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POLSC313: US Intelligence and National Security

Unit 7: The Impact of Regional, Sectarian, and Tribal Conflicts on US National Security   The horrors inflicted by World War II has led the United States in recent decades to assume a leadership role, or as some would say the role of world’s policeman, in preventing war and atrocities. While US military intervention and occupation in Germany, Korea, and Japan have been successful, many other efforts to stabilize and develop war-torn regions have not. In the post-Cold War era, American policy towards peacekeeping and developmental aid as a means of promoting national security has become less focused, with the exception of Iraq and Afghanistan.    
 
The history of colonial interests throughout much of the third world hampered the development of indigenous industry and governance, particularly in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Many modern day countries have boundaries that are not based on common interests or cultures, but rather, artificially created boundaries drawn by former colonial masters. As a result, tribal or sectarian strife is rampant within many borders. The borders of Afghanistan, for example, were created with the drawing of the Durand Line along the country’s border with Pakistan. The Durand Line effectively split the Pashtuns between the two countries. This was done to keep the Pashtuns from becoming too powerful. The long-term result is that there are large numbers of Pashtuns in each country who are disaffected and loyal to neither nation, but rather, only loyal to the Pashtun tribe and the longed-for country of Pashtunistan. It was no accident that Osama bin Laden and the leaders of the Taliban and al Qaeda fled Afghanistan in 2001 for the hills of Northwest Pakistan; they knew that the Pashtuns in the area would feel loyalty towards neither the Afghan nor the Pakistani governments.   
 
Large-scale atrocities have occurred in places like Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, North Korea, Sudan, Rwanda, Somalia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bosnia in the past three decades. Prior to the deployment of US resources and personnel, national security policymakers and leaders should consider the impact and consequences of such actions. Policymakers consider questions like: What national security interests would justify the US embarking on such missions? What protection do such forces have in terms of immunity, status of forces agreements, etc.? Can the deployment be sold to and supported by the American people, i.e., are they willing to risk the lives of their loved ones serving in the military and/or increased national debt or tax liability for the goals of the operation? What would we accomplish by acting? What would we risk by failing to act? 

Unit 7 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 21 hour and 30 minutes.

☐    Subunit 7.1: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 7.2: 4 hours

    ☐    Reading: 2 hours

    ☐    Lecture: 1.5 hours

    ☐    Web Media: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 7.3: 6.75 hours

    ☐    Reading: 3 hours

    ☐    Lecture: 1.75 hours

    ☐    Web Media: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 7.4: 2.75 hours

☐    Subunit 7.5: 3.5 hours

☐   Unit 7 Activity: 2 hours

Unit7 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- analyze the facets of conflict in regional, sectarian, and tribal disputes;
  - assess the roles that the US and NATO can or should play in the resolution or mitigation of regional, sectarian, and tribal conflicts;
  - explain tactical and strategic interests that justify US intervention in of regional, sectarian, and tribal conflicts; and
  - evaluate successes and failures of the US intervention in regional, sectarian, and tribal disputes to date.  

7.1 Ethnic and Sectarian Conflicts that Impact US National Security   - Reading: US Army War College: Michael Walzer’s “Responsibility and Proportionality in State and Non-State Wars” Link: US Army War College: Michael Walzer’s “Responsibility and Proportionality in State and Non-State Wars” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Locate the article, listed under 2009 Vol. XXXIX, and select the title to download the PDF. Read this article, which describes the dilemmas that the US faces in deciding whether and how to react to armed conflicts in the developing world.
 
Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Scribd.com: Robert M. Gates’s “Helping Others Defend Themselves: The Future of US Security Assistance” Link: Scribd.com: Robert M. Gates’s “Helping Others Defend Themselves: The Future of US Security Assistance” (HTML) (PDF)
     
    Instruction: Read this article on US security assistance by former Secretary of Defense, Robert M. Gates.

    Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: iTunes U: Wesleyan University: Catherine Lutz’s “The Military Normal and the Human Terrain of Warfare” Link: iTunes U: Wesleyan University: Catherine Lutz’s “The Military Normal and the Human Terrain of Warfare” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Locate the lecture titled “The Military Normal and the Human Terrain of Warfare,” and select “View in iTunes.” Watch this video lecture in which Lutz’s, author of Homefront, discusses the climate of war in the US, domestic preparation for military operations, and the normalization of war.
     
    Watching this video lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

7.2 Post-Colonial Conflicts in Africa That Impact US National Security   - Reading: Harvard University: Monica Duffy Toft’s “Ending Civil Wars: A Case for Rebel Victory?” Link: Harvard University: Monica Duffy Toft’s “Ending Civil Wars: A Case for Rebel Victory?” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Scroll down the webpage and click on the hyperlink after the summary to download the article. Read this article, which discusses the outcomes of various strategies for ending sectarian conflicts in the past four decades.

 Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour and 30
minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Human Security Gateway: James Kraska and Brian Wilson’s “Fighting Pirates: the Pen and the Sword” Link: Human Security Gateway: James Kraska and Brian Wilson’s “Fighting Pirates: the Pen and the Sword” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Select the link after “URL” to download the PDF. Read Dr. Kraska and Dr. Wilson’s report on piracy in the Gulf of Aden, the risks that it poses to US interests, and options that the US can pursue to mitigate or eradicate these risks.

    Reading this report should take approximately 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: YouTube: US Army War College: Colonel Thomas Sheperd’s “The Horn of Africa” Link: YouTube: US Army War College: Colonel Thomas Sheperd’s “The Horn of Africa”(YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch Colonel Sheperd’s lecture on US national security interests and policy options in the Horn of Africa.

    Watching this video lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: Journeyman Pictures: “Darfur Child Soldiers – Sudan” Link: YouTube: Journeyman Pictures: “Darfur Child Soldiers – Sudan” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch this brief video on child soldiers in Sudan.

    Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

7.3 The Ongoing Conflict in Iraq and Its Impact on US National Security   - Web Media: The Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs: Vali Nasr’s “The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future” Link: The Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs: Vali Nasr’s “The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Listen to the audio version of this lecture, and read along with the transcript. In this lecture, Nasr argues that the Shia Crescent has gained power after the fall of Saddam.

 Listening to this audio, reading along with the transcript, and
pausing to take notes should take approximately 2 hours.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: American University: Paul R. Williams and Matthew T. Simpson’s “Rethinking the Political Future: An Alternative to the Ethno-Sectarian Division of Iraq” Link: American University: Paul R. Williams and Matthew T. Simpson’s “Rethinking the Political Future: An Alternative to the Ethno-Sectarian Division of Iraq” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Select the title to download the PDF, and read this article concerning ethnic and sectarian conflicts in Iraq.

    Reading this article should take approximately 3 hours.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: iTunes U: National Center for Strategic and International Studies: Stuart Bowen’s “From Lessons Learned to Lessons Applied: Iraq and the Reform of Stabilization Operations” Link: iTunes U: National Center for Strategic and International Studies: Stuart Bowen’s “From Lessons Learned to Lessons Applied: Iraq and the Reform of Stabilization Operations” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Click on “View in iTunes” for the lecture titled “From Lessons Learned to Lessons Applied.” Watch Stuart Bowen’s video presentation on lessons learned from Iraq and applies to operations.

    Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

7.4 The Ongoing Conflict in Afghanistan and Its Impact on US National Security   - Reading: The American Interest: Stephen Biddle’s “Is It Worth It? The Difficult Case for War in Afghanistan” Link: The American Interest: Stephen Biddle’s “Is It Worth It? The Difficult Case for War in Afghanistan” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this article on the war in Afghanistan.  
    
 Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: The New York Times: Scott Shane’s “The War in Pashtunistan” Link: The New York Times: Scott Shane’s “The War in Pashtunistan” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this article on the war in Pashtunistan.

    Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: iTunes U: Stanford University: Ahmed Rashid’s “Ending Chaos in Afghanistan” Link: iTunes U: Stanford University: Ahmed Rashid’s “Ending Chaos in Afghanistan” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Click on “View in iTunes” for the lecture titled “Ending Chaos in Afghanistan.” Watch this video lecture on the war in Afghanistan.

    Watching this video lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 2 hours.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

7.5 Regional Issues and Conflicts in East Asia that Impact US National Security   - Web Media: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Michael D. Swaine’s “America’s Challenge: Engaging a Rising China in the Twenty-First Century” Link: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Michael D. Swaine’s “America’s Challenge: Engaging a Rising China in the Twenty-First Century” (Flash)
 
Instructions: Watch Michael D. Swaine’s discussion on dealing with US policies towards China, and read the summary text on the webpage.

 Watching this video, pausing to take notes, and reading the summary
should take approximately 2 hours.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Web Media: Council on Foreign Relations: Charles L. Pritchard, John Tilelli, Jr., and Scott A. Snyder’s “US Policy toward the Korean Peninsula: Report of a CFR-Sponsored Independent Task Force” Link: Council on Foreign Relations: Charles L. Pritchard, John Tilelli, Jr., and Scott A. Snyder’s “US Policy toward the Korean Peninsula: Report of a CFR-Sponsored Independent Task Force” (RealPlayer)
     
    Instructions: Watch this video presentation, which deals with US policies towards North Korea and South Korea and the US response to the nuclear threat posed by North Korea.

    Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

Unit 7 Activity   - Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “POLSC313 Course Discussion Board” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “POLSC313 Course Discussion Board”
 
Instructions: After you have studied the material in this unit, consider the following questions. Post your responses to these questions on the course discussion board, and review as well as respond to other students’ posts.
 
1. At what point should developed and more powerful nations, such as the US, intervene or accept responsibility for humanitarian relief and peacekeeping operations? What national security interests would justify the US embarking on such missions?

 2. Should intervention be done unilaterally, multilaterally, or
only under the aegis of an organization like NATO or the UN?   
    
 Completing this activity should take approximately 2 hours.