Debating Resources for the World since 1994
CEDA TOPIC PAPERS
With the permission of Steve Mancuso, I am resubmitting the Engaging Rogue States paper (written by Jason Hernandez and Steve Mancuso of the University of Michigan) for consideration for the 1999-2000 national debate topic.
This submission may be less than complete. Honestly, I am more focused on finishing this year than starting the next, as are most debaters at this point in the year. But it is still quite up-to-date and, by way of comparison, less than six months older than the Bio-medical Ethics topic paper written in August of 1998. In addition, I am convinced that the Engaging Rogue States topic could be an amazing debate topic that deserves consideration.
I hope that the original paper provides enough information for the community to begin to think again about this intriguing topic. If the community then feels that it needs an updated assessment of the viability of Rogues, I will be willing to help in that process as the balloting date draws nearer.
If anyone else was planning to submit a reworked Rogues topic, please do so and I'll withdraw this one instantly. With that, I'll end and ask everyone to re-read the wonderful topic paper and reconsider Rogues.
Now that the Cold War has come to a conclusion, the United States no longer faces a threat comparable to that of the former Soviet Union. At the same time, the paradigms of international relations that served as a basis for American foreign policy are being called into question. The confluence of these two fundamental realignments in world politics is illustrated by the difficulties the United States experiences in responding to so-called"rogue states".
These"outlaw"nations, notorious for their involvement in state sponsored terrorism, drug trafficking, and their desire to acquire weapons of mass destruction, present a difficult dilemma for those formulating American foreign policy. Thus far, our response to these nations has been adoption of relatively unrelenting economic and military containment regimes. For example, the United States is the world's leading initiator of economic sanctions as a means of targeting rogue states. In some cases these efforts are enforced at a multilateral level, such as the UN endorsement of sanctions against Iraq in 1990. But in other cases our response has been unilateral, without the support of our allies, notably our recent actions against Cuba, Iran, Libya and Sudan.
In April of 1996 President Clinton signed the 1996 Antiterrorism Act which prohibits U.S. citizens and companies from doing business with countries that sanction terrorism. Furthermore, nations on the Department of State's Terrorism List are barred from receiving United States military and economic aid, or importing American-made items that can be used for military purposes. The following nations appear on the most recent State Department list: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
How the United States deals with the problems presented by these nations represents one of the most difficult, yet critical, foreign policy predicaments faced by our nation in the coming years.
Bibliography of General Articles
Bray, John,"Sanctions: Sticks to Beat Rogue States,"THE WORLD TODAY, August/September 1996, pp. 206-208.
Liberman, Peter,"Trading with the Enemy: Security and Relative Economic Gains,"INTERNATIONAL SECURITY, 21:1, Summer 1996, pp. 147-175.
Pape, Robert A.,"Why Economic Sanctions Do Not Work,"INTERNATIONAL SECURITY, 22:2, Fall 1997, pp. 90-136.
Rodenbeck, Max,"Is Islam Losing Its Thunder?"THE WASHINGTON QUARTERLY, Spring 1998, 21:2, pp. 177
Rogers, Elizabeth,"Using Economic Sanctions to Control Regional Conflicts,"SECURITY STUDIES, 5:4, Summer 1996 pp. 43-72.
Schwenninger, Sherle,"The Rift over Rogues,"THE NATION, October 7, 1996 pp. 21-24.
Zunes, Stephen,"The Function of Rogue States in United States Middle East Policy,"MIDDLE EAST POLICY, V:2, May 1997, pp. 150-167.
U.S. policy toward Cuba has remained the same since the Cold War with one primary objective: the removal of Fidel Castro from Havana. Despite the island's poor economy, dismal state of public health and its virtually non-existent security threat to the United States, U.S. economic sanctions have been gradually tightened on Castro's Cuba. The most recent and prominent containment policy approved by the U.S. is the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996. Also known as the Helms-Burton Act, the United States has sought to tighten the U.S. economic embargo by expanding U.S. jurisdiction to punish any foreign nation, corporation or individual that does not adhere to the U.S. embargo.
Domestic politics have ensured a hard-line U.S. response to the Castro dictatorship which once had a strong alliance with the Soviet Union. The vast majority of voters in Florida are Cuban-Americans that have decidedly made their quest to contain Castro apparent in the ballot-box and Presidents know that to carry Florida such a stance is necessary. Furthermore, Castro remains one of the final bastions of Communism, an ideological threat that sits only 90 miles south of the United States. Senator Jesse Helms, in explaining his position on Castro recently proclaimed:"whether Castro leaves Cuba in a vertical or horizontal position is up to him and the Cuban people. But he must - and will - leave Cuba"(Lisio, 692).
The U.S. embargo against Cuba, however, does not enjoy the resounding support many would like it to have. The effect of Helms-Burton has been to alienate many American allies, most prominently Russia, Europe and Canada. The extra-territorial provisions of Helms-Burton have soured ties and led to complaints in the WTO. America's allies argue that the United States is seriously hindering free trade with the Helms-Burton law.
The U.S. economic embargo is also suspect. Many believe that the anti Americanism that Castro needs to retain power in Cuba is supplied by the U.S. embargo. A peaceful, democratic transition in Cuba may be best fostered by lifting the embargo and defusing Castro's political weapons against the United States. Furthermore, the embargo has had the effect of depriving the Cuban people needed humanitarian aid and counter-narcotics assistance. The plight of the Cuban people is fraught with disease, starvation, poverty and drug addiction due to a lack of assistance to the island.
The disintegration of Cuba, Tanter argues, may be inevitable from the pressure exerted by sanctions. In this scenario a civil war may erupt in Cuba, many will be further plunged into poverty and thousands of refugees will flood South Florida and create a humanitarian crisis. If, however, democratic institutions can be created to provide a smooth transition into the post-Castro Cuba, then U.S. security and Cuba will be spared from a disaster.
Lisio provides an account of Helms-Burton's effect on Cuba and our trading partners:
For over 35 years, economic sanctions have not proven an effective 'tool of democracy'. In fact, given Cuba's relative success at liberalization, and the promise it holds for future growth, the U.S. embargo against Cuba has reached the point of diminishing returns. On 16 July 1996, President Clinton delayed the enforcement of Helms-Burton's Title III, thereby averting a wave of retaliatory legislation from its allies over the right of U.S. citizens to sue foreign companies and individuals trafficking in confiscated assets...In light of the deleterious effects of Helms-Burton on U.S. influence in the international community, it is difficult to assess whether the Act will prove more harmful to Cuba or the United States. But it is certain that the continued pursuit of a punitive 'secondary boycott' will compromise more U.S. interests than it will promote.
Gerke, Kinka,"The Transatlantic Drift over Cuba. The Damage is Done", THE INTERNATIONAL SPECTATOR, April/June 1997, pp. 27-52.
Lisio, Stephen,"Helms-Burton and the Point of Diminishing Returns", INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, 72:4, 1996, pp. 691-711.
Rieff, David,"Cuba Refrozen", FOREIGN AFFAIRS, 75:4, July/August 1996, pp. 62-76.
Smith, Wayne,"Shackled to the Past: The United States and Cuba", CURRENT HISTORY, February 1996, pp. 49-54.
Tanter, Raymond,"Cuba: Contain and Embrace,"in ROGUE REGIMES, 1998 (St. Martin's Press), pp. 197-216.
The American relationship with Iran evokes more public anger and resentment than just about any other. Although relations between the U.S. and Iran have been poor since the Iranian revolution of 1979, they have continued to deteriorate under the Clinton administration and the Republican Congress. American officials have made no secret of their desire to isolate and contain Tehran in order to force it to change its threatening behavior. Washington opposes what is sees as Iran's foreign policy being extremely hostile to American interests. Iran is seen as a threat to its regional neighbors, such as Israel, and also to the world through its spread of Islamic revolution and pursuit of a nuclear weapons program.
When Bill Clinton came into office in 1993 he inherited a wide array of executive and legislative constraints imposed on most military and economic transactions between the two states. The U.S. had still maintained a state of emergency with respect to Iran, placing Tehran on the State Department's terrorism list in 1984. Despite these restraints on trade, there remained a relatively large amount of economic transactions between the two nations. However domestic pressure grew to take more forceful actions against Iran. The President signed the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996 which expanded the pre-existing U.S. embargoes on Iran and Libya by establishing a controversial secondary U.S. boycott against foreign companies otherwise exempt from U.S. jurisdiction for engaging in certain types of investments in either country.
The Clinton Administration also adopted a policy referred to as Dual Containment to replace the Bush-Reagan policy of balance of power. Under the balance of power approach, the U.S. would tacitly support either Iran or Iraq in an attempt to thwart expansion by the other. Dual Containment rejects the balancing assumption in favor of an inflexible ideological opposition to both Iran and Iraq.
Such a hard-line policy versus Iran has been harshly criticized on many grounds. Some analysts such as Brzezinski, Scowcroft, Fuller and Quandt believe that we should be more moderate toward Iran in order to contain Iraq. Such a policy is referred to as"differentiated containment."Dual containment also has the effect of encouraging Iran and Iraq into a defacto political alliance against the United States.
One example of such a criticism was offered by Fawaz Gerges:
"A more dynamic and selective U.S. approach, combining both carrots and sticks, would be more effective in inducing Iran to moderate its behavior. Although past U.S. attempts to open a dialogue with Tehran were rebuffed by mullahs, the situation appears to be changing. While Iranian leaders are still divided on the question of dialogue with the U.S., they have recently appeared more receptive to opening dialogue with Washington. Iran, for example, deliberately chose a U.S. oil company (Conoco) over a European rival, stressing its desire to do business with the United States....Europeans claim that critical dialogue is more effective in moderating its behavior. They argue that Washington's confrontational approach toward Iran has had the opposite effect--it has strengthened the hard-liners within the mullah regime and escalated Iran's support for militant forces in the Middle East and Africa....Hence economic ties, not containment or isolation, will bring about the required positive changes in Iran's behavior."
In addition U.S. containment policy has been weakened by the lack of consensus and cooperation with other global powers, particularly Europe, Russia and China.
In May of 1997 Iranians voted overwhelmingly for Muhammad Khatami. Both the very high turnout and the size of his victory have aroused hopes of significant policy changes in Iran. While young people, women, intellectuals and technocrats formed the basis of Khatami's electoral strength, it is too soon to tell whether or not this change will open up the possibility for improvements in Iran-U.S. relations.
Specific Affirmative Advantage Areas
1. Promote Middle East Peace Process
2. Stop Iranian Proliferation
3. Containment of Iraq
4. Moderate Iranian foreign policy
Amuzegar, Jahangir,"Iran Under New Management,"SAIS REVIEW, Winter Spring 1998, pp. 73-92.
"Adjusting to Sanctions,"FOREIGN AFFAIRS, 76:3,
May/June 1997, pp. 31-41.
Bahgat, Gawdat,"Beyond Containment: U.S.-Iranian Relations at a Crossroads,"SECURITY DIALOGUE, 28:4, 1997, pp. 453-464.
Brzezinski, Zbigniew; Scowcroft, Brent; and Murphy, Richard;"Differentiated Containment,"FOREIGN AFFAIRS, May/June 1997, 76:3, pp. 20-30.
Gerges, Fawaz A.,"Washington's Misguided Iran Policy,"SURVIVAL, 38:4, Winter 1996-97, pp. 5-15.
Melham, Hisham, DUAL CONTAINMENT: THE DEMISE OF A FALLACY, 1997, (Center for Contemporary Arab Studies)
Phillips, James,"Maintaining International Pressure and Sanctions on Iran,"HERITAGE FOUNDATION BACKGROUNDER: NO. 1135, September 5, 1997
Sicherman, Harvey,"The Strange Death of Dual Containment,"ORBIS, Spring 1997, pp. 223-240.
Tanter, Raymond,"Iran: Balance of Power Versus Dual Containment,"in ROGUE REGIMES, 1998 (St. Martin's Press), pp. 45-86.
Recent events have made all but the most news-averse American familiar with United States policy toward Iraq. As a result of the Gulf War, Iraq remains under severe economic sanctions supported by the international community through the United Nations. Several years after the Gulf War, however, Washington's efforts to remove Saddam Hussein have not succeeded. The Iraqi leader has consolidated his power in Baghdad and the international consensus has started to fall apart.
America has three fundamental concerns when it comes to Iraq: the regimes massive violation of human rights, the threat the regime poses to regional stability, and Iraq's attempts to acquire weapons of mass destruction.
Some policy makers in Washington and have concluded that a durable peace in the Gulf can not be achieved without the inclusion of Iraq. The country has the second largest oil reserves in the world and enjoys tremendous economic and military potential. In short, Iraq is too big of a regional player to be excluded from the peace process. The continued isolation of Iraq creates a regional power vacuum that may be filled by hostile interests. Both France and Russia would like to see Iraq earn expanded oil revenues to repay previous debts.
Furthermore the sanctions have apparently taken a large humanitarian toll. According to the Executive Director of UNICEF, about 4,500 Iraqi children under the age of five are dying every month of hunger or disease. This misery has caused many nations to call for an easing of the sanctions since they seem to be hurting the wrong target.
The case against American sanctions on Iraq was made recently by Professor Richard Haass:
The international consensus that has made sanctions possible in fast eroding. To some extent fatigue is to blame. Given enough time, people and governments tend to learn how to work around sanctions. ...Support in the Arab world for sanctions, meanwhile, is almost extinct. In part this reflects a general disillusionment with the U.S., which is seen as doing much more to isolate Iraq than it is to promote peace between Israel and its neighbors. ...Most Arabs have little love for Mr. Saddam, but sanctions are widely judged as hurting innocents while sparing the leadership. ...The time has come to accept reality: economic sanctions will not oust Mr. Saddam -- other policy tools and the Iraqis themselves must accomplish that. And keeping sanctions in place so long as he remains in power could undermine international support for ridding Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. (Haass, p. 14)
Bahgat, Gawdat,"Beyond Sanctions: U.S. Policy Toward Iraq,"INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, XIII:4, April 1997, pp. 57-68.
Haass, Richard,"Time to Revisit sanctions: the US hard line on Iraq is putting pressure on the coalition against Saddam Hussein,"THE FINANCIAL TIMES, January 12, 1998, p. 14.
Tanter, Raymond,"Accommodation or Containment?"in ROGUE REGIMES, 1998 (St. Martin's Press), pp. 87-120.
Relations between the United States and Libya have been extremely rocky for a long time. Beginning with arms embargos in the 1970s and ending recently with adoption of the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996, American policy toward Libya has been increasingly hostile. Libya has been referred to as the"geopolitical outlaw of the Mediterranean"(Tanter, p. 122.) and has been blasted by American bombers in 1986. When Libya tried to extend its territorial claims to 100 miles across the Gulf of Sidra, the United States conducted exercises within Libya's"Line of Death"and two American F-14's shot down two Libyan fighter planes who flew out to challenge the exercise.
The leader of Libya, Colonel Muarmmar Qadhafi has served as a lightning rod for American anger. Qadhafi's Libya has been accused of supporting terrorist organizations responsible for several attacks against American citizens, including the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Libya has also been under intense scrutiny for the production of chemical weapons. In the mid-1980s Libya attacked neighboring Chad and Sudan, and was accused of subverting nearly a dozen other African regimes.
As discussed in the previous section concerning Iran, the ILSA of 1996 imposes secondary boycotts against companies who do more than $20 million in business in Libya. Libya was added to the Iran Sanctions Bill by Senator Ted Kennedy at the behest of the families of the victims of the Pan Am 103 bombing.
In some ways, sanctions, as a part of the overall containment strategy, have moderated Libyan behavior. Threats and imposition of sanctions are credited with Libya's pull out from Chad, closure of the Rabta chemical facility, and withdrawal of an assassination team alleged to have entered the U.S. with the purpose of killing the American President. Recently the U.N. Security Council decided to extend the six-year old sanctions on Libya for their failure to extradict those accused of the Lockerbie bombing.
On the other hand, unilateral sanctions have no economic effect on Libya because items can be purchased from others or sold to others, and indeed American sanctions have caused more European investment to enter Libya. That sets the stage for the American dilemma regarding enforcement of ILSA.
"Easing of Sanctions against Libya Urged,"TAMPA TRIBUNE, March 5, 1998 p. 6.
Levins, Harry,"Libyan-U.S. Hostility Has Been Brewing for a Long Time,"ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, January 3, 1998, p. 15.
Maddox, Bronwen,"America Appears to have Lost the Stomach for Sanctions War,"THE TIMES, February 12, 1998, lexis-nexis
Margolis, Eric,"There's No Villain Like and Old Villain,"TORONTO SUN, December 7, 1997, p. C7.
"No Let Up: Ending Sanctions Would Give Gadhafi a Victory,"HOUSTON CHRONICLE, January 10, 1998, p. 34.
Segall, Wynn,"Export Controls and Economic Sanctions,"THE INTERNATIONAL LAWYER, 31:393, Summer 1997, pp. 393.
Tanter, Raymond,"Contain or Embrace,"in ROGUE REGIMES, 1998, (St Martin's Press), pp. 121-168.
Tucker, David,"Responding to Terrorism,"WASHINGTON QUARTERLY, Winter 1998, 21:1, pp. 103.
E. North Korea
The Korean peninsula remains one of the few smoldering remnants of the Cold War. About 700,000 North Korean troops are deployed less than 30 miles from the DMZ, and confront about an equal number of South Korean and United States troops. North Korea is believed to possess nuclear weapons. The instability caused by the North Korean leadership transition and deteriorating economy makes the present situation very volatile. A recent article notes that"The United States could find itself plunged into another Korean war at any time."(Jordan, p33)
There is tremendous disagreement about the future of North Korea. Analysts group possible scenarios into roughly four categories: explosion, implosion, peaceful reunification, and muddling through. Analysts are not only divided on their predictions for the future, but also in their descriptions of the present. The major areas of dispute regarding the immediate and long-term for North Korea are: the state of their economy, the state of food supply, the stability of their leadership transition, and the prospects for the peaceful reunification of the peninsula. How one comes down on these issues determines whether or not the focus of American foreign policy should be short-term, medium-term or long-term.
An example of this debate, and how it shapes prescriptions for American policy was provided by Selig Harrison of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
American policy is paralyzed by an unresolved debate in the Clinton administration over the future of North Korea. On one side are those who believe that a collapse of North Korea is inevitable and that it would be desirable for the North to be absorbed by the South in much the same way that East Germany was absorbed by West Germany. In this view, helping North Korea to ease its food shortage and other economic problems would only delay the breakdown.
An opposing position, propounded by the State Department, is that North Korea will survive by reforming its moribund Communist economy. Proponents of this position want the United States to promote a"soft landing"- a gradual process of unification in which neither side is swallowed up by the other and Washington helps Pyongyang to achieve a China-style economic transformation.
Based on five visits to North Korea, I believe that the United States should shift from its current cautious policy of"limited engagement"to an unambiguous"soft landing"policy. An intense struggle is raging in Pyongyang between reform-minded pragmatists friendly to the United States, such as Hwang Chang Yop, who defected in February, and an entrenched Old Guard in the ruling Workers Party. The pragmatists can win, but only if the United States takes the initiative. There is little likelihood that North Korea will collapse in the foreseeable future. But if the United States and its allies remain wedded to policies that exacerbate the North's economic problems, political instability in the region will only worsen. The results could be a mass exodus of refugees swarming to South Korea,"boat people"attempting to enter Japan and increasing civil strife that could spill over into North-South military encounters, endangering American military forces.
American interests in North Korea extend beyond regional stability. The U.S. commitment to South Korea is part of the American deterrent posture regionally and globally. As Tanter has recently written:"To the extent that Pyongyang stands up to Washington, there is a challenge to U.S. credibility, resolve, and commitments. When nations like North Korea confront Washington's resolve, the likelihood of deterrence failure elsewhere increases."(Tanter, p. 239.)
Nuclear non-proliferation is obviously also an interest for U.S. foreign policy. North Korea's nuclear weapons program, dating from the 1970s, was well along an included producing and reprocessing weapon-grade plutonium when the IAEA discovered their covert program in 1993. After a period of extremely heightened tension and negotiations, the October 1994 Agreed Framework between Washington and Pyongyang has thus far frozen North Korea's program. But a cycle of improving and deteriorating relations between North and South Korea, as well as a reluctance on the part of the U.S. Congress to support KEDO (Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization) funding, has jeopardized the continued functioning of the Agreement.
Possible Specific Affirmative Advantage Areas
1. Economic Collapse of North Korea
2. Peaceful Korean Reunification
3. Korean War
4. Asian Instability - China and Japan
5. Nuclear Non-Proliferation
North Korea Bibliography
Harrison, Selig,"The U.S. Should Aid North Korea,"NEWSDAY, March 28, 1997, lexis-nexis
Jordan, Amos A., and Ku, Jae H.,"Coping with North Korea,"THE WASHINGTON QUARTERLY, 21:1, Winter 1998, pp. 33-46
Levin, Norman D.,"What if North Korea Survives?"SURVIVAL, 39:4, Winter 1997-98, pp. 156-74.
Roy, Denny,"North Korea as an Alienated State,"SURVIVAL, 38:4, Winter 1996-97, pp. 22-36.
Tanter, Raymond,"North Korea: Contain and Embrace,"in ROGUE REGIMES, 1998 (St. Martin's Press), pp. 217-260.
The nation of Sudan gained its formal independence from Britain and Egypt in 1956. Since that time, however, the nation has remained substantially divided between the northern Muslim Arabs, who control the government, and the southern Christian black Africans. In 1983 the Khartoum government adopted strict Islamic law and began the imposition of Arabic language throughout the nation. This provoked rebels in the south to demand autonomy. The leading rebel group is the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SLPA). Over the past 15 years, the civil war has taken the lives of an estimated 1.5 million people through fighting, famine and disease. Another 3 million people have been forced to leave their homes. Sudan remains one of the poorest nations in the world, with a GDP of $250 per capita.
The situation worsened in 1989 with the military coup lead by Islamic extremists, establishing the current government, the National Islamic Front (NIF). Allegations are that the NIF has practiced support for international terrorism, inflicted massive human rights violations, and established a vast system of enslavement of black African women and children. Many nations have imposed partial sanctions on Sudan, including Europe and Japan.
In response to the mounting evidence against the NIF, on November 4, 1997, President Clinton signed an Executive Order under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act imposing a comprehensive unilateral trade and investment embargo on Sudan. The President stated that Sudan"constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to national security and foreign policy of the United States."The sanctions did not block humanitarian assistance, which has amounted to $650 million since 1988. China, the Arab League and many others were quick to denounce the American sanctions as counterproductive.
As in other cases, the wisdom of the government's approach is highly debatable. John Prendergast has written:
"The U.S. historically has been the largest provider of humanitarian assistance to war torn Sudan. ...Thus far the U.S. has failed to exercise the vast potential leverage which its aid programs offer to further good governance and human rights, or to encourage factional reconciliation inthe south. This failure could be interpreted as reflecting Washington's comfort with a policy of low-intensity destabilization of a pariah regime. ...War has raged in Sudan for three of the last four decades. The situation will not be reversed overnight. It is increasingly apparent that all aid, trade and diplomacy must be directed toward helping the Sudanese themselves rebuild a culture of peace in their divided and multi-faceted country;"(Prendergast, p. 42-43.)
On the other hand, Imatong Ali has written:
"It is essential that the present level of international pressure be maintained, possibly even intensified, and certainly not reduced. Any easing of pressure will have disastrous effects for the forces of peace and stability not only in Sudan, but throughout the Horn and into Central, East and North Africa, possibly even extending across the Red Sea. The government and its fellow travelers outside Sudan will misconstrue such a relaxation in efforts as a victory for their cause, and they will become even more dismissive of human rights and basic democratic principles."(Ali, p. 44)
Ali, Imatong,"Don't Neglect the 'Modern Forces',"THE WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS, July/August 1995, pp. 43-44.
Ijaz, Mansoor,"Renewed Ties with Sudan -- A Shrewd Move by Albright,"CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, October 1, 1997, 89:215, p. 19.
Lancaster, John,"U.N. Official Cautious on Sudanese Flight Ban: Sanction Seen as Obstacle to Aid Deliveries,"WASHINGTON POST, February 7, 1997, 120:64 p. A30.
Phares, Walid,"The Sudanese Battle for American Opinion,"MIDDLE EAST QUARTERLY, V:1, March 1998, pp. 19-31.
Prendergast, John,"Tie Humanitarian Assistance to Substantive Reform,"THE WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS, July/August 1995, pp. 42-43.
"Sudan in Spotlight as U.S. Imposes Embargo,"AFRICA NEWS, November 10, 1997, lexis-nexis
"U.S. Sanctions could Sink Sudan's Shaky Economy,"Agence France Presse, November 5, 1997, lexis-nexis
A dilemma faces the United States in its approach to Syria. On one hand Syria supports groups that engage in international terrorism against the United States and Israel, acquires weapons of mass destruction, and has good relations with Iran -- an American adversary. On the other hand, Damascus is a potential partner of Washington in the Arab-Israel peace process, has been less of a practitioner of international terrorism since the end of the Cold War, and is an enemy of Iraq, another of Washington's opponents. Given this conflicting set of problems, the issue for the U.S. is whether to contain or engage Syria.
While the Department of State terrorism list includes seven nations, Syria is subject to less strict terms. The Antiterrorism Act of 1996 permits financial dealings with Syria, unless those transactions are found to have an impact on potential acts of terrorism. This exception was made in order to encourage Syria's participation in the Arab-Israeli peace process. Secretary of State Warren Christopher made over 20 trips to Syria during the 1992-96 period. However throughout all of these negotiations, Washington retained Syria's name on the terrorism list, limiting the amount of direct economic and military support that could be provided to Damascus.
Syria does desire American assistance. A policy of economic engagement could possibly moderate their behavior toward Israel. As Fred H. Lawson recently explained;
"The most obvious carrots in Washington's basket include general economic assistance, particularly goods produced in the United States, support for Syrian requests for new loans and access to American technology and technical expertise. Of these four basic components of economic statecraft, the last two appear more promising than the first pair as means of persuading Syria to soften its hard line toward Israel at this particular moment....if the Clinton administration were to succeed in establishing a direct pipeline to supply the Syrian market with either industrial equipment or food, one might expect U.S. officials to be able to manipulate subsequent transfers of these items in such a way as to exert some degree of influence over their Syrian counterparts....Damascus would find it almost impossible to turn down a firm U.S. offer to lobby international financial institutions on its behalf."(Lawson, p102, 105, 106)
In contrast to relations with Iran, Iraq and Libya, American relations with Syria have warmed somewhat recently. Despite the ongoing problems over questions such as suspected links to terrorism, the purchase of offensive weapons from North Korea, and continued human rights violations, there appears to be optimism for improvements in Washington-Damascus relations.
Knudsen, Erik,"United States-Syrian Diplomatic Relations: The Downward Spiral of Mutual Political Hostility,"JOURNAL OF SOUTH ASIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES, XIX:4, Summer 1996, pp. 55-77.
Lawson, Fred,"Can U.S. Economic Assistance Alter Syria's Posture Toward Israel?"MIDDLE EAST POLICY, IV:4, October 1996, pp. 102-109.
Robinson, Glenn,"Elite Cohesion, Regime Succession and Political Instability in Syria,"MIDDLE EAST POLICY, V:4, January 1998 pp. 159-179.
Shad, Tahir,"Syrian Foreign Policy in the Post-Soviet Era,"ARAB STUDIES QUARTERLY, 17:1 Winter-Spring1995, pp. 77-94
Tanter, Raymond,"Syria: Contain or Embrace,"in ROGUE REGIMES, 1998 (St. Martin's Press) pp. 169-195.
3. Ground Issues
The following is a list of advantage areas common for most of these countries, the result of lifting sanctions and promoting greater economic contact with the United States.
1. Political reforms within the topic nation.
2. Reduction of starvation and poverty
3. International free trade leadership
4. Alliance relationships - Europe and Russia
5. Moderation of Islamic movements
6. Sector specific advantages - agriculture,
7. Reduced threat construction
8. Increased U.S. influence over the topic nations
9. Economic advantages to American businesses
Affirmative ground would also include indictments of the efficacy of economic sanctions or containment.
Negative ground begins with a defense of the solvency of status quo sanctions and containment, including the impact the sanctions have on the capabilities of the topic nations to wage war, develop weapons of mass destruction, etc.
Disadvantage ground would include:
1. Human rights/democracy promotion credibility
2. Anti-terrorism credibility
3. Rogue state deterrence
4. Non-proliferation regime credibility
5. Shift to military hard power
6. Investment tradeoff
7. Middle East Peace arguments-
the plan makes Israel too insecure-
the plan causes ME peace, which is bad
8. Politics disadvantages
Counterplan ground would be affected by which resolution was chosen. For instance a counterplan that conditions lifting of sanctions on some behavior by the topic nation would be a counterplan under Resolution One, but could be a plan under Resolution Two.
Other counterplans could include:
1. Have the U.S. promote multilateral assistance to the
topic nations from organizations like the IMF, World Bank, UN etc.
2. Other actors might be able to solve some harms such as
starvation, water shortages etc.
3. Strengthen sanctions/containment either by changing U.S.
law or through concessions to our allies that would foster multilateral enforcement of sanctions.
4. Suggested Topic Wordings
Resolved: that the United States should remove its economic sanctions against one or more of the following: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Syria.
Resolved: that the United States should substantially increase its constructive economic engagement of one or more of the following: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Syria.
Resolved: that the United States should remove one or more nations from the Department of State's terrorism list.
Resolved: that the United States should substantially increase its constructive engagement regarding weapons of mass destruction acquisition with one or more of the following: Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria.
Resolved: American notions of terrorism should be redefined.
Resolved: International economic freedom should outweigh narrow national security interests.
Resolved: Realist threat construction of rogue states is a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Some of our thoughts about wordings:
Ç We suggest listing the nations instead of referring to them as"rogue states"or"rogue nations"because many nations ranging from China to Israel (some even include the United States) are commonly referred to as a"rogue"and could fall under an unspecified use of that term. The list provides predictability through inclusion and exclusion.
Ç Other nations which could be added are Burma and Nigeria. We recommend against adding nations which are not on the State Department's Terroism List, however, in order to protect negative ground. If affirmatives could just adopt a tiny engagement policy without having to overturn an existing law, such as the Antiterrorism Act or ILSA, then negative ground would be much more difficult. Burma obviously overlaps with this year's topic, although very few teams have run plans that engage the Burmese government.
Ç Why include Sudan? They are the most recent addition to the DOS list. There is not much written endorsing the lifting of sanctions on Sudan yet, but partly that may be because the sanctions were adopted just this past November. We anticipate that journal and magazine articles will be written prior to the debate topic to balance this out. If there is no serious case to be made for lifting sanctions on Sudan or engaging Sudan there is no real harm done by including them in the topic list.
Ç Why include Libya? Primarily so an affirmative can repeal ILSA topically. ILSA covers Iran and Libya. Some might feel it would be extratopical to repeal a law covering two nations if only Iran was listed in the topic. There are some arguments unique to Libya for affirmative ground, but we expect that the primary Libya plan will be the repeal of ILSA.
Ç The term"economic sanctions"is defined in context in many places through extremely common usage. There is also a scholarly literature which analyzes the effectiveness of sanctions, where debaters could find highly specified definitions of the term. For example, in Robert Pape's article"Why Sanctions Do Not Work"there is a section entitled"Defining Economic Sanctions"(p. 93.).
Ç In topic #1 we chose"remove"over"lift"since"lift"could also mean"to raise". Other alternatives would be"weaken"or"decrease,"but we think"remove"may require a more extensive action by the affirmative.
5. Rationale for the Rogue States Topic Area
1. Timeliness and Importance of the Subject Matter
The issues raised by this topic area are literally a litany of the lead stories in daily newspapers. American brinkmanship toward Iraq, the Pope's visit to Cuba, the Iranian election, the North Korean Nuclear Agreement, and two major pieces of legislation are all indicators of the radically current nature of this topic area. The foreign policy issues raised by terrorism, proliferation, drugs, stability on the Korean peninsula and in the Middle East are all extremely important foreign policy interests.
2. Diversity of Affirmative approaches.
Affirmative case rationales could range from those based upon strictly moral/value appeals concerning the humanitarian tragedies caused by economic sanctions to the realpolitik reasoning of influence and power lost by misplaced sanctions. Affirmative cases could be built on abstract discussions of international relations theories such as threat construction and identity politics, or based upon very pragmatic realist calculations. There are many articles advocating plans for each country -- so it will be easy to find affirmatives in mainstream literature. We have attempted to provide quotations for each nation to demonstrate this.
3. Protection of Negative Ground.
The policy topics suggested in this paper all require America to remove nations from the State Department terrorist list and repeal other major laws. This represents an important protection of the negative's ground. Even if the affirmative were to pick the smallest example of economic engagement, say provision of textbooks to Syrian elementary schools, the plan would still necessitate taking Syria off of the DOS list, triggering powerful negative generic disadvantages. It is important to emphasize that common threads run through all these affirmative areas, and provide the negative with ample preparation warning. Furthermore, the laws in question are so popular, that they are rarely contradicted by the U.S. government. This means that disadvantages are unlikely to get"non uniqued"to death by newly adopted policies as the year progresses. For all of these reasons we especially like the first and third topics.
4. Are we repeating the NDT Middle East topic?
No. First, only a tiny fraction of the debaters would have debated the NDT Middle East topic. Secondly, the nations of Iraq, Iran and Libya were not listed in that topic, thus there were no affirmative plans concerning those nations. Only Syria overlaps the two topics and only one school ran a case to"be nice"to Syria, and that case was run only very late in the year. That topic was also specifically about Security Assistance instead of economic policies. Finally, backfiles from that topic will have been utterly overrun by the events of the past three years in the peace process, rendering those files virtually useless.
5. Two foreign policy topics in a row?
Yes, but this one concerns a highly relevant set of issues, about a distinct group of nations. There would be absolutely no overlap in affirmative case areas, and an extremely small overlap in negative positions. This topic area is focused primarily on economic policies, not security assistance, and would require"liberal"or soft-line policies instead of the"conservative"or hard-line policies required by the wording of the Southeast Asia topic.