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POLSC313: US Intelligence and National Security

Unit 9: The Impact of Economic Strife and Conflict over Scarce Resources on US National Security   While there is little doubt that democratic countries tend to be more stable than non-democratic countries, there is much recent dispute about which comes first—democracy or economic development? Recent incidents wherein democracy has been rapidly imposed in the place of previous authoritarian regimes, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, has caused many political theorists to align on the side of economic development being a necessary precursor to sustainable democracy and stable governance. When you think in terms of basic human needs, we are all more concerned with ensuring that we and our families have food, shelter, and basic necessities before we worry about things like the right to vote, representation in the government, etc.
 
Many parts of the developing world are rich in minerals, oil, natural gas, precious metals, and other commodities of increasing value to the developed world. As China, Russia, India, the United States, and other developed nations seek to access these commodities, the risks of conflict increases as the perceived supply of such commodities decreases. Many of these resources are in unstable or failed states, such as Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Chad, and Nigeria. Unrest and extreme poverty in Somalia has likewise threatened international commerce traveling through the Gulf of Aden, as Somalian pirates attack and hijack foreign ships in the region. These challenges have led to some increased military and diplomatic cooperation among the developed powers but do pose both short and long term strategic threats to the United States, its allies, and interests. 
 
Identification of these problems is far easier than agreeing upon and implementing successful solutions. The risks of allowing such strife to fester can unfortunately be seen in the events of 9/11. Once the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan in 1989, the United States largely ignored the Afghans and their plight. The country disintegrated into civil war and the Taliban took control of most of the country, oppressing the citizenry, particularly women and children. While the United States and other nations condemned such action, nothing was done to improve the situation, as the national security interests of the United States and its allies in Afghanistan were deemed to be minimal. Afghanistan became a training ground for terrorists from around the world, including those who planned and executed the attacks of 9/11. These patterns are repeating themselves in many parts of Africa, Central Asia, and South Asia.

Unit 9 Time Advisory
Time Advisory:Completing this unit should take you approximately 17.5 hours.

☐    Subunit 9.1: 7.5 hours

    ☐    Reading: 6.5 hours

    ☐    Lecture: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 9.2: 3.25 hours

☐    Subunit 9.3: 3.75 hours

☐    Unit 9 Activity:3 hours

Unit9 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- evaluate risks that the United States faces as a result of economic strife and conflict over scarce resources in the developing world;
  - assess the priority that global poverty alleviation should have in the context of US national security planning; and
  - explain the relative risks and benefits to US national security of action vs. non-action in the developing world.

9.1 Resource Scarcity and US National Security   - Reading: DTIC Online: Keith Crane et al.’s *Imported Oil and US National Security* Link: DTIC Online: Keith Crane et al.’s Imported Oil and US National Security (PDF)
 
Instructions: Click on the link after “PDF URL” to access the text. Read this report, which discusses the impact that US demand for imported oil has on US national security interests and strategic planning.
 
Reading this report should take approximately 6 hours.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Economist: “The Global Menace of Local Strife” Link: The Economist: “The Global Menace of Local Strife” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this article about civil war as a consequence of economic struggle. This article discusses a study on the causes of war by Paul Collier of the World Bank.

    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: YouTube: Dr. David Kilcullen’s “Sustaining Security: How Natural Resources Influence National Security” Link: YouTube: Dr. David Kilcullen’s “Sustaining Security: How Natural Resources Influence National Security” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch this video lecture on how natural resources influence national security.

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

9.2 Natural Disaster Relief and US National Security   - Reading: Project on National Security Reform: David Wrathall’s “US Response to Humanitarian Disaster: Hurricane Mitch in Central America” Link: Project on National Security Reform: David Wrathall’s “US Response to Humanitarian Disaster: Hurricane Mitch in Central America” (HTML)
 
Instruction: Read this article on how US disaster relief affects national security, focusing on the US Foreign Disaster Assistance’s response to Hurricane Mitch in Central America.

 Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Real Institute El Cano: Carlota García Encina’s “Haiti: The US and Military Aid in Times of Natural Disaster” Link: Real Institute El Cano: Carlota García Encina’s “Haiti: The US and Military Aid in Times of Natural Disaster” (HTML) (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Read this article on US military assistance to Haiti.

    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 Council on Foreign Relations: “Torrent of Challenges for US in Pakistan” Link: The Council on Foreign Relations: “Torrent of Challenges for US in Pakistan” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this interview with Daniel Markey. In this interview, Markey discusses the impact that recent earthquake and flooding events in Pakistan have had on US national security interests.
     
    Reading this interview should take approximately 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Center for a New American Security: Alex Stark’s “Floods in Pakistan and the Importance of Natural Security” Link: Center for a New American Security: Alex Stark’s “Floods in Pakistan and the Importance of Natural Security” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this article on the impact that recent earthquake and flooding events in Pakistan have had on US national security interests.
     
    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: YouTube: US Army War College: Dr. Alan Silverman’s “Rebuilding Haiti” Link: YouTube: US Army War College: Dr. Alan Silverman’s “Rebuilding Haiti” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch Dr. Silverman’s video lecture on US national security interests and policy options in Haiti.
     
    Watching this video lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 45 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Boston College: Elizabeth Ferris’s “Natural Disasters and Human Rights: Comparing Responses to Haiti and Pakistan” Link: Boston College: Elizabeth Ferris’s “Natural Disasters and Human Rights: Comparing Responses to Haiti and Pakistan” (RealPlayer)
     
    Instructions: Watch Ferris’s video lecture on US national security interests and relief operations in Pakistan and Haiti.

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

9.3 Poverty Alleviation and US National Security   - Reading: The United Nations: “Millennium Development Goals” Link: The United Nations: “Millennium Development Goals” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the “Millennium Development Goals.” Click on each item in the list of eight goals in the right hand column of the page to review details of each goal.
 
Studying these goals should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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  • Reading: The Wilson Center: Vincent Ferraro, Carol Lancaster, Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Jeffrey D. Sachs, and John Sewell’s “Should Global Poverty Be a US National Security Issue?” Link: The Wilson Center: Vincent Ferraro, Carol Lancaster, Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Jeffrey D. Sachs, and John Sewell’s “Should Global Poverty Be a US National Security Issue?” (PDF) (Word)

    Instruction: Read the introductory information, and then select the links to each of the attachments. Read these five essays, which discuss the impact of global poverty on US national security interests.

    Reading these essays 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: The Nobel Prize Organization: Muhammad Yunus’s 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech: “Poverty Is a Threat to Peace” Link: The Nobel Prize Organization: Muhammad Yunus’s 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech: “Poverty Is a Threat to Peace” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the transcript of Dr. Yunus’s acceptance speech for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.
     
    Reading this transcript should take approximately 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: YouTube: Dr. Jeffrey Sach’s “Challenges to Meeting the Millennium Development Goals” Link: YouTube: Dr. Jeffrey Sach’s “Challenges to Meeting the Millennium Development Goals” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch this video lecture on the challenges of meeting development goals.

    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.

Unit 9 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. Should there be a litmus test for US intervention in situations involving conflict over scarce resources in the developing world? Why, or why not?

 2. What is the United States’ priority in alleviating global
poverty, and how does this relate to national security interests?  

 3. How might American values play a role in national security
decision making?  
    
 Completing this activity should take approximately 3 hours. 

Final Exam   - Final Exam: The Saylor Foundation’s “POLSC313 Final Exam” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “POLSC313 Final Exam”

 Instructions: You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School
account in order to access this exam. If you do not yet have an
account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after
clicking the link.