Accountability mechanisms that constrain the executive prevent drone overuse in Pakistan and Yemen---drones are key to stability but overuse is counterproductive
Benjamin R. Farley 12, JD from Emory University School of Law, former Editor-in-Chief of the Emory International Law Review, “Drones and Democracy: Missing Out on Accountability?” Winter 2012, 54 S. Tex. L. Rev. 385, lexis
Use-of-force decisions that avoid accountability are problematic for both functional and normative reasons. Functionally, accountability avoidance yields increased risk-taking and increases the likelihood of policy failure. The constraints imposed by political, supervisory, fiscal, and legal accountability "makeleaders reluctant to engage infoolhardy military expeditions... . If the caution about military adventure is translated into general risk-aversionwhen it comes to unnecessary military engagements, then there will likely be a distributional effect on the success rates of [democracies]." n205 Indeed, this result is predicted by the structural explanation of the democratic peace. It also explains why policies that rely on covert action - action that is necessarily less constrained by accountability mechanisms - carry an increased risk of failure. n206 Thus, although accountability avoidance seductively holds out the prospect of flexibility and freedom of action for policymakers, it may ultimately prove counterproductive.¶ In fact, policy failure associated with the overreliance on force - due at least in part to lowered barriers from drone-enabled accountability avoidance - may be occurring already. Airstrikes are deeply unpopular in both Yemen n207 and Pakistan, n208 and although the strikes have proven critical [*421] to degrading al-Qaeda and associated forces in Pakistan, increased uses of forcemay be contributing to instability, the spread of militancy, and the failure of U.S. policy objectives there. n209 Similarly, the success of drone [*422] strikes in Pakistan must be balanced against the costs associated with the increasingly contentious U.S.-Pakistani relationship, which is attributable at least in part to the number and intensity of drone strikes. n210 These costs include undermining thecivilian Pakistani government and contributing to the closure of Pakistan to NATO supplies transiting to Afghanistan, n211 thus forcing the U.S. and NATO to rely instead on several repressive central Asian states. n212 Arguably the damage to U.S.-Pakistan relations and the destabilizing influence of U.S. operations in Yemen would be mitigated by fewer such operations - and there would be fewer U.S. operations in both Pakistan and Yemen if U.S. policymakers were more constrained by use-of-force accountability mechanisms.
Judicial review is key to prevent mistakes---executive risk assessments are inevitably flawed
Ahmad Chehab 11, Georgetown University Law Center, “A Madisonian Response to Posner and Abebe,” Dec 16 2011, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1993354
The threat to deliberative and reasoned judgment is magnified in the context of national security planning. Studies have shown the tendency for self-enhancing beliefs persists even when the evidence suggests otherwise.213 Social scientists have long tried to show that people interpret facts and events in ways that conform to their prior expectations and allegiances.214 Moreover, people “face strong psychological pressure to fit their perceptions of how the world does work to their shared appraisals of how the world should work” in order to avoid dissonance and to protect their status within groups whose members share their core values.215 Social influences can reinforce such slanted risk assessment, which can cause a widespread, though erroneous, belief regarding the likelihood of an event or the superiority of pursuing a biased judgment. 216 Government officials charged with national security policy are especially prone to engaging in such skewed risk assessment.217 Individuals are generally not proficient at assessing risk in times of fear, and history shows executive officials are no different.218 Reputational concerns, for example may pressure officials into catering to public hysteria. Worse, executive officials sometimes willingly act as availability entrepreneurs, instigating public hysteria for political ends.¶ Thus, although the Executive Branch presumably has expertise and swiftness as its virtues, it also has to contend with not only a massive organizational complexity that hampers its responsiveness and effectiveness in securing American national security, but also with inevitable errors involved in deliberation and processed judgment.¶ Of course, an immediate objection might be raised asserting judges as equally likely to suffer from related cognitive deficiencies when adjudicating complex decisions, which can have the inevitable effect of producing systematic errors in judgment.219Indeed, far from the anachronistic idea that the law is some brooding omnipresent in the sky, it is commonly acknowledged that judges do not merely apply law to facts. Legal realists have long argued that judges make choices that reflect their political ideology.220 Theorists like Duncan Kennedy, Mark Tushnet, and other influential “Critical Legal” law professors have also argued that law is simply a reflection of existing (and unequal) power structures, and that adjudication is in all respects political.221 There have been other foundational critiques, too numerous to list here.¶ Yet whatever critique one has about the limits of human judgment, social psychology findings still strongly emphasize that “accountability can improve the care that decisionmakers take and alleviate decisionmaking biases” even if the audience is less knowledgeable and subject to the same biases that plague the decisionmaker.‖222 Judges can thus at least screen for evidence that the Executive Branch, in its purportedly vast array of epistemic advantages, made use in reaching a particular national security judgment or policy formulation. Since national security policies are often made in secret, popular political accountability will often fail to present a significant constraint as in the domestic context without a strong judiciary to provide oversight and remedy.223¶ The issue of accountability—that the President is an elected, populist figure—whereas the judiciary is composed of life-tenured members who lack meaningful public checks is an important point, raising well-known countermajoritarian issues long debated in the annals of constitutional law scholarship.224 Flaws asserts that the judiciary intrinsically suffers from weak incentives to act in the interest of the public.225 This argument is misplaced.¶ The checks contemplated in the separations of powers scheme operate only at the broadest levels in Congress and the President—and because both are only accountable to a majority vote of the electorate, they are ultimately not institutionally responsive to individual or minority interests.226 In Madison‘s words, “A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government: but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”227 Madison thus argued in favor of “auxiliary precautions” by harnessing personal ambition of those in government through judicial oversight. Indeed, a “[p]opulist, substance-based accountability for judges is precisely what the Founders feared.”228 They placed at the core of the judiciary its insulation and independence as a means to guarantee accountability in the rule of law, pointing out that ―[c]onvenience and efficiency are not the primary objectives—or the hallmarks—of democratic Government.‖229 Separations of powers thus resulted from a willingness to sacrifice speedy government for one containing a maximum number of veto points and checks. In this respect, Flaws call for judicial deference does not comport with constitutional tradition.230¶ B. THE RELEVANCE OF PSYCHOLOGY & GROUPTHINK TO THE ISSUES OF INSTITUTIONAL COMPETENCE¶ Accountability ensures that judges perform their constitutional role, and judicial independence protects judges from pressures that would pull them out of that role.231 As Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye have observed, accountability necessarily requires one “liable to be called to account.”‖ As they explain:¶ Accountable actions are explainable and sanctionable. Principals can require agents to give reasons so that they make judgments about their actions. Thus some degree of transparency is essential for accountability. For a principal to be accountable, the principal must face adverse consequences if his or her actions are inconsistent with the values and preferences of a given system…measures to ensure accountability require mechanisms for transmission of information as well as enforcement.232¶ Social psychology findings provide valuable insight into why external checks are vital for ensuring optimal policy decision-making. As an initial point, psychologists have long pointed out how individuals frequently fall prey to cognitive illusions that produce systematic errors in judgment.233 To be sure, this contention stands in tension with the Chicago School of Economics model of man as a “rational maximizer”—a school of thought Flaws implicitly adopts.234 Indeed, psychological accounts strongly suggest thelimitations and bounded nature of human rationality.235 People simply do not make decisions by choosing the optimal outcome from available alternatives, but instead employ shortcuts (i.e., heuristics) for convenience.236 Additional cognitive biases like groupthink can also hampereffective policy deliberations and formulations.237 Decision-makers also inevitably tend to become influenced by irrelevant information,238 seek out data and assessments that confirm their beliefs and personal hypotheses notwithstanding contradictory evidence,239 and “[i]rrationally avoid choices that represent extremes when a decision involves a trade-off between two incommensurable values.”240¶ Groupthink largely arises when a group of decision-makers seek conformity and agreement, thereby avoiding alternative points of view that are critical of the consensus position.241 This theory suggests that some groups—particularly those characterized by a strong leader, considerable internal cohesion, internal loyalty, overconfidence, and a shared world view or value system—suffer from a deterioration in their capacity to engage in critical analysis.242 Many factors can affect judgment, including a lack of crucial information, insufficient timing for decision-making, poor judgment, pure luck, and/or unexpected actions by adversaries.243 Self-serving biases can also hamper judgment given as it has been shown to induce well-intentioned people to rationalizevirtually any behavior, judgment or action after the fact.244¶ Along these lines, groupthink strongly suggests that decision-makers are just as prone to arrive at faulty judgment and engage in post-hoc rationalizations, particularly when such groups (a) are isolated—whether intentionally or not—from external pressure/oversight, (b) are relatively homogeneous in their belief systems, (c) lack a detached and objective person in charge, (d) lack systematic procedures for thinking about what the available “evidence” suggest, like intelligence briefings, and (e) make decisions in times of great stress.245 The confirmation and overconfidence bias, both conceptually related to groupthink, also result in large part from neglecting to consider contradictory evidence coupled with an irrational persistence in pursuing ideological positions divorced from consideration of alternative viewpoints.246¶ Likewise, reputational concerns can pressure those in power to give in to irrational public demands,247 including public hysteria that can create serious tension with entrenched constitutional principles, 248 and produce incentives for a variety of repressive tactics such as censorship, propaganda, prosecution and/or persecution.249¶ The failures of past presidents to consider alternative sources of information, critically question risk assessments, ensure neutral-free ideological sentiment among those deliberating,250 and/or generally ensure properly deliberated national security policy have produced devastating blunders,251 including the Iraq War of 2003,252 the Bay of Pigs debacle in the 1960‘s,253 and the decision to wage war against Vietnam.254 These and other historical incidents show to a large degree how presidential decision-making can sometimes fail to be effective or swift as conventionally suggested.255¶ Professor Cass Sunstein has also described additional situations in which groupthink produced poor results precisely because consensus resulted from the failure to consider alternative sources of information.256 Sunstein also has described the related phenomenon of “group polarization,” which includes the tendency to push group members toward a “more extreme position.”257 Given that both groupthink and group polarization can lead to erroneous and ideologically tainted policy positions, the notion of giving the President unchecked national security authority can only serve to increase the likelihood for committing significant errors.258 The reality is that psychological mistakes, organizational ineptitude, lack of structural coherence and other associated deficiencies are inevitable features inExecutive Branch decision-making.¶ C. PSYCHOLOGICAL ACCOUNTS ON ACCOUNTABILITY CHECKS¶ To check the vices of groupthink and shortcomings of human judgment, the psychology literature emphasizes a focus on accountabilitymechanisms in which a better reasoned decision-making process can arise.259 By serving as a constraint on behavior, “accountability is a critical norm-enforcement mechanism—the social psychological link between individual decision makers on the one hand and social systems on the other.”260 Accountability mechanisms via judicial review can channel recognition for the need by government decision-makers to be more self-critical in policy judgment conclusions, more willing to consider alternative points of view, and more willing to anticipate possible objections.261 Findings have also shown that ex ante awareness can lead to more reasoned judgment while also preventing tendentious and ideological inclinations.262¶ Requiring accounting in a formalized way—by providing, for example, in camera review, limited declassification of information, explaining threat assessments to those outside the immediate circle of policy advisors, and ensuring judicial review of decisions—can improve the decision-making process. Specifically, judicial checks can function as strong checks to government officials who act as availability exploiters. When review is process based, national security policy makers will more likely deliberate more carefully reasoned decision strategies and evaluate available alternatives than when they are subject to little to no review.263 This is the result of a process-based form of judicial review264 that focuses on the reliability of information acquisition, processing and deliberation.265 Setting up accountability standards can go long ways in reducing the potential errors and biases associated with skewed risk assessments.
In particular, current broad definitions of imminent threat guarantee blowback and collateral damage
Amos N. Guiora 12, Prof of Law at S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah, Fall 2012, “Targeted Killing: When Proportionality Gets All Out of Proportion,” Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Vol 45 Issues 1 & 2, http://law.case.edu/journals/JIL/Documents/45CaseWResJIntlL1&2.13.Article.Guiora.pdf
Morality in armed conflict is not a mere mantra: it imposes significant demands on the nation state that must adhere to limits and considerations beyond simply killing “the other side.” For better or worse, drone warfare of today will become the norm of tomorrow. Multiply the number of attacks conducted regularly in the present and you have the operational reality of future warfare. It is important to recall that drone policy is effective on two distinct levels: it takes the fight to terrorists directly involved, either in past or future attacks, and serves as a powerful deterrent for those considering involvement in terrorist activity.53 However, its importance and effectiveness must not hinder critical conversation, particularly with respect to defining imminence and legitimate target. The overly broad definition, “flexible” in the Obama Administration’s words,54 raises profound concerns regarding how imminence is applied. That concern is concrete for the practical import of Brennan’s phrasing is a dramatic broadening of the definition of legitimate target. It is also important to recall that operators—military, CIA or private contractors—are responsible for implementing executive branch guidelines and directives.55 For that very reason, the approach articulated by Brennan on behalf of the administration is troubling.¶ This approach, while theoretically appealing, fails on a number of levels. First, it undermines and does a profound injustice to the military and security personnel tasked with operationalizing defense of the state, particularly commanders and officers. When senior leadership deliberately obfuscates policy to create wiggle room and plausible deniability, junior commanders (those at the tip of the spear, in essence) have no framework to guide their operational choices.56 The results can be disastrous, as the example of Abu Ghraib shows all too well.57 Second, it gravely endangers the civilian population. What is done in the collective American name poses danger both to our safety, because of the possibility of blow-back attacks in response to a drone attack that caused significant collateral damage, and to our values, because the policy is loosely articulated and problematically implemented.58 Third, the approach completely undermines our commitment to law and morality that defines a nation predicated on the rule of law. If everyone who constitutes “them” is automatically a legitimate target, then careful analysis of threats, imminence, proportionality, credibility, reliability, and other factors become meaningless. Self-defense becomes a mantra that justifies all action, regardless of method or procedure.¶ Accordingly, the increasing reliance on modern technology must raise a warning flag. Drone warfare is conducted using modern technology with the explicit assumption that the technology of the future is more sophisticated, more complex, and more lethal. Its sophistication and complexity, however, must not be viewed as a holy grail. While armed conflict involves the killing of individuals, the relevant questions must remain who, why, how, and when. Seductive methods must not lead us to reflexively conclude that we can charge ahead. Indeed, the more sophisticated the mechanism, the more questions we must ask. Capability cannot substitute for process and technology cannot substitute for analysis.¶ V. Conclusion¶ The state’s right to engage in pre-emptive self-defense must be subject to powerful restraints and conditions. A measured, cautious approach to targeted killing reflects the understanding that the state has the absolute, but not unlimited, right and obligation to protect its civilian population.¶ Targeted killing is a legal, legitimate, and effective form of active self-defense provided that it is conducted in accordance with international law, morality, and a narrow definition of legitimate target. Self-defense, according to international law, is subject to limits; otherwise, administration officials would not press for flexibility in defining imminent. The call for a flexible conception of imminence is a deeply troubling manifestation of a “slippery slope;” it opens the door to operational counterterrorism not conducted in accordance with international law or principles of morality. Therefore, analyzing the reliability of intelligence, assessing the threat posed, and determining whether the identified target is a legitimate target facilitates lawful, moral, and effective targeted killing.¶Expansiveness and flexibility are at odds with a measured approach to targeted killing precisely because they eliminate our sense of what is proportional, in the broadest sense of the term. Flexibility with regard to imminence and threat-perception means that the identification of legitimate targets, the true essence of moral operational counterterrorism, becomes looser and less precise. In turn, broader notions of legitimate target and the right of self-defense introduce greater flexibility with regard to collateral damage—resulting in a wider understanding of who constitutes collateral damage and how much collateral damageis justified in the course of targeting a particular threat. Flexibility and the absence of criteria, process, and procedure result in notions of proportionality—which would normally guide decision making and operations— that are out of proportion. In the high-stakes world of operationalcounterterrorism, there is no room for imprecision and casual definitions; the risks, to innocent civilians on both sides and to our fundamental values, are just too high.
Unaccountable drone strikes strengthen AQAP and destabilize Yemen
Jacqueline Manning 12, Senior Editor of International Affairs Review, December 9 2012, “Free to Kill: How a Lack of Accountability in America’s Drone Campaign Threatens U.S. Efforts in Yemen,” http://www.iar-gwu.org/node/450
Earlier this year White House counter-terrorism advisor, John Brennan, named al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen the greatest threat to the U.S. Since 2009, the Obama administration has carried out an estimated 28 drone strikes and 13 air strikes targeting AQAP in Yemen, while the Yemeni Government has carried out 17 strikes, and another five strikes cannot be definitively attributed to either state . There is an ongoing debate over the effectiveness of targeted killings by drone strikes in the fight against al-Qaeda. However, what is clear is that the secrecy and unaccountability with which these drone strike are being carried out are undermining U.S. efforts in Yemen.¶The drone campaign in Yemen is widely criticized by human rights activists, the local population and even the United Nations for its resulting civilian casualties. It is also credited with fostering animosity towards the U.S. and swaying public sentiment in Yemen in favor of AQAP. The long-term effects, as detailed by a 2012 report by the Center for Civilians in Conflict, seem to be particularly devastating. The resulting loss of life, disability, or loss of property of a bread-winner can have long-term impacts, not just on an individual, but on an entire family of dependents.¶ The effectiveness of drone technology in killing al-Qaeda militants, however, cannot be denied. Targeted killings by drone strikes have eliminated several key AQAP members such as Anwar al-Awlaki, Samir Khan, Abdul Mun’im Salim al Fatahani, and Fahd al-Quso . Advocates of the counterterrorism strategy point out that it is much less costly in terms of human lives and money than other military operations.¶ While there are strong arguments on both sides of the drone debate, both proponents and critics of targeted killings of AQAP operatives by drones agree that transparency and accountability are needed.¶Authorizing the CIA to carry out signature strikes is of particular concern. In signature strikes, instead of targeting individual Al Qaeda leaders, the CIA targets locations without knowing the precise identity of the individuals targeted as long as the locations are linked to a “signature” or pattern of behavior by Al Qaeda officials observed over time. This arbitrary method of targeting often results in avoidable human casualties.¶ Secrecy surrounding the campaign often means that victims and families of victims receive no acknowledgement of their losses, much less compensation. There are also huge disparities in the reported number of deaths. In addition, according to The New York Times, Obama administration officials define “militants” as “all military-age males in a strike zone...unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent” This definition leads to a lack of accountability for those casualties and inflames anti-American sentiment.¶ In a report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council, Ben Emmerson, special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, asserted that, "Human rights abuses have all too often contributed to the grievances which cause people to make the wrong choices and to resort to terrorism….human rights compliantcounter-terrorism measures help to prevent the recruitment of individuals to acts of terrorism." There is now statistical evidence that supports this claim. A 2010 opinion poll conducted by the New America Foundation in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, where U.S. drone strikes have been carried out on a much larger scale, shows an overwhelming opposition to U.S. drone strikes coupled with a majority support for suicide attacks on U.S. forces under some circumstances.¶ It is clear that the drone debate is not simply a matter of morality and human rights; it is also a matter of ineffective tactics. At a minimum the U.S. must implement a policy of transparency and accountability in the use of drones. Signature strikes take unacceptable risks with innocent lives. Targets must be identified more responsibly, and risks of civilian casualties should be minimized. When civilian casualties do occur, theUnited States must not only acknowledge them, but also pay amends to families of the victims.
Strengthened AQAP undermines the Saudi regime
Colonel Hassan Abosaq 12, US Army War College, master of strategic studies degree candidate, 2012, "The Implications of Unstable on Saudi Arabia," Strategy Research Project, www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA560581
AQAP has been vociferous in its opposition to the Saudi regime, and is likely to continue targeting the Kingdom, particularly its oil installations and members of the royal family. In August 2009, an AQAP member attempted to assassinate Prince Mohammed bin Naif, the Saudi Assistant Interior Minister for security affairs. The prince’s attacker was trained in and launched his attack from Yemen, confirming to the Saudis that instability in Yemen poses a security threat to Saudi Arabia. A strengthened AQAP in Yemen is certain to try to put pressure on Saudi Arabia and to strike Saudi targets. AQAP’s military chief, Qasin al-Raymi, warned the Saudi Leadership in July 2011 that they are still regarded as apostates. And he specifically placed King Abdullah, the late Crown Prince Sultan, Interior Minister Prince Naif, and his son Mohammed Bin Naif on the target list.21 In March 2010, Saudi Arabia foiled several planned attacks on oil installation with the arrest of more than 100 suspected al-Qaeda militants. The arrests included 47 Saudis, 51 Yemenis, a Somali, a Bangladeshi, and an Eritrean.22 The wider domestic strife in Yemen has provided AQAP with some breathing space. More worrisome for Saudi Arabia is the increased lawlessness within Yemen. Not only does this provide the space that al-Qaeda needs to regroup, train, recruit, but it also deflects the state resources away from counterterrorism operations. Saudi Arabia has for years been working to infiltrate al-Qaeda in its unstable neighbor to south, Yemen. Saudi Arabia has also been giving Yemen a great deal of assistance to counterterrorism and it is worrying to the Saudis to see all of that assistance diverted from the purposes for which it was intended. In June 2011, AQAP leaped into the security vacuum created by Yemen’s political volatility, and 63 al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters escaped from a Yemeni prison.23 This exemplifies how Yemeni instability emboldens this lethal al-Qaeda affiliate. As the Yemeni military consolidates its strength in an attempt to maintain state control and fight two insurgencies and oppress the protesters, AQAP has further expanded its safe haven in the country’s interior, further increasing their operational capacity. This organization has not only attacked police, foreigners, and diplomatic missions within the country, but also served as a logistic base for acts of terrorism abroad. Yemen also has become the haven for jihad militants not just from Yemen and Saudi Arabia, but from all over the world which includes some Arabs, Americans, Europeans, Africans and others. Al-Qaeda camps, where terrorists from all over the world train are also situated in Yemen. The growing anarchy and al-Qaeda presence could spill over into Saudi Arabia.
That destabilizes the Middle East
Anthony Cordesman 11, Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at CSIS, former director of intelligence assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, former adjunct prof of national security studies at Georgetown, PhD from London University, Feb 26 2011, “Understanding Saudi Stability and Instability: A Very Different Nation,” http://csis.org/publication/understanding-saudi-stability-and-instability-very-different-nation
History scarcely means we can take Saudi stability for granted. Saudi Arabia is simply too criticalto US strategic interests and the world. Saudi petroleum exports play a critical role in the stability and growth of a steadily more global economy, and the latest projections by the Department of Energy do not project any major reductions in the direct level of US dependence on oil imports through 2025.¶ Saudi Arabia is as important to the region’s security and stability as it is to the world’s economy. It is the key to the efforts of theGulf Cooperation Council to create local defenses, and for US strategic cooperation with the Southern Gulf states. It plays a critical role as a counterbalance to a radical and more aggressive Iran, it is the source of the Arab League plan for a peace with Israel, and it has become a key partner in the war on terrorism. The USstrategic posture in the Middle East depends on Saudi Arabia having a friendly and moderate regime.
Global nuke war
Primakov 9 [September, Yevgeny, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation; Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences; member of the Editorial Board of Russia in Global Affairs. This article is based on the scientific report for which the author was awarded the Lomonosov Gold Medal of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2008, “The Middle East Problem in the Context of International Relations”]
TheMiddle East conflict is unparalleled interms ofits potential for spreading globally. During the Cold War, amid which the Arab-Israeli conflict evolved, the two opposingsuperpowersdirectly supported the conflicting parties: the Soviet Union supported Arab countries, while the United States supported Israel. On the one hand, the bipolar world order which existed at that time objectively played in favor of the escalation of the Middle East conflict into a global confrontation. On the other hand, the Soviet Union and the United States were not interested in such developments and they managed to keep the situation under control. The behavior of both superpowers in the course of all the wars in the Middle East proves that. In 1956, during the Anglo-French-Israeli military invasion of Egypt (which followed Cairo’s decision to nationalize the Suez Canal Company) the United States – contrary to the widespread belief in various countries, including Russia – not only refrained from supporting its allies but insistently pressed – along with the Soviet Union – for the cessation of the armed action. Washington feared that the tripartite aggression would undermine the positions of the West in the Arab world and would result in a direct clash with the Soviet Union. Fears that hostilities in the Middle East might acquire a global dimension could materialize also during the Six-Day War of 1967. On its eve, Moscow and Washington urged each other to cool down their “clients.” When the war began, both superpowers assured each other that they did not intend to get involved in the crisis militarily and that that they would make efforts at the United Nations to negotiate terms for a ceasefire. On July 5, the Chairman of the Soviet Government, Alexei Kosygin, who was authorized by the Politburo to conduct negotiations on behalf of the Soviet leadership, for the first time ever used a hot line for this purpose. After the USS Liberty was attacked by Israeli forces, which later claimed the attack was a case of mistaken identity, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson immediately notified Kosygin that the movement of the U.S. Navy in the Mediterranean Sea was only intended to help the crew of the attacked ship and to investigate the incident. The situation repeated itself during the hostilities of October 1973. Russian publications of those years argued that it was the Soviet Union that prevented U.S. military involvement in those events. In contrast, many U.S. authors claimed that a U.S. reaction thwarted Soviet plans to send troops to the Middle East. Neither statement is true. The atmosphere was really quite tense. Sentiments both in Washington and Moscow were in favor of interference, yet both capitals were far from taking real action. When U.S. troops were put on high alert, Henry Kissinger assured Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin that this was done largely for domestic considerations and should not be seen by Moscow as a hostile act. In a private conversation with Dobrynin, President Richard Nixon said the same, adding that he might have overreacted but that this had been done amidst a hostile campaign against him over Watergate. Meanwhile, Kosygin and Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko at a Politburo meeting in Moscow strongly rejected a proposal by Defense Minister Marshal Andrei Grechko to “demonstrate” Soviet military presence in Egypt in response to Israel’s refusal to comply with a UN Security Council resolution. Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev took the side of Kosygin and Gromyko, saying that he was against any Soviet involvement in the conflict. The above suggests an unequivocal conclusion that control by the superpowers in the bipolar worlddid not allowthe Middle East conflict to escalate into a global confrontation. After the end of the Cold War, some scholars and political observers concluded that a real threatof the Arab-Israeli conflict going beyond regional frameworksceasedto exist. However,in the 21st century this conclusionno longer conforms to the reality. The U.S. military operation in Iraq has changed the balance of forces in the Middle East. Thedisappearance of the Iraqi counterbalance has brought Iran to the fore as aregional power claiming a direct role in various Middle East processes. I do not belong to those who believe that the Iranian leadership has already made a political decision to create nuclear weapons of its own. Yet Tehran seems to have set itself the goal of achieving a technological level that would let it make such a decision (the “Japanese model”) under unfavorable circumstances. Israelalreadypossesses nuclear weaponsand delivery vehicles. In such circumstances, the absence of a Middle East settlement opens a dangerous prospect ofa nuclear collision in the region, which would have catastrophic consequences for the whole world. The transition to a multipolar world has objectively strengthened the role of states and organizations that are directly involved in regional conflicts, which increases the latter’s danger and reduces the possibility of controlling them. This refers, above all, to the Middle East conflict. The coming of Barack Obama to the presidency has allayed fears that the United States could deliver a preventive strike against Iran (under George W. Bush, it was one of the most discussed topics in the United States). However, fears have increased that such a strike can be launched Yevgeny Primakov 1 3 2 RUSSIA IN GLOBAL AFFAIRS VOL. 7 • No. 3 • JULY – SEPTEMBER• 2009 by Israel, which would have unpredictable consequences for the region and beyond. It seems that President Obama’s position does not completely rule out such a possibility.
Overuse of drones in Pakistan empowers militants and destabilizes the government
Michael J Boyle 13, Assistant Professor of Political Science at La Salle University, former Lecturer in International Relations and Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews, PhD from Cambridge University, January 2013, “The costs and consequences of drone warfare,” International Affairs 89: 1 (2013) 1–29, http://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/public/International%20Affairs/2013/89_1/89_1Boyle.pdf
The escalation of drone strikes in Pakistan to its current tempo—one every few days—directly contradictsthe long-term American strategic goal of boosting the capacity and legitimacy of the government in Islamabad. Drone attacks are more than just temporary incidents that erase all traces of an enemy. They have lasting political effects that can weaken existing governments, undermine their legitimacy and add to the ranks of their enemies. These political effects come about because drones provide a powerful signal to the population of a targeted state that the perpetrator considers the sovereignty of their government to be negligible. The popular perception that a government is powerless to stop drone attacks on its territory can be crippling to the incumbent regime, andcan embolden its domestic rivals to challenge it through violence. Such continual violations of the territorial integrity of a state also have direct consequences for the legitimacy of its government. Following a meeting with General David Petraeus, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari described the political costs of drones succinctly, saying that ‘continuing drone attacks on our country, which result in loss of precious lives or property, are counterproductive and difficult to explain by a democratically elected government. It is creating a credibility gap.’75 Similarly, the Pakistani High Commissioner to London Wajid Shamsul Hasan said in August 2012 that¶ what has been the whole outcome of these drone attacks is that you have directly or indirectly contributed to destabilizing or undermining the democratic government. Because people really make fun of the democratic government—when you pass a resolution against drone attacks in the parliament and nothing happens. The Americans don’t listen to you, and they continue to violate your territory.76¶ The appearance of powerlessness in the face of drones is corrosive to the appearance of competence and legitimacy of the Pakistani government. The growing perception that the Pakistani civilian government is unable to stop drone attacks is particularly dangerousin a context where 87 per cent of all Pakistanis are dissatisfied with the direction of the country and where the military, which has launched coups before, remains a popular force.77
That causes nuke war with India
Bruce Riedel 9, senior fellow and director of the Brookings Intelligence Project, senior fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, served as a senior advisor to the last four U.S. presidents on South Asia and the Middle East, served in the CIA for 29 years, “Armageddon in Islamabad,” National Interest, Jul/Aug 2009, Issue 102, ebsco
The effects of an extremist takeover would not end at Pakistan's borders. A worsening conflict between Sunni and Shia could easily seep into the rest of the Muslim world.¶ Pakistan's influence in Afghanistan would deepen. The south and east of the country would be a virtual part of the Pakistani state. The commander of the faithful, Mullah Muhammad Omar, and his Quetta shura (ruling council) would emerge as the odds-on favorite to take over the area. The non-Pashtun majority in Afghanistan would certainly resist, but in the Pashtun belt across the south and east, the Afghan Taliban would be even stronger than it is now. Afghanistan would go back to looking much like it did pre-the American intervention in 2001, with a dominant Taliban backed by Pakistan fighting the Tajiks, Uzbeks and Shia backed by Iran, Russia and the central-Asian republics.¶ Afghanistan would become a battleground for influence between Pakistan and Iran, as Sunni-dominated Pakistan and Shia-dominated Iran would find a war for ideological dominance almost irresistible. Both states would also be tempted to meddle with each other's minorities--the Shia in Pakistan and Sunni in Iran, as well as both countries' Baluchi minority. Baluchistan, Pakistan's southwestern province that neighbors both Afghanistan and Iran, is already unstable on both sides of the border. It would become another area of conflict. The low-intensity insurgencies already burning in the border areas would become more severe with outsiders fueling the fires. As the Islamic Emirate of Pakistan suppressed its Shia minority, Tehran would be forced to sit and watch because of Pakistan's nuclear weapons. And so Iran would certainly accelerate its nuclear-weapons-development program but would be years, if not decades, behind its neighbor.¶ With many of the LET in power, a major mass-casualty attack on India like the November 2008 Mumbai bombings would be likely. And this time it could spark war. India has shown remarkable restraint over the last decade as the Pakistani army, militants in Pakistan or both have carried out provocations like the Kargil War in 1999, the attack on the Indian parliament in 2001 and the Mumbai raid last year. Of course, a big part of India's restraint is the lack of any good military option for retaliation that would avoid the risk of nuclear Armageddon. But if pressed hard enough, New Delhi may need to take some action. Blockading Karachi and demanding the closure of militant training camps might seem to be a way to increase pressure without firing the first shot but it carries a high risk of spiraling escalation. And of course any chance for a peace agreement in Kashmir would be dead. Violence in the region would rise. The new militant regime in Pakistan would increase support for the insurgency.
Greg Chaffin 11, Research Assistant at Foreign Policy in Focus, July 8, 2011, “Reorienting U.S. Security Strategy in South Asia,” online: http://www.fpif.org/articles/reorienting_us_security_strategy_in_south_asia
A nuclear conflict in the subcontinent would have disastrous effects on the world as a whole. In a January 2010 paper published in Scientific American, climatology professors Alan Robock and Owen Brian Toon forecast the global repercussions of a regional nuclear war. Their results are strikingly similar to those of studies conducted in 1980 that conclude that a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union would result in a catastrophic and prolonged nuclear winter, which could very well place the survival of the human race in jeopardy. In their study, Robock and Toon use computer models to simulate the effect of a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan in which each were to use roughly half their existing arsenals (50 apiece). Since Indian and Pakistani nuclear devices are strategic rather than tactical, the likely targets would be major population centers. Owing to the population densities of urban centers in both nations, the number of direct casualties could climb as high as 20 million. ¶ The fallout of such an exchange would not merely be limited to the immediate area. First, the detonation of a large number of nuclear devices would propel as much as seven million metric tons of ash, soot, smoke, and debris as high as the lower stratosphere. Owing to their small size (less than a tenth of a micron) and a lack of precipitation at this altitude, ash particles would remain aloft for as long as a decade, during which time the world would remain perpetually overcast. Furthermore, these particles would soak up heat from the sun, generating intense heat in the upper atmosphere that would severely damage the earth’s ozone layer. The inability of sunlight to penetrate through the smoke and dust would lead to global cooling by as much as 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit. This shift in global temperature would lead to more drought, worldwide food shortages, and widespread political upheaval.