Final Paper - Abram Balloga Huan Dong International...

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Abram Balloga Huan Dong International Relations Research Paper 10/30/2005 Intuition Management The world of international relations is one of philosophy, logic, and deep analysis. This essay will discuss and critique theories proposed by some of the field’s leading academic writers. After observing Kenneth Waltz’s Reductionist and Systemic Theories , Robert Gilpin’s Theory of Hegemonic War , and Samuel Huntingtion’s Clash of Civilizations? , I will test the predictability of their theories. As in science, a valid theory must demonstrate repeatability through experimentation – “A theory has explanatory and predictive power”. 1 The test scenario will be the current situation in Iraq, an action I call “intuition management”; the United States is desperately attempting to rally support for its cause amongst the common people of Iraq. Why does the US government, which certainly has the means to impose its will upon the Iraqi populace, insist that citizen support is imperative for success? Using realism and constructivist arguments, this article explores rational processes by which US officials may have come to this conclusion. This is an important comparison, because the war on terror may last for god knows how many years, and situations similar to my test scenario are likely to be repeated. Shortly after September 11, 2001 the great and powerful United States was presented with a problem. This problem is that of negative image in third world countries where the US found itself fighting the war on terrorism. American soldiers, quite the minority in Iraq, became the subjects of an avid anti-American campaign created and perpetuated by extreme and militant groups. In the third world, it is not difficult to construct a poor image of the opposition, 1 Waltz, Kenneth. Theory of International Politics. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1979. 1
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especially when the opposition is a foreign military whose members have a different language, race, religion, system of government and basic way of life. It is easy to understand why Iraqi citizens might be fearful and suspicious of these unfamiliar and well armed occupiers. Earlier in the war, the US blundered unwittingly into this situation, indiscriminately fighting in and around mosques. The resulting damage to sacred and holy places sent out ripples of discontent amongst Muslims. Terrorists then rallied support through the portrayal of American’s as enemies of the people. Now, having learned the lesson in a difficult fashion, United States soldiers tread lightly around religious sanctuaries, hoping to avoid sensitive situations. The lack of native cooperation has been frowned upon by the US government. In order to gain Iraqi approval, US soldiers can be viewed initiating various humanitarian projects. For example, Seabees with the Naval Mobile Construction 14 th Battalion began work on an Iraqi Community Center in Al-Asad in August of 2004 . 2 There is much proof that the US is trying to re-polish its image in Iraq, but the question is why?
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