Creative Writing Summer Session

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Final Draft: Security Dilemma Piece
kknox0009 wrote in jctc_summer2014
I’ve heard that research papers can be incredibly mundane which is understandable. However, have you ever imagined our world being wiped out? You see things on the news from time to time about North Korea testing missiles but no one ever thinks anything will happen. What if a country felt threatened and it caused WWIII, only afterward, there wasn’t a world left. It is a scary thought but it is a possible one in the world we live in and with the weapons we have created. This piece will demonstrate how security dilemmas affect the world in which we live and why they are such a concern in today’s society.

So I know that background information can be super boring but it is important to understand it to see the current issue. It is important to realize that 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.

Attempted Solutions:
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

The Issue:
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. If we could someone create a system that would allow everyone to feel safer I believe wholeheartedly that it would be worth it.

Works Cited:

“Bush’s ‘Evil Axis’ Comment Stirs Critics”, BBC News, 2002, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1796034.stm (accessed November 1, 2009).
Charles Townshend, “The League of Nations and the United States”, BBC Home, 2003, http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/league_nations_01.shtml (accessed November 2,2009)

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Yeah. Interesting take, maybe, for a research paper. A research paper, however, is not what a creative writing class is for. Alas.

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