Congressional Research Service: Report for Congress, 94-581 S
July 20, 1994
-ti- The United States and the Use of Force in the Post-Cold War
World: Toward Self-Deterrence?
By Stanley R. Sloan, Senior Specialist in International Security
Policy
Office of Senior Specialists
 
THE UNITED STATES AND USE OF FORCE IN THE POST-COLD WAR WORLD:
TOWARD SELF-DETERRENCE?

SUMMARY

Early in the post-Cold War era, the willingness of the United
States to use military force was tested by Iraq's 1990 invasion
of Kuwait. U.S. actions and those of allied nations suggested
that the international community had the will and ability to
respond to serious aggressions and some other threats to
international order. The United States appeared to be showing the
way toward a post-Cold War international system whose
demonstrated ability to respond to such threats was expected to
deter at least some of them.

Toward the end of the Bush Administration, however, and into the
Clinton Administration, the United States became much less
certain about its willingness to use force as part of its role in
international affairs. This report concludes that, since
mid-1991, the United States has become increasingly self-
deterred, or self-restrained, reticent to use and consequently
unable to threaten credibly the use of military force to support
its foreign policy objectives. Several factors appear to have
contributed to this trend, including:

     *    limited threats to vital U.S. interests (survival of
          the nation);

     *    national uncertainty regarding the interests or values
          for which the United States should be willing to fight
          in the post-Cold War era;

     *    the apparent belief of many Americans that the United
          States should not use force unless vital interests are
          threatened;

     *    the U.S. military's contention that, if force is to be
          used, sufficient forces should be committed and
          supported to ensure success;

     *    the failed expectation of the Clinton Administration
          that international organizations and other nations
          would be able to provide substantial relief for U.S.
          global military burdens;

     *    reluctance of Members of Congress to support
          multilateral military responses to global security
          problems either by providing U.S. forces or helping to
          fund the use of non-U.S. military resources.

These considerations undoubtedly reflect a contemporary
appreciation of U.S. interests, and this report does not argue
that the United States should or should not have used force in
any of the cases analyzed. But if the U.S. tendency toward self-
deterrence persists, it could be difficult if not impossible for
the international community, and instruments of that community
like NATO and the United Nations, to deter or respond effectively
to threats to international order. Incentives for disorder would
likely grow stronger and weapons proliferation would accelerate.
In the near term, vital U.S. interests might not be threatened.
But, in the longer term, a more unstable world with regional arms
races and growing numbers of states deploying weapons of mass
destruction could create a more threatening environment for U.S.
interests.

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NOTE

Jean Haguet, an American Political Science Association
Congressional Fellow, provided research assistance for the
preparation of this report.

The author appreciates the many constructive comments and
suggestions offered by CRS colleagues, including Richard Best, Ed
Bruner, Ellen Collier, John Collins, Ray Copson, Steve Daggett,
Karen Donfried, Lou Fisher, Bob Goldich, Julie Kim, Mark
Lowenthal, Gary Pagliano, Nina Serafino, Bob Shuey, Bob Sutter
and Jim Wootten

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINCIPAL CONCLUSIONS                                       1 

IS THE UNITED STATES BECOMING SELF-DETERRED?                5 
     The Gulf War Against Iraq and a "New World Order"      6 
     Bosnia                                                 7 
     Enlargement of NATO                                    10 
     Somalia                                                10 
     Haiti                                                  12 
     Korea                                                  14 
     PDD-25                                                 16 
     Rwanda                                                 17

WHAT FACTORS LEAD TOWARD A SELF-DETERRENCE PHENOMENON?      20 
     No Threats to Vital U.S. Interests                     20 
     Cold War Leadership Fatigue                            21 
     Domestic Preoccupations                                22

     President Clinton's Approach                           23 
     Limited Tolerance for Casualties                       24 
     Diminished Expectations for the United Nations         26 
     Cautious U.S. Military Leadership                      27 
     Congressional Qualms                                   27 
     The Bottom Line                                        28

WHAT ARE POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES OF U.S. SELF DETERRENCE?    29 
     In the Short-term, Vital U.S. Interests Should 
          Remain Secure                                     29 
     International Cooperation Becomes Less Effective       30 
     Longer-term: Tendencies Toward Disorder and 
          Proliferation                                     31 
     U.S. Values Challenged                                 31 
     Net Assessment                                         32

WHAT ARE POTENTIAL REMEDIES TO SELF-DETERRENCE? 
     CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE CONGRESS                        35
     Muddling Through                                       35 
     Lead Toward a New Consensus                            36

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page 1

PRINCIPAL CONCLUSIONS

The post-Cold War international system has opened with two very
prominent realities. The first is that the United States has an
unmatched potential to provide global political leadership and to
deploy and use military power. The second is that the United
States has become increasingly unwilling to use its military
potential on behalf of international policy goals other than the
protection of vital or directly-threatened U.S. interests. As a
consequence, the world's only remaining superpower could also be
described in many respects as a self-deterred power -- a country
whose contemporary priorities, requirements and goals place
severe constraints on its willingness to use coercive force to
resolve problems abroad, to put its forces in harm's way, or,
often, to pay for international responses to global security
challenges.

During the Cold War, U.S. Presidents were able to argue with some
force to the Congress and to the public that the vital U.S.
interest of national survival was threatened by the potential
spread of Communist ideology and the power of the Soviet Union,
the main Communist state. Only one aspect of this threat, the
Soviet Union's strategic nuclear forces, posed an imminent threat
to national survival. But many other threats and sources of
instability were seen as extensions of the global competition of
systems and alliances. As a consequence, in response to such
derivative threats, the United States fought wars in Korea and
Vietnam, deployed large military forces armed with nuclear
weapons to Europe, and intervened or supported military
interventions in Middle Eastern, African and Latin American
countries, all in the name of defending against the Soviet-
Communist threat.

Today, aggressions and sources of instability that in the Cold
War might have been seen as bearing on the Soviet-Communist
threat and therefore as warranting a U.S. military response,
appear much less dangerous for U.S. interests and certainly not
threats to "vital" U.S. interests. The nation has not yet
identified clearly threats and opportunities that it views as
extensions of the vital interest in national survival in the
post-Cold War world.

In this setting, a number of factors, taken together, appear to
weave a strong web of constraints around U.S. use of force. They
include:

     *    limited threats to vital U.S. interests;

     *    post-Cold War uncertainty concerning the rationale,
          directions, and costs of world leadership and the
          belief of many that the United States should not use
          force unless its vital interests are threatened;

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     *    renewed dominance of domestic priorities, more
          stringent limits on resources available for global
          leadership, and the desire to cash in the "peace
          dividend";

     *    very low tolerance for casualties when they can no
          longer be justified in terms of resistance to communism
          or Soviet power;

     *    the Clinton Administration's reluctance to use force in
          view of the potential political and financial costs and
          indications that this reluctance is shared by many
          Members of Congress;

     *    unfulfilled U.S. expectations for the United Nations;

     *    the professional military's insistence on broad
          political support and resources sufficient to ensure
          success of assigned missions despite declining force
          levels;

     *    Congressional mistrust of multilateral frameworks for
          the use of force; and,

     *    Congressional unwillingness for the United States to
          bear heavy burdens in policing the world.


These reasons reflect a contemporary appreciation of U.S.
interests, and this report does not argue that the United States
should have or should not have used force in any of the cases
analyzed below. Each of the challenges to the peace since the end
of the Cold War has posed unique questions about whether or not
there were militarily feasible responses that would have promoted
U.S. policy goals. The nature of the U.S. response to date may
represent a natural process of re-balancing the U.S. role in the
world to reflect a much-diminished threat environment for vital
U.S. interests.

Nevertheless, continuation or hardening of the current U.S.
unwillingness to use force could well affect U.S. interests. The
potential consequences of self-deterrence can be summarized as
follows:

     *    In the near term, U.S. vital interests will not likely
          be threatened by the U.S. reluctance to use military
          force on behalf of foreign policy objectives. U.S.
          lives and money may be saved as use of force is
          avoided.

     *    U.S. self-deterrence, however, appears to have begun to
          erode the ability of the international system to
          respond effectively to threats to the peace that might
          usefully be controlled or reversed early by the threat
          to use, or actual use of, military force. If the United
          States is unwilling or unable to back its professed
          international goals with the potential use of force,
          the international system will lack the means and the
          leadership to deal effectively with many legitimate
          threats to the peace. Most regions of the world do not
          have the political consensus

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and organizational structure to maintain order on a regional
basis without broader international backing.

     *    In the longer term, the absence of effective force to
          maintain world order would likely lead to a
          progressively more chaotic international system because
          countries seeking to accomplish self-serving political
          objectives through the use of military force would face
          fewer disincentives, or deterrents, to do so.

     *    The absence of effective international policing
          mechanisms appears likely to increase the incentives
          for regional arms races and proliferation of weapons of
          mass destruction, for at least two reasons:

          *    Some countries, perhaps including Iraq, Iran and
               North Korea, seeking to achieve political goals
               through the use or threat of military force, might
               be encouraged to believe that they could develop
               local military superiority, including weapons of
               mass destruction, and not face an international
               military response.

          *    Other countries, perhaps including Israel, Saudi
               Arabia, South Korea, Japan and some European
               states, that had believed their security was
               ensured or at least enhanced by alliance with the
               United States or the likelihood of international
               military protection, might become more inclined to
               build up defensive military capabilities and
               consider developing their own weapons of mass
               destruction to deter threats to their security.

     *    In some regions, the absence of effective international
          policing mechanisms might lead to the emergence of
          regional hegemons, with a commitment only to maintain
          an order that conforms to their interests rather than
          to international norms or, for that matter, U.S.
          interests.

     *    Once diminished substantially, the credibility of the
          U.S. threat to use force on behalf of values it held
          throughout the Cold War would be difficult to re-
          establish. Other nations would be less responsive to
          U.S. diplomatic initiatives and proposals, and the
          United States would have relinquished at least a part
          of its claim to a value-based foreign policy that had
          been responsible for establishing the United Nations,
          NATO, and other forms of international cooperation that
          were seen as advancing a U.S. vision of world order.

     *    A diminished U.S. leadership role and consequent
          increase in international disorder could, in theory,
          stimulate other nations such as the members of the
          European Union to attempt to fill the gap, but this is
          by no means certain.

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A potentially costly consequence of the current phase of self-
deterrence would be for the Administration to decide that it
should demonstrate its ability to use force and to do so in a
circumstance that was otherwise ill-advised. But whatever the
current challenges, President Clinton and his advisors apparently
remain more wary of the political costs of the use of force than
worried about the longer-term potential penalties of self-
deterrence.

To avoid the longer term negative consequences of continued self-
deterrence, however, it appears that the United States would have
to re-build a consensus concerning the values and interests the
United States wishes to advance and is prepared to defend before
it would be able to resume a role as a reliable, predictable
force in international politics.

If it wished, the Clinton Administration could seek to develop a
new statement of U.S. values, interests, goals and policy
instruments for the post-Cold War world. Such a process of formal
re-evaluation would be difficult and conflicted. If it failed to
develop consensus the process could contribute to an image of
presidential uncertainty. The deliberations could not be
contained within the government bureaucracy and the debate
inevitably would spill into the press and public discussion.
Indeed, the Administration might encourage such a public debate
as a contribution to its internal considerations. Those in and
outside the Administration who have argued that the United States
should focus its foreign policy on U.S. economic interests and
pull back from global commitments would be pitted against others
who favor an assertive multilateralist approach. In the end,
however, the process might yield a new compromise foundation for
the role of the United States in the world reflecting a balance
between the domestic and international interests and
responsibilities of the world's only superpower. And it could be
argued that, in one form or another, some such national decision-
making process is inevitable sooner or later.

The Congress probably cannot substitute for executive leadership
on this issue. If the United States is eventually to move away
from its current reticence on the world stage, it will most
likely have to be led in that direction by the President.
Nevertheless, the Congress can, if it wishes, play an important
role in the process of constructing a new consensus on U.S.
interests, values and the use of force on their behalf in the
post-Cold War world. In the long run, the United States needs to
answer the question of how a semblance of international order can
be maintained if the United States is not willing to commit its
military forces and some financial resources to play a leading
role in such a task.

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page 5

IS THE UNITED STATES BECOMING SELF-DETERRED?

Since the end of the Cold War, the world has experienced a wide
range of localized wars, aggressions, and gross violations of
internationally accepted human rights and humanitarian standards.
In a number of these circumstances, the use of force by outside
powers or the international community en bloc was a theoretical
option in response to the challenge posed.[1]
     1. For a review of perspectives on deterrence in the post-
     Cold War world see Allan, Charles T. "Extended Conventional
     Deterrence: In from the Cold and Out of the Nuclear Fire?"
     The Washington Quarterly. Summer 1994, p. 203-233.

The response of the international community -- no longer
influenced by Cold War divisions, and theoretically freer to
organize collective responses to specific security challenges --
has been uneven and unpredictable. One of the most important
reasons for this mixed record has been the international
community's continued reliance on U.S. leadership and on U.S.
military forces to help shape and lead responses to international
crises even as the United States has been questioning its own
willingness to play such a role. Such reliance reveals habits
developed during the Cold War, particularly among Western allies
of the United States. It also reflects the U.S. position as the
sole surviving superpower at the end of the Cold War.

As the post-Cold War international world began to emerge, no
other country had potential for leadership matching that of the
United States. No country had military resources or a global
military presence equal to those of the United States. No other
country (or group of countries, such as the members of the
European Union or the United Nations collectively) appeared to
have the near-term potential to challenge or substitute for the
U.S. role, particularly when it came to the projection of
political leadership and military force beyond national borders.

The suggestion variously advanced that the United States is
becoming a self-deterred power, despite its post-Cold War status
as the only remaining superpower, arises from the experiences of
the past 3-4 years.[2]  Over that time, a number of international
crises and conflicts have raised the issue of the use of U.S.
military forces. The U.S. responses help illustrate trends in
U.S. approaches to the use of force on behalf of its foreign
policy. Each case examined in the following pages is treated only
to the extent necessary to illustrate its relevance to the self-
deterrence thesis.

     2. This thesis was originally outlined in Sloan, Stanley R.
     "From US Deterrence To Self-Deterrence." The Christian
     Science Monitor. May 3, 1994, p. 19.

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page 6
 
The purpose of this survey is not to suggest that the United
States should have used its military forces more boldly than it
has, but rather to illustrate the factors that have combined to
produce a reluctance to use military force -- a reluctance that
some might regard as simply prudent responses to given
circumstances and others as a dangerous reticence leading to
abdication of international responsibilities.

The Gulf War Against Iraq and a "New World Order"

In August 1990, Saddam Hussein provided the first test of the
ability of the international community to respond to a clear case
of aggression in the post-Cold War era when his forces
overwhelmed neighboring Kuwait. Following U.S. leadership and
relying heavily on U.S. forces, the international community
reversed Iraq's aggression, restored Kuwaiti independence and
imposed sanctions and constraints on a defeated Iraq designed
both to punish the Iraqis for their aggression and to make a
resurgence of aggressive capabilities more dangerous and costly.

Many observers saw the conduct and outcome of U.S.-led response
to the Iraqi aggression as a hopeful sign for the post-Cold War
world. The experience suggested that the United Nations Security
Council might be able to begin working as it had been intended
before the East-West conflict made it difficult for the Council
to carry out its peace maintenance responsibilities whenever U.S.
and Soviet interests clashed. Most observers hoped that non-
military instruments such as diplomacy, economic assistance and
the threat or use of economic sanctions would be the instruments
of first resort to discourage aggression and other violations of
internationally-accepted norms of behavior. But very few believed
that the post-Cold War world could be a peaceful one unless the
international community held a stick even while it spoke softly.

To help justify and build support for the response to the Iraqi
aggression, President Bush said that his actions were part of an
emerging "New World Order" in which the United States would play
a leading role. This new order, according to President Bush's
approach, would feature increased U.S.-Soviet cooperation, a more
effective United Nations and multilateral responses to threats to
that order.[3]

     3. For a detailed examination of President Bush's "New World
     Order" see Sloan, Stanley R. The US Role in a New World
     Order: Prospects for George Bush's Global Vision.
     Washington: Congressional Research Service. CRS Report No.
     91-924 RCO. March 28, 1991.

But once Desert Storm operations had driven Iraqi forces out of
Kuwait, President Bush retreated from his new world order policy.
The approach had been questioned from a wide variety of
perspectives. Many observers criticized the approach as relying
too heavily on the use of force, a strong leadership role for the
United States, and involvement of international organizations. In
the context of growing emphasis on domestic priorities and the
forthcoming election

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page 7

campaign, the "new world order" concept became the first foreign
policy orphan of the post-Cold War era.[4]
     4. The demise of the "New World Order" concept and the
     opening of a debate on U.S. international priorities and
     roles is analyzed in Sloan, Stanley R. The U.S. Role in the
     Post-Cold War World: Issues for a New Great Debate.
     Washington: The Congressional Research Service. CRS Report
     No. 92-308 S. March 24, 1992.

President Bush's "New World Order" policy represented an attempt
to apply U.S. leadership and power to the requirements for order
in a world that would succeed the politically frozen Cold War
international system. The subsequent retreat from that attempt to
establish a framework for the U.S. role in a post-Cold War world
could be viewed as the first step along a path toward self-
deterrence.

President Clinton has supported a policy of responding to Iraqi
bad behavior, authorizing a cruise missile strike on Iraqi
intelligence headquarters in Baghdad which was carried out on
July 27, 1993 in retaliation for an Iraqi plot to assassinate
former President Bush. This strike proved to be very popular with
the American public, producing an 11 point jump in Clinton's
approval rating.[5]  The reaction illustrated that a low risk
attack on a certified villain can attract popular support. Had
the action against Iraq put American lives in jeopardy, however,
both the President's decision and the public reaction might have
been somewhat different.

     5. Berke, R. "Raid on Baghdad: Poll Shows Raid Buoyed
     Clinton's Popularity," The New York Times, June 29, 1993, p.
     A7.

Bosnia

Within a year of the victory in the Gulf, the deterrent value of
the international response to Iraqi aggression was called into
question by the increasingly introverted nature of U.S. policy as
the nation became immersed in its first national election of the
post-Cold War era. George Bush decided not to lead or even
participate actively in attempts to prevent or control the
growing conflict in former Yugoslavia when fighting erupted in
June 1991. The Bush Administration largely relied on efforts by
the West Europeans to negotiate a peaceful settlement. The Bush
Administration's hands-off approach to Yugoslavia undoubtedly was
influenced by a variety of factors, including the inherent
difficulty of the Balkan situation, unlikelihood of an early
resolution and strong opposition by U.S. military officials to
any commitment of U.S. forces to deal with the conflict.[6] 
Professional military caution about involvement in

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page 8

the conflict and the approach of the 1992 presidential election
campaign made a potentially costly intervention in former
Yugoslavia unattractive.[7]

     6. For a review illustrating how unattractive military
     options appeared in mid-1992, see Collins, John M. Balkan
     Battlegrounds, U.S. Military Alternatives. Washington:
     Congressional Research Service. CRS Report No. 92-679 S.
     September 2, 1992.

     7. For background and updated information on U.S. policy
     toward the conflict in former Yugoslavia see Woehrel, Steven
     and Kim, Julie. Yugoslavia Crisis and U.S. Policy.
     Washington: Congressional Research Service. CRS Issue Brief
     91089. [updated regularly].

A former Bush Administration National Security Council staffer
has provided another perspective on the Administration's
reluctance to become involved. David Gompert, writing in Foreign
Affairs, observes that

     Following the Gulf War, a leading role in Yugoslavia would
     have implied that the United States could and would act as
     international policeman, even in an area of more immediate
     importance to America's rich European partners.... Only
     massive Western intervention would have stopped and reversed
     Serbian aggression, not some smart bomb down the right
     Serbian chimney. The United States faced by far the largest
     risks because it had (and has) the only real intervention
     capability. And the larger the task, the greater the
     American burden and casualties. Desert Storm taught the
     American people, wrongly, that vital interests could be
     defended with a handful of casualties in a videogame war.
     [emphasis added][8]

     8. Gompert, David. "How to Defeat Serbia." Foreign Affairs.
     July/August 1994, p. 41-42.

During the 1992 election campaign, candidate Bill Clinton
criticized President Bush for failure to respond to the crisis in
former Yugoslavia. After taking office, the Clinton
Administration backed away from the more involved approach
implied by campaign rhetoric and adopted a policy of willingness
to contribute U.S. peacekeeping forces following a peace
settlement agreed to by the warring parties, but not to send
forces under other circumstances. The administration sought
support among the NATO allies for a lifting of the arms embargo
to provide additional arms to the Bosnian government forces
accompanied by air strikes against Bosnian Serb forces. When the
Administration encountered European opposition to the "lift and
strike" approach, it backed away.

Since the failed attempt to promote a "lift and strike" approach,
the United States has supported enforcement of a "no-fly" zone
over former Yugoslavia, participated in threats by NATO to carry
out air strikes against Bosnian Serb forces attacking Sarajevo
and five other Bosnian safe areas (actually mounting some limited
air strikes on Bosnian-Serb forces), contributed ships to the
international fleet implementing the embargo against Serbia,
played an active role in support of relief shipments to Bosnia
and, in 1994, diplomatic efforts in a "contact group" along with
Russia, France and the United Kingdom to arrange a political
settlement. In addition, the administration sent a small
peacekeeping unit to support a Nordic military presence in
Macedonia.

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page 9

The Clinton Administration has continued to affirm that it would
like to see the U.N. arms embargo lifted to allow arms shipments
to the Bosnian Muslim forces. But it has resisted doing so
unilaterally, arguing that it would harm peace efforts and
relations with allied nations, in spite of pressure from the
Congress to do something to allow the Bosnians to defend
themselves against the Bosnian Serbs.

The United States has held the line against the commitment of any
U.S. ground troops to Bosnia, despite pressure from U.N.
officials and U.S. allies with forces in Bosnia, unless and until
there is a peace settlement to enforce. And, even in the case of
contributions to a future peacekeeping force, the United States
has required that a number of conditions be met including NATO
(not United Nations) command of any enforcement operations, clear
political and military strategies, including an exit strategy,
plans for financing the operation and support from the Congress
for the commitment.[9]

     9. Woehrel and Kim, on. cit., p. 14.

Even though the Clinton Administration has pursued what could
arguably be called an "activist" strategy toward the Bosnia
issue, the bottom line has been that neither the Administration,
the Congress, nor the American people have been eager to commit
the United States in Bosnia in circumstances that could produce
heavy casualties among U.S. forces. Even the most impassioned
arguments in the congressional debate over lifting the arms
embargo to "do something' for the Bosnians have assumed that it
would be politically impossible to commit U.S. ground forces
until there is a peace settlement.

In the Bosnia case, therefore, the United States appears to have
been looking for an approach that would not retreat from
traditional U.S. policies of opposing aggression and genocide and
responding to gross violations of human rights and humanitarian
disasters, while, at the same time, not risking American lives.
Because U.S. vital interests have not been threatened, neither
the Clinton Administration, the Congress, nor the American people
have been willing to pay the price that could be involved in the
commitment of U.S. ground forces to force a peace in Bosnia.

In spite of the economic embargo against Serbia, the enforcement
of a no-fly zone, and limited air strikes against Serbian forces,
the Bosnian Serb military and political leadership appeared not
to be deterred from using military force to wrest control of
Bosnian territory from the Bosnian government as long as the
international presence in Bosnia was limited to protection of
humanitarian relief operations and selected safe areas. The
threats of military action against the Serbian forces lacked
credibility as long as neither the United States nor NATO allies
were willing to use ground forces to back up such threats. When
air strikes were mounted, they were so limited as to undermine
their credibility as a military threat to Serbian forces. It is
not known whether a more forceful U.S. and international approach
would have produced an earlier end to the conflict. But the U.S.
unwillingness to put its military forces in harm's way in Bosnia
produced questioning in Europe and around the world about the
future

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page 10

U.S. ability to lead the international community in responses to
localized civil strife or regional aggression.

Enlargement of NATO

Throughout 1993, the question of whether or not to expand NATO's
membership to take in new democracies in Central and Eastern
Europe was a major issue on the U.S. foreign policy agenda. A
variety of arguments were made for and against such expansion,
and the United States finally proposed a compromise that would
open the door to eventual expansion of the alliance while, in the
near term, offering participation in a "Partnership for Peace"
program to all former Warsaw Pact members, former Soviet
republics and formerly"neutral" European states.[10]

     10. See Gallis, Paul E. Partnership For Peace. Washington:
     Congressional Research Service. CRS Report No. 94-351 F.
     April 22, 1994.

One of the arguments made against inviting the leading candidates
(usually assumed to be Poland, Hungary, and the Czech and Slovak
Republics) to join was that the U.S. Congress would not be
willing to expand the area covered by the NATO founding Treaty of
Washington's Article 5. Article 5 says that "[t]he Parties agree
that an armed attack against one or more of them... shall be
considered an attack against them all, and consequently they
agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them... will
assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith...
such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed
force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic
area."[emphasis added]

Whether or not the Senate would approve accession of these
potential candidates to the Treaty remains to be seen. But many
Washington observers and commentators, including some
Administration officials when speaking off the record, assume
that the Congress would resist such new commitments. If this is
an accurate assumption, it tends to reinforce the view that the
United States is reluctant to use force against aggression or
even to make such a pledge in order to reinforce the chances for
success of democracy in these countries.
Somalia

U.S. involvement in Somalia produced some particularly notable
developments in sentiment toward the use of U.S. military forces.
Following defeat in his bid for re-election, President Bush took
on one more international commitment for the United States before
he left office. On November 25, 1992, the lame-duck president
offered U.S. troops to participate in a multinational force to
help create sufficiently secure conditions in Somalia to allow
relief efforts to reach needy Somalians.

According to the Bush plan, the mission of the U.S.-led force
would be to create security conditions that would permit the
feeding of the starving Somali people and then allow transfer of
the security function to a U.N. peacekeeping force. The United
Nations approved a U.S.-led military force to guarantee

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distribution of food (U.N. Security Council Resolution 794) on
December 3, 1992. President Bush observed that "America alone
cannot right the world's wrongs, but we know that some crises in
the world cannot be resolved without American involvement....
Only the U.S. has the global reach to place a large security
force on the ground in such a distant place quickly and
efficiently and thus, save thousands of innocents from
death."[11]

     11. As quoted by Clough, Michael. "A President Bedeviled by
     a Lack of Vision," The Los Angeles Times, October 17, 1993,
     p. M-1.

U.S. troops began landing in Somalia on December 9, taking over
responsibility for security of relief operations from the small
U.N. force that had been in Somalia since 500 Pakistani soldiers
arrived there under U.N. auspices in October 1992. The
expeditionary force helped create sufficiently peaceful
conditions to allow relief efforts to deal effectively with the
famine. U.S. forces suffered their first casualty on January 19,
1993, the day before President Clinton's inauguration. But the
new Administration supported continuation of the effort and both
the Senate and the House supported the use of force on behalf of
the U.N. mission in the spring of 1993.

In June 1993, forces loyal to one of the Somalia warlords, Ahmed
Farah Aidid, ambushed Pakistani peacekeepers, killing 24 and
wounding 54. The U.N., in response, authorized the arrest of
Aidid, and a bounty was put out for Aidid a week later. By the
summer of 1993, some Members of Congress were growing concerned
about the "mission creep" for U.S. forces in Somalia -- from
giving protection to relief efforts to joining in the Somali
civil war against Aidid.

On September 25, three U.S. soldiers were killed in the downing
of a Blackhawk helicopter, increasing domestic concern about the
costs of U.S. involvement. Those concerns escalated dramatically
when, on October 3, 18 U.S. soldiers were killed and another 78
wounded on an attempt to capture Aidid's top lieutenants. U.S.
television broadcast pictures of U.S. casualties, including the
remains of one U.S. soldier being dragged through the streets of
Mogadishu by Aidid's supporters.

In reaction, some Members of Congress urged an immediate
withdrawal of U.S. forces from Somalia. Critics of the
Administration charged that the United States had allowed itself
to be dragged into a nation-building exercise much different from
the original humanitarian relief effort.[12]  Other critics
complained that U.S. forces in Somalia had become instruments of
a United Nations mission, command structure and combat
organization that placed U.S. forces in jeopardy.

     12. For discussion of the mission shift from the perspective
     of a former Bush Administration official see Bolton, John R.
     "Wrong Turn in Somalia." Foreign Affairs. January/February
     1994, p. 56-66.

President Clinton reacted by sending additional U.S. forces to
Somalia to protect against further casualties while promising to
withdraw U.S. forces by March 31, 1994. On October 15, the Senate
approved an amendment to the

---------
page 12

FY94 defense appropriations bill endorsing Clinton's plan for a
March 31 pullout after Senators had rejected an amendment that
called for a "prompt" withdrawal. On January 28, 1994, U.N. Under
Secretary General in charge of peacekeeping, Kofi Annan,
observed, "the impression has been created that the easiest way
to disrupt a peacekeeping operation is to kill Americans."[13] 
By March 31, all U.S. forces had been withdrawn.

     13. Lewis, Paul. "U.N. Official Reproves U.S. Over Plan to
     Pull Out of Somalia," The New York Times, January 30, 1994,
     Sect. 1, p. 10.

The Somalia case appears to have provided confirmation for many
Americans that the United States should not take serious risks or
pay significant prices in blood or money to restore order in
parts of the world that have little near-term relevance to vital
U.S. interests. The American public had generally been
sympathetic to the original mission of the U.S. presence in
Somalia, which was to create sufficiently stable conditions to
permit humanitarian assistance to reach the population. When the
mission was expanded to include more active involvement in
Somalia's civil conflict, Members of Congress began to question
the commitment.

The domestic reaction to the deaths of U.S. soldiers questioned
the objectives, wisdom and importance of their mission and the
arrangements under which they had been deployed. The Clinton
Administration had been laboring for almost nine months to
produce a policy on international peace operations that sought to
share U.S. international burdens through greater reliance on
international organizations, particularly the United Nations. The
October 3 ambush apparently confirmed the Administration
officials' emerging judgment that they would have to produce a
much more circumspect set of objectives and guidelines for U.S.
peacekeeping policy.[14]

     14. Lowenthal, Mark M. The Clinton Foreign Policy: Emerging
     Themes. Washington: Congressional Research Service. CRS
     Report 93-951 S. November 1, 1993, p. 10-11.

Haiti

Whether or not the United States will ultimately decide to use
force to restore an elected government to Haiti remains to be
seen, but the Clinton Administration has suggested for some time
that it has not ruled out the use of force.[15]  Haiti is a
special case in U.S. foreign policy because Haiti's geographic
proximity to the United States and the impact of Haitian refugees
on Florida make it an important domestic issue as well as a
foreign policy problem. If Haiti were several thousand miles
across the ocean, given the current U.S. foreign policy climate,
the return of democracy to this small nation would likely be a
very low priority among U.S. foreign policy goals.

     15. For detailed discussion of and background on U.S. policy
     toward Haiti, see Taft-Morales, Maureen. Haitz: The Struggle
     for Democracy and Congressional Concerns in 1994.
     Washington: Congressional Research Service. CRS Issue Brief
     93036. [updated regularly].

---------
page 13

Since a military coup overthrew the democratically elected
government of Haiti in September 1991, the United States has
sought to encourage the restoration of that government and a
return to democracy, largely through imposition of economic
sanctions and diplomatic pressure on the junta leaders. A number
of factors have influenced the Clinton Administration to
intensify pressure on the junta, including the problems created
for the key electoral state of Florida by the flow of refugees
out of Haiti, humanitarian concerns for the refugees and a hunger
strike on their behalf by a leading American black advocate, the
Administration's advocacy of enlarging the area of democracy in
the world and significant pressure from black Members of Congress
to restore democracy and acceptable human rights conditions in
Haiti.

For a variety of reasons, implied U.S. threats to use force in
Haiti may not appear particularly credible to the Haitian junta.
The U.S. position was seriously undermined in October 1993,
shortly after the losses suffered by U.S. forces in Somalia, when
a U.S. ship that was attempting to deliver U.S. and Canadian
members of a U.N. military and police observing and training team
was unable to dock in Haiti. The Haitian military leadership had
agreed to allow the troops and police to land, but an angry mob
at the dock (presumably organized by the junta) appeared to
threaten a peaceful disembarkment. The ship, the U.S.S. Harlan
County, turned back. U.S. officials subsequently acknowledged
that the experience in Somalia had influenced the decision not to
risk taking casualties by landing the troops in a confrontational
setting.[16]  The sequence of events was widely interpreted as a
confrontation in which the United States blinked first -- a major
victory for the junta.

     16. Holmes, Steven A. "Effort to Restore Haiti's Leader Is
     Halted." The New York Times. October 13. 1993. p. A1.

It is not a foregone conclusion that the Congress would favor the
commitment of forces to Haiti. Even though some Members of
Congress who are particularly concerned about gross violations of
human rights in Haiti under its current dictatorship have urged
the use of force to accomplish this objective, the actions of
Congress to date suggest an inconclusive perspective on the use
of force. On October 21, 1993, the U.S. Senate defeated (by a
vote of 81-19) an amendment offered by Senator Helms to the
Department of Defense appropriations bill, H.R. 3116, that would
have blocked deployment of U.S. troops to Haiti without prior
congressional authorization except to protect or evacuate U.S.
citizens. The Senate did approve (by a vote of 98-2) a "sense of
the Congress" amendment offered by Senator Mitchell that urged
President Clinton to seek congressional authorization before
committing U.S. troops in Haiti. On May 24, 1994, the House
passed a non-binding resolution opposing an invasion of Haiti. On
June 9, it voted on the amendment again and reversed itself.

On June 29, 1994, the Senate rejected another Republican-led
effort to require that President Clinton seek congressional
authorization before ordering military intervention in Haiti. In
lieu of such authorization, according to the proposed amendment
to the foreign operations appropriation bill, the President could
have submitted a written report to Congress on the objectives of
such a

---------
page 14

mission. This amendment, proposed by Senator Gregg, was defeated
by a vote of 66-34. The Senate then voted 93-4 to approve a
non-binding amendment urging the President to seek congressional
approval before sending troops to Haiti. These votes suggest that
a majority of Senators is reluctant to tie the President's hands
in his role as commander-in-chief, and, in spite of various
reservations concerning Administration policy toward Haiti, most
Senators prefer that the President bear leadership responsibility
for any decision to use force to remove the junta.

The Clinton Administration reportedly has held extensive
discussions with other nations in an attempt to attract offers of
troop contributions to a United Nations peacekeeping force for
Haiti, and has received a large number of troop offerings.[17] 
Such a force would not be designed to remove the junta, but
rather to help maintain a secure internal environment in which
democratic practices could be re-established. Suggestions in June
1994 that the Administration was considering removing the junta
by force may have been undermined by reports that the
Administration hoped to "buy" them out of power by offering to
set them up in comfortable retirement out of Haiti. The
Administration stepped up preparations in July 1994 that could be
a prelude to armed invasion in an attempt to increase pressure on
the military leaders to leave peacefully.

     17. Sciolino, Elaine. "Large Haiti Force is Weighed by U.S."
     The New York Times. June 25, 1994, p. 1.

The overall impression left so far by Administration and
Congressional handling of the Haitian situation is that the
United States would much prefer not to use force as a means of
ousting the military junta and restoring the democratic
government to power. The pressure to do so results largely from
the humanitarian and financial problems created by the exodus of
Haitians from the island. The arguments against using force
include the absence of a vital U.S. security interest in Haiti,
the fact that the international community would be far less
supportive of follow-on measures if the Haitian government is
removed by a U.S. military action, and the danger that the United
States could end up with a commitment to keep military forces in
Haiti for many years into the future. The concern of many
observers is that the Administration might be painting itself
into a corner from which it can escape only by a military
intervention.[18]

     18. Devroy, Ann and Graham, Bradley. "U.S. Units Ready to
     Invade but Clinton Is Said to Be Weeks From Decision." The
     Washington Post. July 17, 1994, p. A21.

Korea

The question of use of force in Korea brings together the
requirements of U.S. non-proliferation goals and the long-
standing commitment to defend South

---------
page 15

Korea against possible aggression from the north.[19]  The
current crisis was touched off by North Korea's decision in March
1993 to suspend international inspections of its nuclear
facilities and withdraw from the Non-proliferation Treaty, which
it had just signed in 1992. The actions came after the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found evidence that
North Korea had produced more weapons-grade plutonium than it had
claimed, suggesting intent to divert the material for nuclear
weapons production.

     19. For more detailed information on the background to the
     Korean crisis and U.S. policy see Cronin, Richard,
     Coordinator. North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program: U.S.
     Policy Options. Washington: Congressional Research Service.
     CRS Report No. 94-470 F. June 12, 1994. and Collins, John M.
     Korean Crisis, 1994: Military Geography, Military Balance,
     Military Options. Washington: Congressional Research
     Service. CRS Report No. 94-311 S. April 11, 1994.

In the maneuvering between the United States and North Korea
since March 1993, the Clinton Administration has shifted back and
forth between hard line positions and more conciliatory
approaches.[20]  For example, in March 1994 Secretary of Defense
Perry said that the United States intended to stop North Korea
from developing a substantial arsenal of nuclear weapons, even at
the risk of war. Then, in June 1994, the Administration,
apparently at the urging of former-President Jimmy Carter, gave
its tacit sanction to a mediating mission by Carter to North
Korea. Carter announced that North Korea's leader, the late-Kim
Il Sung, intended to pursue "good faith efforts" to resolve the
crisis and, contrary to Perry's ominous warnings, that the U.S.
push to impose stricter international sanctions against the North
could be relaxed. The Carter visit stimulated planning for a
North-South Korean summit meeting and, at least temporarily,
stood down from the Administration's harder line stance.

     20. See the analysis in Gordon, Michael R. "U.S. Shift On
     Korea, Clinton Retreating From a Showdown." The New York
     Times. June 8, 1994, p. 1.

All experts appear to agree that war on the Korean peninsula
would be devastating for all concerned. Although the United
States and South Korea would presumably succeed in repulsing a
North Korean attack, the conflict could well result in the
destruction of Seoul, South Korea's capital and economic and
population center, and substantial casualties to U.S. and South
Korean forces.[21]  Thirty-eight thousand U.S. troops currently
stand astride the likely invasion routes.

     21. Gellman, Barton. "Trepidation at Root of U.S. Korean
     Policy." The Washington Post. December 12, 1993, p. A-1, 49.

It is likely that U.S. counterproliferation strikes against North
Korean nuclear facilities would be viewed by the North as an act
of war, possibly setting off a wider war. In the current U.S.
domestic context, U.S. attempts to threaten the use of force in
the absence of an unprovoked North Korean attack on the south may
lack credibility. In spite of tough-talking by some
Administration officials, the long-standing defense commitment to
South Korea, and the obvious priority that the Administration
gives to its non-proliferation policy, the threat

---------
page 16

to resort to the use of force probably looks more like a bluff to
North Korea than a real threat.

The question raised is whether it is possible to affect Korean
behavior through the threat of military sanctions if U.S.
approaches to the use of force elsewhere suggest a dominant
disinclination to follow through on such threats. The
Administration may not be able to derive much value from threats
to resort to force as long as it, the Congress and the American
people appear unwilling to pay the price that following through
on the threat would require.

PDD-25[22]

     22. An examination of the development of U.S. policy toward
     peace operations in the Clinton Administration can be found
     in Lowenthal, Mark M. Peacekeeping in Future U.S. Foreign
     Policy. Washington: Congressional Research Service. CRS
     Report 94-260S. May 10, 1994.

When Presidential Decision Directive 25 (PDD-25) was issued in
May 1994, it reflected the experiences and debate of the previous
year. As a consequence, it incorporated a substantial
modification of the Clinton Administration's original concepts
for U.S. participation in and increased reliance on United
Nations peace operations. PDD-25 incorporated many of the
limitations on U.S. commitments suggested as desirable by
congressional reactions to the casualties in Somalia. The
Administration had gone from U.N. Ambassador Madeleine Albright's
advocacy of a U.S. policy of "assertive multilateralism"[23]  in
June 1993 to PDD-25's policy of "stringent conditionality."[24]

     23. Albright, Madeleine. "The Myths About U.N.
     Peacekeeping." Statement to the House Foreign Affairs
     Subcommittee on International Security, International
     Organizations, and Human Rights, June 24, 1993. The text can
     be found in Foreign Policy Bulletin, September/October 1993,
     pp. 35-38.

     24. Lowenthal, op. cit., p. 14.

PDD-25 lays out a long list of factors that this Government would
consider when called on to vote on peace operations in the U.N.
Security Council. These conditions include whether: U.N.
involvement advances U.S. interests; there is a threat to the
peace; there are clear objectives and means to accomplish the
mission; the consequences of inaction have been weighed and
considered unacceptable; and the operation's duration is tied to
clear objectives and realistic criteria for ending the operation.

PDD-25 lays out even more demanding additional factors to
consider for operations that involve U.S. participation. Those
factors, many of which were prominently mentioned in the October
1993 congressional debate on U.S. involvement in peace operations
include whether or not:

     *    risks to American personnel are considered acceptable;

     *    personnel, funds and other resources are available;

     *    U.S. participation is necessary for an operation's
          success;

---------
page 17

     *    the role of U.S. forces is tied to clear objectives and
          an endpoint for U.S. participation can be identified;

     *    domestic and congressional support exists or can be
          marshalled; and

     *    command and control arrangements are acceptable.

If it is anticipated that U.S. involvement will include combat,
PDD-25 goes on to list factors that reflect the U.S. military
establishment's legitimate concern that, if they are asked to
perform a dangerous mission, they are provided sufficient support
and flexibility to accomplish that mission. These factors, which
appear to be drawn directly from the military's institutional
reaction to the Vietnam war, include whether or not there is:

     *    a determination to commit sufficient forces to achieve
          clearly defined objectives;

     *    a plan to achieve those objectives decisively;

     *    a commitment to reassess and adjust, as necessary, the
          size, composition and disposition of our forces to
          achieve our objectives.

It is possible to look at these lists of considerations and reach
a variety of conclusions. Most of them, taken individually,
appear reasonable considerations under most circumstances. Taken
collectively, however, against the backdrop of the experiences
with use of force in the post-Cold War world and of the current
priorities of the Administration and Congress, these factors
appear so constraining as to be prohibitive of action. In effect,
PDD-25 could be described as a very effective set of guidelines
in a self-deterrence foreign policy regime.

Rwanda

The civil war in Rwanda presented the first opportunity for
application of the Clinton Administration's more modest (PDD-25)
approach to peace operations. The current crisis was precipitated
when Rwanda's President, Juvenal Habyarimana, and the president
of Burundi died when the plane returning them from a conference
in Tanzania crashed on approach to Kigali, Rwanda's capital. The
plane was rumored to have been hit by rocket fire, but the cause
of the crash was never independently verified. Some sources claim
that the forces of the Tutsi ethnic minority were responsible
(Habyarimana was a Hutu, Rwanda's ethnic majority). But
subsequent reports suggested that Hutus carried out the attack to
undermine a plan for settlement of the Tutsi-Hutu ethnic conflict
that they regarded as unfavorable.[25]

     26. For detailed discussion of and background on U.S. policy
     toward the Rwanda crisis, see Copson, Raymond W. Rwanda and
     Burundi: Background and U.S. Policy Options. Washington:
     Congressional Research Service. CRS Issue Brief 94027.
     [updated regularly]

The fighting immediately following the crash took the lives of
from 250,000 to 500,000 Rwandans, mostly Tutsi who were
slaughtered by Hutu extremist militia and militant Hutu in the
armed forces. An estimated 1.5 million were made homeless within
Rwanda, and similar numbers fled to neighboring

---------
page 18

countries as refugees. Subsequently, Tutsi rebel forces steadily
reversed the initial Hutu gains and ultimately seized the entire
country.

Prior to this conflict, the United Nations had a 2,500-member
U.N. Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) to help implement a
Hutu-Tutsi peace accord that had been reached in August 1993. The
force consisted of some 940 soldiers from Ghana, 840 from
Bangladesh and 440 from Belgium. After losing 10 soldiers in the
fighting, Belgium withdrew its contingent and the U.N. Security
Council decided to reduce the remaining force to 270 military and
civilian personnel. In June 1994, France sent more than 2,500
troops into Rwanda as what the French government described as a
temporary humanitarian operation to protect innocent civilians
until the international community can produce a longer-term
solution.

From the outset of the current crisis, it was clear that the
United States would not volunteer to send troops to Rwanda. In
addition, the United States raised questions about sending any
new troops to reinforce UNAMIR and urged a go-slow approach,
attempting to block or at least delay U.N. Security Council
Resolution 918 to authorize a 5,500 person force for Rwanda,
arguing that more time was needed to plan such a force. The
United States did offer to lease 50 M-113 armored personnel
carriers to the United Nations for use in Rwanda. But, consistent
with PDD-25's cautionary approach to U.S. financial contributions
to U.N. peacekeeping and with Congressional sentiments that costs
of U.S. contributions to peacekeeping be limited, the
Administration engaged in protracted negotiations over how much
the U.N. would pay the United States for the use of the APCs.

Another indication of the Administration's circumspect tack
centered on the question of whether or not genocide was taking
place in Rwanda. The 1948 Genocide Convention, to which the
United States is a party, implies obligations for nations to
respond to cases of genocide. The Administration, on June 9,
instructed its spokesmen to say only that "Acts of genocide may
have occurred", apparently seeking to diminish or defer the
responsibility for the United States to act.[26]  Following
protests by Members of Congress and human rights groups, the
Administration revised its approach and began describing the
killings as genocide without making fundamental changes in its
approach to the crisis.

     26. Jehl, Douglas. "Officials Told to Avoid Calling Rwanda
     Killings 'Genocide.'" The New York Times. June 9, 1994, p.
     11.

Critics have charged that the Administration's approach
contributed to the deaths of thousands of Rwandan civilians.
Administration supporters reject the charge and argue that the
United States has only humanitarian concerns but no economic or
security interests at stake in Rwanda, and should not become
militarily involved.[27]

     27. Ibid., p. 12.

Whether or not the United States should have taken a more
interventionist approach to the Rwandan crisis can and will be
debated. But the response of

---------
page 19

the Clinton Administration was consistent with a more circumspect
recent approach to peace operations, and tends to support the
perception that the United States is increasingly reluctant to
use or support the use of military force in circumstances where
U.S. interests are not directly threatened.

---------
page 20

WHAT FACTORS LEAD TOWARD A SELF-DETERRENCE PHENOMENON?

The foregoing review of events suggests that the recent U.S.
reticence to use military force arises from a combination of
circumstances and policy choices. The circumstances include the
changes in the international context at the end of the Cold War.
The choices are those that have been made by the Bush and Clinton
Administrations and by the U.S. Congress.

No Threats to Vital U.S. Interests

The most important circumstantial influence on the U.S.
willingness to use force is the fact that, once the Cold War
ended, the Warsaw Pact closed shop and the Soviet Union
dissolved, the United States faced few real and present dangers
to its national security.

During the Cold War, U.S. Presidents were able to argue
convincingly to the Congress and to the public that the vital
U.S. interest of national survival in a free community of nations
was ultimately threatened by the potential spread of Communist
ideology and the power of the Soviet Union, the main Communist
state. Only one aspect of this threat, the Soviet Union's
strategic nuclear forces, posed an imminent threat to national
survival.

But with alliance systems and proxy arrangements, many other
threats and sources of instability were seen as extensions of the
main threat. In response to such derivative threats, the United
States fought wars in Korea and Vietnam, deployed large military
forces armed with nuclear weapons to Europe, and intervened or
supported military interventions in Middle Eastern, African and
Latin American countries, all in the name of defending against
the Soviet-Communist threat.

Today, aggressions and sources of instability that in the Cold
War might have been, or been seen as, extensions of the Soviet-
Communist threat and as warranting a U.S. military response,
appear much less dangerous for U.S. interests and certainly not
threats to important U.S. interests.

This development, and the fact that it left the United States
without a comparable sense of foreign policy purpose to replace
the policy of containing Communist expansion and Soviet power,
has been well-documented and

---------
page 21

analyzed, including treatment in several CRS studies.[28]  One of
these reports predicted early in 1992 that,

     ..... until there is a clearly articulated Administration
     approach -- a vision, if you will -- to the U.S. role in the
     world that has been debated and supported by the Congress
     and by the American people, U.S. foreign and defense policy
     will appear to be adrift, with limited sense of purpose,
     debatable international relevance and, presumably uncertain
     domestic support.[29]

     28. See, for example, Sloan, Stanley R. The U.S. Role in a
     New World Order.... Op. cit.; The U.S. Role in the Post-Cold
     War World.... op. cit.; Global Burdensharing in the
     Post-Cold War World. Washington: Congressional Research
     Service. CRS Report 93-892S. October 8, 1993; and Lowenthal,
     Mark M. "National Security" as a Concept: Does It Need to be
     Redefined ? Washington: Congressional Research Service. CRS
     Report 93-12S. January 7, 1993; The Clinton Foreign
     Policy.... op cit.; and Peacekeeping in Future U.S. Foreign
     Police. op. cit.

     29. Sloan, The U.S. role in the Post-Cold War World..., op.
     cit., p. 28.

And, as a recent report in this series has noted, "...the
continuing inability of the United States to define both the
extent and limits of its self-perceived international role"[30] 
underlies the contemporary debate on U.S. foreign policy.

     30. Lowenthal, Peacekeeping.., op. cit., p. 22.

Cold War Leadership Fatigue

With the notable exception of George Bush, who continued to savor
foreign policy involvement to the end of his term, most Americans
in the early 1990s appeared to be suffering from what might be
called Cold War leadership fatigue. The perception of the
American people and of most Members of Congress was that the
United States had carried the lion's share of defense
responsibilities and burdens throughout the Cold War. Although
public opinion recognized that the United States could not adopt
an "isolationist" posture, most Americans apparently wished to
escape from the extensive global leadership role that the United
States had performed for over four decades. They did not want the
United States in the post-Cold War world to be the "world's
policeman," even if no other cop appeared on the block.

One review of public opinion in March 1992 concluded that "most
Americans don't want their country to be the policeman, banker,
or social worker for the world, but they aren't isolationist,
either. A sensible citizenry accepts that the US needs to assume
a strong and constructive -- but realistic - global role."[31] 
According to another study of the public's response to the use of
force, "...the public approves of protecting Americans, is fairly
supportive of


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page 22

defending allies, is a bit skeptical about punishing nations into
changing their policies, and the public is quite negative towards
restoring order in countries when American lives are not at
stake."[32]

     31. Cattani, Richard J. "America and the World," Christian
     Science Monitor. March 4, 1992, p. 18-19.

     32. Burbach, David T. "Presidential Approval and the Use of
     Force," DACS Working Paper, Massachusetts Institute of
     Technology Defense and Arms Control Studies Program, May
     1994, p. 44.

The popular preference for attention to domestic issues suggested
by the 1992 election did not, however, necessarily mean that the
public wanted the United States to retreat from an international
leadership role. After the bad experience in Somalia, for
example, one poll in the spring of 1994 found the public wary of
"repeating Somalia mistakes" in Bosnia and of getting bogged down
in "another Vietnam." The same poll nonetheless discovered that
"strong majorities found convincing the arguments that the US
should intervene to stop the bloodshed [in Bosnia] for moral
reasons, that it would show poor leadership for the US to not
contribute troops when it has been a major proponent of a peace
agreement, and that ethnic cleansing is a form of genocide that
must be stopped."[33]

     33. "Poll Finds US Public Strongly Supports Deeper
     Engagement in Bosnia" Program on International Policy
     Attitudes, School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland.
     News Release. April 11, 1994.

It is by no means clear, however, that popular majorities could
be sustained if intervention in Bosnia or elsewhere were to
produce U.S. casualties and require the transfer of significant
funds from domestic programs and deficit reduction to military
spending.

Domestic Preoccupations

U.S. post-Cold War behavior has also been influenced by the
belief that the nation had deferred action on a variety of
domestic problems when the arguments for Cold War levels of
defense spending remained compelling for a majority of Americans
and their representatives in Congress. The process of adjustment
actually began in the mid-1980s, as the Cold War eased, when the
Congress passed the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit reduction act.
The priority in that act was to gain control over the federal
budget deficit, and it placed limits on both domestic and defense
spending.

Before the Cold War came to an end, experts and officials had
debated whether or not the United States could afford to maintain
the global role that it had sustained throughout the Cold War.
Professor Paul Kennedy led the school of thought arguing that the
United States would have to cut back on its commitments or face
inevitable economic decline.[34]  In the late 1980s, this debate
remained somewhat academic, and as long as a Soviet threat
existed most officials judged that the United States could not
give up its global leadership

---------
page 23

role and focused their attention on getting allies to pick up
more of the financial burdens on behalf of international
stability. Only when it became conventional wisdom in the early
1990s that the Soviet threat was gone did the national consensus
begin to accept that major budget funding could be re-allocated
to the domestic agenda.[35]

     34. Kennedy, Paul. The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers:
     Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000. New
     York: Random House, 1987.

     35. For a discussion of this complex of issues, see Daggett,
     Stephen. "The American Economy, the Defense Budget, and
     National Security," in Sarkesian, Sam C. and Flanagin, John
     Mead, Editors. U.S. Domestic and National Security Agendas
     into the Twenty-First Century. Westport, Connecticut:
     Greenwood Press, 1994, p. 62-81.

Candidate Bill Clinton's presidential campaign recognized and
greatly benefitted from this shift in popular perceptions and
priorities. "It's the economy, stupid" became the rallying cry
and the concern for domestic problems was a hallmark of the
campaign. George Bush's campaign managers, recognizing that their
candidate was perceived as a competent foreign policy manager but
uninterested in domestic issues, attempted to change the
President's image, but to no avail.

President Clinton's Approach

President Clinton apparently followed what he saw as the
electoral message supplemented by public opinion polling. If the
new Administration were to devote its greatest efforts to
domestic issues, it could not maintain the global burdens that
had characterized the U.S. role during the Cold War and, more
recently in the response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. But,
also consistent with campaign positions and public opinion,
President Clinton did not reject an internationalist role for the
United States, and so looked for ways to pursue such a role at
reduced cost.

The first answer for the President and his advisors was to rely
more heavily on international cooperation, and particularly on
the United Nations, to deal with security challenges that did not
directly threaten vital U.S. interests. Under the post-Soviet
circumstances, this would include most of the likely disruptions
of the peace. As noted above, President Clinton initiated a study
of U.S. peacekeeping policy (then-called Presidential Review
Document 13) to lay out a multilateral strategy for global
security challenges. When it appeared that the approach
of"assertive multilateralism" could not be sustained in the
Congress and in U.S. public opinion, the Administration adjusted
its approach to accommodate the existing level of consensus.

The President's style appears to attempt to accommodate limits on
his possibilities for action in order to reach consensus. For
example, in PDD-25 the Administration generally accepted the
constraints on the use of U.S. forces suggested in congressional
debate. With regard to Bosnia policy, President Clinton has of
late tended to view international organizations such as NATO and
the United Nations as constraining environments rather than as
possible vehicles for U.S. leadership. For example, when caught
between Congressional advocacy of lifting the Bosnia arms embargo
unilaterally and international

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page 24

opposition to such a move, the President explained that his hands
were tied by the need to sustain international cooperation. This
approach could be described as a response to reality, and an
effective strategy for finding consensus. On the other hand, the
approach tends to limit policy options to the extent that it
forgoes the possibility of overcoming resistance and widening the
area for action.

It is also possible to see President Clinton and his key advisors
as wishing to avoid the fate that befell President Lyndon Johnson
whose goal of a "Great Society" domestic presidency was done in
by the political and resource costs of U.S. involvement in
Vietnam.[36]  This perception is reinforced by the fact that
President Clinton has not made strong efforts to build consensus
in Congress or in public opinion for an interventionist U.S.
approach to global security problems, and has accepted a
shrinking U.S. role in lieu of risking political capital on
behalf of international objectives.

     36. Christian Science Monitor political cartoonist Danziger
     captured this perspective in a drawing entitled "Clinton
     View of the World" in a map of the world portrays the United
     States surrounded by a world in which all nations are
     labeled "Vietnam." Danziger, "Clinton View of the World."
     The Christian Science Monitor. May 11, 1994, p. 24.

Although public opinion polls in the first half of 1994 showed
declining public confidence in President Clinton's ability to
lead U.S. foreign policy,[37]  influential political advisors to
the President apparently continue to believe that the costs of
using military force in virtually all cases to date outweigh the
potential benefits. One commentator, Paul Gigot, has noted that
the President is consistently advised by his pollster, Stan
Greenberg, to continue to "speak the traditional presidential
language of 'enlargement,' 'engagement' and 'leadership'" while
avoiding the commitments such language implies."[38]

     37. See, for example, Morin, Richard. "Support for Sending
     GIs to Haiti May Be Increasing, Poll Shows," The Washington
     Post. June 29, 1994, p. 8.

     38. Gigot, Paul A. "Clinton Abroad: All Politics Is Local."
     The Wall Street Journal. April 22, 1994, p. A12.

Limited Tolerance for Casualties

Whether or not the United States is willing to risk the lives of
its young soldiers for international causes is both an emotional
question and a critical factor in the ability of the United
States to use force on behalf of its foreign policy objectives.
Examination of this issue therefore stimulates a variety of
perspectives.

One analyst has argued that a major factor influencing the
reluctance of the United States and other post-industrial
societies to use force in their foreign relations is the reduced
tolerance to casualties of war in post-industrial

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page 25

societies.[39]  Edward Luttwak argues that in the Great Powers of
history large families ("multiple live births") and high rates of
infant mortality were the rule. Under these circumstances,
according to Luttwak, "To lose a young family member for any
reason was always tragic no doubt, yet his death in combat was
not the extraordinary and fundamentally unacceptable event that
it has now become."[40]

     39. Luttwak, Edward N. "Twilight of The Great Powers, Why We
     No Longer Will Die for a Cause," The Washington Post. June
     26, 1994, p. C1.

     40. Ibid., p. 2.

According to this analysis, only "exceptionally determined
leaders" are capable of overcoming the societal resistance to
casualties in post-industrial societies -- Luttwak cites
President Bush in the Gulf and Margaret Thatcher in the
Falklands. Without unusually effective leadership, the resistance
to casualties is so high that post-industrial societies generally
elect to use their military forces only for the defense of
narrowly defined vital interests or when casualties can be
anticipated to be minimal.[41]

     41. A "joke" recently making the rounds on the diplomatic
     circuit suggests that, at the end of the Cold War, some
     nations, including France and the U.K., are still prepared
     to see their soldiers kill and be killed, others, for
     example the United States, are prepared to kill but not be
     killed, and some, such as Italy, are neither prepared to
     kill or be killed. (Depending on who is telling the joke,
     Germany or Japan could be substituted for Italy.)

Harry Summers, a former military officer who now writes on
military affairs, takes issue with what he views as Luttwak's
"admiration" for the imperialist Great Powers. According to
Summers, "The value of military intervention in Bosnia, Somalia,
Haiti and North Korea has not been established. Therefore, at
face value, the cost in terms of casualties is prohibitive."[42]

     42. Summers, Harry. "Great Power envy: Nothing to be jealous
     of." Army Times. July 11, 1994, p. 54.

Another analyst simply attributes the low U.S. tolerance to
casualties to a particularly American approach to death, Harvey
M. Sapolsky writes that "Americans do not want to die."
Acknowledging that this is not so unusual, Sapolsky goes on to
observe that

     ...Americans are both rich enough and arrogant enough to try
     to do a lot about this very common desire. In attempting to
     avoid death by disease, war, and accident, Americans spend
     vastly more on medical care, the military, and risk
     reduction than do most other people.... We are becoming

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page 26

     even more peculiar. Increasingly, we want our wars to be
     without killing of any sort."[43]

     43. Sapolsky, Harvey M. "War without Killing," in Sarkesian
     and Flanagin, op. cit., p. 27.

It is not necessary to accept Luttwak's historical analysis to
conclude that current tolerance in the United States for military
casualties is low. We do not know whether or not the U.S. public
or other Western electorates would be willing to accept heavy
casualties in a case where vital national interests were directly
threatened. We have not had such a case in recent history, and
may not face one for some time to come. (For comparison, both
Korea and Vietnam cost 50,000 dead apiece and in both cases
public support fell away when victory was not achieved.)
Nonetheless, it is clear that the American people are clearly
reluctant to accept casualties without a sense of purpose or
mission for which their soldiers may be asked to risk their
lives.

Diminished Expectations for the United Nations

President Clinton originally hoped to be able to shift some of
the burdens of enforcing international peace and stability onto
the shoulders of the international community, particularly the
United Nations. But this expectation did not sufficiently take
into account the UN's lack of experience in managing military
operations more demanding than keeping the peace in relatively
benign military circumstances. The experiences in Somalia and in
Bosnia seriously undermined the credibility of the United Nations
in the United States as an effective manager of military
operations. Michael Mandelbaum, a foreign policy advisor to Bill
Clinton's election campaign, observed, "Since the end of the Cold
War, the U.N. Security Council has become a font of resolutions
authorizing international action. But the United Nations lacks
the means to carry out its resolutions, and its member states
lack the will to do so."[44]

     44. Mandelbaum, Michael. "The Reluctance to Intervene."
     Foreign Policy. Summer 1994. p. 17.

It is quite unlikely that Members of Congress would react
favorably to U.S. forces serving in a combat operation under a
United Nations command structure under current circumstances.
Such a decision is within the prerogatives of the Commander-in-
Chief and his authority in this regard has never been challenged
successfully by the Congress.[45]  PDD-25 nonetheless accepts
such a limitation as a given, and so the United States is
unlikely to initiate or support proposals in the near term that
would give the United Nations much greater responsibility for
managing military operations. Without thoroughgoing U.S. support
for a stronger U.N. role, it will be difficult if not impossible
for the United Nations to develop the competence for managing
peace operations that require the

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page 27

coordinated use of military capabilities to restore or enforce
the peace rather than to keep an existing peace.

Cautious U.S. Military Leadership

The "bad" and "good" experiences for U.S. armed forces in recent
decades have left strong "lessons" among professional military
leaders. The leading "bad" experience -- the war in Vietnam --
underscored their long-held view that they should not take on
missions that could not, or would not, be supported over the long
haul by political leadership and public opinion. The leading
"good" experience -- the Gulf War -- confirmed the professional
military's preference for forces to accomplish assigned missions
as quickly as possible with the fewest possible U.S. casualties.

The tandem requirements for political support and resource
sufficiency have made the Pentagon leadership increasingly wary
about taking on missions that might be marginal to U.S. vital
interests and consequently lacking the necessary support from the
political elite and public opinion. The requirement for resource
sufficiency also creates disincentives to use force. First, the
larger the force deemed sufficient for the mission the greater
the cost and the less likely the congressional support for the
mission. Second, the extent to which U.S. military capabilities
have been reduced in the post-Cold War period has made the
military more cautious about forces that are available beyond
those required to protect vital national interests. If the
margins are smaller, can the United States afford to make
substantial contributions, for example, to U.N. peace operations
and still retain sufficient capabilities to use if vital U.S.
interests are threatened?

In sum, the U.S. professional military establishment seems no
longer imbued with the traditional "can do" philosophy, but
rather with a "will do if..." approach that contributes to the
tendency of the United States to avoid the use of force on behalf
of anything other than critical international objectives.

It is noteworthy in this context that some of the situations
examined in this study did not appear easily susceptible to
solutions employing U.S. combat forces. Professional officers and
expert observers have raised questions, for example, about the
military feasibility of peace enforcement in Bosnia, support for
nation building in Somalia, counter-proliferation in Korea, and
for other scenarios where a more decisive use of force was a
theoretical option. Serious doubts among military professionals
about whether or not specific foreign policy goals can be
accomplished through the use of military force inspires
policymaker caution. Even if this is seen as prudent, it tends to
reinforce other tendencies toward self-deterrence.

Congressional Qualms

The Congress has demonstrated with regard to virtually all
potential uses of military force in the post-Cold War period its
skepticism about the need for the United States to put its forces
in harm's way in a world that currently poses few direct threats
to U.S. vital interests. The congressional reaction to

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American casualties in Somalia played a direct role in the U.S.
decision to withdraw from the international peace operation
there. With regard to Bosnia, even many of those Members who have
argued strongly that the United States must do something in
reaction to the aggression of Serbian Bosnians and human rights
abuses, have not been willing to support deployment of U.S.
ground forces there until a peace settlement has been reached.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have argued for U.S.
military intervention in Haiti, but other Members have cautioned
against such a move.[46]

     45. See: Bruner, Edward F. U.S. Forces and Multinational
     Commands: Precedents and Criteria. Washington: Congressional
     Research Service. CRS Report 93-436 F. April 21, 1993.

     46. Dewar, Helen and Cooper, Kenneth J. "Many Lawmakers
     Criticize Haiti Policy but Few Propose Alternative." The
     Washington Post. July 16, 1994, p. A9. The authors of this
     article note that "If there is any unifying force on foreign
     policy on Capitol Hill, it is an almost visceral reluctance
     to leave fingerprints on any policy that involves political
     risk, especially responsibility for putting American forces
     in harm's way."

The Congress therefore expresses the same appreciation of
political costs and benefits that is seen in the Administration's
actions. Members of Congress, for the most part, are not willing
to advocate the use of U.S. military force in potentially
dangerous circumstances at a time when there is no consensus on
what international goals are worth paying a price for and when
the Administration assesses the domestic political costs of
international leadership as greater than the potential benefits.

The Bottom Line

As long as all these factors persist, it appears that the United
States will remain reluctant to intervene militarily in cases
where U.S. vital interests are not threatened and U.S. troops
could suffer casualties or where the financial costs of
involvement would be substantial. (An intervention in Haiti,
should it come, might be an exception because it would largely
have been stimulated by U.S. domestic ramifications of the
Haitian situation.)

The general feeling of freedom from direct threats, continuing
domestic priorities, reluctance to accept casualties without a
clear definition of purpose or mission, the Clinton
Administration's apparent reluctance to use force given the
prospective political and financial costs, the professional
military's requirement for political leadership and sufficient
resources, congressional mistrust of multilateral frameworks for
the use of force and unwillingness for the United States to bear
excessive burdens and other factors discussed above, taken
together, appear to weave a strong web of constraints around the
United States' use of force. During the Cold War, the caution
induced by the Vietnam experience was at least partially offset
by the continuing pressure of the U.S.Soviet competition. With no
such rationale today, it appears that the Administration could
choose to use force only with determined leadership and a
rationale defined in terms of both U.S. interests and values.
Even under these circumstances, a decision to use force in all
cases other than defense of U.S. vital interests might carry high
political risks for the President and his supporters.

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WHAT ARE POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES OF U.S. SELF-DETERRENCE?

In the Short-term, Vital U.S. Interests Should Remain Secure

A principal reason why the United States has been able to drift
toward self-deterrence is the fact that neither the President,
the Congress nor the American people have perceived vital U.S.
interests as being threatened by any international development
since the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. This perception appears
warranted, particularly if "vital interests" is defined narrowly,
for example, to mean the survival of the United States, its
political system, and the essential well-being of the American
people. It may also be true even if "vital interests" are defined
more broadly to encompass the security of major allies,
preservation of the flow of commerce, and access to important
natural resources.

In the post-Soviet, post-Warsaw Pact world, there is no military
force that could, with non-nuclear capabilities, overwhelm the
United States militarily. Several countries (particularly Russia,
China, France and the United Kingdom) deploy nuclear weapons
capabilities that could cause catastrophic damage to the United
States, but two of these countries have been and remain U.S.
friends and allies. The other two currently have no apparent
reason to threaten or be seen as threatening U.S. interests with
their nuclear weapons. The United States retains sufficient
nuclear weapons to deter present or future nuclear weapons states
from rationally threatening their use against U.S. territory or
forces.

There are countries that have the capacity to challenge U.S.
vital interests defined more broadly. Perhaps the most tangible
example is the ability of a number of countries to restrict
access to important natural resources. Several countries (Iran,
Iraq, Saudi Arabia) have the potential to threaten access to oil,
a commodity whose price and availability have profound effects on
global economic health. One of these countries, Saudi Arabia, is
a U.S. ally. Iraq has recently been defeated by a U.S.-led force
in its attempt to take over Kuwait's oil fields. Iran, at least
for the moment, does not appear inclined to take the requisite
risks to threaten U.S. interests in this area.

One major U.S. ally, South Korea, does face a dangerous opponent
in the north, and the U.S. commitment to South Korea and to the
international nuclear non-proliferation regime is being tested.
Under some circumstances, threats to broadly defined U.S. vital
interests could emerge from this situation.

Viewed broadly, the world has become a relatively benign place
for "vital" U.S. interests, and the United States has sufficient
nuclear and non-nuclear capabilities to deter most foreseeable
threats to such interests.

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International Cooperation Becomes Less Effective

Although U.S. vital interests may not be at risk in the near
term, even the early stages of what can be seen as self-
deterrence have brought with them consequences that run counter
to professed U.S. foreign policy goals. U.S. reluctance to commit
troops to Bosnia, the rapid disengagement from Somalia after
taking casualties and the retreat from a dockside confrontation
in Haiti in 1993 all have been interpreted abroad as indicators
of changed U.S. intentions and commitments.

The dynamic affecting current U.S. attitudes toward the use of
force are affecting the policies of other countries as well. Most
of our most reliable burdensharers, the West European nations,
are reducing their defense spending and military capacities at
least as rapidly as is the United States. They, perhaps with the
exception of France, are acting on the same perception of
diminishing military risks to their interests that has been
motivating U.S. reductions. The shrinking military potential of
allied countries means that it will become even more difficult to
build effective international military coalitions to respond to
future security challenges.

Further complicating this picture, if the United States does not
appear prepared to take the lead in coalition responses to
localized aggression or violations of human rights, then very few
other countries will be willing or able to act on their own on
behalf of accepted international norms of behavior. Thus, not
only is the world's last former policeman reducing its will and
capacity to lead effective posses, but potential members of the
posse are less and less capable of contributing to such efforts.
The struggle within the Clinton Administration to articulate a
policy toward multilateral military operations and the final
product of that struggle -- PDD-25 -- offered confirming evidence
that the Administration had grown much more circumspect about
supporting multilateral military operations once it discovered
the implicit costs and risks. But it is commonly felt that the
United States has to be part of, support, or at least help pay
for every such operation to ensure its going forward. From the
perspective of some foreign officials, the United States can no
longer be counted on to follow through on its commitments,
particularly if U.S. action would cost money or cause U.S.
casualties.

This implies that, even in the short term, it will be very
difficult for the international community to organize
multilateral responses to breaches of the peace, aggressive
behavior, or other acts against international comity if the
response requires the threat or use of military force. The key
organizational frameworks for such responses, the United Nations,
NATO, and the OAS, all depend on active U.S. participation and
support for any military operations that are more demanding or
dangerous than traditional peacekeeping operations.

For the present, should the United States decide that it might be
necessary to use or threaten the use of military force, for
example in dealing with the crises in Haiti or North Korea, other
countries might be wary of following what they currently regard
as an uncertain lead on problems that they do not consider
threats to their vital interests.

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The net effect of the drift toward U.S. self-deterrence on the
international community appears already to have weakened its
ability to deter or respond to acts of aggression or other
contraventions of normal international standards.

If the United States remains unable to use or threaten the use of
force to deal with threats to international peace that do not
threaten vital U.S. interests, then the international community's
ability to respond to such threats could be seriously diminished,
unless alternatives to U.S. leadership and resources somehow
appear.

Longer-term: Tendencies Toward Disorder and Proliferation

The costs for the United States of a self-deterred posture might
be relatively small in the near term. But the longer term might
be a different story. Let's assume the United States, for several
years, remains unwilling to use or threaten the use of force
except in the case of direct threats to its vital interests. As a
consequence, there is the danger that the international community
would be unable to respond to a series of challenges to the peace
arising from local or regional aggression. It then would become
clear to political leaders who have the military capacity to
achieve political goals or settle grievances against a
neighboring state or a national minority that there would not
likely be an international response to such use of force if vital
U.S. interests are not threatened.

Over time, the result could be an increasingly chaotic
international system in which countries have little or no faith
in the will of the United States to honor its international
commitments (for example in the NATO Treaty or the U.N. Charter).
In such a setting, countries with aggressive designs would be
encouraged to arm themselves to ensure success, setting off new
regional arms competitions or fueling old ones. Some additional
countries might decide to develop nuclear or other weapons of
mass destruction to try to achieve such objectives through
blackmail. Others might decide to proliferate as a substitute for
security once ensured by international commitments backed by the
United States.

Such risks may sound distant today, but the might well emerge in
an international community where the rules of the system are not
enforced. The economic and political well-being of the United
States relies in many ways on an international system that works
roughly according to rules of the game that the United States
played a major role in drafting. At some point in the
deterioration of the current system, the United States would
likely decide that a generally chaotic evolution of the
international system was on the verge of threatening vital U.S.
interests, but efforts to reverse the trend at that point by
changing the perception of the U.S. and international ability to
police the system might be much more costly than they would have
been earlier.

U.S. Values Challenged

If vital U.S. interests appear secure today, a value-based U.S.
foreign policy may be more seriously challenged. U.S. foreign
policy throughout the Cold War

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period was premised on a number of values that the United States
sought to protect against Soviet power and communism, such as
self-determination, democracy, individual freedoms and human
rights, territorial integrity, expansion of open markets. Those
values became associated with a wide array of national interests
and incorporated in formal treaty commitments. It was generally
understood that the United States would consider fighting to
defend these value-linked interests. There were times when the
United States decided that the challenge to those value-linked
interests did not require a military response. But in
circumstances too frequent to dismiss, the United States decided
to put lives on the line and to pay significant financial costs,
for example, to deter attacks against our European and Asian
allies, to promote peace in the Middle East, and to block
Communist advances in Asia and Latin America.

The Clinton Administration has said that a key goal of its
foreign policy is to replace Cold War containment of communism
with post-Cold War promotion of democracy -- the policy described
as "enlargement" by President Clinton's National Security Advisor
Tony Lake in September 1993.[47]  Pursuing enlargement of the
area of democracy in the world clearly implies reliance on a wide
variety of non-military policy tools. But, in some cases,
democracy may still require defending against military attack,
and such cases could test the degree and conditions of U.S.
commitments to a value-based policy such as enlargement. Over
time, an unwillingness to pay a price for a value-based policy
would likely erode popular belief among Americans that their
country brings a moral perspective to its place in the world.

     47. Lake, Anthony. "From Containment to Enlargement." Speech
     at Johns Hopkins University, Nitze School of Advanced
     International Studies. September 21, 1993. The text of the
     speech is reprinted in The Congressional Record, Extension
     of Remarks. September 29, 1993, p. E2293-2296.

Diminished reliance on a value-influenced foreign policy might be
viewed favorably by those who espouse the virtues of policies
based primarily on manipulation of power balances. But it would
be a break with the strongly held beliefs of many Americans that
the United States has an international responsibility to promote
and defend human rights and the rule of law in its national
security policy. In addition, if a future President should decide
that important U.S. interests require the use of U.S. military
forces in a setting in which casualties could be anticipated, he
might find it much more difficult to develop a consensus in the
Congress and among the American people for such an action once
the value base of U.S. foreign policy had seriously eroded.

Net Assessment

The consequences of sustained or deepened self-deterrence can be
summarized as follows:

     *    In the near term, U.S. vital interests will not likely
          be threatened by reluctance to use military force on
          behalf of foreign policy objectives.

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     *    U.S. self-deterrence, however, appears to have begun to
          erode the ability of the international system to
          respond effectively to threats to the peace that might
          usefully be controlled or reversed by the threat to
          use, or actual use of, military force. For the present,
          if the United States is unwilling or unable to back up
          its professed international goals with the potential
          use of force, the international system will lack the
          leadership and means to deal effectively with many
          threats to the peace. Most regions of the world do not
          have the political consensus and organizational
          structure to maintain order on a regional basis without
          broader international backing.

     *    In the longer term, the absence of effective force to
          maintain world order could lead to a progressively more
          chaotic international system because countries seeking
          to accomplish self-serving political objectives through
          the use of military force would face fewer
          disincentives, or deterrents, to do so.

     *    The absence of effective international policing
          mechanisms appears likely to increase the incentives
          for regional arms races and proliferation of weapons of
          mass destruction, for at least two reasons:

          *    Some countries, perhaps including Iraq, Iran, and
               North Korea, seeking to achieve political goals
               through the use or threat of military force, might
               be encouraged to believe that they could develop
               local military superiority, including weapons of
               mass destruction, and not face an international
               military response.

          *    Other countries, perhaps including Israel, Saudi
               Arabia, South Korea, Japan, and some European
               states, that had believed their security was
               ensured or at least enhanced by alliance with the
               United States or the likelihood of international
               military protection, might become more inclined to
               build up defensive military capabilities and
               consider developing their own weapons of mass
               destruction to deter threats to their security.

     *    In some regions, the absence of effective international
          policing mechanisms might lead to the emergence of
          regional hegemons, with a commitment only to maintain
          an order that conforms to their interests rather than
          to international norms or, for that matter, U.S.
          interests.

     *    Once diminished substantially, the credibility of the
          U.S. threat to use force on behalf of values it held
          throughout the Cold War would be difficult to re-
          establish. Other nations would be less responsive to
          U.S. diplomatic initiatives and proposals, and the
          United States would have relinquished at least a part
          of its claim to a value-based foreign policy that had
          been responsible for establishing the United Nations,
          NATO, and other forms of international cooperation that
          were seen as advancing a U.S. vision of world order.

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WHAT ARE POTENTIAL REMEDIES TO SELF-DETERRENCE? CONSIDERATIONS
FOR THE CONGRESS

Muddling Through

It has been argued that a decline of U.S. power, and therefore
the willingness and ability of the United States to use or
threaten the use of force, will occur due to structural changes
in the international system that are not readily subject to
manipulation by policy. According to Professor Aaron L.
Friedberg,

     ...the end of the cold war will accelerate the relative
     decline in American national power. Changes in the
     distribution of power will lead to ...a protracted period of
     international instability. This turmoil is likely to give
     rise to a set of separate, competing subsystems, not to a
     new, unified world order.[48]

     48. Friedberg, Aaron L. "The Future of American Power."
     Political Science Quarterly. Vol. 109, Number 1, Spring
     1994, p. 1.

Professor Friedberg argues that trends in economic, political and
military power will make it very difficult for the United States
to reverse the decline, and suggests that the consequences for
the international system (fewer effective global approaches to
issues, less order, more conflict, increased weapons
proliferation and added nuclear powers) are virtually inevitable.
He concludes, "While the current mood of introversion could
change, absent some catastrophe it seems likely that the American
recessional is closer to its beginning than to its end."[49]

     49. Ibid., p. 19.

If one follows this analysis through to its logical policy
conclusion, there is no real "remedy" to what could be seen as
rational self-deterrence. The antidote is a coping strategy,
muddling through, maintaining sufficient U.S. retaliatory
capacity to deter threats to a narrowly defined set of vital
interests. Under such a strategy, the United States would likely
downgrade the importance of international cooperation represented
by the United Nations and other organizations with global goals
and purposes because of the implied commitments on which the
United States would be reluctant to deliver. Another consequence
would be to minimize the U.S. goal of gaining international
acceptance of U.S. values, given the limited will to pay any
significant price to promote such acceptance.

As serious as the consequences of self-deterrence may appear,
perhaps the worst possible remedy to self-deterrence would be for
the Administration to

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decide that it should demonstrate its ability to use force and to
do so in a circumstance that was otherwise ill-advised.
Currently, President Clinton and his advisors apparently remain
more wary of the political costs of the use of force than worried
about the longer-term potential penalties of self-deterrence.

Lead Toward a New Consensus
To avoid the longer term risks of self-deterrence, and to create
alternatives to a "muddling through" strategy, it appears that
the United States would have to re-build a consensus concerning
the values and interests the United States wishes to advance and
is prepared to defend before it would be able to resume a role as
a reliable, predictable force in international politics. That
process is more difficult without a mobilizing threat. Still, a
case can be made than an early stage of the process may be at
hand.

The Clinton Administration designed a foreign policy that
initially evolved around promoting U.S. economic interests and,
as a natural consequence, reducing costly U.S. military
commitments abroad. When the concept of enlargement of democracy
was prominently added to the Administration's policy mix in
September 1993, it had a foreign policy based on widely-shared
values, economic self-interest and a proclaimed political
objective.

What the Administration lacked, however, and still appears to
lack, is a national consensus on priorities and policy
instruments. If promoting democracy requires that the United
States spend money on such things as foreign aid, alliance
commitments and military intervention, how should the country
choose between its pocketbook and its principles? If ensuring a
degree of international order is important to longterm U.S.
interests, what criteria should determine when U.S. soldiers
should be asked to put their lives on the line?

An Administration option might be to develop a new statement of
U.S. values, interests, goals and policy instruments for the
post-Cold War world. The model could be a contemporary NSC-68
(NSC-68, "United States Objectives and Programs for National
Security," was the product of a review and redefinition of U.S.
Cold War policies initiated in the aftermath of the first Soviet
nuclear test).[50]  The results of such a study could, in theory,
range anywhere from a neo-isolationist posture on one extreme to
an active interventionist, "pax Americana" posture on another.

     50. Lowenthal, "'National Security' as a Concept..." op.
     cit., p. 4.

Such a process of formal re-evaluation would be difficult and
perhaps initially divisive. The deliberations could not be
contained within the government bureaucracy and the debate
inevitably would spill into the press and public discussion.
Indeed, the Administration might encourage such a public debate
as a contribution to it internal considerations. Those in and
outside the Administration who have argued that the United States
should focus its foreign policy on U.S. economic interests and
pull back from global commitments would be pitted against others
who favor a robust multilateralist approach.


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In the end, however, the process might yield a new compromise
foundation for the role of the United States in the world
reflecting a balance between the domestic and international
interests and responsibilities of the world's only superpower.
Such a foundation presumably would include a list of "vital self
interests" better reflecting post-Cold War realities and
restoring flexibility to U.S. policy options.

The Congress probably cannot substitute for executive leadership
on this issue. If the United States is eventually to move away
from its current reticence on the world stage, it will most
likely have to be led in that direction by the President.
Nevertheless, the Congress can, if it wishes, play an important
role in the process of constructing a new consensus on U.S.
interests, values and the use of force on their behalf in the
post-Cold War world. In the long run, the United States needs to
answer the question of how a semblance of international order can
be maintained if the United States is not willing to commit its
military forces and some financial resources to play a leading
role in such a task.