The discipline of international relations continues to change given the emerging global trends that the human race cannot ignore. Issues that affect international relations are now broader than they were some years back. These changes call for the drafting of relevant policies to replace the conventional approaches that were used to analyze the political scenarios at the international level. This short essay reviews issues that influence the geopolitics of modern society like emerging terrorist groups, narco-politics, transitional crimes, and the emerging regionalism in the definition of global; politics.
There is an emerging new trend in terrorist attacks different from those that operated in the cold war. The new terrorist groups are religious fundamentalists who prefer the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction, (WMD) to launch their attacks. Terrorist groups motivated by religion and use of WMD are Al-Qaeda, Aum Shinrikyo, and Hizballah. “These groups have different attitude towards violence-one that is extra-normative and seeks to maximize violence against the perceived enemy essentially anyone who is not a fundamentalist Muslim or an Aum Shinrikyo member,” (Hudson, 1999).
Terror groups employ expertise in the field of information technology, IT, Engineering, sciences, and finance to help in infrastructure development and in operatives. “Aum Shinrikyo’s Shoko Asahara recruited a scientific team with expertise needed to develop WMD.” (Hudson, 1999) Aum Shinrikyo had an elaborate IT support system in Japan with the government and other industry players, (Parker, 2004). Other logistical needs include travel documents, motor vehicle, and deceitful means of entering a country like bribing security officials among others.
The target type is expressive to show retaliation to against their perceived offenders like the U.S. and its allies. For instance, cruise missile attacked of Bin Laden’s base in Afghanistan in 1998. Some leaders of the terror groups promised to assassinate former president Clinton in retaliation. The terror as mentioned, it a threat to security departments of the U.S. and innocent citizens.
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Terror groups employ expertise in the field of information technology, IT, Engineering, sciences, and finance to help in infrastructure development and in operatives. “Aum Shinrikyo’s Shoko Asahara recruited a scientific team with the expertise needed to develop WMD.” (Hudson, 1999) Aum Shinrikyo had an elaborate IT support system in Japan with the government and other industry players, (Parker, 2004). Other logistical needs include travel documents, motor vehicle, and deceitful means of entering a country like bribing security officials among others.
Realism holds that there are different institutions, which under same conditions have different effects. As a result, scholars in this field should hypothesize the specified conditions is studying institutional effects of international organizations. Convergence in an international organization is viable under conditions that there are proper mechanisms to resolve conflicting interests whereas divergence effects occur if there are minimum externalities. Divergent effects will also occur if interstate regulations are weak, (Botcheva and Martin 2001). Terrorism in a manifestation of divergent effects that attract retaliatory measures, which do not resolve conflicts in the first place.
Another rising international issue is the trade in illicit drugs that thrives in a few countries. The prevalence of the trade is a demonstration of how weak state mechanisms are in developing and developed countries. Mexico is a state that is linked to trade in illicit drugs and according to Andreas, (1998) “the Mexican experience of recent years reveals a more complex and negotiated relationship between the business of drugs and the business of policing drugs,” (p. 160). The drug menace that increases in Mexico is a result of strict United States’ policy on drug trade. Law enforcers exerted pressure on drug transportation along the Caribbean and Florida. As a result, Colombia drug cartels made Mexico heir main trade route for drugs targeting the U.S market.
The case of the illicit drug trade in Mexico show that even though the American officers are winning the war on drugs, the unintended results was that it forced Mexico to the main drug route. This explains why there was a rise in the cocaine entering the United States in the 1990s compared to the 1980s. The U.S. supported North American Free Trade Agreement, (NAFTA) after the then presidents Bush and Clinton downplayed the consequences of shifting transportation routes. The trade in illicit drugs is marred by corruption due to the economic benefits that accrue from the trade. An illustration is the rising taxation levels when there is a highly intensified fight on the trade. According to Andreas, (1998), “As enforcement increases, so does the drug smugglers need to corrupt those who are doing the enforcing (tax collectors),” (p. 162). The United States determines what policy should be adopted by Mexico and other countries and any violation can compromise their relationships. Hence, the drug trafficking menace is a global issue that may determine the strength of diplomatic ties between two or more countries.
Cyber-Crime as Translational Crime
Cyber crimes have become dominant in the modern society due to what Cavelty, (2008), refers to as “information revolution”. Bruno, (2008) notes that the most published hacks in the computer industry were the attack on Estonia; “paperless government,” but this is just a reflection of what happens behind the scenes without being noticed. The author reports that Cyber Defense Agency’s president and information systems expert, among others, are concerned about this issue. The United States, Israel, Pakistan, and India have been responsible for attacks on adversaries with China been the most notorious. Through hacking, it is now possible to retrieve crucial government data and this causes ripples among US, Britain, France, among other nations. The motive of China hacking has shifted from protecting networks from possible attacks to the new phenomenon of offensive mitigations of against adversary webs.
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On the other hand, the US has also been a victim of offensive cyber-warfare. Bruno (2008) asserts that defense analyst; William Arkin, confesses the ability of the US administration of accessing their foes’ computer networks and explore their communication system so as to alter digital information. There was leaked information that Network Attack Support Staff formation in 2004 was a measure to realign the forces’ ability for cyber attack. A senior military officer explained that the move was aimed at creating an interface between intelligence department and the combatants’ commanders. The US military has launched systems that are able to penetrate and jam networks of others; for instance, the airborne Suter system that can invade other territories’ communication systems and even take over. This makes it possible for the radar system of a particular territory being unable to detect an approaching aircraft.
The Rise of Regionalism in International Relations
Neo-liberalism in international relations refers to policy set-up that necessitate free movement of goods and services within a region, for instance, the European Union, (EU). In order to achieve its goal, there should be harmonization of political differences and economic values that are most popular with regional states. Neo-liberalism indirectly support that interstate relationship causes peace based on institutions differences and unimposing political interests. Both states have reasons to drive their cooperation or to withdraw their cooperation. The theory purports that states can adjust their foreign policies via bilateral agreements for a peaceful coexistence, (Mearsheimer, 1995).
Neo-liberalism is not influenced by developed nations and faces challenges in four main parameters: administrative, political, critical, and normative, (MacMillan, 2007, p. 34). The EU has reached an advanced stage where states in the regional block use same currency, the euro. A successful regional integration will require the removal of trade barriers to necessitate the emergence of market-based economy. Neo-liberalism holds that it is critical to have a sustained economic growth in order to have progress as a people. In addition, a free market economy that is has limited government interferences ensures an equitably distributed national resources. However, at international level, neo-liberalism will necessitate free circulation of capital investments, human resource, and free movement of goods and services, (Shah, 2010).
Today’s international relations are defined by other factors that never existed in the before but are challenges in modern day society. A number of emerging issues have resulted from the advances in information and communication technologies that have fastened globalization. The ICT platform has affected international relations both positively and negatively. It is proving hard to mitigate challenges of cyber crimes following difficulty in instituting international policy on the issue. The House of Representative and the Senate passed legislation that would target to subject offenders to life imprisonment for risking lives of citizens by via manipulation of computer systems. These measures were contained in the 2001 Cyber Security Enhancement Act (CSEA). Terrorism, neo-liberalism and narco-politics have also been made complex by the advances in technology, and these define the new face on international relations.