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e J o u r n a l o f P o l i t i c s a n d I n t e r n a t i o n a l A ff a i r s V o l u m e V I , I s s u e I F a l l 2 0 1 3

The Journal of Politics and International Affairs
Volume VI, Issue I Fall 2013
The Ohio State University
Chelsea Hagan Editor-in-Chief

Todd Ives Managing Editor for Content Professor Paul Beck Advisor Allison Gorman Marketing Director Recruitment Chair Holly Yanai Marcus Andrews Sarah Cole Nima Dahir William Heinrichs Cassidy Horton Merissa Jones

Emily Noble Managing Editor for Content Alicia Anzivine Advisor Andrew Jones Marketing Director Layout Designer Taylor Humphrey Spencer Lloyd Robert Reed Evan Rogers Emilia Rowland James Schirmer Sam Whipple

JPIA Editorial Staff:

Journal of Politics and

International Affairs Volume VI • Issue I • Fall 2013 • Print Edition

JPIA

Contents
An Analysis on the Merit of the Penny
Alexander Hurd, The Ohio State University

09 25 44 52 59

The Geopolitics of Energy: Conflict and Cooperation in Caspian Sea States
Alex Buchholz, Wake Forest University Daniel Semelsberger, Kenyon College

Tragedy of a Nuclear Iran Health Care in Cuba: A Case Study of the Cuban National Healthcare System
Leah Moody, The Ohio State University

Intra-Communal Violence in Southwest Russia and the Government Reaction to Extremism
Peter J. Marzalik, The Ohio State University

Israel’s Iron Dome: Invalidating the Banal ‘Defensible Borders’ Argument
Matthew Lemieux, University of Chicago

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The Journal of Politics and International Affairs at The Ohio State University is published biannually through the Ohio State Political Science Department at 2140 Derby Hall, 154 North Oval Mall, Columbus Ohio 43210. The JPIA was founded in the autumn of 2006 and reestablished in Winter 2011. For further information, or to submit questions or comments, please contact us at journalupso@gmail.com. All rights reserved. No part of the publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission of the Editor-in-Chief of the JPIA. The JPIA is copyrighted by the Ohio State Political Science Department. The content of all papers is copyrighted by their respective authors. All assertions of fact and statements of opinion are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of the JPIA Editorial Board, the Faculty Advisers, The Ohio State University, nor its faculty and administration. COPYRIGHT © 2013 THE OHIO STATE JOURNAL OF POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Editorial Foreword
Chelsea Hagan
Editor-in-Chief Welcome, It is my pleasure to present the Fall 2013 edition of the Journal of Politics & International Affairs. This is one of our best issues to date, including articles that are not only relevant, but are also well written, researched, and argued. These papers showcase the talent of undergraduates at The Ohio State University and beyond. The editorial staff has been working diligently over the past few months and we hope the end product is both informative and enjoyable. As my second and last journal as Editor-in-Chief, I couldn’t be more impressed with the talent of my fellow undergraduates. This semester we managed to double the amount of editors on our editorial board. Also, a few members even took on leadership roles helping the Journal succeed beyond just the editing process. We also received many competitive submissions, which made the editing process difficult, but enjoyable. I am very excited for the future of the Journal and couldn’t be more proud to be handing the reigns of Editor-in-Chief off to Todd Ives and Rebecca Izzi. Both have been an integral part in the growth of the Journal and will continue to grow the Journal to be one of the top undergraduate journals in the country. This issue would not have been possible without the support of the Political Science Department. I would like to thank Dr. Rick Herrmann for his continued support and belief in the Journal, Alicia Anzivine for her guidance and assistance throughout the project, and Dr. Paul Beck for his support in gathering fellow staff to believe in our Journal. Lastly, I would like to thank all of those who read the Journal. Your feedback and support keeps this project going. Thank you. Chelsea Hagan Editor-in-Chief

An Analysis on the Merit of the Penny
Alexander Hurd
This policy paper evaluates the merits of both keeping and eliminating the penny from American currency using experimental research, questionnaires, expert testimony, and data from the U.S. Mint’s Annual Report. This analysis considers arguments against the elimination of the penny such as its sentimental value, a potential decrease in charitable donations, and the “rounding tax” opponents cite as reason to keep the penny in circulation. As the cost of minting the penny approaches almost triple its pecuniary value, opponents have become more vocal against a currency that critics claim lacks currency. In a stagnant economy where every penny counts, the elimination of the penny in conjunction with the production of nickels from multi-ply steel could see the U.S. Mint increase profits by approximately 52%. With the lowest denomination of currency becoming five cents, sales transactions would round to the nearest nickel, and American consumers’ annual opportunity costs could be reduced by approximately $1.61 billion by expediting their time spent collecting change at the cash register. The elimination of the penny promises a more efficient American economy, and a solution to a problem compounded annually by inflation and rising raw materials costs.

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here are many divisive economic issues and concerns for the United States. Most spectators can see reason on both sides of many modern economic issues such as how to deal with inflation. In 2011 the United States minted and circulated 4.2 billion pennies (United States

Mint 2011). But when one looks objectively at data regarding the penny, even the casual observer will notice how the penny can no longer be minted for less than 1 cent. In 2011 alone, the penny cost the U.S. Mint $60.2 million. The United States Mint must spend 2.4 cents to create each one cent coin (United States Mint 2011). Pennies are meant to be worth 1 cent, but instead are worth less than nothing by costing our mint more than 1 cent to create. The cost of producing pennies is increasing yearly at outstanding rates. In 2010 and 2009 respectively the penny’s gross cost was only $62.3 million and $52.0 million to create (United States Mint 2011). Whereas in 2011 the penny’s gross cost was $103.1 million. This issue grows in importance every year with the rising annual gross cost of the penny. But the main issue with pennies is its lack of function. The point of money is to facilitate the exchange of goods and services. One can also look at the issue of how vending machines and parking meters don’t accept pennies because the cost of labor to transport and store pennies outweighs the benefits of accepting such a small denomination of coin. Nowadays almost a fourth of Americans would not even stop to pick up a penny off of the ground (Hagenbaugh 2006). This interesting statistic serves the opposite purpose of the twenty-dollar-bill which asks the policy analyst “if a policy alternative is such a great idea, how come it’s not happening already?” (Bardach 2000). A policy analyst could think of a fourth of Americans not picking up a penny off of the ground as a one-cent-

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coin test. If a coin is such a bad idea that a quarter of people do not see enough worth in it to pick it up then how come this policy is not being changed? The policy of using pennies in our economy makes no sense from a purely economic standpoint on account of its lack of worth. When the half cent was eliminated in 1857 it was worth as much as the modern dime (Friedman 2012). Why are we so hesitant to think about eliminating a coin worth a tenth of the half cent when discontinued from circulation? This paper will look at alternative policy suggestions such as minting the penny out of material more comparable to its relative worth, introducing a two cent coin, continuing to mint our penny as-is, minting the nickel from new cheaper material, and eliminating the penny altogether. The U.S. Mint could prolong the life of such a small denomination of currency and mint the pennies out of steel or plastic so the coins cost less to create, but would this remedy the main problems of the opportunity cost of using pennies, machines not accepting pennies, and inflation making pennies worthless? We could also increase the value of pennies to two cents which would bring them closer to their actual value in zinc, but would this be a high enough value to fix the primary reasons for eliminating pennies in the first place? This policy paper will look at whether or not the U.S. Mint should eliminate the penny and how rounding sales transactions to the nearest nickel depending on whether or not the last number of the transaction is odd or even would affect prices. Would this policy save people time which translates to opportunity cost, raise or lower prices, increase or reduce the amount of change people carried, and not adversely affect the U.S. economy? I will consider arguments against the elimination of the penny such as the sentimental value the penny has, a decrease in charitable donations after its elimination, and the rounding tax that opponents cite as a reason to keep the penny in circulation. The purpose of money is to facilitate the exchange of goods and services. Does the penny adequately serve this purpose compared with other coins? Does the penny make it easier to pay for transactions, or does it slow down the process? Through inflation has the penny stopped serving its purpose as currency and does it negatively affect the average United States consumer? Is it worth Americans’ time to wait to receive pennies for change or better spent pursuing other endeavors? Or is the best option for the United States economy to stop minting pennies, accept them as legal currency forever, implement an alloy recovery program, and round transactions to the nearest nickel? These actions would eliminate the current subsidization of pennies while also saving Americans on average .057 cents per transaction (Whaples 2007). The alloy recovery program also has the potential of recovering over two billion dollars of metals found in the composition of past coins (Bosco 2012).

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But does the penny have other redeeming qualities? Recently countries such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand eliminated their pennies and this positively affected their nation’s economy, but does the United States have a comparable economy that would react the same way? The current policy today has no intention of halting the production of the penny and disturbing the status quo. The Obama Administration and some Congressman would like to make the penny and the nickel out of more cost effective material but not eliminate either the penny or the nickel all together. The discussion about the elimination of the penny makes sense for modern times. The United States debt as of July 19th, 2012 was $11.06 trillion and the government must save money in any form possible to cut back our debt and renew international faith in our currency (The Debt 2012). This policy recommendation will be proven easy to implement, help our currency to become more efficient by using less coins, make minting our coins cheaper, and speed up transaction times. The United States government needs to make all of its processes and departments more efficient during tough economic times. Alternative Options The first alternative option to completely eliminating the penny would be to change the composition to a material more comparable to its worth, such as steel or plastic. Representative Stivers (R-OH) has a bill now that wants to make both pennies and nickels out of multi-ply plated steel. The Congressman argues that changing the composition of pennies and nickels would decrease the “per-unit material costs of those coins by between 84 and 89 percent — about $200 million a year” (Stivers 2012). This would slightly remedy one of the main problems of the currency’s gross cost being more than its actual value. However, the government would still need to subsidize the production of pennies. This composition change does not eliminate the problem of one cent coins no longer being worthwhile. If current minting trends continue the government will continue to need to produce more pennies every year to keep up with our growing population’s demands which would result in larger seigniorage losses (United States Mint 2011). Seigniorage is the difference between the value of money and the cost to produce it. Even if the materials to create pennies were provided gratis to the mint, the cost of fabrication and distribution as well as administrative costs would make pennies cost more to produce than they are worth (see table one in the appendix). Forty-two point nine billion pennies worth $42.9 million dollars were shipped in 2011, but the fabrication and distribution cost of $38.2 million paired

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with an administrative cost of $17.7 million must be factored in as well. Even if the cost of penny blanks at $47.2 million were provided gratis, penny production would in the red by $45.9 million (Bosco 2012). If the United States Mint switched the composition of pennies to mainly steel this would support demand for the American steel industry. The current penny consists of 97.5% zinc and most of the United States zinc originates from Canada. If the United States Mint switched to producing pennies from zinc to multi-ply plated steel the Mint could buy steel domestically and support the U.S. economy by creating higher demand for U.S. steel and more jobs. But similar benefits would incur from the elimination of pennies all together and producing primarily multi-ply plated steel nickels from domestic steel. This policy of making pennies out of steel would also not solve the problem of around a third of cash transactions involving pennies taking a second longer because of counting change (Whaples 2007). Time is money and the penny takes away from valuable time Americans could spend making money rather than collecting small change. Another alternative option would be for the government to start an alloy recovery program of the older pennies, nickels, and quarters. After the United States Mint changed the composition of our coins to multi-ply plated steel, the mint could bring in revenue from reclaiming coins and melting them down for their raw materials since pennies and nickels are currently worth more melted down than in circulation. Bosco, the director of Navigant Consulting who served as a witness at a Coinage Production hearing, said that the program’s success would depend on the U.S. Mint’s ability to access coins from the Federal Reserve Banks, private coin recycling companies, and the campaign’s ability to get coin holders to redeem their coins. Bosco stated that even if only one third of the nickels, dimes, and quarters were returned that were produced from 1982 to 2011 the United States Mint income would be increased by about $2.4 billion (Bosco 2012). A similar program of redeeming approximately one third of the 270 billion pennies put into circulation since 1983 would amount to over $4 million of revenue (United States Mint 2011). Some groups argue for a two cent coin to replace the penny. But this also would not solve the original problems plaguing the penny. If made from the same materials as the modern penny which costs 2.4 cents, it would still cost .4 cents more to produce each two cent coin. If these coins were produced from steel and the per-unit material cost was reduced by 89%, according to Bosco regarding Representative Stivers’ H.R. 3693 and H.R. 3694, it would still cost more to produce the coin than it is worth because of the fabrication and administrative costs in minting the coins by over

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$18.19 million in just 2011 (United States Mint 2011). Inflation has made two cents not worth a whole lot. But what about leaving penny production the way it is? The U.S. Mint preserving the modern penny acts as the worst policy alternative available. The penny’s composition makes it inherently impossible to produce because of the price of zinc its primary component. The penny blank itself costs around 1.1 cents (Bosco 2012). When the price of the penny blank pairs with the U.S. Mint’s costs for the distribution and administrative functions of the penny’s seigniorage it becomes even more inefficient. The United States Mint’s rising cost of producing pennies paired with annual inflation decreases the worth of the penny and makes change necessary. Effect on Americans’ Opportunity Cost It’s in the interest of the United States Mint to eliminate the production of pennies, accept them as legal tender forever, and force stores to round to the nearest nickel depending on the last digit of the transaction. The most important benefit of eliminating the penny would be expediting transactions. Since 36.3% of cash transactions involve the cashier counting and giving back pennies as change a lot of time could be saved by eliminating pennies (Whaples 2007). Robert Whaples argued in his policy paper on eliminating of the penny that “If the use of a penny adds even one second to the transaction time” it would accumulate to a value of lost time around $293.4 million per year by using the average wage in 2005 of $18.09 per hour and a total estimate of 106 billion transactions per year (Whaples 2007). The penny adding just one second represents a very conservative estimate by Dr. Whaples. He found these estimates by using transactions in twenty different stores, using the national average wage of retail clerks, computing what percent of transactions involved pennies, and using the average overall wage in 2005. We can get a rough approximation of modern opportunity cost by using the higher overall average wage of $21.74 or .604 cents per second, the higher average wage of counter clerks at $12.75 or .354 cents per second, using the same 36.3% of cash transactions involving pennies, and using the same total estimate of 106 billion transactions per year (Bureau of Labor 2011). We can then approximate the amount of opportunity cost by multiplying 106 billion seconds x .363 x (.354 + .604 cents per second) = $368.6 million. Therefore pennies conservatively waste around $368.6 million per year in opportunity cost. But as Dr. Whaples argues this doesn’t show the opportunity cost wasted of other customers waiting in line, or if transactions involving pennies take two seconds longer on average instead of

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one. If we were to apply this value of $368.6 million wasted for two individuals waiting in line instead of one it would become $737.2 million, and if each transaction took two seconds instead of one the number would then be $1.4 billion. This $1.4 billion of potential opportunity cost makes the $60.2 million necessary to subsidize pennies seem small in comparison. Eliminating the penny would also make everyone’s pockets lighter with change. Effects on U.S. Mint’s Seigniorage Approximately 58% of coins shipped in 2011 were pennies (United States Mint 2011). It’s estimated that the United States Mint would need to increase nickel production by 914 million nickels to replace the 4.2 billion pennies created per year (Bosco 2012). This would mean that the US Mint would no longer mint over 3.2 billion coins every year (United States Mint 2011). This new total would mean that approximately 44% fewer coins would be minted every year and would result in using fewer coins to facilitate the same exchange of goods in cash (United States Mint 2011). One important thing to consider is that there would have to be an increase in nickels to account for the dearth of pennies. See table two in the appendix for visual explanation. Effect on Nickel Production In July 2006 the United States Mint Director David Lebyrck said that nickel production would likely need to be doubled if the penny were to be eliminated. This would create an interesting problem where eliminating the penny which costs 2.4 cents each to create, would make it necessary to start producing twice as many nickels which cost 11.2 cents to create each. The elimination of the penny would make it necessary to create nickels out of cheaper raw materials such as multi-ply plated steel to avoid losing money by minting double the amount of nickels which cost more to mint than pennies. The Canadian Finance Minister could not be more correct when speaking about the penny, “It is a piece of currency, quite frankly, that lacks currency” (Canada Penny 2012). Congress must pass legislation to make the United States Mint stop minting pennies in conjunction with making nickels out of cheaper materials like multi-ply plated steel (see table three). The United States steel industry could win huge contracts with the United States government to provide the raw materials for multi-ply plated steel nickels. The Obama Administration has already publicly asked Congress to change the composition of the penny and nickel to decrease the cost of production. According to Bosco multi-ply plated steel would change nickels’ current raw material cost of 6.4 cents per nickel to just .06 cents per nickel (Bosco 2012). This would bring down

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the price of nickels to approximately 4.86 cents each and mean if nickel production were doubled in 2013 nickels would cost approximately $98.08 million to produce while eliminating $30.7 million of the cost to mint pennies (United States Mint 2012) (see table four). The United States Mint would not save the full $60.2 million it costs to mint the penny because the United States Mint uses fabrication and distribution expenses which contain fixed components that the Bosco report estimates “this fixed component to be about $13 million dollars” (Bosco 2012). Also the United States Mint Sales, General, and Administrative budget is independent of how many coins are demanded, thus $17.7 million would be reallocated to another part of their organization. Therefore instead of completely saving the entire $60.2 million to mint the penny in 2011, the United States Mint would only cut its budget by $29.5 million by eliminating the penny. This means that nickels worth $91.4 million would cost only $68.58 million to mint when factoring in the $29.5 million the mint would save from not producing the penny (United States Mint 2011). If we factored in the fixed components totaling $30.7 million of fixed costs that the mint will spend regardless of the penny being produced into the nickel’s production nickels would then only cost $38.51 million to mint (Bosco 2012). By eliminating the penny and creating nickels out of cheaper multi-ply plated steel the U.S. Mint would turn the $116.7 million loss of it minting the penny and nickel in 2011 into a $52.9 million profit when just minting nickels. This would mean that the mint would have made $531.7 million in seigniorage instead of just $348.8 million (United States Mint 2011). This policy proposal would increase the U.S. Mint’s profit or seigniorage by approximately 52%. In such tough economic times voters and policy makers have increased pressure to cut spending whenever possible. Eliminating the production of pennies would make tax dollars spent more efficiently (see table five). Effect on Price Rounding Dr. Whaples also made a convincing argument against the main critique of eliminating the penny regarding the rounding tax and its effect on prices increasing. In 2001 Raymond Lombra wrote an article titled “Eliminating the Penny from the U.S. Coinage System: An Economic Analysis” which declared that eliminating the penny would incur a rounding tax, increase inflation, decrease charitable donations, and take away seigniorage from the United States Mint. The first and most prevalent argument against eliminating the penny is that it would drive up prices. Stores would round up to the nearest nickel if the last digit of a sale was 2,4,6, or 8 and

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round down if the last digit of a sale was 5,7, or 9. Most businesses sell their items with a price that ends in a 9 to give the illusion of something being cheaper in the minds of the consumer than ending a price with another number. Lombra argued that since 80% of prices are marked this way a rounding tax would incur for over 93% of purchases for one or two items. He also stated that 60% of items prices would be rounded up if there were 3 or more items (Lombra 1999). But Lombra has one fatal flaw in his argument. He assumes that there will be no sales tax on items that affects how the prices will be rounded. Whaples shows through 200,000 individual transactions across seven states that the rounding tax would not result in raising prices. Doctor Whaples proves that the primary concern of a potential rounding tax on all transactions is a false assumption with this data (Whaples 2007). There would be no rounding tax at the point of a sale for customers paying in everywhere except Pennsylvania. And Pennsylvania only loses $1.79 over 12,034 transactions or less than a 2 tenths of a cent every transaction. In Dr.Whaples’ data table both the Gain / Loss to Customers in almost all transactions are positive. Also the Gain / Loss column per transaction under each category are nearly all positive as well. If you consider that the average person’s opportunity cost per second equates to nearly .604 of a cent per second any time spent not counting pennies will far exceed the value loss by a rounding tax (Bureau of Labor 2011). As mentioned, there would effectively be no rounding tax. Even if stores tried to utilize strategic pricing and priced items so that with sales tax the final price would round up it would not work because stores do not know how many items a consumer would purchase or what different types of items customers would purchase. Even if there was no sales tax in a state and the stores all priced their items with a .99 cent ending it would benefit the consumer because those odd numbered ending transactions would round down. When New Zealand began rounding to the nearest nickel in 1990 stores even opted to always round down in favor of the customer to attract consumers (Moffatt 2011). Effect on Inflation Americans also fear that eliminating pennies might lead to inflation because prices would rise. Raymond Lombra argued that eliminating the penny would cause inflation in his economic analysis. He argues that one of the main ways to gauge inflation, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), would rise due to a rounding tax. But as shown earlier there would be virtually no rounding tax because of sales tax. Lombra states that the maximum the CPI could rise would be 1/100th of one

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percent which according to Dr. Whaples would not matter because the CPI does not round that finely (Lombra 1999). The CPI calculates itself to the tenth place and not to the hundredth place. So the CPI would only have a 1 in 10 chance of being raised by 1/100th of one percent (Whaples 2007). There has been no data to suggest that eliminating the penny will have an effect on inflation and no inflation has been observed in countries such as Australia or New Zealand after eliminating their pennies (Moffatt 2011). Others argue that the elimination of the penny will decrease the amount donated to charitable foundations. Effects on Charities and the Penny’s Sentimental Value Proponents argue that a lot of charities receive donations by penny drives and eliminating the penny would negatively affect how much those charities would receive. This statement holds no merit according to both UNICEF and the Salvation Army. Both of these organizations support the elimination of the penny due to the pennies high processing cost. The Salvation Army testified in front of the Ottawa Senate declaring that “it collected less than $200,000 in coin donations in 2009’s Christmas Kettle Campaign and paid $3,000 to process those coins” (Moffatt 2011). Also after both New Zealand and Australia eliminated their pennies they received a temporary boost in donations due to people donating all of their old pennies instead of turning them into the bank (Moffatt 2011). Once consumers have virtually no more pennies in their wallets consumers will donate nickels instead of pennies as the new lowest denomination of their coins. One more potential problem the government will run into when enacting a seigniorage policy of eliminating the penny will deal with how much sentimental value the penny holds to many Americans. Many Americans grew up with the penny and will be reluctant to depart with it. Abraham Lincoln remains one of America’s most beloved Presidents of all time but luckily will still remain on the five dollar bill after the demise of pennies. Change is uncomfortable for many people but that must not deter the government from taking action. Impact on Foreign Economies New Zealand and Australia have already tested the waters of a penniless economy. Both countries walked away unscathed with no resulting inflation or higher prices. New Zealand‘s prices surprisingly fell after eliminating the penny (Moffatt 2011). Unlike this policy recommendation for the United States Mint, the New Zealand shop owners were allowed to implement whatever price rounding system they wanted to. But most shop owners did not choose to round up to avoid custom-

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ers feeling taken advantage of (Moffatt 2011). American shop owners would likely behave similarly in order to avoid discouraging customers from shopping at their stores. One can also look forward to the potential positive environmental effects the elimination of the penny could have. Ceasing to produce billions of pennies will not only reduce the Canadian Mint’s shipping costs, but also reduce green house gas emissions from their trucks no longer transporting those pennies (The Elimination 2012). Another interesting potential benefit from making the Canadian government’s spending more efficient is its effect on tax services. The Canadian government can now spend its $11 million annual deficit on other services and programs for the public (The Elimination 2012). This benefit would have even more potential for the U.S. government since eliminating our penny would have brought in over $182 million more in seigniorage in 2011 that could have then be spent on other services and programs (see table four). Conclusions and Likely Future Outcomes Industries such as the steel and copper industries would stand to profit from the increase of nickels that comes with the elimination of pennies and could help inform Americans on the benefits of its elimination. Any legislation passed that changed coin composition into higher amounts of steel would greatly benefit the steel industries businesses sales to the U.S. Mint. Public support could likely be best won over by showing Americans how on average prices would actually decrease in theoretical transactions in a system without the penny as well as transaction times (Whaples 2007). The nickel already faces many of the problems plaguing the penny because of inflation and its composition but not to the same extent because of its higher value. The nickel will likely stop circulation a long time after the penny is judging by the United States’ hesitancy to stop minting the penny. The United States government could likely sway public opinion by providing funding for grant research to look into and inform about how the elimination of the penny will affect Americans and the American economy. The biggest obstacle to overcome in persuading the average American will probably be the false idea of a rounding tax raising prices. The economy has seen better days and the elimination of pennies promises real change that would cut government spending on a coin worth more melted down (Bosco 2012).This issue of eliminating the penny will remain pressing because of inflation, rising raw material prices, and opportunity cost. But ultimately the fate of our currency lays in Congress’ power to coin money and regulate its value. The United States Congress’ action or inaction regarding the U.S. Mint will either continue to unnecessarily waste money or create coins that reflect their actual worth and purpose.

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____________ Alexander Hurd recently graduated from The Ohio State University summa cum laude in 2012 and is a first year student at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. He is interested in doing public interest and international law after graduation. He has spent time volunteering abroad in Rabat, Morocco; Kingston, Jamaica; and Montpellier, France.

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Works Cited Bardach, Eugene. “A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Prob lem Solving.” New York: Chatham House, Seven Bridges, 2000. Print. Bosco, Rodney J. “Statement of Rodney J. Bosco “On the Future of Money: Coin Production”” House.gov. United States House of Representatives, 17 Apr. 2012. Web. 23 July 2012. <http://financialservices.house.gov/UploadedFiles/HHRG-112-BA19-WState-RBos co-20120417.pdf>. Bureau of Labor Statistics. National Compensation Survey: Occupational Wages in the United States, July 2011. Washington, DC, 2011. “Canada Penny Drops in Federal Budget as Jim Flaherty Signals End of One Cent coin.” National Post. N.p., 30 Mar. 2012. Web. 23 July 2012. <http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/03/30/canada-penny-federal-budget-one-cent-coin/>. Dinu Chande and Timothy C. G. “Have a Penny? Need a Penny? Eliminating the One-Cent Coin from Circulation” Fisher Canadian Public Policy / Analyse de Politiques , Vol. 29, No. 4 (Dec., 2003), pp. 511-517. Friedman, S. “The Inflation Calculator.” The Inflation Calculator. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 July 2012. <http://www.westegg.com/inflation/>. Hagenbaugh, Barbara. “A Penny Saved Could Become a Penny Spurned.” USA Today. N.p., 7 July 2006. Web. 23 July 2012. <http://www.usatoday.com/money/2006-07-06-penny-usat_x. htm>. Moffatt, Mike. “The Case against the Penny.” Western News. N.p., 13 Jan. 2011. Web. 23 July 2012. <http://communications.uwo.ca/com/western_news/stories/the_case_against_the_ penny_20110113447263/>. Stivers, Steve. “Stivers’ Steel-coin Bill Gets Hearing in House.” Steve Stivers. N.p., 18 Apr. 2012. Web. 06 July 2012. <http://stivers.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=293910>. “The Debt to the Penny and Who Holds It.” Debt to the Penny (Daily History Search Applica tion). Bureau of Public Debt, 19 July 2012. Web. 23 July 2012. <http://www.treasury direct.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np>. “The Elimination of the Canadian Penny.” Golden Girl Finance. N.p., 23 Apr. 2012. Web. 10 Aug. 2012. <http://www.goldengirlfinance.ca/articles/a-penny-less-canada-how-getting-rid-ofthe-penny-makes-cents-for-you>.

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Tiplady, R. “Small Change, Big Annoyance in Europe.” Business Week Online. September 23, 2004. “Two-Thirds of Americans Want to Keep the Penny.” Americans for Common Cents. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 July 2012. <http://www.pennies.org/index.php/penny-polling>. United States Mint. Annual Report. Washington, DC, 2011, <http://www.usmint.gov/downloads/about/annual_report/2011AnnualReport.pdf>. Whaples, Robert. “Time to Eliminate the Penny from the U.S. Coinage System.” Wake Forest University, 2007 Web. 6 July 2012. <http://college.holycross.edu/eej/Volume33/ V33N1P139_146.pdf>. Zielinsk, Michael. “Cost to Make Penny and Nickel Rises, Annual Loss Reaches $116.7 Million.” Coin Update News. Coin Update, 2 Jan. 2012. Web. 06 July 2012. <http://news.coinup date.com/cost-to-make-penny-and-nickel-rises-1139/>.

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Appendix Table 1 “Relative Costs of Penny Production”

Source: Bosco, Rodney J. “Statement of Rodney J. Bosco “On the Future of Money: Coin Production”” House.gov. United States House of Representatives, 17 Apr. 2012. Web. 23 July 2012. http:// financialservices.house.gov/UploadedFiles/HHRG-112-BA19-WState-RBosco-20120417.pdf, figure 6. Table 2 “What Percent of U.S. Mint Shipments Comprise of Pennies”

Source: United States Mint. Annual Report. Washington, DC, 2011, <http://www.usmint.gov/downloads/about/annual_report/2011AnnualReport.pdf> Table 3 “What Percentage of Coins Would Be Produced Post Penny Production”

Source: United States Mint. Annual Report. Washington, DC, 2011, <http://www.usmint.gov/downloads/about/annual_report/2011AnnualReport.pdf>.

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Table 4 “How Much of Penny Production is a Fixed Cost?”

Source: Bosco, Rodney J. “Statement of Rodney J. Bosco “On the Future of Money: Coin Production”” House.gov. United States House of Representatives, 17 Apr. 2012. Web. 23 July 2012. http:// financialservices.house.gov/UploadedFiles/HHRG-112-BA19-WState-RBosco-20120417.pdf, figure 6. Table 5 “U.S. Mint Seigniorage Post Penny Production”

Source: Bosco, Rodney J. “Statement of Rodney J. Bosco “On the Future of Money: Coin Production”” House.gov. United States House of Representatives, 17 Apr. 2012. Web. 23 July 2012. <http://financialservices.house.gov/UploadedFiles/HHRG-112-BA19-WState-RBosco-20120417. pdf>. ; United States Mint. Annual Report. Washington, DC, 2011, <http://www.usmint.gov/downloads/about/annual_report/2011AnnualReport.pdf>.

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Table 5 “Customers’ Gains and Losses from Rounding to the Nearest Nickel” State (# of stores) All Transactions : Column 1 Gain/Loss to Customers Alabama (1) Georgia (4) North Carolina (5) Pennsylvania (1) South Carolina (4) Tennessee (1) Virginia (4) All Locations (20) Akron Drive Stratford Drive (+)$6.12 (+)$30.18 (+)$44.24 (-)$1.79 (+)$19.98 (+)$3.16 (+)$3.71 (+)$105.60 (+)$6.29 (+)$7.46 Total Transaction 10,730 43,885 33,870 12,034 41,275 10,039 33,881 185,714 7,001 6,591 Gain/loss per transaction +0.057 cents +0.069 cents +0.131 cents -0.015 cents +0.048 cents +0.031 cents +0.011 cents +0.057 cents +0.090 cents +0.113 cents

Source: Whaples, Robert. “Time to Eliminate the Penny from the U.S. Coinage System.” Wake Forest University, 2007 Web. 6 July 2012. <http://college.holycross.edu/eej/Volume33/ V33N1P139_146.pdf>. Table 2.

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The Geopolitics of Energy: Conflict and Cooperation in Caspian Sea States
Alex Buchholz
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, a multi-faceted regional struggle erupted over the control of the substantial hydrocarbon reserves of the Caspian Sea basin. On paper, oil and natural gas revenues had the potential to transform Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and to some extent Georgia from economically poor dependences into major energy exporters. In this sense, the states surrounding and adjacent to the Caspian Sea provide an interesting case study into how hydrocarbons can dramatically shift a region’s geopolitical dynamic. At an international, regional, and domestic level major oil and gas deposits have influenced sociopolitical outcomes. In some cases, these deposits have been a source of tension and conflict between internal and extra regional actors. Yet, in other instances, hydrocarbons have brought tremendous economic development and a certain level of political stability. Going forward, energy will continue to provide the basis of regional interactions and structuring. However, the recent surge in US domestic production and the continued integration of gas markets will create new realities within the Caspian economic and political spheres.

A

s post-soviet states have committed themselves to national consolidation and autonomy in the wake of the USSR’s fall, a series of previously inaccessible regions have entered the field of the wider international community. In the countries surrounding and directly adjacent

to the Caspian Sea, Russia’s retreat opened the door to political and economic issues not previously encountered. The newly independent states of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan recognized that the core of their long-term political aspirations rested on the substantial hydrocarbon reserves of the Caspian basin. On paper, Caspian hydrocarbons had the potential to transform littoral states from economically poor dependencies to major energy exporters. However, progress was challenged by the overwhelmingly complex regional geopolitical dynamic. At an external level, international actors flocked to the Caspian for a variety of intricate, sometimes conflicting, and oftentimes overlapping reasons. The United States, buoyed by its Cold War victory, sought the opportunity to subvert Russian political influence in the Caspian, an area traditionally considered the country’s ‘backyard’. International Oil Companies, like British Petroleum and Chevron, believed the Caspian presented one of the last truly untapped sources of global hydrocarbon reserves and were excited by the possibilities it presented. Recently, the European Union has become engaged in Eurasia in the interest of energy security and the diversification of hydrocarbon suppliers. Regionally, Russia has tried to limit the entrance of external actors, while simultaneously attempting to retain the same level of political relevancy within its post-soviet sphere. As the histori-

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cal power in the region, Moscow recognizes that the loss of political and economic leverage in the Caspian would be a major geopolitical coup for its rivals and has entrenched itself as much as possible. Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan all recognize this move by the Russians, but dually understand that their best interests lie in diplomatic diversification. Consequently, littoral states have engaged in a multi-vectored foreign policy approach designed to balance the interests of their international partners and local neighbors. This strategy is designed largely to appease Russia, foster western diplomatic ties, and enhance interstate cooperation among the newly independent Eurasian states. Caspian states also face a series of complicated domestic issues. In the South Caucasus, ethnic division breeds instability and conflict. Two Georgian separatist movements, in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, remain active and counterproductive to Georgia’s development. Further south, the ethnic struggle over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region is presently unresolved and has the potential to lead to wider conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Additionally, the newly independent Eurasian governments are tasked with restructuring their national economies while simultaneously developing competent state structures. Both of these goals are highly dependent on hydrocarbon revenues, creating a cyclical trap where the energy sector development prevents proper economic restructuring. To be sure, oil and gas reserves have also been a source of regional progress and cooperation. In the face of such staggering economic potential, Caspian states, neighboring powers, and international actors developed a network of complicated relationships and alliances. Although generally fleeting, these relationships created a certain level of stability. However, current shifts in the international energy market could change the geopolitical game going forward. The United States, a key-balancing partner, has less of a financial stake in the region due to rising domestic production. If the United States opts-out diplomatically, significant political and security problems could arise. The Caspian Sea presents an interesting example of how the discovery of oil and gas can successfully and unsuccessfully challenge a region’s geopolitical dynamic. Critically, by examining instances of conflict and cooperation over hydrocarbons at an international, regional, and domestic level, one can discover the transformative effect these resources can have on determining regional outcomes. The Caspian Sea: A Regional Overview The greater Caspian region is broadly defined to include the 5 littoral states of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, and Russia, as well as the neighboring countries of the Caucasus and

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Central Asia (Dekmejian, 2003). To the west, the prominent Caucasus Mountains create a natural boundary dividing a fairly narrow land bridge between the far reaches of Europe and the Middle East. In the south, the Iranian plateau provides a natural base for Persian expansion throughout the region. To the north and east, flat, arid plains define the landscape. Geography plays a key role in understanding the area’s development and history. In the Caucasus, the mountainous terrain invariably fractured the population into a competitive mixture of ethnic minorities. To this day, the lack of political and cultural unity makes the Caucasus incredibly susceptible to outside invasion and intervention. Surrounding civilizations have thus been the focus of imperial ambitions by the Iranian, British, and Russian empires. In what is now the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, open and resource poor spaces influenced the creation of nomadic groups. Without permanent state structures, the lands of the Kazakh and Turkmen tribes were consequently absorbed following Russian expansion in the 16th and 17th century. As the largest landlocked region in the world, the Caspian faces a series of unique geopolitical challenges. Without direct access to the sea, landlocked Caspian states are reliant on their neighbor’s transit routes to effectively integrate with the global marketplace. Such a dependency means that extra regional actors have historically played a key role in; 1. connecting the Caspian to the outside world and 2. driving the area’s long term economic future. Consequently, external actors and transport partners in the Caspian enjoy a greater level of importance than other regions in the world. The Caspian basin also has a legacy as a major producer and exporter of hydrocarbons. In the early 20th century, the Nobel family amassed an oil empire on the Azeri coast that challenged Standard Oil in both production and profits. During WWII, Caspian oil accounted for 70% of the Soviet Union’s wartime supply (Dekmejian, 2003). When Caspian states achieved independence in the early 1990s, many experts had optimistic expectations that the region would become the next Middle East. Although these estimates proved to be exaggerated, the region remains an integral part of the international energy market. According to the recent estimates, proven oil reserves range from 17 to 44 billion barrels, ‘comparable to Qatar at the low end and the USA at the high end’. Gas reserves are estimated to range from 6.6 to 7.3 trillion m3 (tcm), ‘comparable to Saudi Arabia’ (Congressional Research Service, 2006) (Anker, Morten et. Al. 2010). Of the many states that make up the greater Caspian, only 3 are major energy exporters, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. As mentioned previously, the geographically vulnerable orientation of the Caspian has been a decisive factor in the area’s development. For a large portion of modern history, the Caspian was caught between the expanding Iranian and Russian empires. Following the Russian Revolution in

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1917, nearly the entire region, excluding Iran, fell under the protection of the Soviet Union. During this period, the foundation of the modern Caspian states were formed through the creation of semiautonomous Soviet State Republics, or SSRs. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, a multi-faceted geopolitical struggle emerged between rival states to fill the subsequent power vacuum in the Caspian (Akiner 2004). Newly independent post-soviet states in the Caucasus and Central Asia were tasked with holding the fragile region together while simultaneously preventing foreign interests, namely Moscow, from dictating policy again. However, escaping the Soviet sphere of influence proved to be instrumentally challenging. The complex economic network created under Communism ensured that states were still commercially dependent on their Soviet trade partners following independence. Soviet SSR’s typically specialized in one or two industries and therefore needed to completely restructure their economies to compete in a capitalist market system. Additionally, Caspian countries lacked the robust institutions necessary to maintain a strong central government. A complete political and economic transformation was consequently a policy imperative for Caspian governments going forward. In order to accomplish this goal, littoral governments sought to harness the immense hydrocarbon reserves of the Caspian basin. The countries of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan all had the potential to become major energy exporters. Similarly, Georgia and other surrounding states stood to benefit as transport partners. However, energy sector driven economic growth in these states was challenged by Russia’s existing pipeline infrastructure. At the time of independence, Russia had a complete monopoly on hydrocarbon transport out of the post-Soviet sphere, giving it significant leverage. Caspian actors have therefore looked to West and the international community in an attempt to distance themselves from the Soviet sphere. As a result, a multi-layered geopolitical dynamic has once again emerged as external and internal actors vie for power in the ever- shifting Caspian political landscape. Inter-state Conflict and Cooperation The fracturing of the Caspian from two regional powers into five diverse littoral states has opened the door for renewed conflict and cooperation. In some cases political, ethnic, and legal tensions that were dismissed during the Soviet Union reemerged as sources of instability. In others, independence paved the way for joint-economic development and diplomatic alliances. Newly independent states, faced with the complexity of the modern Caspian geopolitical landscape, have adopted unique foreign policy approaches towards their neighbors. In order to be

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successful, these countries have attempted to balance their own interests with those of Russia and international players like the US. This diplomatic strategy “entails refraining from joining exclusive alliance systems and maintaining cooperation with competition alliance systems” (Shaffer, 2011 pg. 243). In the energy rich countries Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan, oil and gas reserves represent the axis around which their government’s multi-directional foreign policy spins. The landlocked nature of the Caspian forces energy exporters to engage with the wider community to secure reliable transport routes for their products. To ensure further security, all 3 countries have attempted to maximize the amount of export infrastructure (pipeline routes) in the region. As Kazakhstan’s former Foreign Minister Tokayev stated in 2003, “the more pipelines we build, the better this will be for Kazakhstan” (Shaffer, 2011 pg. 247). However, transport diversification requires a great deal of regional cooperation from non-exporting partners like Georgia, Russia, and Uzbekistan. As a result, energy exporters have taken greats lengths to secure favorable diplomatic connections with their transport partners. In the past 20 years, a prominent example of this phenomenon has emerged in the form of Azeri-Georgian relations. From independence, Baku knew that Georgia represented the best opportunity to gain a strategic ally and transport partner. The two countries had generally enjoyed warm relations over their respective histories and were united in their calls for Russian non-interference. Unlike Azerbaijan, Georgia possessed direct access to the world’s oceans through a coastline on the Black Sea. In 1993, despite heavy Russian influence, including an assassination attempt on Georgia’s president, a pipeline from Baku to the Georgian port of Supsa was built, creating a direct economic linkage between the two countries. Since Baku-Supsa, Georgia and Azerbaijan have completed other, more complicated pipeline projects. In response, Azerbaijan has taken an incredibly favorable foreign policy approach toward Georgia. “On multiple occasions, Azerbaijan has attempted to strengthen Georgia’s stability, at times through voluntary concessions on issues of major interest to Baku. For instance, Baku chose, against the advice of and despite pressure from the World Bank and other international institutions, to sell natural gas to Georgia at a relatively low price in order to strengthen Tbilisi’s economic stability” (Shaffer, 2011). Furthermore, Azerbaijan showed immense political will by supporting Georgia through extensive import bans levied on the country by Russia. In 2006, Russia imposed a ban on Georgian wine, a major export product, and asked for a 100% price increase on natural gas exports to Azerbaijan and Georgia. The Azeri government responded by increasing domestic natural gas production and exports

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to Georgia, “allowing both states to ride out the price hikes” (Overland, 2010). Although interstate cooperation has improved in some instances, the unresolved legal status of the Caspian remains a threat to regional stability. All five littoral states have been unable to find an agreeable legal framework for the demarcation of Caspian maritime boundaries and the allocation of resources. Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan base their border claims on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS 1982), which calls for exclusive economic zones that are equidistant from the opposite/opposing shoreline. Azerbaijan believes that the legal status of the Caspian should be decided on the basis of the 1940 Soviet-Iranian agreement. Under this agreement, Azerbaijan’s exclusive economic zone would extend 120 miles east in some places, far beyond the median line. Baku has supported this aggressive claim by arguing that its previous pre-eminent role in developing Caspian oilfields entitles it to a larger share of the sea (Akiner, 2004). Originally, Russia used its position on the legal status of the Caspian as a bargaining chip before coming to terms with Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in 1996. Of the five littorals, Iran remains perhaps the least willing to compromise. Tehran insists that the 1921 and 1940 Soviet-Iranian agreements, which require joint sharing of Caspian resources, are legally binding under international law (Petroleum Iran, 2003). Despite numerous attempts to negotiate a multi-lateral compromise, the legal status of the Caspian remains unresolved. Consequently, competing legal claims of Caspian littorals continue to breed interstate controversy. Since independence, oil deposits straddling the maritime borders of Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan have been a source of conflict for the two countries. Initially, Turkmenistan claimed sovereignty over the Azeri-Chirag field, which lies mostly within the Azeri sector of the Caspian. However, the signing of the ‘Contract of the Century’ by the Azeri government and a consortium of international oil companies changed Turkmenistan’s stance on issue. Ashgabat recognized it lacked the political momentum to stop future development and relinquished its claim. Despite the relative peace over ACG, another oil field, known as Kyapaz in Azerbaijan, and Serdar in Turkmenistan, continues to cause problems. As recently as 2012, Turkmen vessels have attempted to conduct seismic exploration of the field that Azerbaijan retains effective control over (Azerbaijan warns Turkmenistan over Kypaz oil field). Baku has threated sanctions and military force against any company or consortium working with Ashgabat to develop the field (Azerbaijan’s Gunships Threatened Turkmenistan’s Caspian Oil Rigs, Cable Show). For the time being, these threats have been effective in preventing any Turkmen development of Kyapaz/Serdar. Going forward, it appears unlikely that a multi-lateral resolution to the Caspian legal problem will present itself. As it stands, the current arrangement is sufficient to pre-

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vent immediate interstate conflict. However, the longer the Caspian littoral’s wait to define the sea’s legal framework, the greater the threat for regional instability. In the South Caucasus, ethnic conflict continues to be a major policy concern. Since independence, the Georgian central government in Tbilisi has struggled to bring the breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia under its control. Nationalists in both provinces assert that their ethnic identities entitle them to a politically separate nation-state. Understandably, Georgia has tried and failed to bring the two territories back into its fold. The result has been a political and humanitarian nightmare for Tbilisi. Over 400,000 refugees were forced to flee following the separation in 1992 and Russia now maintains a sizable peacekeeping presence in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia (Rutland, 2000). In 2008, the ethnic tensions ignited into a wider conflict between Russia and Georgia over the sovereignty of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The war failed to achieve any significant strategic outcome on either side. However, Georgia is much less likely to intervene militarily to secure the provinces in the future. Ethnic conflict is also at the heart of the unresolved dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. In the dying days of the Soviet Union, the two countries fought a brutal war over the Armenian populated mountain enclave located within the borders of Azerbaijan. Armenia, who won the war and retains control of the region, claims that the presence of a significant Armenian diaspora makes Nagorno-Karabakh a de-facto part of its borders. On the other hand, Baku disputes the size of the Armenian diaspora and asserts that Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally defined as de-jure part of Azerbaijan. At the time of writing, attempts to achieve a peaceful resolution regarding the future of the territory have failed. Although a future war remains unlikely, Baku has been quick to point out that the military budget of Azerbaijan will soon surpass Armenia’s entire federal budget, vaguely suggesting that a war could be possible (de Waal, 2013). Azerbaijan 2012 Ranking 139/176 Kazakhstan 133/176 Turkmenistan 170/176 Armenia 105/176 Georgia 51/176

Internally, Caspian governments struggle with oligarchical and rent-seeking socio-political structures that hinder transparency and efficiency. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index from 2012, Caspian countries rank as some of the most corrupt in the world (Transparency International, 2012). In Caspian society, corruption is engrained at several levels, ranging from education and construction to government affairs. State officials, from bottom to

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top, engage in a hierarchical system of patronage wherein one pays their superior, who then does the same (Hoffman, 2000). Caspian bureaucrats also generally retain a “symbiotic” relationship with the wealthy business elites, effectively creating a widespread network of political and economic control (Anker, Morten & et. Al., 2010). It is common for high-level government officials to transition into desirable private sector jobs and vice versa. Traditionally, such rent-seeking structures have proven to be incredibly difficult to dislodge and inhibit proper economic competition and merit-based leadership development. Consequently, corruption is likely to remain a serious problem for Caspian policy makers. Russian Ambitions and its relations with other Caspian states As the region’s largest and most powerful state, Russia occupies a unique position in the Caspian space. The country is a political and economic powerhouse, a major energy exporter, and a Caspian littoral. Furthermore, Russia has deeply rooted ethnic, cultural, and political ties to the region, which serves to create an interlocking/multi-dimensional connection with Caspian states. Moscow’s interest in the Caspian derives from geo-strategic concerns that highlight the area as key to control over Central Asia. To the south, the Caucasus mountain range provides a narrow and easily defendable chokepoint at the frontier of Russian territory. Across the sea, the wide plains of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan allow for a projection of power far to the West. Control of the greater Caspian therefore represents a defensive policy imperative for any Russian administration. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia faced an entirely new geopolitical reality in the Caspian. Moscow’s financial struggles and the formation of several independent states created a situation wherein direct military and political control was no longer viable. Consequently, Russian bureaucrats have adopted a new strategy paradigm in order to maintain control over the Caspian republics. Since the mid 1990’s, Russia’s aggressive foreign approach has been defined by a number of central tenants. First, Russia views extra regional competition in the Caspian as a ‘zero sum game’ and has thus responded aggressively to block foreign intrusions (Kubicek, 2004). Moscow recognizes that any loss of influence in its geopolitical ‘backyard’ to foreign actors would be a major coup for its regional and international rivals. Consequently, Russia has used its position as a major political and economic power in the region to stall advances by international oil companies and foreign governments. Second, Moscow uses “diplomatic pressure and imperialistic, coercive policies – including blackmail, attempted subversion, and military intervention” to keep newly independent states from drifting from the Soviet sphere of influence (Griffith, 1998). Caspian countries are relatively reliant

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on Russia as a trade partner and regional leader. Moscow, recognizing this inherent dependency, utilizes its superior position to project power throughout the Caspian Basin. As a result, states that stray too far from Moscow’s foreign policy goals have been susceptible to Russian reprisals. Fundamentally, Russian attempts to bring the Caspian back into its fold revolve around the transport and production of the region’s hydrocarbon resources. For Moscow, “oil is both an end itself, for the wealth it generates, and a means to an end, aiding the projection of Russian power and influence” (Rutland, 2000). In the early 1990’s, Russia possessed the only pipeline routes capable of transporting Caspian oil and gas to world markets. Russia’s transport monopoly gave it significant economic leverage over its fellow post-Soviet partners, an advantage it wielded to great effect. In Kazakhstan, Russia regularly attempted to shape outcomes by threating to cut-off pipeline routes leaving the country. Moscow has been known to take advantage of its transport monopoly to make Kazakhstan pay higher transit fees for oil and gas (Roberts, 2004). Furthermore, Russia used “it’s position as monopoly purchaser to force Kazakhstan to accept only a fraction of the world price for gas” and simultaneously “used its position as monopoly shipper to force the Kazakhs to pay much higher prices for gas exported from Russia” (Roberts, 2004). The Turkmen government finds itself in a similar situation. Ashgabat continues to export a majority of its natural gas, “despite the relatively low price it receives from Moscow” (Shaffer & Avinoam, 2011). Pricing aside, Russia’s pipeline monopoly also gives it the ability to force its way into major energy development projects. Specifically in Kazakhstan, Russia’s oil company LUKoil received shares in the Tengiz consortium to cool disagreements between Astana and Moscow over transit fees (Alexandrov, 1999). However by the mid 90’s, increasing production in the Caspian basin necessitated the development of more modern, higher capacity pipelines. Moscow fought aggressively to make sure a majority of the new routes traveled through the country. In particular, Russia pressured Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan to pump Caspian oil to the Russian Black Sea Port of Novorossiysk (Griffith, 1998). Moscow specifically offered to settle its legal boundary disputes with both countries in the event that they accepted this proposal. At the same time, Russia lobbied strongly against the construction of east-west energy corridors like the Baku-Supsa and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipelines that bypassed Russian territory. The country recognized that new east-west pipeline routes would act to diminish Russia’s geopolitical influence in the region. Moscow has also been very successful at preventing the Trans-Caspian Pipeline (TCP) from becoming a reality. The project calls for an energy corridor that would bypass Russia by diverting Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan hydrocarbons through Azerbaijan’s BTC pipeline. Russia has largely accomplished this task through direct threats to Kazakhstan and

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Turkmenistan. For example, each time Turkmenistan has made progress towards TCP, “Russia has disrupted Ashgabat’s gas exports through Russian territory” (Shaffer & Avinoam). Russia uses economic sanctions and its military presence to maintain its influence and force former Soviet states to accept certain political decisions. Particularly in the South Caucasus, Russia has instigated internal and interstate conflict to achieve a favorable geopolitical balance between competing countries. Moscow indirectly supports Armenia in the Karabakh dispute and has deliberately slowed the resolution of the conflict in order to weaken Azerbaijan’s position (Nassibli, 2004). Additionally, Moscow has meddled extensively in the internal affairs of Georgia. Russia backs the independence movements of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and has placed Russian peacekeepers in both territories to prevent Georgia from reclaiming the territories. Furthermore, Georgia has been forced into accepting various concessions, such as Russian military bases on Georgian soil, in return for promises to end the conflicts (Rutland, 2000). These significant military tensions have been confounded by instances of economic ‘bullying’ by Russia. As mentioned earlier, in 2006 Russia carried out a 100% price increase on natural gas exports to Azerbaijan and Georgia when they failed to fall in line with Russian demands. Around the same time, Russia imposed a ban on imports of Georgian wine, mineral waters, and agricultural produce, significantly threatening the Georgian economy (Shaffer & Avinoam). To be sure, Russia no longer maintains the complete political and economic control in the Caspian it once enjoyed under the Soviet Era. The country has been forced to accept a lesser position in the Caspian, much to the distain of Russian bureaucrats. However, Moscow has attempted to bring states back into Russia’s sphere of influence through new and indirect methods of persuasion. In many cases, these aggressive methods have disrupted regional stability through non-market practices and military interventions. However, as the Caspian becomes increasingly international and interstate cooperation strengthens, Russia’s role as the ‘regional hegemon’ is likely to weaken. The Role of International Oil Companies in the Caspian Basin Following independence, previously neglected and underutilized Caspian natural resources emerged on the world market. Large international oil companies, like British Petroleum, Chevron, and Amoco, sought to gain a competitive advantage over their rivals by investing heavily to secure the rights to Caspian hydrocarbon deposits. However, the geopolitical reality of the region meant that significant energy deals were generally very complex and carried a great deal of financial risk Consequently, IOC’s have aggressively maneuvered to protect their assets from government interfer-

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ence and regional security threats. In response, Caspian state governments have taken a multi-faceted approach. On the one hand, Baku, Ashgabat, and Astana all need the expertise of western oil giants to successfully develop their resources and accrue the subsequent revenue. On the other, none of these governments want to “lose out” through unfavorable or manipulative energy deals. IOC’s and Caspian state governments therefore share a unique relationship, wherein both are constantly trying to tip the balance in their favor. In some instances, the two parties have worked well to develop major energy projects. The early PSAs, or Production Sharing Agreements, provide a good example. However, IOC’s and littoral governments have also had their fair share of serious disagreements. These disputes have been characterized by instances of legal arbitration, blackmail, and political threats. As a result, the emergence of IOC’s on the Caspian stage reaffirms how hydrocarbons can provide both a source of conflict and cooperation. At the time of independence, hydrocarbon facilities and operations on the Caspian were suffering immensely after years of communist control. Many wells had been abandoned or shut down following the Soviet exodus to harness Siberia’s vast resources (Ebel, 1996). Wells that were operational lacked proper safety methods and utilized inefficient extraction procedures that hampered potential output (Crossiant, 1999). Furthermore, several supermassive gas and oil fields were completely out of the financial and technological reach of new Caspian states. These fields, discovered mainly during the Soviet Era, required advanced machinery and technical expertise to develop. As a result, newly independent Caspian littorals sought out partnerships with western oil companies that had the necessary experience and capital to bring their resources online. International Oil Companies had good reasons to reexamine the Caspian as a site of potential investment. The Caspian Sea basin and the surrounding area was at the time one of the last untapped sources of oil and gas reserves in the world. Initial analysis brought forward rather grandiose beliefs that the region would one day become ‘the next middle east’ (Kumar, 2009). Although these findings were later determined to be inaccurate, they succeeded in drawing significant attention to the region. New governments were also willing to offer fairly generous terms to IOC’s in order to start production as soon as possible (Akiner, 2004). In the early 1990’s, the opening round of negotiations started between Caspian energy producers and international oil companies. Initial optimism was plagued by brutal negotiations and unfinished deals/deals that fell apart at the last minute. However by 1993, the first Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) had been signed by the government of Kazakhstan and a Chevron led consortium of western companies. The PSA gave the consortium the right to develop and produce the Tengiz

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deposit, the 6th largest oil field in the world (Pala, 2001). A year later, the Azeri government signed a PSA giving a BP-led Consortium the right to develop the offshore Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli-Deepwater superstructure. The agreement, labeled the “Contract of the Century”, placed a great deal of Azerbaijan’s ambitions on the success of the consortium. At the time of signing, this contract represented the largest lump sum of foreign investment in the country’s history. These two deals paved the way for future international investment in the Caspian energy sector and established a framework for future PSAs. In many cases, both parties underestimated the technical difficulties associated with Caspian field development. The location of major oil fields in Kazakhstan, namely Tengiz and Kashagan, created problems right from the outset. During the winter months, the area suffers from dangerous low temperatures (-40° F) and icebergs that disrupt production (Johnson, 2001). Several oil fields in Kazakhstan also posses high sulfur content levels which creates safety concerns and makes the oil more difficult to develop, transport, and refine (Moffet & Andrew, 2011). Confounding these issues, below ground pressures in the Caspian region are “nearly twice that of normal hydrostatic pressure and sometimes more” (Johnson, 2001). Consequently, many consortiums struggled to meet their initial production quotas, much to the disappointment of their government partners. As a result, cracks began to emerge in the close working relationship between IOC consortium members and national governments. In Azerbaijan, British Petroleum has regularly quarreled with its consortium partner SOCAR and the Azeri government. At the heart of the conflict, both sides have used economic and political leveraging to pressure their opponent into accepting certain concession. British Petroleum, as the majority operator in Azerbaijan, wields a great deal of financial clout in the country. Baku claims that BP has intentionally underperformed on major projects in order to pressure the Azeri government into renewed agreements. In 2006, the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, accused BP of using “mild blackmail” (U.S. Department of State, 2006). President Aliyev argued that BP had reduced production on the ACG field during an energy shortage to force an extension on its PSA. A year later, Aliyev confided to a senior US diplomat that he intended to “make public that BP is stealing our oil”, referring to the ongoing disagreement over ACG development (U.S. Department of State, 2007). At the same time, the Azeri government and SOCAR have leveled a number of extraordinary measures against BP. The two actors have “explicitly and repeatedly” threatened to take extra-legal actions against consortiums that don’t give in on key issues. The government also directly threatened BPAzerbaijan’s then president, Bill-Schrader, with charges of smuggling and fraud (U.S. Department of

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State, 2007). Despite these disagreements, the two sides are essentially engaged in a deadlock. Neither the Azeri-government nor SOCAR can afford the 1 to 2 year turnaround that would be required with a switch in consortium leadership. From BP’s perspective, leaving Azerbaijan after investing so heavily would be equally unthinkable. In Kazakhstan, developments have also shown the potential for conflict. International consortium members have faced increasing pressure from the central government on key issues surrounding PSAs. Although IOC’s played a pre-eminent role in the development of many early Kazakh energy projects, there is a sense that this could be changing. The Kazakh government has become more aggressive in its negotiations and dealings with foreign operators. For one, the country has threatened to nationalize oil and gas deposits despite pre-existing contractual obligations (Anker, Morten & et. Al. 2010) (Overland, 2010). The Kazakh government also has continually challenged fundamental legal rights within Production Sharing Agreements, much to the anger of consortium members. Furthermore, IOC’s have been “subject to spurious and continued harassment from local tax authorities and environmental interest groups” (Akiner, 2001). These ‘fear tactics’ by Astana, are indicative of a wider strategy employed by the government to bend international actors to its will. International oil companies have played a central role in driving the Caspian’s economic and political spheres. The current levels of hydrocarbon production and development “would have been unthinkable without heavy inflows of western capital and technology” (Anker, Morten & et. Al, 2010). In that sense, western oil majors were critical in shaping the region’s future. However, both IOC’s and littoral governments have struggled to find compromises between their respective competing interests. Oil producing Caspian countries remain incredibly reliant on energy revenues to support their growing state structures. In 2010, hydrocarbons made up 90% of all exports in Azerbaijan, 65% of all exports in Turkmenistan, and 60% of all exports in Kazakhstan (Anker, Morten & et. Al, 2010). Consequently, all 3 countries have fought aggressively against IOC investors to ensure maximum profit margins from major energy deals. As a result, disagreements between IOC’s and Caspian governments create a further source of tension in an already complicated geopolitical environment. The changing face of Caspian energy As the Caspian moves into the second decade of the 21st century, it is clear that a new geopolitical reality is taking shape. States have been built, pipelines have been constructed, and alliances have been formed. Over 20 years, these achievements created the basis for the modern Caspian political structure. However, this foundation remains malleable and evolving. New developments in

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the international energy market and the South Caucasus political sphere have changed the game for the region. From a western perspective, the situation is transitioning from a geopolitical struggle over the sovereignty of Caspian states to a matter of energy security for the European Union. The formation of a new Caspian reality has largely been the result of decreased Russian influence throughout the region. Despite being placed in a geopolitically advantageous position, Russia failed to recapture its role as the Caspian ‘hegemon’. Financially speaking, Moscow was unable to compete with the capital and advanced technology of international oil companies. The country largely lost out on the major oil and natural gas deals that were essential to the economic control and future growth of the region. Russian energy companies still have very few equity holdings in Central Asian hydrocarbon deposits (Baker Institute for Pubic Policy, 2009). Additionally, Russia has been relatively unsuccessful in preventing the development of new pipeline routes. As mentioned previously, Russia’s energy transport monopoly gave it significant economic leverage over Caspian states. Although Moscow stalled the Trans-Caspian pipeline, new routes in the South Caucasus and Turkmenistan allowed littoral states to bypass Russian supply routes. These developments combined to significantly diminish Russia’s ability to project economic power in Caspian. In the South Caucasus, Russia’s waning political influence is particularly evident. Moscow has been unable to stop the western re-orientation of Azerbaijan and Georgia. The two countries have significantly strengthened their diplomatic ties with the US and European Union in an attempt to distance themselves from Russia. For one, Georgia has adamantly lobbied for NATO membership in an attempt to incorporate itself in the western security umbrella. Additionally, Azerbaijan and Georgia have contributed troops and logistical support to the Coalition war effort in Afghanistan. The Northern Distribution Network, a key supply route, passes through Georgia and Azerbaijan on its way to Coalition forces. Alliances aside, both countries have also experienced increased economic integration with the west. New energy corridors like BTC were successful in bringing tremendous development and a certain level of political stability to the region. Furthermore, these transport infrastructure projects enhanced regional security by creating a financial connection to neighboring states, namely Turkey. These projects also “enhance participation in Western legal and regulatory regimes” and cause a “pro-western institution bias within the participating countries” (Cain, Michael & et. Al, 2012). Militarily, Russia’s attempts to maintain control over the region through proxy conflicts in Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh have failed to garner any real geopolitical progress. Russia’s decision to support Armenia in order to counterbalance the area resulted in “a significant reduction of Russian influence and prestige in Azerbaijan” (Nassibli, 2004). Consequently, Russia has been forced to as-

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sume a lesser geopolitical position in the South Caucasus and greater Caspian region. As a result, the ‘great game’ over the sovereignty of Caspian states is no longer a paramount foreign policy focus for the US and Russia. The political game over the Caspian has also shifted as a result of changes in the international energy market. In the past 6 years, US domestic production has increased almost 35% thanks to discoveries of large shale oil deposits and the development of new technologies (U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2013). The American energy sector has utilized new techniques like fracking and horizontal drilling to bring previously inaccessible fields online in West Texas, Pennsylvania, and North Dakota. The US is set to be the largest gas and oil producer in the near future, which means an inevitable reshaping of global energy markets. This could be bad news for Caspian exporters for two reasons. One, increased US production could drive global prices down which would threaten the economic viability of Caspian energy projects. Second, alternative export regions like the Caspian become significantly less critical to US energy interests as domestic production rises. Another threat to Caspian energy comes in the form of developments in the gas market. In the past, natural gas was restricted to regional pricing mechanisms, due to transportation issues. Pricing was linked to oil at a fairly high ratio, around 7:1. However, gas markets have become increasingly integrated through LNG facilities and new pipeline routes. Further region-to-region integration means that the price of natural gas relative to oil has dropped drastically. Additionally, the formation of a true international gas market reduces the profit margins on major Caspian projects like Shah Deniz Stage 2 and the TAP pipeline. The changes in the international energy market and geopolitical game between the US and Russia, mean the Caspian should be viewed from a western perspective as more of a European Union energy security issue. In the coming decade, the EU will have to import 60-80% of its energy needs to meet projected demand. However, the EU’s primary energy export partner, Russia, has proven to be less than reliable. In 2009, Russia cut off its gas pipelines going through Ukraine creating an energy shortage crisis throughout Eastern Europe. The event demonstrated just how vulnerable European states were to Russian energy sanctions. Consequently, the EU has looked to alternative energy suppliers to reduce its dependence on Russian hydrocarbons. One of the regions the EU has targeted in particular has been the Caspian. At its maximum, Caspian reserves have the potential to account for 2% of future European demand. However, there is a hope that diversifying European supply sources will allow the EU to win better negotiating rights from the Russians. Furthermore, if the EU can successfully tap in to regions like the Caspian and North Africa, it could reduce its dependence slightly

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on Russia going forward. The states surrounding and adjacent to the Caspian Sea provide an interesting case study into how hydrocarbons can dramatically shift a region’s geopolitical dynamic. At an international, regional, and domestic level major oil and gas deposits have influenced sociopolitical outcomes. In some cases, these deposits have been a source of tension and conflict between internal and extra regional actors. Yet, in other instances, hydrocarbons have brought tremendous economic development and a certain level of political stability. Going forward, energy will continue to provide the basis of regional interactions and structuring. However, it remains to be seen whether hydrocarbon wealth will be able to propel the Caspian into an era of modern prosperity.

____________ Alex Buchholz is a junior Economics and International Affairs double major at Wake Forest University. This past summer, Alex spent a month and a half in Baku, Azerbaijan where he studied energy sector driven economic growth in Caspian Sea states as part of his Richter Academic Research Grant. During his time in Azerbaijan, Alex met with high level officials at the Azeri state oil company SOCAR, British Petroleum, and US Embassy in an attempt to understand the region’s geopolitical dynamic going forward. Alex was also fortunate to attend the US-Azerbaijan Diplomatic Convention and a NATO Energy Security Conference while in country. Upon returning from Azerbaijan, Alex interned with the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University in Washington, DC. He worked under Senior Minerva Fellow Dr. Denise Natali, an expert in Iraqi post-conflict relief and regional energy sector issues. At NDU, Alex continued his research on Caspian Sea energy and developed compelling 3-D visualizations and maps regarding energy geopolitics using open-source cartography software. In the future, Alex hopes to work for the US Department of State in either the Bureau of Energy Resources or the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. Caspian Energy aside, Alex is also deeply interested in Chinese neocolonial trade practices in Africa and EU energy security.

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References Akiner, Shirin. 2004. The Caspian: Politics, Energy and Security, London: Routledge. Alexandrov, Mikhail. 1999. Uneasy Alliance: Relations Between Russia and Kazakhstan in the PostSoviet Era, 1992-1997, Westport, CN: Greenwood. Anker, Morten; Baev, Pavel K; Brünstad, Bjorn; Øverland, Indra & Stina Torjesen. 2010. The Cas pian Sea Region towards 2025, Delft: Eburon. Chufrin, Gennadii Illarionovich. 2001. The Security of the Caspian Region, Oxford: Oxford Uni versity Press. Crandell, Maureen S. 2006. Energy, Economics and Politics in the Caspian Region: Dreams and Realities, Westport, CN: Greenwood. Croissant, Michael P. 1999. Oil and Geopolitics in the Caspian Sea Region, Westport, CN: Green wood. Dekmejian, Hrair R. 2003. Troubled Waters: The Geopolitics of the Caspian Region, New York, NY: I.B. Taurus. Ebel, Robert & Rajan Menon. 2000. Energy and Conflict in Central Asia and the Caucasus, Lan ham, MD: Roman & Littlefield. Gammer, Moshe. 2004. The Caspian Region: A Re-emerging Region, Vol. 1, London: Frank Cass. Griffith, Brent. 1998. “Back Yard Politics: Russia’s Foreign Policy Towards the Caspian Basin”, De mokratizatsiya, Vol. 6, No. 2; pp 426-441. James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. May 2009. “Russia and the Caspian States in the Global Energy Balance”, Baker Institute Policy Report, No. 39, pp. 1-15. Kalyuzhnova, Yelena. 2008. Economics of the Caspian Oil and Gas Wealth, New York, NY: Pal grave Macmillan. Kubicek, Paul. 2004. “Russian Energy Policy in the Caspian Basin”, World Affairs, Vol. 166, No. 4; pp. 207-217. Kumar, Pankaj. 2009. “The Unrealized Dream of Caspian Oil”, International Politics, Vol. 2, No. 4; PP. 1-18. Øverland, Indra. 2010. Caspian Energy Politics: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan, New York, NY: Routledge. Shaffer, Brenda & Avinoam Idan. 2011. “The Foreign Policies of Post-Soviet Landlocked States”, Post-Soviet Affairs, Vol. 27, No. 3; pp. 241-267.

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Shen, Simon Xu Hui. 2010. “Qualitative Energy Diplomacy in Central Asia: A Comparative Anayl sis of the Policies of the United States, Russia, and China”, Washington, DC: The Brook ings Institution.

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Appendix Figure 1: The Capsian Political Sphere

Figure 2: East/West Pipeline Infrastructure and Major Oil and Natural Gas Deposit

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Tragedy of a Nuclear Iran
Daniel Semelsberger
Tocqueville’s new politics of democratic centuries is embodied in his legislator, “[resembling] a man who plots his course in the middle of the sea.” While he is free to direct the vessel carrying him, the legislator is a prisoner to the vessel’s structure, the winds, and the ocean itself. In the democratic age, it is not as if individual influences are absent, but rather they are so intertwined in the causal labyrinth of path determinacy that at first sight individuals seem powerless over the society’s advances. In this essay, I offer advice for the modern U.S. statesman regarding the scope of his influence; namely, that even with the grandest ambitions one’s highest influence may be merely indirect, and more often than not tragically limited. I use the future prospect of a nuclear Iran as my exemplar, highlighting the limits of coercion and the importance of recognizing limits in all political orders in order to change the frame from eschatological hopes to a more opportunistic realism.

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he tragedy of Washington is Iran’s current autonomy. As a target of aggressive rhetoric since 1993—culminating in 2002 with President Bush’s denouncement of Iran as member of the “axis of evil”—looming threats of preemptive war, and absent diplomacy,

Iran believes it necessary to gain nuclear weaponry (Mearsheimer & Walt, 2007). The belief has become more than attaining tools for deterrence and leverage in foreign relations; attaining nuclear capabilities would satisfy cravings for diplomatic recognition, thereby legitimizing Iranian civilization internationally (Katzenstein, 1996). International recognition of Iran’s Middle East preeminence would empower the current Islamic Republic, namely due to the regime’s overcoming of American and Israeli restraints; what would be seen as a major U.S. diplomatic defeat across the globe would concurrently be viewed, both by Iran and toward Iran, as a triumph of Islamic fundamentalism and fulfillment of Iran’s fate, threatening Middle East neighbors as a result (Bellaigue, 2005). Yet the most tragic aspect is our vision of the situation. As it stands, Iran’s autonomy in pursuing nuclear capabilities is concurrently our restraint. However, such identification exists out the current faith around nuclear-nightmare and idealist-deterrence theories of nuclear Iran, which I exemplify with Scott Sagan’s ideological hubris and Kenneth Waltz’s balanced power fatalism (Wendt, 1992). In recognizing and affirming a nuclear Iran as a necessary, but not inevitable, political reality, Washington can make Iran’s autonomy into a paradoxical tragedy, creating a healthy balance of power through unambiguous definition of prohibitory behavior and enhancement of intelligence apparatuses. Recognition in Tragic Reality

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Washington must realize that any theory shaping Iran in accordance to idealist models contains its own downfall: an inability to affirm its contradictions. Plans such as Sagan’s apocalyptic binary (Sagan and Waltz, 2010) and Waltz’s optimistically rational states (Waltz, 1990) may contain normative and analytic value in their construction, but each falls far short in application. Sagan argues that Iran must not get nuclear weapons. The dangers—nuclear weapons promoting aggression, terrorist theft, and loose controls —all are legitimate concerns, yet by turning the situation into an eschatological hope of maintaining the current international order, failure becomes an existential threat (Sagan, Waltz & Betts, 2007). In portraying Iran as an autocratic aggressor unable to maintain control over its weaponry, a democratic “defensive” war becomes imminent upon successful Iranian nuclear testing (Small and Singer, 1976). War in Iran, whether defensive or preventative, is simply not feasible. As Mearsheimer and Walt conclude, “even if the United States could eliminate Iran’s nuclear facilities, Tehran would almost certainly rebuild them, and this time the Iranians would go to even greater lengths to disperse, hide, and harden them against an attack” (Mearsheimer and Walt, 2007). An illogical conception of Iran has been the norm since the Islamic theocracy came to power, leading to Iran’s presently conceived necessity of building nuclear weapons (Mearsheimer and Walt, 2007). Israel and Washington’s looming threat of forced regime change coupled with the U.S. invasion of fellow axis of evil member Iraq has had a paradoxical effect on Iran’s desire for nuclear defense, only making them more adamant to spin centrifuges. Cutting economic and diplomatic ties has also had contradictory effects. Broad-based sanctions harm ordinary Iranians at least as much as the theocratic leadership, thereby functioning to undercut the U.S. among potential dissidents to the regime (Lindsay & Takeyh, 2010). This is inopportune; Iran’s current population is about 70 percent under the age of 30, among which exists the widespread feeling of depoliticized exclusion—signs of brewing dissent toward regimes (Bellaigue, 2005). As for the current regime, Washington’s refusal to engage in real diplomacy prevents both parties from reaching a common knowledge assumption, meaning that unfounded fears are bound to occur in both directions, perhaps pushing Iran toward a security dilemma (Katzenstein, 1996). Also inherently limited is Waltz’s neorealist theory of rationally behaving states. Waltz is correct in attributing Israel’s nuclear monopoly in the Middle East as a significant reason why Iran is bent on acquiring nuclear weaponry (Waltz, 2012). However, he is wrong in attributing self-defense as the only motive. Such radical reduction removes Iran’s interest altogether, ignoring the prestige Iran pursues and the autonomy it gains through its pursuit. The fight for nuclear reputation in itself

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creates value for Iran; by spinning their centrifuges, Iran is constantly a few steps away from being tyrannized, yet through freely risking war, it slowly moves toward the preeminent pole of Middle East bipolarity. This is not institutional efficiency pulling states’ strings; it is actors changing the current equilibrium on their own terms (Waltz, 1990). Waltz’s approach needs to be rejected for its fatalism. It must not be inevitable that Iran ends up with nuclear weapons. Inevitability leaves Washington resigned from further action, thereby abandoning the full reality for naïve policy akin to stopping just short of declaring Iran an ally (Waltz, 2012). Following such a policy keeps Iran’s autonomy-in-pursuit unchecked, allowing it to tyrannize over the shape of the new international order. Lindsay and Takeyh, in accounting for limitations to rational-economic actor models, lay out a doomsday scenario possibly resulting from a detached Washington: “Israel would go on a hair-trigger alert—ready to launch a nuclear weapon at a moment’s notice—putting both countries minutes away from annihilation. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey would scramble to join the nuclear club. The Non-proliferation Treaty would collapse, unleashing a wave of nuclear proliferation around the globe” (Lindsay & Takeyh, 2010). It is well within Israel’s capacity to go this route should Iran gain nuclear capabilities; Israel sees Iran as having no capacity to attack homeland America—thereby not tying our hands to mutual security—yet as an existential threat for denying Israel’s right to exist (Mearsheimer & Walt, 2007). In fact, Mearsheimer and Walt argue that the fundamental reason why Washington has not pursued pure deterrence, a policy consistently more in-line with our national interest than the longstanding confrontational approach, is due to Israel’s influence (Mearsheimer & Walt, 2007). Israel, along with our own self-interests in keeping Sunni neighbors secure—if only to keep Persian Gulf oil free from hegemony—and nuclear threats posed by Islamist extremist groups should provide enough incentive to keep force credible. Recognition in Necessity Both Sagan’s fear-mongering of an irrational Iran (Sagan, Waltz & Betts, 2007) and Waltz’s systemic balance of power (Waltz, 2012) contain truths, yet both ultimately plunge blindly into tragedy. Only in recognizing the self-defeating nature of any policy can one see the tragic reality of politics honestly. This is not to suggest resignation; politics flows in as many directions as there are actors, meaning that Iran’s reformulated international order likewise contains its own downfall. If it is necessary that Iran should get nuclear capabilities, then Washington should affirm it as reality, realizing the inevitability of Iran’s own decay. As said by Lindsay and Takeyh,

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Washington “should make clear to Tehran that acquiring the bomb will not produce the benefits it anticipates but isolate and weaken the regime” (Lindsay & Takeyh, 2010). For Iran, it is necessary, not inevitable, that it gets nuclear capabilities. Currently, the Middle East is unstable, placing Iran in a difficult place: Israel exists as an unchecked nuclear state; neighbors Pakistan and Afghanistan have fragile regimes, thereby creating a shadow of doubt over future relations, and Sunni pan-Arabism exists as the dominant religion, making Iran into the radical minority (Sagan, Waltz & Betts, 2007). Furthermore, Iran suffers from domestic turmoil; if political restrictions were ever to become widely acknowledged—a real possibility considering Iran’s youthful demographics—there would be backlash for the current republic’s preference of enriching uranium over wealth through economic relations (Bellaigue, 2005). Iran’s desire for nuclear weaponry is more than for security; Iran sees it necessity to change its identity, believing that such change will revive its political fortunes. Currently, Iran has no current hope of building a conventional defense against the world’s only military superpower; but a nuclear weapon offers a means of dissuasion currently recorded as foolproof in containing major conflicts—even between nations as antagonistic as the U.S. and the Soviet Union, or India and Pakistan for that manner (Sagan and Waltz, 2010). Additionally, Iraq is no longer a rival for Persian Gulf dominance, opening the chance to control worldwide oil through a change in its power identity. Through domination of the Gulf, Iran could limit rival states’ oil production and reliance on U.S. military protection, lowering aid to Sunnis and thus triggering Shia uprisings within Sunni nations. Lastly, Iran’s propensity for allied protection will increase, assisting militant terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah in their operations against Israel (Lindsay and Takeyh, 2010). By recognizing the tragic reality, Washington will see the necessity of the new international order. Whether it is true Iran sought to improve relations twice with Washington— once in 1997, another after 2003’s stunning victory in Iraq—need not matter; as it currently stands, Iran is freely determining Washington’s trajectory (Mearsheimer & Walt, 2007). Iran will have nuclear capacity in less than a year without preemptive attack; with preemptive attack, an ugly conflict would arise with attacks on oil shipments and potential Iranian alignment with China and Russia (Mearsheimer & Walt, 2007). Additionally, after Iraq’s failure, public sentiment has deemed it normatively to avoid war at all costs. Current U.S. policy should still aim at terminating Iran’s progress. A crucial aspect of current U.S. identity and of Israel’s confidence in Washington’s credibility is tied to preventing a nuclear Iran (Katzenstein, 2006). Additionally, it is of little use convincing ourselves that a

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nuclear Iran makes a safer Middle East; such resignation could spook Israel from stable deterrence. Therefore, if it is necessary for Iran to gain nuclear capabilities, Washington’s pushback should remain vigorous, possibly holding out long enough for political unrest to overthrow the regime but simultaneously acknowledge impending necessity. However, the U.S. cannot afford to suffer after defeat. Iran still maintains every reason for maintaining full control in freely shaping the international order—and as such, U.S. autonomy in the process. To counteract, Washington must begin planning its deterrence as soon as possible. A nuclear standoff between Iran and Israel depends on Washington’s ability to exploit contradictory impulses within Iranian autonomy. In affirming Iranian capabilities, Washington can seize opportunities for defining the perpetual state of conflict resolution, regaining the autonomy lost in its defense of the collapsing previous political order. The most important step is to make Iran acknowledge its new identity as a nuclear power. Nuclear powers, perhaps out of necessity, hold essentially fixed norms: the weapons have never served any purpose other than for deterrence (Sagan, Waltz & Betts, 2007), fears of proliferation have historically proven false (Sagan & Waltz, 2010) and increased international awareness requires a new and costly power balance between other nuclear-capable nations (Waltz, 2012). On principle, Iran will lose autonomy as soon as it acquires the norms and burdens attached with nuclear weapons. Washington’s Role in a Healthy Balance of Power However, nuclear norms are empty until the nature of the forces is acknowledged and imprinted onto the state’s identity. In order to accomplish this, Washington must make Iran realize the paradox of its new prestige: the tragedy of a nuclear Iran. First and foremost, the new dynamic between Israel and Iran must be normalized. Through Israel’s eyes, Washington will have failed in preventing a nuclear Iran. Thus, Washington’s response to Iranian nuclear capabilities must be convincing; Washington cannot afford to turn the other way as was the case with Pakistan’s nuclear acquisition. By working to construct missile defenses for Israel and its neighboring countries, not only would Washington secure Israel but it would deter Persian Gulf States from a security dilemma of nuclear proliferation. More important is Washington’s promise for preemptive strike if Iran were ever to mobilize its weapon operations. Lines must be drawn in order to end any likelihood of incomplete information—the very factor, which made Iran’s need for deterrence necessary to begin with. Lastly, U.S. soldiers should be stationed in all potential Iranian missile target spots in Israel, along with Sunni-dominated areas of Iranian aggression; that way Washington will show to Iran—as

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it did to Russia with NATO troop dispersion in Europe—that it is playing with real money, tying the U.S. to retaliation in the case of a nuclear strike or aggression. If, though, the Sunni nations wish to receive U.S. presence, they must promise not to build Iranian sentiment in oppressing the Shiite Muslims of their states. The final balance, increasing security and intelligence operations in the area, is primarily for holding Iran responsible for any transference and total security of its weapons. Investments in U.S. surveillance capabilities and fissile material detectors will make it highly improbable that a nuclear transfer could occur without Washington’s detection (Waltz, 2012). Still, such operations are by definition covert, meaning that Washington will need to retool and enhance the area’s intelligence community. Terrorism is intrinsically an ambiguous area, but compared with an IsraelIran standoff there is fortunately room for relief. Iran has significant interest in protecting its costly investment from agents outside of its direct control; Iranian past history suggests just that—the theocracy has never allowed allied terrorist organizations to acquire significant weaponry such as anti-aircraft missiles and weapons of mass destruction (Lindsay & Takeyh, 2010). However, if the unimaginable tragedy of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons ever were to occur, it would not bear nearly the same existential threat as an Israel-Iran or India-Pakistan conflict; rogues only have so much leverage.

____________ Daniel is a third year double major in economics and political science at Kenyon College, minoring in philosophy and statistics with a concentration in Kenyon’s Integrated Program in Humane Studies. Although his two political heroes are Alexis de Tocqueville and John Lukacs, Daniel’s first love in politics was found in the ancients, namely with Athens. He is a community advisor (CA), which is sort of like an RA only the more homely liberal arts version.

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Bibliography Office of Foreign Assets Control. “An overview of O.F.A.C. Regulations involving Sanctions against Iran.” Fact Sheet, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Washington, D.C., 2012, 4. Bellaigue, Christopher de. “Iran.” Foreign Policy 148 (May/June 2005): 18-24. Edelman, Eric S., Andrew F. Krepinevich, and Evan Braden Montgomery. “The Dangers of a Nucle ar Iran.” Foreign Affairs 90, no. 1 (January/February 2011): 66-81. Katzenstein, Peter J. “Alternative Perspectives on National Security.” In The Culture of National Security, by Peter J. Katzenstein, edited by Peter J. Katzenstein. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996. Katzenstein, Peter J. “National Security in a Changing World.” In The Culture of National Security, by Peter J. Katzenstein. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996. Kirkland, Paul E. “Nietzsche’s Tragic Realism.” Review of Politics (University of Notre Dame) 72, no. 1 (2010): 55-78. Lindsay, James M., and Ray Takeyh. “After Iran Gets the Bomb.” Foreign Affairs 89, no. 2 (March/ April 2010): 33-49. Mearsheimer, John J., and Stephen M. Walt. “Iran in the Crosshairs.” In The Israel Lobby, by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, 280-305. New York: London Review of Books, 2007. Sagan, Scott D., and Kenneth N. Waltz. “Is Nuclear Zero the Best Option?” The National Interest 88, no. 109 (September/October 2010): 88-96. Sagan, Scott, Kenneth Waltz, and Richard K. Betts. “A Nuclear Iran: Promoting Stability of Court ing Disaster?” Journal Of International Affairs 60, no. 2 (Spring/Summer 2007): 135-150. Schouten, P. “Peter Katzenstein on Anti-Americanism, Analytical Eclecticism and Regional Powers.” Theory Talks. August 28, 2008. http://www.theory-talks.org/2008/08/theory- talk-15. html (accessed March 2013). Small, Melvin, and J. David Singer. “The War-Proneness of Democratic Regimes, 1816-1965.” The Jerusalem Journal of International Relations (Wayne State University; University of Michi gan) I, no. 4 (Summer 1976): 50-68. Waltz, Kenneth N. “Realist Thought and Neorealist Theory.” Edited by David Schleicher. Journal Of International Affairs 44, no. 1 (1990): 21-37. Waltz, Kenneth N. “Why Iran Should Get the Bomb.” Foreign Affairs 91, no. 4 (2012): 2.

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Wendt, Alexander. “Anarchy is what States Make of it: The Social Construction of Power Politics.” International Organization (The MIT Press) 46, no. 2 (Spring 1992): 391-425.

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Health Care In Cuba: A Case Study of the Cuban National Healthcare System
Leah Moody
The national healthcare system in Cuba has gained increasing international recognition from public health specialists, largely due to the country’s successful establishment of an equitable and effective system despite economic hardship, political unrest, and a history of oppression. This paper outlines the history of the national system and provides statistics that compare the relative health of Cuba to other countries. Additionally, this paper approaches the Cuban national healthcare system from an analytical standpoint, describing the integral characteristics -- government, education and the distribution of care -- that are affecting both the health of Cuba and the health of the greater global community. The country successfully integrated exclusively public healthcare coverage for all citizens beginning in the 1960s. As the country with the most equitable distribution of medicine and the most doctors per capita according to the World Health Organization, the system is still young and has yet to prove its degree of endurance. Political scientists, public health specialists, educators and medical personnel alike are devoting increased attention to the analysis of health care in Cuba – a country that has thus far proven to be the most successful in almost all health-related statistics of any Latin American nation.

I

n the field of global public health, low- and middle-income countries are statistically

proven to have a lower measure of health than their high-income counterparts. These developing countries struggle with a triple burden of threat regarding public health concerns in the form of communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, and unintentional injuries (Skolnik, 2012). Consequently, public expenditure and government health coverage are typically lower in the countries faced with the most pressing health issues, such as high mortality rates due to communicable diseases and the spread of HIV. Because the majority of the population in low- and middle-income countries lives on a low budget, families do not always have the means to seek out necessary health care options and often the sick end up succumbing to diseases with known cures. There is one country that statistically defies this generalization: Cuba. With an estimated population of 11,061,886, the national gross domestic product was $121 billion in 2012 and it is considered a developing, middle-income country according to The World Bank. Statistically this characteristic alone would cause public health specialists to expect a lower maturity level of the national healthcare system. Yet the opposite has proven true, even to the extent that, according to a study by The World Health Organization, Cuba has more doctors per capita than any other country in the world - more than twice as many as the United States – and the world’s most equitable distribution of medicine (Kidder, 2003).

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Health Care In Cuba

Moody

Why is this the case? How has an impoverished country in the Caribbean been able to establish and preserve a national health system that is statistically wider reaching and more effective than leading, high-income world powers such as the United States? In order to answer these questions, it is important to outline the history of the system and analyze those factors that work together to contribute to the success of the system: government, education, and the distribution of care. Government During the Cuban Revolution and Cold War, Cuba was heavily aided by the Soviet Union. When the USSR dissolved in 1991, the highly needed aid ceased while the United States embargo against all Cuban goods continued, putting sufficient strain on the economy of the developing country. Despite losing both its patron and most of its foreign trade, “the regime listened to the warnings of its epidemiologists and actually increased expenditures on public health” (Kidder, 2003). According to The World Bank, in 2011, Cuba spent 9.5% of total GDP on public health care. In comparison, Mexico spent 3.0% and Brazil spent 4.1%. The life expectancy at birth in Cuba in 2011 was 79.1 years. The life expectancy in the United States in 2011 was 78.6 years. Today, the country is run as a single-party communist state under President Raúl Castro. After the revolution ended in 1959, the integration of an exclusively public healthcare system began. The establishment of the system upholds the principles of the government that it was founded on: socialism. The ideology of socialism is based on the belief that all citizens have an equal right to health care, whereas the foundation of a capitalist healthcare system -- what currently exists in the United States -- is profit. These founding government ideals are the first and most important way that the Cuban healthcare systems begin to differ from other, non-socialist countries such as the U.S. If the motives behind the system are different, then it is inevitable that the systems themselves will be organized, implemented, and carried out differently. According to a 2009 report by the CIA World Factbook, on a per-capita basis, AIDS is six times more prevalent in the United States than in Cuba. Also, according to The World Health Organization in 2007, infant mortality rates were lower in Cuba than in the United States. One factor contributing to these successes is the equitable distribution of food: in 1962 the Cuban government instated a food-rationing program, ensuring all citizens a highly subsidized basket of essential foods (Snow, 2007). Guaranteeing that families at least have access to basic energy and nutrition in the form of food is an integral, preventative step to diminishing malnutrition and

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increasing natural immunity to diseases. A Haitian proverb captures the logical importance of food in any widespread healthcare system: “giving drugs without food is like washing your hands and drying them in the dirt” (Kidder, 2003). Education Another important factor aside from government ideals and rations that affects health on both an individual and national level is education. After the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s, the country’s education system underwent fundamental improvements partly due to efforts by the Literacy Campaign, the Federation of Cuban Women and the nationalization of all educational institutions. There is a direct link between the health of a state and the education of its citizens, largely because “education affects the extent to which people make use of health services, and better education discourages people from engaging in unhealthy behaviors” (Skolnik, 2012). Not only is primary education universal in Cuba, which ensures that the population has a general understanding of healthy and hygienic lifestyle practices, the country also has globally reputable secondary educational institutions, such as the University of Havana, established in 1728. Most universities offer highly ranked medical and health sciences programs – one reason for the abundance of doctors and nurses in the country. Today, as is the case with access to healthcare, education in Cuba is public and free for all its citizens and the literacy rate is at 99.8% according to The World Bank. In addition to training its own doctors, Cuba also trains foreign medical students. The opportunity to study medicine in a Cuban university is a competitive process that is highly pursued by international students, especially from developing countries. In an interview in 2012, John Burnett – a correspondent for National Public Radio currently serving in Nairobi, Kenya – said “Cuba has a long tradition of giving free college educations to young people from leftist movements” (Burnett, 2012). The only obstacle that remains is getting these young, newly educated professionals back to their original communities, which are sometimes in the throes of war and political unrest, in order to make a difference in their hometowns. In 2000, Fidel Castro extended scholarships for low-income U.S. citizens to study medicine in Cuba under the same terms as all international students: that they agree to go back and serve their communities (Gelder, 2007). One example of a U.S. medical student who took advantage of this opportunity is Narciso Ortiz, studying in Havana. Ortiz says, “One thing that perplexes me is how much the Cubans have done with so little. When I go home, it’s backwards.

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We have money, resources, technology, and yet we don’t have universal health care” (Gelder, 2007). Ortiz continues to comment on the optimism and effective education system that prepares doctors for a lifetime of service either in Cuba or in the global community. Distribution of Care According to Sarah van Gelder in an article published in YES magazine in 2007, another factor that makes Cuba stand out in the field of global public health is that the country has a reputation for exporting its own doctors and resources to countries in need of their services. Included among these countries is Cuba’s poverty-stricken, highly illiterate neighbor, Haiti, along with neighboring Latin American countries, African nations, and the United States. Gelder claims that the story of Cuba’s health ambitions is largely unknown in the United States due to “politics left over from the Cold War” and the continued embargo. However the ambitions are widely known and celebrated in the poorest communities of Latin America and the Caribbean where Cuban and Cuban-trained doctors and other medical personnel are providing their services and resources. Cuba provides more medical personnel to the developing world than all of the world’s eight wealthiest (according to net wealth) countries combined (Huish, 2007). With no less than 20,000 doctors serving abroad, some choose to go to countries that provide better compensation, while others work without making any profit for their services. Dr. Abel Gonzalez Perez is one example of the former situation. Stationed in Qudeni, South Africa in 1998 along with three other Cuban doctors, Dr. Perez makes about twice as much as he would be making in Cuba yet he is “struggling with relative good cheer to understand the sometimes perplexing ways of the local population [regarding health]” (Daley, 1998). While the language barrier is an obstacle to overcome in countries outside of Latin America, Perez says the natives are helpful and if the professionals are serious about staying long-term, they will learn the local language. Inevitably, there also exists criticism of the system and distribution of care. The most publicized shortcomings of the system include the low pay of Cuban doctors (one reason why some seek careers in other countries) and the lack of essential medicines and resources. Hanna Plant, a student at the University of St. Andrews, reminds the international community in an article published in Global Politics magazine that “healthcare may be free and available for all Cuban citizens, but medication is not.” This is one way that some analysts demonstrate how the universal system favors the rich.

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Finally, it is important to note that the strongpoint of the Cuban national healthcare system is in the form of primary care. Most statistics about the eradication of communicable diseases and child mortality rates contain amplified praise simply due to its middle-income status. While the studies and statistics are impressive regardless of circumstances or expectations, some healthcare professionals point out the lack of sustained evidence and statistics regarding emerging – and largely non-communicable - diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and geriatric mental disorders. It could be the case that wealthier, private systems are proving more successful in combating these issues, yet there is not yet significant information to render affirmation for either side. Conclusion Despite existing criticism, the national healthcare system in Cuba has gained international recognition from public health specialists who are focused on determining the factors contributing to its success. In the face of economic hardship, political unrest and a history of colonization, the country successfully implemented public healthcare, which covers all of its citizens. While the national system is young and has yet to prove its longevity, it was generated in hardship- most notably the end of the Cold War and the continued United States embargo, which have dramatically hindered trade and economic development. Due in part to the equality-based, communist system of government that provides food rations to all citizens along with both primary and secondary education, The Republic of Cuba has risen above expectations in health statistics. With a lower child mortality and AIDS prevalence rate than the United States, Cuba attracts “health tourists” from around the globe. The country’s education system also attracts aspiring foreign medical students, and Cuban-trained doctors are essentially exporting their services to those countries in need - especially within the region of Latin America. If an economically oppressed nation in the Caribbean can achieve such success and prominence on both a national and global scale, then it would be only logical that their highergrossing counterparts could follow suit on that equality. Due to the greater technological and monetary resources of a high-income country, a wealthy country with an organized, equitable system would have the potential to make monumental improvements in public health among populations, such as completely eradicating diseases with known cures that continue to plague parts of the globe and using research to discover cures for those emerging issues. More widespread health problems are facing our world today on a larger scale than ever

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before. The manpower, technology, and opportunity to solve these issues are available. The only step that remains is to implement an organizational system to effectively use the skills of those passionate researchers, educators, doctors, nurses, and public health workers in order to ensure that the education, resources, and care find their way to those in need. Indeed many aspects of the national system in Cuba could serve as examples for the rest of the global community.

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Leah is a recent 2013 graduate of Ohio State with a major in international studies and a minor in Andean and Amazonian Studies. She has studied abroad in 5 countries and wrote Health Care in Cuba during a May Session study abroad program at Manipal University in India. Leah is currently pursing a Master of Public Health degree at Ohio State. She loves languages and yoga and hopes to work in the field of global public health.

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References Burnett, J. (2012). Summer Nights: Cuban ‘Jubans’ In South Sudan [Radio series episode]. In Na tional Public Radio. Columbus: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Country and Lending Groups | Data. Data | The World Bank. Retrieved May 21, 2013, from http://data.worldbank.org/about/country-classifications/country-and-lendinggroups Cuba Healthcare - World Bank Search. World Bank Search. Retrieved May 25, 2013, from http:// search.worldbank.org/data?qterm=cuba+healthcare&language=EN&format= Daley, S. (1998, May 10). Cuban Doctors Find Niche In Rural South Africa. The New York Times. Gelder, S. V. (2007, June). Healthcare For All Love, Cuba. YES, 42, 1-3. Huish, R. (2008). Going Where No Doctor Has Gone Before: The Role of Cuba’s Latin American School of Medicine in Meeting the Needs of Some of the World’s Most Vulnerable Popu lations. Public Health, 122, 552-557. Kidder, T. (2003). Mountains Beyond Mountains. New York: Random House. Marquis, C. (2001, December 14). Cuba Leads Latin America in Primary Education, Study Finds. The New York Times. Plant, H. (2013). The Challenges of Health Care In Cuba. Global Politics. Skolnik, R. L. (2012). Global health 101 (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Snow, A. (2007, July 2). Living On Cuba Food Ration Isn’t Easy. Cuba Net. The World Factbook. (2013, May 7). Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved May 21, 2013, from www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cu.html WHO: Cuba. World Health Organization. Retrieved May 25, 2013, from www.who.int/en/

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Intra-Communal Violence in Southwest Russia and the Government Reaction to Extremism
Peter J. Marzalik
This study examines the recent trends of Islamic radicalization and ethnic nationalism in the southwestern VolgaUral region of the Russian Federation. On July 19, 2012, a radical Islamic sect, frustrated with regional policies hostile to Islamic fundamentalism, perpetrated an unprecedented terrorist attack against Muslim religious leaders in the city of Kazan, Tatarstan. Such deadly intra-communal violence triggered a strong military response by the Russian government, inciting local opposition from ethnic nationalist groups. The aforementioned incident initially suggests the call for armed resistance to federal authority may extend beyond the entrenched conflicts of the North Caucasus. Through comparative analysis of Russian media sources, I assess the potential threat of religious extremism and national separatism in the republics of Tatarstan and neighboring Bashkortostan as well as the government reaction to these developments. I conclude the ever more forceful government response to secure the 2014 Sochi Olympics and resurging Islamic terrorism following the NATO withdrawal from Central Asia threaten to radicalize more Volga-Ural Muslim individuals. Furthermore, though national separatist groups increased radical activity after the Kazan terrorist attacks, the regional governments of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan strategically manipulate ethnic nationalism to acquire greater autonomy from the federal center. Ultimately, the majority of Tatar and Bashkir society generally rejects the calls for religious extremism and national separatism across southwestern Russia. In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, the results of this project contribute to the growing body of research on the dangers of ethnic minority conflicts for Russian internal security and the international community.

O

n April 15, 2013, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother Dzhokhar allegedly

detonated two pressure cooker bombs at the Boston Marathon, killing 3 people and injuring 264 others. In the days following the attack, a dramatic police chase ensued resulting in the death of Tamerlan. The authorities captured Dzhokhar hours later hiding in a boat in the suburb of Watertown. Just before his arrest, the wounded terrorist suspect scrawled the following series of messages, “The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians,” “I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished,” and “We Muslims are one body you hurt one you hurt us all.”1 Reports quickly circulated that the Tsarnaev family hailed from Chechnya, a volatile region with a long history of political violence located in the North Caucasus of Russia. Though the hospitalized Dzhokhar insisted he and his deceased brother acted alone, speculation still persists pertaining to the six months Tamerlan lived in Dagestan, the neighboring republic of Chechnya, in 2012. These tragic events show the necessity for sensitive and thorough analysis of ethnic minority conflicts throughout Russia and Central Asia, and how such sentiments can be transported in an increasingly globalized world. During the last two decades, the international community has widely reported on the

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various ethnic minority conflicts throughout the North Caucasus region in southwestern Russia. Violence has particularly plagued the northern republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia, and Dagestan. The Federal Security Service (FSB), the main domestic security agency of Russia, continues to actively pursue extremists in these areas. Over 70,000 troops still remain in Chechnya today with 250,000 troops stationed throughout the North Caucasus.2 Internal and border security represents a huge concern for the Russian government, especially with the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi, located on the coast of the Black Sea in this unstable region. A recently active warzone not surprisingly receives more attention, but the following incident suggests a potential sentiment exists in a territory not necessarily expected to harbor any tendencies toward terrorism. In the heart of the autonomous republic Tatarstan along the majestic Volga River, the grand city Kazan serves as an epicenter for economic activity southeast of Moscow, proudly proclaiming their government-approved title as the “Third Capital” of Russia. The city upheld until recently a high reputation for being a sanctuary of religious tolerance for Orthodox Christians and adherents of Islam. Such a lofty claim was brutally shattered on the morning of July 19, 2012. At 11:00am, Mufti Ildus Faizov, head of the Muslim community in Kazan, left his home and approached his car, preparing for his regular commute to work. Steps from his vehicle, a bomb was detonated in a threepart explosion that hurled Mufti Faizov backwards through the air. Less than an hour earlier, Deputy Vailulla Yakupov, head of the Muslim Educational Department in Kazan, was shot multiple times in the lobby of his apartment building. Though severely injured, Mufti Faizov survived the attack; however, the wounds sustained by Deputy Yakupov proved fatal, who died in his car on the way to the hospital.3 This well-coordinated terrorist strike shocked the religious community of Tatarstan and unnerved federal officials. Initial reports speculated such action was motivated by extremists’ outrage over religious policies hostile to Islamic fundamentalism. Mufti Faizov and Deputy Yakupov had worked to promote initiatives supporting a traditional and moderate interpretation of Sunni Islam, challenging the stricter tenets of Salafism, a decades-old reform movement often associated with jihad in the present day. In a clear sign of the government’s apprehension, President Vladimir Putin immediately sent a message to political leaders in Tatarstan to express his concerns about the incident: “These events remind us once again that the situation in our country is far from ideal. What has happened is a serious signal.”4 A few days later, a previously unheard of radical group called the Mujahedeen of Tatarstan claimed responsibility for the attacks. President Putin initiated a swift crackdown, indiscriminately arresting dozens of Muslim men in search of the perpetrators. Key

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ethnic nationalist groups condemned the questionable detentions and organized a series of protests in opposition to the government. Amidst these increasing tensions, the likelihood of further conflict appeared to be rising. On the morning of July 19, 2012, I was touring the iconic white and blue Qol Sharif Mosque, the largest mosque in Russia and a common work site of Mufti Faizov and Deputy Yakupov, when the car bombing and shooting occurred. The shock of the tragedy was soon replaced by the nagging need to understand the why behind these atrocities. I utilized the remainder of my intensive Russian language study abroad program in the neighboring city of Ufa, Bashkortostan to begin exploring the ramifications of the Kazan terrorist attacks. The curiosity drawn from this incident ultimately served as the impetus to conduct undergraduate research. Excerpted from my senior honors thesis, this article analyzes the widespread media coverage surrounding the Kazan terrorist attacks to assess the trends of Islamic radicalization and ethnic nationalism in the republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan as well as the government reaction to these developments. Methodology The phenomenological methodology of Constant Comparative Content Analysis serves as an effective framework for examining these topics of interest. I compare and contrast various Russian news sources with a specific focus on four core categories: federal security operations, influence of religious institutions, pursuit for regional autonomy, and identity formation. Analyzing these phenomena through the scope of ethnic nationalism and Islamic radicalization provides for more nuanced observations on the effects of the Kazan terrorist attacks in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. Naturally, in conducting detailed news source analysis, bias represents a potential confounding factor. The following discussion briefly addresses the extent of current government interference and news sensationalism in the Russian media and how this study intends to evaluate such bias in order to derive more thorough conclusions on the topics of interest. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian media outlets enjoyed a brief period of press freedom markedly different from the past decades of strict government censorship. Notable broadcasting and print companies such as NTV and Nezavisimaya launched in the 1990s, leading the way for post-Communist media independence and Western liberalism. But the rushed introduction of capitalism to the market and shaky political structure of the federation resulted in rampant corruption, economic decline, and a disastrous war in Chechnya. By the turn of the millennium, the Russian people readily approved of President Vladimir Putin whose authoritarian policies provided

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the appearance of stability; however, his arrival ended the earlier movement for an open and free civil society. To recentralize political and economic control, President Putin challenged the business oligarchs who secured the majority of their assets during the privatization of Russia. The federal government seized their holdings, many of which included media outlets, and either integrated these companies into their own apparatus as in the Gazprom takeover of NTV or transferred ownership to loyal managers. Such legal action reinstituted widespread government interference in the Russian media. In her article “Media Manipulation and Political Control in Russia,”5 Maria Lipman categorizes the government-controlled media sources influential on the Russian populace today: The first is the largest mass-audience media, especially national TV channels, which reach almost 100 per cent of Russian households. The three major national channels are used as tools of state propaganda in a way that is increasingly reminiscent of the Soviet days. The second category includes a variety of smaller-audience outlets – print, radio, websites and smaller TV stations. This category is of less interest for the ruling elite as a political resource, but all the Russian media operate on the understanding that loyalty to the state is the order of the day.
6

Significantly, television functions as the primary medium of political manipulation while other modes of communication also present opinions loyal to the government. Lipman elaborates on the state strategy for control of the press, citing a 2008 Russian Newsweek article that exposed weekly high-level meetings between Kremlin officials and top TV directors to craft the news agenda for each week. Despite these preconceived headlines, Russia tolerates some opposition news outlets to appease the intelligentsia and to manufacture a more favorable image for the international community. Such leniency has shown to be limited in cases when media-driven investigations particularly threaten the government. Though speculation abounds, most suspect the state sponsored the assassinations of Novaya Gazeta journalists, Anna Politkovskaya and Yury Shchekochikhin. These incidents fuel the phenomenon of self-censorship in the Russian media.7 Though journalists, fearful of retribution, often censor their articles, an unexpected newsworthy event may create difficulties for developing opinions in line with the government. In his study “Quantifying Polarisation in Media Coverage,”8 Rolf Fredheim demonstrates how the unanticipated 2011-12 protests over the presidential elections polarized the mainstream media in Russia. He tracks pronoun usage in various Russian newspapers to measure the emotional engagement and persuasive nature of the more radical language in each article on the protests. His

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results show during which months the government strongly intervened to incorporate stronger antiopposition rhetoric into the news. Such research gives a clear example of how the federal government may blatantly interfere in the Russian print media today as a consequence of a largely unforeseen and politically threatening situation. Amidst the government-manipulated bias in the Russian media, news outlets also have a natural tendency to sensationalize the facts, dangerously morphing public opinion on certain issues. In his series “Window on Eurasia,”9 Paul Goble, a senior analyst at the Jamestown Foundation, cites a recent interview conducted by Islam News10 with the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISI), which is “a frequent source of anti-Muslim commentaries in the Russian media.” RISI scholar Azhdar Kurtov claims that journalists sensationalize the threat of Islam to attract more readers, consequently “creating the very sensations that they have incorrectly reported.” Though their policies impact the headlines, he argues the government generally does not direct anti-Muslim rhetoric in the news. But Goble assesses that since the state-influenced RISI also regularly promotes hysteria in the media, Kurtov’s comments may aim to “deflect responsibility” from the government onto journalists for the negative press against Islam. These opposing viewpoints show how news sensationalism and government interference play an interconnected role in biasing the Russian media. With the preceding comments in mind, I decided to review both Russian broadcasting and print news sources because they are the two most popular and politically manipulated mediums in recent years. After reviewing dozens of news reports in various media outlets through weekly data collection and online archival research, I chose 8 news articles and television broadcasts to be analyzed in the following two sections. Variety of opinion and clearest relevance to the core categories informed the final selection of the media sources. Preceding the analysis of each news article, I briefly discuss the ownership history and paper circulation to present the specific bias and societal influence of that print media source. The television broadcasts come from one of the three most viewed and state-controlled national channels. Sharing this context further clarifies the inferences drawn from each news outlet. Ultimately, since the media often serves as a powerful tool for mobilizing the masses, comparing the conflicting presentations of frequently sensationalized facts in the news proves useful to correctly interpreting the effects of the Kazan terrorist attacks. Furthermore, state interference in the media provides particular insights into the government stance on the situation and the subsequent impact of that bias on the populace. Through the comparative analysis of news sources, I uncover accurate information on the trends of Islamic radicalization and ethnic nationalism in Tatarstan and

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Bashkortostan as well as the government reaction to these developments. Strong Government Reaction to Threat of Religious Extremism The psychological process of Islamic radicalization involves a “change in beliefs, feelings, and behaviors in directions that increasingly justify intergroup violence and demand sacrifice in defense of the ingroup.”11 This foundational definition serves as the litmus test for assessing the trend of Islamic radicalization in the Volga-Ural region. In the wake of the Kazan terrorist attacks, the Russian federal government reacted strongly to the seemingly increasing threat of religious extremism. The following compilation of media sources examines the impact of federal security operations and religious institutions on the possible spread of radical Islam in the republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. Ultimately, outside of a few isolated incidents, the religious communities of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan appear relatively stable, not increasingly radicalizing to commit political violence against local spiritual leaders and the state. But the ever more forceful government response to secure the 2014 Sochi Olympics and resurging Islamic terrorism following the NATO withdrawal from Central Asia threaten to alienate more Muslim individuals in the Volga-Ural region. In the few weeks following the Kazan terrorist attacks, the state-controlled Russian language news channel NTV broadcasted several speculative reports on the suspected perpetrators of the car bombing and fatal shooting. A broadcast headlined “Mufti of Tatarstan Crossed Path of Hajj-Operator”12 on 20 July 2012 describes the arrest of five suspects with business connections to a company called Idel-Hajj, which organizes the hajj, pilgrimage to Mecca, for the local Muslim community. The report initially identifies the conflict with radical Islam and battle for control of the hajj as the primary motivators for the incident. The next several comments detail how Mufti Ildus Faizov, who survived the assassination attempt, instituted a quota on the number of Muslims permitted to travel to Mecca in order to control the Islamic radicalization of groups abroad. Such restrictions as well as a rise in the price of the hajj displeased many community members. The report even considerately mentions how most Muslims save money their whole life to participate in the pilgrimage. By critically reviewing recent religious policy changes, the government-influenced broadcast seems to almost justify the terrorist activity, depicting the incident as an isolated act of excused intra-communal violence and not as the harbinger of radical Islam to Tatarstan. Ironically, the federal center likely compelled Mufti Faizov to institute these modifications in the first place but still wants to uphold the image of good working relations with Muslim populations after the Kazan terrorist attacks.

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Another NTV news clip headlined “Mujahedeen of Tatarstan Admitted Attacks on Mufti”13 on 8 August 2012 analyzes two videos in which a previously unheard of radical Islamic organization called the Mujahedeen of Tatarstan claims responsibility for the assassinations in July. The report provides various details on the dress and arms of the militants as well as quotes of more radical rhetoric from the group such as “I think that the operation was successful, and we will carry out further acts against the enemies of Allah.” Notably, a discussion on the allegiance of the Mujahedeen of Tatarstan to North Caucasus militant leader Doka Umarov of the Caucasus Emirate also unfolds in the broadcast. This new development undermines the conjecture of the previous report, suggesting a larger problem with Islamic radicalization stemming from the North Caucasus exists in the VolgaUral region. Assuming state interference in NTV, the shift in bias shows how the Russian government initially preferred to depict the incident as a singular intra-communal financial issue; however, the involvement of the Mujahedeen of Tatarstan necessitated wider recognition of the potentially growing threat of Muslim extremism. The English language regional newspaper The Kazan Herald provides a more balanced view of the July incident. The Kazan Herald is Tatarstan’s first and only English language newspaper founded in May 2010 and is owned by the independent The Kazan Herald Publishing Company. It distributes a monthly print version free-of-charge around Kazan and other cities and regularly updates a website.14 The opinions expressed in The Kazan Herald likely appear more nuanced and objective than the Russian national newspapers and television channels, not surprisingly, since many of the journalists posting online also work in the West. On 24 August 2012, Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University, published an article titled “The Jihad is Not on the March,”15 sharing a healthy skepticism of the supposed link between the Mujahedeen of Tatarstan and the Caucasus Emirate, a militant network banned in Russia and on the U.S. List of Most Wanted Terrorist Organizations. He mentions alternative explanations exist for the targeted assassinations of the Mufti and his deputy. As reported by NTV, another driving factor is the change for the hajj to a different tour provider under the control of the Tatarstan Spiritual Board of Muslims. Galeotti further suggests the Mujahedeen of Tatarstan claimed responsibility for the attacks conspicuously late. Though not verified by a documented source, he attests that only 3,000 Tatars follow the extreme Salafist form of Islam with only a small minority endorsing terrorism. This article primarily addresses the attempts of the Mujahedeen of Tatarstan and Caucasus Emirate to bolster their combined identity as an imagined community, waging jihad against Russia in a coordinated fashion. Unlike the second NTV report, Galeotti undermines such a claim in

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describing the insurgencies of the North Caucasus to be “a constellation of largely autonomous local and republican groups” who engage in “opportunistic and small-scale” attacks. Furthermore, he emphasizes the Russian government has “shown a tendency to over-react when it feels its authority and power are in question.” The local interior minister even claimed they have been fighting “an undeclared war” in the region for the last thirteen years. These “recruiting sergeants for the jihad” instigate the harsh crackdowns of the Russian government that give recognition to the constructed reality of an interconnected radical Salafist community in Russia. This tendency for overreaction may unintentionally contribute to the growth of Islamic radicalization as extremist leaders effectively exploit the brutality of the government to further justify violent jihad against the state. The Russian language national newspaper Nezavisimaya presents additional evidence of policies against religious fundamentalism similarly described in The Kazan Herald article and NTV report. With a small circulation of 40,000 papers out of Moscow, the publication mainly targets politicians, businessmen, and academics. It was founded in 1990 and expanded under the ownership of exiled oligarch, Boris Berezovsky. In August 2005, Konstantin Remchukov, a former Russian government advisor, purchased the paper then appointed himself editor-in-chief in February 2007. Nezavisimaya maintains a prominent and prestigious reputation in the Russian media and offers a forum for opinions more critical of the Russian government.16 Nezavisimaya published an article titled “Mufti of Tatarstan Laid Out Credentials”17 on 3 March 2013 announcing the new Mufti of Tatarstan. The second half of the text focuses on the past leadership of Mufti Faizov before the Kazan terrorist attacks. Mufti Faizov became head of the Muslim community in Tatarstan in April 2011. He immediately initiated an “unprecedented campaign of purification” to rid the religious establishment of radical Islam. All Tatar imams needed to attend training courses condemning extremist ideas and emphasizing the traditional Hanafi school, a long-standing theory of religious thought in the Volga-Ural region. Those who refused to attend were denied official licenses to oversee mosques in Tatarstan. That such activity was “unprecedented” suggests these policy shifts may have frustrated not only extremist sects, but also even moderate groups with different doctrinal interpretations. As mentioned in the earlier news sources, restrictions to the hajj also alienated many Muslim community members. Islamic institutions likely faced more pressure from the federal center to standardize doctrinal principles across Tatarstan and weed out religious extremism as the 2014 Sochi Olympics drew closer. These changes created perceived grievances specific to the Tatar populace to justify the Kazan terrorist attacks in July 2012, which challenges the notion that the call for armed resistance

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originated from the global jihad orientation of the Caucasus Emirate. Though a shocking act of political violence, the July incident does not necessarily represent an increasing trend of Islamic radicalization in the Volga-Ural region but was perhaps an isolated intra-communal strike by an opportunistic fringe group. However, many Muslim community members still opposed the stateinfluenced policies of Mufti Faizov, indicating the sentiment for more radical behavior may exist in the religious community of Tatarstan. The English language daily newspaper The Moscow Times thickens the plot surrounding the Kazan terrorist attacks presented in the previous media outlets. Started in 1992 for foreigners working in Russia, the publication now attracts Russian readers as well, delivering to 500 locations around Moscow and actively updating a detailed website with an archive of over 130,000 articles. The Moscow Times upholds a standard of precise, reliable, and independent information and provides a platform for more liberal views against the Russian government.18 On 26 October 2012, The Moscow Times published an article titled “Slain Kazan Gunmen Planned Terror Attack,”19 which identified the possible culprits of the Kazan terrorist attacks. The report provides a gripping account of a federal security operation against two additional suspects in the July incident, Robert Valeyev and Ruslan Kashapov, who intended to carry out a terrorist attack on an upcoming Muslim holiday. The authorities killed the gunmen following a firefight that lasted several hours and a dangerous raid during which an officer sacrificed himself when one of the militants attempted to ignite an explosive device. Weapons, ammunition, a bomb-making laboratory, and 3 kilograms of explosives were recovered at the scene of the confrontation. Unidentified law enforcement officials claim “the gunmen were part of an Islamic terrorist organization with links to the Taliban and that they had trained in camps on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.” Another cited source in the article identifies the “Islamic terrorist organization” as BulgarUyghur Jamaat, a militant group in North Waziristan established in 2006 by Pavel Dorokhov, a native of Bashkortostan, for Volga-Ural Muslims to wage jihad against Russia. The article conspicuously leaves out any reference to the Mujahedeen of Tatarstan and their connection to the Caucasus Emirate. Emphasizing the involvement of the Taliban creates the rather sensationalized impression of a growing foreign extremist influence on Muslim individuals in Russia. Drawing from NTV, The Kazan Herald, and The Moscow Times, the Mujahedeen of Tatarstan, Caucasus Emirate, Bulgar-Uyghur Jamaat, and the Taliban all loosely interconnect in claiming responsibility for the Kazan terrorist attacks. This vast array of non-state transnational actors, proponents of the al-Qaeda brand, potentially involved in the incident seems to suggest an

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increasing trend of Islamic radicalization throughout southwestern Russia. Furthermore, with the impending NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Bulgar-Uyghur Jamaat may gain more latitude to strengthen operations in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. Such a conclusion markedly contrasts the more conservative assessment of the Kazan terrorist attacks as an isolated act of intra-communal conflict stemming from changes in hajj operations. Acquisition of Greater Regional Autonomy Through Ethnic Nationalism Esteemed scholar Anthony D. Smith defines nationalism as the formation of “a named and self-defined community whose members cultivate common myths, memories, symbols and values, possess and disseminate a distinctive public culture, reside in and identify with a historical homeland, and create and disseminate common laws and shared customs.”20 The ethnic classification also involves emphasis on shared genealogical descent and perceived bonds of kinship between members of the group.”21 This dynamic process of creating an imagined community and common identity deserves consideration in the context of the republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. Through the application of Constant Comparative Content Analysis, a combination of various media sources bears evidence regarding whether such a social phenomenon currently contributes to the potential growth of ethnic nationalism in Russia. Ultimately, though national separatist groups increased radical activity following the Kazan terrorist attacks, the regional governments strategically manipulates ethnic nationalism in order to secure greater autonomy from the federal center. The Russian language newspaper Izvestia describes initial ethnic nationalist activity in the wake of the Kazan terrorist attacks. With a present day circulation of about 235,000 papers in Moscow, it began as a small left-wing paper during the 1917 revolutions, quickly swinging across the aisle during the Soviet Union era. In the 1990s, their reporting revived a reputation as serious and independent; however, quality suffered after the sale to Gazprom-Media in 2004, the oil conglomerate with close ties to the state.22 Despite having switched owners again, the slant tends to be to attack liberal opposition and the West. The opinions expressed in Izvestia may best be attributed as more generally in line with the views of the Russian government. Izvestia published an article titled “100 People Protested Large-Scale Arrests in Center of Kazan” on 29 July 2012, a little over a week after the Kazan terrorist attacks, which describes
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the response of a major ethnic nationalist group to the consequences of the incident. “Azatlyk,” a word of Turkic origin meaning “Freedom,” organized a protest of over 100 people to condemn the indiscriminate arrests of Muslims in Kazan amidst the Russian government efforts to apprehend

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the culprits of the car bombing and shooting. In an interview with Izvestia, the leader of Azatlyk, Nail Nabiullin, equates such actions to “all-pervasive repression” of Muslims in Tatarstan. Though a neutral tone permeates the article, certain parts may be construed as showing favor to the Russian government. The article begins by describing the protest as in defense of the detainees in the case of the terrorist attacks. A passage near the end cites local media reporting hundreds of detainees, who police deem “likely perpetrators,” characterized as ideologues of radical Wahhabism or those in conflict with the Mufti’s and his deputies’ interests. Such a presentation of the facts creates an interesting association between a major ethnic nationalist group and Muslim detainees as Azatlyk defending the “likely perpetrators” of the Kazan terrorist attacks. As touched upon in the history chapter, nationalists in the late Soviet Union often utilized Islam to unify the populace in bolstering their shared nationality. Azatlyk likely promotes their frustration with the unfounded detention of multiple innocent Muslim Tatars to illustrate their perceived political plight, not to support religious extremism. On the other hand, state-influenced Izvestia subtly implies that this ethnic nationalism actually reinforces the Islamic radicalism of the Kazan terrorist attacks. Coloring the protests in this light gives the government legitimacy in tackling supposed radical elements in religious and nationalist camps. The evident use of these strategies illustrates how the federal government actively works to suppress supposed extremism in the regions of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. The Russian and English language Georgian newspaper Georgia Times elaborates on the issues discussed in Izvestia. Unfortunately, no information is readily available on the history of the Georgia Times; however, archival data suggests that publications have occurred since 2008. Tense diplomatic relations between Russia and Georgia in recent years implies a bias more critical of Kremlin policies. The brief 2008 Russo-Georgian War over South Ossetia supports this presumption. An opinion piece titled “Tatar nationalists are losing ground,”24 published in the Georgia Times on 23 October 2012, gives an in-depth analysis of the role Azatlyk serves following the Kazan terrorist attacks. An interview with Nail Nabiullin reveals useful information on the origins and operations of Azatlyk. Nabiullin secured leadership thanks to his family connection with writer Fauzia Bayramova, known as the “grandmother of Tatar nationalism.” He was expelled from school multiple times for his nationalist ideas, imagining the future of Tatarstan in a state stretching from the Caucasus to Lake Baikal with help from Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. This article incorporates the views of Vasili Ivanov, a security specialist at the state-backed Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISI), who believes Nabiullin remains semi-successful because

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the Kazan Kremlin wishes to exaggerate the threat of national separatism for bargaining power with Moscow. He claims the Tatar bureaucracy is even providing financial support for Azatlyk in the form of rent for their office, legal aid, and print materials. If this assertion bears some semblance of truth, then the regional government may be backing ethnic nationalist groups in order to secure more concessions from the federal center. Such a state of affairs implies that intentional political machinations precipitate the appearance of present-day ethnic nationalism, not a growing movement of Tatar or Bashkir individuals developing a national identity outside of the Russian Federation. Another RISI expert, Yana Amelin, suggests radical Islam represents a greater threat than national separatism in Tatarstan, citing conclusions of the American Foreign Policy Council who visited in 2010. The Georgia Times proceeds to speculate on the ambitions of Azatlyk deputy of ideology, Airat Shakirov, a Salafi preacher better known as Sheikh Umar and one of seven officially arrested for questioning regarding the Kazan terrorist attacks. His close connection with Nabiullin seemingly suggests the potential “transformation of a very young man from moderate Hanafi into armed Wahhabi-Salafist may occur for a short time.” Though proposing a decline in ethnic nationalism, the Georgia Times debatably exaggerates the radicalization of the moderate Azatlyk likely to accentuate the internal security problems of Russia in dealing with Islamic radicalization. The Russian and English language news portal Kavkaz Center supports the connection between national separatists and religious extremists similarly presented in reports from Izvestia and Georgia Times. Founded in the city of Grozny in Chechnya in 1999, it serves as the primary media wing for the Caucasus Emirate, a militant network in the North Caucasus.25 Movladi Udugov, former Minister of Information for Chechnya and top propagandist for the Caucasus Emirate, currently controls the website. Naturally, the opinions expressed often harshly criticize policies of the Russian government and overtly call for the creation of an Islamic state in Russia. The Russian government considers all information on Kavkaz Center to be extremist and terrorist material. Kavkaz Center posted an article headlined “In Kazan Protest of Muslim Peoples Against Robberies of Moscow”26 on 25 January 2013 praising the activities of Azatlyk in unsurprisingly stark contrast to the skepticism presented in Nezavisimaya. In this interview, Nabiullin places particular emphasis on Batu Khan as the true founder of the federation, aiming to establish the historical legitimacy of the Tatar people. He announces Azatlyk will be holding protests across the country on days honoring the burnings of major Russian cities during the Golden Horde era. A thorough outreach campaign involving the distribution of books and calendars coupled with public lectures and presentations on Batu Khan is described as well. Kavkaz Center uses harsh rhetoric throughout

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the article with phrases such as the “ungrateful Russian occupiers” and the “battle against the common Russian enemy.” The piece concludes with a brief reference to the recent formation of an alliance between Azatlyk and a Bashkir nationalist group called Kuk Bure. As the news wing of a terrorist network, the Kavkaz Center support for Azatlyk activities suggests interplay between the trends of Islamic radicalization and ethnic nationalism in the wake of the Kazan terrorist attacks. The Russian language national newspaper Nezavisimaya expounds on the political exploitation of ethnic nationalism initially mentioned in Georgia Times. With a small circulation of 40,000 papers out of Moscow, the publication mainly targets politicians, businessmen, and academics. It was founded in 1990 and expanded under the ownership of exiled oligarch, Boris Berezovsky. In August 2005, Konstantin Remchukov, a former Russian government advisor, purchased the paper then appointed himself editor-in-chief in February 2007. Nezavisimaya maintains a reputation as prominent and prestigious in the Russian media and offers a forum for opinions more critical of the Russian government.27 On 15 January 2013, Nezavisimaya published an article titled “The Second Invasion of Batu,”28 discussing the activities of Azatlyk for the year 2013. Notably, the piece begins by categorizing the group members as “radical Tatar nationalists.” Such a characterization readily relates to the Izvestia underlying association between Azatlyk and the “likely perpetrators” of the Kazan terrorist attacks and interestingly compares with the Georgia Times assessment of Azatlyk as still more moderate but harboring the potential to radicalize. Despite hastily labeling the group as radicals, Nezavisimaya downgrades the influence of Azatlyk with an underhanded tone. Nabiullin shares in an interview that Azatlyk has declared 2013 as the year of Batu Khan, a ruler during the Golden Horde empire, to remember the greats periods of history for the Volga-Ural peoples. Unlike the Kavkaz Center, Nezavisimaya critically comments that Batu Khan was actually an initiator of the destruction for Volga Bulgaria, the cradle of the Tatar nation. This observation shows how Azatlyk actively constructs and integrates more suitable heroes in history to bolster their modern day national identity. Since Batu Khan was clearly not Russian, the Tatar nationalists may claim him as their own savior from the past. Nezavisimaya further attacks the credibility of Azatlyk later in the article. Despite intentions to distribute 150,000 calendars and 2,000 books describing the glories of Batu Khan, the opponents of Azatlyk are reported as not taking their initiatives seriously. The next passage still argues that the followers of the radical nationalists are not weakening but will become stronger. In a similar vein to the Georgia Times, Nezavisimaya explains the Kazan Kremlin uses the radicals to play

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political games with Moscow. This again implies the Tatar bureaucracy exploits ethnic nationalism as a bargaining chip for negotiations with Moscow, serving as the main impetus for bolstering the imagined community of Azatlyk. In the wake of the Kazan terrorist attacks, the regional governments cleverly propagate the threat of national separatism to acquire greater autonomy from the federal center. Conclusion As evidenced in the widespread media coverage associated with the Kazan terrorist attacks, the following conclusions emerge on the trends of Islamic radicalization and ethnic nationalism in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan as well as the government reaction to these developments. First, outside of a few isolated incidents, the religious communities of both republics appear relatively stable, not increasingly radicalizing to commit political violence from frustration with new policies of local spiritual leaders. But increasing federal security operations to secure the 2014 Sochi Olympics and resurging Islamic terrorism following the NATO withdrawal from Central Asia threaten to alienate more Volga-Ural Muslim individuals. Second, though national separatist groups increased radical activity following the Kazan terrorist attacks, the regional governments of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan strategically manipulate ethnic nationalism to acquire greater autonomy from the federal center. Supported by the underlying implications of the aforementioned Russian media sources, credible threats of religious extremism and national separatism presently exist on only a small scale in the Volga-Ural region but harbor the potential to grow in the near future. Recent research conducted by the Foundation for Civil Society Development also confirms the relative peace and security of the Volga-Ural region in recent years. On 15 August 2013, this Russian non-governmental organization, “whose main focus of research is in the fields of politics, regional development, and contemporary media,” released a study on the social well-being of citizens across the Russian republics.29 The results provide interesting insights into the stability of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. Both territories received the highest ratings with over 65% of interviewees content with their social well-being in the Volga-Ural region. By comparison, the republics of the North Caucasus, Volgograd, and even Moscow all earned lower scores. Notably, the 56,900 responses were collected in February and May of 2012 before the Kazan terrorist attacks. Amidst potentially increasing trends of Islamic radicalization and ethnic nationalism from government overreaction, foreign extremist influence, and political manipulation, this national poll suggests the Muslim populations of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan remain largely content with their standard of living. The

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survey data implies the majority of Tatar and Bashkir individuals reject calls for national separatism and religious extremism in the run-up to the 2014 Sochi Olympics and the imminent withdrawal of NATO forces from Central Asia. In conclusion, this study establishes the necessary academic groundwork to inform future research on the trends of Islamic radicalization and ethnic nationalism in the republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan as well as the government reaction to a potential rise in extremism. Conducting interviews and disseminating surveys in the field represent the next steps of this research in order to more thoroughly assess the threats of the religious extremism and national separatism in the VolgaUral region. I intend to return to Tatarstan and Bashkortostan to expand on the work presented in this article. In the wake of the Kazan terrorist attacks and Boston Marathon bombings, the continuation of this project aims to contribute to the growing body of research on the dangers of ethnic minority conflicts for Russian internal security and the international community.

____________ Peter J. Marzalik recently graduated from The Ohio State University with a dual degree-B.A. in International Studies with a specialization in Security & Intelligence and B.A. in Russian Language. He plans to attend graduate school for security studies in the D.C. metropolitan area next year.

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Endnotes
1

Williams, Pete and Andrew Rafferty. “Indictment reveals Tsarnaev’s boat message.” NBC News. 27 June 2013. http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/27/19173312-i-cant-standto-see-such-evil-go-unpunished-indictment-reveals-tsarnaevs-boat-message?lite

2

Suny, Ronald Grigor. “The Pawn of Great Powers: The East-West Competition for Caucasia.” Journal of Eurasian Studies: Vol. 1, No. 1, pg. 11. 2010. “Terrorist attack rocks Tatarstan’s religious community.” Russia Beyond the Headlines. 19 July 2012. http://rbth.ru/articles/2012/07/19/terrorist_attacks_has_shaken_tatarstans_religious_ community_16511.html

3

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Herszenhorn, David M. “Radical Islamic Attacks in a Moderate Region Unnerve the Kremlin.” The New York Times. 25 August 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/ world/europe/radical-islamic-attacks-in-moderate-region-unnerve-kremlin. html?pagewanted=all&_moc.semityn.www&_r=0

5

Lipman, Maria. “Media Manipulation and Political Control in Russia.” Russia and Eurasia Programme. Carnegie Moscow Center. London: Chatham House, 2009, 1-16. https://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/public/Research/Russia%20and%20 Eurasia/300109lipman.pdf

6 7 8

Ibid, 8. Ibid, 11-15. Fredheim, Rolf. “Quantifying Polarisation in Media Coverage of the 2011-12 Protests in Russia.” Digital Icons: Studies in Russian, Eurasian, and Central European New Media. University of Cambridge. 2013, 27-49. http://www.digitalicons. org/issue09/files/2013/06/DI_9_2_Fredheim.pdf

9

Goble, Paul. “RISI Scholar Says Anti-Islamic Hysteria in Media Threatens Russia.” Window on Eurasia. 5 June 2013. http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/06/window-oneurasia-risi-scholar-says.html

10

Ilina, Vera. “RISI Expert: Anti-Islamic Hysteria Extremely Dangerous.” Islam News. 30 May 2013. http://www.islamnews.ru/news-139895.html McCauley, Clark and Sophia Maskalenko. “Mechanisms of Political Radicalization: Pathways Toward Terrorism.” Terrorism and Political Violence. London: Routledge, 2008, 416. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09546550802073367

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12

Savin, Sergey. “Mufti of Tatarstan Crossed Path of Hajj-Operator.” NTV. 20 July 2012. http:// www.ntv.ru/novosti/313978 “Mujahedeen of Tatarstan Admitted Attacks on Mufti” NTV. 8 August 2012. http://www.ntv. ru/novosti/318679/ “About Us.” The Kazan Herald. 2011. http://kazanherald.com/about/ Gaelotti, Mark. “The Jihad is Not on the March.” The Kazan Herald. 24 August 2012. http:// kazanherald.com/2012/08/24/the-jihad-is-not-on-the-march/ “The press in Russia.” The British Broadcasting Company. 16 May 2008. http://news.bbc. co.uk/2/hi/europe/4315129.stm Postnov, Gleb. “Mufti of Tatarstan Laid Out Credentials.” Nezavisimaya. 7 March 2013. http:// www.ng.ru/regions/2013-03-07/5_kazan.html “Contact Us.” The Moscow Times. 2013. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/contact_us/index. php Winning, Alexander. “Slain Kazan Gunman Planned Terror Attack.” The Moscow Times. 26 October 2012. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/slain-kazan-gunmenplanned-terror-attack/470448.html

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14 15

16

17

18

19

20

Grosby, Steven and Athena S. Leoussi. Nationalism and Ethnosymbolism: History, Culture and Ethnicity in the Formation of Nations. Edinburgh: University Press, 2007, 3. Smith, Anthony D. “The Nation: Real or Imagined.” People, Nation & State: The Meaning of Ethnicity & Nationalism. Ed. Edward Mortimer. New York: I. B. Tauris Publishers, 1999, 41.

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“The second death of Izvestia.” The Moscow News. 6 June 2011. http://themoscownews.com/ editorial/20110606/188729406.html “100 People Protested Large-Scale Arrests in Center of Kazan.” Izvestia. 29 July 2012. http:// izvestia.ru/news/531630 “Tatar nationalists are losing ground.” Georgia Times. 23 October 2012. http://www. georgiatimes.info/en/interview/82142.html “About Us.” Kavkaz Center. http://www.kavkazcenter.com/eng/about/ “In Kazan Protest of Muslim Peoples Against Robberies of Moscow.” Kavkaz Center. 25 January 2013. http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2013/01/25/95782.shtml “The press in Russia.” The British Broadcasting Company. 16 May 2008. http://news.bbc. co.uk/2/hi/europe/4315129.stm

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25 26

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28

Postnov, Gleb. “The Second Invasion of Batu.” Nezavisimaya. 15 January 2013. http://www. ng.ru/regions/2013-01-15/3_kartblansh.html “Rating of Social Well-Being in Regions of Russia.” Foundation for Civil Society Development. 15 August 2013. http://civilfund.ru/mat/view/27

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Israel’s Iron Dome: Invalidating the banal ‘Defensible Borders’ argument
Matthew Lemieux
Ever since the 1967 “Six Day War” when Israel seized military control over the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank, Israel has had to defend itself against a barrage of criticism from the international community regarding the illegality of its maintained control there. It has done so effectively, especially with the onset of a series of highly visible rocket and mortar attacks conducted by non-state Palestinian militants, by arguing that the military controls over the territories are necessary for maintaining a defensible national border. This is the defensible borders argument. This paper dismisses this argument—and thereby the legitimacy of Israel’s presence in and control over the Palestinian territories—with an assessment of the Palestinian military capability, particularly following the onset of Israel’s new missile defense system, Iron Dome. While responsible for a remarkably low number of casualties, rocket and mortar attacks remain as the only credible threat posed by Palestinians that could realistically jeopardize Israel’s border defensibility from the pre-1967 lines of sovereignty. Iron Dome’s demonstrated near-perfect defense against these attacks, as well as the current development of more comprehensive and sophisticated missile defense systems for the future, effectively neutralizes the only credible Palestinian threat and draws attention to the truly baseless nature of the defensible borders argument.

maintained, and must continue to maintain, control over the Palestinian territories occupied in the 1967 “Six Day War” in order to conserve its “Defensible Borders”. Indeed, the imperative to maintain self-defense within one country’s own borders is acknowledged as a most basic tenet of international re relations theory, and the United States in particular has remained committed to ensuring that the right to do so is extended to Israel. As a result, Israel has ever since been able to fend off an almost continuous flow of international criticism deeming the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza ‘illegal’, most notably the 2009 Goldstone Report published following the infamously ruthless Operation Cast Lead in 2008. The report outright reaffirms the ongoing accusations that the state of Israel’s occupation in Palestinian territory is illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention with Additional Protocol I, the Hague Regulations, and “customary international law” (“Report of the United Nations” 2009, 73). Since the Commission found no reason to doubt that the Palestinian territories—post-2005 Gaza being no exception—preside under the ultimate control of Israel, the Palestinians are protected

I

t is a widely-argued belief among Israeli and American politics that Israel has

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persons under Israeli authority, making it responsible any human rights offenses it has imparted upon those occupied. The Fourth Geneva Convention imposes substantial obligations for occupying powers that Israel has flagrantly failed to live up to, including the care and education of children, providing adequate medical services, the illegality of property destruction, the illegality of forcible population transfers, etc (“Geneva Convention” 1950). Additionally, the human rights treaties ratified by Israel—including the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, ICCPR, ICESCR, the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child—are binding to Israel’s actions in the occupied Palestinian territories (“Report of the United Nations” 2009, 77-8). In addition to international law, Israel has managed to defer, dismiss, and ignore numerous UN Security Council resolutions have been made, including resolutions 242, 338, 476, 478, and 497, which all refer to the imperative for Israel to reverse the ownership of acquired lands in the Six Day War—none of which, needless to say, have been fulfilled. Their ability to maintain the territory acquired and remain defiant to this wealth of negative international responses—all with no serious international sanction—rests solely on one key argument which systematically and effectively dismisses any potential criticism before it amounts to any popular significance: that is, the argument for the ‘right to defensible borders’. The defensible borders argument is a catch-all defense—an argumentative nightmare. No matter how atrocious, unlawful, or unpopular a country’s actions may be, you simply cannot ask the country not to defend itself. Yet, the ‘defensible borders’ argument has held up, due to the seemingly constant flow of short-range rockets and mortars reigning down on Israeli territory from Gaza. These attacks are highly visible, and provide a perfect image in the minds of any Westerner for an ‘act of terror’. However, evidence suggests that the Palestinian threat to Israel’s secure border post-1967 is in fact negligible—despite the radical claims made otherwise—which challenges whether Israel’s control over the West Bank and Gaza was ever necessary from a strategic perspective. As I will argue, the only credible threat that could realistically jeopardize Israel’s border defensibility from the pre-1967 lines is the relatively recent threat of short-range rockets and mortars from the Palestinian territories by non-state militant groups (i.e., terrorists). Especially in the wake of the recent spike in conflict last November, figures describing the number of rockets and mortars launched by Palestinian terrorists have received a lot of publicity. As of November 20, 2012, the Israeli Defense Forces and Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that more than 13,900 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip since the first known

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attack in April 2001, endangering the lives of 1,000,000 Israelis within their range and claiming the lives of 28 (Nguyen 2012; “Rocket Attacks on Israel From Gaza”; “Victims of Palestinian Violence and Terrorism”). These numbers are disputed even amongst different Israeli government agencies and increase significantly in the latter half of 2012 with the start of the eight-day Operation Pillar of Defense in November. For example, the IDF claims on several infographics disseminated as social media that 44 have been killed by Palestinian rocket and mortar fire in the years 20062011, making for 64 deaths overall over the past 12 years, despite Israel’s own Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirming the 28 number (“Rocket Attacks on Israel From Gaza”). To put these numbers in perspective, however, the IAF shelling of Gaza as part of “Operation Pillar of Defense”—a relatively restrained operation when compared to Israel’s past offensives in Gaza—has left over 100 Palestinians citizens dead in just eight days (“Initial Findings” 2012). In response to this rather cyclic Palestinian rocket threat, along with more sophisticated threats from Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah, and Iran, Israel has initiated the development of several cutting-edge anti-missile technologies. The most recently deployed anti-missile battery in March 2011, known as Iron Dome, has garnered overwhelming public attention and support, both for its rather active role as interceptor of short-range rockets and mortars used by Palestinian militants and for its unprecedented success in the history of anti-rocket capability. Its successful interception rate has ranged across different exchanges from a low of 84% in the recent November conflict to a reported 100% by a senior Israeli official (Thompson 2012; Zion 2013). I propose that this success, especially in combination with the scheduled increase of Iron Dome batteries and deployment of new air defense systems, has effectively neutralized the Palestinian threat. Thus, my argument is that Israel’s presence in and control of the territories, as far as the “Defensible Borders” argument is concerned, is rendered superfluous. To demonstrate this, I will use an “isolationist” stance for Israel as a testing condition. That is, if Israel is able to confidently and consistently defend itself from security threats while exhibiting no military presence in or control over any land outside the pre-1967 border—also known as the “Green Line” or the 1949 armistice lines—then it is no necessity from a security perspective to operate beyond that border. Accordingly, the key implications for an isolationist Israel, as I term it, include, but are not limited to: the cessation of preventive military strikes, the cessation of military presence in the West Bank and protection of the settlers that reside there, the cessation of building walls, housing developments, and any other construction outside the Green Line, the relinquishment of control

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over the Gazan airspace, sea port, and land border with Egypt, and the relinquishment of any and all buffer zones beyond the Green Line. This testing condition does not, however, imply that Israel takes no precision retaliatory strikes with clearly defined targets and objectives or that it is required to cooperate in any economic or political way with the Palestinian government by opening its borders to the flow of goods and people. If I am able to effectively show that with nascent air defense technology, Israel can maintain Defensible Borders—or at least borders that are more defensible—from this isolationist stance, then the Defensible Borders argument carries no clout in justifying its invasive control and presence in the Palestinian territories. Without the need to maintain control of territory beyond the Green Line for its own defensible borders, Israel won’t be able to dismiss the provisions of formal and customary international law that deem the occupation illegal.

The Defensible Borders Argument
A defensible border is simply a boundary that gives a state the strategic position to be able to defend itself—in all its parts—from any credible threat, particularly from those in its immediate vicinity. For a state to “defend itself ” is to ensure its survival under all realistic circumstances and to prevent significant losses to infrastructure and civilian life. While this definition does not explicitly require the minimum level of encroachment on a potentially threatening state’s sovereignty and land (obliterating a problem nation certainly makes for a defensible boarder), it is implied within the concept of “defense” that just enough action is taken to counter legitimate offenses, which are imprecisely defined. Since a defensible border is regarded as a most basic state “right” and indeed one that gains utmost importance in Israel’s rhetoric regarding its position in the Israel-Arab conflict, it is imperative that its definition is understood mutually by both sides when attempting to grasp my argument. Most importantly, the concept of a defensible border cannot be used to justify offensive or preventive measures against the other that go beyond ensuring a high probability of success. In an anarchic system of states, every other nation with a military is a potential threat—some more than others—to which each must balance against. But threat alone, even from adversaries, does not make a border indefensible; there must also be an imbalance in which one side would be continually and consistently unable to defend against such attacks from the current position. The claim is not that one necessarily needs an indefensible border to justify a military incursion; but for a border expansion (or, if you prefer, extension) to be justified on the basis of an indefensible border, that previous border must actually have been indefensible, rendering

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the concerned state unable to consistently defend itself from that position with a high probability of success. In 1975, Hebrew University of Jerusalem professor Dan Horowitz described, “The notion of ‘secure’ or ‘defensible’ borders is a post-Six-Day-War addition to the prevailing concept of national security in Israel” (Horowitz 1975, 5). And indeed, ever since Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Syrian Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem in 1967, the “right to defensible borders” has been evoked freely by those defending Israel’s actions with regard to the Palestinian territories. The terminology still persists today when justifying Israeli military action in its neighboring lands, as evidenced by President Obama’s statement last November, “[T]here is no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders. So we are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself ” (Caldwell 2012). The difficulty with the ‘Defensible Borders’ concept, however, is precisely how pervasive it is while remaining neither explicit nor verifiable. What makes a border “defensible” Former IDF General Yigal Allon’s case for Israel’s need for Defensible Borders is often regarded as one of the first and most authoritative accounts of the Defensible Borders argument. In his 1976 Foreign Affairs article, nine years after Israel first took control of the territories, Allon painted a dichotomy between the desire to “isolate, strangle, and erase Israel from the world map” by Israel’s Arab adversaries and Israel’s “imperative to survive” (Allon 1976, 38-53). Such an imperative, by his argument, is threatened by the environment in which Israel exists, surrounded on all sides by hostile Arab nations with a combined land ratio to Israel of 650:1. Given this, Allon explains why Israel’s border prior to the 1967 war, which did not include control over the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, was indefensible for a few key strategic reasons, and further, why the maintenance of said control was imperative to state survival. First, Allon makes a geographic argument for the indefensibility of pre-1967 borders. Israel occupies a very small spot on the map, measuring roughly 45 miles across at its widest point from the Jordan Valley to the Mediterranean Sea, and it slims down to only about 10 miles between the West Bank and the Mediterranean (Allon 1976, 41-2). At these slim points, the West Bank also maintains a topological high ground in relation to Israel’s coastal plain and gives the Palestinians control over the ‘natural barrier’ formed by the Jordan Valley that borders their Arab ally, Jordan. Thus, Allon argues that Israel’s thin coastal plain is strategically vulnerable to a conventional

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military invasion from the east, and the topographical advantage in elevation makes the threat even more severe (Allon 1976, 44). On the other hand, if Israel were to control much of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley, the strategic advantage would be in its favor for defending against a potential ground invasion from its eastern adversaries (Allon 1976,44-6). Second, Allon cites the importance of having “boots on the ground” in the event of such an invasion. Historical evidence, pointing out in particular the largely unsuccessful German “blitz” bombing of Great Britain and American “Rolling Thunder” bombing of North Vietnam, demonstrates the need to supplement defensive air power with ground forces (Allon 1976, 42). Allon makes this argument in critical response to the idea that Israel can defend against an eastern invasion through air power alone. Thus, permanent military presence in the West Bank could prove crucial to Israel’s ability to survive an Arab invasion through Jordan. Today, many years later, high-ranking and well-regarded Israeli officials, such as MajorGeneral Yaakov Amidror, former Head of Assessment, Israeli Military Intelligence, echo those very same arguments made by Allon to incorporate the more recent threat of terrorism and ballistic missiles. In an article titled, “Israel’s Requirement for Defensible Borders”, Amidror states that the defensibility of Israel’s border should be evaluated by one’s answer to the question: “If Israel were to come under attack by a conventional army, or some combination of ground forces, ballistic missiles, and terrorist cells, would the border and the space behind it be sufficient to allow the Israeli Defense Forces to fulfill their defensive mission with a high probability of success? [emphasis added]” (Amidror 2008, 17-38) By this usage, one may justify greater military control over a border and the space behind it to the extent that nearly any theoretically possible attack originating from that area could be defended with anything short of a high probability of success. Amidror goes on to assert that with the existence of non-state belligerents (what he seems to mean by “terrorists”), “the right to defensible borders means that Israel must retain a safety zone in order to contend with a range of threats in the future, even if it reaches political agreements with it [sic] neighbors” (Amidror 2008). Since there isn’t any doubt, Amidror affirms, that Israel will face the threat of Palestinian “terrorism” in the foreseeable future, the borders shall remain unchanged, regardless of any advancements in the peace process. Two events General Amidror argues in particular have stood out as “lessons” for why giving up control over the territories would imply immanent threat—the Second Lebanon War and the unilateral disengagement from Gaza. Major-General Amidror attribute the cause of the

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2006 Lebanon War, the soldier abductions that ensued, and the subsequent 4,000 Hezbollah rocket attacks after Israel disengaged to the lack of IDF forces on the opposite side or the border(Amidror 2008, 34-6; “Hezbollah leader warns” 2012). He goes on to describe the event as having “proved to those who did not already understand that if there was no permanent activity on the other side of the fence, in the end the enemy would infiltrate” (Amidror 2008, 34). Similar, and even more drastic results were seen in Gaza. The total number of rockets fired in the first 5 years of rocket attacks beginning in 2001 are slightly less than half the number of rockets fired in the next 5 years, 2006-10—after Israel’s unilateral disengagement. Thus, the “Defensible Borders” argument has taken on an assumption that relinquishing control over the territories directly escalates the threat level of those territories and causes unacceptable casualties and damages to infrastructure. “Defensible Borders” has also honed in on short-range rocket and mortar attacks as the principle modern threat to Israel’s security. The slim border with the West Bank provides militants with the capability to attack several major population centers with a simple Qassam rocket (4.3 mile range), and nearly all major population centers with a more advanced, albeit obtainable, Katyusha rocket (13.6 mile range). Thus, the Defensible Borders argument states that the only way to take major Israeli infrastructure and mass civilian lives out of militants’ crosshairs is to militarily control the borders, settlements within the West Bank, and the skies above. Use of the Defensible Borders argument The right to Defensible Borders has been used by Israel over the years since ’67, and in a lot of different ways. Perhaps most notably is Israel’s official citing of right to Defensible Borders in response to UN Security Council Resolution 242, made following the 1967 war. The international legal document emphasized the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every State in the area can live in security,” calling for (i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict; (ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” (United Nations Security Council 1967) Israel uses Resolution 242 to justify its actions since the 1967 War and its continued control of the territories. Proponents of the Israeli viewpoint claimed that while many have misinterpreted

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Resolution 242, it was intended to express the need for states to exist in security behind “secure and recognized boundaries”(Rosenne 2008). Some officials, such as Abba Eban, Israeli Foreign Minister at the time, go as far as to insist that the resolution “called on the Arab states to conclude peace agreements with Israel as a condition for liberating their lost territories” (Eban 1991, 177). Israel made no serious strides to withdraw from the territory it occupied because the Palestinians allegedly made it necessary to remain in control of them in order maintain secure, “Defensible Borders”. The Defensible Borders argument is a central concept in understanding, first, why Israel maintains such undiplomatic and coercive relations with the Palestinian Authority, and second, why every attempted peace negotiation between the two since 1967 has ultimately failed in some respect or another. Peace talks between Israel and Palestine, regardless of the specific aims, almost invariably follow an all-too-familiar narrative in which both sides reveal that they have “pre-requisites” for effective diplomatic process to take place. On the Palestinian side, this pre-requisite is almost always a return to the pre-1967 borders; on the Israeli side, it’s the end of terrorism. When the Arab League at a 2002 summit in Beirut proposed a plan, based on UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, for full, normalized relations with Israel, the first and most important contingent was the “Complete withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the 4 June 1967 line and the territories still occupied in southern Lebanon” (Text: Beirut Declaration 2002). In response, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres announced that “the Saudi step is an important one, but it is liable to founder if terrorism is not stopped,” and further, “the details of every peace plan must be discussed directly between Israel and the Palestinians, and to make this possible, the Palestinian Authority must put an end to terror”(Response of FM Peres 2002). Territorial control Some defenders of Israel’s military stance are quick to point out that “occupation” carries with it a negative connotation that does not accurately describe the situation, especially when referring to Gaza after the August 2005 Unilateral Disengagement, in which Israel evacuated all of its military personnel and settlers from the Gaza Strip. The situation that now most aptly describes Israel’s military relationship with Gaza is ‘containment’—ie, complete control over the activities, traffic, and security in the land, air, and sea surrounding it. The occupying presence of Israel in the West Bank, on the other hand, has not reduced since the initial 1967 invasion—rather, it has increased through extensive settlement building and construction of a vast separation barrier

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that bisects many important Palestinian roads and communities, in some cases surrounding them completely. Territorial control, then, implies two military endeavors: the military containment of both Gaza and the West Bank and the military occupation of parts of the West Bank. Israel’s exercised methods of military control over both Palestinian territories have been deemed illegal by the international community under several international law doctrines, including the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Hague Regulations, the extent to which is thoroughly elucidated in the seminal 2009 fact-finding mission, widely known as the Goldstone Report (“Report of the United Nations” 2009, 73). Most importantly, the findings show that Palestinians in both territories fall under the provisions of ‘Protected Persons’ in occupied territory, meaning it is Israel’s responsibility by law to ensure the safety, wellbeing, and standard of decent human living in the territory. It also means that a true disengagement from territorial control over the territories does not simply mean a repeat of the 2005 Gaza withdrawal for the West Bank—no control implies no occupation and no containment. THE WEST BANK Article 42 of the Hague Regulations defines that “territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army” (“Report of the United Nations” 2009, 73). It rarely comes to a dispute that Israel occupies the West Bank. Means of control unique to the West Bank include settlements, property seizure, police checkpoints, and a separation barrier coupled with a buffer zone that is planned to sectionalize the West Bank, even completely isolating some territories. Most, if not all of the separation barrier and buffer zone, which began its construction in 2002, fall on the Palestinian side of the border, east of the Green Line, encompassing or completely surrounding 11.9% of the West Bank’s land area (“The Separation Barrier Statistics” 2011). Between 1967 and 2005, Israel has constructed about 125 settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As of the end of 2011, there were 121 government-sanctioned settlements in the West Bank. In addition, there were approximately 100 “settlement outposts”, which bore no official government recognition, but many were started with government assistance (“Land Exploration and Settlement Statistics” 2011). While settlements continue to expand in the West Bank, hundreds of Palestinian homes continue to be demolished each year for not being built with an Israeliapproved building permit. Just in the first two months of 2013, 57 housing units have already been demolished for this purpose alone, leaving 234 people homeless (129 of them minors). These

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numbers fluctuate, leaving only 537 people homeless in 2012 but nearly 1,000 people from 149 homes in (“Statistics on demolition of houses” 2011). Surrounding these settlements are a number of measures that help protect new and extant settlements in Palestinian occupied territory, including a series of security checkpoints that has been especially hard on the Palestinian communities. As of February 2013, there were 98 fixed checkpoints in the West Bank, some of which have been completely or partially privatized. At some checkpoints, privately-owned Palestinian vehicles are not allowed to pass. In addition, the Israeli army erects hundreds of surprise “flying checkpoints” alone West Bank road each month, with monthly average being 351 during 2009-2010. Other means that constrain the Palestinians from using the roads to travel to work and elsewhere include general physical obstructions—dirt piles, concrete blocks, iron gates, trenches, etc.—averaging about 519 in 2010, and about 67km of roads that has been designated for use solely by Israelis, primarily settlers (“Checkpoints, Physical Obstructions, and Forbidden Roads” 2011). It’s difficult to see how any argument that attempts to claim that these occupational constraints directly are necessary for the security of Israeli military personnel, civilians, and infrastructure within Israel’s borders is anything but disingenuous. If they are justified only for the sake of the security of Israeli settlers and military personnel within the West Bank, then they aren’t justified by the Defensible Borders argument as presented in this study. After all, the “borders” in “Defensible Borders” refer to the Green Line—the demarcation between Israel and the Palestinian territories before the 1967 war—and are the outer limits of protected Israeli presence in the isolationist (purely defensive) stance proposed by this study. Therefore, the Defensible Borders argument cannot be used to justify any security measure for the protection of an asset outside Israel’s actual border that would be equally or better protected by moving within the borders. THE GAZA STRIP Gaza’s border with the Mediterranean Sea allows one means of control unique to it, which is a naval blockade of Gaza’s coastline. The naval blockade, in conjunction with land border containment policies, allows Israel to control the quantity, quality, type, etc. of goods—food, medical supplies, trade goods—that is allowed in or out of the Palestinian territories. Countless declaratives by the UN Human Rights Council, including the Goldstone Report, address the Gaza Strip as “Occupied Palestinian Territory”. The Jewish Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) offers several counters to the typical assertions of occupation in Gaza, asserting that

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there is “no legal basis” for referring to Gaza as occupied territory, since it is “not territory of another state party to the convention and Israel does not exercise the functions of government—or, indeed, any significant functions—in the territory.” Upon this basis, JCPA concludes that Israel is under “no legal obligation” to allow the passage of commercial goods, and may thus withhold items at its discretion “even if intended as ‘punishment’ for Palestinian terrorism” (Bell 2008). This conclusion differs starkly with what the Goldstone fact-finding mission determined. It’s difficult to say more succinctly than what the Goldstone commission reports regarding Israeli control over Gaza, as follows: Given the specific geopolitical configuration of the Gaza Strip, the powers that Israel exercises from the borders enable it to determine the conditions of life within the Gaza Strip. Israel controls the border crossings (including to a significant degree the Rafah crossing to Egypt, under the terms of the Agreement on Movement and Access) and decides what and who gets in or out of the Gaza Strip. It also controls the territorial sea adjacent to the Gaza Strip and has declared a virtual blockade and limits to the fishing zone, thereby regulating economic activity in that zone. It also keeps complete control of the airspace of the Gaza Strip, inter alia, through continuous surveillance by aircraft and unmanned aviation vehicles (UAVs) or drones. It makes military incursions and from time to time hit targets within the Gaza Strip. No-go areas are declared within the Gaza Strip near the border where Israeli settlements used to be and enforced by the Israeli armed forces. Furthermore, Israel regulates the local monetary market based on the Israeli currency (the new sheqel) and controls taxes and custom duties (“Report of the United Nations” 2009, 73). [My emphases added] Considering the above, the report finds that Israel has “without doubt at all times relevant to the mandate of the Mission exercised effective control over the Gaza Strip,” explicitly despite its 2005 “disengagement” (“Report of the United Nations” 2009, 73-4). Still, JCPA’s point that there is a de facto local administration inside Gaza should be taken into account. Despite the presence of what the Goldstone Commission calls “essential elements of occupation,” the de facto rule of Hamas and those functions and responsibilities officially transferred to the Palestinian Authority does caution how the term ‘occupation’ is applied. Regardless, Israel can either qualify itself as an occupier and assume the responsibilities in protection and human rights that go along with it, or it can remove all external controls on the territories and give full respect to the sovereignty of the Palestinian territories. That is the mandate by international law.

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The Palestinian Threat
To assess the Palestinian threat to Israel that underpins the Defensible Borders argument, I will examine the Palestinian territories’ offensive capabilities in three broad categories—ballistic missile, conventional military, and terrorist threat. Unsurprisingly, the threats posed to my test case, isolationist Israel, stem from acts of terrorism. Israel’s strength as a conventional military superpower, cutting-edge defense systems, and powerful alliances with Western superpowers belittle threats of the conventional military and ballistic missile variety. Before the inception of short-range air defense, Israel has been all but entirely successful in eliminating the terrorist threat, leaving intact only terrorists’ ability to launch rocket and mortar attacks on Israel from within the Palestinian territories. The statistical data on terrorist attacks on Israel support the notion that the Palestinian threat is isolated to terrorism in the form of rocket and mortar attacks. To demonstrate this, I address each category of threat below with an assessment of the Palestinian capacity to challenge the security of isolationist Israel. Ballistic missile threat No serious assessment in military scholarship could find the Palestinians to have been capable of producing a ballistic missile threat. The combined GDP of both the West Bank and Gaza Strip is an estimated $6.6 billion in 2008, whereas their Arab neighbors currently posing a ballistic missile threat have GDPs of $483.8 billion (Iran) and $64.7 billion (Syria) (CIA World Fact Book). And while wealth is not the only factor required for a country to have a ballistic missile program, the Palestinians have nowhere near the industrial infrastructure nor the military muscle necessary for developing or securing one. Typically, talks of a ballistic missile threat with regard to the Israeli-Arab conflict refer to that posed by Arab nations that possess either a ballistic missile arsenal or the capability to produce one. Most notoriously, these nations include Iran and Syria. More than 486,000 Palestinians take refuge in Syria, and Syria itself maintains a territorial dispute with Israel over the Golan Heights that was occupied in the 1967 war and now provide Israel with a third of its water supply (“Golan Heights profile” 2011; “Syria” 2012). As far as Iran’s involvement, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas stated flatly, “Hamas is funded by Iran. It claims it is financed by donations, but the donations are nothing like what it receives from Iran” (Ghosh 2012). Both countries possess a known ballistic missile program. A 2012 CIA Unclassified

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Report to Congress outlines roughly the capacities each country possesses (Central Intelligence Agency 2011). Syria’s ballistic missile arsenal is quite large, including liquid-propellant Scud short range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) and Scud-class variants, such as Scud C and D. These missiles have the capability to reach Israel and disperse Syria’s stockpile of chemical warfare agents, the CIA report confirms that Syria had been developing a covert nuclear program for more than a decade as well. Iran’s ballistic missile program is farther along, making it one of the largest in the Middle East, but its developing nuclear program has been the center of concern for Israel and most Western states. The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in 2011 that Iran continues to develop and harness its nuclear energy for weapons-grade use (IAEA 2011). A July 2012 report signed by US Defense Secretary Panetta confirms that Iran continues to improve the accuracy and lethality of its ballistic missiles, speculating further that with “sufficient foreign assistance,” Iran may be capable of test-firing an ICBM by 2015 (“Fact Sheet: The Threat from Iran” 2013). Regardless of these potential threats to Israel from countries it has had hostile relations with in the past, it’s difficult to see how taking an isolationist stance would put Israel at any more risk for attack by Syrian or Iranian ballistic missiles than it is currently. Some Israeli military officials, such as General Amidror have made some desperate attempts to contended that Israel’s stance from the Green Line border would reduce Israel’s “second strike” capability, since, “Only a wider space will enable Israeli forces to have the necessary level of redundancy to survive a missile strike” (Amidror 2008, 28). This reasoning is ignorant of Israel’s geography, which is widest in the southern district past the West Bank, and moreover, of Israel’s ability to preserve its “second strike” capability, given the estimated-200 nuclear warheads in its possession, its unparalleled Arrow anti-ballistic missile defense system, and the wealth of land area in the Negev for dispersal and concealment (“Nuclear Weapons” 2007). Lastly, Amidror ignores the extended deterrence provided by Israel’s allies—most notably, the United States—which essentially extends a “second strike” to any nation that fires ballistic missiles upon Israel, even if it is somehow able to take out Israel’s own “second strike” capability. If anything, one might expect less of a ballistic missile threat to isolationist Israel from Palestinian sympathizers, such as Iran and Syria, since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories in 1967 is largely what gives impetus to their hostility. Conventional military threat While not as definitive as the ballistic missile argument, roughly the same logic applies for the Palestinian conventional military threat. The Palestinian territories, aside from being

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geographically disunified, are currently politically disunified. In 2007, after being democratically elected in 2006, Hamas officially seized political control over the Gaza while the West Bank continues to be governed under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority. And while they have been making somewhat conjunctive attempts as of late to establish themselves as a state, citing particularly their new granted status as ‘non-member state’ in the UN, it’s still a long road ahead to a well-established military (“Q&A: Palestinians’ upgraded UN status” 2012). The Palestinian Liberation Army and Palestinian National Security Forces combined have a total manpower of approximately 81,000 soldiers, armed with the most basic conventional weapons imaginable (“Q&A: Palestinians’ upgraded UN status” 2012). Including its reserve personnel force, Israel outnumbers these forces by roughly 8:1. Israel is also, as mentioned, a nuclear-armed country with heavy support from the United States—by far the largest and most powerful army and nuclear arsenal on earth—so any attempt at an “eastern invasion” through the West Bank by any combination of established Arab nations would be a truly suicidal endeavor. While Israel’s coastal plain is admittedly thin and lower in elevation than the West Bank, military historian Martin van Creveld likens an attempted ground invasion through the West Bank to “sticking [one’s] head into a noose” (Van Creveld 2010). Van Creveld also notes that the Jordan Valley still acts as a natural barrier with east even if Israel does not control it, and precision air attacks over the area would be an opportunity to bomb an entire army caught in a ditch. This assessment is not at all speculative; it’s backed by the empirical evidence of what actually occurred in the 1967 war, in which an economically and militarily weaker Israel, acting on its own and without nuclear weapons, crushed the Arab armed forces surrounding it in just six days and with a relatively low loss of Israeli life. Then, Israel of course did not have control over the West Bank and the combating forces outnumbered the Jewish state’s army by a ratio of 3-to-1. Clearly, Israel with its current economic and military status finds no credible threat by the paltry Palestinian military, which actually serves more as a police force than a potential weapon, or even by the surrounding states of the Arab league, ostensibly engulfing tiny Israel geographically but in reality, dwarfed by its might. And again, for even those unconvinced who speak of an “existential threat” to Israel by its Arab adversaries, the conventional military threat of these adversaries cannot properly serve as support for the ‘defensible borders’ argument, since the border dispute and occupational control over Palestinians post-1967 is largely the source of such vibrant hostilities between them. Threat of terrorism

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Unlike the previous two categories, there is little dispute that Israel faces a terrorist threat. A well-documented stream of evidence by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) provides the trends for each kind of terrorist activity. For the purposes of this report, I distinguish trends between two main types of terrorist attacks—what I label localized and remote attacks. For isolationist Israel, we can expect an across-the-board decrease in localized terrorist attacks, further isolating the threat to remotely conducted terrorist attacks. LOCALIZED TERRORIST ATTACKS Localized terrorist attacks refer to those in which the attack originates where the target is located. Suicide bombing, car bombs, and mass shootings, for example, qualify as localized attacks. For these types of terrorism, I argue that a pullback to the pre-1967 lines, despite the rhetoric regarding ‘defensible borders,’ would actually greatly reduce the likelihood of success for a localized terrorist attack, thereby reducing the incentive for Palestinians to commit such attacks. This is largely because a localized attack is less likely to cause Israeli casualties when Israeli soldiers and civilians are not present within the Palestinian territories. The danger Israeli soldiers and settlers face of being attacked while in the land they share with the Palestinians disappears when they physically remove themselves from that territory, and the risk they face today from a localized attack within the Green Line is (as I will show) nearly zero. Secondly, a more isolationist defensive strategy by Israel makes it harder for terrorists to infiltrate. With the current planned and partially built route for the separation barrier, Israel will have approximately 750km of border to maintain security over, as opposed to the Green Line border between Israel and the West Bank stretching less than 200km. This, of course, does not even mention the massive resources that the IDF expends to maintain security checkpoints and defense of settlements throughout the West Bank, east of the planned barrier. An isolationist stance by Israel would allow it to divert the military resources previously devoted to protecting the settlements, operating checkpoints, and other occupational controls towards a concentrated, unified border defense along the Green Line, thereby denying terrorists the ability to enter Israel to conduct localized attacks. The historical trend data provided by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) backs up these assertions. Eleven out of the thirteen terror trends that ISA reports on are localized terrorist attacks, excluding only rocket attacks and mortar shelling attacks. For these attack types, there is a remarkable consistency for a peak in the number of attacks perpetrated in either 2001 or 2002, after which the 2002 separation barrier construction, coupled with its “buffer zone,” starts to take

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its effect. Suicide attacks, for example, which account or the most terrorism-related deaths during the conflict (61.2%), peaked at 53 attacks in 2002, reducing to 26 the following year, and falling to only one attack in 2007 and 2008 (see Figure 1). Most notable, however, is the sharp decrease after 2002 in attacks carried out within the Green Line (see Figure 2)—incontrovertible evidence for the success of the separation barrier and buffer zone keeping terrorists out of Israel. Another consistent point of significant attack and fatality reduction is after 2005, when the Unilateral Disengagement from Gaza took place. Attacks that have a high incidence in the Gaza Strip, such as shootings, mass-murder shootings, and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), saw between a 50% and a near 100% reduction in 2005 or 2006 (see Figures 3-5). Shooting attacks in particular, which account for the highest incidence among all terrorist attacks in the conflict decreased from 1,041 attacks in the Gaza strip in 2004 to 632 in 2005, plummeting to 77 in 2006. Once the Israeli soldiers and settlers removed themselves from Gaza, attacks taking place within the Gaza strip almost completely flatlined. Remaining localized terrorist attacks in Gaza take place at the border with Israel and on the security forces stationed there. The ISA itself cites the construction of the separation barrier, beginning in 2002, the resulting institution of a buffer zone between the Green Line and the barrier, and the 2005 Unilateral Disengagement from Gaza as the major factors in the alarmingly successful campaign to reduce the number of localized terrorist attacks on Israelis. “Since 2001, being the peak year in shooting attacks—began a decline in the number of shooting attacks…This pattern (as in the case of suicide and mass murder shooting) is in decline as a result of several factors: the establishing of the buffer zone between the Palestinian and Israeli populations; In Judea and Samaria—as a result of completing more sections of the buffer zone; and in the Gaza Strip—as a result of the disengagement and IDF pullout” (Israeli Security Agency 2010). The success of the disengagement from Palestinian territory and construction of the barrier is well represented in the numbers of fatalities. The number of deaths from suicide terrorism from September 2000 until 2004 (417) is more than double the amount of deaths in all four of the most deadly forms of terrorism—IED, mass murder shooting, shooting, and suicide terror—combined from 2004 to present (204). The effect is even more profound from 2006, after the August Gaza disengagement, to present, which amounts to only 62 deaths in all four of those categories combined. One might point out, since we are looking at this through the lens of ‘isolationist Israel’

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from the pre-1967 lines, that the barrier and buffer zone actually lie beyond the Green Line for most of its path. Of course, the barrier doesn’t have to be outside the green line to be effective; I’ve merely demonstrated that such a border is extremely effective in deterring localized terrorist attacks. Thus, the incidence of localized terrorist attacks, which encompass almost all forms of terrorism the Israeli government has found relevant to its security, shows no support for the ‘defensible borders’ argument, since the localized attacks are almost completely deterred by the presence of a barrier and not necessarily by where the barrier is. If anything, the elongation of the Israel-West Bank border, almost quadrupling it in length, spreads thin the resources for border security, which could be more effectively concentrated if the separation barrier followed the Green Line with a buffer zone west of it. Even with the current barrier and buffer zone configuration, however, the take-home point is that there exists such a border security measure available to my test case, isolationist Israel, that has proven effective in practice to effectively neutralize the threat posed by localized terrorist attacks. REMOTE TERRORIST ATTACKS Presumably as a result of the success Israel has had defending against localized terrorist attacks, remote terrorist attacks have garnered a lot more public attention in recent years. Remote terrorist attacks refer to those in which the attack originates remotely in relation to the target. Examples from terrorism in general include cyberterrorism, biological terrorism, (in some instances) aircraft hijacking, etc. The only form of remote terrorism ISA observes and keeps track, however, is rocket and mortar attacks. One can speculate that this is due to both the Palestinian’s lack of access to more sophisticated means of terrorism, such as cyberterrorism or biological terrorism, and the relative ease of access to simple supplies for the sort of makeshift rockets and mortars that have rained down on Israeli land in considerable numbers since the first known attack in 2001. Unlike localized terrorist attacks, rocket and mortar attacks do not seem to correspond with either the 2002 separation barrier construction or the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza. Instead, the rocket attacks follow a pattern in which rocket attacks increase each year, culminating in years of large-scale Israeli military operations in the territories, after which the number of attacks drops drastically (see Figure 6). The two data series represents discrepancies between reported rocket attacks from two separate Israeli organizations with records of rocket and mortar attack data—the IDF and the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC). Rocket and mortar fire on Israel is almost certainly positively correlated with military confrontations and subsequent ceasefires between the Israeli military and Palestinian militants, and the recent November 2012

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conflict serves as an excellent example. Of the 1,435 rocket and mortar attacks the IDF reported in for 2012 as of November 20, 1,456 was alleged by UN Secretary-General to have been came during the eight-day Operation Pillar of Defense alone (Ki-moon 2012). Clearly, the vast majority of attacks took place once Israel began its air strikes in Gaza on November 14th. After the ceasefire on November 21, only one mortar attack occurred in December, and no rockets or mortars were fired into Israel at all in January 2013 (Israeli Security Agency 2013). To official knowledge, all but one of the approximately 13,900 rockets and mortars fired on Israel by Palestinian militants originate from the Gaza Strip. The most common types are simple mortars and Qassam rockets, which have ranges of approximately 9.7km and 17.7km, respectively (“Rocket Attacks on Israel From Gaza”). Sderot is one of the only major Israeli town close enough to the Gaza Strip to come under most mortar fire, which is what makes it a well known target for remote terrorist attacks. Indeed, 10 out of the 28 total rocket and mortar related deaths occurred in Sderot (“Victims of Palestinian Violence and Terrorism”). Use of more advanced rockets, such as the upgraded Grad rocket and the Iranian-made Fajr-5, is extremely rare, as is made evident by the shock following the sounding of air raid sirens in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as two long-range rockets from the Gaza Strip landed on just the outskirts of each city during the beginning of the November 2012 skirmish (Lappin 2012). This incident allegedly marks the first instance of rockets reaching the city limits of Jerusalem, which is about 80km from Gaza, and the first time sirens were heard in Tel Aviv since the early 1990s Gulf War (“Hammas hits Jerusalem”; Lappin 2012). Regardless of the type, these rockets and mortars have all demonstrated themselves to be incredibly imprecise weapons. Out of the estimated 13,900 rockets and mortars I mentioned were fired since the first known attack in 2001 until November 20, 2012, only 23 projectiles (several single projectiles cause more than one death) caused a fatality (“Victims of Palestinian Violence and Terrorism”). From this, we can calculate a ‘kill rate’—ie, deaths per attack, where 100% is an average 1 death per attack—of 0.20% for rockets and mortars, making them by far the least deadly form of terrorism that the Palestinians have employed against Israelis. To put this into perspective, the most deadly form of Palestinian terror, suicide terrorism, has a 129.5% kill rate. Of course, this does not take into account the injuries sustained by Israeli victims over the years and the damage to property, but it gives us a general reference point for how effective these rockets and mortars are as legitimate threats to Israel’s national security and, as Israeli ambassador Michael Oren words it, “expressions of a genocidal intent” (Oren and Halevi 2008). As mentioned above, the IDF recognizes that only one Qassam rocket in 2005 came

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close to reaching Israeli territory from the West Bank, though a few news sources have received statements by Palestinian militants that several more have been launched—albeit still unable to reach Israeli territory—in 2006 from the town of Jenin, despite the IDF’s maintained stance that no rockets managed to launch at that time (Shaked 2006; Waked 2006). There have been several attempts to fire more rockets from the West Bank, but all others have been unsuccessful, thwarted by Israeli forces either at rocket and mortar caches or at the actual launch site. Rockets found in the West Bank are also notably more primitive than those found in Gaza (Shaked 2006). It should be noted, however, that this minimized rocket threat compared to Gaza cannot simply be explained by maintained Israeli military presence there, as some Israeli government and military officials have asserted. When then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert introduced a plan in 2006 to evacuate settlers and military personnel from “93%” of the West Bank—clearly inspired by the Unilateral Disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005—Knesset member Effie Eitam led opposition, claiming that such withdrawal would result in rocket fire on Israel’s most prized and populated cities (Benn and Reuters 2008). Summing up his logic, “Israel evacuated Gaza last summer. The missiles are flying out every day. There is no doubt a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria (West Bank) will bring a rocket war to Israel” (Klein 2007). One of Israel’s most trusted military officials, Gen. Yaacov Amidror, echoes this sentiment by praising the Israeli army for being “extremely successful in stopping the flow and production of rockets in the West Bank” (Klein 2007). Eitam’s specious line of reasoning is problematic, however, especially in its comparison to Gaza. While it is easy to observe that the Israeli military has maintained an active and consistent presence in the West Bank since it’s 1967 occupation—whereas all Israeli military and civilian settlements were removed from Gaza in September 2005—one cannot rely on past trends to assume the occupation is responsible for the minimized remote terrorism threat. First, the IDF reports an all-time low in rocket and mortar attacks in 2005. The rise in attacks thereafter corresponds to the political takeover of Hamas beginning in 2006, which may thus only indirectly relate rocket attacks to Israel’s Disengagement. Second, and perhaps more convincingly, one can easily observe the hundreds of rocket and mortar attacks each year from Gaza before the 2005 Disengagement— that is, when Israeli troops and settlers still maintained presence there—culminating in 2004 with over 1,500 attacks reported by the IDF (“Rocket Attacks on Israel From Gaza”). If Israeli military security were solely responsible for the minimized rocket threat in Palestinian territory, it makes little sense that militants in an Israeli-occupied territory, with a land area only 6.4% that of the West

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Bank, were able to successfully fire so many rockets while West Bank militants could fire none. Nonetheless, one would be disingenuous to rule out any possibility that a unilateral disengagement from the West Bank as part of an isolationist stance for Israel would cause an increased remote terrorist threat to some degree, which is currently negligible. In theory, an isolationist stance for Israel could make it easier for Palestinian militants to build, plan, and execute rocket and mortar attacks from within the territories. Similarly, there’s no way to be certain that the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades won’t eventually make good on their 2006 promise to begin rocket attacks from the West Bank “just like we fire them from Gaza”, even with maintained Israeli military presence there (Klein 2007). This, of course, is where Israel’s air defense comes in, just as it does for the persistent rocket and mortar threat from Gaza. The important point is that past trends do not project the West Bank to be more of a rocket threat than Gaza following a unilateral disengagement, but in fact, much less of one. Thus, for the threat of terrorism as a whole, it remains that the only arguably credible threat to Israel from the Palestinians that is liable to increase with Israel taking an isolationist stance is isolated specifically to rocket and mortar terrorist attacks. All other forms of terrorism within the Palestinians’ capabilities require the militant to be present at the target—ie, on Israeli land—in order to perform an attack there, which I’ve argued is successfully neutralized and even easier to combat from an isolationist stance with a wall and buffer zone within the Green Line.

Iron Dome: Invalidating the Defensible Borders Argument
Though the implication was certainly unintended, the driving force behind my argument exposing the invalidity of the Defensible Borders argument is the new Israeli military technology, Iron Dome. First conceived in 2004 and deployed in March 2011, Iron Dome is a “Dual-Mission Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar (C-RAM) and Very Short Range Air Defense (V-SHORAD) system”—a state-of-the-art, anti-air missile defense system and an impressive feat in military technology (“Iron Dome”). The system is developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for Israel to provide “near perfect” defense against the short-range rockets and mortars that have fallen in considerable number on the Jewish state since 2001 (Thompson 2012). What’s most remarkable about Iron Dome is the unprecedently high interception rate for missile defense systems, destroying about 90-100% of all targets in tests and initial months after deployment, and 84% in the recent November conflict. Given this success, I argue that since the Palestinian threat is isolated to nonstate militants (i.e., terrorists) using short-range rockets and mortars, Iron Dome can maintain a

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defensible border without control over the territories. Since the Defensible Borders argument only justifies action that is necessary for maintaining a defensible border, as shown above, the argument is invalidated as a justification for Israel’s maintained control over the Palestinian territories. Iron Dome works through a team of four individual components—a mobile detection and tracking radar, a battle management and control unit, a series of precise sensors, and the mobile missile firing unit, outfitted with 20 Tamir interceptors. When a rocket from the Gaza strip lifts off the ground, Iron Dome’s detection and tracking radar instantly begins collecting massive amounts of data on the trajectory, speed, altitude, and even the type of incoming threat. It’s essential that the system acts instantly, since the flight times launch-to-target are often as low as 15 seconds (Oren 2012). The data then gets sent to the management and control unit, which compiles the data into specifications of the incoming projectile for military personnel to analyze and monitor. The control unit actually uses the rocket’s position and trajectory to plot precisely where it will land; if the area is either a populated civilian area, a military base, or a civilian infrastructure facility (ie, water, power, etc.), as only about one-third of would-be Palestinian rocket targets are, then Iron Dome will make the decision to fire a Tamir interceptor, which attempts to destroy the threat outside the air above the defended area zone. The system—or ‘battery’—can handle multiple threats simultaneously and efficiently, and one battery can provide the defense for a medium-sized city with up to a 70km radius around it. If short-range air attacks from terrorist organizations remain the only serious threat that affects the defensibility of Israel’s actual borders, then a system that boasts a lower-bound 84% success rate at defending major population centers from such attacks with its first installment moves to disarm the Palestinian threat driving the Defensible Borders argument entirely. Not only has Israel seen a complete reduction of infrastructure damage and civilian casualties due to rocket attacks within Iron Dome’s current range, but there also has been a noticeable change in militant attack patterns and targets as they feel the growing constraints put on by Iron Dome’s effectiveness. Once Iron Dome expands to its projected arsenal of 15 batteries, however, that’s enough to defend Israel’s entire border and major population centers; there won’t be any getting around it. And since the software and weapons system ‘learns’, increasing the rate of successful interception with more rocket attacks, success rate is projected to only improve. One senior Israeli official comments, “In one of the recent exchanges, one of the batteries was 100% [successful]. That means, to me, that Iron Dome is capable of 100% [across the board]—I don’t think it was entirely a fluke” (Oren 2012). Without a credible Palestinian threat, the “Defensible Borders” argument for continued

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presence in and control over the territories is undermined. One of the first criticisms raised following the deployment of Iron Dome relates to the cost. A Tamir interceptor missile, the kind used by Iron Dome batteries, alone costs up to $100,000 each, whereas Hamas can obtain and/or manufacture rockets for less than $1,000 each, some even citing rockets as cheap as “up to $800” (Thompson 2012; “What are Qassam Rockets?”). This disparity in missile cost has led some to even propose that Iron Dome could be used as a means for attacking Israel’s financial sector. By this way of argument, assuming all the rockets are cheap $800 weapons all projected to land in metropolitan areas, it would cost terrorist groups $8,000 to cause the State of Israel to spend $1 million. Such criticisms, however, have been swiftly shot down by arguments along the lines as that provided by Uzi Rubin, former head of Israel’s national missile defense program. Iron Dome. First, we must recall that this hypothetical case where all, or even most, rockets land in populated areas is a farce; using the figures from the recent November 2012 conflict as a model, only roughly 30% of all rockets fired are calculated by Iron Dome to land in populated areas, and only these are fired upon. The ratio of rockets fired is not 1:1. Still, Rubin and other Israeli government officials argue that the cost is justified, given the potential damages to infrastructure and human casualties, all of which the Israeli government must strive to prevent and compensate when it fails to do so (Connolly 2013). A second counterargument is raised by the recent, rather untimely criticisms by MIT physicist and well-known missile defense expert, Ted Postal. In a March 2013 BBC article, Postal has been cited arguing that the success rates cited in this report of 85-90% are drastically inflated, claiming that the actual rate is “very hard to see how it could be more than 5 or 10 percent” (Broad 2013). Postal is no longer alone in what one New York Times article has called an “intensifying debate”; several other weapons experts in US and Israel have conducted “studies” that suggest Iron Dome “destroyed no more than 40 percent…and perhaps far fewer” (Broad 2013). This is due to the alleged unlikelihood of the Iron Dome missile’s ability to perform a successful ‘kill’ of an incoming rocket, meaning many are “merely crippled or deflected,” allowing the payload and some of the projectile’s body to continue to fall on populated areas. Indeed, Postal has good reason to doubt anti-air defense systems; in 1991 Gulf War, he successfully debunked the myth that the American Patriot interceptors were able to shoot down 96% of Iraqi missiles. Postal points out, using various videos of Iron Dome ‘in action’, allegedly shooting down rockets, that the visible explosion is simply the automatic detonation of the Tamir interceptor missile, which

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occurs regardless of whether the interception was actually a success or not. Though he meant it as a statement of accomplishment, the leader behind the Iron Dome project, General Daniel Gold, perhaps betrayed himself and his new technology when he explained Iron Dome’s task is “like hitting a bullet with another bullet” (Kamaras 2013). In response, firstly, I contend as many Iron Dome supports have that professor Postal does not appear to have met the burden of proof for his claims. The fact that such incisive claims are being made without a shred of source evidence that meets the general standard for academic persuasiveness is rather absurd, regardless of their accuracy. Postal’s evidence, aside from his preconceived doubt, relies on a few news broadcast videos of Iron Dome shooting off its interceptors, along with many low-resolution ones taken from home video cameras and smartphones posted on YouTube. All this begs the question: if the Tamir interceptors detonate regardless of their successful impact with a Palestinian rocket, and the rockets are invisible to the human eye once they are over Israeli territory (as their propellant has been expended), how then does the IDF ever determine a specific success rate less than 100%, with a specific number of those “shot down” over the total fired? At this point, it just becomes a battle between Postal’s evidence based on online videos of what appears to be either one or two explosions, versus the IDF’s classified infrared scans of impact, intricate sensors on the missile itself, and more classified features. Rubin also claims, despite the 3,165 property damage claims the Finance Ministry cites, that damages have gone down (Broad 2013; Connolly 2013). Secondly, neither the US nor Israel seem at all shaken by the emergence of these critical claims, despite the incredibly costly endeavor both have remained committed to. In fact, Postal’s critical claims are nothing new; when Israel pitched Iron Dome to the Bush administration at the Pentagon in 2007, US military engineers were skeptical, even telling a representative from Rafael, “This is something that cannot be don” (Levinson and Entous 2012). Yet, in spite of these criticisms, the US has recently announced that it will maintain its promise of $220 million for Iron Dome in 2014 (despite all-around defense budge cuts), with an additional proposed $176 million in 2015 (Chumley 2013). As Rubin states, (paraphrasing) common sense tells you that Israelis are right to believe the evidence of their own eyes (Connolly 2013). A much more credible counterargument to the capabilities of Iron Dome exists, however. Despite the promising demonstrations Iron Dome has given in defending against short-range Palestinian rockets and mortars, even the most ambitious estimates of success rates as high as 90% are not high enough to attest to a border’s ‘defensibility’, and further, that such estimates do not

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translate to the security environment proposed as isolationist Israel. In other words, there is a legitimate fear that relinquishing military control over the territories would aid militant groups in launching a greater series of attacks on Israel that Iron Dome was not designed to intercept. For instance, Iron Dome might have been able to deal with the recent barrage of about 1,500 rockets last November, spaced out of the course of the 8-day incursion; but the military estimates that Hamas has over 5,000 rockets in its possession, and launching several thousand of them during a more concentrated gap in time will likely leave civilian targets vulnerable, especially since Iron Dome prioritizes military bases and critical infrastructure (power and water) first (“The Bad News About Iron Dome” 2013). I offer three main arguments in response to this potential criticism that I believe, in conjunction with one another, preserve the strength of my overall argument that Iron Dome eliminates the backbone behind the security argument for justified Israeli military control over the Palestinian territories. First, it’s clear from the spikes in rocket attacks corresponding with Israeli military strikes that Palestinian militants do not simply launch rockets as fast as they can make or acquire them. Rather, it seems that the Palestinians are to some degree capable of restraint and of operating on the basis of retaliation. One source based on a study of pauses in killing of one day or more with Israeli human rights group, B’Tseleem, data from September 2000 to October 2008 finds that the retaliatory “cycle of killing” is ignited by a Palestinian death at Israeli hands 79% of the time, versus 8% of the time when an Israeli is killed by Palestinians first (for 13%, both are killed, making it indistinguishable) (Barclay and Polypod 2012). To the extent that Israel has prior knowledge that certain actions are likely to provoke a greater series of attacks, or even that these actions can be accurately said to cause Palestinian belligerency, regardless of prior knowledge, one might make the argument that Israel is no longer acting in the name of “self-defense”. This all serves to emphasize that regression to an isolationist stance won’t cause an influx in attacks per se, especially since it would be seen as a diplomatic measure that meets the single most salient demand of the Palestinians in negotiations with Israel. And indeed, the demands for Israeli withdrawal to June 4, 1967 borders and for Palestinian sovereignty have been cited in nearly every official peace talk between the two adversaries and in even several occasions where rationale is explicitly given for terrorist attacks. Negotiations often follow the trend of a ‘land for peace’ agreement, originally proposed by UN Security Council Resolution 242, in which Palestinian and other Arab political bodies offer full recognition of the

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State of Israel, along with normalized diplomatic and trade relations, typically with a minimum pledged time commitment to such a peace. Notable examples include the ‘Arab Peace Initiative,’ formulated first at a 2002 Arab League summit in Beirut, offering Israel full recognition by the 22 members of the Arab League in exchange for return to pre-1967 borders (Siniora 2007); statements made to journalist Thomas Friedman by the Saudi Crown Prince that inspired the aforementioned plan (Friedman 2002); restatement of the Arab League’s offer at their 2007 summit (Sinoiora 2007); a letter by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to then-President George W. Bush, stating, “We are so concerned about stability and security in the area that we don’t mind having a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders and offering a truce for many years” (Ravid 2008a); Hamas political leader, Khaled Meshal’s offer to former President Jimmy Carter at a 2008 summit in Damascus (Ravid 2008b; among others. Even President Obama, who we would certainly not expect to officially recognize Israel’s presence in the West Bank as ‘illegal occupation’, has controversially commented during a recent visit to Jerusalem that, “Israelis must recognize that continued settlement activity is counterproductive to the cause of peace” (Cohen et al. 2013). Since Israel has never been willing to meet these demands fully—though they came incredibly close with Ehud Olmert’s 2006 ‘Israeli Peace Initiative’—negotiations have always ultimately failed. Sometimes, they accompany the territorial demand with a demand for the ‘right to return’ for refugees from the 1948 war—something isolationist Israel would not be obliged to do. And while some might fear that the words of Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups are not to be trusted at the expense of national security, it is on one hand a trust that has yet to be tested, since Israel has never offered the Palestinians their primary demand of withdrawal to the Green Line borders, and on the other, it is not a decision that the Palestinians have the power to make irreversible. Should the fledging Palestinian state within the newly sovereign West Bank decide, rather than build up its infrastructure and tend to the needs and prosperity of its people, to pour all its precious resources into somehow turning the West Bank into an ‘existential threat’ to Israel, then there’s no question that Israel in all its military superiority and international support would be able to swiftly crush the Palestinian opposition and reduce their territorial position to something far worse than it is currently. We shouldn’t be surprised that terrorist groups are capable of acting with restraint and consistent toward specific goals. Chicago political scientist, Robert Pape, has also shown compelling evidence that suggests terrorist attacks—specifically suicide terrorism—occur in campaigns aimed at the removal of a foreign occupier. In his book, Dying to Win, Pape analyses every known suicide

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terrorist attack from 1980-2003, concluding, “[There exists] little connection between suicide terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism, or any one of the world’s religions...Rather, what nearly all suicide terrorist attacks have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland” (Pape 2005,4). When the goal of the campaign is met, terrorist attacks cease. Terrorists, thus, seem to act less as the potential founding members of ‘rogue states’, and more as a military proxy bent on the political coercion of great powers in a clearly asymmetric war. Regardless of the justification of their actions, we should understand that their actions are aimed consistently and with restraint towards achieving a specific goal, which in the Palestinians’ case, is the removal of the Israeli occupation beyond the 1967 lines. Second, a future Palestinian state would in all realness be demilitarized with the Palestinian Authority commanding a security force for maintaining law and order. Though the United Nations might look favorably on the prospect of Palestinian sovereignty as a means of peace, all great power nations oppose the militant methods (ie, terrorism) that Palestinian political bodies have claimed responsibility for at one point or another. While a demilitarized Palestinian state in the long-term may not be ideal, or even the best possible option for removing the antagonism that gives cause to terrorism, the threat of state-sponsored terrorism has led the leaders of world powers—the United States and Israel, in particular—to dismiss a Palestinian state left to its own military devices. This has been the consistent position of Israel and its supporters since two-state negotiations began, culminating in 2009 when Prime Minister Netanyahu openly accepted for the first time the concept of a two-state solution, provided full demilitarization for the Palestinian state (“Israel PM calls for demilitarized Palestinian state,” 2009). The Palestinian Authority actually largely accepts the concept of demilitarization, but rejects the persistent suggestions by Israel to maintain Israeli forces and military bases there. Put bluntly in a 2008 memo by the PA’s Negotiations Support Unit (NSU), “Palestine will not require an army, assuming we agree to a third party role to take care of our defense needs” (Carlstrom 2011). Given that the negotiations since then have evidently run up against a standstill, the concept of a third party military in Palestine (negotiator Saeb Erekat suggested NATO) or a more short-term demilitarization scheme could be the key to moving things forward (Carlstrom 2011). Regardless, it’s unimaginable that either Israel, the United States, or any of the other UN powers would entertain any possibility that a new

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Palestinian state would consolidate the support of ‘Israel-deniers’ and care more for investing in belligerency rather than stability, however unlikely or irrational that would be. Thus, a demilitarized Palestinian state is a likely outcome, at least in the short-term until Palestinian civil society reaches a level of stability and standard of living that its citizens care more for their townhomes and BMW’s than for lobbing a Qassam over to Israel. Lastly, Israel’s air defense network is rapidly growing. As mentioned above, the five currently deployed Iron Dome batteries are schedule to increase to fifteen, and neither of the two chief financiers of the project show any sign of cutting this plan short. There have also been continuous improvements to Iron Dome’s software since its deployment, meaning that it becomes better at tracing the precise trajectory of an incoming projectile to determine where it would land and increase likelihood of interception. One interview in December 2012 with a Rafael senior engineer speaks to the sort of improvements made every day of the November conflict, boasting even that “The more rockets they fired at us, the better we got at shooting them down. By the end of the week, Iron Dome was better than it had been at the start” (Gurney 2012). This is made possible by a very cooperative relationship between the IDF, who runs the system and keeps track of all data, and Rafael’s engineers, who use the data on a daily basis to make improvements to the system, stopping only at ‘100% success’. But Israel’s ‘vision’ for air defense goes beyond Iron Dome. The end goal is a “layered” air defense network capable of shooting down any sort of missile threat before impact—beyond the primitive, short-range Qassam rockets and mortars that are for the most part all that Palestinian militants can currently get their hands on. Although Iron Dome can shoot down—and has shot down—more advanced rocket threats, such as the Fajr-5, another air defense system called “David’s Sling” is being developed to tackle more sophisticated missile threats. Lt. General Henry Obering, director of the U.S. Defense Department’s Missile Defense Agency, described David’s Sling in an August 2010 interview as “an extremely fast reaction system” aimed at intercepting a number of different threats, including “the very short range rockets you’re seeing coming out of Gaza and longer-range rockets that were fired from Lebanon, all the way to short-range ballistic missiles that can be launched from a distance of several hundred kilometers” (Opall-Rome 2010). While still in development, set to deploy sometime in 2013 or 2014, the David’s Sling system successfully intercepted its first missile on November 25, 2012. Most impressively, the Stunner interceptor used by David’s Sling has no warhead or proximity fuse at all, but rather demonstrates its ability to hit and destroy targets through the sheer force of impact (Opall-Rome 2012). The ‘top’ layer of Israel’s

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air defense is it’s newly improved Arrow 3 system, which is an anti-ballistic missile system that promotes itself as, “a new system capable of intercepting missiles in outer space, with a kill ratio of around 99 percent” (Susser 2007). As discussed above, this is not a necessary component to Israel’s defense against Palestinian threats currently, but is instrumental in defending against its potentially hostile Arab allies and could become relevant in the distant future of a developing Palestinian state. With the above considered, an isolationist stance for Israel behind the June 4, 1967 lines would not entertain the possibility for the “existential threat” that some have claimed through the defensible borders argument, especially not in the era of Iron Dome and the rest of Israel’s “layered” defense system. We must also keep in mind that so far, including all the 11 years without Iron Dome, Palestinian rockets have killed 29 people total with a fatality rate of 0.20%. If anything, it should be clear that Israel’s occupation in the West Bank and military containment of Gaza is actually sustaining any threat Palestinians might realistically pose, since they’ve essentially been closed off in an incredibly impoverished, job-less, and resource-less area with seemingly nothing to lose for what has become their main goal to live without occupation in the lands taken in 1967.

Conclusion
I have now laid out my argument that demonstrates the lack of justification for maintained Israeli control over the Palestinian territories—namely, the West Bank and Gaza Strip—from a security perspective. I first formulated the ‘Defensible Borders’ argument for military containment in the Gaza Strip and occupation in the West Bank, which relies on the existence of a significant Palestinian threat—such as to impose a risk that Israel may not be able to defend itself against—with a border configuration less constraining than that of the current one. In this formulation, I demonstrate how the need for ‘Defensible Borders’ is the single security argument, given by Israeli officials and other supporters of Israeli control of the territories, that justifies said control. I then argued that the only realistic Palestinian threat is isolated to terrorist attacks, specifically the launching of short-range rockets and mortars upon Israel. Lastly, I showed that the new Israeli missile defense system, Iron Dome, has a near-perfect defense in both pre-operational testing and actual field performance against short-range rocket and mortar attacks. Given this, Iron Dome has effectively neutralized the only credible Palestinian threat, and without help from the current Israeli control over the territories. Since the Defensible Borders argument necessarily relies on a credible Palestinian threat and is the only security argument that justifies Israeli control over the territories, there therefore is no longer a security argument to justify said control.

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While my argument does not address non-security arguments for maintained Israeli control in the Palestinian territories, the implications certainly imply as much. It is easy to trace back every attempt at a security argument for Israel’s control over the territories to the Defensible Borders argument, but it is a much greater thing to contend that every argument falls back on the need for defensible borders. Still, the fact that an overwhelming majority of contemporary justifications given by Israeli government officials make a security argument—as opposed to other non-security arguments, such as historical-religious claims to the land, interest in territorial expansion to “Greater Israel”, demographic control, etc.—is at least some indication that such non-security arguments will not be accepted by the international community. And indeed, some combination of commonplace international law and statements made by leaders in the international community clearly indicate that Menachem Begin’s Likud party logic that Israel’s security concerns should be supplemented with historical-religious rights to all the territory of Eretz Yisrael would not be accepted as legitimate. In fact, members of the Likud party did not even attempt to make such arguments to the Israeli Supreme Court when they were asked to justify illegal settlement building in Arab territory in the name of Eretz Yisrael (Brom 4). Thus, the implication is fairly clear: the security argument for maintained control over the territories, backed by the need for defensible borders, is the only argument that could be regarded as legitimate and acceptable. And as the security arguments themselves become increasingly more obviously invalid by this international community, Israelis will be increasingly hard-pressed to find justifications for its actions against the Palestinian people.

____________ Matthew Lemieux is a recent graduate with Honors in Political Science from the University of Chicago, class of 2013. His focuses are in Political Theory, International Relations, and regional affairs in the Middle East and Northeast Asia. Currently, Matthew is living and working in China for an education consulting firm. He is interested in furthering his education in international relations and pursuing a career as a government analyst shaping policy related to the Israel-Arab conflict.

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Ki-moon, Ban. 2012. “Tel Aviv , 21 November 2012 - Secretary-General’s remarks to the Security Council [as delivered].” November 21. UN Secretary General. Klein, Aaron. 2007. “Palestinians Accused of Firing Rockets From West Bank.” May 11. WND “Land Expropriation and Settlements Statistics.” 2011. January 1. B’Tselem, Settlements & Land. Lappin, Yaakov. 2012. “Gaza terrorists fire two rockets at Tel Aviv.” November 16. The Jerusalem Post. Levinson, Charles and Adam Entous. 2012. “Israel’s Iron Dome Defense Battled to Get Off Ground.”November 26. The Wall Street Journal. Nguyen, Phan. 2012. “Dissecting IDF propaganda: The numbers behind the rocket attacks.”November 17. Mondoweiss: The War of Ideas in the Middle East. “Nuclear Weapons.” 2007. FAS Weapons of Mass Destruction. Maintained by Steven Aftergood and Hans Kristensen. Opall-Rome, Barbara. 2010. “U.S.-Israel to develop David’s Sling Missile Defense.” August 7. Defense News. Opall-Rome, Barbara. 2012. “U.S.-Israel Missile System Scores First Intercept.” November 25. Defense News. Oren, Michael and Yossi Klein Halevi. 2008. “Palestinians Need Israel to Win.” December 29. The Wall Street Journal. Oren, Michael. 2012. “The Iron Dome Military Revolution.” December 6. The Wall Street Journal. Pape, Robert Jr. 2005. Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism. New York: Random House: 4. “Q&A: Palestinians’ upgraded UN status.” 2012. November 30. BBC News: Middle East. Ravid, Barak. 2008a. “In 2006 letter to Bush, Haniyeh offered compromise with Israel.” November 14. Ha’aretz. Ravid, Barak. 2008b. “Meshal offers 10-year truce for Palestinian state on ‘67 borders.”April 21. Ha’aretz. “Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. ”2009. September 25. Human Rights in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories. United Nations Gen eral Assembly: Human Rights Council, Twelfth Session, Agenda item 7. Response of FM Peres to the decisions of the Arab Summit in Beirut, communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson. 2002. March 28. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Rocket Attacks on Israel From Gaza.” Israeli Defense Forces, Facts. idfblog.com.

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Rosenne, Meir MD. 2008. “Understanding UN Security Council Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967, on the Middle East.” Part of Defensible Borders for a Lasting Peace. Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. 45-53. Shaked, Ronny. 2006. “Qassam fired from West Bank.” January 1. Ynet News. Siniora, Fuad. 2007. “Give the Arab Peace Initiative a Chance.” May 11. The New York Times: Opinion. “Statistics on demolition of houses built without permits in the West Bank (Not including East Jerusalem).” 2011. January 1. B’Tselem, Planning & Building. Susser, Leslie. 2007. “Israel to U.S.: Listen, It’s Pretty Serious.” November 12. Jerusalem Report. “Syria.” 2012. UNRWA for Palestinian refugees in the Near East. Text: Beirut Declaration: Excerpts from text of “Beirut Declaration” issued on the closing day of the Arab League summit. 2002. March 28. BBC News World Monitoring.. “The Bad News About Iron Dome.”2013. April 5. Strategy Page. “The Separation Barrier- Statistics.” 2011. January 1. B’Tselem, Separation Barrier. Thompson, Mark. 2012. “Iron Dome: A Missile Shield That Works.” November 19. Time: U.S. United Nations Security Council. “Resolution 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967”. UN IsraelPalestine. Full text: http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/0/7D35E1F729DF491C85256 EE700686136. Van Creveld, Martin. 2010. “Israel Doesn’t Need the West Bank To Be Secure.” December 15. The Jewish Daily Forward. Very Short Range Air Defense (V-SHORAD) System.” Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., Air Defense. http://www.rafael.co.il/Marketing/186-1530-en/Marketing.aspx. “Victims of Palestinian Violence and Terrorism since September 2000.” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Terrorism. Waked, Ali. 2006. “Palestinians: We launched rocket from Jenin.” July 10. Ynet News. “What are Qassam Rockets?” The Jewish Policy Center, Palestinian Rocket Report. http://www. jewishpolicycenter.org/prr/qassams.php. Zion, Ilan Ben. 2013. “Upgraded Iron Dome intercepts medium-range missile.” January 21. The Times of Israel.

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