Master Homework

Order Description

Choose and answer two (2) questions out of the three (3) questions below. Evaluation is based on criteria (1-4). Do not exceed four (4) pages, 1.5-spaced, Times New Roman font size 10.

Evaluation criteria

1. Choice of plan/structure, methodology; clear thesis statement, useful introduction.
2. Use of Academic reference and examples/illustration; proper use of footnotes (quotation).
3. Evaluation and conclusion.
4. Style, grammar, syntax, presentation, reader-friendliness.

Questions

Section 1: Strategy
1. Is war (still?) the continuation of politics with other means?

Section 2: Information
2. What is “open source” information? Give examples of the use of OSINF.

Section 3: Defense Industry
3. Write a 1-page summary on the status of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program for the Dutch Defense Minister, with your recommendation for an official governmental position.

Answer

War and diplomacy

  1. Strategy: Is war (still?) the continuation of politics with other means?

Introduction

In many instances, wars are preceded by the emergence of political differences between two or more groups. These differences normally arise because each group endeavors to protect its interest without ceding any ground. In some instances, the term “political violence” is used to describe situations whereby people with competing interests have failed to reach a political compromise, leading to violent confrontations. In modern warfare, numerous situations have emerged that demonstrate the role of war as a continuation of politics by other means. For example, the war on terror that was spearheaded by the United States government was simply a continuation of the prevailing US-led political discourse on weapons of mass destruction and their potential use by state-sponsored terrorists.

The thesis of this paper is that war is still the continuation of politics by other means. To determine the truth of this assertion, this paper begins with an overview of the  concept of war strategy in relation to the politics that precede it. Literature on the idea of war as a continuation of politics is examined to determine the validity of this assertion based on different historical situations of war and politics. Based on the evaluation of this literature, a conclusion is made on whether the thesis is supported or refuted by research findings.

The Concept of War as Continuation of Politics by Other Means

Before a country goes to war, political officeholders tend to be relied upon to influence the course of events to ensure that the best interests of a country are protected. This makes war a political process just like elections, whereby presidents, governors, and legislators can engage in political rhetoric with a view to shape public perceptions. Consequently, many of the views that the public holds regarding the decision on whether or not a country should go to war are informed by partisan information provided as part of the political process.

The idea of war as a continuation of politics by other means is also supported by the constitutional provisions that different countries have put in place to define the circumstances under which their militaries can be sent to war. For example, in the United States, the constitution emphasizes the importance of the executive initiative in the process of war-making. Since the president of the United States is always a political figure, it becomes impossible to detach the country’s war-making process from politics. For instance, one may expect the president to authorize American troops to go to war if such a decision gives him political mileage in forthcoming elections.

The example of constitution-making in the US also reinforces the idea of political importance of war in the sense it did not allocate courts any role at all in war-making decisions. Yet the judiciary is the arm of government that has the power to adjudicate over controversial issues pitting the other two arms (legislature and executive) against each other. Although Congress was not assigned a direct role in determining when and if the country should go to war, it was given powers over impeachment and funding. In doing this, the framers of the US constitution must have anticipated a situation where it would be necessary for the country’s political interests through war. Today, whenever a debate on whether the country should go to war erupts, a political struggle for political influence between the executive and Congress tends to emerge. This phenomenon goes a long way to show that war is simply a continuation of politics by other means.

In situations where civil wars erupt, political motivations have been found to play a dominant role. According to Balcells, political factors play a prominent role in the emergence of civil wars (397).[1] Barcells argues that political parity between warring factions tends to increase whenever direct violence is perpetuated (398). This provides political leaders of these warring factions with an incentive to perpetuate war with a view to enhance their strategic positioning in terms of access to resources, level of organization, and military capability. In many instances, such political leaders are able to pursue their interests in an environment of lawlessness that arises from war.

Political leaders who are unable to gain access to state resources through legal means exploit the opportunities provided by the state of war to attack state facilities and plunder resources that are critical to their entrenchment to powerful political positions during the time of peace. In the absence of recognized authorities, the political leaders find it easier to  seek hegemonic status in their communities. The political power that comes with access to such resources elevates these leaders to a position where they can influence public perceptions through political rhetoric, ethnic appeal, and religious ideologies. The leaders rely on this hegemonic control over their communities to negotiate for political positions at the national level.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the literature reviewed in this paper supports the thesis that war is a continuation of politics by other means. In the United States, the framers of the constitution set the stage for future political struggles pitting the executive against Congress in decisions relating to war-making. The fact that the judiciary was left out of the war-making process demonstrates their understanding of the important political dimension that come with the pursuit of certain foreign policy objectives through wars. Similarly, the emergence of civil wars in different parts of the world is often linked to political machinations. Civil wars provide an incentive for political leaders to perpetuate their political interests simply because it becomes easy for them to seek hegemonic status when no recognized authorities exist.

  1. Information: What is “open source” information? Give examples of the use of OSINF.

Introduction

“Open-source” information (OSINF) is a term used to describe information that can be acquired legally through the public domain. In the world of war and diplomacy, open-source information is increasingly being relied upon alongside traditional frameworks of secret intelligence to create a better understanding of the resources, core capabilities, and political arguments underlying certain ideological stances. During the Cold War, secret intelligence was relied upon to analyze difficult intelligence targets (Pringle 280).[2] Today, the internet has emerged as a massive database that provides open-source information that enables intelligence experts to understand the internal politics of a political party, terrorist group, or country.

In this paper, the aim is to provide examples of the use of OSINF in today’s world of war and diplomacy. The thesis of this paper is that open-source information is an indispensable tool for war strategists and diplomats although it should be used alongside traditional intelligence-gathering methods primarily because of its weaknesses in regards to accuracy, validity, and verifiability.

Examples of the Use of OSINF in War and Diplomacy

There are numerous situations where OSINF has been used to gather intelligence that has greatly informed military and diplomatic strategies. Although OSINF has become very popular with the advent of the internet, its usage dates back to the World War II era. Before the start of the war, the US established the institution of the American Coordinator of Information with the core objective of developing an infrastructure for the gathering of open-source information. During the war, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) relied heavily on OSINF in its activities. The OSS operated under the command of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Its role was to carry out clandestine operations that went a long way in making the Allied War efforts a huge success.

In Canada, the CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) has been relying heavily on OSINF since the early 1980s. The information that the CSIS has been collecting for analysis is derived mainly from attendances at public gatherings, written publications, news media, and the internet. Based on the insights generated from this analysis, the CSIS provides recommendations on ways of dealing with threats to the country’s security. In 1981, the McDonald Commission produced a report after investigating the operations of the CSIS (Saunders 155).[3] In this report, the Commission criticized the intelligence-gathering agency for failing to make full use of open sources to come up with an all-source intelligence document (Saunders 157).

The Problems of Accuracy, Validity, and Verifiability

A lot the open-source information that is obtained from the internet tends to be unverified. For this reason, this information should be treated with a lot of caution (Johnson 129).[4] According to Johnson, the internet has become the Command and Control architecture for virtually the whole world (129). This means that although most intelligence organizations and militaries are cautious not to rely primarily on the internet, they are unable to resist the growing temptation to use it as the main source of electronic information. To determine whether the information is accurate and valid, these organizations complement it with other open-source information platforms such as hardcopy images, traditional print, and other analogue to obtain rich data that enhances effectiveness in intelligence gathering.

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) has emerged as one of the military organizations that heavily on OSINF in intelligence. The information needs of this organization tend to vary depending on the requirements of the mission. Since NATO must undertake the time-consuming process of verifying open-source information, this intelligence-gathering avenue cannot be relied upon at all times. In situations where there is an instant need for information, OSINF cannot be relied upon at the greatest time of need. To guard against this shortcoming, NATO emphasizes the importance of OSINF as a mere collection of sources as opposed to information (Gibson 18).[5] This way, OSINF has dramatically increased the range of information sources that are readily available for use in addressing NATO’s diverse intelligence needs.

Conclusion

The increased use of open-source information in intelligence gathering has baffled many in military and diplomatic circles. As more people, institutions, and organizations share information through the internet, OSINF will continue being an important source of intelligence that informs crucial policy decisions. In the near future, it will even be necessary for a framework to be established for the full integration of OSINF into both the operational and analytical component of intelligence services. However, open-source information must be treated merely as a collection of sources and not as information. This understanding is important since it will enable intelligence gathering agencies to set aside enough time to verify different OSINF sources for validity and accuracy with a view to meet different intelligence needs.

 

Works Cited

Balcells, Laia. “Continuation of Politics by Two Means: Direct and Indirect Violence in Civil War”. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 55.3 (2011): 397-422.

Gibson, Stevyn. “Open source intelligence: An intelligence lifeline”. The RUSI Journal, 149. 1 (2004): 16-22.

Johnson, Loch. (Ed.). Handbook of Intelligence Studies. New York: Routledge, 2006.

Pringle, Robert. “The Limits of OSINT: Diagnosing the Soviet Media, 1985-1989”. International Journal of Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence, 16.2 (2003): pp. 280-289.

Saunders, Kimberly. Open Source Information – A True Collection Discipline. Thesis, Master of Arts (War Studies), Royal Military College of Canada, Defended: 20 April2000.

 

[1] Balcells, Laia. “Continuation of Politics by Two Means: Direct and Indirect Violence in Civil War”. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 55.3 (2011): 397-422.

[2] Pringle, Robert. “The Limits of OSINT: Diagnosing the Soviet Media, 1985-1989”. International Journal of Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence, 16.2 (2003): pp. 280-289.

[3] Saunders, Kimberly. Open Source Information – A True Collection Discipline. Thesis, Master of Arts (War Studies), Royal Military College of Canada, Defended: 20 April2000.

[4] Johnson, Loch. (Ed.). Handbook of Intelligence Studies. New York: Routledge, 2006.

[5] Gibson, Stevyn. “Open source intelligence: An intelligence lifeline”. The RUSI Journal, 149. 1 (2004): 16-22.

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