CRITIQUE/ROGUE STATE TALK
USE OF TERM "ROGUE" CREATES COUNTERPRODUCTIVE POLICIES
USE OF TERM "ROGUE STATES" LEADS TO COUNTERPRODUCTIVE POLICIES
ROBERT S. LITWAK, is director of international studies at the Woodrow, Wilson Center, May 1, 2001 Los Angeles Times SECTION: Metro; Part 2; Page 9; Op Ed Desk HEADLINE: Commentary;'Rogue' Labels Put U.S. in Straightjacket //VT2002acsln
Until last summer, the Clinton administration had asserted that "rogue states" constituted a distinct category of nations in the post-Cold War world. Iran, Iraq, North Korea and Libya were the core members of this rogues' gallery.
Yet, because this label had no standing in international law and was quintessentially political, its usage was selective and contradictory. Syria, a state that possesses weapons of mass destruction and has sponsored terrorism, was omitted from the rogue list because of its importance to the Middle East peace process. Cuba, on the other hand, which no longer poses a real security threat, was occasionally included because that played well to the Cuban emigre community.
In addition, the Clinton administration discovered that the term used to mobilize political support for one policy could be turned against it on another, as when a Republican critic called for the cancellation of a presidential visit to China in 1998 because it was a "rogue state."
By lumping and demonizing a disparate group of countries, the Clinton administration was pushed toward a generic strategy of containment and isolation. And why not, when they were all "rogue states"?
WE MUST REJECT THE LABEL OF "ROGUE STATES" BECAUSE IT POISONS POLICY MAKING
Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Brookings Institution, 2001 Winter The Washington Quarterly SECTION: CONTAINMENT'S LAST STAND; Vol. 24, No. 1; Pg. 67 HEADLINE: The Politics of Dismantling Containment //VT2002acsln
One notable move, taken in June 2000, was jettisoning the policy of labeling these countries "rogues." Although the rogue-state concept helped justify punitive U.S. policies and made such strategies easy to sell at home, it impeded an effective policy toward this category of country in a number of ways. By lumping these countries together, the rogue classification encouraged a one-size-fits-all policy, when in fact the very different domestic politics, capabilities, and ambitions of each country demanded differentiated approaches. At the same time, labeling countries -- rather than their behaviors -- as roguish suggested that certain countries were beyond rehabilitation, thereby removing any incentive that a regime might have to improve its conduct in the hope of moving out of the rogue category. In addition, the rogue rhetoric irked European and Asian countries that saw it as a product of U.S. hubris and as indicative of a preference for punitive approaches. Finally, the rogue concept mandated policies of punishment; any approach that sought to incorporate incentives or limited engagement was incompatible with the rogue paradigm.
Given these multiple flaws in the rogue concept, its retirement is welcome. The adoption of the far less caustic "states of concern" terminology -- although still subject to the criticism of classifying countries, not conduct -- opens the door for a more effective policies toward countries such as North Korea, Cuba, Iran, and Iraq. The change in rhetoric makes it possible for new strategies not only to be better formulated to the circumstances of the country in question, but also to incorporate elements of engagement where appropriate.