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The Clinton Administration

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In a more modern sense, the conflicts in Bosnia, Somalia, and Rwanda were liberal efforts to assist the U. N. in maintaining humanitarian ideals throughout the globe. The Clinton administration could not gain support for these efforts from Congress, which showed that we had a liberal leader at the helm of a realist Congress. Today, the need for international cooperation is greater than ever. Global borders, once so vital, have eroded to the point that they are no longer visible to any but the most redoubtable warmongers.

In an era where one can contact Bora Bora in an instant, the necessity of communication and understanding is greater than ever. It is true that human nature will not change; what we can change is the manner in which we deal with it. Many people argue that the United Nations is an impotent organization whose time has passed. Others debate that the U. N. is the only forum in which the smaller nations of the world have a voice. Unfortunately, both views are correct. For instance, in the case of Bosnia, Serbian soldiers seized 350 UN peacekeepers as hostages.

The United States was forced to intervene in August of 1995. By November of 1995 the nations of Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia arranged to sit down and discuss the matter, and by the 21st of that month, an agreement was signed (Mingst 121). In this instance, then, the UN was powerless and had to look once more to the U. S. to provide international leadership. Realists quote this episode as the strongest example of their belief in the importance of military leadership. For the American public, too, military leadership is palatable, but only if the conflict is brief.

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Other organizations, such as the ICC, or International Criminal Court, are of more recent origin. While it is not a new idea to punish nations in retaliation for war crimes, using an international forum in which to do so is an idea founded after the conflicts in Yugoslavia and Rwanda. The ICC covers a very specific group of crimes and seeks to penalize the individuals responsible. The dictates that the ICC covers are genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression. The ICC should help to avoid extradition issues in that the ICC has absolute jurisdiction over these aspects of international law.

It will also serve as a sounding board for enforcing individual and national accountability (Mingst 190). In order to comprehend the effectiveness of international organizations, one must first analyze how liberals and realists view them. Realists are basically state-centered; that is, they believe that states only act to preserve their own self-interests. While they acknowledge that international law has a place in preserving order and the status quo, they also feel that states only comply with international laws because it serves their self-interests to do so (Mingst 191).

Order brings benefits; therefore states should comply with imposed order to reap these benefits. For example, it behooves states to follow the dictums of maritime law and not invade foreign waters. Conflicts can be costly on an economic, psychological, and military level; therefore, most states abide by international laws to avoid reaping these costs. As for international organizations such as the UN, realists are skeptical. They feel that most of these organizations have more weaknesses than strengths. They aver that the UN has proven unproductive and ineffective.

An example of this might be the failure of the UN to enforce the 2003 resolutions against Iraq. In this manner, they claim, international law will only stand to reinforce the powerful states, because the dominant states are the only ones with the means to bring such causes to fruition. The realist belief system is essentially anarchic—they believe that states only cooperate with one another because it is in their self-interests to do so. If they choose to disregard the strictures of international law, they will also do so, particularly if the law in question directly affects their economic or military wellbeing.

Realists believe that international organizations and NGOs are completely useless in that they have no means of enforcing their dictums. They cite as examples the failure of the UN during the civil war in Yugoslavia. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the nation of Yugoslavia had no effective arbiter, i. e. the U. S. S. R., to mediate disputes. Yugoslavia had major fault lines within the country: religious, political, cultural, and historical (Mingst 204). The conflicts that resulted after Russia could no longer control the nation were so ferocious that the world was appalled.

Serbian leaders tried to maintain unity in the face of strong opposition from separatist movements from the Slovenian, Croatian, and Bosnia-Herzegovinian nations. Several countries jumped into the fray, supporting one cause or another, but this only served to make the situation worse and emphasized the ideals of Yugoslavia as a divided nation. Both the EU and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) tried to start negotiations, but none could come to a successful conclusion. Fighting broke out among the warring factions in the meantime.

At this point, the UN got involved to try to deliver humanitarian aid and establish a peacekeeping force. In the end, no international arbiter was able to settle the conflict, and Yugoslavia ultimately ended in the division of the country into four separate nations: Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Slovenia. In this manner, then, realists assert that this was the ultimate failure of international organizations versus the self-interests of states. The liberal view on international organizations is that human beings will ultimately follow the ideals of right.

Therefore, they follow international law because it is morally just to do so. In the liberal mind, all states will benefit from doing what is right and moral, and international organizations represent the ultimate culmination of this goal of international cooperation. States have general expectations about other states’ behavior (Mingst 190). In a system of mutual cooperation and respect, liberals argue, the system of international law will succeed. They do agree with the realists on one point: the system only works if powerful states become involved.

A request for aid or a diplomatic protest from a small or weak nation will most likely be ignored unless the vulnerable nation has a powerful ally. On the plus side of this argument, this type of international hegemony is precisely why treaty organizations and international courts function so well—they keep the large powers in check while protecting the interests of the smaller states. Thus it befits all nations to cooperate on an international level. The United States is not the only party to blame, however. The only nations who seem to take the U. N. completely seriously are the ones who have the least power to affect change. The United Nations needs to act more quickly and definitively and not leave the burden of responsibility on the U. S. While our role as the defenders of freedom is one which we have embraced readily in the past, it is not viable for the future. The U. N. and the WTO need to impose harsher penalties for those nations that fail to meet international laws, and the ICC needs more power to punish wrongdoers. In short, we need to stop being an anarchic collection of deviant nations and come together to fight for humanity.

This solution sounds simplistic, and is one which we may never realize within our lifetime. It is not an impossible solution, however. The EU was a pipe dream for years. Many of the European nations had resentments and issues that dated back for hundreds of years. What we and the international organizations can do is this: we can find a sustainable global economy and we can find viable solutions to issues that concern all of us. We can review the U. N. Charter and eliminate all outdated and useless language.

If this does not work, perhaps forming a new organization might be the key. We could take responsibility for nuclear weapons and finally make a definitive decision concerning their use and misuse. The easiest way to maintain global stability from terrorism would be to create a permanent U. N. army, with all nations represented. The U. N. would then have the military might to go beyond its peacekeeping duties but would be able to stop conflicts before they escalated. Ratification and acknowledgement of the ICC would also be a positive change (simpol. org).

If all nations knew that tyrants and terrorists would be punished accordingly and brought to justice it might eliminate the temptation to hide these criminals. John Bunzi of the International Simultaneous Policy Organization believes that these solutions are possible. As he writes, “The Simultaneous Policy is a peaceful political strategy to democratically drive all the world’s nations to apply global solutions to global problems, including combating global warming and environmental destruction, regulating economic globalization for the good of all, and delivering social justice, peace and security, and sustainable prosperity” ( The relevance to me as the reviewer is that the article allows me to infer my own ideas of human performance and how it can relate to my own business practices. The vacuum system is used too often in organizations and the needs and dilemmas of certain business training, and practices comes into full view as felonious when I read the article. In the article, it mentions that there are positive and negative consequences in the feedback level. If a worker is performing at the top of his or her ability then the company’s response is more work, which they conclude is a positive feedback.

Instead of continual delivery of on-time projects, because the worker is being laden with work they stop performing so well because they see that their co-workers are getting paid the same amount as them, but without the extra work. So, the dilemma is that the organization might view certain types of feedback as positive while the worker sees it as negative and thus the feedback affects the performance of their work. I have seen this played out many times in my own business relationships.

It shows me that a clear line of communication in the human performance system is integral to the performance of the entire organization. Without clear communication, the faults in an organization remain unaddressed in certain training programs and as the authors state, the company does not always know what is ‘broken’, to what extent, what area is at fault (human performance? ), how the performance is lacking in output, and what activity is causing the deficiency. Each of these areas, in my experience, is typically ignored in the business world.

No one wants to be assigned blame; so general maneuvers such as training programs are instilled as answers to what is wrong, when in fact what is wrong might not even be known. To further examine the tenacity of the aforementioned groups that provided succor to Bosnia certain questions should be researched. The first question that needs to be asked is the cons of having an organization come into a country without having full knowledge of the situation; in the case of Bosnia however, it was with the media that the world became aware of the genocide and thus, under the strict rules of advocating for human rights, the United States had to step in.

In some instances, the predicted behavior or reaction an institute exhibits in a chaotic environment isn’t calculable; this is witnessed repeatedly in the Bosnia conflict as no one organization stepped into the situation of Bosnia until after genocide and after destruction; the political world knew what was about to occur in this realm of the disintegrating Yugoslavian countryside, no political party or nation took responsibility and helped Bosnia. The human capacity for enduring extreme environments is astounding.

In the case of Bosnia however, a far less serious outcome may be become of the situation had prescience been used. Even if every level of organization is cooperative to the output deliverance of the institute, the reliance of that output depends on the human element, and that element must not be regarded as capable of extreme high performance of extreme low performance. Thus, when Bosnia effectively asked for help from Europe and the United States they did not expect either to say ‘no’.

Questions that should also be raised alongside the general ones presented in this paper in regards to the way in which national organizations have decided to deal with the Bosnia conflict are the benefits the people receive after being released from refugee camps or concentration camps: where will the people go? Who will help them? Each of these questions is relevant when considering human endurance in any capacity. The lack of, or the involvement of, these questions can deter a person from achieving their home or even of a company of maintaining in the person the belief that aid came when there was some to offer.

In human performance, though the macrocosm is important, there should also be a high degree of microcosm involved in the international environment if the question is about raising acknowledgment in all levels of political policies, and maintaining that performance. Research at this level should yield supporting data to human endurance and further state the fallacy in the vacuum system where communications are lost such as when does Bosnia need help, should they be helped, etc.?

Institutions such as NATO and the UN do not work to their highest quality in a vacuum. A vacuum isolates the institute from the people who need their help. In a vacuum setting the assumption of progress being made is linked to training input without any direction to what is fundamentally wrong with performance. If the organization doesn’t know what is wrong and tries to fix it, then nothing seriously is being accomplished. Also, if the international organization does have a downfall, then to what extent is that downfall hindering performance?

An alternative to this vacuum procedure of dealing with pitfalls in the international environment is to view country in need of aid as a priority. There are five points in the performance system when it comes to international politics and state agendas, they are: the institute, input, output, consequence, and feedback. At each level there is an interdependent relationship that allows for a well performing organization. Since the relationships are dependent on each other for high performance the organization must be adaptive.

In this adaptive system, there are three levels: organization level, process level, and individual level. To improve an organization and to steer clear from the vacuum effect, an organization must consider that within the society these levels, and improving performance, depend on whether or not on each level’s problems are being addressed and this begins with the question, it what ways have the international organizations failed? The main strength of the international organization lies in its ability to dissect and expound the idea of fast performance when a country is in need of such swiftness.

The organizations, especially the UN exude well thought out plans and deliver the idea of human rights being their number one priority as can be witnessed in their involvement with Bosnia during the crisis years. There are six variables by which the UN, NATO, etc must measure themselves, they are; performance specifications, task interference, consequences, feedback, knowledge/skill, and individual capacity. In this system these points make for a higher quality performance.

Another strength of the UN is that it doesn’t parlay the fault of lack of succor on any one country entirely but instead they focus on the positive and try and enlist help from other countries instead of bribing other countries, but allows for fault in all parts of the hierarchy in social concern. Both performers and how the UN addresses weakness in the input/output system should be under scrutiny, because the weakness must be dealt with in all parts of the hierarchy in order for the UN to be successful.


It may be surmised that Bosnia, though perhaps unavoidable could have been handled in a better international capacity, as such the genocide that was endured could have been side stepped. In fact, the new initial facts that the UN should support itself in political and international quarry as stated above should, chiefly among the idea of working towards stronger and better human rights, include the cooperation of other countries in its venture. The purpose of such an organization is to ensure that something like the genocide in Bosnia is not repeated.

Work Cited

  1. Cox, Marcus. The Right to Return Home: International Intervention and the Ethnic Cleansing In Bosnia and Herzegovina. The International and Comparative Law Quarterly. Vol. 47, No. 3, pp. 599-631. July 1998. Gutman, Roy. A Witness to Genocide. Macmillan Publishing Company. New York. 1993. Lieber, Robert J. : The Eagle Adrift: American Foreign Policy at the End of the Century. Glenview, Ill. Scott, Foresman, 1998. Mingst, Karen A. Essential Readings in World Politics. New York, NY. WW Norton & Company, 2004.
  2. Mingst, Karen A. Essentials of International Relations. New York, NY. WW Norton & Company, 2004. Reiff, David. Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West. Simon & Schuster. New York. 1995. Slack, Andrew and Roy R. Doyon. Population Dynamics and Susceptibility for Ethnic Conflict: The Case of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 38, No. 2, pp. 139-161. March 2001. Walt, Stephen M. International Relations: One World, Many Theories. Foreign Policy, Iss. 110. Pg. 29-45. Spring, 1998. www. simpol. org
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