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The structure of US-initiated activities is that of a wheel with spokes – all lead to the American hub in the centre, while collaboration among US partners remains limited or is even sanctioned for non-proliferation and/or economic reasons (one illustrative case was Israel’s interest in pushing the sale of its partly US-financed Arrow system to India, which Washington forbade; in addition, Washington has unmistakably made clear to the Turkish government, which has been considering various TMD-options, that it would prefer to sell its Patriot to Ankara). 26 Economic interests are, however, only one element of Washington’s policy in this area.
Regional and global interests are at least as important from the perspective of the superpower. Its co-operative plans with Japan and its interest in selling Patriot weapons to India can be seen as steps to enhance and forge strategic alliances with democracies in view of the rise of China. As far as the ‘Old Continent’ of Europe is concerned, Washington has applied its ‘coalition of the willing’ approach to negotiating the establishment of MD-related facilities in the new democracies in Poland, the Czech Republic, or Hungary. This was also a way of using the backing of the new loyal Alliance members to put MD on the agenda of the 2002 NATO Summit Meeting in Prague – and to put pressure on the old and sceptical NATO allies to come to terms with this issue. Washington’s interest in multilateralism with its focus on NATO has been secondary.
25 Statement of Ronald T. Kadish before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Subcommittee, Regarding the Fiscal Year 2005 Defense Appropriations Ballistic Missile Defense, Washington, D.C., 21 April 2004, p. 4 (typescript);
The White House, National Policy on Ballistic Missile Defense Fact Sheet, Washington, D.C., 20 May 2003, p. 2 (typescript); Statement of Henry A. Obering (III), Missile Defense Program and Fiscal Year 2006 Budget, Before the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, House Armed Services Committee, Washington, D.C., 7 April 2005, pp. 5-14, (typescript); Statement of General Henry A. Obering (III); USAF, Director, Missile Defense Agency; Missile Defense Program and Fiscal Year 2007 Budget, Before the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, House Armed Services Committee, Washington, D.C., 9 March 2006 (typescript).
26 See on this the article by Kazan in the Special Volume.
All in all, the United States is in the process of building a new hegemony in the post-Cold War era, consisting of a system of ‘coalitions of the able and willing’ and based on a technology which is to a high degree unproven and not thoroughly tested. In constructing or expanding these security relationships with smaller democracies around the globe, Washington has been using the uniquely broad range of foreign policy instruments which complement its unilateral withdrawal from the ABM Treaty; this has been judged as an imperial act by myself or as a manifestation of ‘America’s Imperial Ambition’ (G. John Ikenberry). The primacy of bilateralism expresses itself in several formal government-togovernment agreements, but also in activities between corporations or study groups. In its dialogue with the Czech Republic, for instance, the United States has been described either as the traditionally liberal and benevolent/benign, or as the coercive hegemon – benign meaning exerting soft power attraction to combine the MD plans with exploring concrete options. This did include negotiation tactics of playing an ambiguous game with a possible preference for the other two Visegrad states. But unlike the case of Iraq, Washington was not bullying for support, as Khol recalls.
From the perspective of a new democracy, the US as the classical supply- and compromise-oriented hegemon offered on the one hand protection in exchange for support.
The coercive feature of the United States became visible, on the other hand, when it applied pressure in its talks with Denmark/Greenland on the Thule radar; Dragsdahl in fact characterises the overall relationship between the US and Greenland as an informal empire. 27 In two instances the United States’ conduct towards Japan was coercive, too: It pressed Tokyo to introduce the PAC-3 and to move on to the development phase in the TMD area together with the United States. In its negotiations with the Germans and Italians on MEADS, Washington was able to achieve a highly restrictive deal as far as the sharing of its cutting-edge technology with the European junior partners is concerned; this was an outcome which reflects the strictly asymmetrical transatlantic relationship in this area.
Nevertheless, under the current Bush administration the United States is not the traditionally liberal hegemon anymore in the MD issue area: Security is no longer treaty-bound and not predominantly implemented multilaterally. MD for the protection of soldiers in military interventions may be legitimised by the US as an element of its pre-emptive strategy. All of this amounts to the virtually unconstrained American hegemon; it has not only distinct imperial ambitions but the hegemony has an ambivalent or hybrid character.
What is more, the United States has also acted, in the time-span covered in this project, as the ‘knowledge-based hegemon’. Its competing domestic actors inside and outside of government circles have served as the major points of reference for the corresponding groups in all countries (and for several authors of this project as well) – and as a major source for their arguments which have been used in some cases against American official policy. This shows in this respect, too, that the considerable US influence remains in the final analysis limited. Last but not least, for a number of democracies the United States has become part of their foreign policy identity, or their major point of reference; this does not only apply to Russia, but, as we shall see in the next section, also to those democratic countries which have distanced themselves from Washington by rejecting bilateral MD cooperation.
27 See on this the longer original version of Dragsdahl’s article, available at: http://www.dragsdahl.dk/A20050814.htm.
2.7 Seventh Major Finding: The Compared MD-policies of 16 Democracies Reveal a Combination of Four Major Determinants By offering several factors for explaining the MD policy of their individual countries, the authors of this project concur with most other security-related case studies: One-dimensional explanations of such a complex phenomenon like MD are in this collection of articles deemed to be analytically inadequate, too. This does not, of course, exclude a possible ranking of the factors according to their relevance. This section summarises the major reasons for the variety of MD policies (i.e. their major individual dimensions only) in the 16 examined democracies.
I will demonstrate that in this regard, again, the compared ensemble is more than its individual parts, by trying to square the circle and by offering the major determinants of the MD policies on the country-level, while clustering the individual groups of democracies, whenever possible, according to their paramount features. This procedure allows us in a couple of cases to compare countries within a cluster or among different groups. The United States, which is one of the explanatory factors and has already been described in greater detail, is not discussed below. The following four single explanatory factors have been mentioned most often and, in accordance within the rejection of a one-dimensional
approach, will be mingled in a number of cases:
• The broad foreign policy orientation/culture in terms of preferences for settings, instruments and goals, with the past being present in shaping MD policies (the strategic/security cultures being the military nucleus of the broader foreign policy culture). It is often, as mentioned earlier, a synonym for the self-understanding or the foreign policy identity of the countries analysed, especially when associated with their role in world politics – and as such indeed a major explanatory factor. As foreign policy identities, however, do not develop in a vacuum, they are in several cases explicitly linked with the next explanatory factor.
• The domestic politics/structure defined as the power and discourse constellations can now be enriched by earlier findings, be they the relevance of the state either in its (relatively) autonomous role or as part of a security/defence establishment (military-industrial complex); the democratic aspects presented in connection with the sixth major finding will come into play, too.
• The threat perception mostly in terms of WMD-tipped ballistic missiles as the most discernible menace as part of a changing security environment. These assessments regard never rockets as such but are linked to a non-democratic regime which is seen as a real or potential adversary. In two clear cases (Canada and South Korea, and in part Russia) it is not missiles from neighbouring hostile regimes but the (neighbouring) United States which is regarded as the main menace.
• The activities and influence of the United States as an external power in shaping the MD policies of several countries – the already mentioned relevance of the US as an element of the foreign policy identity in a number of democracies will be specified (see 2.7.1-2.7.5).
Several authors have discussed additional explanatory factors that I have offered to them.
These have been elaborated in the research context of the Democratic Peace Theory in which the genesis of this comparative project can be seen. Among these factors are the role of military alliances and the regime type with a focus on the relationship between the executive and legislative branches (the other two factors being the already mentioned role of identity and the military-industrial complex). 28 In addition, for this comparative endeavour I have offered the outstanding role of the United States and the geographical/geopolitical position of the democracies examined as two additional possible explanatory factors.
2.7.1 Maintaining Their Foreign Policy Identity by Distancing Themselves from the United States: Canada, South Korea, and (in Part) Russia
• Canada: The only MD-related decision that needs to be explained is Canada’s ‘No’ in early 2005 to participate in the American umbrella of militarised US global hegemony, as J. Marshall Beier puts it. He points to the nexus of a situational and a structural/cultural factor: First, the weak Paul Martin government had lost its parliamentary majority. Second, there was Canada’s interest in maintaining its foreign policy identity as a middle power with a distinct striving for multilateralism as the central means of addressing international problems (‘middlepowerhood’), including WMD proliferation. The decision means distancing itself from the hegemonic policy of its southern neighbour. Beier implicitly cautions that there is a second strand in Canadian (foreign) policy culture which might have led to a Canadian ‘Yes’ to participating in a joint shield with the US, had Martin clearly won the elections: The threat to be countered in this case issues not from ballistic missiles, but from the possibility of alienating the United States. 29
• South Korea: According to Byung-joon Ahn three decisive factors determine Seoul’s adamant ‘No’ to co-operation in the MD area with the United States, and also its low interest in an indigenous MD capability: First, the reconciliation with North Korea (‘Sunshine Policy’) as the paramount and continuous foreign policy objective to which all other goals are subordinated (this priority is, as earlier mentioned, deeply rooted in the public). Second, the advent of democracy (people are expressing their views and feelings), combined with asserting their Korean identity of ‘Wounded Nationalism’, i.e. national aspiration of the new generation to recover a sense of self-confidence and pride in their country. This implies being opposed to Washington’s ‘Offensive Realism’ which the new generation of decision-makers regards as more of a threat than Pyongyang. Third, conventional deterrence is enough; a defence system in co-operation with the US would jeopardise the paramount goal of reconciliation. 30
• Russia: At issue is not whether this country’s own anti-tactical rocket capability should be expanded (also for export purposes). Rather, as Alla Kassianova explains, it is the challenge of how to cope with the ‘unsettled identity’ of postSoviet Russia with the United States as the major (albeit ambivalent) point of reference. Reflecting an almost autonomous state amidst rival actor alliances with different vested interests and foreign policy orientations (including nationalist groups), this situation manifests itself in two competing strategies towards the West/US: a confrontational, dual-pronged variant of combining counterbalancing 28 See PRIF, Research Group I: Arms Control and Disarmament, Project ‘Contradictions in the Relationship Between Democracy and Arms Build-up’ (directed by Harald Müller). I am indebted to Harald Müller and to Una Becker for a number of suggestions and recommendations in this context.
29 For different views on Canadian MD policy see the position of James Fergusson and Frank Harvey in: James Fergusson, J. Marshall Beier, Frank Harvey, Ann Denholm Crosby, and Douglas A. Ross, Roundtable: Missile Defence in a Post-September 11th Context, Canadian Foreign Policy, Vol. 9, No. 2 (Winter 2002), pp. 111-130.
30 See in this context also Vernon Leob and Peter Slevin, Overcoming North Korea’s “Tyranny of Proximity”, Washington Post, 20 January 2003.
and the organisation of AeroSpace Defense; and a co-operative variant which includes tactical ballistic MD.
2.7.2 Traditional Civilian and Trading Powers (Mostly in Transition) with a Strong Atanticist Foreign Policy Orientation: Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, and Japan
• Denmark: The major theme in the debate was not MD, but the Inuits’ attempts to use the upgrading of the Greenland-based Thule radar to enlarge Home Rule, with independence from the former colonial power in Copenhagen being the final aim.