Jean Kirkpatrick Summary

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Jeane Kirkpatrick was the first woman ambassador to the UN between the years 1981 and 1985. She was well known for her trenchant supportive positions towards the US involvement in communist containment in the world, even at the cost of backing the authoritarian regimes, as she made clear in one of the crucial essays on the US foreign policies Dictatorships and Double Standards, which is told to be the reason that got her the post under the Reagan’s administration as his foreign policy advisor during the first half of 80’s. Kirkpatrick was a liberal member of the Democratic Party who, however, felt more at home in a Republican administration, and so eventually joined the Republican Party. In compare to her above mentioned essay, as is obvious…show more content…
Whole third is dedicated to the issues of Bosnian and Kosovo interventions, thus providing a deep insight into extremely complex situations, showing, how decisions were actually made. Taking in account the national-interest criteria laid out at the first chapter, as opposed to the former two cases, these interventions were approved by the author. Many lives were to be saved, United States were allowed to re-affirm its leadership at small cost, and moreover, the risk of American casualties was significantly reduced, as there was no need for ground forces and all was done with air power. According to her analysis, the UN disabilities, NATO limitations, and European western powers weaknesses allegedly prolonged the war and heightened casualties in Bosnia. She therefore was promoter of a unilateral US intervention, since as she claims the situation in the “very heart of Europe” was threatening the security situation in whole Europe, potentially in US, and thus needed a fast and strong reaction. This, however, calls for some polemic, as Bosnia is not Europe's heart, it is rather a small peripheral country with little importance outside its immediate region, the unstable Balkans. As Carpenter suggests, what mattered in Europe, as for the US national interests, was the conduct of the handful of major powers. As long as those states remain at peace with one another there is no credible danger to America's security. Therefore the…show more content…
There is not enough national interest in such actions for the United States to sacrifice the American lives. The Afghanistan might have been seen as a country opened for a democracy, but as the attacks from 11 September showed, the American view of the spread of democracy is not viewed by the affected nations in the same light. Probably because these interventions had not yet ended by the time Kirkpatrick finished her book, she focused only briefly on these issues. She did nevertheless consider the US involvement as potentially unsuccessful. In the case of Afghanistan, there would be a point of trying to institute a democratic regime if it was right after the won Afghan war from 1980’s. As is apparent from her doctrine, she did not support actions trying to constitute a democratic regime in country, where there were no traditions for such a form of government. That sounds perfectly logic, the only think that I do not understand about that is, why she would support the total war aimed in deposing Saddam twelve years before. Of course, the situation then was much better prepared for such a venture, the overthrowing of Saddam would plausibly be much less expensive, however, the core challenge, the absence of readiness of Iraq (and also of Afghanistan) and their civilians to become rulers for themselves, was always
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