Global War Against Terror: A Systemic and State Level Analysis
06. October 2018 at 09:01
This article describes the systemic and state level of analysis. It uses those level of analysis to describe the war against terrorism in international system. Finally the article provides its opinion on which level of analysis is best to describe war against terrorism.To completely understand a global phenomena it is important to use a scholarly method suggested by the political scientists. One such method was suggested by an American political scientist J. David Singer. Singer described the three levels of analysis in one of his reports and suggested that those levels of analysis can be used to study a global phenomena. Singe stated that different level of analysis can help us to study both specific and broad global phenomena. This paper describes the systemic and the state level of analysis. Furthermore, the paper will use those two levels of analysis to explain the war against terrorism and which level of analysis is best to provide a better understanding of this global phenomena.
Systemic Level of international system argues that the foreign policies of a state can be learned without caring about the domestic structure of a state. It states that nations behave on international level based on how much power they have. Because the systemic level focuses on power that states attain, it describes the powers in International System in three categories, unipolar, bipolar, and multipolar. Unipolar means when there is one country that holds most of the international power. In Bipolar system two states have most of the international power and therefore, they will most likely be in conflict with each other. In the multipolar world, there are more than two powers holding most of the International power. In this case, multiple states create alliances against one powerful state.
The state level of analysis argues that to get a better understanding of international system it is important to look at the domestic factors of a state. The domestic factors of states could include their economy, geographic location, political culture, traditions and cultural values. This level of analysis claims that the power of states is dependent on its domestic structure and therefore, it is important to study the states on national level. On September 11, 2001 the American soil was attacked by terrorists leaving thousands dead. The attacks on the buildings of World Trade Center and Pentagon threatened the global peace. Soon after the war, the United States declared war against terrorism on international level. According to the department of homeland security, 136 countries have offered the United States some form of assistance after the attacks, making it a “Global War on Terrorism.” (Hwang and Pasicolan 2002) All those nations offered help to the United States regardless of what was happening inside the states.
These states played their role as a citizen of international system and offered help without caring about how developed their economy is or if their own people supported the war against terrorism. Many states supported the United States in the war against terrorism because of the unipolar system. If not all more than half of the world thinks that US is a superpower because of its strong economy, heavy defense spendings, and active roles in international system. This behavior of the states supports Singer’s claim that on systemic level of analysis states create their foreign policies based on unipolar/multipolar system without caring about their domestic structure. These states offered assistance to the United States to avoid conflict and maintain good relations with the US because of its superpower in the world.
To look at the war against terrorism from state level of analysis it is suggested that the main reason for the war is security. US waged the war after having the worst terrorist attacks in the history. United States convinced the world that if they do not support US in war against terror then these terrorist will destroy the global peace. Although many countries entered the war without caring about their domestic structure, the behavior of countries changed towards the war after more than a decade. Many countries are running out of the resources and many are experiencing bad relations with the US under new administration. One such example is the South Asian country Pakistan. Pakistan was one of the first countries to offer help in war against terrorism. Pakistan is a neighbor and shares border with Afghanistan, which is arguably the most important country in war against terrorism. Pakistan supported the United States with military, economic and resources assistance.
But recently Pakistan has changed its behavior towards this issue after Trump administration’s Anti-Pakistan foreign policy came out. The Pakistani government released reports showing the domestic damage Pakistan had in the war against terrorism. The government of Pakistan claimed that the country lost thousands of people, hundred of military officers, billions of dollars in trading and infrastructure. Furthermore, people of Pakistan heavily protested on streets and demanded that the US must recognize their efforts in war against terror and must provide money to re-establish Pakistan’s economy. (Rabbi 2012) The situation of Pakistan in war against terrorism explains why State Level of Analysis are essential in international system. Although Pakistan’s geographical location makes him a strategical country in war against terror, the country will not help US if they don’t get economic support and recognition from the US for their efforts in the war.
The state level of analysis provide a better understanding of why states support or do not support war against terror. Pakistan, being an actor in international system, offered unlimited help to the United States but once the country’s domestic structure started to damage they changed their behavior towards the phenomena and towards US. Another reason why State level of analysis help us understanding the global phenomena better is because it helps us to learn about the cultural values and tolerance of the citizens of a state towards a global phenomena.