Unit 2 To what extent should nationalist interest be pursued? Chapter 5: National Interest and Foreign Policy How are Nationalism and National Interest Related? Aspects of National Interest People who govern democratic communities and nations make decisions based on what is the best interest of the community or nation. Whether a people’s nationalism is based on a shared ethnicity and culture or shared beliefs and values, they want certain benefits for themselves and their communities. National Interest may focus on one or more of the following: Economic prosperity – This includes stable employment and a decent standard of living. Security and Safety – Measure to maintain national security and physical protection include laws that protect citizens within the country, as well as secure borders that can be defended against intruders. Beliefs and values – These include affirming and promoting citizens’ values, beliefs, and cultures. Governments try to safeguard and respect the shared worldviews, ways of life, traditions, and languages of their citizens. In which ways is an educated population in the best interests of both a people’s personal interest and in a national interest? Changing views of National Interest Just as people’s understanding for nationalism may differ, their opinions on what is in the national interest may also differ. National interest is not static or unchanging. Events within a country can change people’s opinion about what is in the national interest. For example, what was the national interest for the regions hit by the tsunami December 26, 2006? Differing Views of National Interest People often decide what is in the national interest based on the understanding on nation and national identity. For example, many Canadians take pride in Canada’s reputation as a nation of peacekeepers. Their course of action may depend on whether or not it promotes peace in the world. Another example is China. The Chinese government believes that a strong military is essential. “China’s military might is meant to safeguard it’s own security and stability. It is meant to deter the hostile elements of Cold War mentality who attempt to threaten China’s national interest with force.” How are Nationalism and National Interest Related? Peoples choices are often inspired by loyalty. Nationalism and national loyalty can inspire people to pursue the national interests of their country or nation. The Summer Olympics of 2008 in Beijing allowed the Chinese to show the world how proud they were of their nation. This would be a national interest. It also allowed for those opposed of China and the Chinese rule over Tibet to show their conflicting national interest. National Interest and Artic Sovereignty National interest often involves claiming sovereignty over territory. This is the case in the Arctic, where five countries claim sovereignty to islands and the seabed. These countries are Canada, the United States, Denmark, Norway, and Russia. In August 2007, Russia claimed part of the 1800 km Lomonosov Ridge, which runs under the Arctic Ocean. The Russian government states that this ridge is part of the continental shelve that is connected to Russia. Canada disputes this claim. According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, countries have sovereignty over 22.2 km of sea beyond their coastline. Two factor highlight the importance of claiming sovereignty in the Arctic: 1. The ice is melting. This may open up the Northwest Passage which will make it easier to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Canada lays claim to this passage but other nations dispute it. 2. There is an abundance of resources in the Arctic from oil, to gold, tin and diamonds. Views on Canada’s national interests in the Artic In August of 2007, Stephen Harper announced that Canada would protect the sovereignty of its Arctic territory by: Sending patrol ships to the artic Increasing aerial surveillance in the region Expanding the Canadian Rangers program Building a training centre Establish a deepwater docking and refuelling port How has national interest shaped foreign policy? A policy is a plan of action that has been deliberately chosen to guide or influence future decisions. A country’s government is responsible for developing both domestic policy and foreign policy. Foreign policy decisions may have short term effects or long term effects. Some foreign policy decisions made at the end of World War I are still affecting the world today. Many people believe that the turmoil in the Middle Eastern countries related directly to the foreign policy decisions of the United States and European countries as they pursued their own national interest. National Interests and World War I Peace Settlements World War I was fought in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. On one side were the Central Powers (Germany, Austro-Hungary, Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria). On the other side were the Allies (Britain, France, Russia, Italy, and later the United States). This war was enormous and deadly. Many millions of people died and the financial cost was huge. Before WWI, nationalism flourished in Europe. Many governments believed that expanding their territory in Europe and in their colonies was their national interest. Their foreign policies involved forming alliances with other European countries. These alliances allowed for the members to help one another out if they should be threatened. The alliances are what allowed countries to enter the war so quickly. The straw that broke the camels back… In June of 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of AustriaHungary was visiting Sarajevo. Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia, which was controlled by the Austro-Hungarians. While on his visit, a young Serbian assassinated the Archduke and his wife. This event is said to have led to WWI. Due to the assassination of the Archduke, Austria made demands to Serbia and comply in 24 hours. Serbia refused and Austria began to use military pressure. Russia was aligned with Serbia and declared war on Austria. Germany, in alliance with Austria, declared war on Russia. France and Britain then declared war on Germany. Most of the people affected by the war, had no say in the decision to go to war. Canada, as a commonwealth nation, went to war when Britain declared war on Germany. Many of the people who lived in Russia, the Ottoman Empire, and the AustroHungarian Empire also had no say in this decision. World War I lasted four long years and finally ended when an armistice (truce) was declared at 11a.m. on November 11th, 1918. Treaty Negotiations in France Peace talks after the war took place in Paris, France, from 1919 to 1920. At these talks, leaders focused on the issues that had caused the war: sovereignty and territory, economic interests and security, and nationalism and national identity. The victorious Allies wanted to punish Germany. The leaders of Britain, France and the United States were the most powerful and made most of the decisions of the treaty. These decisions affected millions of people. For Germany, the Treaty of Versailles meant harsh financial, military, and territorial penalties. The treaty required Germany to: Reduce it’s military strength Pay war reparation to compensate the Allies for the costs of the war Five up territory in Europe as well as all its colonies Accept to responsibility “for causing all the loss and damage” that had affected the Allies. National Interests after WWI During WWI, many Canadians believed that fighting the war was in their national interest. However, after the war, this national interest changed. It went from being foreign to domestic. In Canada, many people had jobs within the war industry. When the war was over, many people lost their jobs and returning veterans could not find jobs. Many other nations became more interested in domestic interests as well. The French and Belgians needed to rebuild their nations. The Treaty of Versailles was not enforced as so many of the Allies were worried about domestic issues. National Interests in the Middle East Before WWI, the Turkish rulers of the Ottoman Empire had focused on their own national interests. Arabs in the empire shared traditions, religion, language, and history, and often suffered persecution at the hands of the Turks. During the war, Arab nationalism grew. The Arab peoples wanted self-government. To help in this, the Arabs helped the Allies fight the Turks and the Germans in the Middle East. In return, they were promised an independent Arab homeland. Arab Prince Emir Faysal led his people and helped the British gain control of Palestine in 1917. The French and British took advantage of him and divided up the Middle East between themselves. National Interest and Policy in the Middle East There were other treaties besides the Treaty of Versailles that were signed after WWI. Other treaties gave France control over the territory and the peoples of Syria and Lebanon. Britain controlled Cyprus, Iraq, and Palestine. Although the United States was not involved in controlling the Middle East, it supported Britain and France. These three super powers paid little attention to the interests of the Arab people. They were more focused on their own national interests. Prior to WWI, there was little oil used and needed. After WWI, however, oil became a hot commodity. Britain and France believed that if they controlled the Middle East, then they would control the oil. Arab nationalists were outraged. They wanted their own nation. They became angrier when the British passed the Balfour Declaration which gave the Jewish people Palestine. How has foreign policy shaped national interest? Just as national interest shapes foreign policy, foreign policy can also affect national interest. For example, a governments foreign policies can affect its citizens safety and security, their economic future, and their values and culture. Canada’s effort on the War on Terrorism in Afghanistan is part of a foreign policy. Canada is part of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and when NATO decided to go to war with the Taliban, Canada went to war as well. How did this affect our national interest? 9/11 and Canada in Afghanistan The 9/11 attacks on the United States killed nearly 3000 people including 24 Canadians. After the attack, it was believed that Osama bin Laden was hiding in Afghanistan under the protection of the Taliban. After the attacks, the United Nations agreed that the United States and its allies could invade Afghanistan, bring down the Taliban regime and find bin Laden. NATO organized the mission, and Canada with the United States and other member nations attacked the Taliban in October 2001. Once the Taliban government was defeated, Canadian troops kept peace while a new government was formed. In 2003, the American troops were withdrawn from Afghanistan and sent to invade Iraq. As American troops left, more Canadian and other countries forces were needed to make up for this loss of troops. Canadian troops also expanded their role to include active combat. This has brought much debate for the Canadian people and the Canadian government. War costs both money and lives. To date 88 Canadians have been killed in Afghanistan and the government is expected to have spent $3.5 billion by early 2009. Some say that a military role was “not the right mission for Canada” and that we should led the world into peace, not follow the U.S. into wars.” Jack Layton Others state that we are there for the Afghan people, and that if we abandon fellow human beings to their misery, that it will become our own.” Canadians are split on the role that the Canadian military should take in Afghanistan. Should the Canadian forces engage in combat? Should they only be there as peacekeepers? Or should the Canadian forces be completely withdraw from Afghanistan? Afghans are concerned about their future. They want the same opportunities that many others have around the world. National Interests and Rights for Women in Afghanistan When the Taliban controlled Afghanistan, girls were not allowed to go to school and women were not allowed to have careers. Sima Samar is Afghanistan’s first minister of women’s affairs. In 2007, she headed the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, which monitors the progress of government agencies and other institutions toward implementing human rights laws and policies.