Air & Space Power Journal

Volume 08 Issue 3, Fall 2017

  • Published
  • Air and Space Power Journal-Africa and Francophonie, Maxwell AFB, AL
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Editor's Picks

American Visions of a Postimperial World, Getting a Grip on the So-Called “Hybrid Warfare,” A Systems Model on Corruption and Anticorruption Reform, Towards an Explanation of the Recurrence of Military Coups in Lesotho, A Feminist Normative Analysis of the Libyan Intervention

Rémy M. Mauduit
As usual, this issue of Air and Space Power Journal-Africa and Francophonie addresses diverse topics relevant to our time and its readers in 185 countries. 


American Visions of a Postimperial World

Michael Lind
The foreign policy of the contemporary United States is often portrayed as a continuation of its grand strategy during World War II and the Cold War, posits Professor Michael Lind this article. According to this account, after the Cold War the United States and its First World allies sought to universalize “the liberal world order” to both the former communist Second World and the developing countries of the former Third World. The goal of American foreign policy is, or should be, the “enlargement” of the community of “market democracies,” characterized by neoliberal economic systems, civil liberties, and multiparty democracy. The thesis of this essay is that this widely-held view is mistaken. The logic of republican security led American policymakers like Presidents Wilson, Roosevelt and Eisenhower not to reject the Westphalian society of states, but rather to favor a modified version of Westphalian compatible with republican liberal values. All envisioned a global community that would continue to be based on sovereign states, including nondemocratic states, not a cosmopolitan society of individuals. The post-Cold War US foreign policy consensus represented a break with the successful US approach during the two world wars and the Cold War. With its synthesis of liberalism and realism, the older American liberal internationalism provides better guidance for the challenges of today.  

Getting a Grip on the So-Called “Hybrid Warfare”

Lt Col Jyri Raitasalo, Finnish Army, PhD 
Docent Jyri Raitasalo states that ever since Russia’s unexpected land grab of Crimea in early 2014, Western strategic analysts, policymakers, and media outlets have been mesmerized by “hybrid warfare” and the sudden emergence of new “hybrid threats,” in this article. Many Western analysts have become preoccupied with the proposedly new elements of warfare that are represented by the concepts such as “information warfare,” “cyber warfare,” “internet trolls,” “grey zone conflicts,” “lawfare,” “economic warfare,” and unidentified “green men.” To understand the exponential strengthening of the Western strategic discourse on hybrid warfare during the past three years, one needs to come to terms with the post Cold War era process of redefining the Western perspective on international security. After all, Western states—and particularly states in Europe—have during the last 25 years formulated a new perspective on security that has bypassed—or even neglected —traditional state based military threats and great power rivalries. When Russia reverted to the traditional great-power perspective on international security and in early 2014 annexed Crimea, the Western strategic community was gasping for fresh ideas to explain the surprise that the very traditional actions of Russia had caused. Ever since hybrid warfare has become the main way to conceptualise war within the West.

A Systems Model on Corruption and Anticorruption Reform
International, Domestic Pressure, and Government Strategies to Preserve the Status Quo

Joseph Pozsgai, PhD
Professor Joseph Pozsgai postulates that most countries across the globe, particularly in the developing world, continue showing a failure to implement anticorruption reforms in line with national and international commitments. This situation is especially disheartening when the amount of resources the international community has poured into them is considered, as well as the level of academic interest and production this issue has attracted. Thus, a core question has remained unanswered: What is holding back the fight against corruption? In this study, a theoretical model to understand the support and opposition to anticorruption reforms, and the identification of strategies available to international and domestic actors, is developed following a system approach. The model suggests that different patterns of stress on the political system, together with the availability of a variety of strategies to stimulate political support, make government actors able to resist reform even on the face of societal and international pressure.

Towards an Explanation of the Recurrence of Military Coups in Lesotho

Everisto Benyera, PhD
Dr. Everisto Benyera explores the persistence of military coups in this article. Using the military and the monarchy as the units of analysis, he explains Lesotho’s military coup recurrence regarding the paradoxical relationship which is cast here as one of delegitimisation, relegitimisation, and antagonism. Four questions are answered: What is the historical context of the monarch–military relations in Lesotho? What is the status of the monarch-military relationship? What accounts for the persistence of military coups in Lesotho? Finally, is the Lesotho problem a Lesotho problem?

Human Rights, Humanitarian Intervention, International Politics, and US Foreign Policy
A Feminist Normative Analysis of the Libyan Intervention

Faith I. Okpotor, PhD
Dr. Faith Okpotor’s article is a feminist normative assessment of US policy of humanitarian intervention as seen through the interplay with international politics in the adoption of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1973, which authorized the 2011 intervention in Libya. It provides such an assessment through a discursive analysis of UNSC Resolution 1973 and related public statements by key US officials, using critical moral ethnography. It argues that while there was a need to protect some Libyan civilians in danger, the real aim was regime change in Libya and a military humanitarian intervention paved the way to make that possible. Furthermore, the strategic nonacknowledgment of an armed opposition by the United States and its allies in drafting Resolution 1973, while simultaneously supporting said opposition in practice, and in effect taking sides in a civil conflict fosters militarism, by blurring the distinctions between war and peace, and civilian and combatant.

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