WAR AS AN INSTRUMENT OF ITS FOREIGN POLICY IN AFGHANISTAN

WAR AS AN INSTRUMENT OF ITS FOREIGN POLICY IN AFGHANISTAN

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background Information

Foreign policy is the aspect of national policy that pertains to the external environment and involves the enunciation of principles and also indicates a country's positions on major international issues. It is concerned with the substance and conduct of external relations (Unaji F.N 2007:71). The aim of foreign policy is to ensure that states or international organizations maintain existing patterns of behavior, if the influencing state perceives such as contributing to the attainment of its own objective. It may also be to alter the prevailing pattern by initiating a new set of policies or by altering or halting the implementation of existing ones.

The instruments of foreign policy according to the National Open University‘s School of Arts and Social Sciences (2007) are: Diplomacy, Economic Instruments, Psychological Instrument of Propaganda, Military Weapon/Instrument, Cultural Instrument, Imperialism and Colonialism and War. States all over the international system have been known to take up each of these foreign policy instruments at different times and occasions when interacting with other states. These instruments are an important aspect of international relations as a discipline. For the sake of this study, war as an instrument of foreign policy is the only instrument that shall be examined broadly.

War is as old as mankind (Harrison 1973:70). War signifies confusion and discord. It is a species of the genus of violence; more specifically, it is organized, collective, direct, manifest, personal, intentional, institutionalized, instrumental, sanctioned and sometimes ritualized and regulated, violence. Violence is what turns conflicts into war. The American perception of war defines war

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as organized violence to achieve political ends while the Roman Empire approached war as a legal condition defining the possible limits of organized violence (Steven M. Phillip G. 2011:2). Today, ‗war‘ is used in many different ways, example, cold war, hot war, limited war, total war, conventional war, unconventional war, civil war, guerilla war, preventive war, political warfare, propaganda war, psychological warfare, race war, tribal war, gang war and so on. Communist often use such terms as ‗imperialist war‘, ‗economic war‘, ‗trade war‘ and ‗wars of national liberation‘ (Unaji F.N 2007:103). War is inherently a human endeavor and is however subject to human imperfection (Eric J.S 2005:275).

States or groups go into war for various reasons. War is said to be violence conducted by human organizations in order to secure human goals (Eric J.S 2005:275). It involves armed conflict between two or more parties usually for political reasons. Most states resort to the use of war in order to acquire more power, control over a territory, resources or put an end to security threats against its state and its people. States go to war mainly for the security of its people especially in the case of oppression. The main duty or aim of a state is to protect its people and that becomes a part of its foreign policy. Security is the goal of war, and security is enhanced by political control over people, territory, or resources (Eric J.S 2005:278). An example of the use of war over sovereignty and territory can be seen in the actions of Arab and European imperialists and colonizers of Africa who came armed with brutal force and thus put territories in a state of war without formally declaring it. These states used violence to place their subjects in unpleasant situations to gain and maintain political control over the people, territory and their resources. War is an act of force to compel an enemy to do your will. States that resort to war do so believing that the cost of violence is better than an unacceptable condition of peace. States resort

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to force on cost/benefit analysis, asking themselves if the state will be better off in the future if it resorts to force to get its way (Eric J.S 2005:277).

War is not only a method by which one state imposes its will on another, but war can also be a vital component of creating a nation, driving its evolution (Steven M. Phillip C. 2011:10). Participation in any war changes a nation just as much as it changes an individual. Wars are fought by individuals but those individuals are fighting for something larger than themselves. They fight for their state, society or groups. The individuals don‘t act alone; it is the states that go to war. Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz described war as ―nothing but a duel on a larger scale‖ (Eric J.S. 2005:275).

The U.S ―Global War on Terrorism‖, which was what led to the war declared on Afghanistan over al Qaeda, is a major example of a state going into war to protect its people and its territory. Terrorism is an act of violence. The terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, was a traumatic event for America and its citizens. It had both temporary and long-lasting effects on both the country and its citizens. The worst effect is the belief that it could happen again. War makes anything like normal existence impossible. It destroys and ruins lives. It imposes immense burden on national economies and imperils the freedom of everyone. Conflicts based on terrorism do not usually have a formal, recognized end point. This leaves a long distinction between war and peace. An example of this is the ongoing war between the West and al Qaeda (Steven M. Phillip C. 2011:3).

War on terror has become an instrument of the United States state policy and it is on this that the identity of the United States is being shaped presently. Ever since the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11 2001, the notion ―War on terror‖ has been the country‘s response

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to any form of terrorist activity in any form. War as an instrument of foreign policy is then mostly implemented when it concerns terrorism and the fight against terrorism.

War as an instrument of foreign policy is what this study focuses on and a vivid example of the use of this instrument can be seen in the United States policy towards Afghanistan.

1.2 Statement of Problem

War itself is never a good result and brings about many problems. Ever since the U.S declared war on Afghanistan in 2001, not only has Afghanistan suffered greatly but the citizens also, who have been pulled into a life of fear, hunger, poverty, lack of infrastructure and great sorrow. This thus leads to the question of whether whatever the U.S hopes to achieve by their actions can justify the turmoil the Afghan citizens have been thrown into. Since the war started, attacks have spread throughout many villages in Afghanistan, destroying many innocent civilians and their properties in its way. It is true that the U.S is fighting a greater cause but a war that should have been between the West and al Qaeda and Taliban has over the years caused a lot of harm to Afghanistan as a state. Although the U.S has tried to put in effort towards the rebuilding and democratization of Afghanistan, the problem remains on their choice of method, the effects it has and whether or not the country which is one of the major powers in the international system has set a good example for others to follow. From the start of the war in 2001 to the present, 2014, both the U.S and its aids, Afghan United Front, British Special Forces, NATO, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and Afghanistan and the Taliban have recorded high number of deaths and despite this, the United States still has quite a number of troops in Afghanistan today. The continued killing of innocent civilians therefore poses as a problem especially to the

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international system which makes it necessary to look into the use of War as an instrument of foreign policy.

1.3 Objectives of Study

The following are the statements of objectives for this study:

i)                   to understand the reason behind the United States resorting to War as its instrument of foreign policy in Afghanistan;

ii)                 to evaluate the impact of US war on terror on Afghanistan;

iii)               to examine the successes and failures of the use of war by the United States as an instrument of foreign policy on Afghanistan.

1.4 Research Questions

The following are the research questions for this study:

i)                   what are the reasons behind the United States resorting to War as its instrument of foreign policy in Afghanistan?

ii)                 what impact has the US war on terror made on Afghanistan?


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