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Interventionism is a policy of non-defensive (proactive) activity undertaken by a nation-state, or other geo-political jurisdiction of a lesser or greater nature, to manipulate an economy and/or society. The most common applications of the term are for economic interventionism (a state's intervention in its own economy), and foreign interventionism (a state's intervention in the affairs of another nation as part of its foreign policy).
The political government of a state decide actions of foreign intervention and foreign policy. Political interventionism can include methods such as sanctions on a foreign economy or international trade with similar results to protectionism, or other international sanctions through international cooperation decisions guarding international law or global justice. Political support or political capital, such as nationalism or ethnic conflict also decide foreign intervention actions such as occupation, nation-building and national security policies.
The objectives of a policy for foreign intervention can be philosophical, religious or scientific based on the different ideological foundations supporting the policy.
Example of objectives are national security, support for world government, scientific systemic concern of systemic bias in international relations theory, policy of balancing as a goal for balance of power in international relations or balance of threat.
International relations are developed through international cooperation and international organizations giving rise to military alliance, cooperation through a trade pact or development of a trade bloc. These can set common policies of foreign intervention through bilateralism or multilateralism, and international agreement on a treaty.
The development of international law is also done through international cooperation and organizations with implications for foreign intervention actions.
There are varying methods on foreign intervention from participants including government, military, international, corporate, religious and public efforts reflecting their respective objectives, interests and ideologies.
Foreign intervention methods that are physically passive and do not use violence are non-aggressive.
Additionally, media or information methods, including information warfare, propaganda, advertising, political symbolism, media democracy, and freedom of information may be used to gain political capital and support for political reform.
United States military strategies like military operations other than war and Civil-Military Co-operation are examples of non-aggressive methods used to deal with asymmetric warfare in the War on Terrorism, as well as winning hearts and minds (Iraq)
Ideologies for supporting or opposing varying degrees of foreign intervention in international relations can have philosophical, religious or scientific origins.
Within political philosophy there are variations giving ideological foundation and reasoning to different degrees of foreign interventionism. Political doctrines are often the expressed views for such belief systems, such as a foreign policy doctrine (usually of philosophical origin) or like the Doctrine for Just War (of religious origin). Military science through military doctrine and military strategy also include geopolitical strategy.
International relations theory is the scientific study of such policies, methods and paradigms resulting in scientific modelling through the interdisciplinary fields of systems philosophy and systems science.
- philosophy of war
- deterrence theory
- preemptive war
- preventive war
- war of aggression
- global justice
- right of revolution
- international law
- "The ends justify the means"
Marxist international relations theory and later World-systems approach are essentially opposing any policies of domination or hegemony such as world domination. The idea of complex interdependence argue that the decline of military force as a policy tool, the increase in economic and other forms of interdependence should increase the probability of cooperation among states.
Some theories that promote less aggressive foreign intervention are:
- Critical international relations theory
- Constructivism in international relations
- Neoliberalism in international relations
- Institutionalism in international relations
- English school of international relations theory
Theories openly supporting explicitly aggressive foreign intervention are:
- Political realism
- Neorealism (international relations)
Political realism states that the overriding 'national interest' of each state is its national security and survival; as well as that to ensure this security, states must be on constant preparation for conflict through economic and military build-up. Ruhollah Khomeini believed in Muslim unity and social solidarity, as well as the export of Islamic revolution throughout the world: "Establishing the Islamic state world-wide belong to the great goals of the revolution."
Public opposition to aggressive foreign intervention along with public activism has also promoted nonviolence as an alternative to passive acceptance of oppression and armed struggle against it through actions like direct action and nonviolent intervention. An example of such internationally organized nonviolent intervention is the Peace Brigades International.
Policies in practiceEdit
Examples of Foreign policy doctrines include the Bush Doctrine, the Monroe Doctrine, the Stimson Doctrine, the Truman Doctrine, the Eisenhower Doctrine, the Nixon Doctrine, the Brezhnev Doctrine, and the Kirkpatrick Doctrine.
Efforts in foreign intervention may include diplomacy to dispute resolution. The involved parties in a conflict may negotiate a peace treaty or other treaties. A state may operate as a protecting power on behalf of other states, offering foreign intervention capabilities. This is usually done by a neutral country.
International conventions may be reached by an international consensus. Ideas of equal power relationship and pacifism are sometimes used in diplomacy. Towards the end of the Cold War there was a public rationale and reasoning for a peace dividend with economic benefits of a decrease in defence spending.
Multilateral and international interventionEdit
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also participates, for example through combating terrorist financing. This is also the case for Interpol. Other organisations are the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and NATO.
Canada's International Policy Statement is an example of a multilateral policy.
The Bush Doctrine and United States realpolitik are seen as promoting unilateral foreign intervention. There are also programs like the extraordinary rendition by the United States in the asymmetric warfare nature of the War on Terrorism.
During the 2008 South Ossetia war there were privately hired military veterans from Israel giving military education and training; as well as other official military aid such as military advisors from the United States and Israel to the Georgian military. Later Russia intervened in this conflict in order to protect the ethnic minority group in South Ossetia, and later expressed NATO expansionism concerns.
Some social criticism is directed as anti-imperialism. Others warn that militarism and inflated military spending will result in a permanent war economy. Critics of appeasement say it can result in world war. Also, Finlandization is the process of turning into a neutral country which, although maintaining national sovereignty, in foreign politics resolves not to challenge a more powerful neighbour. Ethnic conflict can result in Balkanization.
Military intervention can result in accusations of war crimes like ethnic cleansing or genocide. The International Court of Justice handles some cases of such abuse. There is also public criticism on collateral damage in conflicts such as public infrastructure and civilian casualties. According to Choi and James (2014), Human-rights violations are the primary cause of U.S Military interventions.
There are allegations of state terrorism by the United States from its history of foreign interventions and policies like low intensity conflict or covert operations.
The United States intervened in Iraq in the 2003 invasion of Iraq citing concerns for national security and adhering to the evolving Bush Doctrine based on neoconservatism and the democratic peace theory. Disputes from ethnic conflict and the question of self-determination and independence can lead to insurgency or military occupation. Russia intervened in the 2008 South Ossetia war, but has also voiced support for any of its citizens in places like Ukraine and elsewhere. Multilateral interventions that include territorial governance by foreign institutions also include cases like East Timor and Kosovo, and have been proposed (but were rejected) for the Palestinian territories.
The United Nations and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) are examples of international organizations which can be used to both promote or oppose foreign intervention. Scientific criticism point to multi-level governance as a better alternative for public choice theory and decision theory.
Neoliberalism points to the complex interdependence of foreign relations on economy, but there is criticism of the world economy globalization from the anti-globalization movement. Promoters of global governance and democratic mundialization organize and participate in political activism.
Critics name concerns on media manipulation and censorship like political censorship or denialism. There are accusations that embedded journalism is military manipulation of the media. There are accusations of negationism in public education and education resources. Throughout history propaganda has been used for gaining political capital and political support, like Nazi propaganda, United States of America hegemonic propaganda or Communist propaganda. There are also criticisms of monuments and statues supporting various ideologies through political symbolism, such as Nazi architecture.
There is criticism of promotion of culture of fear and the appeal to fear like the tactic of creating "fear, uncertainty and doubt" such as the expressions "the terrorists have won" or "for the children (politics)" in an appeal to emotion.
- Barbary Wars from 1800 between Sweden, the USA and the Ottoman Empire to stop pirate raiding of shipping.
- The First Opium War (1839–1842) and Second Opium War (1856–1860) in China saw the Qing dynasty intervene to stop the British smuggling opium into coastal parts of China. The British Empire, driven by Adam Smith's Free trade ideology and loss of profits, responded with military intervention to force the Qing Dynasty into signing the "free for us" treaties known as the Treaty of Nanking and the Treaty of Tianjin.
- Eight-Nation Alliance, made up of the United States, Japan, and various European powers, organized to quell the Boxer Rebellion in China.
- Russian Civil War, multilateral Western Allies of World War I foreign intervention.
- Korean War, multilateral intervention by forces under the United Nations Command.
- 1953 Iranian coup d'état, covert intervention in Iran by the American CIA and the British SIS intelligence agencies to reinstall the Shah after the election of Mohammad Mosaddegh.
- 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état, US-backed coup d'état in Guatemala, toppling the democratically elected lefist president Jacobo Árbenz, and leading to continued US involvement in Guatemalan affairs for decades.
- Cambodian–Vietnamese War, Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia which ended the Cambodian massacre and Pol Pot regime
- Gulf War, multilateral NATO and Coalition of the Gulf War foreign intervention.
- United States invasion of Grenada 1983, which toppled the communist regime and established democratic elections.
- United States invasion of Panama 1990, which toppled the Manuel Noriega dictatorship.
- Kosovo War, multilateral UN, OSCE and NATO foreign intervention.
- Sierra Leone civil war - 2002 British intervention to defeat the RUF rebels and end the civil war.
- 2003 invasion of Iraq unilateral foreign intervention based on the Bush Doctrine and coalition of the willing for invasion, regime change and occupation.
- Russo-Georgian War Russian invasion of Georgia establishing the unrecognised independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia
- 2011 Libyan civil war, multilateral intervention by NATO.
- Second Ivorian Civil War, 2011 French intervention which toppled former president Laurent Gbagbo after he refused to give up power after an election.
- Syrian civil war 2011 - present (as of 2019), interventions from multiple countries, including the United States, France, Russia, Turkey and Iran.
- Northern Mali conflict - 2012 French intervention after the takeover and declaration of independence of Azawad from Mali.
- Russian military intervention in Ukraine (2014–present) - Russia invaded and annexed Crimea and subsequently intervened to support separatist rebels in the country's east after the toppling of the former president.
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- Personal communications from Dr. Mansur Farhang, a biographer and supporter of Khomeini who was the former Iranian representative at the United Nations, with Ervand Abrahamian. Quoted in Abrahamian, Ervand, Khomeinism : Essays on the Islamic Republic University of California Press, (1993)
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