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Friday, July 30, 2010

The Role of UN in Sovereignty over Natural Resources

Friday, July 30, 2010 - 0 Comments

By the late 1950s, the Third World Countries had fully realized the significance of exercising permanent sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources and started adopting a well concerted approach to safeguard their interests. They realized that though they had gained political independence the imperialist powers were still exploiting them and treating their raw materials and natural resources as appendages of the imperialist powers resulting in backwardness of their economies. Therefore they decided to press for the recognition of their sovereignty over their natural resources on account of this feeling of their Third World countries on 21 December 1952 the UN General Assembly passed a resolution asserting “the right of peoples to sue and exploit their natural wealth and resources is inherent in their sovereignty.” The UN Covenant on Human Rights adopted in 1955 also incorporated this right in Article 1 which provided. “The peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligation arising out of international economic co-operation based up to the principle of mutual benefit and international law. In no case may a people by deprived of its own means of subsistence.”

The developing countries made full use of the UN mechanism in their struggle. In view of the growing pressure from the developing countries on 12 December 1958 the UN General Assembly adopted resolution No. 1314 which recommended the setting up of a commission to examine the status of permanent sovereignty of states over their natural wealth and resources. In pursuance of the above resolution in December 1958 the UN General Assembly established a Commission on Permanent Sovereignty over natural wealth and resources ‘to conduct a full survey of the permanent sovereignty over natural wealth and resources as a basic constituent of the right of self-determination’. Two years later in December 1960 the UN General Assembly further recommended that the ‘sovereign right of every state to dispose of its wealth and natural resources be respected’. In 1962 the General Assembly on the recommendations of the Commission on Permanent Sovereignty adopted resolution 1803 (XVII) in the form of a Declaration on Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources. The Declaration dealt comprehensively with the inalienable and inherent right of developing nations to exercise permanent sovereignty over their natural resources and recorded the fundamental principles of sovereignty of states over their natural resources. The Declaration was of immense significance because it was negotiated within the framework of the respects conflicting, interests of capital-importing countries-the owners of natural resources, and capital exporting developed countries.

The principles outlined in the Declaration on Permanent Sovereignty. Over Natural Resources were complemented and Nations. One of the reports of the UN Secretary General observed that the sovereignty includes the right of every state to dispose all of natural resources and to determine what economic structures ____ make its best use possible, and to determine the sphere and character of direct foreign investment and their conditions:

The assertion of the principle of permanent s sovereignty over natural resources was of immense significance for the developing countries because it provided a basis on which these countries could claim to change the inequitable and uneven legal arrangements under which foreign investors enjoyed right to exploit natural resources available within the territorial boundaries of developing countries. Such an alteration could be facilitated through an exercise of (i) the right to nationalise i.e. to acquire the rights enjoyed by the foreign investors of (ii) the right to envisage changes particular terms of the arrangements including the right to repudiate an arrangement already made with the foreign investors.

Sovereignty over Natural Resources


Every nation is bestowed with natural resources available in land, subsoil and water. Exploration and utilisation of these resources have been engaging the attention of the concerned countries and international commodities alike. The emergence of newly independent nation specially after the Second World War, which inaugurated the process of decolonisation, made these countries realise the value of the natural resources which were subject to foreign exploitation during the colonial era.

The concept of permanent sovereignty over natural resources gained prominence during early 1950s when colonial rule started receding. The newly independent nations realised the necessity of reappraising and altering uneven legal arrangements in the shape of concession inherited from the colonial period. During the spell of colonial rule, the foreign powers especially the Multinational Corporations (MNCs) were exploiting the natural resources of the colonies.

Usually the status of permanent sovereignty over natural resources is discernible in laws and regulations governing the ownership and use of land, subsoil and water resources. Principles with regard to the ownership of natural resources vary from country to country. Some countries follow the rule that ownership of lands and waters falling within the boundaries of the national territory is vested originally in the nation itself and any private property has its basis in the right of the nation to transmit title to its resources to private persons. In other countries, all un-alienated land or land which is regarded as vacant or unoccupied is considered as public property.

Natural resources available in the subsoil are treated in some countries as the property of the owner of the surface land under which they can be found. In other countries, the state assumes into itself the ownership of either all subsoil resources or of certain kinds of resource. In countries where ownership of subsoil resources is vested in the state it may either allow their development by private individuals under licences, leases or other concessions or retain for itself the exclusive right to develop some or all such resources.

Foreign Policy of the United States (Short Note)

Americans like to think of their country as the goddess of liberty, holding high the torch of freedom as a beacon light to all the peoples of the world. Communist propagandists point to that same America as a ruthless imperialist power trying to prop up her rotten system by exporting her trouble to the rest of the world and to force all other nations to accept her dictates. Some friendlier critics speak of her as a reluctant dragon with brute strength but with little mind or imagination. All these images are stereotypes. The interesting thing about them is not that they misrepresent or obscure the real United States but that they all appraise her in terms of foreign policy.

By history and by experience, by temperament and by inclination, Americans are ill-prepared to accept the heavy responsibilities and commitments in world affairs which their country has assumed in recent years. The transition has been made too suddenly, and the tempo of events has accelerated too rapidly, for the evolution of a satisfactory policy for the “long pull”. Moreover, the state of the world has been such that a really satisfactory foreign policy is probably impossible.

After some preliminary observations, we shall center our discussion on the period since 1945. But first something must be said about the factors conditioning American foreign policy, the basic principles of that policy, and the nature of the national interest.

Factors Conditioning American Foreign Policy

The foreign policy of the United States, like that of any state, is shaped largely by geographical and historical considerations, by her political and social system, by her economic strength and military power, by her relative power position, by the policies of other states, and by the world environment. The following observations on American foreign policy, made in 1949 by an anonymous but important United States statesmen who has much to do with shaping this policy,” point to its basic setting and nature:

United States foreign policy is the sum total of the aspirations.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Impact of Globalizing Issues

Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 0 Comments

Globalizing issues have effects on four major areas of international relations theory and practice.

First, the interconnectedness of the plethora of sub-issues within health, environmental, and human rights issues affect international bargaining. When states choose to go to the bargaining table, a multiplicity of issues is often at stake.

Many issues are fungible; states are willing to make trade-offs between issues to achieve the desired result. For example, in the aftermath of the 1973 oil embargo and in the face of supply shortages, the United States was willing to negotiate with Mexico on cleaning up the Colorado River. The United States built a desalinization plant at the U. S. Mexican border and helped Mexican residents reclaim land in the Mexicali Valley for agriculture.

To win an ally in the supply of petroleum resources, the United States made this major concession and also accepted responsibility for past legal violations.

Other issues, however, are less fungible, particularly if key concerns of national security are at stake. The United States was unwilling to compromise by signing the Antipersonnel Landmines Treaty-a treaty designed to prohibit and eliminate the use of land mines-because of the security imperative to preserve the heavily mined border between North and South Korea. Supporters of the treaty framed the argument in human rights terms: innocent individuals, including vulnerable women and children.

Merits and Demerits of Globalization

Today, states are interconnected and interdependent to a degree never previously experienced. Globalization is clearly illustrated in several issues of the twenty-first century. In this article, we examine three globalizing issues, specifically health, the environment, and human rights, among a plethora of possible issues. For these issues we show interconnectedness, the interaction among various international actors, and the impacts of these changes on core concepts and on the study of international relations.

In the twenty-first century, more different kinds of actors than ever participate in international politics, including the state, ethno national challengers, multinational corporations, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, trans-national movements and networks, and individuals. The transition from states being the main actors in international relations to the growing importance of non-state actors portends a significant power shift. These new actors address a great variety of issues that are substantively and geographically inter linked from the local to the global level. Here we introduced two of the core issues-security and the international political economy. These two issues have evolved in new ways. State security is now human security; interstate wars may be less prevalent than civil wars or terrorist operations. The international political economy is just part of the broader process of globalization, dominated by actors other than the state. Economic decisions made by multinational corporations affect national balances of payments and the ability of workers at the local level to hold a job and make a living wage. Issues such as health, the environment, and human rights may be as salient to states and individuals as traditional “guns or butter” issues. Finally, the changes wrought by the global communications and technology revolution lessens the determinacy of geography and undermines the primacy of territorial states. Distance and time are compressed; important issues can be communicated virtually instantaneously around the globe and to the most remote villages of the developing world. The ability of state leaders to manage this flow of information has diminished. One aspect of the sovereignty of the state, namely internal control over its citizens, has eroded.

As a result of these changes, globalizing issues demand further discussion. These issues are not new. Interest at the local and state level in health, the environment and human rights has been expressed for generations, because these issues touch the quality of people’s lives directly. These issues are closely connected to war and strife and political economy. What is new is that there is now international interests and action. And these issues are likely to be at the forefront in the twenty-first century. How can we think conceptually about globalizing issues? How do these issues crosscut with the traditional issues of security and economics? Who are the various actors with interests? How would a realist, a liberal, a radical, or a constructivist approach these globalizing issues?

Enter of Japan in Second World War

Japan entered the war in December 1941 and swiftly achieved a series of victories, resulting in the occupation of most of south-east Asia and large areas of the Pacific by the end of March 1942. Singapore fell in February, with the loss of an entire Australian division. After the bombing of Darwin that same month, all RAN ships in the Mediterranean theatre, as well as the 6th and 7the Divisions, returned to defend Australia. In response to the heightened threat, the Australian government also expanded the army and air force and called for an overhaul of economic, domestic, and industrial policies to give the government special authority to mount a total war effort at home. In March 1942, after the defeat of the Netherlands East Indies, Japan’s southward advance began to lose strength, easing fears of an imminent invasion of Australia. Further relief came when the first AIF veterans of the Mediterranean campaigns began to come home, and when the United States assumed responsibility for the country’s defence, providing reinforcements and equipment. The threat of invasion receded further as the Allies won a series of decisive battles: in the Coral Sea, at Midway, on Imita Ridge and the Kokoda Trail, and at Milne Bay and Buna.

Further Allied victories against the Japanese followed in 1943. Australian troops were mainly engaged in land battles in New Guinea, the defeat of the Japanese at Wau, and clearing Japanese soldiers from the Huon Peninsula. This was Australia’s largest and most complex offensive of the war and was not completed until April 1944. The Australian Army also began a new series of campaigns in 1944 against isolated Japanese garrisons stretching from Borneo to bougainville, involving more Australian troops than at any other time in the war. The first of these campaigns was fought on Bougainville in New Britain and at Aitape. The value of the second campaign, fought in Borneo in 1945, to the overall war effort remains the subject of continuing debate. Australian troops were still fighting in Borneo when the war ended in August 1945. While Australia’s major effort from 1942 onwards was directed at defeating Japan, thousands of Australians continued to serve with the RAAF in Europe and the Middle East. Although more Australian airmen fought against the Japanese, losses among those flying against Germany were far higher. Australians were particularly prominent in Bomber Command’s offensive against occupied Europe. Some 3,500 Australians were killed in this campaign, making it the costliest of the war.

Over 30,000 Australian servicemen were taken prisoner in the Second World War and 39,000 gave their lives. Two-thirds of those taken prisoner were captured by the Japanese during their advance through south-east Asia within the first weeks of 1942. While those who became prisoners of the Germans had a strong chance of returning home at the end of war, 36 percent of prisoners of the Japanese died in captivity. Singapore Straits Settlements, 19 September 1945: members of 2/18th Australian Infantry Battalion, prisoners of war of the Japaense, in Changi prison. Nurses had gone overseas with the AIF in 1940. However, during the early years of the war women were generally unable to make a significant contribution to the war effort in any official capacity. Labour shortages forced the government to allow women to take a more active role in war work and, in February 1941, the RAAF received cabinet approval to establish the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF). At the same time, the navy also began employing female telegraphists, a breakthrough that eventually led to the establishment of the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) in 1942. The Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS) was established in October 1941, with the aim of releasing men from certain military duties in base units in Australia for assignment with fighting units overseas.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Main Features and Result of Second World War

Sunday, July 11, 2010 - 0 Comments

Second World War:

Almost a million Australians, both men and women, served in the Second World War. They fought in campaigns against Germany and Italy in Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa, as well as against Japan in south-east Asia and other parts of the Pacific. The Australian mainland came under direct attack for the first time, as Japanese aircraft bombed towns in north-west Australia and Japanese midget submarines attacked Sydney harbour. The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) participated in operations against Italy after its entry into the war in June 1940. A few Australians flew in the Battle of Britain in August and September but the Australian Army was not engaged in combat until 1941, when the 6th, 7th and 9th Divisions joined Allied operations in the Mediterranean and North Africa. Following early successes against Italian forces, the Australians suffered defeat with the Allies at the hands of the Germans in Greece, Crete, and North Africa. In June and July 1941 Australians participated in the successful Allied invasion of Syria, a mandate of France and the Vichy government, Up to 14,000 Australians held out against repeated German attacks in the Libyan port of Tobruk, where they were besieged between April and August 1941. After being relieved at Tobruk, the 6th and 7th Division departed from the Mediterranean theatre for the war against Japan. The 9th Division remained to play an important role in the Allied victory at El Alamein in October 1942 before it also left for the Pacific. By the end of 1942 the only Australians remaining in the Mediterranean theatre were airmen serving either with 3 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) or in the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Supporter of War II


Germany and France had been struggling for dominance in Continental Europe for 80 years and had fought two previous wars, the Franco-Prussian War and World War I. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Communist revolutionary movements began spreading across Europe, briefly taking power in both Budapest and Bavaria; in response, fascist and nationalist groups were born. IN 1922, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his fascist party took control of the Kingdom of Italy and set the model for German dictator Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party, which, aided by the civil unrest caused by the Great Depression, took power in Germany and eliminated its democratic government, the Weimar Republic. These two leaders began to re-militarize their countries and become increasingly hostile. Mussolini first conquered the African nation of Abyssinia and then seized Albania with both Italy and Germany actively supporting Francisco Franco’s fascist Falange partying the Spanish Civil War against the Second Spanish Republic (which was supported by the Soviet Union). Hitler then broke the Treaty of Versailles by increasing the size of the Germany’s military, and re-militarized the Rhineland. He started this own expansion by annexing Austria and sought the same against the German-speaking regions (Sudetenland) of Czechoslovakia. The British and French governments followed a policy of appeasement in order to avoid military confrontation after the high cost of the First World War. This policy culminated in the Munich Agreement in 1938, which would give the Sudetenland to Germany in exchange for Germany making no further territorial claims in Europe. In March 1939, Germany annexed the remainder of Czechoslovakia. Mussolini, following suit, annexed Albania in April. The failure of the Munich Agreement pushed the United Kingdom and France to prepare for war with Germany. France and Poland pledged on May 19, 1939 to provide each other with military assistance in the event either was attacked. The following August, the British guaranteed the same.

On August 23, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which provided for sales of oil and food from the Soviets to Germany, thus reducing the danger of a British blockade such as the one that had nearly starved Germany in World War I. Also included was a secret agreement that would divide Central Europe into German and Soviet areas of interest, including a provision to partition Poland. Each country agreed to allow the other a free hand in its area of influence, including military occupation.

Outcome and Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

In 1944, the outcome of the war was becoming clearly unfavourable for the Axis. Germany became boxed in as the Soviet offensive became a juggernaut in the east, pushing the Germans out of Russia and pressing into Poland and Romania; in the west, the Western Allies invaded mainland Europe, liberating France and the Low Countries and reaching Germany’s western borders. While Japan launched a successful major offensive in China, in the Pacific, their navy suffered continued heavy losses as American forces captured airfields within bombing range of Tokyo.

In 1945 the war ended. In Europe, a final German counter-attack in the west failed, while Soviet forces captured Berlin in May, forcing Germany to surrender. In Asia, American forces captured the Japanese islands of two Jima and Okinawa while British forces in Southeast Asia managed to expel Japanese forces there. Initially unwilling to surrender, Japan finally capitulated after the Soviet Union invaded Manchukuo and the United States atomic bombs on the mainland of Japan.

The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuclear attacks during World War II against the Empire of Japan by the United States of America under US President Harry S. Truman. On August 6, 1945, the nuclear weapon “Little Boy” was dropped on the city of Hiroshima, followed on August 9, 1945 by the detonation of the “Fat Man” nuclear bomb over Nagasaki. They are the only instances of the use of nuclear weapons in warfare. The United States Department of Energy estimates that, at Hiroshima, the death toll from the immediate blast was roughly 70,000 with additional deaths occurring in the time soon after the explosion and in the decades that followed. The figures for Nagasaki are slightly less other estimates vary widely, and are as low as 74,000 for Nagasaki. In both cities, the overwhelming majority of the deaths were civilians. The role of the bombings in Japan’s surrender, as well as the effects and justification of them, has been subject to much debate.

On August 15, 1945 Japan announced its surrender to the Allied Powers, signing the Instrument of Surrender on September 2 which officially ended World War II. Furthermore, the experience of bombing led post-war Japan to adopt three Non-Nuclear Principles, which forbids Japan from nuclear armament.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Major Factors or Causes that Led to Eruption of Second World War

Monday, July 5, 2010 - 1 Comment

In September 1939, Germany invaded Poland and war in Europe followed. The French and British did not declare war at first, hoping they could persuade Hitler through appeasement, but Hitler did not respond. The United Kingdom and France declared war. During the winter 1939-1940 there was little indication of hostilities since neither side was willing to engage the other directly. This period was called the Phoney War. In 1940, Germany captured Denmark and Norway in the spring, and then in the early summer France and the Low Countries. The United Kingdom was then targeted; the Germans attempted to cut the island off from vitally needed supplies and obtain air superiority in order to make a seaborne invasion possible. This never came to pass, but the Germans continued to attack the British mainland throughout the war, primarily from the air. Unable to engage German forces on the continent, the United Kingdom concentrated on combating German and Italian forces in the Mediterranean Basin. It had limited success however; it failed to prevent the Axis conquest of the Balkans and fought indecisively in the Western Desert Campaign. It had greater success in the Mediterranean Sea, dealing severe damage to the Italian Navy, and dealt Germany’s first major defeat by winning the Battle of Britain.

In June 1941, the war expanded dramatically when Germany invaded the Soviet Union, brining the Soviet Union into alliance with the United Kingdom. The German attacks started strong, overrunning great tracts of Soviet territory, but began to stall by the winter. Since invading mainland China and French Indochina in 1940, Japan had been subjected to increasing economic sanctions by the United States, Great Britain and Netherlands, and was attempting to reduce these sanctions through diplomatic negotiations. In December 1941, however, the war expanded again when Japan, already into its fifth year of war with China, launched near simultaneous attacks against the United States and British assets in Southeast Asia; four days later, Germany declared war on the United States. This brought the United States and Japan into the greater conflict and turned previously separate Asian and European wars into a single global one.

In 1942, though Axis forces continued to make gains, the tide began to turn. Japan suffered its first major defeat against American forces in the Battle of Midway, where four of Japan’s aircraft carriers were destroyed. German forces in Africa were being pushed back by Anglo-American forces, and Germany’s renewed summer offensive in the Soviet Union had ground to a halt.

In 1943 Germany suffered devastating losses to the Soviets at Stalingrad, and then again at Kursk, the greatest tank battle in military history. Their forces were expelled from Africa, and Allied forces began driving northward up through Sicily and Italy. The Japanese continued to lose ground as the American forces seized island after island in the Pacific Ocean.

Second World War was a huge Military Conflict

World War II or the Second World War, was a worldwide military conflict the amalgamation of two separate conflicts, one beginning in Asia, 1937, as the Second Sino-Japanese War and the other beginning in Europe, 1939, with the invasion of Poland. It is regarded as the historical successor to World War I.

This global conflict split a majority of the world’s nations into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. Spanning much of the globe, World War II resulted in the deaths of over 60 million people, making it the deadliest conflict in human history. World War II was the most widespread war in history, and countries involved mobilized more than 100 million military personnel. Total war erased the distinction between civil and military resources and saw the complete activation of a nation’s economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities for the purposes of the war effort; nearly two-thirds of those killed in the war were civilians. For example, nearly 11 million of the civilian casualties were victims of the Holocaust, which was largely conducted in Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union.

The conflict ended in an Allied victory. As a result, the United States and Soviet Union emerged as the world’s two leading superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War for the next 45 years. Self determination gave rise to decolonization/independence movements in Asia and Africa, while Europe itself began travelling the road leading to integration. In September, 1931, Japan invaded Manchuria under false pretexts and captured it from Chinese. In 1933, Adolf Hitler of the Nazi Party became leader of the Germany. Under the Nazis, Germany began to rearm and the pursue a new nationalis foreign policy. By 1937, Hitler also began demanding the cession of territories which had historically been part of Germany, like the Rhineland and Gdansk. In July 1937, Japan launched a large scaled invasion of mainland China, beginning with the bombing of Shanghai and Guangzhou and followed by the Nanking massacre in December. In Europe, Germany, and to a lesser extent Italy, asserted increasingly hostile and aggressive foreign policies and demands, which the United Kingdom and France initially attempted to diffuse primarily through diplomacy and appeasement.

New World Order after 11/9

A pivot point came with Bush’s 11 September 1990 “Toward a New World Order” speech to a joint session of Congress. This time it was Bush, not Gorbachev, whose idealism was compared to Woodrow Wilson, and to FDR at the creation of the UN. Key points picked up in the press were: Commitment to US strength, such that it can lead the world toward rule of aw, rather than use of force. The Gulf crisis was seen as a reminder that the US must continue to lead, and that military strength does matter, but that the resulting new world order should make military force less important in the future. Soviet-American partnership in cooperation toward making the world safe for democracy, making possible the goals of the UN for the first time since its inception. Some countered that this was unlikely, and that ideological tensions would remain, such that the two superpowers could be partners of convenience for specific and limited goals only. The inability of the USSR to project force abroad was another factor in scepticism toward such a partnership. Another caveat raised was that the new world order was based not on US-Soviet cooperation, but really on Bush-Gorbachev cooperation, and that the personal diplomacy made the entire concept exceedingly fragile. Future cleavages were to be economi, not ideological, with the First and Second world cooperating to contain regional instability in the Third World. Russia could become an ally against economic assaults from Asia, Islamic terrorism, and drugs from Latin America. Soviet integration into world economic institutions, such as the G7, and establishment of ties with the European Community. Restoration of German sovereignty and Cambodia’s acceptance of the UN Security Council’s peace plan on the day previous to the speech were seen as signs of what to expect in the new world order The re-emergence of Germany and Japan as members of the great powers, and concomitant reform of the UN Security Council was seen as necessary for great power cooperation and reinvigorated UN leadership Europe was seen as taking the lead on building their own world order, while the US was relegated to the sidelines. The rationale for US presence on the continent was vanishing, discussing the European Community, the CSCE, and relations with the USSR. Gorbachev even proposed an all-European security council to replace the CSCE, in effect superseding the increasingly irrelevant NATO. A very few postulated a bi-polar new order of US power and UN moral authority, the first as global policeman, the second as global judge and jury. The order would be collectivist, in which decisions and responsibility would be shared.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Gulf War and Bush’s formulation

Thursday, July 1, 2010 - 0 Comments

The Gulf War and Bush’s Formulation

Bush started to take the initiative from Gorbachev during the run-up to the Gulf War, when he began to define the elements of the new world order as he saw it, and link the new order’s success to the international community’s response in Kuwait. Initial agreement by the Soviets to allow action against Saddam highlighted this linkage in the press. The Washington Post declared that this superpower cooperation demonstrates that the Soviet Union has joined the international community, and that in the new world order Saddam faces not just the US but the international community itself. A New York Times editorial was the first to assert that at stake in the collective response to Saddam was “nothing less than the new world order which [Bush] and other leaders struggle to shape In A World Transformed, Scowcroft notes that Bush even offered to have Soviet troops amongst the coalition forces liberating Kuwait. Bush places the fate of the new world order on the ability of the US and the Soviet Union to respond to Hussein’s aggression. The idea that the Gulf War would usher in the new world order began to take shape. Bush notes that the “premise [was] that the United States henceforth would be obligated to lead the world community to an unprecedented degree, as demonstrated by the Iraqi crisis, and that we should attempt to pursue our national interest, wherever possible, within a framework of concert with our friends and the international community”.

The Malta Conference

The Malta Conference

The Malta Conference on 2-3 December 1989 reinvigorated discussion of the new world order. Various new concepts arose in the press as elements of the new order. Commentators expected the replacement of containment with superpower cooperation. This cooperation might then tackle problems such as reducing armaments and troop deployments, settling regional disputes, stimulating economic growth, lessening East-West trade restrictions, the inclusion of the Soviets in international economic institutions, and protecting the environment. Pursuant to superpower cooperation, a new role for NATO was forecast, with the organization perhaps changing into a forum for negotiation and treaty verification, or even a wholesale dissolution of NATO and the Warsaw Pact following the resurrection of the four-power framework from WWII (i.e. the US United Kingdom, France, and Russia). However, continued US military presence in Europe was expected to help contain “historic antagonisms”, thus making possible a new European order. In Europe, German reunification was seen as part of the new order. However, Strobe Talbott saw it as more of a brake on the new era, and believed Malta to be a holding action on part of the superpowers designed to forestall the “new world order” because of the German question. Political change in Eastern Europe also arose on the agenda. The Eastern Europeans believed that the new world order didn’t signify superpower leadership, but that superpower dominance was coming to an end In general, observes that the new world order would be based on the principles of political liberty, self-determination, and non-intervention. This would mean an end to the sponsoring of military conflicts in third countries, restrictions on global arms sales, and greater engagement in the Middle East (especially regarding Syria, Palestine, and Israel). The US might use this opportunity to more emphatically promote human rights in China and South Africa Economically, debt relief was expected to be a significant issue, as East-West competition would give way to North-South cooperation. Economic tripolarity would arise, with the US, Germany, and Japan as the three motors of world growth. Meanwhile, the Soviet social and economic crisis was manifestly going to limit its ability to project power abroad, thus necessitating continued US leadership.

Commentators assessing the results of the Conference, and how the pronouncements measured up to expectations, were underwhelmed. Bush was criticized for taking refuge behind notions of “status quo-plus” rather than a full commitment to new world order. Others noted that Bush thus far failed to satisfy the out-of-control “soaring expectations” that Gorbachev’s speech unleashed.

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