Dateline: Paris Agreement
Diplomacyis a process of communication between governments that is the primary means by which states seek to protect and promote their interests. The negotiation of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change and President Donald Trumps decision to leave it are examples of this process in action.
Attended by 195 states and the European Union, the 2015 Paris Agreement was a treaty formulated at the 21st annual United Nations Climate Change Conference and marked the culmination of six years of negotiations. Officially coming into effect in November 2016, the agreement, which needed a unanimous vote and required all sides to compromise245on their demands, broke new ground in dealing with the problem of climate change.
The Paris Agreement set a goal of reducing the global temperature increase to 1.5C above preindustrial levels. This target is to be met by submission of nationally developed contribution plans by each country. These targets are not legally binding, and no enforcement mechanism was put in place. This marks a change from previous treaties, which sought to set legally binding commitments, producing opposition from the United States and others. Instead, a name and shame mechanism was put in place where peer pressure and publicity would serve as the primary enforcement mechanisms. Virtually all states are required to submit reports on a regular basis using agreed-upon measures to judge the progress of their efforts. The first public reports are due in 2023. In addition, every state is tasked with resubmitting its national plan targets every five years, so a report in 2020 is required.
A recurring area of controversy in climate negotiations has been the issue of responsibility for global climate damage. President Obama stated that the United States not only recognizes our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to do something about it. Another aspect of this debate centers on who should bear the financial burden of actions needed to address loss and damage problems associated with the adverse effects of climate change. This was the first time that the phrase loss and damage was included in a climate treaty, at the insistence of smaller island countries. According to the Paris Agreement, developed countries should take the lead in mobilizing climate finance, but it does not establish a specific dollar amount they are obligated to provide.
A key element of U.S. support for the Paris Agreement was Obamas commitment. He personally attended the conference and lobbied the heads of key developing countries such as India and Brazil. A weakness in the U.S. commitment was the continuing conflict between Obama and Republicans in Congress. Prior to the conference, more than a hundred members of Congress sent a letter to foreign leaders indicating that Obama did not have their support.
On June 1, 2017, President Donald Trump announced that the United States was withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. A longtime climate change skeptic, he had promised to cancel the agreement during his presidential campaign. His announcement came some months later than expected, largely due to conflict within his administration. Chief strategist Steve Bannon was a strong advocate of leaving the Paris Agreement, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson argued against it, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry recommended renegotiating its terms. In making his announcement, Trump asserted that the Paris Agreement was a draconian deal. Asserting that I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris, he termed it an attack on U.S. sovereignty that imposed unfair environmental standards on U.S. businesses and workers. There is no246penalty for withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, but states who signed cannot leave until November 4, 2020, making that the effective date of U.S. withdrawal.
After his announcement, Trump contacted European leaders, indicating a willingness to renegotiate the Agreement. Germany, Italy, and France quickly responded that the Paris Agreement was irreversible. Disagreement with U.S. allies continues. At the 2018 G-7 meeting, Trump did not sign a joint statement on climate issues; he did not attend the session of the 2019 meeting devoted to climate issues.
The Paris Agreement marks the third time since the initial United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was signed in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The first two agreements were the Kyoto Protocol and the Copenhagen Accord (see the Historical Lesson).
The Paris Agreement serves as an example of what diplomacy can accomplish and how fragile those accomplishments can be. This chapter first examines the fundamental choices and dilemmas facing policy makers in using diplomacy. It then turns to the major forms of diplomacy in which the U.S. has engaged, beginning with a broad overview of bilateral and multilateral diplomacy and then looking at more specific types including summit diplomacy, UN diplomacy, public diplomacy, and variations on the political use of force.
Diplomacy: Choices and Dilemmas
For many, diplomacy remains the classic policy instrument best suited to producing lasting and workable solutions to foreign policy problems. Others point out that the use of diplomacy is not without its dangers. Negotiations also hold the potential for exacerbating hostilities, strengthening an aggressor, preparing the way for an attack, and eroding the moral and legal foundations of peacebecause they can be used to stall for time, obtain information, and make propaganda plays.
The Diplomatic Tool Kit
Diplomacy is closely identified with government-to-governmentbargainingandnegotiation, but the diplomatic tool kit extends well beyond these processes. Most significantly, diplomatic efforts have often involved the use of military and economic power. States now also rely on individuals and private sector groups to reach out and communicate with foreign governments as part of the negotiation process, a strategy known as Track II diplomacy. In addition, as captured by the concept of public diplomacy (described later in the chapter), diplomacy today also reaches out directly to the people of another state in hopes of laying a foundation favorable to U.S. foreign policy initiatives.
An enlarged diplomatic tool kit is not without problems. Not all tools are equally effective in dealing with every problem, but often the temptation is to keep using those that work and avoid tools that have recently failed. Advocates of using military power have long struggled to adjust to this reality. Using multiple diplomatic tools can also create confusion if different messages are received; under certain circumstances, they can also be self-defeating, if one undermines the effectiveness of another.
Bilateralism versus Multilateralism
While countries may prefer to act unilaterally because of the high degree of freedom it affords, unilateralism is rarely a viable option. For most, including the United States, foreign policy involves partnering or at least interacting with others. The two most common forms of diplomacy arebilateral diplomacy, in which two states interact directly with each other, andmultilateral diplomacy, in which many states participate. Bilateral relations are assuming a new prominence today because, without the Cold War to frame negotiations, diplomacy has become heavily influenced by country- and situation-specific considerations. Multilateral diplomacy has not vanished completely, however. Many issues of concern to policy makers require the cooperation of multiple countries if they are to be addressed effectively. In such cases, bilateral diplomacy loses much of its appeal due to the large amount of time and the high cost that come into play in reconciling the different views of many countries on a case-by-case basis.
Multilateralism is not without its own drawbacks as a diplomatic problem-solving strategy.One set of obstacles is domestic. Public opinion tends to support acting through the United Nations and other multilateral bodies, but only up to a point, because unilateralism runs deep in the American national style(see). A second set of obstacles is international. How does you enter into a multilateral partnership? The choice at its most fundamental level is betweenalliancessuch as membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or economic organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO)and creating ad hoccoalitionsof states that share a common interest with regard to a specific problem, be it genocide, Iraq, or the environment.
Process versus Product
Another point of tension is whether diplomacy should be viewed as a process or a product (an outcome). According to some observers, this long-standing tension is growing; while interest in diplomacy-as-process is on the rise, the preconditions needed for diplomacy-as-product are on the decline.Three of the most important factors standing in the way of the success of diplomatic efforts today are (1) the absence of shared principles248on which to base international agreements, (2) the increased presence of non-negotiable goals, and (3) the growing role of public opinion in foreign policy making. The first two make compromise difficult and greatly reduce the common ground on which solutions can be built. The third complicates the ability of governments to implement agreements.
Incentives versus Sanctions
One of the most difficult decisions that must be made in conducting diplomacy is the choice between employing sanctions and offering incentives.Sanctionsare penalties generally directed at adversaries. The most frequently employed sanctions are economic in nature, and will be discussed in more detail in the next chapter.Diplomatic sanctionsinclude threatening to withhold or actually withholding recognition of a government, recalling an ambassador either temporarily (for consultations) or more permanently, and closing an embassy. One such episode during the Trump administration involved the European Union (EU). In 2018, without any formal announcement, the administration downgraded the diplomatic status of the EUs representative in Washington. Trump had been referring to the EU as a foe in economic competition with the United States. The EU also opposed his Iran policy. In 2019, that decision was reversed, and the EU representative was again given ambassador rank.
The historical record shows that sanctions have often been used against both allies and friends. Many argue that sanctions potentially are most effective against friends; when relations are minimal or already strained, sanctions may do little additional damage, so there is little reason for states to comply U.S. trading partners have been the frequent target of economic sanctions by Trump as he sought to redress bad deals. For example, he put steel and aluminum tariffs in place against Mexico and Canada while the new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was being ratified (see Dateline section in).
Diplomatic sanctions strike many as being more symbolic than economic sanctions and, thus, less costly to employ. However, there are costs associated with the use of diplomatic sanctions.First, there is a loss of intelligence. When the United States closed its embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, it lost the ability to engage in human intelligence collection and was forced to rely heavily on Pakistans intelligence service for information about the Taliban government. Second, diplomatic sanctions may also lead to misperceptions because of the inability to communicate directly. Because Chinas warnings to the United States that it would intervene in the 1950 Korean War went through India (there was no U.S. embassy in China), they were not believed. Third, a country loses the ability to promote a positive image, which can be a valuable resource for building negotiations with other states and influencing global public opinion.
Engagement of other states through offers of incentives is less well studied than sanctions.Incentives can include the removal of sanctions or offers of additional trade or foreign aid. Diplomatic recognition, joint military training exercises, and are also examples of incentives. Offering incentives to a friend or ally is easy, but it is much more controversial when the target state is a foe. Yet it is precisely with these states that the strategy of engagement may offer its greatest benefits, because it provides an avenue for dialogue that did not previously exist. Trumps nuclear negotiations with North Korea, his administrations support for peace talks with the Taliban, and Obamas talks with Cuba illustrate this point.
Trumps Approach to Diplomacy
It is useful to summarize President Trumps approach before examining in more depth the various pathways and diplomatic instruments used in U.S. diplomacy. Trump views diplomacy in very personal terms. This is demonstrated both in his preference for bilateral diplomacy over multilateral diplomacy for negotiating deals and in his view of deal making as a personal undertaking. Bargaining style, establishing friendly relationships, and seizing the moment matter more to him than institutional processes of gathering data, evaluating options, and laying the foundation for talks. As he said when asked about the large number of State Department vacancies and their impact on his foreign policy, Im the only one that matters.
Trumps general orientation to diplomacy has three recurring themes. First, he seeks to undo bad deals by ending them or by placing pressure on other states to reverse their policies. Second, because campaign rhetoric tends to dominate his diplomatic statements, his diplomacy has a short-term focus. Trump seeks to unravel existing foreign policy but gives far less attention to the long-term implications of fixing the bad deal. Third, Trump tends to center his diplomacy in self-contained silos, focusing on narrow objectives. A case in point is South Korea, a long-time critical ally of the United States in Asia. In February 2017, Trump announced that he was considering terminating a trade agreement with South Korea because of its high trade surplus with the United States. This statement left unrecognized South Koreas strong support of economic sanctions against North Korea, and came at a time when North Korea (which he then considered a hostile state) had just conducted a new round of missile tests. Rather than stressing the need for continued military collaboration, Trump blasted South Korea for its interest in negotiating with North Korea (appeasement). His comment also left unrecognized the fact that South Korea had only recently changed its position, allowing the United States to place a missile defense system there.
The remainder of the chapter examines major forms of diplomatic activity, starting with a closer look at bilateral diplomacy.
Allies, Friends, Adversaries
Countries enter into three different types of bilateral relationships: allies, friends, and adversaries. Each has its own unique set of characteristics. Dealings with allies are marked by high levels of commitment to the negotiation process, recognition of the existence of a wide area of common interests, and willingness to address the specific issues involved in a dispute. Leaks of the existence of covert National Security Agency (NSA) programs to intercept communications among foreign leaders brought home the reality that being an ally does not preclude being the target of intelligence-gathering efforts. The NSA captured communications among allies including the European Union, Germany, Mexico, Spain, France, and Brazil. The reputed goal was to obtain information regarding their policy positions on global issues. The diplomatic fallout from the leaks escalated into a high-profile conflict between the United States and its allies. In response, a senior NSA official said that identifying the intentions of foreign leaders is a fundamental given for intelligence services.
Relations with adversaries are also marked by a high degree of commitment and attention; the difference is a lack of any sense of shared interests. Instead, there is an underlying sense of conflict and distrust. As a result, much of the bilateral dialogue centers on finding formula-based solutions for problems such as those reached in U.S.Soviet arms control agreements.
Finally, bilateral relations among friends are relations between states that are on good terms but lack extensive dealings with one another. As a result, it is often difficult to strike a deal, as each side advances its own particular interest in the absence of widely perceived common interests. U.S. relations with India is one example.
A fourth category of (non)relations can also be said to exist. During the George W. Bush administration, the most prominent countries with which the United States lacked formal diplomatic relations were the three members of the so-called axis of evil: Iran, North Korea, and Iraq. Consistent with Obamas pledge to reach out to all states, the United States began reestablishing relations with several countries, the most prominent of which was Cuba.
In some cases, the nature of the bilateral relationship is easy to determine. The United States and Great Britain are long-standing allies. In other cases, it is not as easy. China is a potential military adversary, but it is also a potential friend and ally in managing international economic relations. The uncertain nature of bilateral relations is a major problem for U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia has long been a staunch U.S. ally, helping keep the price of oil low and funding U.S. covert operations in the Middle East and Africa. The United States has relied heavily on Saudi Arabia to fund antigovernment rebel forces in Syria; the Trump administration continues to see it as an ally and has promoted arms sales. Yet, long-standing speculation that Saudi Araba gave financial support to the 9/11 terrorists,251its efforts to improve relations with Russia along with increased formal cooperation between Russia and OPEC, and the governments role in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi have led many to view it as more of a questionable friend than an ally, resulting in congressional opposition to arms sales.
In many respects, the choice between bilateral and multilateral diplomacy is a false one. Bilateral diplomacy can be an important component of any multilateral diplomatic undertaking. This is notably the case inshuttle diplomacy. Here, because the political distance between two states is so great that they are unable to engage in face-to-face negotiations, a trusted third-party travels between them in an effort to end the diplomatic stalemate.
Shuttle diplomacy is most famously associated with Henry Kissinger, who served as National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon. His shuttle diplomacy occurred following the 1973 Yom Kippur War. A coordinated surprise attack by Egyptian and Syrian forces seriously weakened Israeli forces and raised the possibility of defeat. Eventually, Israeli forces launched a successful counterattack. A UN-arranged truce failed, and fighting continued until October 25, when efforts by the United States and Soviet Union ended the fighting. A UN peace conference began in December 1973 and ended in failure in early January 1974. On January 14, 1974, Kissinger flew to Egypt to discuss terms of a possible peace agreement. For the next week Kissinger would repeatedly fly between Egypt and Israel in an effort to narrow the differences between the two states. On January 18, a peace agreement placing UN peacekeeping forces in the Sinai as a buffer between the two states was announced. Kissinger then turned his attention to the Syria-Israel standoff. Beginning in mid-March and running through most of April, he met separately and regularly with Syrian and Israeli embassy officials in Washington. Feeling that the foundations of an agreement had been identified, Kissinger left on May 1 for another round of shuttle diplomacy that ultimately produced a peace agreement on May 31.
Obamas Secretary of State John Kerry also engaged in shuttle diplomacy. Over the course of five months in 2013, Kerry made six trips to the Middle East and engaged in what were termed marathon sessions with leaders on both sides for the purpose of restarting negotiations. His efforts failed. Rex Tillerson undertook a shuttle diplomacy mission in the Middle East in 2017 to resolve a crisis that pitted Qatar against Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. The dispute threatened to undermine counterterrorism efforts in the region and endangered two U.S. military bases. The four states had placed an economic embargo on Qatar for its support of terrorism and its close ties with Iran, but the State Department felt that older, long-standing grievances between Saudi Arabia252and Qatar were at the heart of the dispute. A list of thirteen demands were placed for the embargo to be lifted, all of which Qatar rejected. Tillerson spent a week shuttling among Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar but failed to end the conflict.
The most visible of all forms of diplomacy is summit diplomacy, in which heads of state meet personally with one another at conferences.Summit conferencesperform a number of valuable services.Foremost is establishment of a personal relationship between leaders that sensitizes each to the domestic constraints operating in the others political system. A second potentially valuable service is energizing the bureaucracy and setting a deadline for decision-making. The benefit here is not so much the summit itself but the preparations for it.
Aligned against these virtues of summit diplomacy are a number of potentially negative consequences.First, the personal contacts established through face-to-face negotiations may result in an inaccurate reading of the adversarys character and the constraints under which they operate. This appears to have happened at the 1961 Kennedy-Khrushchev summit in Vienna. Khrushchev reportedly came away with the impression that Kennedy could be intimidated; many link the Soviet attempt to place missiles in Cuba to this meeting. Similarly, summit deadlines offer the recalcitrant state a golden opportunity to exploit the others eagerness for resolution.Misreading of intentions also appears to have played a role in the failure to achieve a U.S.North Korea nuclear agreement. Trump came away from the 2018 meeting in Singapore claiming that he and Kim Jung-un had established a close personal bond and that Kim had written him beautiful letters. Kim appears to have come away from that meeting with the view that Trumps flowery comments were evidence of his desperation to make a deal. Their second summit, in 2019, adjourned unexpectedly without an agreement.
Energizing the bureaucracy does not necessarily guarantee the emergence of a coherent policy, which is only realized when the planning process is given time and political attention. Moreover, it may only intensify the ongoing bureaucratic struggle, resulting in only a lowest-common-denominator position being brought to the summit. Summit deadlines may also politicize or impede decision-making. This point is raised most forcefully with reference to annual economic summitry, but as the many accounts of U.S.Soviet arms control talks reveal, it is equally applicable to other forms of international diplomacy.Other commentators suggest that periodic meetings are a questionable device for addressing a continuously evolving problem. Agreements reached in April become obsolete in November, when the next summit is still months away.
More generally, summit conferences have been criticized for unfairly raising public expectations. They are part of a cycle characterized by a burst of publicity about new initiatives or special envoys, followed by policy drift and an unwillingness to push either side, until eventually the effort goes dormant, sometimes for months, until yet another approach is crafted.
East-West Superpower Summits
East-West summit conferences were a frequent, if irregularly spaced, feature of the Cold War. The early summits, from 1955 to 1967, dealt with European security issues. Later they became an important mechanism for institutionalizing dtente (see). All told, they produced more than twenty-four agreements, including SALT I and SALT II. Reagan and Gorbachev conducted a series of post-dtente summit conferences, the most famous of which was the Reykjavik summit in 1986. There, Reagan proposed abolishing all ballistic missiles, and Gorbachev countered with a proposal to eliminate all strategic arms. Nothing came of these initiatives because they would have prohibited Reagan from engaging in Strategic Defensive Initiative testing beyond the laboratory, something he was determined to do. With the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, in overall strategic importance.Increasingly, they focused on economic assistance and ways to enlist Russian help in the War on Terrorism.
Beginning in 1975, the heads of state of the six major Western economies (the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, and Italy) have been meeting at an annual summit. Originally known as the Group of 6 (G6), today (with the addition of Canada) it is the Group of 7 (it was the G8 until Russia was expelled after the Ukraine crisis). These meetings began as a means for informal discussion among the leaders of the major economic powers as they dealt with the effects of the postArab-Israeli War oil crisis, global inflation, and the removal of the dollar from the gold standard.
In mid-2007, a financial crisis began to work its way through the international economic system. As the need for a global response to the financial crisis (rather than separate national responses) became evident, the search for a proper forum for conducting negotiations began. The G8 was seen as having too narrow a membership to construct a global solution, so attention shifted to the Group of 20 (G20). The G20 was created as a response to the 19971998 Asian financial crisis and included developed and developing economies such as Saudi Arabia, Brazil, India, China,254Mexico, and South Africa. The G20 held its first formal summit in 2008 to address the financial crisis. At the September 2009 G8 summit, it was agreed that the G20 would replace the G8 as the main forum for international economic discussions. Regardless of the setting, over time political and military questions have also become prominent agenda items.As early as 1996, the G8 agenda was broadened to include terrorism and international crime. At the 2013 G20 summit, Obama sought to build global support for a military strike against Syria for its use of chemical weapons. At the 2019 G7 summit, Trump sought to have Russia invited back as a member but failed.
The Trump-Putin Summit
Given Trumps approach to diplomacy, it is no surprise that he has actively engaged in personal one-on-one conversations with the leaders of other countries. Not all of these would classify as summits; some are better categorized as meetings due their informal nature and purpose as photo opportunities rather than problem-solving sessions. Three that fit the category of summits are those Trump has had with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. Those with Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un will be addressed in later chapters. Here the focus is on Trumps meeting with Putin in Helsinki in 2018. While all very different in setting, each failed to confirm Trumps self-proclaimed ability as a negotiator.
Trump and Putin have met and talked on the phone multiple times. The first face-to-face meeting between Trump and Putin took place in July 2017 during the G20 economic summit. Scheduled as a short introductory meeting, it turned into a two-hour discussion of global issues and possible solutions. Their most often discussed meeting took place on July 18, 2018, in Helsinki. As with their other meetings, much of what was said at Helsinki remains unknown. Trump and Putin met for two hours without advisors or note takers. No agenda was published for their discussion, and no communique was issued afterward.
Controversy quickly arose on two points. The first centered on the topics discussed and the agreements reached. After the meeting, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats acknowledged that he did not have any details about what was discussed. Russian leaders asserted that important verbal agreements had been reached, including keeping the new START and INF arms control agreements. They also suggested that Putin had put forward proposals on how the U.S. and Russia could cooperate on Syria. Complicating matters further, Trump appeared to accept Putins assertion that Russia had not interfered in the 2016 presidential election, even though the intelligence community concluded this was the case. Trump also did not reject out of hand Putins proposal to let Robert Mueller interview Russians indicted for hacking in the 2016 election in exchange255for allowing Russia to question U.S. officials, including former Ambassador Mike McFaul who they accused of interfering in Russian affairs.
Second, during the Helsinki summit Putin drew attention to Trumps approach to diplomacy. No National Security Council meetings were held in preparation for the summit, nor was a post-summit meeting held. Prior to the meeting, advisors had covered such matters as the Crimea conflict and the 2016 election and urged Trump to take a firm position with Putin. Instead, they noted that Trump made a game-time decision to handle it differently, referring to Putin as a competitor rather than an adversary. Where Putin struck observers as in control and with a strategy for moving forward, Trump appeared to improvise with vague promises. A similar scenario appeared to have unfolded during their first meeting. After he was no longer Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that at the first meeting Putin out-prepared Trump, putting the United States at a disadvantage; Trump countered this overall assessment of his performance at Putin summits, saying that we did very well at those meetings.
Conference diplomacystarts from the logic that some problems in international politics affect the interests of too many states to be solved unilaterally, bilaterally, or at summit conferences. Instead, what is needed is to bring all of the concerned states together at a regional or global level. Three different forms of conference diplomacy can be identified. The first centers on the operation of formal international organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO). The second involves regularly scheduled meetings of states that share a common concern. Conferences on human rights and environmental protection fall into this category. The third is impromptu or irregularly scheduled meetings designed to address a common problem, the end product of which can be described as acoalition of the willing. Prominent recent examples include George W. Bushs creation of a coalition of the willing to support the Iraq War, and the coalition of states that came together to take military action against Gaddafi, which led to his downfall and death during the Obama administration.
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO)
In the area of trade, the United States has relied heavily on international conferences to accomplish its foreign policy objectives. Historically, the most important of these centered on meetings of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The last GATT conference, which ran from 1986 to 1994, was known as the Uruguay Round. It culminated with the signing of an agreement that established the World Trade Organization256(WTO) to supervise international trade law and formally bring the GATT process to an end.
From its first meeting in Geneva in 1947, GATT had been seen as a transitional body that would deal with international trade matters only until an International Trade Organization (ITO) was set up. Because of political opposition in the United States to the broad powers that were to be given to the ITO, President Harry Truman never submitted the treaty to Congress for approval. Similar concerns about the loss of U.S. sovereignty were expressed when the WTO was proposed. Only a last-minute compromise reserving the right of the United States to leave should the WTO consistently rule against the United States cleared the way for the treatys approval by the Senate. An especially important early GATT trade negotiation round was the Kennedy Round (19641967), which reduced barriers to international free trade and marked the high point of international trade cooperation.
Four conflict areas dominated the agenda at the Uruguay Round and continue to be the principal areas in which meaningful agreements have eluded WTO negotiators. The first is trade in agriculture. At the heart of the problem is the need for more markets for agricultural goods, the widespread presence of subsidies and quotas that protect farmers from foreign competition, and the unwillingness of governments to antagonize the politically powerful agricultural interests in their states. A second area of disagreement involves strengthening international protection for intellectual property. U.S. firms charge that Third World states routinely disregard copyrights and patents in the production of such items as books, pharmaceuticals, and computer software. A third area of controversy centers on the demands of the United States and Europe for international labor standards with regard to child labor, convict labor, minimum wages, and unions. Fourth, over Third World objections, the United States and Europe have pressed for the establishment of a body to examine the environmental impact of global trade agreements.
WTO meetings have struggled to achieve success. The 2001 WTO meeting in Doha took place two months after the 9/11 attacks and was viewed by many in the United States and abroad as an opportunity to promote global cohesion. The talks were set to produce an agreement in 2005, but it was not until December 2013 that an agreement was reached. Trumps election as president created a new and deeper set of problems. Trump characterized the WTO as a disaster and very unfair. One reason that he identified his tariffs on steel and aluminum as national security issues was to circumvent Congress ability to block them. Another is that his tariff policies ran counter to the spirit and intent of the WTO but were permitted if defined as a matter of national security. Trump also has been slow to approve new members to the WTO appeals board, which undermines its ability to resolve trade disputes. At the same time, the United States has filed several cases and complaints with the WTO, citing trade violations by China, the European Union, Mexico, and others.
The Kyoto Protocol and Copenhagen Accord
Under the terms of the initial UNFCCC, signatory states were required to develop programs to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. No targets or requirements were included in the treaty. President George H. W. Bush signed the agreement and the Senate ratified it following Bushs promise that targets and timetables from future agreements would be sent to the Senate for ratification.
The agreement reached at the1992 UNFCCC mandated annual meetings to continue work on the problem of global warming. The first follow-on agreement came in 1997 with the signing of the Kyoto Protocol, formally an amendment to the Rio Treaty. The legal requirement of the Kyoto Protocol was a 5 percent reduction in greenhouse emissions from 1990 levels by 2012 by all developed states that signed and ratified the agreement. Six greenhouse gases were identified as requiring action. Three strategies were specified, including removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere by such measures as planting trees, investing in clean technologies, and trading emissions. Regarding the latter measure, states that had reduced greenhouse emissions to a point lower than the required target could sell emissions credits to countries that were not meeting them. Countries that failed to meet their targets would be assessed a 30 percent penalty in future reduction rounds. Developing countries, of which China claimedand continues to claimto be one, were exempt from any requirement to reduce greenhouse emissions.
For the Kyoto Protocol to come into force, fifty-five countries responsible for at least 55 percent of the total carbon dioxide emissions in 1900 had to ratify the agreement. The fifty-fifth country signed in 2002, but the percentage requirement was not met until 2004, when Russia ratified it. The United States signed the Kyoto Protocol under President Bill Clinton, who called it environmentally strong and economically sound. While it was being negotiated, Congress passed a resolution stating that the United States should not sign any climate agreement without targets and timetables for all countries, or any agreement that seriously hurt the American economy. President George W. Bush withdrew the United States from the agreement in 2002 without sending it to the Senate for ratification, calling it fatally flawed.
The second attempt at negotiating a climate treaty came in December 2009 when the fifteenth annual meeting following the signing of the Rio Treaty took place in Copenhagen. The basic outline of the agenda and the agreement to be negotiated had been set two years earlier at the 2007 meeting in Bali. The two weeks of negotiations to flesh out the Bali roadmap that took place in Copenhagen were described as raucous, disorganized, and frantic. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden in 2014 revealed that the United States had spied on other delegations and possessed details about their negotiating positions. One account characterized the negotiations as a textbook case of hownotto do a deal.
No agreement was in hand as the conference was about to adjourn on December 18. Press reports suggested that only a weak political statement might be announced. At that point, state leaders, including President Obama, had only recently arrived for a ceremonial signing of the final document. What followed in the remaining thirteen hours was intense, round-the-clock negotiations among the United States, China, India, Brazil, and South Africa. Obama was particularly active, rejecting calls from some states that the United States should simply sign the Kyoto Protocol, making an agreement in Copenhagen unnecessary. It has been reported that he entered, without invitation, a meeting between Chinese leaders with other heads of state. In the end, an agreement was reached.
Advocates called it a historic step forward. Others complained that they had not yet seen it and had been excluded from these last-minute negotiations. This proved to be its downfall. Under United Nations procedures, unanimous consent is needed for any agreement to become official. This rule held at Kyoto and Paris. At Copenhagen, angered at their exclusion and objecting to some of its terms, some countries, notably Bolivia, Venezuela, Sudan, and Tuvalu, objected. As a result, when the meeting conference ended on December 19, rather than being adopted, the agreement, officially known as the Copenhagen Accord, was merely taken note of. It was not a legally binding document.
The initial response in the United States was mixed. Obama called it a meaningful and unprecedented agreement. Among the breakthroughs it contained were recognition of the need to keep temperatures from rising more than 2C, pledges of aid to developing countries, and recognition that all countries must reduce emissions. An aide to Senator Richard Lugar called it a home run. Senator McCain called it a nothing burger. The longer-term political reaction in the United States and elsewhere was to pull back from seeking a new global climate agreement. The next climate meeting was held in Cancun in December 2010. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions noted that the Cancun meetings basically stayed close to the script of the Copenhagen Accord, leaving all options open and setting no clear path forward to a binding climate agreement.
Applying the Lesson
1. Should all states have an equal say in negotiating a climate treaty? Should there be a unanimity rule? Explain your answers.
2. How would you rank the Paris Agreement, the Copenhagen Accord, and the Kyoto Protocol in terms of their significance, and why?
3. What criteria should be used to measure the success and failure of international conferences, and why?
As you can readily see from the three environmental conferences discussed earlier in this chapter (the Paris Agreement described in the chapter-opening Dateline section and the Kyoto Protocol and Copenhagen Accord discussed in the Historical Lesson feature), conference diplomacy is a central but not necessarily effective vehicle for international environmental policy making. Just as with international economic conference diplomacy, the complexity of these issuescoupled with the imperatives of American domestic politicshas made it difficult for the United States to exert leadership and has often placed it at odds with the rest of the world. This section introduces and reviews two of the earliest efforts at environmental conference diplomacy.
The first effort was the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.The convergence of many factors, not the least of which was the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident, brought about a policy shift in the Reagan administration position on environmental protection that made the agreement possible. The Montreal Protocol was hailed both for the cuts it was able to make in the production and consumption of ozone-depleting materials and for its procedural approach to the problem. It established a framework for addressing environmental problems and committed states to periodic review conferences at which target figures and timetables could be adjusted.
The second conference was the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Better known as the Earth Summit, it resulted in the signing of seven major pacts and initiatives. It also found the United States on the defensive again, as the only major state not to sign a biodiversity treaty. The George H. W. Bush administration objected to provisions calling for all states to protect endangered animal and plant species, on the grounds that it did not provide patent protection to U.S. biotechnology firms. The treaty was later signed by Bill Clinton. Also virtually alone in its objections to a treaty on protection against global warming, the United States agreed to support it only after references to binding targets and timetables were dropped in favor of a more general pledge to reduce the emissions of gases that cause global warming.
Human Rights Conferences
The subject matter of international human rights conferences varies greatly. Topics range from commonly defined rights, such as those associated with the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to concerns of more specific groups of individuals, such as women and children, the disabled, or refugees and displaced persons. The United States generally has been an active participant in these conferences. For example, the United States260played an active role in the September 2015 Global Leaders Meeting on Gender Equality and Womens Empowerment held in Beijing. This conference is notable for putting forward a breakthrough blueprint for advancing womens rights and is remembered for Hillary Clintons statement that womens rights are human rights.
The United States has tended to participate in human rights conferences only when the proposed treaty or agenda involves advancing and protecting traditionally defined political and civil liberties. One prominent decision to abstain took place in 1996; the United States was absent from the Ottawa Conference on land mines, which resulted in a treaty banning the production and development of antipersonnel mines, which has now been signed by over 150 countries. One reason given by the United States for not signing the treaty is the continued need for such mines along the demilitarized zone along the border between North and South Korea.
The United States has also refused to participate in international conferences on racism because of concerns over language in proposed treaties. A recurring example is a UN conference to end racism and discrimination. Obama did not send a delegation to the 2009 Durban Review Conference because it equated racism with Zionism. The George W. Bush administration balked at participating in the 2001 conference because of this language and the inclusion of a proposal calling for reparations for slavery.
Overall, the promotion of human rights has not played a major role in the Trump administrations foreign policy. In 2017, for the first time, the United States did not participate in a review meeting of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Created in 1959 as an autonomous unit within the Organization of American States, the IACHR reviews petitions filed about violations of human rights. The 2017 meeting was called to review a petition concerning Trumps travel ban. Trump also has been largely silent on questions of human rights violations in authoritarian regimes such as the Philippines, North Korea, China, Russia, and Egypt, raising the issue only when he opposes the regime in power (such as Iran and Venezuela).
Viewed from one perspective, the U.S. diplomatic relationship with the United Nations (UN) has shown great variation over time. In its early years, the United Nations existed as a virtual extension of the State Department, so support from the UN General Assembly could be taken as a given. This began to change in the 1960s, as colonial areas gained independence and sought to use the United Nations as a tool for advancing their own agendas. The United States used its veto power for the first time in 1970, and today often finds itself on the defensive.
At the same time, there is great consistency in how the United States has approached the United Nations. U.S. policy toward the UN represents an amalgam of four different roles:
1.International reformer.Viewed from this perspective, the UN is an important instrument deserving of U.S. support, because it holds the potential to transform world politics.
2.Custodian.The United States sometimes usurps or resists the powers of the UN because its agenda conflicts with the greater purposes of the UN as identified and defined by the United States.
3.Spokesperson for the American public.A problem here is that policy makers do not necessarily have a clear sense of what the public thinks.
4.Protector of American national interests.This is exemplified by such actions as applying international sanctions against Iraq, vetoing resolutions condemning Israel, and opposing an international criminal court.
The Obama administrations UN diplomacy reflected a relative balance among these four role orientations. In the Trump administration, this balance has been replaced by a strong emphasis on the UN as an instrument for advancing the U.S. national interest. It has turned to the Security Council for imposing sanctions on North Korea and fought with Russia over sanctions against Syria. It punished countries with the loss of U.S. foreign aid if they voted to condemn the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital city. It cancelled U.S. funding for all Palestine programs of the UN Relief and Works Agency and withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council for its frequent criticism of Israels treatment of Palestinians. In addition, Trump announced that the United States would not pay more than 25 percent of the cost of UN peacekeeping operations.
Public Diplomacy and Digital Diplomacy
Public diplomacyconsists of the statements and actions of leaders that are intended to influence public opinion in other countries. Public diplomacy is more than just words, however. It is a set of institutions, programs, and practices designed to accomplish three strategic objectives:
1. Inform the world accurately, clearly, and swiftly about U.S. policy
2. Represent the values and beliefs of the American people
3. Explain how democracy produces prosperity, stability, and opportunity
In contrast, classic diplomacy emphasizes secrecy and confidential bargaining among government officials; Therefore, it has been largely neglected and often disparaged as propaganda. An inherent tension exists in public diplomacy undertakings: Is it an alternate source of information262for citizens in these countries or an instrument of U.S. foreign policy? The Voice of America (VOA) is the best example of an information source, and Radio Marti is the most prominent example of how it serves as a foreign policy tool. VOA, which began broadcasting during World War II, eventually came under the control of the U.S. Information Agency (USIA). During the Cold War, USIA radio broadcasts reached into the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe through Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe. Both were heavily funded (covertly) by the Central Intelligence Agency. Radio Marti was set up by the Reagan administration in 1983 to broadcast into Cuba. From the outset, its broadcasts contained a strong anti-Castro flavor.
The War on Terrorism breathed new life into Americas public diplomacy, through the increased interest in using social media technologies. Some refer to this development as the beginnings ofdigital diplomacy;others call it Public Diplomacy II. In 2003, a U.S. Office of eDiplomacy was established. By 2012, it was operating an estimated six hundred social media platforms, including blogs (DipNote), Twitter accounts (@StateDept), and Facebook pages (eJournal USA). A Rapid Response Unit was created to monitor social media responses to ongoing situations that impact U.S. national interests.
Recent presidents have engaged in public diplomacy with varying degrees of success. Clinton is widely recognized as one of its most skilled practitioners, bringing an American-style political campaign atmosphere to his trips abroad that won foreign publics over to his cause. This stands in sharp contrast to Reagans forays into public diplomacy, which tended to have a hit-and-run quality to them. Reagans references to the Soviet Union as the evil empire played well at home but scared the public abroad. George W. Bushs black-and-white perception of the world and use of phrases associated with the American frontier were similarly off-putting to foreign audiences. Obamas efforts at public diplomacy had a mixed record. On the positive side, his foreign policy rhetoric contributed greatly to his win of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. On the negative side, it led to feelings of disappointment, as his rhetoric was not matched by similarly bold action.
Trump has largely abandoned public diplomacy as a soft power tool. Instead, he has used public statements as hard power tools to force others to agree to his policy initiatives. This has been especially true for U.S. allies and their leaders, about whom Trump often has tweeted caustic and critical comments. He called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Canadas easily worst president yet. He tweeted, Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the US, China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & TwoHow did that work out for France. More often than not, such comments have been followed up by assertions of positive close working relations. On occasion his comments to the world community have also brought derision and disrespect,263as when his claim at the UN in 2018 that his presidency had the most accomplishments of any U.S. president led to laughter.
The newfound emphasis on public and digital diplomacy is not without its critics. There are two broad areas of criticism. At the strategic level, those who see soft power as being difficult to use perceive public diplomacy as only helping at the margins and incapable of addressing the underlying images of distrust or dislike that may exist abroad.At the tactical level, many are critical of continued attempts to use public diplomacy channels for partisan political purposes, such as presenting U.S. foreign policy in overly favorable terms or keeping critical stories about the president off the air.
The Political Use of Force
By its very existence, American military power serves as an instrument of diplomacy. Without ever having to be used or even referenced, it heightens U.S. prestige and gives importance to U.S. proposals and expressions of concern. The knowledge that both conventional and nuclear military power exist in the shadows of international crises influences both the manner in which U.S. policy makers approach problems and the positions adopted by other states.
The use of conventional military force for political purposes by the United States is not new. Researchers identified 218 incidents between 1946 and 1975 in which the United States did so.To qualify as a political use of force, the military action had to involve a physical change in the disposition of U.S. forces and had to be done consciously to achieve a political objective without going to war or trying to physically impose the U.S. position on the target state. On average, the political use of force lasted ninety days. Actions taken ranged from a port visit by a single warship to the deployment of major land, sea, and air units in conjunction with a strategic alert and reserve mobilizations. In any given year, as many as twenty incidents or as few as three took place.
The end of the Cold War did not end Americas interest in using military power for political ends. In fact, a number of factors made the political use of force very attractive. Using a slightly different definition of the political use of force than was used at the beginning of this section, a recent study examined instances of postCold Warcoercive diplomacy. It found that of sixteen cases in which military power was used to persuade rather than defeat the opponent, success was realized only five times. Coercive diplomacy clearly failed in eight cases. The limited success rate is not surprising. Studies of attempts at coercive diplomacy during the Cold War documented an even lower success rate.
Although none of them guarantees success, three factors seem to have contributed to the limited success enjoyed by coercive diplomacy:
1.Positive inducements.Offering positive inducements to the other state to adjust its policy was important.
2.Timing of inducements. Inducements were most effective when offeredafterthe demonstrative use of force or after threatening force. Inducements had little positive effect if they were offeredbeforesuch shows of resolve.
3.Consequences.It was important to be able to demonstrate clearly to the opponent what would happen to their military forces should war occur, and that failure of their military strategy was inevitable.
Interestingly, the type of demand made by the United States had little relation to success or failure.
The increased prominence of international crises caused by domestic security threats (as opposed to cross-border conflicts) has created an additional problem for the conduct of coercive diplomacy today: the challenge of legitimizing the use of force for political purposes. In 2011, in the case of Libya, this was accomplished through a UN resolution invoking the Responsibility to Protect doctrine. In the case of Syrias use of chemical weapons, Obama threatened military action without significant international support.
The Trump administration has engaged in a number of very different coercive diplomacy undertakings. The first one is an extension of the Obama administrations show of force in the South China Sea, where the United States and China have been engaged in a prolonged series of military provocations and countermoves over the political, military, and economic status of the region (see the Dateline section in). The key uses of military force here are overflights by U.S. military aircraft and freedom of navigation exercises by the U.S. Navy. A second involves the Venezuelan crisis (see the Dateline section in). Here, the political use of military force has threatened military action in support of opposition forces rather actually using it. A third instance of coercive diplomacy involves the escalating tensions between Iran and the United States in 2019 (see the Dateline section in), which culminated in Iran shooting down a U.S. drone and Trump ordering a military response only to change his mind at the last moment. This was soon followed by new threats of military retaliation against Iran for the Houthi attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, attacks for which Iran denied responsibility.
In contemplating the use of military power for political purposes, American policy makers have not limited themselves to thinking in terms of conventional weapons. On at least two occasions, they have threatened to use265nuclear weapons in an effort to compel others into action.Evidence suggests that Dwight Eisenhower made acompellencethreat in 1953 as part of his plan to bring an end to the Korean War. Richard Nixon also made such a threat in 1969 in an attempt to end the Vietnam War.Unlike the Eisenhower case, when the threat of using nuclear weapons was presented as part of a deliberate U.S. strategy, Nixon cast his in quite different terms, telling his chief of staff H. R. Haldeman:
I call it the Madman Theory, Bob. I want the North Vietnamese to believe Ive reached the point that I might do anything to stop the war. Well just slip the word to them that for Gods sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about Communism. We cant restrain him when he is angry, and he has his hand on the nuclear button. Ho Chi Minh himself will be in Paris in two days begging for peace.
On October 10, 1969, U.S. nuclear forces were put on alert to respond to possible confrontation by the Soviet Union. The actions taken were designed to be picked up by Soviet intelligence but still not be visible to the American press or public. It was Nixons hope that this would be part of a lead-up to a massive conventional offensive in Vietnam and would stampede the Soviets into working toward a diplomatic solution to the war. In fact, Nixon had already decided against such a military operation for two reasons: the domestic opposition it would unleash in the United States and military doubts about its effectiveness. Although Soviet leaders did not respond to this political use of nuclear power in any meaningful way, it does appear that Soviet intelligence recognized the change in nuclear readiness.
Two significant points emerge from a detailed look at the history of this episode. First, the military did not automatically and uniformly implement Nixons alert order. The Strategic Air Command balked, as did Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, suggesting that Nixon was in far less control of the U.S. nuclear forces than he believed or than most commentators thought. Second, to the Nixon administration, it was obvious that this was nuclear signaling over Vietnam. However, at that same time, the Soviet Union and China were involved in an intense border dispute. Chinese leaders had been evacuated from Beijing, and its nuclear forces were on alert. From both the Chinese and Soviet perspectives, the U.S. nuclear alert could have just as easily been seen in light of this separate conflict.
Arms transfershave established themselves as a favorite instrument of policy makers.The Arms Export Control Act of 1976 requires that all arms transfers valued at $25 million or more or those involving the transfer of significant combat equipment be reported to Congress. Soon thereafter, one study found that over a hundred arms transfers were being reported yearly.
No single measure exists on how to calculate the size of arms sales. Some studies use purchase price. Others calculate the unit production costs of the weapons being sold. Regardless of how it is calculated, the overall picture remains the same. In the calendar years 20142018, the United States was the leading exporter of major weapons systems controlling 36 percent of the worlds market; Russia was second with 32 percent, and France was third with 6.8 percent. In FY2018 alone, the United States sold $55.6 billion worth of weapons. This was a 33 percent increase over FY2017 (although some of these sales had been in process for several years). The three-year rolling average for U.S. arms sales from FY2016 to FY2018 is $43.7 billion. In 2018, the export value of arms sales in constant 1990 dollars was to Saudi Arabia, which made $3.35 billion in purchases. Australia was second, with $918 million. A listing of the top five recipients of U.S. arms exports in the Middle East is found in table 10.1.
|TABLE 10.1 Top 5 U.S. Arms Deliveries to Middle East (in millions of current U.S. dollars)|
|United Arab Emirates||1,900||3,000|
|Source:Catherine Theohary, Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 20082015. Congressional Research Service Report, December 19, 2016, Table 22, page 47.|
States sell and buy weapons for a number of different reasons. The relationship between buyer and seller has been compared to a reciprocal bargaining process, in which each tries to use the other to accomplish goals that are often incompatible.For arms sellers, three strategic rationales are most often advanced:
1. Arms transfers can provide influence and leverage abroad by serving as a symbolic statement of support for a regime and providing access to elites.
2. They can be used to protect specific security interests abroad and further regional stability.
3. They can be used as barter in acquiring access to overseas bases.
None of these rationales is without problems. One problem is that arms sales can provoke retaliation. For example, in 2019 China threatened the U.S. with sanctions after it announced the sale of jet fighters to Taiwan, the first such arms sale since 1992. Second, leverage tends to be267a transitory phenomenon in world politics, and an arms transfer relationship can just as easily promote friction and set off regional arms races as it can cement ties. In 2019, Turkeya member of NATOdefied Trumps threats to cancel an F-35 fighter sale and purchased a Russian anti-missile system after being unable to purchase the U.S. Patriot system. Under the 2017 Countering Americas Adversaries through Sanctions Act, the Trump administration had to impose of five of twelve sanctions. Trump sought to waive the sanctions and go forward with selling Turkey more than one hundred F-35s on the grounds that the sanctions were unfair to American companies and unfair to Turkey. It was also feared that Turkey might retaliate by placing restrictions on the use of its air bases as a launching point for raids into Syria and Iraq. Supporters in Congress and the Pentagon argued that the F-35s stealth technology would now become readily accessed by Russia, and U.S. and NATO security interests would be compromised.
There have been five major turning points in the development of U.S. arms transfer policy prior to the Trump administration. The first came in the early 1960s, when the Kennedy administration made a distinction betweenarms salesand arms transferred abroad as foreign aid. Kennedy turned to arms sales in an effort to counter the growing U.S. balance-of-payments problem, which had been brought about in part by the high cost of stationing U.S. troops in Europe. The second turning point came during the Nixon administration. Arms transfers became an important instrument of foreign policy and a cornerstone of the Nixon Doctrine, which stressed the need for Third World allies of the United States to assume the primary responsibility for their own defense (see). Sales also replaced aid as the primary vehicle for transferring arms, and the quality of the transferred weapons increased dramatically. No longer were arms transfers dominated by obsolete weapons in the U.S. inventory. Now they regularly involved the most sophisticated weapons the United States possessed. Measured in constant dollars, U.S. arms transfers increased 150 percent between 1968 and 1977. Just as important, the Middle East now became the primary region for U.S. arms transfers.
The third turning point in the evolution of U.S. arms transfer policy came with the Carter administration. Carter sought to make arms transfers an exceptional tool of foreign policy rather than a standard one.Gradually, the Carter administration found it difficult to work within its own guidelines. The first major exception to its own rules was approving the $1.8 billion sale of the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) to Saudi Arabia. Carter eventually abandoned all signs of restraint by approving weapons sales to Israel and Egypt as part of the Camp David Accords, and to Saudi Arabia after the shah fell and the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. The fourth turning point in U.S. arms transfer policy came with the arrival of the Reagan administration, which moved quickly to use arms transfers as a tool in its global struggle against communism. In its first268three months, the Reagan administration offered approximately $15 billion in weapons and other forms of military assistance to other states.
The fifth period in arms sales policy began after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. One of the most notable features of this period is the embrace of arms transfers to developing countries that were once on restricted lists. Armenia, Azerbaijan, India, and Pakistan, all of which are key allies in the War against Terrorism, now receive U.S. arms. In the case of India, 2002 marked the end of a nearly forty-year period during which no export licenses were granted. As the Obama administration came to an end, some brakes were put on the sale of weapons abroad. His Conventional Arms Transfer Policy (CAT) stressed considering the second- and of arms sales, both for the U.S. and the recipient, in such areas as human rights and regional stability.
Trump has shifted direction again and has energetically embraced arms sales. In April 2018, he rescinded Obamas CAT policy, calling it overly restrictive and unfair to American defense industries. He changed the logic of approval to allow the United States to act proactively rather than responsively in arms sales in order to expand export opportunities for American industry and create American jobs. In May 2019, Trump also broke from accepted arms sales policies when he announced that he was using his emergency powers to sell $8 billion worth of precision-guided weapons and combat aircraft arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Acting in this manner took Congress out of the standard approval process and ignored a bipartisan Congressional resolution to ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia that resulted from its involvement in the Yemen civil war.
Over the Horizon: A Climate Coalition of the Willing
According to one unnamed State Department official, the War against Terrorism expanded the role of the military and intelligence agencies to the point where in a lot of ways, diplomacy is a historical anachronism.The discussion in this chapter provides evidence that this is not yet the case, but it also has identified how difficult and complex diplomacy is today, and explained that many of its challenges have long histories.Over the horizon, there may be increased emphasis on a middle course of diplomacy emerging as coalitions of the willing. Protecting the global environment is one policy arena in which there have already been calls for forming coalitions of the willing due to frustration with both the pace and content of global environmental negotiations. Under this form of diplomacy, the United States would partner with interested countries to the exclusion of others.A key area in which climate coalitions of the willing may be able to expand climate protection beyond current levels is enforcement. The argument is that, given the strong norm requiring universal consensus in international conference decision-making, any form of meaningful enforcement may be impossible. It becomes politically more feasible when a smaller group of like-minded countries can agree on credible enforcement obligations and establish sufficient incentives to pursue them.
President Trumps decision to leave the Paris Agreement produced a series of moves designed to save the spirit of Paris. Not all have been successful. Where the 2017 G 20 Summit produced a detailed plan of action to save its goals, the December 2019 annual UN climate talks attended by almost two hundred countries in Madrid produced few meaningful results after marathon negotiations and were accompanied by street riots.
U.S. states and cities also indicated continuing support, putting in place bans on agricultural pesticides, new policies on greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel drilling, and other restrictions. A dozen states announced their commitment to carry out at least a partial version of the plan, and California governor Jerry Brown went to China for a climate meeting with President Xi Jinping. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg coordinated an effort called American Cities Climate Challenge to promote sustainable development, which twenty-five cities have now joined.Congress has also indicated continuing symbolic support for the Paris Agreement. On a vote largely along party lines, it passed a Climate Action Now Act, which requires Trump to develop a plan to meet Paris Agreement goals and blocks the use of federal funds for withdrawal from the Agreement.
Critical Thinking Questions
1. Under what conditions should the United Statesnotenter into diplomatic negotiations with another country or group of countries? Explain your answer.
2. Is it wise for the United States to use weapons as an instrument of diplomacy? Why or why not?
3. Confronted with an international crisis, would you turn first to bilateral, multilateral, or public diplomacy? Which is most needed to solve the problem in the long run? Explain your answers.
arms sales, 267
arms transfer, 265
coercive diplomacy, 263
conference diplomacy, 255
digital diplomacy, 262
public diplomacy, 261
shuttle diplomacy, 251
summit conference, 252
Katherine Brown, et. al.,Public Diplomacy and National Security in2017 (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2017).
This study examines the lessons learned from efforts to engage in public diplomacy over an eight-year period. It highlights successes of the Obama administration and outlines future challenges.
Robert Falkner, A Minilateral Solution for Global Climate Change,Perspectives on Politics14 (March 2016), 87101.
Gridlock has become common at global climate conferences. The author examines the potential ability of minilateral conferences to produce agreements. He argues that while climate clubs are unlikely to overcome all barriers to reaching an agreement, they offer a more conducive setting for reaching agreements.
Fred Ikle,How Nations Negotiate(New York: Harper & Row, 1964).
This is a classic account of the dynamics of international diplomacy and continues to serve as a valuable organizing device for studying the negotiation process.
David Milibrand and Ravi Gurumurthy, Improving Humanitarian Aid,Foreign Affairs94 (July 2015), 11829.
The authors argue that a need exists to reconceptualize the provision of foreign aid and recommend starting with the concept of fragility. They argue that many of the lessons from stable contexts are not transferable and call for a greater emphasis on evidence-based outcomes.
Todd Sechser and Matthew Fuhrmann,nuclear weapons and Coercive Diplomacy(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017).
The authors examine the largely neglected question of whether nuclear weapons can be used to coerce other states. They argue that nuclear weapons are not any more effective than non-nuclear weapons in making compellent threats.
Jonathan Spalter, Open-Source Diplomacy,Democracy Journal23 (2012), 5970.
In the wake of the WikiLeaks publication of large numbers of secret State Department documents, the author calls for moving away from secret diplomacy to a more open and transparent approach.
Geoffrey Wiseman,Isolate or Engage(Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015).
Through a series of case studies, this book examines the manner in which U.S. foreign policy interacts with adversarial states. The role of public diplomacy is of particular importance in shaping this relationship.
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