1 Power and Influence ʀeaʟɪsm, U.S. SECUʀɪTʏ POʟɪCʏ AɴD ɴATO S TʀAɴSFOʀMATɪOɴ Ove Haugland Jakobsen Master Thesis, Department of Political Science UNIVERSITY OF OSLO APʀɪʟ 2008
3 iii Acknowledgements After more than six years as a student at the University of Oslo, the completion of this thesis mark the end of a long and interesting road. A number of people deserve credit for their help and support that have made this thesis possible. I would like, in particular, to thank Professor dr.philos Janne Haaland Matlary for her valuable mentorship and most welcome comments and suggestions during all stages of this thesis. I would also like to thank James Snyder for his help in facilitating interviews at NATO headquarters, and of course all the respondents who put their time and knowledge at my disposal. Furthermore, I am indebted to Harald Borgebund and Therese Vollesfjord for their constructive critique and comments while working on this thesis. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Andreas Mortlock Hoddevik and Peter Kristoffersen for proofreading my final draft. Last, but not least, I am grateful to my family and my significant other, Tone Gunhild Haugan, whose support throughout my studies have been unequivocal. Oslo, April 27, 2008 Ove Haugland Jakobsen Word count (total):
5 v Table of Contents List of Abbreviations...vii Introduction ɪɴTʀODUCTɪOɴ ʀeseaʀcʜ QUESTɪOɴ COɴCEPTUAʟɪZɪɴɢ ɴATO AɴD TʀAɴSFOʀMATɪOɴ STʀUCTUʀE OF TʜE STUDʏ... 6 Theory and Methodology TʜEOʀETɪCAʟ FʀAMEWOʀK TʜE STʀUCTUʀAʟ COɴTEXT TʜE PUʀSUɪT OF POWEʀ POWEʀ AɴD ɪɴSTɪTUTɪOɴS A MODEʟ FOʀ EXPʟAɪɴɪɴɢ U.S. POʟɪCʏ CʜOɪCES COɴSɪDEʀATɪOɴS ɪɴ EVAʟUATɪɴɢ TʜEOʀʏ CʜAʟʟEɴɢES TO COɴTEMPOʀAʀʏ ʀeaʟɪsm ʙʀɪDɢE ʙUɪʟDɪɴɢ ɪɴ ɪʀ TʜEOʀʏ TʜE QUAʟɪTATɪVE METʜOD TʏPE OF CASE STUDʏ PʀOCESS TʀACɪɴɢ TʜE WʀɪTTEɴ SOUʀCES ɪɴTEʀVɪEWS VAʟɪDɪTʏ AɴD ʀeʟɪaʙɪʟɪtʏ ETʜɪCAʟ COɴSɪDEʀATɪOɴS American Perspectives on NATO and Transformation... 27
6 vi 3.1 CAPAʙɪʟɪTɪES, CAPAʙɪʟɪTɪES, CAPAʙɪʟɪTɪES DEFɪɴɪɴɢ EUʀOPEAɴ DEFɪCɪEɴCɪES TʜE ɴEW SECUʀɪTʏ COɴTEXT ɴATO S ʀoʟe ɪɴ TʜE WAʀ Oɴ TEʀʀOʀ EUʀOPEAɴ DEFɪCɪEɴCɪES AɴD OPEʀATɪOɴ EɴDUʀɪɴɢ FʀEEDOM ɪɴCʀEASɪɴɢ ɴATO ʀoʟe ɪɴ AFɢʜAɴɪSTAɴ ʜɪɢʜ ɪɴTEɴSɪTʏ AɴD OUT OF AʀEA WɪSE SPEɴDɪɴɢ AɴD SPECɪAʟɪZATɪOɴ ɴATO ʀespoɴse FOʀCE TʜE ɴʀF AS A EUʀOPEAɴ FOʀCE COɴCʟUSɪOɴ Analyzing U.S. NATO Policy A DUAʟɪTʏ ɪɴ AMEʀɪCAɴ POʟɪCʏ A COɴSɪSTEɴT CAʟʟ FOʀ CAPAʙɪʟɪTɪES FOCUS Oɴ OPEʀATɪOɴS SKEPTɪSɪSM AɴD ɴOɴ-USE PɪʟʟAʀS ɪɴ TʜE ɴEW ɴATO ʀejectɪɴɢ A DɪVɪSɪOɴ OF ʟAʙOʀ A ɢʟOʙAʟ ʀeacʜ PAʀTɴEʀSʜɪPS AɴD EɴʟAʀɢEMEɴT MEɴDɪɴɢ FEɴCES ɪɴCʀEASɪɴɢ POʟɪTɪCAʟ DɪAʟOɢUE A SʜɪFT ɪɴ STʀATEɢʏ COɴCʟUSɪOɴ Realist Theory and the Transformation Agenda TʜEOʀʏ AɴD TʜE EMPɪʀɪCAʟ EVɪDEɴCE MAɪɴTAɪɴɪɴɢ ɪɴFʟUEɴCE ɪɴ EUʀOPE TʜE PʀɪMACʏ OF ɴATO ɪɴ TʀAɴSATʟAɴTɪC SECUʀɪTʏ COɴSɪSTEɴCʏ OF U.S. POʟɪCʏ POʟɪTɪCAʟ ʟEɢɪTɪMACʏ AɴD MɪʟɪTAʀʏ POWEʀ... 66
8 viii List of Abbreviations ACT Allied Command Transformation CBRN Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear CJTF Combined Joint Task Force CPG Comprehensive Political Guidance CRS Congressional Research Service DCI Defense Capabilities Initiative DoD Department of Defense DPC Defense Planning Committee ESDP European Security and Defence Policy EU European Union FOC Full Operational Capability (see NRF) GDP Gross Domestic Product GWOT Global War On Terror ISAF International Security Assistance Force IFOR Implementation Force NAC North Atlantic Council NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization NDU National Defense University NRF NATO Response Force
9 ix NSS The National Security Strategy of the United States of America OEF Operation Enduring Freedom PCC Prague Capabilities Commitment PfP Partnership for Peace PNAC Project for the New American Century PRT Provincial Reconstruction Team QDR Quadrennial Defense Review SACEUR Supreme Allied Commander Europe SFOR Stabilisation Force SHAPE Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe SOF Special Operation Forces UN United Nations UNSC United Nations Security Council U.S. United States
11 CʜAPTEʀ 1 Introduction 1.1 ɪɴTʀODUCTɪOɴ When the NATO members met in Prague at the end of 2002, they agreed on an extensive set of initiatives to transform the Alliance s structure and capabilities. The initiatives included creating a rapid response force, retooling and streamlining the command structure and extending invitations to seven new members. 1 This agenda was adopted as several issues emerged in the transatlantic security discourse. The attacks on 9/11 put security and global terrorism at the top of the priority list in Washington, and spurred support from Europe. Within a day of the attacks, NATO invoked Article 5 of the Washington Treaty for the first time since the creation of the Alliance, and the French newspaper Le Monde ran an editorial stating that nous sommes tous Américains. In spite of this support, the unilateral response to the attacks with an ad hoc U.S.-dominated coalition in Afghanistan and increasing American pressure on Iraq, worried several European capitals. The National Security Strategy (NSS) released two months before the summit in Prague, was further seen by many Europeans as a unilateral turn in American strategy. Adding to this concern was the rejection of a number of international treaties. 2 The rift in transatlantic relations, prompted by divisions over Iraq and disagreements concerning what constitute legitimate strategies to counter the threat posed by global terrorism, has been discussed extensively in the academic literature (Cox 2005; Pond 2005). The aim 1 The states that were invited to begin accession talks were, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia and Slovenia. They joined NATO on March The last round of enlargement was in 1999 when the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland became members after beginning accession talks in Albania and Croatia were recently invited to begin accession talks at the Bucharest summit. 2 In particular the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) and the Kyoto protocols. For a discussion, see Ikenberry (2003).
12 2 POWEʀ AɴD ɪɴFʟUEɴCE of this thesis is not to explore the divisions between Europe and the United States, or within Europe. Nor does this thesis aim to analyze whether Europeans are from Venus and Americans from Mars. Rather, this thesis will investigate the transformation agenda within NATO and U.S. perception and use of the Alliance in the years after 9/11. The aim is to analyze how power motivations have influenced U.S. behavior pertaining to NATO, by analyzing initiatives and objectives in the transformation agenda, and Washington s reluctant use of NATO in the war on terror. The persistence of NATO has been a topic for academic discussion since the end of the Cold War, as early predictions by realist scholars that the Alliance s years were numbered, proved wrong (Waltz 1993: 75-6). Other scholars, in particular within the institutionalist tradition, have analyzed the enduring qualities of the Alliance in an attempt to provide a theoretical explanation for the continued relevance of NATO (McCalla 1996; Wallander and Keohane 1999; Wallander 2000). The theoretical focus on the persistence of NATO in the unipolar era has predominantly been on hypotheses and variables beyond those discussed within the realist tradition. This thesis takes another approach, asking whether realist theory can explain the puzzle of NATO transformation and relevance. Drawing on the contemporary developments in the realist literature, this thesis will analyze the extent to which the enduring relevance of NATO to the United States can be found within the nexus of power politics and security policy. 1.2 ʀeseaʀcʜ QUESTɪOɴ The transformation agenda that was launched in Prague and followed up at the later summits in Istanbul and Riga, provide the context for the analysis in this thesis. By launching this agenda, member states indicated a will to adapt the Alliance to increase its relevance despite growing divergences across the Atlantic. From an American perspective, these developments must be seen in the context of the war on terror. Two questions will guide the research and analysis. First, which objectives have the United States sought to achieve in the transformation agenda and how do these relate to American security policy and its use, or nonuse, of the Alliance. Second, how has the Bush administration viewed the relevance of NATO in the war on terror. These questions will be analyzed from a realist perspective to
13 test the explanatory power of realist theory pertaining to post-cold War and post-9/11 NATO. The objectives for this thesis are reflected in the research question: Why does the United States support NATO and the transformation agenda? The research question must be seen in the broader context of U.S. foreign and security policy. The analysis will therefore follow a three-step process. First, I will analyze the context and scope of the transformation agenda and the initiatives proposed to achieve the objectives in the agenda. Second, I will investigate the U.S. vision for NATO and American views on the role of the Alliance. This will also include a discussion of U.S.-European relations, and developments in Washington pertaining to the Bush administration s assessment of European capabilities. Third, I will discuss U.S. objectives and policy in relation to the theoretical framework. These issues will be analyzed in the context of American involvement in and use of NATO in the war on terror. By analyzing the transformation agenda over a number of years, roughly confined to the start of the war on terror following 9/11 and the Riga summit at the end of 2006, it is possible to evaluate the consistency of U.S. policy. This is important in order to evaluate the explanatory power of the theoretical propositions. Realist theory defines states as the principal actors in international politics and bases its assumptions on the relative distribution of capabilities. Contemporary advances in realist theory, often labeled neoclassical realism, 3 expands the structural emphasis of neorealism by including analyses of individual states strategic choices in relation to the distribution of capabilities. Revised realist theories have also relaxed the zero-sum assumptions about states power motivations that in essence diminish the possibility for cooperation (Brooks 1997: 446, ). Because of neorealism s failure to explain the persistence of NATO, the transformation process provides a good case to test the limits of realist theory (McCalla 1996: 447-8). This thesis will investigate if the modification to structural neorealist theory provides a better explanation for the developments within the Alliance. I have chosen to study U.S. objectives in the transformation agenda, as realist theory focus on the power and interɪɴtʀoductɪoɴ 3 3 The term neoclassical realism was first defined by Rose (1998). Neoclassical realism has been used to describe a range of contemporary research by self-described realists. I will use the term neoclassical to highlight the move away from a purely structural analysis and the inclusion of other variables beyond the distribution of material power.
14 4 POWEʀ AɴD ɪɴFʟUEɴCE ests of states to explain international relations. As Waltz (2000: 20) commentated, the survival and expansion of NATO tell us much about American power and influence and little about institutions as multilateral entities. The foundation of the theoretical framework for this thesis is based on balance-of-threat theory and assumptions about the effect and stability of unipolarity (Walt 1987; Mastanduno 1997; Wohlforth 1999). These theories provide the structural context for explaining American strategy. The framework for explaining U.S. behavior and objectives is based on the realist discussion of power as a means to increase flexibility in security policy (Brooks 1997). Combined, these developments create a distinction to neorealist theory, and might thus provide a better framework for explaining U.S. behavior and the persistence of NATO (ibid). Based on this framework, realist theory expect that U.S. policy will be designed to prevent European states from balancing against the United States while seeking to maintain its influence in European security matters to increase Washington s own flexibility in foreign and security policy (Mastanduno 1997: 60; Brooks 1997: 462; Wohlforth 2002b: 114-5). On the other side of the theoretical scale, constructivist theories offer alternative predictions of factors that condition U.S. behavior. While constructivism is a diversified theoretical field, to be sure, a constructivist approach would emphasize the effect of identity, shared norms and values on policy choices. In this view, interests are not fixed, but are shaped by socially constructed identities. Institutionalist theories offer another competing approach to realism. In contrast to realism, institutionalism look within institutions to explain policy behavior. In this thesis, I will not test competing hypotheses. Rather, the approach to the research question is to examine power motivations drawing on modified realist assumptions about states behavior and institutional power. However, I will, briefly, discuss alternative theoretical approaches in order to evaluate the usefulness and distinctiveness of realist theory. 1.3 COɴCEPTUAʟɪZɪɴɢ ɴATO AɴD TʀAɴSFOʀMATɪOɴ With the research question defined and the general framework for the analysis established, it is necessary discuss how to conceptualize NATO and transformation.
15 ɪɴTʀODUCTɪOɴ 5 Traditionally, at least in the realist literature, NATO has been treated as a military alliance created in order to deter against Soviet aggression and expansion into Europe. 4 Definitions of alliances differ. Stephen Walt defines them broadly as a formal or informal commitment for security cooperation between two or more states (Walt 1997: 157, cited in Byman 2006: 772). There are reasons to treat NATO analytically as a security institution, instead of simply an alliance. NATO has many of the characteristics usually associated with institutions, such as a permanent staff and formal procedures. 5 Defining NATO as an alliance reduces our analytical scope to an investigation of threats and expectations of balancing or bandwagoning behavior. These are still important issues, to be sure. Indeed the main function of NATO is still common defense under Article 5 and it is still very much a military alliance. But one can argue that the transatlantic alliance reflects more than a wish to balance against potential threats. Taking into account the institutional qualities of NATO broadens our analytical scope and theoretical propositions by reintroducing power politics into the discussion of institutional design. Considering the institutional qualities of NATO, I find security institution to be a better operational definition. 6 Other scholars have used this definition as well (Wallander and Keohane 1999). 7 Institutions vary in scope and structure, ranging from wide variety of issues to a single policy area. The broad range and definitions of institutions have been subject to debate in the literature, and I will not elaborate on it further here. For the purpose of this study it is, at this point, sufficient to assert that NATO should be defined as a security institution and not only a military alliance. 4 Lord Ismay famously states that the mission for NATO was to keep the Soviets out, the Americans in and the Germans down. 5 The definition of institutions in the International Relations literature is of a fuzzy character (Keohane 1998: 382-3). There are several conflicting and overlapping definitions; some includes a wide range of entities and activities into the definition, while others are more restrictive. One way to define institutions, is to ask if we can identify persistent sets of rules that constrain activity, shape expectations, and prescribe roles (ibid: 384). It can be further added that these rules are often formalized in international agreements, and that the rules usually are embodied in organizations with their own personnel and budget (Mearsheimer 1994/5: 8-9). It is important to note that while NATO can be defined as an institution, it is not a traditional institution in liberal or institutionalist terms, but rather a special case of an institution. 6 It can be further added that NATO is a regional security institutions since membership is not open to all states that are interested, but is confined to the Euro-Atlantic area. 7 They use this definition in an institutionalist context. My use of the definition of NATO as a security institution will therefore not directly follow theirs.
16 6 POWEʀ AɴD ɪɴFʟUEɴCE Pertaining to NATO, transformation has been used to describe a broad range of issues within the Alliance. This thesis employ the term transformation agenda to describe initiatives aimed at changing the scope and capabilities of the Alliance. Concerning the scope of NATO, this thesis will look at the reach, both internally and externally, the United States has sought for the Alliance. This relates to the question of when NATO should be used, how it should be used, what kind of operations it should engage in and how the requirements of Article 5 should be interpreted in the new security environment. Pertaining to capabilities, this thesis will focus on the military capabilities the United States has sought for European states to acquire. This kind of transformation is interconnected with the scope of the Alliance. Put differently, I seek to explain the strategic importance of NATO in U.S. policy, what role NATO has been given in the security environment post-9/11, and how this has affected the transformation agenda. In advance of the Prague summit in November 2002, the Bush administration defined the transformation of NATO as new capabilities, new members and new partners (U.S. Congress 2002: 14). As noted above, the primary focus in this thesis will be on capabilities. While the policy of enlargement and partnerships will be included in the analysis, this thesis will not analyze these policies to great detail, but rather rely on secondary sources. This choice has been made in part because the focus in this thesis is on capabilities and the use of NATO in the war on terror, and in part to focus the research on a smaller number of issues to produce a tighter, richer and more stringent analysis. 1.4 STʀUCTUʀE OF TʜE STUDʏ This thesis is organized into six chapters. Following this introduction, the following chapter will present the theoretical framework of this study. I will discuss the various aspects of the theory that provide assumptions about American objectives concerning the transformation process within NATO. I will also discuss the methodology employed in this study. This discussion will focus on important aspects of a scientific research design, including justifications of a single case study, data sources, and validity and reliability. To answer the research question and test the realist hypothesis on power motivations and American objectives in the transformation agenda, the analysis will precede in two chapters.
17 ɪɴTʀODUCTɪOɴ 7 Chapter 3 will outline the operational and security context in which American priorities in the transformation agenda were shaped. Furthermore, it will analyze the goals for the transformation agenda, with a focus on the NATO Response Force (NRF), and discuss the military effort in Afghanistan. Chapter 4 will analyze American objectives in NATO and, by building on the analysis in the preceding chapter, discuss trends in American security policy. This discussion will pay particular attention to U.S. relations with European states through NATO and the Bush administration s attempts to mend fences with its European allies. Chapter 5 will discuss the findings in relation to the theoretical framework and evaluate the validity of the hypothesis. Based on the analysis, the discussion will revolve around the support for realist assumptions and the validity and explanatory scope of a power-based approach. The chapter will also discuss alternative theories in order to evaluate both the usefulness and the distinctive qualities of realist theory. The findings and conclusions on American objectives in the transformation agenda, and reasons for American use and nonuse of NATO, will be summed up in the final chapter.
18 CʜAPTEʀ 2 Theory and Methodology The quality of a study depends on several factors. One critically important factor the research design of the study (George and Bennett 2005: 73). 8 With the problem and research objective specified, this chapter explores other aspects of the research design, including the theoretical framework, methodology and selection of data sources. This chapter will proceed in three steps. First, it will introduce the theoretical framework and the specific predictions of U.S. behavior. Due to the theoretical focus of this study, the theoretical discussion will be extended with a review of criticism and challenges directed at contemporary realist theory. This discussion will be essential in order to evaluate the theoretical assumptions and the distinctiveness of realist theory based on the empirical findings. The second step will be to elaborate on the case study approach. This includes a detailed account of the methodology applied for the analysis and a discussion of the process and rationale of the selection of data and data sources. The chapter will conclude with a discussion of issues of validity, reliability and other considerations important for the quality of the study. 2.1 TʜEOʀETɪCAʟ FʀAMEWOʀK With the central theme and research problem defined, our attention now turns to the theoretical framework to analyze U.S. policy. For realists, the international system is defined as an anarchy in the sense of the absence of an international authority. A central concept in realism is that of balancing, that states balance either the dominant power or the greatest threat (Waltz 1979; Walt 1987). For realists the fundamental variable that conditions state 8 George and Bennett (ibid: 74-88) argue that five tasks are important to a good research design; specification of the problem and research objective, specification of variables, case selection, describing the variance in the variables, and formulation of data requirements and general questions. These tasks correspond to and partially overlap Yin s (2003: 21) five components of a research design.
19 TʜEOʀʏ AɴD METʜODOʟOɢʏ 9 behavior and international outcomes is the relative distribution of material power. The distribution of capabilities and the polarity of the international system are important variables to explain foreign policy behavior and the context in which strategic choices are made (Wohlforth 2002a: 3). In the standard neorealist rendition of balance-of-power theory, states will always try to check the dominant power in the system (Waltz 1979). Subsequent revisions of balancing theory have argued that the theory is incomplete and that states do not balance against power alone, but against the most threatening state. States thus balance against other states when aggregate power, geography, the mix of offensive versus defensive capabilities and the intentions of a state make it a perceived threat (Walt 1987: 21-6). Combined with studies on the effect and incentives created by unipolarity, balance-of-threat theory represents the structural framework for which expectations of policy behavior is derived. While unipolarity traditionally has been viewed as unstable according to neorealist theory, it has been argued that the current distribution of power, that favors the United States, is not prone to balancing behavior (Wohlforth 1999; 2002a; Brooks and Wohlforth 2005) TʜE STʀUCTUʀAʟ COɴTEXT The polarity of the international system and the relative distribution of capabilities create opportunities for American decision-makers. Some have argued that today s system is not truly unipolar. However, there are several reasons to assert that the system is indeed unipolar, at least in the sense that is important in realist theory, as the United States is predominant on a wide range of material power, especially concerning military power (Wohlforth 1999). Because of this, the United States is becoming increasingly important to other states, as they rely to a greater or lesser degree on the U.S. to reach their economic and security goals. At the same time the United States is less dependent on weaker states, and might resist or ignore these states. The costs of non-agreement in international matters are lower for the United States than for other states (Ikenberry 2003: 533, 538). Because of its power position at the top of the international system, the United States will have more options available in its foreign and security policy. The incentives produced by the system do not necessitate a policy of engagement, but the theory would be consistent with such an approach (Wohlforth 2002b: 113). While a disengaged policy would not be inconsistent with the ef-
20 10 POWEʀ AɴD ɪɴFʟUEɴCE fects of unipolarity, there are reasons to expect that the United State would prefer to stay engaged in matters of security. A policy of disengagement would reduce Washington s leverage to effect cooperation, and to build and run institutions that make its dominance cheaper and more efficient (ibid: 114). Furthermore, an engaged United States is in a better position to respond to a major crisis or unexpected geopolitical challenges (ibid: 117). Balance-of-threat theory provides another reason to expect a policy of engagement. While balancing behavior by other states is unlikely, because American power is so dominant and the United States does not pose any threat to the territorial integrity of Europe, we can expect that the United States will be sensitive to counterbalancing measures or other initiatives that constrain U.S. power. Since unipolarity would be the preferred world for the United States, we can expect that American policy-makers would employ a strategy to prolong the unipolar moment, and dissuade others from balancing against the U.S. (Mastanduno 1997: 60, 68). While theory cannot predict how the United States would implement its policy, balance-of-threat theory suggests that a benign policy would be wise (Walt 1987: 27). Indeed, aggressively unilateral policies undermine legitimacy, corrode institutions and heighten status anxieties, generating higher costs and greater instability over the long run (Wohlforth 2004: 199). If states balance against threat, and not power, this can make allied coherence more difficult to sustain if the threat perceptions is not equally shared among the allies. While European states may fall short of balancing, they can increasingly frustrate U.S. policy makers if American power is not viewed as indispensable TʜE PUʀSUɪT OF POWEʀ Realists such as Morgenthau and Carr identified the importance of power and argued that states are power maximizers. In his structural redefinition of realism, Waltz (1979: 126) argued that the primary objective of states is to maximize security. Power can be important, but will, according to his theory, always be secondary to security. The contemporary realist debate faults both these arguments. State leaders pursue power because it is the foundation to achieve security and national interests. Power is not an end in itself, but a mechanism in which to achieve policy goals. States do not seek power in order to dominate others. Rather they maximize power because this allows for maximum flexibility in achieving the nation s instrumental interests (Brooks 1997: 462). In the international arena, power is important
21 TʜEOʀʏ AɴD METʜODOʟOɢʏ 11 since powerful states have the ability to influence other actors. It is rational to assume that states want more, rather than less external influence, and that they will pursue such influence to the extent that they are able to do so (Rose 1998: 152). In the neoclassical rendition of realist theory, states will seek strategies that enhance their power and thus influence over other actors. Since power is a means to achieve national interests, states will pursue power subject to cost-benefit calculations (Brooks 1997: 462). While conquest is one way to increase power, it is not the only way, and seldom the most cost-efficient way. States will therefore be less prone to use military force in order to increase their power. In a system with highly industrialized powers and a global economy, we can expect that states will rather rely on nonmilitary means to increase their power (ibid: 463). States do not always activate their full power potential and behave differently in similar circumstances. The link between structural incentives and policy-making is not always clear or straightforward. To account for this, neoclassical realism opens up the black box of decision-making by analyzing how policy-makers understand their situation and investigates their policy calculations (Rose 1998). Wohlforth (1993) argues that the main intervening variable that determines policy choices is the perceptions, or misperceptions of power by state leaders. The complexity of power and the difficulties of measuring it are not only an analytical problem, but also a problem decision-makers face every day. How key state officials perceive their situation affects state behavior. To arrive at better explanations of foreign and security policy, we therefore need to explore in more detail how decisionmakers understand their situation (Rose 1998: 158). Shifts in systemic variables do not affect policy behavior unless they are perceived by state decision-makers (Brooks and Wohlforth 2000/1: 27). The influence material capabilities have on state behavior is translated through central decision-makers perceptions, calculations, and estimates. The link, or the transmission belt, between material capabilities and the perceptions of these capabilities, is not smoothly functioning or accurate. As a consequence, the translation of capabilities into national behavior is seldom as straightforward as a structural analysis would assume. However, Wohlforth (1993: 293, 303) suggests that perceptions are not random, but follow a pattern. Differences in perceptions are related to the mix of resources available, and the position in the international system. In a competitive en-
22 12 POWEʀ AɴD ɪɴFʟUEɴCE vironment, state leaders will interpret changes in capabilities opportunistically, emphasizing their comparative advantages. For a dominant power, its rank and power in the system permits its leaders to indulge in endless opportunism to justify their policies (ibid) POWEʀ AɴD ɪɴSTɪTUTɪOɴS Institutional power entails an actors control over others in indirect ways (Barnett and Duvall 2005: 15). However, power and security cooperation has traditionally posed a puzzle for realist theory, as the theory on a basic level assumes that states exists in an anarchy and relies on themselves for security. This is true in particular for structural and offensive definitions of the theory (Müller 2002: 371-4). It is further challenging as realist theory often focuses on conflict and the absence of cooperation. Contemporary strands of realist theory are more optimistic about the possibility for cooperation in international relations. One reason for this is an emphasis on the probability of conflict, and not merely the possibility of conflict (Brooks 1997). 9 Instead of discussing if institutions matter, the focus is more on how they matter, and which policies states pursue in institutions. However, realism differs from other approaches that predominantly exclude the perspective of power motivations in the creation and maintenance of institutions (Gruber 2005). Realist theory stresses that international institutions are rooted in the interaction of power and national interest (Simmons and Martin 2002: 195). Institutions matter because they reflect and enhance state power. They are important tools of statecraft, and they are only established when state leaders believe that there are mutual benefits to be gained. In other words, from a realist perspective, institutions are arenas where states act out power relations (ibid; Evans and Wilson 1992: 337; Jervis 1999: 54, 63). Furthermore, realist accounts of institutions differ from liberal, institutional and constructivist accounts as they view institutions as a form of collusion among powerful states. Institutions are set up to serve the participating states interests at the expense of others (Schweller and Priess 1997: 8). 9 This distinction relies on the underlying worst-case assumption in neorealism in contrast to a probabilistic assumption in neoclassical, or postclassical, realism. Several factors have been identified by realists to affect the probability of conflict. Such factors include technology, geography and international economic pressures (ibid: 456-8). This logic is also central to balance-of-threat theory. The theory includes a combination of variables into the definition of threat, including geography, offensive capabilities and aggressive intentions (Walt 1987).
23 TʜEOʀʏ AɴD METʜODOʟOɢʏ 13 Since states pursue power because power enables them to achieve their national interests, and because states will rely on nonmilitary power as well, we can expect that the United States will also look to institutions to extend or maintain its power and influence. A dominant actor within an institution cannot only set its agenda but also influence the distribution of benefits and costs among the members (ibid). A dominant actor can exert its influence through a number of strategies. One such strategy is that of binding. Institutions can make it more difficult and costly for states to defect in the future by binding them to keep their commitments. A state can exercise control over another state s or group of states policies, by incorporating them into a web of institutional arrangements (ibid: 9, Jervis 1999: 56). States might also choose to bind themselves. Such behavior is not inconsistent with the theoretical propositions, as long as states bind themselves not to do what they do not intend to do anyway, or if this does not significantly reduce the freedom of action a state might seek later. Germany s self-binding to European and Atlantic institutions would therefore not be a surprise (ibid). However, American self-binding to international institutions in a way that constrain its power would be inconsistent with the theory (Wohlforth 2002a: 6). Binding effects exists only because state decision makers want them to be there. Institutions cannot be fully binding, and might come apart when faced with strong conflict ( Jervis 1999: 56-7). Institutions can thus matter, but as Jervis (ibid) notes, even institutions that involve giving power to autonomous actors, are not autonomous in the sense of overriding or shaping the preferences of those who established them. While we can expect that the United States is able to exert influence in international institutions, this does not imply that the interest of the dominant power equals the outcome of an institutional process. Other states might oppose the dominant state s policies for various reasons (Brooks and Wohlforth 2005: 79-80). Pertaining to security cooperation in NATO it would be preferable for the United States to take the role as a benevolent leader. Such an approach would be more successful since other states both benefit from and accept U.S. leadership. The arrangement would in other words be seen as legitimate, in the sense that
24 14 POWEʀ AɴD ɪɴFʟUEɴCE no great powers are dissatisfied insofar as they would seek dramatic changes (Schweller and Priess 1997: 11, 24) A MODEʟ FOʀ EXPʟAɪɴɪɴɢ U.S. POʟɪCʏ CʜOɪCES Because of the sheer power of the United States and its position at the top of the international system, we can expect that the United States will have a wide range of security interests throughout the world. We can further expect that the United States will seek ways in which to increase its flexibility to implement its preferred security policy. One path to such increased flexibility is through security institutions. Because institutions give power to states that control them, we can expect the United States to support institutions that serve its interests. As a security institution, NATO provides a platform to extend U.S. influence over security policy, while it as a military alliance provides an instrument for collective response to security threats. In the light of the 9/11 attacks these qualities of NATO should not become less important for the United States, but rather more important. NATO is primarily a military alliance, and while the institutional aspects can be attributed to the enduring interest for NATO in American policy, the core mission of the Alliance is still to defend against an external threat. Realist theory assumes that the mix of relative capabilities, in particular military capabilities, and security threats are the important variables that affect the calculations of policy choices. The assumptions of how and why states pursue power and the role of institutions provide the micro-link for explaining policy behavior. From the theoretical framework discussed above, we can hypothesize U.S. policy behavior pertaining to NATO. H 1 : The United States will maintain NATO and support the transformation agenda because NATO can increase Washington s flexibility and influence in security policy. Anarchy and polarity of the international system provides the structural context in which policy is created and strategic choices are made. Anarchy is not a critical variable. It serves as a contextual precondition where the effect is a concern for national security (Heier 2006: 10 Legitimacy in reality theory does not imply justice. It implies the acceptance of the framework of the international order by all major powers, at least to the extent that no states is so dissatisfied that it expresses its dissatisfaction in a revolutionary foreign policy (Kissinger 1957 cited in Schweller and Priess 1997: 11).
25 TʜEOʀʏ AɴD METʜODOʟOɢʏ 15 58). With the security threat posed by international terrorism, we can expect that the United States places a greater weight on national security. The dominant position in the international system makes the Unites States less reliant on others to provide for its security. From the hypothesis we can derive two predictions of American objectives and behavior within NATO. First, we can expect that the United States will have an interest in maintaining NATO because it can be an instrument to increase American flexibility in its security policy. Second, we can expect that the United States will further have an interests in maintaining NATO because it provides a framework to influence European security policy and prevent balancing and power competition. As Waltz (2000: 20) noted, NATO is first of all a treaty made by states. With the external threat to the Alliance gone, realists view NATO mainly as a means of maintaining and lengthening America s grip on the foreign and military policies of European states (ibid). Because NATO offers a means to extend the flexibility of American security policy, we can expect the United States to stay engaged in NATO rather than to abandon it. Furthermore, NATO stands forth as the primary instrument for the United States to influence European states to spend money on capabilities that are consistent with U.S. preferences (Heier 2006: 47). We can also expect that the United States will oppose competing European military structures if these decrease American influence and flexibility. Pertaining to the transformation agenda, we can expect that initiatives will be linked with American security priorities. Since the terrorist threat is global in nature, we would expect that the United States would not only work through NATO. However, Europe will still be important in American security policy. While one consequence of the attacks on 9/11 is that Europe is less relevant, or rather not the only or necessarily preferred security partner, we can still expect that the United States will have priorities in Europe because of the military capabilities in Europe relative to other potential partners (Byman 2006: ; Daalder 2003: 150). The role and relevance of NATO in American security policy is conditioned by overall strategic objectives and U.S. perceptions and calculations. However, we can expect from theory that the United States will act through institutions only when they add to the American
26 16 POWEʀ AɴD ɪɴFʟUEɴCE effort. As Glaser (2003: 411) notes, working through international organisations should not be confused with necessity. When choosing among institutions is an option, a decision to work through the larger one may not reflect a willingness to accept its constraints, but instead prior confidence that they would not be imposed (ibid). This does not imply that the United States will always prefer unilateral action, since other consequences will be considered (ibid: 412). 2.2 COɴSɪDEʀATɪOɴS ɪɴ EVAʟUATɪɴɢ TʜEOʀʏ Besides testing the validity of the hypothesis, this thesis will discuss the usefulness of realism in analyzing power motivations and to explore the mechanisms of institutional power (Barnett and Duvall 2005: 15-7; Gruber 2005). Critics have argued that the modifications to the structural realist conception of power and the inclusion of variables beyond material factors render the theoretical propositions incoherent to the traditional realist paradigm, and indistinctive relative to other approaches (Legro and Moravcsik 1999). In order to have confidence in a theory, it must be internally coherent, but it should also be consistent with the broader theoretical paradigm. The theory should also be distinctive in order for us to correctly label what constitutes realist theory. Another prominent debate in the contemporary debate in the study of IR concerns bridge building between theoretical paradigms. A central proposition in this debate is to dismiss the zero-sum interpretation of theories of International Relations. Rather, the point is to identify the scope conditions of the theory. This thesis will evaluate these issues. The purpose of this thesis is to discuss whether and how realism can contribute to explain NATO s persistence and American behavior within the Alliance by analyzing American policies and objectives. In order to conclude on the usefulness of realism, it is important to examine the distinctive elements of the theory CʜAʟʟEɴɢES TO COɴTEMPOʀAʀʏ ʀeaʟɪsm Critics of realism are plentiful, and contemporary renditions of the theory have been challenged on the status and value of the theory. Critics have asked whether realists are still realists, or if they have ever been realists (Müller 2002; Legro and Moravcsik 1999; Guzzini 2004). In addition to the internal logic of a theory, advances in a theoretical paradigm should be coherent with its core assumptions. A theoretical paradigm should not include
27 TʜEOʀʏ AɴD METʜODOʟOɢʏ 17 internal contradictions that permit the unambiguous derivation of contradictory conclusions (Legro and Moravcsik 1999: 9). While theoretical paradigms are often incomplete, and thus leaves room for varying predictions based on different auxiliary assumptions, such contradictions should not be frequent. When theoretical explanation of empirical findings within a paradigm consistently relies on auxiliary assumptions unconnected to core assumptions to predict novel facts or clear up anomalies, we learn little about the veracity of those assumptions. When it relies on auxiliary assumptions contradictory to underlying core assumptions, our confidence in those core assumptions should weaken (ibid). This argument is connected with the demand that a theory must be distinct, meaning that a theory s assumptions must clearly differentiate it from recognized alternatives. The power and usefulness of a paradigm relies on its ability to rule out plausible competing assumptions and explanations about the world (ibid: 11). Having nearly as many realisms as there are realist protagonists question the coherency of the tradition in itself (Guzzini 2004: 535-6). Realism must remain distinct from other theoretical paradigms in order to be more than a generic form of rationalism. A formulation of realism that subsumed all the core assumptions underlying these other theories would be a misleading guide to theoretical debate or empirical research. Perpetually underspecified, perhaps internally contradictory, such a formulation would evade rather than encourage potentially falsifying counterclaims thereby defeating the basic purpose of grouping theories under paradigms in the first place (Legro and Moravcsik 1999: 11-2). Legro and Moravcsik argue that contemporary realism has become too theoretically and conceptually stretched. Realism has lost its coherence since recent variants of the theory contradict the paradigm s core assumptions, and it has lost its distinctiveness since it adds insight from other theories in an ad hoc manner. 11 Their remedy is to clarify realist premises with greater precision based on theoretical foundations clearly distinct from other rationalist theories. While their critique can be disputed, both the argument itself and the consequences of the remedy they suggest, they raise some valid concerns that will be important in the theoretical discussion of this thesis. 11 Legro and Moravcsik s critique of contemporary realism is based on their definition of three core realist assumptions. The first assumption is that actors are rational, unitary political units in anarchy. The second is that state preferences are fixed and uniformly conflictual. The third is the primacy of material capabilities in the international structure (Legro and Moravcsik 1999: 12-8).
28 18 POWEʀ AɴD ɪɴFʟUEɴCE ʙʀɪDɢE ʙUɪʟDɪɴɢ ɪɴ ɪʀ TʜEOʀʏ Discussions among scholars of International Relations often resembles balkanization, where defenders of one approach or school argue that their approach is better or more right than other approaches. Some view theoretical differences as great debates, with the last debate standing between rationalism and constructivism (Fearon and Wendt 2002: 52). These war of theories have ruined the potential for a lot of fruitful and interesting research. There is an ontological reading, according to which rationalism and constructivism are different sets of assumptions about what social life in general comprises. A second reading sees the divide in empirical terms, as a disagreement about substantive issues in the world, like how often actors follow a logic of consequences or logic of appropriateness [Fearon and Wendt 2002: 52-3]. A third, pragmatic reading sees the divide as one between analytic tools or lenses with which to theorize about world politics (Zürn and Checkel 2005: 1057). The ontological and empirical interpretations of the divide treat rationalist and constructivist theories in a zero-sum manner. The latter interpretation is more inclined towards a positive-sum picture of the rationalist constructivist divide, and can be a more fruitful guide to empirical research. Instead of arguing which theory is right, we can discuss how we can utilize theory in order to better understand an empirical and analytical puzzle (Fearon and Wendt 2002: 52). A pragmatic framing of the divide does not rule out one or the other approach. Rationalism and constructivism are seen as analytical lenses for looking at social reality, and the question of what lens to use should be left open (ibid: 68). All theories have scope conditions, that is conditions under which the outcome a theory predicts is more likely to occur. Examining and defining the scope conditions of a theory contribute to differentiate it from other alternatives, and specify when a theoretical lens should be employed. Further, by examining the causal mechanisms that clarify the relationship and structure of events between a cause and its effect, we can explore potential bridges between different theoretical approaches. One theory might explain a piece of an empirical puzzle. By specifying the scope conditions of each theory independently, and identifying how each theory work, we can identify the domain of application of each theory. Both strategic-choice approaches and cognitive approaches can be utilized to analyze how policy choices are made. By ignoring one or the other approach, we can reach more tightly focused research. However, politics includes both a situational context and an actor s perception of it (Lepgold and Lamborn 2001: 3). The purpose of this thesis is not to create a kind of super-
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