion of “hybrid warfare” poses a fatal threat to U.S. security only so long as it continues to be hyperbolized. By deconstructing the idea of hybrid war, the U.S. can better articulate an effective form of strategy, like budget reform and multilateral cooperation, to address inherent threats without the fervor created by the exaggerated significance given to this dystopic concept.

Using analyst Frank Hoffman’s definition, “hybrid warfare” is “a tailored mix of conventional weapons, irregular tactics, terrorism, and criminal behavior in the same time and battlespace to obtain [a group’s] political objectives.” Despite the new-aged prominence political analysts are assigning to it, hybrid warfare does not entail anything the international community has not contended with before, having previously named similar conflicts “compound war.” For example, the rape and trafficking of thousands of women by Daesh is a component of their hybrid strategy. Yet, this cultural weapon has been systematically enforced from the top down in cases like the Dirty Wars, the Bangladeshi Liberation War, and the genocidal rapes commissioned by the Serbian forces. It seems that the narrow difference to justify a new slogan is the modern technology and information systems being used today. Yet, even the effects of these systems seem to be exaggerated. The supporters of this “new” concept point to the use of unmarked “Little Green Men” by Russia in the annexation of Crimea. However, the conditions in which Russia obtained Crimea are hardly innovative, nor are they indicative of future reproductions. In fact, Crimea supported a large population that held pro-Russian sentiments, and Russia possessed an “in” in the form of the Sevastopol base in southwestern Crimea. Furthermore, the divestment of patches hardly speaks of a new tactical form of war, and is instead more indicative of the high-end special forces operations the U.S. has long participated in. If anything, the focus on hybrid warfare as a new concept has hindered the U.S. by implying the existence of a new strain of conflict to be addressed. Aggressors like Russia and China may wave shiny new toys under the eye of the Western allies, all while operating in simultaneous spheres to achieve their political aims; but the reality is, they are not moving too far from the conventional and irregular methods of past conflicts. The U.S. should look at aggressors not as innovators, but as exceptional strategists recycling old algorithms of war to appear unrecognizable. When the U.S. can step out of the dystopia painted by the terror of a new form of war, it will see that current threats have not deviated from the path of history.

The U.S. must change its force structure to meet all potential threats and achieve its desired interests for order and protection. Threats can emerge from different categories, ranging from great powers to rogue states. As a global hegemon, the U.S. has the need and capability to address all of these threats, but must maintain a flexible force structure to meet demand. Currently, primacy – the preservation of current U.S. hegemony – is the most beneficial and cost-effective way to ensure the peace of a liberal world order. The U.S. defense budget should reassess its priorities to achieve this grand strategy. While the current budget still supersedes Cold War and WWII numbers, just over $600 billion, its priorities reflect the misleading understanding of today’s inherent threats. For example, the U.S. expects to spend up to $1.45 trillion on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter , technology that has proven to be unnecessary and fraught with developmental problems. Alternatively, funds should be appropriated to much needed naval technology, like littoral combat ships, to preserve U.S. power projection in the Pacific. Instead of cutting active-duty soldiers, the U.S. could increase ground forces to meet the demand for land based warfare, reflected in the guerilla attacks from non-state actors and conventional training in Russia’s military. An investment in Army, Marine, SFO, NGO, or human intelligence programs, is a much-needed element of our force structure to combat the cultural strains of war the U.S. is facing. The U.S. needs to step out of a technocentric mindset, reallocate funds being spent on imprudent technological programs, and invest in areas like training for protean threats and power projection abroad. For example, in addition to the investments in navy technology that would increase intelligence capabilities in the Pacific, the U.S. should secure ties with states near the South China Sea, “possibly including new U.S. deployments or even bases,” to provide a firm resistance to Chinese expansion. A benevolent flex of power not only deters feasible revolution, but also allows for our allies to shoulder a part of the cost to police that region.

Overall, the terror brought about by the phrase “hybrid warfare” hasn’t been constructive for U.S. foreign policy and security. Discussing current threats in this way distorts the role advanced technology and war strategies are actually playing in the international community. By deconstructing hybrid warfare to its parts, it becomes easier for the U.S. to adapt military strategy to meet those specific avenues of conflict. While the U.S. should not anticipate any serious oncoming threats to its security, it should still work to ensure its global primacy and future well-being through revising the budget and securing ties with states abroad.

Rebecca Farrar is a Senior at Baylor University in Waco, TX. Majoring in Political Science and minoring in Women’s and Gender Studies, she has been involved in many political and activist related organizations on Baylor’s campus. She has served in groups like the Baylor Democrats, the campus feminist club, Baylor Undergraduate Student Senate, Baylor University Mock Trial, and the All-University Civil Rights Resolution Committee. In addition to feminist activism and campaign work, Rebecca enjoys reading, traveling, and keeping up with her one-year old dog and sidekick, Penelope. Rebecca will be moving to NYC in the fall to pursue her law degree at St. John’s University School of Law, where she hopes to develop the skills to work specifically with crimes against women and children.

References

Hoffman, Frank. “On Not-So-New Warfare: Political Warfare vs Hybrid Threats.” War on the Rocks. August 07, 15. Accessed March 18, 2017. https://warontherocks.com/2014/07/on-not-so-new-warfare-political-warfare-vs-hybrid-threats/.

Kofman, Michael. “Russian Hybrid Warfare and Other Dark Arts.” War on the Rocks. March 11, 2016. Accessed March 22, 2017. https://warontherocks.com/2016/03/russian-hybrid-warfare-and-other-dark-arts/.

Kofman, Michael, and Matthew Rojansky. “A Closer Look at Russia’s “Hybrid War”.” The Kennan Cable, no. 7 (April 2015). Accessed March 20, 2017. https://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/7-KENNAN%20CABLE-ROJANSKY%20KOFMAN.pdf.

Minasyan, Sergey. ““Hybrid” vs. “Compound” War: Lessons From The Ukraine Conflict.” PonarsEuarasia – Policy Memos. November 20, 2015. Accessed March 21, 2017. http://www.ponarseurasia.org/memo/hybrid-vs-compound-war-lessons-ukraine-conflict.

O’Hanlon, Michael, and David Petraeus. “America’s Awesome Military And How to Make It Even Better.” Tomorrow’s Military. Foreign Affairs, September/October 2016.

Mackubin, Thomas Owens. “A Balanced Force Structure To Achieve a Liberal World Order.” Orbis 50, no. 2 (2006): 307-25.

Schóber, T. and P. Pulis. “F-35- Win or Loss for the USA and Their Partners?.” Advances in Military Technology 10, no. 2 (December 2015): 81-94. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed March 21, 2017).

Stavridis, James.  “Maritime Hybrid Warfare Is Coming,” Proceedings, U.S. Naval Institute, December 2016, http://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2016-12-0/maritime-hybrid-warfare-coming.  (Accessed March 23, 2017).

White, Andrew. “How Best to Combat the Terrorist Threat.” Military Technology 39, no. 2 (February 2015): 6. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed March 23, 2017).

Featured Image: Pro-Russian armed men stand guard at a checkpoint after pro-Russian activists set tires on fire when Ukrainian soldiers arrived on armoured personnel carriers, on the outskirts of Slaviansk, eastern Ukraine April 30, 2014. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)

Multinational Corporations in the Oil Industry

NAFAC Week

By Monica Sullivan 

Diplomacy is not only a function of the military and the federal government, but it is very much an integral facet of multinational corporations. The diplomatic agenda pushed by American multinational organizations is one focused on building trust between nations as a way by which to further national security aims. Additionally, the spread of American businesses overseas allows for the introduction of business ventures into areas otherwise untouched by basic capitalist ideas. Since American multinational corporations are predominantly apolitical forces, their primary purpose is not to force a political agenda, as seen in other diplomatic outlets. However, multinational corporations still have the abilities to introduce other countries to the basic tenets of American democracy through the business interactions that take place. Due to the extent of interactions between American multinational business and other countries, these businesses are one of the most important outlets when it comes to shaping the perception of America abroad. For the scope of this paper, the interactions of American multinational oil companies will be examined. As multinational corporations are involved in the development of foreign infrastructure, their relationships abroad should be considered as a viable alternative for diplomatic action when military and state actors fail.

Within the oil industry, the presence of American multinational corporations have allowed the growth of otherwise improbable relationships and the promotion of U.S. values abroad. The presence of U.S. oil companies in the Middle East have allowed a line of communication to bridge the gap between the starkly different Western and Islamic worlds. American involvement in the Middle Eastern oil prospects began in post-World War I period as American business was eventually permitted under the British mandate. It was evident that U.S. military and economic power would be beneficial as the Middle East was unstable and its future looked to be volatile.Since the U.S. became involved in the oil scene in the 1920s, it has only used this connection to strengthen bonds between itself and Saudi Arabia. Despite the inherent benefits attributed to the multinational nature of oil companies, there are some considerable downfalls that must be taken into account.

With the power of oil companies as influential multinational corporation comes the risk associated with such a unique diplomatic tool. Foremost, oil is a constantly dwindling natural resource that doubles as a crucial economic commodity. Since the United States is not a primary source of oil production, it must rely on other foreign oil producers. Any fluctuation in foreign industry can plunge the world into recession. The delicacy of oil dependence in the world is not as apparent as it was during the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973. The sanctions forced upon the U.S. by OPEC as retribution for allying with Israel crippled America’s supply of oil. In turn, this also drove up the price of oil and gasoline to quadruple the price prior to the sanction.2 This crisis demonstrated the power Saudi Arabia derived from its oil production and the United States’ lack of oil control. Although the United States reduced its dependency on Arab oil after this incident, it became apparent the importance of American corporations maintaining viable and open relationships with foreign countries. The economic and military relevance of oil was underscored once more in 2002, as Saddam Hussein used his control of oil processing as leverage during military campaigns. His threats to destroy oil platforms were met with the response of special warfare to ensure that his rogue actions would not cause an economic recession in the midst of the Iraqi conflict.3

Prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, American multinational oil corporations were involved in humanitarian aid efforts to try to quell the mistreatment of the civilian population. However, this initiative, known as the Oil for Food program, devolved into an international scandal in which American corporations like Chevron received illegal kickbacks which undermined the goal of transmitting food to a population crippled by United Nations’ sanctions.4 The fact that Chevron was manipulating this program to its benefit demonstrates the possible risks associated with using multinational corporations as means for diplomacy.5 Multinational corporations are subject to the whims of their executives, thereby allowing for their private ethical perspectives to drive the corporation’s representation of American ideals in foreign states. Despite the bad reputations evoked by some multinational corporations, the overall purpose of these businesses is grounded in their desire to spread American interests abroad.

One of the most influential examples of the positive power of multinational corporations is direct advancement of African civilizations in Chad by ExxonMobil. American interests in Africa peaked following World War I, but were overshadowed in the years since, until 9/11. Africa was not of strategic interest to the U.S. until it was determined that it was a breeding ground for radicalized terrorists. Prior to the unfolding of 9/11, ExxonMobil explored Chad as an option for oil extraction. These plans for extraction detailed that how the country was to develop its infrastructure, education, and healthcare through the use of the money received from taxes and royalties from the oil produced.6 By investing in Chad, Exxon-Mobil was able to provide about $4.2 billion dollars of aid, whereas the United States was only providing about $3 million dollars of aid to the area.7 The United States’ positive presence in the area allowed for a smooth transition of American military and state presence in the years following 9/11, as the CIA established stations in the area to monitor and track terrorist cells thought to have been left over from Bin Laden’s time in Sudan during the 1990s. Whereas the military and state was primarily focused on missions regarding terrorist activity, Exxon was involved in turning their business aims into an opportunity for eliminating poverty in the region. The bonds forged between Exxon and the local population prior to the introduction of American operatives in the region made this transition much easier than if Chadians had no prior interactions with American people. This may be just one case study of the impact of the diplomatic power of an American multinational corporation, but it exhibits the mindset of the American business owners to further American ideals abroad. 

Multinational oil corporations do not only have to form relationships with other states, but they have to coordinate with each other. Looking to the future, American oil corporations will be faced with the challenge of competing with Saudi Aramco, the largest multinational corporation in the world. As this one entity has more power than any other American based company, it has the power to bend the U.S. to their will. The question that remains is: How will the American values modeled by multinational corporations abroad continue future diplomatic relations?

Monica Sullivan is a 3/C Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy. She majors in Political Science with a minor in Spanish language. In her free time, Monica enoys singing with the Protestant Chapel Choir.

Works Cited

Coll, Steve. Private empire: ExxonMobil and american power. London: Penguin, 2013.

“Q&A: Oil-for-food scandal.” BBC News. September 7, 2005. Accessed March 31, 2017. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4232629.stm.

“Chevron to Pay $30 Million to Settle Charges For Improper Payments to Iraq Under U.N. Oil For Food Program.” U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. November 14, 2007. Accessed March 30, 2017. https://www.sec.gov/news/press/2007/2007-230.htm.

Myre, Greg. “The 1973 Arab Oil Embargo: The Old Rules No Longer Apply.” NPR. October 16, Accessed March 30, 2017http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2013/10/15/234771573/the-1973-arab-oil-embargo-thE-old-rules-no-longer-apply.

Yergin, Daniel. The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power. London: Simon & Schuster, 2012.

References

1. Daniel Yergin. The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power. 196

2. “The 1973 Arab Oil Embargo: The Old Rules No Longer Apply.”

3. Steve Coll. Private Empire, 154-176.

4. “Chevron to Pay $30 Million to Settle Charges For Improper Payments to Iraq Under U.N. Oil For Food Program.”

5. “Q&A: Oil-for-food scandal.”

6. Steve Coll. Private Empire, 154-176.

7. Steve Coll. Private Empire, 154-176.

Featured Image: Ed Kashi/Corbis

Understanding Systems of International Order

Note: Original title of essay: “Understanding Systems of International Order: Challenging Existing Evaluation Criteria”

NAFAC Week

By Kimberly Ross

Foundational literature exploring the respective merits and shortcomings of unipolar, bipolar, and multipolar international orders largely evaluate these systems in terms of their durability and propensity for peace.1 This essay serves to challenge these criteria as the main bases for evaluation, arguing that consideration of global prosperity and human rights is key in assessing the advantages of each system. It is beyond the scope of this essay however, to evaluate the three systems’ abilities to generate prosperous and fair environments, as empirical support for these claims would be distorted for the sake of argument. Instead, this essay seeks to make a claim for the inclusion of prosperity and human rights criteria in understanding and appraising international balances of power.

Realist international relations (IR) theory assumes the global order is naturally anarchical, meaning power balances resulting in peace defy relational norms and indicate success.2,3 It is for this reason propensity for peace is so highly valued in analyses of these systems, as seen in the work of Wohlforth, Ikenberry, Mastanduno, and others.4 Sustained, ‘true’ peace ensures stability, leading to the second quality valued in power balance assessments: durability. Any power balance with longevity similarly defies patterns of relations between states. Thus, scholars maintain peace and durability are the most important qualities to consider in evaluating international systems.5

These two qualities are undoubtedly important, but should not be the sole basis for understanding which system is preferred. It is assumed stability is inherently peaceful; stability only exists when all major actors accept the status quo. Stability however, could also be derived from the violent oppression of minor powers into supporting roles. A number of scholars reflect upon the Cold War as a tension-filled but stable period of bipolarity, as both powers were the only match for each other’s capabilities.6 As Nuno P. Monteiro rightly points out, peace in this context is only evaluated in terms of direct nuclear war between the superpowers.Narratives of Cold War peace overlook the numerous proxy wars waged on behalf of each power’s ideology, resulting in a singularly violent period within international politics.8 Smaller powers are often forced into their roles in conflicts due to powerful states’ oppressive assertions of influence.

Smaller powers similarly fall prey to natural resource exploitation under all three systems of power balance. Globalization has exacerbated this reality, creating unequal systems of production and consumption.9 International power balances give way to asymmetrical and oftentimes oppressive systems, a fact many regard as the nature of state relations. While minor powers may always be destined to suffer harsh realities, in advocating for either a unipolar, bipolar, or multipolar system it is important to value that which most effectively minimizes the unsavory consequences of inequality. 

A successful world order is one which assures relative prosperity and human rights for all. In systems where a minority of powerful states benefit from the labor and exploitation of the majority of the population, power balances are not only unequal but extremely skewed. This arguably results in increased instability as minor powers vie to dismantle the status quo.10 Therefore, it is within powerful states’ best interests to move toward leveling the playing field to ensure the durability of their dominance. It is for this reason prosperity and human rights are two of the best markers by which to measure the success of an international power structure.11 These two conditions factor heavily into minimum living standards generally accepted by the international community and should be prioritized in the evaluation of unipolar, bipolar, and multipolar systems.

The realist assumption that states are self-interested actors offers an immediate rebuttal to this argument. Major powers in all three systems are arguably strong to a point where they are unthreatened by the discontent of less capable actors.12 However, it should be noted that sustained resistance, even from much less capable powers, has the ability to drain the resources of major powers to a point of disrupting the status quo in their favor. Although states may be self-interested, they are not always rational. Given the appropriate pressures, it may be within states’ best interests to engage in power redistribution to ensure the longevity of their status.

Proponents of the peace-durability evaluation criteria would point out that prosperity and human rights are impossible to guarantee in the absence of peace. While this argument certainly holds merit, the anarchical nature of international relations systems means peace is an abnormality.13 Within the current system of unipolarity, the United States has been at war for over 25 percent of its total time as global hegemon.14 Moreover, only recently in history have questions of basic standards of living and human rights begun to be seriously considered.15 In advocating for any one international power balance system, peace should be a central goal but not at the expense of the protection of adequate living standards and human rights.

As previously stated, it is beyond the scope of this essay to empirically evaluate each system’s ability to generate prosperity or foster human rights, however, data-driven monitoring structures are needed for future evaluations. One method to examine the prosperity enjoyed under each system could be through comparative examination of GDP and global economic inequality statistics. Reliance upon these sources has shortcomings, especially since the bulk of contemporary globalization has occurred under United States hegemony. The use of tools such as the Legatum Prosperity Index may provide more useful for deriving meaningful findings.16 In measuring human rights, one can employ the United Nations Commission on Human Rights’ set of indicators which assess topics ranging from the rights of disabled persons to ratification of treaties on a yearly basis.17

Adequate living standards and human rights are central to evaluating the attractiveness of international power-balancing structures. Use of statistics on these standards should be integrated into scholarly considerations of system merits.

Kimmie, who hails from Springfield, Virginia, represents Vassar College at NAFAC 2017. She is a senior who is majoring in International Studies and French. Kimmie is passionate about all things relating to international relations, but harbors a special interest for counter-terrorism operations in the Middle East and Maghreb. Kimmie also greatly admires Harriet Beecher Stowe, as not only does she embody some great ideals, but Kimmie is related to her as well. If Kimmie could travel anywhere, it would be New Zealand. Finally, Kimmie was inspired to write her paper not only because of the looming deadline, but because she finds the aspect of human rights integral to understanding the changing climate of great power dynamics around the globe.

Works Cited

Bate, Roger. “What is Prosperity and How Do We Measure It?” American Enterprise Institute Development Policy Outlook no. 3 (2009): 1-7. poseidon01.ssrn.com/delivery.php.

Cohen, Michael. “Peace in the Post-Cold War World.” The Atlantic, December 15th, 2011. www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/12/peace-in-the-post-cold-war-world/249863.

“Human Rights Indicators.” UNHCR. Accessed March 15th, 2017. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Indicators/Pages/HRIndicatorsIndex.aspx.

Ikenberry, G. John, Michael Mastanduno, and William C. Wohlforth. “Introduction: Unipolarity, State Behavior, and Systemic Consequences.” World Politics 61, no. 1 (2009): 1-27.

Krugman, Paul and Anthony J. Venables. “Globalization and the Inequality of Nations.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 110, no. 4 (1995): 857-880.

Mingst, Karen A. and Ivan M. Arreguín-Toft. Essentials of International Relations, Fifth Edition. (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 2010). 

Monteiro, Nuno P. “Unrest Assured: Why Unipolarity is Not Peaceful.” International Security 36, no. 3 (2011): 9-40.

UN General Assembly. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. December 10th, 1948, 217 A (III). http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b3712c.html.

Waltz, Kenneth N. “The Stability of a Bipolar World.” Daedalus 93, no. 3 (1964): 881-909.

Wohlforth, William C. “The Stability of a Unipolar World.” International Security 24, no. 1 (1999): 5-41.

Consulted works 

Wohlforth, William C. “Unipolarity, Status Competition, and Great Power.” World Politics 61, no. 1 (2009): 28-57.

1. Nuno P. Monteiro, “Unrest Assured: Why Unipolarity is Not Peaceful,” International Security 36, no. 3 (2011): 9.

2. Karen A. Mingst and Ivan M. Arreguín-Toft, Essentials of International Relations, Fifth Edition (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 2010), 83-96.

3. This essay employs realist theory in its discussions as much of the literature on unipolar, bipolar, and multipolar systems relies upon the theory’s assumptions in evaluating the international political order.

4. See consulted sources in bibliography for further reading. 

5. William C. Wohlforth, “The Stability of a Unipolar World,” International Security 24, no. 1 (1999): 7.

6. Kenneth N. Waltz, “The Stability of a Bipolar World,” Daedalus 93, no. 3 (1964): 882-887.

7. Monteiro, Unrest Assured, p. 17.

8. Michael Cohen, “Peace in the Post-Cold War World,” The Atlantic, December 15th, 2011, www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/12/peace-in-the-post-cold-war-world/249863.

9. Paul Krugman and Anthony J. Venables, “Globalization and the Inequality of Nations,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 110, no. 4 (1995): 857-868.

10. Monteiro, Unrest Assured, p. 20-23.

11. Prosperity in this instance refers to the baseline economic standards which guarantee the right to an adequate standard of living as established by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

12. G. John Ikenberry, Michael Mastanduno, and William C. Wohlforth, “Introduction: Unipolarity, State Behavior, and Systemic Consequences,” World Politics 61, no. 1 (2009): 8-10.

13. Monteiro, Unrest Assured, p. 17.

14. Ibid, p. 11.

15. UN General Assembly, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, December 10th, 1948, 217 A (III), http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b3712c.html.

16. See Roger Bate, “What is Prosperity and How Do We Measure It?,” American Enterprise Institute Development Policy Outlook no. 3 (2009): 1-7, poseidon01.ssrn.com/delivery.php.

17. “Human Rights Indicators,” UNHCR, accessed March 15th, 2017, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Indicators/Pages/HRIndicatorsIndex.aspx.

Featured Image: A wide view of the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room at the Palais des Nations during the high-level segment of the Human Right Council’s thirty-fourth regular session. (UN Photo/Elma Okic)