Balancing the World

International Relations


The present world is currently made up of two types of states, or two sub worlds, the developed and underdeveloped. The developed world is connected, stable, and for the most part capitalistic in nature. In contrast the underdeveloped world is stricken with war, famine, poverty, and has little or no economy. This underdeveloped world poses a threat to the developed world, with conditions that only foster rebellion and terrorism. A future with out this threat can only be achieved by a developed world in which states work together to bring the opportunities that it knows to the lesser states and regions around the world.

The developed world has many different names among different people. To Mr. Barnett and Mr. Friedman it is called the “functioning core” or “core” and the “world of order.” Of course the name can only exist with the meaning behind it and both of theses names stand for the privileged, the stable, and working states of the world. These two men have different names and slightly different meanings and policies to deal with the under-privileged states of the world.

Mr. Barnett’s “non-integrating gap” or “gap” consists of failed states and war torn areas that are lacking stability and strong economies. Environments like this foster terrorism and civil unrest that can ravage nations for decades. Barnett believes this “gap” to be a “strategic threat environment,” and one that must be dealt via a “long term military commitment.” Mr. Barnett believes that these “gap” states will continue to be the incubator of terrorism until they are changed, a change that will not only bring security to the developed world but also bring prosperity and stability to the underdeveloped world. In his paper Mr. Barnett seems to favor a more unilateral approach by the U.S. regarding the international system; he uses “America” and “U.S. Military” on more than a few occasions and brings up the point that where the U.S. military has been present in the past (i.e. Germany and Japan) there is a “core” state. Mr. Barnett was also a supporter of the war in Iraq but not for humanitarian or the WMD reasons but for the policy towards the underdeveloped world that the U.S. would have to take after the invasion.

Mr. Barnett also has a third category; it is called the “seam states.” These “seam states” are states that are not quite “core or “gap” states. These states have characteristics of both “gap” and “core” states and could at any time fall into the “gap.” The real concern about these states is that they provide a gateway for the religious fundamentalists to access the “core” states. For the most part “seam” states border both “core” and “gap” states. This third category calls for the “core” states to help shed the “gap” like characteristics of these states and bring them into the core before major problems occur.

Like Mr. Barnett, Mr. Friedman’s “world of disorder” consists of under-developed states. These states are composed of rogue states and terrorist organizations that prey on the unfortunate people of the underdeveloped world. Mr. Friedman also sees the “world of disorder” as a growing problem for the “world of order.” The policy of dealing with these states is where the two men differ further. Where Mr. Barnett proposes a more unilateral policy for the U.S., Mr. Friedman is for a more multilateral approach but with reservations. He believes that in some cases the U.S. has to overlook the opinions of states when those opinions have little real backing. This was in fact what the U.S. government had to do when it came to the Iraq war where two permanent members of the UN. Security council showed signs of vetoing a US backed resolution calling for military intervention in Iraq. One of the two states, Russia, had serious economic concerns with the outcome of the war. Russia, having a heavy dependence on oil sales, would not like to see the opening up of Iraqi oil fields to the international market. France’s opposition towards the war in Iraq was not as clear-cut as that of Russia’s.

As history shows the French threat to veto a UN resolution backing military intervention in Iraq did little in curbing the U.S.’s determination to invade, but it did put France on the international stage. With its anti-war/American attitude throughout the preparations for and eventual war in Iraq, the French came out as the good natured child who stuck up for the innocent child who was being held up for his lunch money by the big American bully. That view does not, however, go much farther than the borders of France. Mr. Friedman believes this opposition by France towards the US is a kind of jealousy. This jealousy or urge to be different that the French have is what bothers Mr. Friedman, the fact that France is willing to deal with its image crisis more than it is willing to deal with the lives of millions of people. Mr. Friedman proposes revoking France’s permanent status on the UN Security Council and replacing it with a more serious and regionally relevant nation.

The international antics of France do appear to be on the decline with the emergence of a more unified Europe. With the European Union working to put together a constitution and create a more powerful executive that has more control over member nations it seems that what the French have to say will be drowned out by a greater power. This of course is not including the May 1st admittance of ten new nations to the EU, many of which are former Soviet Republics that have strong ties with the U.S. and will not allow the French attitude towards the U.S. to make up the policy of the EU.

These two men do make an excellent point that there is only two types of worlds, the developed and underdeveloped. Both of them also make the point that the under-developed world, when not properly watched and brought up poses a threat to the developed world. The world can be separate in to divisions and factions however much you want it to be the simple fact is you still have the developed and the non-developed world, and the people within the non-developed world that grow angry and lash out. When it is dealt with is where these men do not elaborate, it seems that when the U.S. deals with a problem they create a new one. There always seems to be a factor that comes back to haunt them at a later date. The Jihadists of Afghanistan who were funded by the U.S. to fight the Soviets turned on the U.S. after there was no longer a Soviet Union to fight. This factor must be acknowledged if indeed the U.S. wants a better chance to succeed.

Today’s world knows two types of worlds, the developed and under-developed worlds. Where the developed is connected, stable, and relatively peaceful the under-developed is separated, chaotic, and home to both war and terrorism. The environment of the under-developed world is a perfect area for the fostering of rebellion and terrorism, something that the developed world feels threatened by. In order for this threat to be neutralized the developed world must act together to change the environments in these under-developed areas. Changes that will benefit the well being of the state and the security of the world.

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