Creative Writing Summer Session

Rockin' the web this July

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Draft 3: Security Dilemma Piece
kknox0009 wrote in jctc_summer2014
There are many aspects of international politics that affect the way states perform in everyday life. How these states work together affects each of their outcomes in the political realm. However, when a state wants to obtain more power than others it creates a security dilemma among countries. This piece will demonstrate how security dilemmas affect the world in which we live.
Security dilemmas are ultimately about power and have affected international politics for many years. In 1648, the Treaty of Westphalia ended the 30 years’ war between Spain and Austria. This war was significant because it allowed states to obtain sovereignty. Sovereignty plays a huge role in security dilemmas. When a state’s freedom is threatened that state will do anything to protect it. If you don’t know what another state’s intentions are and you don’t know the consequences of your own power then this leads to a security dilemma. A good example of this took place in January of 2002 when President Bush gave a speech and in this speech he labeled North Korea as one of the “axis of evil.” In this example, if you were North Korea, would you feel threatened? When you feel threatened and you don’t know the other states intentions it leads to an arms race spiral. If you don’t build up your weapons for defense purposes then there really isn’t another option for protection. By Bush labeling North Korea it led them to accelerate their weapons programs immediately after his speech. Another example that created a security dilemma happened during the Clinton Administration. In 1992 the United States noticed from the space station that North Korea had more activity going on in a certain area than usual. This led the U.S. to question whether or not North Korea had the intention of creating weapons of mass destruction. Clinton ended up opening up peace talks with North Korea and both states tried to cooperate with one another. However, for this to happen, the U.S. and Japan had to agree to fund two light water reactors and to provide oil each year to North Korea. By agreeing to this it looked like the U.S. was giving into blackmail but the U.S. had a lot more at stake. The U.S. and South Korea have an alliance and if North Korea was to invade South Korea it would completely obliterate their military. The U.S. also has a large amount of troops stationed in South Korea and the U.S. would have significant amount of casualties if North Korea was to invade. By North Korea trying to acquire WMD’s it created a huge security dilemma among more than two states.
States have tried many methods to try and overcome the security dilemma or at least reduce it if nothing more can be done. One method that has been attempted is collective security. Collective security renounced the use of force in settling disputes. It was the idea that if one state became an aggressor that the non-aggressor states would come together and stop the aggressor. This goes along with the idea of prevention by threat, that if an aggressor state knows that other states will gang up on it if it decides to obtain more power or become a hegemon, that state will be less likely to even try. Woodrow Wilson came up with the idea of starting the League of Nations. This league was designed to “create a world of independent nation states, free of outside interference; the secret diplomacy of the old order would be replaced by the open discussion and resolution of disputes; the military alliance blocs would be replaced by a system of collective guarantees of security; and agreed disarmament would prevent the recurrence of the kind of arms race” that had happened in the past. However, there were several problems with the League of Nations that led to its failure. One of the league’s biggest problems was the fact that the great powers were not in it. “In 1919, the U.S. Senate refused to ratify it,” It was quite interesting that the President of the United States came up with the idea to form the league, yet the government was not behind his idea. This caused a complication due to the idea that if a state in the league works with a great power that is not in the league, then they have a big advantage. For example, in 1928 a crisis arose between Bolivia and Paraguay, both whom were a part of the league. The Paraguayan military captured and destroyed a Bolivian fort. Afterward, Bolivia decided to attack and try to take back their fort and another fort as well. Bolivia also notified the League of Nations for help during this crisis. However, the main problem is that “the prime mover in mediation was the Pan American Conference of Conciliation and Arbitration, a body that had been organized by the Pan American Union, a predecessor of the Organization of the American States (OAS).” When a great power, like the United States works from the outside like in this case with Paraguay and Bolivia, the league doesn’t really work. In this case, the league was also slow to react when Bolivia notified them of what had happened. When the league doesn’t respond right away or help its members then other states, like the U.S. could possibly get involved. The league being slow to react pretty much opened the door for a great power to step right in.

The main issue with these security dilemmas is that they are creating an unsafe environment for all of us. When one state believes it is a necessity to build up its weapons it leads to mutually assured destruction. If we look at the current situation going on in Ukraine and other countries around the world it shows how unsafe our world really is. I believe that it is dire for states to work together in order to trust one another. I know that it is a long shot, especially today. However, all it takes is one country to bomb another and then the entire world could potentially disappear. It is a sad situation and it makes me wish that humanity was more trusting and caring.

  • 1
Ugh, nonfiction. One thing I would have to say, since you're writing nonfiction, you'll have to cite your sources. You do include a lot of examples in your piece, which I like. Something you do, however, is you provide a brief explanation before going into your examples, without providing a whole lot of detail. It would be nice if you kept returning to that information and explained it as you went along in the paragraph, rather than leaving them behind in favor of the examples.

OK, so the problem I'm having with this as your piece for a creative writing class is that you're not presenting anything creative: it still reads like you're working on a research paper. Maybe you are and, while I understand wanting to double down your work and get input on it from another source, that's not what this class is for. To do creative nonfiction means writing creatively ABOUT the topic at hand - you have to bring some interesting insight that takes the topic to a new and interesting place, just reporting on what information is out there and telling us what you think about it isn't enough. It's a hard concept to grasp, I know, and a harder one to effectively fulfill.

Had I known you were going this direction I would have pushed you to read some really good creative nonfiction writers and essayists. As it stands I feel like you're pushing another assignment into this class so you don't have to do extra work either for this class or for a history (maybe?) class. I don't know but it's not fulfilling my goal for you as a writer in my class.

  • 1

Log in