Security Dilemma

The Security Dilemma is a serious problem that affects all states, whether they are aggressive or not. This means that there are multiple ways to solve this problem, but no one way is foolproof, and each one has its flaws. Opening up diplomatic communications through a trusted third party and creating an economic and trade union are probably the safest ways for countries to help decrease the severity of the Security Dilemma. This would be most easily done between two powers, and could lead to not only a safer future for both, but also mutual prosperity through trade.

This process would most likely begin with opening a diplomatic dialogue between two countries through a mutually trusted third party. This would allow safe communication, confidentiality and reliability. Next, both countries would agree to disarmament processes, mutual targets and verification, all while using the third party to keep the communication peaceful and mutually beneficial. Finally, the countries could, depending on their current membership, agree to work together in a common economic and trade union. This would further facilitate peaceful actions and could potentially create prosperity for the respective countries. It would also allow for the free movement of people, goods and services between the nations, creating a peaceful environment. Opposing states could work together to cooperate and compete in a global environment. The creation of trade unions has been very beneficial for the majority of its members in the past, as shown in unions such as the European Union and ASEAN. The reason this method would be effective is because not only does it promote better international communications between each nation-state, removing the ‘fence’ that conceals its neighbours, but also guarantees peace and protection to the nations that sign this agreement. This is important because with lack of communication, nation-states always end up fearing their neighbouring states, leading them to stock up on weapons, which can result in a huge arms race.

All this said, however, there are still some limitations to what this could achieve, similar to any possible ‘solution’ to this dilemma. The main drawback to this kind of solution is that both parties would have to be willing to work together toward a common goal. This can be a problem because some countries are militaristic in nature, due to their Government, and will not agree to disarmament or working together in a trade union. These countries, however, are relatively lesser in number, and the benefits of this system far outweigh the negatives.


The Effect of China’s Rise on the U.S.A

I think that the rise of China is very beneficial for the United States of America, as well as the rest of the world.

The US-China economic alliance is an extremely strong one. The United States absorbs around 1/5th of all Chinese exports. Although China has seen a remarkable 3 decades of economic growth, we must remember that its sheer size – 1.35 billion people or 1/5th of the world population – is what has made it the world’s second largest economy. China represents an underprivileged market that can be beneficial for both the USA and other part of the world.

Out of the various liberal assumptions, I would like to stress upon the second and fourth; the second being “Cooperation is possible in international relations because of international institutions, democracy, and commerce”, and the fourth being “Actors’ main interests include self-protection and economic goals.”

Focusing on the second liberal assumption, it isn’t hard to see that China’s growth would inevitably benefit the USA. Currently, the Chinese hold almost 8% of total US debt. They have lent the United States 1.3 trillion dollars. This gives them a big advantage over America – many realists argue that this puts them in a position to ‘wage war’; however, that is untrue. China is not going to wage war – not only because the drawbacks of war outweigh the benefits, but also because harming the American economy would harm themselves, what with the US absorbing 1/5th of all Chinese exports. However, if China were to grow, it would greatly benefit the United States, as it is China’s third largest export market. Also, while some would say China plotted and schemed to get the US into debt, I believe that is untrue. Liberals believe that human nature has a better side – as do I. Trade with China has helped America recover from the global financial crisis. Moreover, China is rapidly advancing in the field of science and technology. Along with the economic relationships, there’s potential for security cooperation and even the possibility of working together to deal with disease, resource scarcity and climate change.

Another point prevailing under this assumption is that China belongs to many cooperative organisations, like the UNSC and APEC. Through China’s participation in such organisations, the encouragement of cooperation ensues, ensuring all participants are awarded a share of winnings, meaning that they are less likely to engage in conflict with one another. Furthermore, China and America have a common goal – economic prosperity.

The fourth liberal assumption states that States prioritise self-interest and economic goals. In this case, China’s economic goal would require US cooperation. Yes, some say that the power achieved from defeating a super-power is incomparable – this may be true, but the power won’t last if China’s economy comes crashing down alongside the US. The last thing China would want is conflict to distract it from all the money-making. Furthermore, with a fall in the Chinese economy, many (and I mean MANY) states will suffer. “German car makers, Australian mines and Bordeaux vineyards have all enjoyed a China-fuelled boom. China’s rise offers boundless opportunities.” America and China have a very economically stable relationship, with their economies strongly tied together, and thus China’s economic growth would also benefit the USA. Liberals believe that human nature has a better side – and two unlikely super-powers cooperating with each other for economic prosperity is a big example for the rest of the world.

As Glasser says, we need to stop exaggerating China’s “rise” and making it seem like a threat. China is just like any other nation-state, after all, and will naturally put its self-interests first – and believe it or not, not “waging war” on 1/5th of its consumers is in Chinese self-interest.

To conclude, in my opinion, the seeming rise of China is definitely beneficial for the USA and the rest of the world, and with the use of the policies of engagement, binding and forming alliances, I believe that the US-China economic interdependency and it’s benefits can remain intact; furthermore, with America being the world’s largest super-power, I see China’s growth not as a threat, but as an advantage.