Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The Munich Model
(fm the BC thread "The Third Nuclear Age")
There is a common thread behind my concern over the rise of dominant subsystems that paralyze the capacity of state actors to respond effectively according to the rules of systems theory and my speculation over how Israel, or by extension any state actor, may respond to threats from hostile elements residing within theoretically non-belligerent states. If nation states are no longer truly subsystem dominant but merely components, merely different in function from NGOs, of a larger dominant international order then why should their territorial integrity be granted any special respect?
It is of course preferable to maintain a system of law and dispute resolution in which each nations territorial integrity is respected. As I have already discussed competent government systems are needed to ensure the freedom of commerce and security of people in a complex world. My concern is that by treating all entities as equal, when clearly many would have been subject to extraterritoriality or turned into dependents or protectorates or otherwise treated as non compos mentes under legal and diplomatic systems that existed before WW-II we have brought the dysfunction of local communities into international law. This has been compounded buy the subsequent denigration of the sovereignty of the powers themselves who created and maintained the system of law and free trade. Increasingly both internationally and domestically the forces, both physical and intellectual, of law are being rendered ineffectual and are being brought down to the lowest standard of dysfunctional 3rd World communities.
If you are being attacked by thugs from the town down the road and the police in that jurisdiction shrug their shoulders while the overarching authority of the Global Order is much more concerned with whether your grandfather built his house on a wetland without obtaining all the permits, then what do you do? Eventually as law and order break down people start to protect themselves or turn to market solutions.
If the the trillion dollar naval forces of the world are unable to stop Somali pirates at what point will the insurance companies or tax payers get tired and decide to hire some deniable guys to start blowing up docks, bars, boats, cars, warehouses and homes in Somalia until the piracy magically stops? When will steps be taken off the books and out of sight to convince Swiss bankers and Italian cutouts that the business is not worth the risk?
The point of the Israeli operations portrayed in the film Munich was that at some point a state that is truly sovereign must act where it knows that the international system cannot. International law is not a suicide pact. If the Israelis decide that the survival of their state and civilization are more important than the good will of guests on Charlie Rose then they should act. Once it is established that there will be a reaction to violence emanating from what were considered sanctuaries then the temptation to use those places goes down. That means that an established willingness to target a threat from within a community can actually reduce the risk of future targeting of that community. A state must be willing to protect its citizens and should not allow a hostile element to embed within it and draw it into conflict with others.
The Russians know this, they will pursue a target to the ends of the earth and strike within the heart of London. Unfortunately they do so for the narrow reasons and in the interests of a corrupt and destructive regime. All the strong state actors that Marie Claude admires know this. Only the dedicated soft power enthusiasts of America and Britain pretend that there really is a global system of law and order that does not depend on state actors willing to ruthlessly defend their interests and citizens. Most of the internationalists even know this and are really just fronting for their sponsors while advocating standards of sovereign immunity and restraint that are only meant to work against the interests of the United States and Israel.
I know I said I wouldn't but I can't help chuckling ruefully as MC complains about me not calling the French elites the kind of fools I call the elites in the US and UK. My writing is dense and hard to follow. It is my fault for using such a poor writing style but if someone just does not get it why not say so and ask for the hard parts to be gone over? There is no shame in that. Often I have to go over it again and catch where I seem to have lost a thread.
(who think the Danes will surrender)
The Danes may surprise you. Spines can come in small packages.
FWIW I recommend that serious students of International Relations get two books of Morton Kaplan's
1. Political Foundations of International Law
2. Systems and Process in International Relations.