Three forum responses 150 words each topic: international relations, history homework help

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Three forum responses 150 words each with works cited, topic: International Relations conflict analysis and resolution.

Post 1

For this case study I choose Nepal. For personal reasons I wanted to see what the impact the Carter Society made there. What stands out from this case study is a reflection of George Mitchell speech he gave on conflict resolution. This was not an easy process which was rather drawn out. This was an effort which took multiple attempts to get right. The Carter center started their work in 2003 in Nepal but it was’t until 2015 did Nepal adopt a constitution. Despite the collaboration which was done by the Carter Center to bring both sides together the two sides after four years of work failed to write a Constitution in 2012 and it wasn’t until 2015 was one adopted.

However it is too soon to really define success of this work by the Carter Center. Jacob Bercovitch and Leah Simpson define success in conflict resolution as something that may take ten to fifteen years to really define. However the technique used by the Carter Center generally has a higher success rate. The article by Bercovitch and Simpson argues international mediation in a civil conflict which involves some form of power sharing has a substantial higher rate of success than a simple settlement. What the Carter Center did was to ensure both parties involved had input into the writing of the constitution. This was something both sides wanted To overcome the possibility of distrust both sides had for one another the Carter Center interviewed local officials and made reports based on the implementation of the peace agreement. In addition the Carter Center employed monitors of several nations as monitors for the elections. By acting as a third party the Carter Center helped to establish trust between both sides by being an impartial over sear to the situation.

The task the Carter center performed also reflects what he learned with Northern Ireland. The agreement has to be theirs the parties involved not someone else’s. Also the willingness as a third party to hang in their despite multiple failures. George Mitchell said expect to be told no multiple times. “In order to succeed you have to have persistence and perseverance”. Despite the failure in 2012 of the Carter Center to have a constitution written they stayed and three years later found success.

Post 2

The Carter Center’s mediation in Eritrea has resulted in a conflict resolution situation in which Eritrea gained independence, from Ethiopia, after 28 years of fighting following both sides request for mediation from former President Jimmy Carter in the early 1990s (https://www.cartercenter.org/countries/eritrea.html). The processes initially started, in September 1989, with both the Ethiopian government and Eritrean People’s Liberation Front taking the first steps towards ending this internal conflict which still experienced fighting, throughout President Carter’s mediation, until Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in May 1993 (https://www.cartercenter.org/countries/eritrea.html). An interesting aspect of the Carter Center’s mediation was “Eritrea’s invitations to the Carter Center, due to food shortages, to assist with food security programming in 1996 which led to long term programs assessing traditional food cultivation programs and conducted limited agricultural studies in which a select number of farmers experimented with select crops in cultivation, processing, and storage increasing crop yields and teaching neighboring African countries potential processes to minimize food shortages (https://www.cartercenter.org/countries/eritrea.html). This example of an outside mediator providing means to educate local farmers to prevent potential famines is important due to its importance in preventing traumatic circumstances which severely disrupt economic and social growth which could lead to internal and cross border violence as nation-states and tribes compete over limited resources.

President Carter’s mediation and the Carter Center’s assistance in securing processes for improving local food production is important in neutral agencies supporting the transformation away from conflict into sustainable efforts to build upon a peaceful political and social environment which encourages peacefully growth. Outside mediation is key in assisting opposing sides negotiate an initial peace which can help a nation-state or opposing states break an impasse and, at a minimum, agree to a peace in which conflicts in a stalemate status can end. Many times, opposing combatants cannot gain an advantage over opposing forces and gain a clear and just victory. As modern wars continue “absent a decisive military victory the benefits of a peaceful solution can outweigh continual fighting under two conditions: when belligerents are incapable of achieving their most preferred outcome unilaterally through continued violence, and when belligerents are bearing severe costs (Liebel and Enterline, 376).”

At this point both sides may come to understand the current state of affairs cannot go on indefinitely without impacting their agendas “as neither side is able to successfully impose their will over the other, and each side continues to assume costs from continual fighting, known as mutually hurting stalemate, and is considered ripe for conflict management (Liebel and Enterline, 376)” also known as mediation. Mediation is important, by neutral parties, as “negotiations between opposing sides are hardly an option for parties in an internal conflict (Bercovitch and Simpson, 71)” due to neither side having clear advantages over the other side. Mediation was seen again due to the border dispute between Eritrea and Djibouti in which Eritrea being the larger more combat experienced country wanted to control negotiations verses Qatar’s invitation to mediate between both East African states (Frank, 113).” This was an example of both sides resisting mediation from 2008 (the outbreak of hostilities) until 2010 as the mutually hurting stalemate began to impact both nation-states (Frank, 114). This was an interesting assigned reading in relation to the Carter Center’s case study in which Eritrea may have been pre-conditioned to the use of force (based on its war of independence from Ethiopia), and Djibouti cooperated with international and regional organizations efforts to end this conflict (Frank, 124).

Post 3

In 1994, former President Jimmy Carter and his wife visited North Korea as representatives of the Carter Center. At that time, North Korea was on the brink of war with the United States, and tensions were high concerning North Korean development of a weaponized nuclear program. After two days of talks with President Carter, President Kim Il Sung agreed to halt North Korea’s nuclear program in exchange for reopening a dialogue with the U.S. Two agreements were reached in the following months, in which North Korea agreed to halt construction of nuclear power plants and promised not to restart its nuclear reactor. This was the first major dialogue between the two countries in 40 years (Carter Center, n.d.).

Then in 2002, President George W. Bush, in his State of the Union address, referred to North Korea as a member of “the axis of evil.” This prompted North Korea to expel International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors from its borders and to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. They tested their first nuclear weapon in 2006 (Carter Center, n.d.).

In 2010, former President Carter once again returned to North Korea for a two day humanitarian mission, during which time he negotiated for the release of an American teacher who had illegally entered North Korea and was subsequently captured and sentenced to 8 years of hard labor and exorbitant fines for his crime. Former President Carter successfully negotiated for the teacher’s release based on humanitarian reasons, and returned to the U.S. (Carter Center, n.d.).

Discussion

Tensions have remained strained with North Korea in the years since, and little has been accomplished in convincing North Korea to discard its nuclear weapons program and improve its humanitarian efforts. In fact, as we can all attest to, North Korea has only persisted in development of nuclear weapons, and is still one of the worst countries in the world for human rights violations.

North Korea is unique among most of the conflicts covered in this week’s readings, as it does not quite fit under the label of civil war. Or, rather, it is a civil war caught in an extended, strange stalemate, with the U.S. supporting the Republic of Korea (ROK) and shielding it from North Korean attacks. What makes this conflict unique among civil wars, however, is that the rest of the world recognizes North Korea and the ROK as two separate states, and the ROK has (through the support of the international community) developed far past North Korea in terms of fair government, economics, and human rights protections. This makes mediation quite a chore, as the two states are no longer share compatible policies, and mediators cannot compromise when dealing with human rights violations.

This has been the case for decades, though North Korea still has an ultimate goal of unifying the Korean Peninsula under North Korean rule. North Korea’s nuclear program, then, is likely meant not only as a deterrence against United States military power and an attempt to force a treaty, but also eventually as a means of dominating the ROK (given the opportunity). It is no wonder, then, that North Korea has constantly sought a peace treaty with the U.S. that would require the withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea (National Committee on North Korea [NCNK] 2015).

The problem, however, is that removal of U.S. troops from the ROK would most likely lead to a vicious and bloody continuance of civil war. Yet in recent years, negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea, and mediation with the ROK, have not led to any productive progress on either side. This is due to many factors. Bercovitch and Simpson identify four factors which play a large role in the success or failure in the implementation of a mediated solution, as discussed below.

First off, “specificity of agreement” is probably not a problem in U.S.-North Korean relations (though the specifics remain unsatisfactory to both parties). However, third-party safety guarantees from the U.S. have been constantly rejected by North Korea (NCNK 2015), and North Korea definitely presents a difficult environment for conflict resolution. Additionally, considering that North Korea is a communist state and the ROK is a presidential republic, a compromised power-sharing agreement is unlikely, since neither country would willingly give up its form of government (Bercovitch and Simpson, 2010).

In regard to third-party mediation, former Sen. George Mitchell says that we must have “patience and perseverance; you have to stick with it” (2012, 20:45). And we have…for decades. Personally, I cannot see a resolution to the Korean Peninsula conflict without some kind of armed combat. I base this opinion on the fact that North Korean ideology bases its government’s legitimacy on the bloodline of an elite ruling class, much like a monarchy. North Korea is ruled by a dictator who does not care for the lives of his own people, let alone the people of the ROK or the U.S. He ignores international sanctions and calls for disarmament, and makes regular threats of nuclear war without fear of reprisal.

My point: there is no reasoning with a man like that, or a government that supports him. Whether it be through an internal coup or external third-party intervention, drastic steps are necessary to affect any useful change in this situation. As former Sen. George Mitchell says, “there will not be freedom for all if there is only opportunity for some” (2012, 50:45). I realize that this may not be a popular view, especially in a class literally teaching conflict resolution techniques. I could be completely incorrect; things could change and I just do not have the experience or the creativity to imagine them in this situation. But I also believe that it is naïve to think that every situation can be solved through peaceful mediation and correct application of conflict resolution theory. It would be a great world if that were the case, and I wish that it was that simple. But some ideologies are simply irreconcilable. Some people, no matter how much you reason or bargain with them, will never be satisfied, and will never be able to see the world from another’s perspective.

Please don’t get me wrong; I am not advocating full-on war with North Korea. My hope would be that change could be affected within the North Korean government itself (they can’t all be evil dictators, right?), and that change would allow for increased and productive mediation with the ROK and the rest of the international community. I simply do not see a simple, tidy solution in the cards for North Korea. If you have a different theory or idea, please do share! I welcome the opportunity to learn from your perspectives (unlike Kim Jong-un haha).

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