Challenges and Prospects in International Conflict Essay

Pages: 6 (2209 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Drama - World

The Challenges and Prospects in International Conflict Management

The process of reconciliation following civil or global conflict is

beset on all sides by difficulties, relating to the prospects of

maintaining precarious ceasefire agreements, to the need for the doling out

of resources and assistance necessary to restore order and to the demand

for some actionable form of punitive justice. Today, a consensus amongst

members of the United Nations seems to argue that the repair of fractious

intra and inter-state conflicts must involve a high degree of compromise

designed to defuse long-standing geographical, political or ethnic

tensions. Simultaneously, this process must remove from influence, power

and threat those responsible for the atrocities inclining global

peacekeeping intervention. Those engaged in such intervention are most

commonly members of an international peacekeeping force commissioned by the

United Nations, a global alliance such as the North Atlantic Treaty

Organization (NATO) which was conceived following WWII as a way to steward

former Axis Power states toward democracy or a singularly influential and

unilaterally acting nation such as the United States. The intervening

actor will typically take on the array of challenges associated with local

and regional conflict in a series of steps which would be given precedent

in the prosecution of World War II. Here, the challenges associated withGet full Download Microsoft Word File access
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conflict management would be forged as "three distinctive undertakings-the

1945-46 Nuremberg Trials, 1945-48 denazification proceedings and 1945-57

transatlantic and inter- and intra-European reconstruction,

reindustrialization and integrative institution building process." (Lecture

Notes, 2) Called the Marshall Plan, this would clearly delineate the

responsibilities imposed upon the parties responsible for dismantling a

global threat and ending a conflict there within. Specifically, the

challenges which would come to be seen as incumbent upon intervening actors

Essay on The Challenges and Prospects in International Conflict Assignment

in the years following the Cold War would be based upon the initial process

and eventual success experienced in the context of Germany.

Here, a fundamentally and physically divided Germany would emerge from

the ruins of the second World War. One half would be shaped in the image

of its Western conquerors while the other would take on the mantle as one

of Soviet Russia's most prized creations. As one half of Nazi Germany,

which would be the seat of World War II and the Holocaust, East Germany's

20th century history is stained by the active participation of its

leadership and populace in the instigation of worldwide carnage and the

mass murder of millions of European Jews in its concentration camps. Thus,

its subsequent Soviet occupation would oversee a bleak humanitarian

scenario. By clear contrast, the American occupied West Germany would

become a model for democratic reconstruction, ultimately serving as a

template for global conflict management, both for better and for worse.

The end of WWII would also be a pivotal time for the relationship

between the United States and the Soviet Union, producing a ripple effect.

Former partners in the defeat of Germany, they would now begin a struggle

at defining the future of the Germany, Europe and, indeed, the world.

However, these two world powers would have distinctly different views on

how to do this, resulting in the division of Germany into East and West, as

well as the alignment of the global community on either side of a long Cold

War. Thus, in the period which would follow the second World War, East

Germany and West Germany would be among the most significant national

births to occur in a time global power re-distribution and the complex

demarcation of international boundaries. Thus, these would be significant

fronts in the Cold War that would shape the fate of the globe for nearly

the remainder of the 20th century.

In the aftermath of the Soviet collapse, East Germany could in fact be

looked to as evidence of a failure of policy. In 1989, the first and most

emotive signal of the end of the Cold War came with the dismantling of the

Berlin Wall. A generation of failed economic policies, over-reaching

military priorities and repressive social conditions had instigated the end

of an empire and the fall of the Eastern Bloc. The time known as

'd?tente,' where an opening up of the former Soviet republics finally

allowed those essentially held captive in such societies to move freely

about the world. (U.S. Department of State, 1) And within less than a

year of the fall of Berlin, East and West Germany began the discourse

toward a return to German sovereignty. "During the 1990 negotiations on

German unification, the decision was taken to confirm, and partially

extend, West Germany's existing provisions on compensation. This decision

was formalized in Article 2 of the 'Agreement on the Enactment and

Interpretation of the Unification Treaty' of September 18, 1990 that

unified Germany." (U.S. Department of State, 4) At this juncture, the

nation of East Germany fundamentally ceased to be, with those territories

formerly known thusly now recognized as beholden to the same principles and

policies as those governing West Germany.

After five decades of international conflict, waged between the

imperial champion of the communist ideology and the frontrunner for western

democracy, the latter prevailed in the peaceful revolution of 1989. With

the reunification of Germany, and two years later, the collapse of the

Soviet Union, the Cold War had ended with little violence or resistance,

providing a long view of the most optimistic weathering of challenges. And

from the perspective that the invasive and draconian presence of Soviet

supported regimes had fallen in Hungary, Romania, Czechloslovakia and

Poland, the end of the Cold War certainly appeared to light the way toward

the pervasion of civil liberty, capitalist evolution and democratic policy

representation in a host of nations. Hence, much of the policy which is

concerned with the challenges of intervening in conflicts on the smaller

scale created in the fallout of the Cold War would be focused on the

successful strategy of prosecuting those responsible for the conflict,

removing the cultural elements of the conflict from the population and

infusing the context with western features of technological, commercial and

infrastructural development.

Today, this process of nation-building can be evidenced in perhaps the

most prominent modern example of the United Nations as a conflict

management force-both with respect to its strengths and its flaws. The

splintering of Yugoslavia, which devolved into war and ethnic cleansing in

the power vacuum created by the collapse of its Soviet sponsorship, would

become a crucial early test for the U.N.'s conflict management capabilities

following the Cold War.

Indeed, this would represent a new achievement for the international

human rights movement as reflected in the potential of the United Nations

to try international war criminals for the abhorrent deeds of which they

are accused. Thus, in the case of Slobodan Milosevic's arrival at the

Hague in February of 2002, Bass (2003) tells that "this was an amazing

triumph for the human rights movement, but at the same time the realization

of a nightmare that had haunted the allied officials who planned the

Nuremberg tribunals nearly 60 years ago. They had worried that Nazi

leaders would be able to use those trials as a forum to justify their

actions and present themselves as martyrs to subsequent generations.

Milosevic has tried to do the same." (Bass, 83)

And as par for the course, much of the discussion on this subject

focuses also on the slow and bureaucratic pace at which conflict management

occurs where the United Nations is involved. Indeed, in the case of the

eventual tribunals for those who were said to be guilty of war time

atrocities, Bass (2003) denotes that "when NATO finally struck against the

Bosnian Serb army and oversaw the Dayton accord that ended the war, the

tribunal still had to wait almost two years, until July 1997, for NATO

troops to begin arresting war crimes suspects in Bosnia. Even then, the

nationalist regime in Croatia and Milosevic's regime in Serbia excoriated

its efforts and frequently refused to cooperate." (Bass, 84) These types

of challenges demonstrate that even where the model appears to exist in

that which had been accomplished in Germany, the incubation period remains

frustrated by practical obstacles to intervention and action. Just as

those who sought to try Nazi war criminals learned of the monumental

difficulty in holding individuals accountable for the crimes of whole

nations and governments, so do those who attempt to clear the debris from

modern cases of wartime atrocity find today that the process of assigning

accountability is impacted by moral relativism, legal rationalization and

sheer practical difficulty.

But in the case of Milosevic and the conflict management process which

produced him for the world community, there is a division of labor which is

at once promising and problematic. Such is to say that the combined

efforts of states, coalitions and the United Nations would ultimately

produce the will to take action. While under the leadership of the Clinton

Administration at the time, the United States took an aggressive lead role

in seeking an intervening global force which could bring reconciliation

through state-separation and which could… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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