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22 Nov

Written By Simon S. Sundaraj-Keun

Section I: Introduction

Intelligence (also known as int or Intel) refers to information yearned for its application rather than its accuracy. To some extent it differs from ‘hard data or evidence’ which is precise Intel. A ‘fact’ in the intelligence community is the verification of information which can be divided into ‘active data’ or ‘raw Intel’ such as current blueprints, command and control instructions, and tactical doctrine that is considered ‘highest priority’ from the standpoint of any intelligence agency.

One can argue that ‘raw Intel’ is viewed as a variable, within a bigger picture of information gathered and thus comprehending the secrets of an opponent is to answer questions of events and movements regarded as relevant intelligence. It is important to note that intelligence agencies refer to the tool that is considered an essential factor in obtaining active data and processing the results of gathering and analyzing such information. This tool is known as the human component that forms an interconnected intelligence network of the different fields of intelligence collectivization.

This practice of Human Intelligence also known as HUMINT could be conducted at the national and international level. Some might even consider this to be associated with the concept of social intelligence. The reasoning it is notwithstanding with the idea of using technology as an intermediate surveillance that in actuality eliminates the human or social component. HUMINT emphasizes on unraveling hidden agendas by infiltrating the networks base on ideologies of nationalism, radicalize organizations, political institutions, and law enforcements. Its importance is to enforce nation-state national policies or ensure the survival of a country.

HUMINT (which this research paper will be concentrating on) is the category of intelligence gathering disciplines that is unique due to the fact it encompasses all other methods in gathering intelligence with the exception by means of interpersonal contact. In simple English, HUMINT is defined as a category of intelligence derived from information collected and provided by human sources. The question would be does HUMINT remain in the minds of military or policy planners as a kind of cloak and dagger operation or does it transcend behind a cubical of an intelligence analyst?
In reality the answer is that most HUMINT activity does not involve clandestine or covert activities in today’s technological driven society. The general populations who romanticize Spy Novels from Ian Fleming or Tom Clancy might not understand that the implementation of HUMINT takes hold on a broader level. The methodology of running a HUMINT operation is ran and dictated by official protocol and the type of source (regardless whether the source is witting, unwitting, neutral, friendly or hostile).

Here are some of HUMINT sources or information gatherers (which are not the Holy Grail or limited to list to follow) such as Allied forces or nations, Prisoners of War (POW), refugees, civilians, Non-governmental organizations (NGO), corporations, the Media (journalists or its staffs), covert agents (deep cover agents or informants), and ‘walk-ins’ (a ‘walk-in’ is someone who offers his or her service to an agency by providing information). One has to keep in mind that the line between loyalty and survival differs according to individual personality. Therefore it is important to note that a spy will always be a spy no matter the time, place, and environment (agents play the cards that they are dealt with).

There is also the existence of double agents whose main purpose is to spy on a targeted organization on behalf of a controlling organization, but in fact are loyal to the target organization. HUMINT agents can be obtain if an agent of the targeted organization that infiltrates an allied organization is captured and then turned to spy against the agency that sent him or her. This is done with the threat of execution, economic incentive, or an offer to new start in life. The benefits of double agents are the ability to enforce disinformation and to identify other agents as part of counter-intelligence operations. Then for complicating matters, the existence of triple agent who pretends to be a double agent for the targeted organization, but in reality is working for an allied agency all along. The agent’s main objective is to maintain the trust of the targeted organization by feeding information to them that is perceived to be very important but is in fact part of the disinformation operation.

The basic fundamental that all agencies should be aware of is the power of persuasion which could be detrimental to a nation’s survival. These powers of persuasions come in the form of money, ideology, compromise, and ego. Its simple money is equated to the purchasing of an agents sense of loyalty. Ideology enforces an agent to be true his or her heart by embedding the enemy. Compromise is to deceive the enemy or allies into a compromising situation. The most successful component that turns an agent rouged is Ego, which plays on one’s personality traits. Ego makes an agent feel better about his or herself when betraying and not getting caught. It makes the agents feel more important in their own eyes at the detriment of a nation’s national security.

Military, diplomatic, corporate, and environment intelligence comprises gathering, analysis, protection, and dissemination of information about the enemy or nation, terrain, and weather in a strategic area of interest. It’s important to note that intelligence activities are continuously conducted at all levels from tactical to strategic or personal to national, during peace and war. Majority of militaries and all diplomatic cores maintain an intelligence corps with specialized intelligence units for collecting information in specific ways. Even corporations and non-governmental agencies to have intelligence staff personnel or analysts at each branches or department within its infrastructure.

In order to understand intelligence gathering is first to examine its methodology, which comprises such as collection, analysis, and packaging (the British Commonwealth terms may differ from the United States intelligence methodology but its overall implication are similar).

Collection consists of the most important facts that are well known, or may be gathered from public sources like newspapers to military parades. This general information can be from the economic or industrial output of a nation, resources availability, weather and terrain, technical or technological capabilities, and so on.
It is common for diplomatic and journalistic personnel to work in collation with military intelligence in collecting information. One can conclude the reason why most intelligence services attach members to Foreign Service offices is due to the low risk that goes along with it. In most cases having eyes on the ground could open up new boundaries like having an analytical team to analyze the information firsthand. In turn it would eliminate the duration to conjure a decision that would affect a nation’s national security or even survival.

Analysis is the assessment of an adversary’s or a nation’s potential and Achilles’ heel. Simple definition from a business venture would be accessing one’s potential client strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities. In a game of chess one would look for the least defended or most fragile piece in order to win the game or look for the kill in military terms. Therefore the use of HUMINT is tested against unrelated sources in order to be sure there are no fail safe. It is important to conduct HUMINT in order to obtain a better assessment of a state’s security. The reasoning is it is the only source that provides precise Intel about a nation’s objectives and motivations. It is therefore often unique variable to successfully negotiate a diplomatic crisis or peace conference.

Packaging is the final product which is made easier for intelligence personnel and policy-makers to make decisions. In turn vital assets are placed within a prioritized file based on multiple uses of sources and verified by HUMINT agents. Sources maybe obtained without the slightest sweat but to comprehend any enemy capabilities is to use HUMINT (analysis that is performed in real time gives the watcher/agency/organization a sense of control over any situation).

The methodology of intelligence assessment like collection, analysis, and packaging are fed to a higher authority or to enforce a national plan like Strategic intelligence. Strategic intelligence comprises numerous sectors like economics, military capabilities, and political assessments. Intelligence assessments could be changed based on scientific, technical, tactical, or diplomatic Intel, but these changes are analyzed in combination with known facts. If the known facts are in question from geographical, demographics, and industrial perspectives than the use of HUMINT will be necessary for verification.

HUMINT has changed over the ages with the birth of technology which added vigor and a new dimension to the espionage equation. In order to understand the human component in intelligence, on has to question where would HUMINT stand in the future? First one has to look at HUMINT’s evolution throughout history and its revolution into an essential asset in today’s chaotic international arena.

Section II: Background

History of HUMINT is well documented throughout the ages by great civilizations across the globe. Ancient Chinese and Indian military theorists such as Sun-Tzu (Art of War) and Chanakya (Arthasastra) wrote on the fundamentals of intelligence. Chanakya’s student Chandragupta Maurya (founder of the Maurya Empire) made use of clandestine operations to expand and maintain the Maurya Empire. The ancient Egyptians developed a system of collecting intelligence, and their Hebrew rivals used spies as well, which is documented in the Bible. Other examples could be found in the Torah and Quran due to the idea and practice of human intelligence then to exist and thrive throughout all civilizations, cultures, and histories across the globe.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans developed spies’ networks in order to keep taps on their rivals and maintain control over the empire. The Athenians used their commerce and trade to gather data on surrounding Aegean powers. Alexander the Great of Macedonia used sources from the exploits of Greek adventurers in Persia to plan his campaign in Asia Minor and the Middle East. The Romans rely on their diplomats and traders to gather information of different powers throughout the Mediterranean.

It is important to note that the use of informants from different professions were not a relative new thing. In the Japan, Miyamoto Musashi wrote on military strategy in the Book of Five Rings. It is based on kenjutsu and martial arts in general but General Tomoyuki Yamashita (also known as the Tiger of Malaya) used Musashi works to execute a winning strategy during his Southeast Asian campaign during World War II. Musashi’s book which is less popular that Sun Tzu works is considered a classic treatise on military strategy.

In the west, spies played a significant part in Elizabethan England. The elimination of prominent leaders like Queen Mary of Scots, traitors to the Crown, and French spies were all done with the complex network of HUMINT. The foundation of British intelligence could be traced back to that time period and continues to influence today’s HUMINT networks with the United Kingdom.

The Cold War involved intense espionage activity between the United States of America and its allies and the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China and their allies, particularly related to nuclear weapons secrets. Recently, espionage agencies have targeted the illegal drug trade and those considered to be terrorists.
For a couple of decades the United States has cultivated its best and brightest to pre-eminence in what is now known as the field of communication and control. As technology has advanced, the means and methods of espionage have advanced from Nixon era wire tapping, through Reagan era programs like ECHELON and Carnivore, to surveillance of all electronic transmissions including cell phone logs, voice mail, email, packet sniffing, trace routing and wireless transmissions.

However, the Soviet Union has been said to have had fielded the largest and most advanced spy networks during its time, infiltrating some of the most secure places on the planet, which has caused many scandals. The Soviets relied heavily on their HUMINT networks to obtain information in order to further technological advancement and to eliminate foreign spies within its borders. In reality behind any technology there has to be a human component and by corrupting or turning that component would by default neglect any technological advantages.

Religious organizations, corporations, and NGOs like the Vatican maintain vast records of intelligence on numerous items or people on this planet. The Vatican intelligence network is one of extreme secrecy and complex to comprehend. It is not an organization that would let any individual to walk in and read its exploits. Plus its HUMINT (also know as missionaries) could pass undetected in most situations in contrast to a United States diplomat or agent walking through the jungles of Africa (this is not a conspiracy theory but a known fact). For example, the Vatican managed to smuggle numerous individuals from being captured by the Nazis in World War II. The reason for the Vatican successes is its secrecy, deep pockets, loyalty (which answers to a higher authority), and one of the largest support networks.

The numerous threats have been defeated from one era to another, but its fundamentals for destruction to a nation-state or society remains and continuously evolves. It is essential to look at the problems in order to seek a possible solution before it’s too late. In this post 9/11 world the lack of HUMINT is evident as the number of civilians and Allied soldiers deaths began to add up. If a superpower relies heavily on technology but an enemy places its bet on HUMINT, how would an advanced power defeat an opponent that uses relatively simple means to execute its hard hitting terror operations?

Section III: Problems

HUMINT in the 21st century has changed dramatically from the days of the World Wars. The Cold War was an era that revolutionized numerous sectors within the world’s technological industries that created new outlets to gather intelligence. One major hurdle faced by HUMINT is technology advances in communication, surveillance, satellites, the information age, and so on, which made human intelligence seem obsolete.

Intelligence gathering disciplines other than HUMINT began to assert its priority as a high value and low risk method in obtaining information. The development Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) provides optical information which is gathered from satellite, aerial photography, and terrain data. It gives an organization a bird’s eyes view of a targeted area or country instead of risking the lives of human assets on the ground. Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) also enforces the collection of images by satellite with aerial photography like Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or spy planes.

There are methods of obtaining intelligence like Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) which is the gathering of information from open sources. Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Communications Intelligence (COMINT) is the gathering of sources from interception of signals, and Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) is the gathering of Intel from non-communications electronic emissions. For the most part the method used in obtaining intelligence does not place the human component in a high risk situation.

The risks of losing an operative is as real as it can be because the targeted nation can deport, imprison, or even execute a spy. Some nations will deploy counter agents in order to roll up several clandestine networks and even hire agents to infiltrate into other nation’s agency. Sometimes it is not easy to imprison a spy because he or she is given diplomatic immunity by the home nation. The targeted nation can declare persona non grata in order to evict the spy from its borders. It takes a long time to train a HUMINT agent than it takes to replace a broke computer or replace a spy satellite.

For cost effectiveness and risk free the United States has placed its emphasis on the development of technologies in order to have command and control in the field of communication. One has to understand that the advancement of technology brought the means and methods of espionage to a new level. The days of agents running around a nation-state has evolved to an era of surveillance of all electronic transmissions including cell phone logs, voice mail, email, packet sniffing, trace routing and wireless transmissions.

In reality the prioritization of most intelligence agencies today has been to control and monitor financial transactions, the information corridor (internet and communication lines), and the spread of technological advance weaponry (weapons of mass destruction). In the post-Cold War world numerous agencies have been data mining the world’s stock exchanges and this program was formalized on October 26, 2001 in the form of the Patriot Act. This helps track the financing of people who might be laundering money and continues to be done without any warrants.

It is important for any nation to gather the political and economic information that might be of advantage to its Strategic Intelligence. The United States is no exception to the rule and monitoring of foreign communications is essential in maintaining its national interest. In 2002, new programs of satellite surveillance and unmanned low level drones armed with missiles made it possible not only to perform surveillance in real time, but to respond with force. Thus proving that unmanned drones could be used for elimination operations without the lost of Allied forces.

One has to understand that out of the advancement of technology, chronic problems begin to emerge in the shadows, which would in turn create an intelligence blind spot that would leave a state’s national security in the dark. This blind spot is the lack of balance between the use of HUMINT and technology as a symbiosis component in force multiplication. The lack of investment in HUMINT could lead to disaster as experience during World War II and currently on the War on Terrorism demonstrates.

There is a serious problem faced by HUMINT, which is the lack of time and effort to learn the multiple languages that are spoken by the various ethnic groups within the nations around the globe. Languages transcend beyond the physical boundaries of nation-states and reflect the unique multiracial heritage of a nation. There a firm belief that appreciation of languages should take priority in order to address the intelligence problem, it will help to promote one’s national security, which is unfortunately lacking in today’s global arena (especially in the United States Intelligence community).

Section IV: Analysis of the Future and a Plausible Solution.

Therefore where is the HUMINT heading to? Is there an end result to the prioritization of HUMINT? One possible end is with the infiltration and dismantling of terror cells. HUMINT is essential part as the first line of defense against terrorists. In order for intelligence agency to change and implement reforms is to have an idea of today’s global reality that intelligence agency would be required to pool or surrender sovereignty over some areas. In effect, an intelligence agency would provide coordination and cooperation by sharing information which other agencies are not capable of adequately acquiring Intel sources.

In this day in age, there have been a couple of nations that has put forward comprehensive plans for enhancing HUMINT with a combination of technology. An intelligence organization comprised of political appointees will not be able to break the mole that has been the norm within an intelligence organization. To improve an agency is to promote intelligence officials based on merits and it will improve the scope and intensity to experiment with new strategies. Capitalizing on the growing importance of World Wide Web is essential but individuals adhering to ideologies are difficult to comprehend if there is no one to report within the group.

There are many often contradictory visions on the use of HUMINT due to its undemocratic view within the United States. It also rests on the culture and environment of a nation along with a nation’s technological advancement in comparison of the global environment. Countries tend to rely on HUMINT based on its ability to produce multilingual speakers and are culturally diverse. It is also based on the position of its nation-state in a geographical sense. Take Bhutan, it has to rely on reconnaissance in order to keep taps on Maoist forces from intruding on its border.

Today’s threats come from religious fundamentalists that will do whatever it takes to push for an apocalyptic event. Fundamentalist or radicals in religions would rather see the whole world burn than acknowledging a secular global change that would challenge their authority. HUMINT is needed to unearth this terror cell who consider the only plausible form of government is to be ruled only by religion/theological leaders.

The lack of cultural understanding is one reason why HUMINT is essential to unravel threats to a nation-state. The United States intelligence apparatus over the decades fails to allocate a grand strategy in gathering intelligence. It has to put the time and effort to learn the multiple languages that are spoken by the various ethnic groups within the country. If an intelligence agency is able to comprehend the strategic value of cultural intelligence through HUMINT then the war on terror will be over sooner than later.

Strategic interest in languages transcended the physical boundaries of a technological driven intelligence environment and it reflects the uniqueness of a multiracial world, which needs to be addressed. The firm believe that appreciation of languages should take priority in dealing with adversaries who are culturally different is essential in HUMINT. It helps intelligence agency to become culturally sensitive, which is useful in getting out or through tough situations and by analyzing data firsthand, thus enhancing reaction time during a field operation.

HUMINT’s growing importance is evident in economic, diplomatic and military implications which stretch across the world. The reason is that the global community is increasing volume and variety of cross-border transactions through communications. This transaction includes goods and services, free international capital flows, and more rapid and widespread diffusion of technology. Globalization is a complex and comprehensive assortment of phenomena which in turn leads the United States to place more assets in technological based intelligence.

However dealing with a terrorist network which is based on ideology than the value of HUMINT is undeniably essential. HUMINT can be broken down into separate aspects such as industrialization and expansion of multinational enterprises, financial globalization, emergence of international markets, spread of political sphere of interests around the world, information networking between geographically remote locations, and the growth of cross-cultural contacts. The reality is most intelligence networks within the Western Hemisphere do not see it as an important factor to invest in HUMINT.

Some may argue differently but the globalization phenomenon is related to the importance of HUMINT on curving the radical movement that is occurring on a global scale. Others argue it is an old profession which holds no value in a technological driven world. So it makes one to implement HUMINT due to the fact most of the world population live in an environment that is less technologically advanced. In order to achieve a sense of security it is important to place eyes on the ground. Would we accept these growing interlocking HUMINT networks which would bring security? It is tough to say in today’s ever-changing geopolitical game of multi economic superpowers that is run by flip-flopping bureaucrats.

After all many individuals of today’s society distrust the government generally and the rest of the world fears a predominance of American power on the global arena. There are some in the United States who go as far to say that any HUMINT is a grand conspiracy for the U.S government to control the freedoms granted by the U.S Constitution. Americans see the idea of security but its implication is felt as a threat to their personal freedoms. While some Americans risk their lives to keep this nation safe. To see the world in the eyes of HUMINT agent is to comprehend that there is a greater importance for freedom and democracy is national security.

Section V: Conclusion

HUMINT throughout the ages left civilizations with a sense of collectivization of security. It influences governments to implement a national security in order to survive in an era of uncertainty. Today that uncertainty remains but the ability for intelligence agencies to their assets into HUMINT still exist. The more intelligence agencies realize that there is more to just a line drawn in the sand by a network of satellites than progress could be made.

Diplomacy will remain the effective tool in gathering intelligence since it will be the first to access and analyze threats prior to other services. There will always be problems ranging from cultural, economics, political, religion, and so on that would hinder the efficiency of HUMINT. It is by far a system that performed surgically would prevent major conflicts from occurring. One has to remember that HUMINT for a nation is important to provide that check in order to ensure an adversary does not become a threat.

It is solvable if the basic human factors are addressed such as religion, economics, culture and identity along with law. Intelligence agency should maintain a constant source of HUMINT in order to receive information from the enemy camp. If democratic nations can agree on the terms that the world has changed then HUMINT could be allocated by region within the global political and cultural framework.

If multiple intelligence agencies unite then the interaction between HUMINT and other intelligence disciplines would be easier to assess and disseminate to policy makers. Intelligence makes the concept of statecraft more relevant than ever in solving the issues of that threaten national security. Culture will always remain with humanity because it is part of what makes a person different from any other person. It is also a display of where an individual came from and who he or she represents in life. Then it is essential investment by any intelligence agency into the knowledge of understanding cultures, ideologies, and languages.

HUMINT will work as a component that promotes solidarity among fellow mankind by interacting as equal partners in the global environment. This concept is much needed in today’s society as there are unforeseen forces that are trying to destabilize the global peace that had been fought for after the Cold War. The only way HUMINT could be effective is its ability to be a preventive measure against acts of terror. In reality only acts of terrorism on a global scale like 9/11 would be the catalyst to change. Take 9/11 as an example, when the multiple intelligence agencies cooperated for a brief moment to support the United Sates Justice Department and military to crack down on global terror networks.

Then how would HUMINT maintain that drive of supportive network among fellow intelligence agencies? Is there the need for one disaster after another in order to keep them united? Maybe that is required until Intel agencies learn to place their differences aside and talk their problems instead of undermining each other. That is why HUMINT works because it allows intelligence agencies to give up some power for the greater good of the nation.

If HUMINT is to be considered essential it would require a catalyst to jump-start the process like 9/11 or a continuous jump-start due to the sense of relative peace. The best way for anything to come into being is the long process of intelligence integration among agencies and subornation to a single entity (like the National Intelligence Agency and Homeland Security) which would take time. HUMINT is an evolutionary process of politics, economics, and diplomatic needs over the annals of history which continues to revolutionize military thinkers and influences political leadership of today’s global security.

Only time will tell if HUMINT would continue to be relevant as a tool in the world of espionage. After all whatever happens to HUMINT down the road, it will not prevent adversaries of the Free World to continue from trying to inflict death and destruction because the end justifies the means. The Human factor will always be an important asset in unraveling the puzzle piece in any intelligence operation. The human mind will always remain the deadliest arsenal in existence.


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The Eradication of War: An Idealistic Dream in a Realistic World

22 Nov

Written by Simon S. Sundaraj-Keun


The Eradication of War is dilemma; yet a solvable problem if all parties could agree to sit down and talk it out. To get all factions to the negotiation table requires a strong individual with the understanding of the crisis from its core. Then the main objective is to get all warring groups to stop fighting and prevent further more killing of innocent civilians.

Part I: Sanctions

The United Nations (UN) will impose a military sanction on all parties. It will be the trump card to bring all groups together. This move will prevent the purchase of ammunition and weapons by all sides. In order for the sanctions to take into effect requires the cooperation of everyone. The reasoning behind this is to contain and prevent the flow of arms to the warring factions. If one curtails their capability to make war only then the negotiations will begin.

These sanctions would deteriorate the ability to fight. Eventually the killing of civilians would come to a grinding stop. Its may seen cruel by watching and waiting for the result but it’s a necessary evil. The other reason for military arms sanction and not an economic sanction would be seen as a positive step that the world is behind the people or civilians of the conflict zone. One does not want the people the conflict zone to hate the world if the UN imposes an economic sanction. Economic sanctions have proved its insignificance in Iraq and North Korea. Remember in order to win the hearts and minds of a country are not to inflict pain on the people who need saving and by directly canonize the people’s demon.

The reason why both parties will attend the conference is because its economy came to a grinding halt under the sanctions. Any country in the globe whose economy depends on tourism, exports, and foreign aid can be suppressed by sanctions. If the continue civil strife does not stop then the tourists will not come and exports does not leave ports. Foreign aid will also cease due to the insecure atmosphere that would guarantee the safe use of aid capitals in Nepal.  Thus revenue will cease to flow. Once this happen investment will be pulled out of a country to another stable nation where profits could be obtained. Even if it’s only a military sanction the ripple effect will be felt by all levels of country’s infrastructure. The reason is simple everything from industrial to trade that sustains the machine of war is link. This symbiotic relationship between military and civil infrastructures will bring the war effort to a stop.

Part II: Intervention

Firstly, the people are very patriotic and will defend their nation state furiously when there is an outside army showing up without invitation so a direct military intervention is out of the question. It will be a logistical nightmare to pour troops into a mountainous, jungle, or inhospitable terrain. Plus the vast majority of countries in the world does not have an entire army dedicated to long protracted warfare. If all logistical problems are solve then the peacekeepers have to face a hostile population that is zealous and radicalize by a blood honor that resides deep in their cultural religious heritage or ideological entrenched or feel they are about to lose everything. Simple math would suggest the idea is to portray the international community as the mediator and enforcer of the peace not as occupiers.

The United States of America will be convinced it’s in their best interest to stop a conflict if there is a general consensus and the lost of lives or none of their troops will be involved. Stability will be the main objective of United States foreign policy. In turn the Sanctions by the UN will work with the backing of the United States government plus China, Russia, France and United Kingdom working for the benefits of the world. Stopping foreign arms and fighters must be the utmost important because they can breed resentment or stir up the country to their ideology or radical politics. Instead of extinguishing the flame of unrest we might add fuel into the fire by providing highly trained foreign fighters for both warring factions. The goal is stability of the current conflict and to do so is to prevent material aid in the form of human beings.

Secondly, the factions will be force to the peace talks if it seems the support from its allies wither away. In order to get the Security Council to agree; is to convince them that a stable country would be to their best interest by logical reasoning. If country plunges into a total civil anarchy the region would plunge into a major conflict. Some radicals within both sides of the supporting regional players would want to take sides and this might in turn be a clash of arms between the neighboring countries of the conflict zones to clash in an all out war for domination of the region.

Then necessary and extraordinary steps will be taken by the Indian government to prevent groups within her borders who are financing and supporting the warring factions. These sympathetic groups that support the will be subjected to sanctions and criminal prosecutions. The same severe punishment goes for any officials or radical members within the populace like NGOs that offer aid and arms to the warring parties in a conflict zone. The criminal prosecutions under the notion of subversion and corruption by individuals, groups, or states will be conducted by the international community and respective host nations. In order to have a relative truce and the continuation of a peaceful dialogue would mean all forms of assistance for both warring groups will have to cease.

Finally, the rebels will accept the olive branch in order to promote their public image as a people’s party. To negotiate with a highly radicalize group would seem impossible but not conceivable. One simple reason that would bring these rebels to the peace conference will be public relation. It is there only opportunity to share their side of the story to the world. If they don’t the possibility of defeat is inevitable. The lost of arm supplies will cause problems in maintaining an offense against or a defense from a well entrenched regime. There is no escape once the borders around the conflict zone are sealed off.

Part III: Negotiation

Now the only option would be to negotiate for a deal and plus its time to put the rebels preaching into practice. If they are to be acknowledged by the civilians as the people champions then it’s a necessity to live up to that expectation. The rebels would be reminder that they stand lose everything including the people support if they don’t participate. Then their nemesis the government would be seen as the people’s champions. The play on cultural cogitation like honor and courage would be the key in bringing these rebels to the table. Plus there is a time and place for the rebels to carry out an easy but honorable death. If the rebels value the people it would convince them to be courageous and beneficial to pursuit peace in order to serve the people.

Then the peace process of negotiation could begin once the infighting between the warring factions. The delegations to this peace conference will be composed of various arm factions, supporters and major players. For security purpose the peace summit will be held in neutral territory. Representations from all sides are the key to a successful negotiation.

External or International representation at the peace summit is also a necessity to see the successful ending to the Civil War. UN security council representatives will attend this negotiation due to the fact each of these nations has a stake in the outcome of the peace summit. One might say that the representation is overwhelming, but it’s a necessary evil to make sure all avenues in solving this crisis is put the test. The UN will be mediating the three-part summit. The first section will be the domestic issue of civil war and the other is the post conflict rebuilding with the assistance of nations previously mention. The final summit will be the cooperation framework between all parties in agreeing to the terms and conditions that was agreed upon the first two summits.

The first summit or round one will be trying to strike a deal with the various groups. Overtures like the will have to dissolve martial law, disarm all warring factions, lift the ban on the press, release the politicians, and pardon the rebels. It will be difficult to convince a regime especially one that thinks it is the law of the land but it could be done. The choices of words will be an important part in getting the regime support. If the regime agrees to a peace treaty with the rebels it would be to all to benefit. Regime must release the political prisoners to make peace with the common people and admit to the miscalculations made during the regime administration by apologizing to the people of the conflict zone. After all the over ridding fact is those politicians under house arrest are elected by the people of the conflict zone. Then the emphasis on how regime would want its legacy to be remembered as tyrant or a benevolent ruler.

Eventually, the rebels will be able to propose their points for a peace agreement. This will be done so after all the criteria for peace overtures are accomplished by the regime. Before the rebels could offer their peace points they must disarm themselves, come clean with all their transactions with shadowy groups or supporters, and stop attacking civilians or villagers. Then a proposal will be made to endorse a join commission of the warring factions and UN observers to bring criminals from both sides who committed atrocities in Civil War. The two warring faction would want each side to declare a formal surrender and it will be unacceptable because both are guilty for aggression against the people.

The first negotiation of a three-part peace summit consists of the warring parties will end with the dissolve of the regime and its government, a signed peace treaty, and the call for a referendum. The regime will be kept in place as a ceremonial purpose in order to keep the tradition alive as part of the agreement. In the referendum they will be a ballot for having a monarch or president as a leader but with limited powers (constitutional monarchy), parliamentary system or presidential system. No matter what is the outcome of the referendum the monarch will be the head of state with ceremonial duties. The assurance of keeping the monarch in power is a psychological move to win the hearts and minds of all people.

Once the referendum is decided the parties will draft a constitution and the people shall vote on it. The backing of the people is crucial for the formation of the new government. The people will vote for new representatives into the new government after the acceptance of a new constitution and improve political frame-work. The will of the people must be recognized and then the selection of a new political frame-work by the people and the establishment of the victorious party into the new government. The new government will acknowledge the monarch or president as the head of state or to abolish the position all together. Finally both sides will recognize the constitution and the process of reconciliation will be a priority under the direction of the commission. This acknowledgement is important in order to provide stability and legitimacy in to the hands of the civil government. The new government will form under the guidance of the UN and will focus on the rebuilding of the country.

Part IV: Reconstruction

In order to make the peace treaty with all factions in the conflict zone a success it would need the aid of the International community and Non governmental organizations based within country’s borders. The UN will be instructed to spread the message to the people about the upcoming referendums and governmental elections. One might say three elections is going to be time-consuming but it’s a must after the death of thousands from infighting will come to an end on a couple of pieces of papers drop into a ballot box. These elections will be taken place over a period of six months with the referendum on forming of a new government will come first follow by the approval of the constitution and finally the election for a new government.

Then the second part of the three parts will begin after the peace treaty is ed but before the implementations of the treaty. This would give the International Community time to send necessary assistance first before the rebuilding could start.

The first priority is the prevention and continuation of violence. The needs in deploying UN peacekeepers are to provide protection to the UN observers and to provide assurance that the elections are free and fair for the country. Before these UN peace enforcers could be deployed there must be an announcement to the people that the UN force is invited to assure the best interest of people could become a reality. They must also disarm the rebels and regime forces. It would ensure the safety of UN personals in the zone. The ballot counting will be done by neutral representatives with the presence of all groups involved at the peace negotiations.
The question comes to people’s mind why one has kept on continuing a peace summit when a treaty is sign. The answer is to prevent war or hostilities to continue between the two groups. Plus it would also get the UN to aid the new government in rebuilding the country after stability is obtained after the elections. The UN will deploy peacekeeping troops to provide security for the country until the rebuilding and reforming of the National Army. The UN will work closely with the civil authority until the new national police could be formed. These deployments will occur immediately after peace treaty is sign.

The disarm regime and rebels that are not prosecuted by the commission will be allowed to rejoined the new army. The Civil Security or police force will be recruited from the population and its officers will come from expatriates who live abroad whom will bring talents and expertise. Neighbors of the conflict zone who participation in the peace process is for regional stability and to prevent to flow of refugees into its borders.

In finishing the second summit will require United States expertise in aiding the Nepalese to form a version of the Supreme Court. This Supreme Court will act as a balance of power between the legislature, executive, and monarchy if any future problems that arise. The representations of this court will derive from the different parts or social strata of society. There will be nine justices and they will consist of five elected by the people, two selected of the state house, one by the ruling government and one by the president. These justices will serve a life term and must be well verse in law, political science and sociology. The reason is if a case comes before the court these justices must weigh in that their judgments have implications in the outcome of their ruling.

After all sides could agree on the roles it will need to take on with the signing of an agreement between the factions and the International Community. Then the rebuilding civil infrastructures could start after the six months of elections and government reforms. A stable state would rise up from the major reforms and now begins the rebuilding of a post war society. The people trust in the civil and military authority will be earned with the assistance of the International Community. This is made possible with the assistance of UN that reintroduce rule of law and civil institutions who are trained in western doctrine of civil management and respect to civilian authority.

The UN troop contingents will reduce down in size over the next five years. The reason is to maintain order and stability but most important to ensure the new Army and Police forces is capable in performing their duties. It will also assure the people that the army will be in charge of the frontier regions and will remain in their barracks. The new police force will be tested in performing their duties in enforcing the civil authority of government. The overall theme of reform within the civil security and armed forces is to earn the respect and honor of the people. It will also build a sense of national confidence in the new government as a peace builder. The strengths and professionalism shown by the new armed forces will reflect on the long rooted tradition of honor by the people in serving their nation-state.

Lastly in the process to reintroduce the sanctioned state back into the International Community by the final round of the three-part summit. This time the country will be represented by the new government. The agenda would be the follow of financial aid in order to rebuild its civil infrastructure and it would require the assistance of Intergovernmental Organizations and Nongovernmental Organizations. The respective organizations will be designated to their ability and specialty to assist in the reconstruction of the state. Education, communication and medical care should be restored in order to sustain a peace.

The rebuilding of Nepal will begin after the signing of a final treaty between the new government and the UN. Terms of this new treaty will take into effect in the new five-year administration of the new government. This is important to set a standard of living for all civilians are in order to sustain and maintain a long-lasting peace. The entire civil infrastructure of the country will be worked from the ground up. Priority will be given to education because without it the common man will be mindless pawns in another mans political game. Next will be communication in order to provide correct and vital information from the government to rest of the state. Health care will be instituted throughout the country in order to better combat diseases and increase a standard of living for civilians located in the rural countryside. Plus it is better for states that arose from conflict to be spent on health care as disease and outbreaks are a more likely occurrence than gunfire.

The rebuilding of schools will be aided by the NGOs and UNESCO. In order access to these schools will require new roads to and from villages. Education will play a pinnacle role in education the population about the current and past events in order to prevent a future of uncertainty or violence. If the people can read then they can act to create their own destiny. UN will assist the people to construct the roads throughout state. Communications trough the country will be interconnected with the new roads and it will help provide some accessibility and interaction between the government and the people.

There will be assistance coming from the International Red Cross to develop the health care system throughout country. The United Nation’s World Health Organization will offer professional aid to the new government in building and upgrading medical facilities. The United States, UK, and India will train of doctors and nurses. In providing access to health care the new government will build a foundation among the common people. Other necessities like a clean water and electric supply could follow in order to provide jobs and sustain the new government legitimacy over the state.

The real test will be by the people after the five years of governmental reforms and rebuilding of the state. Then the people of Nepal will decide on the successes of the new government by elections. This final election will give the Nepalese government the mandate by the people to represent them in the international arena. To assure the election is free and fair it will be monitored by the NGOs and UN observers. Once the election is dealt with the new government will declare the legitimacy of the government. All foreign personal will be withdrawn from state and full control of all civil tasks is now in the control of the newly elected government.


To every problem there is a solution but its lies in the hands of a few influential individuals. The issue of country at war lies within its history and culture but its forgotten treasure is its people. A government should always remember that it’s not the amount of gold in its treasury has but its responsibility to the people. A new tradition would be born out of the power of a pen and not by the sharpness of a dagger or by the barrel of a gun. Finally the very nature of the existence of order and anarchy in a state lies in the hands of the people. A country’s destiny lies in the hands of the people because its existence begins and ends with them.

The Concept of Loyalty: A Misguided Ideal or a Dying Virtue

22 Nov

Written by Simon S. Sundaraj

Chapter 1: Introduction

Loyalty is a deep-rooted virtue within the subconscious of every individual around the globe. Its notion continues to survive and evolve as humanity’s primal nature became a coherent living intellect. The question would be how a coherent living intellect could turn into a twisted individual in the name of loyalty that would resort to destruction, devastation, and death.

The claim of loyalty going amok seem preposterous to many, but it’s a fact of life to some who is on the receiving end of its wrath. It also continues to inspire young men and women from different classes of society to use their bodies as a weapon in defense for an idea or belief. This blinding loyalty continues in places around the globe by numerous terrorist groups.

Then there’s the pure form of loyalty that inspires many to die for a noble and just cause. Today the ideal of loyalty still grows strong in some parts of the world. This form is clearly demonstrated by the Gurkhas and the French Foreign Legionnaires who enlist their life away in order to serve a foreign state. One would ask why individuals have come from lands a far and to fight for a country those they could scarcely identified.

Sometimes the answer seem a complicated as human nature. To understand the concept of loyalty one must define its meaning by diving into the web that binds human existence. Human existence over the evolution of time is thanks to its ability to band together into a community in order to survive. The survival of a community depends on the collective contribution of every individual. A matter of speaking in order for a person to survive, one must align with a community to fulfill his or her basic necessities in life.

This perception of the evolution of loyalty is open to debate but, it will paint a picture in considering its imprint into human psyche. Still it does no sled some light how would a simple function of loyalty could harness the power people within a community in organizing an army of believers to die whole-hardheartedly.

The question now could the concept of loyalty be defined but, to answer that question one have to dig deeper on the influences that propel it to this day in age. First one will need to take a look at loyalty from the ground up. Every idea starts with the individual and there is where personal loyalty derives. Then the next step would be a sense of fellow-feeling to a Gene-group or family and community. This would in turn lead to an acceptance of an individual into a state or an organization. Finally the trump card of loyalty that continues to cast a shadow on mankind in the twenty-first century is religion.

Chapter II: Stages of Loyalty

To define loyalty is to look further by dividing its concepts into different types and stages. Stage one is personal loyalty and it is important that an individual stand for something he or she believes in, yet will be able to affiliate with a group or a person. This personal stage influence the type of loyalty a person could be influence by or from an individual or a leader at the pinnacle of a society. A couple of examples would be Saddam Hussein who derives his persona by receiving the support of the Sunni Iraqis. The other would be Hitler and Stalin who consider themselves as the embodiment of the state itself. The two influence the masses by tongue or at gun point to pay homage in blood by dying for them in war.

Stage two is family loyalty that enables an individual to support and function with his or her family’s support. The type of hold a family loyalty has on an individual is the respect and honor requirement that a person need to fulfill in order to gain recognition within the family hierarchy system. In simple manner of saying would be an individual would not disobey his elders even if they might be wrong. It is to maintain the fragile social order within the family nucleus. One such example would be the Oligarchy system of the ancient Greek city states like Athens. Athens was run by a group of individuals during the Peloponnesian war in order to keep the population loyal and to curve free thought. Even punish those who preach against tradition like the unfortunate Socrates that was order to take his own life. Socrates abides the suicide order because it was to preserve the social order of Athens and his personal loyalty to the city-state.

Next is tribal loyalty in stage three that promotes kinship among a group of individuals centered in a mountainous or rural area. It also promotes the reliance on each member of a group to cooperate and contribute with each other in order to survive. The type of loyalty is a communal bases like a family but on a larger scale. A few examples like the Tutsi and Hutu in Rwanda. The two so-called ethnic groups tried to wipe each other out over the decades of infighting. In the early 1990s the Hutu had the upper hand and went on a rampage and killed 800,000 Tutsi. The Hutu mobilize their entire population to commit the act of genocide. This is a clear evidence of tribal loyalty because every Hutu has to kill at least a single Tutsi or be killed by a fellow peer if the act was not carried out.

Loyalty within a society and state falls in stage four because it’s a combination of groups of individuals from a vast region. This form of loyalty allowed opinions among the population to come into an agreement. It promotes democracy as a type of loyalty that individuals within a state or society could be a part off. One example would be the participation of an election may it be for a mayor or president that brings everybody from different political views to cast their vote. One may say that this type of loyalty is far fetch, but if one take a deeper look at the process of an election, its reality. Imagine if everybody believed in taking up arms for a cause each time a government fail to appease the needs of a specific group. The answer would be chaos, but if everyone believe in an election than it’s about existence of social order. To preserve it one has to be loyal to the state or society because it is what one who elected the individuals to take charge of the society or state.

The fourth stage is gene-group and nation-state loyalty is the fifth stage (both are interlinks most of the time and at times starts out as one or the other but always comes together in being an appeal to all its loyal followers) because it is a form of identity that an individual could find commonalities. For instance if a group or community is originate on the far side of the world it will still have a psychological hold on an individual no matter where he or she is born. This type of loyalty that exists in a nation-state and in a gene-group could be compared to nationalism or Nazism. If one takes nation states like Iceland or Japan it is more likely that everyone looks alike physically. The nation-state is a place where everybody were not immigrants but of the same ethnicity. In some extend a nation-state and gene-group is one of the same. One example might actually differ the two is the ideology of Nazism because for one it preaches the superiority of a race. Meanwhile a nation-state is much broader besides physical appearance it must have a common language, culture, and religion. Nazism on the other hand preaches genetic similarity of the German/Aryan race and that could only be obtained through genetics that one could only be considered as Aryans. These belief systems empower the individual to contribute to a country in the form of culture similarities or genetic compatibility.

Religious loyalty is the final sixth stage that continues to plague mankind’s beliefs system in this present day in age. The first five stages may have impacted humanity in some form or another, but religion is the ultimate show stopper because it evolves from time to time. It strike fear and brings death in the name of a faith, but provides hope and salvation to those who sacrifice in the name of god. All monastic religion could be used to illustrate this type of loyalty because for one it preaches complete devotion to the Almighty without question. The other example could best describe the role of religion in reshaping loyalty is the Crusade Wars. It was a bloody time where young men were sent to die for a piece of desert real estate but in the grandeur scheme it was for a belief. (In any conflicts the reason for starting one is the lack of communications and complete understanding of cultures and history). The Pope orders the Kings of Europe to attack and conquer Jerusalem. As quoted from Mathew “His Lord said unto him, well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” In retaliation the Islamic imams decreed that all infidels must be killed in order to free the Holy Lands. The two major religions continued their struggle for over two hundred years until a settlement was reached.

To some the arguments and analogies of stages in loyalty and its intertwining types of loyalty are debatable. It will be an interesting debate for one to indulge in a conversation that seems to never end, but its does paint a logical picture on the realities of the origins of loyalty from a psychological or emotional point of view. The next question would the stated stages and types of loyalty shed a light on this illusive subject. The answer is partially yes, but it can ever understand the spontaneous notion of loyalty through practical terms. Then in turn one would ask what would influence the change in one’s loyalty. The answer may seem a stretch, but anything is possible given the sequences of events that occur in this present day in age. It is safe to say if one needs to sculpt statue, but first one to find the right stone, tools, place, and moment to get the job done. One might ask what does a statue or stone got to do with loyalty. The answer is everything starts with the individual because even if the first five or six stages may have impacted his or hers idea about loyalty, but there are other factors that will heavily influence its conception of loyalty.

Chapter III: Influences

The influences of ones background sometime have nothing to do with an individual reaction in projecting his or hers loyalty in life. Now let’s take a look at the influences of environment, information, ideology, education, culture, religion, identity, and history that holds weight on an individual perception on loyalty. Environment is a key factor in projecting ones loyalty because if a person is confine into an isolated region or group then he or she will be subjected to a narrow train of thought. The out side of the coin would be if an individual is located in a city then the idea on loyalty would be wide-ranging. One example would be the Kibbutz or Jewish settlements in the Holy Lands. Individuals in these kibbutz protest furiously against the Israel government proposal to remove them in order to hand over their land to the Palestinians. Even there wasn’t anyone killed in the removing of settlers in September, 2005, but it showed the world that this people are loyal to their community rather than to the Israeli government. The Kibbutz might not be an example of lack of communication, but of a banding together to defend their homes. They were drawn together as a united force out of loyalty rather than law breakers to make a stand against their perception of an invasion on their environment.

Then one could now argue that the power of communications should be a factor in contributing to ones own sense of loyalty. It is true because with communication comes education and information that shows even how isolated an individual is he or she will be effected by it. One also could state that communication is part of education and information because it is one of the same. In this day in age the ability for a person to project his or hers ideas around the globe is commonality and a necessity to do business. First you have the importance of education that could shape society from its very core. Education caters to the individual specific needs in person because it is open to interpretation or a tool of corruption in order to serve another power-hungry desire. One such example was Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. His book became as popular as the bible in Germany not because it was a great writing, but it fed on the hatred in the German hearts against the Jewish people.

Then if one to project education through information even further from ones environment requires the control of the mass media. Televisions and computers in the twenty-first century is one of the most powerful medium that an organization would be able to rally its troops or supporters. It is also able to project a visual or image that could motivated an entire population over the globe to support a conflict which has nothing to do with them. The saying goes an image work a thousand words, but a picture of a naked burned girl could cost a war. Non-Western networks is one key example where by this news network as portray the United States Armed Forces as oppressors in Iraq and compare its similarities to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. This information about US forces as occupiers maybe debated, but in the eyes of Muslims around the globe it might speak to them differently. Only time will be the judge whether it would be a calling card for a united front against the United States of America or a call for a better dialogue of understanding by both sides to resolve the ongoing hostilities. (The Western media fault lies in the question of ratings and what they think viewers like, instead of tell what the story is! This was develop during the Vietnam War which was morale blow to Western powers especially the United States of America)

 It only goes to show that a sense of loyalty to die in the name of the Almighty against these occupying infidels is growing on the battlefields in Iraq but using religion as a weapon is not fix on a particular region, race and religion as seen in Northern Ireland, Kashmir, Cyprus, Kosovo, and may other places around the globe. The thought of conflict intertwine with loyalty transcend into the realm of human nature and existence as a whole because it seem humans tend to shift blame when there exist some new to fear or a challenge to long-held beliefs.

The notion of identity, culture, and history are also contributing factors to a person’s loyalty. On the question of why identity is a defining issue in a conflict? The answer is everything and nothing because it creates a separation of an individual within a society, but it is also an individual right for self-expression. Identity may be argued as a dangerous thing, but in a wrong context everything could be deadly. The Iraqi Sunnis see themselves not as Iraqis, but to them as a disfranchise group of people who the US and new Iraqi government fail to acknowledge. The insurgency within the Sunni triangle is to offset the legitimacy of the new government of Iraqi, but to inspire a popular Sunni resistance. Before the existence of identity there is culture and history. Culture is a tradition that became deep-rooted within an ethic group over the period of generations. Many have killed and died for culture in order to prove their loyalty to an organization or a group. One example is the Bushido Code that instills the values of self perfection and obedience to the continuous stability within society. Now the flip side of the coin on Bushido was the radicalization of a great idea into a weapon by the Meiji government during World War II. It was to prepare the masses to commit an act of total self-destruction upon a possible United States invasion on mainland Japan.

History is also the main offender that inspires or creates a belief system. One might what is so dangerous about history? The answer is whoever interprets it will be the master that makes or breaks an entire population. History is the answer to the past and a guideline for the present, but a question for the future. One would ask what does this all means. It means that anything can be manipulated if one side or the other has the will or desire to do it. One key fact is the Arab-Israeli Conflict. The Arabs or Muslims nations will not admit to the existence of Israel and the Holocaust for a long time. They believe that the Jews were the new western imperialist power occupying Palestine. On the Israeli side the Holy Land is the land given by Yahweh to the descendents of Abraham. The existence of a Palestinians state is just a footnote in history and they are not occupying the Arab lands. They are resettling on lands that claimed to be theirs 2000 years ago and that it’s their rights since the Holocaust had happen to them. This was the historical definition both Arab and Israeli came too and later built around their culture so one day it turn to a sense of identity.

The other two important influences are ideology and religion. These two have the surface in the stages section, but both deserve to be given a second look. This two can override the train of thoughts possesses by an individual even if one takes into account the other attributes and influences on loyalty. Communism is an excellent example because for over fifty years people around the globe would fight under its banner. Individuals that have not prior relationships would band together to fight the evils of capitalism. It only demanded to individuals to pledge their allegiance to the cause of Communism. One might debate the different types or forms of Communism, but one have accept that during the Cold War western powers perceive all communist regimes or terrorist were evil. The members Red Brigade in Germany and Italy were professionals within a capitalistic society. Yet they were willing to place their life for what they thought was an ideal society and while others regard it as oppressive. Ironically, in the twenty-first century religion has step into the lime light in place of ideology. After all the two is one of the same and as for Islamic radicals follows the struggle against the evil western empire.

Since an accumulation of a background to shed some light on loyalty has been lay forth, then the discussion now, whether loyalty worth its weight in gold in this materialistic world. One has to keep in mind of the types, stages, and influences of loyalty that would an able an individual to define its notion of existence in the human psyche. So the question would be how would an individual on this present day in age be affected by an age-old virtue? The answer is a sense of acceptance or the dictation of tradition will be the key factor in keeping this virtue alive and well within an individual psyche. Then the next question would be is complete loyalty is justifiable? The answer is no because complete loyalty requires one to ignore morality. Terrorist groups focus more on the acceptance of complete loyalty rather than the notion of morality. If morality is brought in to the frame then the rules in attack a target fill with civilians with human bombs would be wrong. Then total loyalty is possible as proven by terrorist around the world, but it would mean to completely disregard of rational thoughts and morality.

The reasoning for a proper or justifiable loyalty is open for debate. Now with the idea of different stages and types loyalty be taken into account would meant in order to win the hearts and minds of the enemy one have to break the foundation of its loyalty. In order to do so is to deal with the philosophical critique of loyalty by defining that a complete adoration of loyalty is morally impossible.

Plato once said “Only a man who is just can be loyal, and that loyalty is a condition of genuine philosophy.” Plato was trying to elaborate on Socrates commitment to the laws of Athens who condemns him to take his own life. Its trying to shape the fact that an individual who is clear minded and knows what truth is will do the ultimate sacrifice in order to preserve an ideal. Then a just man is also an individual who has morals and will be able to know between right and wrong.

If a man is devoted to a cause without clarity then the sense of loyalty will be clouded by the merits of his actions and not of the repercussions for his actions. This brings in the statement by Josiah Royse who stated “It was the supreme moral good, and that one’s devotion to an object mattered more than the merits of the object itself.” That was the justification of the Nazis when they decided to march the Jews to their death. It was done out of the moral good of the German people. The merits of an objective are the balance between excessive loyalty and supreme morality. This may be used why the British view the Gurkhas as an object or material to be used and shelf aside once it holds no value. The same goes for terrorist who used the notion of loyalty as a source of recruitment and to expand the ongoing conflicts. One might debate that the two is wide-ranging and different, but a closer look would suggest other wise because they both need the human factor to fuel a purpose to its end.

Chapter IV: Case Study: Hamburg Cell and Gurkha’s Pledge

Now with those thoughts in mind an individual should take a deeper look why will educated young men fly planes into buildings. The Hamburg cell centered around three individual in which all was graduate students in Germany. This group is a step out from the normal suicide attackers because most men and women were from poverty-stricken class of society. They do what is necessary in order to ease their family burdens by committing the act or martyrdom for a religious cause. In this case concerning Mohammed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, and Ziad Samir Jarrah it was definitely a whole new level all together. To understand the motivation is to explore the background of these individuals. Unlocking the secrets of loyalty is the key in winning the war on terrorism and undermining its endless supply of suicidal human enthusiast. This discussion is also a viewpoint on strategically interpretation of an idea that could make or break an individual psyche into ones endless ambition.

Mohammed Atta was the leader of the Hamburg cell. He was born in 1968 to two wealthy parents. His birth place was Kafr El Sheikh, Egypt. Atta grew up as a moderate Muslim and graduate from the University of Cairo in architecture. He was a remarkable student in the Technical University of Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany from 1993 to 1999. A key factor begun to show his frustration on modernization has on Arab civilization. His fellow classmates said he was an intelligent individual, but was angry about the western dealing in the Oslo Accords and Gulf War. Out of this, his religious believe grew and he became more radicalize in trying to project his believes by plotting a terrorist attack. Atta case was a sense of isolation that begun to push him to find a cause where he could claim to be apart of and that was total faithfulness to Islam and the Arab culture.

Next was Marwan Alshehhi who was born to a Muslim cleric in the United Arab Emirates. He was a devout Muslim, but not radicalize. Alshehhi enrolled in a language school in Bonn, Germany and it took him two years to learn German. Meanwhile he stayed with a German family, but it did not last long because he fails his language exams. Marwan was a dedicated student and tried again, but he soon met up with Atta at a religious gathering. After this meeting in 1999, his views became more radical and begun to assist Atta in plotting the terror attacks. For Alshehhi this may be the case of a personal loyalty to an individual that inspire him with the sugar-coated religions obedience add to it.(This is not solely define to a particular religion but to various groups just like the Jones town incident or the gassing of Japanese Transit System by cultist.)

Then there was Ziad Samir Jarrah who was a Lebanese born in the city of Beirut to two wealthy parents. He was not a devout Muslim, but a secular one. Jarrah attended a Catholic private school and later move to Germany to study aerospace engineering in Hamburg. He was a normal youth who enjoy the social gathering by wandering into discos in Greifswald, Germany. He also met his girlfriend Aysel Sengün who was a secular Muslim from Turkey. Soon met Atta and Alshehhi and became more radicalize in ideal and religion. He tried to force Sengün to dress more modestly and she refuses. They continue to see each other but the fighting were intense. Jarrah was not a typical Muslim devout until he begun to read and interpreting the Q’uran. In his case his loyalty is one of acceptance into a cause because he felt that his stray from the religion and culture of Islam cause him to lose his identity. In order to show he has the sense of identity and by show complete loyalty to the cause by proving he will be a fellow martyr among his brethren.

The Hamburg cell showed that in the name of religion complete adoration of loyalty can be executed. In the writings of Al-Baqarah “Those who believed and those who suffered exile and fought (and strove and struggled) in the path of Allah, they have the hope of the Mercy of Allah: and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” These men did experience some levels of radicalization before they became completely intertwine in the notion of unconditional loyalty for Islamic Jihad. The three men prior to the Hamburg cell have communally in occurrence that might have influence their loyalty. Then by using the types of factors stated earlier that influence these three individuals in becoming radical martyr one could paint a picture on the human aspect in loyalty.

The members of the Hamburg cell did not grow up in an isolated environment where they were cornered like the pool Palestinian suicide bombers. Atta, Jarrah, and Marwan chose self isolation by regarding the need to stay faithful to the cause of Islamic Jihad. The self impose will to isolate oneself from reason is a step close to the complete adoration of an object or desire with any foreign influences to intervene. The three men started out with moderate views of the world, but as they saw the degradation of the society morals conflicting with their ideology radicalization was inevitable. They all grew up in moderate Islamic states and which has a strong Western media influence. They are educated in Germany which is one of the most liberal countries in the world that still has some traditional values. It showed then the ignorance of the views of Western media on Non-Western society. In turn these three men begun to look into other media sources for self-assurance in their viewpoints. The power of information is a double edge sword because Atta and his group turn to slandered Islamic Jihad home videos for information.

Since these group of men came to Germany the begun to experience Samuel Huntington’s theory of clash of civilizations. The infrastructures of Western development on the need of materialism rather than nature are a focal point where Eastern thoughts differed. Jarrah and his group came from moderate Islamic families who like most people in the world rather see the gathering of wealth, security and pursuit of happiness. Their perception change when they were in Germany with the overriding factors of western social decline surrounding them. They decided to band to gather under banner of commonality like Islam won’t any other religious communities around the Western world. As this group of men met in the discussion community became to the radicalization of a faith in order to punish non believers. It also establishes the notion of Pan-Islamism/Arabism in order to unite different nationalities into a powerful voice or action group. It was also a safety net to keep each other in check and became a reminder of the individual identity is alive within the Pan-Arabism group. It’s also radicalize the group from the rest of a foreign society by radicalizing its members actions and thoughts. (Won’t any other minority have done what the Pan-Islamism/Arabism if the roles are reverse)

Atta, Marwan, and Jarrah all grew up under oppressive regimes that were backed by the United States. The moderate opposition was not supported by the United States (US), but a strong handed government was back by the US. The men were self-aware of the US role in regional politics especially in the Palestinian-Israeli conflicts. Jarrah and Atta would be directly influence with Israeli when both nations were partially occupied during the few Arab-Israeli Conflicts. This angered and resentment only drove these men to a point of giving up their lives in the name of Islam. The other was education that became a factor when Atta and Marwan the corruption of a western education had on them begun to turn to the Islamic teachings in order to purify them. Jarrah who was strayed begun to used the Islamic teachings to search a sense of identity in order to place him in an important part of the cause. “All that they said was: “Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and anything we may have done that transgressed our duty: establish our feet firmly, and help us against those that resist Faith ” by Al-i-Imran. The teachings of Islam require complete loyalty by its followers and the Hamburg cell accomplished its objective by obeying its own radical interpretation of Islam. (Interpretation of documents and preaching tend to differ from time to time and numerous religions, persons, and governments have been using words to justify its actions. Example like the Hutu in Rwanda and Burundi, Fascist Italy, and list goes on)

The Hamburg cell is a unique case of the radicalization of a believe system to one twisted end. Even if the individuals involved were educated and had a secure future it can be radicalize in the name of a cause. It showed that individuals could be blinded in the in notion of loyalty. Yet this was a few men that who place their logic and morals aside in order to inflict mass destruction. Then with the Hamburg cell aside comes another case of undying loyalty by an entire race pledge for glory in death in a country across the globe. The Gurkhas, warriors from the high Himalayan mountain range state who are known for honor and bravery in battle, but undying loyalty for its British master to all four corners of the world. A Gurkha soldier never draws the kukri without drawing blood and that’s a fact when one comes face to face with them in combat. The Gurkhas have a strong history and culture of loyalty to king, country, and family. To understand the unique situation of the Gurkha soldier is to look at its birth as legal mercenaries in the British Army after the Gurkha War of 1814.

The Gurkha War that lasted for two years from 1814 to 1816 between the Nepalese and British East Indian Company was a bloody affair. The Gurkhas believe it’s their birth right to died in battle. It is rather too died with honor than a coward and with that idea that the British came to respect them as equals. Even though Nepal was defeated the British were impressed with the fighting ability of the Gurkhas decided to hire them as mercenaries in their regiments throughout India. Then Shree Teen Maharja Jung Bahadur Rana, the first prime-minister and ‘Father’ of modern Nepal permitted the hiring of Gurkhas within the British Army.

The Gurkhas were foot soldiers the British Empire reign over the Indian subcontinent and the rest of the colonies around the globe. Gurkhas infantrymen serve with distinction along their British counterparts during the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857, World War I, World War II and other British led operations throughout her colonies. Their reputation became world well-known during World War I. The Battle of Loos immortalizes the Gurkhas as they fought to the very last men. Some would say why go over the trench when death waits. The Gurkhas was born to fight and that the Goddess Kali demanded blood sacrifices in order for an individual to be purified. To obtain purification is too died in battle. At the Battle of Gallipoli the Gurkhas were the only troops to capture the Sri Bari crest that looks down into the straits. Time and time again in battle the man of Nepal prove their valor and honor for the British Empire. They will never quit until they get the job done or it kills them.

Then in World War II the Gurkhas served with distinction by remaining loyal and crushing the Indian National Army that were allies of the Japanese in Burma. The Gurkhas were also part of a commandos force known as Chindits that served under General Wingate in conducting raids behind enemy lines in the Burma-India-China Theater. They also fought in North Africa and the Italian campaigns for the British forces. The British realizing that they have come across a breed of men who were a valuable tool to have in a conflict and also would die for a country without question so they immediately decided to enlist the Gurkhas as part of the British Army permanent deployment structure. After the war they were sent to the British colonies to restore order with force and curve civil independence movement. These deployments convince Singapore to hire Gurkhas as constables in order to have a neutral force to crush any racially motivated riots. Gurkhas as fair and balance came to be known throughout its colonies and the reputation of carrying out its order to the letter. They do not believe that war has morals and no one is immune from the wrath of a Kukri. Basically if a Gurkha goes into a battle they are expected to fight to the death in the execution of an order and if they survive it would meant they completely annihilated the enemy.

The British kept there Gurkhas contingents after the independence of India and a separate treaty was sign to maintain a steady follow of recruits into the British Army. Some of the Gurkhas serve under the Indian and Singaporean flag. Each of these countries has a separate treaty with each other and not with Nepal in recruiting the Gurkhas. Under the international law the Gurkhas are not considered as mercenaries, but as regular soldiers fighting for their host countries. There is a treaty called the Tripartite Agreement (TPA) between Nepal, Britain, and India in the recruitment of Gurkhas. This treaty also trains Gurkhas into full-time professional soldiers. They are not allowed to marry for five years upon joining the service and even communicate with the population of a host country, but their aim is to be prepared for war at any given time.

This agreement applies to 3,500 Gurkhas serving in the British Army and 100,000 soldiers in the Indian Army but it excludes the RNA. The conditions stated in the agreement illustrates that Nepalese citizens can only participate in the recruitment process. The host countries will maintain and protect the religious, cultural, and social needs for the Gurkhas under their serve. Singapore on the other hand has a separate agreement with Britain in replenishing their supply of Gurkhas. The agreement however does not aid in the welfare of the Gurkhas after accomplishing its service in the British Army.

Then who is to blame if the British only regards Gurkhas as objects not as subjects. “Unconditional loyalty is morally forbidden, for it does not recognize moral limits” said Michael E. Brumen. The Gurkhas pledge is the complete reverse of Brumen statement. They have proven unconditional loyalty in battle by laying their lives on the line in wars other than their own. The British on the other hand does not recognize the moral limits by only regarding the Gurkhas as auxiliaries. In respect to the Gurkhas they are just by showing a standard of pure loyalty to their maters, but it is the British who does not seem to hold any responsibility in the welfare of a former Gurkha. The question remains does the British Empire owe loyalty to these men of arms? The answer is yes because it’s out of respect and loyalty the British must do everything in its power to assist the Gurkhas.

Chapter V: Conclusion 

The concept of loyalty is an ever-changing face as time evolves from one phase into the next, but human beings always need to have the sense of belonging and will ensure loyalty to remain within the psyche of man. It will be a dilemma when it contradicts with the objectivity of a situation. Toner stated the complexities of an individual to pledge his or hers allegiance to a leader or the country. One key example was General Douglas MacArthur bickering with Truman who believes his loyalty is to the constitution not to the president. The reality of the fact is that the president is part of the constitution in whereby the people of a nation selected him or her to run the country. Toner argues that a complete adoration to loyalty is possible, but a balancing at between the mission and principles is a must. Even Toner states that there is a higher loyalty, available to reasonable human beings. Then the justification for the Gurkhas to remain loyal is right.The extremist or terrorist groups around the globe who acted in the name of religion did in fact answer to a higher loyalty. So the question whether loyalty is obsolete in this day in age is no.

Is loyalty a misguided ideal and the answer is yes and no. No because its inspire individual to serve for a just cause. To do the right thing by being truthful in every action and it also promote the existence of morality. Yes, morality come into play because it is for a fact that loyalty in its prefect form will always do the right thing no matter what were the orders. Individuals like Martin Luther King and Gandhi were loyal to the cause of non violence and they did protest by breaking laws not because their loyalty was misplace, but it was place in their loyalty of morality of a just cause. The flip side of the coin is yes because it leads to the twisting of the truth to ones end. It is to inspire the loyalty of the masses to follow a misinterpreted cause like religious terrorism and Nazism. It’s also demonstrates that a misguided ideal of loyalty could be used a strategic weapon and if one wants to destroy the enemy than one must attack its foundational loyalty link between the people and its mission. As the Gurkhas case study showed us that loyalty has its own stages, types, and influences. Once all of the criteria that makes loyalty as a weapon than it would mean that it could be broken.

The final question would be is loyalty a dying virtue. The answer is yes because it has lost its moral content over the ages of manipulation by religions and ideologies. Its true form was well demonstrated by Socrates and the Roman Republic. Toner contributes the decline of virtuous loyalty to the decay of society and its materialistic needs to survive. He also states the problem of education that also a contributing factor to inspire a sense of loyalty within the population. One have to agree with Toner to extend on the issue of social degradation in society as core of the problem after all that was the same argument the terrorist used to attack the US. In actually it is within in the individual that the virtue of loyalty thrives, but not in the entirety of society like it used too. The reason is with the rationalization of education one would be logically able to defining the problem and creating solutions rather than backing a military move whole-hardheartedly.

The world will be a worst place without loyalty because it is the virtue and ideal that binds mankind from imploding on itself. As seen without the sense of loyalty to an ideal there will not be states or governments just a bunch of scavengers roaming around for food. Terrorist has used loyalty to it ends because it knows and witness the potential of the human beings as weapons. They can be stop if the population is shown a form of loyalty caters to the need in loyalty of human unity. Loyalty is here to stay with the as evolution of warfare continues so must the requirement of individuals to fight them. As for religion and cultures it will always plague mankind to separate from the sense of the idea of equality to an idea of self impose community collective mindset. The world is getting smaller and the sense of brethren among individuals should be taken into account because after all, the virtuous idea of loyalty should serve in benefiting humanity not an organization or a state. The question should one ask would be; where will ones loyalty lies when it is the right thing to do? Why do this horrible act of violence happen when Islam, Judaism, Christianity and so forth have been living in peace in past and not now? And what action is morally justified in being loyal to a cause or belief?

The questions to Why and Who cause this actions should never stop because by understanding to where and what cause this acts of violence under the concept of loyalty; the we as a human race can prevent this in order to move forward in peace and harmony. Yes the truth hurts but the assurance it will never happen again worth the effort, dialogue, and hindsight. In the end, only an individual will be able to answer that final question of loyalty.


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The Winter War of 1939: Frozen Diplomacy or Polar Meltdown?

27 Oct

Research Paper Prospectus Written By Simon Sundaraj-Keun

Finland a land of natural and cultural beauty that is common to the region of Northern Europe as a whole. This winter wonderland was once a frozen battlefield wage between Finland and the Soviet Union in 1939-40. The Winter War of 1939 was the catalyst that drifted the Finns into the Axis sphere as un-allied co-belligerents. This war would leave a lasting legacy on Finnish history and politics.

The main question that comes to mind is why did the Soviets start this conflict? Other questions like why did the Finns let it happen? How Soviet quest for national security did impacted its diplomacy? What happen to Finland’s allies during the Winter War? These questions emphasize that the needs of one’s national security could be achieved at the expense of others. There are other factors that will be discussed in this topic which covers the military and domestic political aspects that prolonged the conflict. The Winter War in some aspect was a conflict that pitted two completely different forms of governments against each other.

The clash of liberal and communist ideologies was marred in blood for the honor and glory of the Soviet Union and Finland during the Winter War. This research paper main thesis is to understand the failure of diplomacy and its implication in Soviet-Finnish diplomatic relations in 1939. The Soviet Union backed their diplomatic initiative with its military and Finland’s diplomatic decisions were heavily influenced by its domestic politics. The two states have a different outlook on the problem which would leave the Soviets to emphasize more on security and the Finns to preserve its national sovereignty by any means deem necessary.

Therefore, the investigation of Finland’s diplomatic capability during the Winter War has to begin with a historical analysis to the origin of the conflict. The Winter War (also known as the Soviet-Finnish War or the Russo-Finnish War) broke out when the Soviet Union invaded Finland on November 30, 1939. The Finns were diplomatically isolated due to the fact World War II started on September 1, 1939. Its French and British allies could not send military aid due to the German blockade in the Baltic Sea. Plus Sweden neutrality outweighs Finland’s desperation for aid and supplies in the face of the Soviet war machine.

However the Soviet’s aggressions led to their expulsions from the League of Nations on December 14, 1939. The Soviets became diplomatically isolated by its Western European neighbors who viewed the Winter War as a battle between Communism and the Free World. Soviet Union’s Josef Stalin was not hindered by diplomatic isolation continued the war with belief of conquering Finland by the end of 1939. The Soviets outnumbered the Finns by a ratio of four to one but the Finns manage to infuriate their invaders by prolonging the conflict and inflicting massive casualties.
Finland held out until March 1940, while a peace treaty was signed conceding about 10% of Finland’s land, and 20% of its industrial facilities, to the Soviet Union. Although the Soviet forces ultimately were able to shatter the Finnish defenses, neither the Soviet Union nor Finland emerged victorious from the war. Soviet casualties on the front-line were tremendous, and the country’s international prestige eroded. The Finns miraculously preserved their independence and received extensive international support.

Secondary sources found for this research paper ranges from books, articles, internet websites, and movies that give an insightful and scholarly interpretation on the international support for the Finns. The added information from the variety of secondary sources gives this research paper the ability to assess the diplomatic dilemma faced by Finland during the Winter War. These books do not confine to a single theme but contains multiple themes that paint a better picture on the diplomacy of the Winter War. The existing secondary sources would provide ideas that might be left out in the initial research.

The main objective of the primary sources for this research paper is to give a clearer perspective from the viewpoint of the Finnish and Soviet governments during this time period. There are numerous published primary sources ranging from diaries, journals, memoirs, and newspapers but official government documents and diplomatic treaties would be beneficial in understanding the motivation for war. The problems found within these primary sources are the existence of bias which was attributed to publication of these documents prior, during, and shortly after the conflict. This bias that was found was due to the misconception and distrust of both the Soviets and Finns had for each other. The primary published sources of government documents found were authentic and informative in adding a direct analysis on the origins behind this conflict.

In order to comprehend the Soviet invasion of Finland one has to examine the Soviet-Nazi mutual nonaggression pact (also know as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) signed on August 22, 1939. This pact allowed the Soviets and Nazi Germany to allocate countries in Eastern Europe between the two powers. Finland came into the picture due to the fact it was a co-signed of the Soviet sphere of influence pact (Soviet-Finnish mutual non-aggression pact) that same month. The Russo-Finnish diplomatic situation spiral down like a maelstrom devouring a Viking longboat when the Soviets wanted the Finns to push back its border 25 kilometers from Soviet city of Leningrad. This move by the Soviets was justified with the Germans military demonstration of speed and potency in conquering Poland in a short amount of time.
The Finns disagree to the terms due to its larger industrial centers was located in and around the disputed territory. So the Soviets staged the Shelling of Mainila, in which the Soviets artillery shelled regions around the Russian village of Mainila, and then announced it was the Finns who shelled the village. The Soviets demand an apology and forcefully insisted the Finns to move its border back 25 kilometers but the Finns denied responsibility and the Soviets request. So the Soviets withdrew from the non-aggression pact and invaded Finland but the Finns stood their ground alone for the next six months.

The conclusion of the Winter Wars was due in part to the inability of the Soviets to defeat the Finns. This research paper is not to prove the military resolve of the Soviet Union and Finland but the used of the military as a tool for diplomatic settlement during this conflict. In a matter of speaking the Winter War was Finland’s fight for survival against the Soviet juggernaut. The results of the Winter War pushed the Finns further into the Axis camp due to the fact they were block into a corner by the Soviets. The Soviets quest for national security demonstrated their military weakness that resulted in an invasion by the Germans in 1941. The research done on this topic is to conclude the impact of the Winter War on Finland who lost a considerable amount of territory to the Soviets during this conflict. It also proves that the Finns were not military defeated but instead came out politically and diplomatically stronger compared to the Soviets during the Winter War of 1939.

This topic research paper is a combination of domestic politics and diplomatic concepts which intermingle with the brief chronological events that spark the outbreak of the Winter War. The fear of neglecting a single of these aspects would deprive the academic value of this paper that would be beneficial to existing scholarly collection. For instance international diplomatic support for Finland during the Winter War was in most part thanks to Soviet’s diplomatic miscalculations by initiating hostilities. The other reason why the Winter War was unique is due to the fact that World War II had not yet begun in earnest. World opinion was for the Finns during the Winter War because it was the only real fighting besides the German and Soviet on-going pacification of Poland. In turn the world concluded that Soviet aggression on Finland was totally unjustified.

The Winter War of 1939: Frozen Diplomacy or Polar Meltdown? is an intriguing topic because it is one of the least discussed events in history due to the fact it was overshadowed by World War II. There are numerous sources which were primary in Finnish and even fewer exist in the English language which makes it difficult in obtaining them for further research. Plus each underlining theme as stated earlier are interconnected with the main objective of what this paper intends to accomplish.

This research will cover the diplomatic and domestic political background that motivated the Soviets and Finns to go to war with each other. In order to completely a successful research one has to examine the impact of war on diplomacy from different angles like the military and politics during the Winter War. Those aspects intermingle with one another by being an important factor that galvanized Finland’s sense of unity and independence in the face of Soviet annihilation.

Finally, there is no right answer for the Winter War of 1939 but there was a breakdown in diplomacy which led to political, territorial, emotional, and psychological ramifications on the Soviets and Finns. The Finns was significantly influenced by the Winter War with a firm emphasis to ally themselves with the Axis powers in order to seek retribution on the Soviets who wronged them. The diplomatic legacy of the Winter War was a direct cause of Soviet Union military adventurism policies and Finland’s arrogance to threat beyond its Eastern border which eventually led to the bleeding of the Finns during World War II.


Primary Published Sources

Finland. Ulkoasiainministeriö. The Finnish blue book; the development of Finnish-Soviet relations during the autumn of 1939, including the official documents and the Peace treaty of March 12, 1940. New York: Pub. for the Ministry of foreign affairs of Finland, J. B. Lippincott company. c1940

Finland. Ulkoasiainministeriö. Finland reveals her secret documents on soviet policy. New York: W. Funk, inc., 1941.
Secondary Sources

Dallin, David J., Soviet Russia’s foreign policy, 1939-1942. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1942.

Engle, Eloise; Paananen, Lauri. The Winter War: The Soviet Attack on Finland 1939-1940. Helsinki: Stackpole Books. 1992

Jacobs, Travis Beal. America and the winter war, 1939-1940. New York : Garland Pub., 1981.

Jakobson, Max. Finland survived : an account of the Finnish-Soviet winter war, 1939-1940. Helsinki, Finland: Otova Publishing Co., 1984

Nevakivi, Jukka. The appeal that was never made: the Allies, Scandinavia, and the Finnish Winter War, 1939-1940. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1976.

Ries, Tomas. Cold Will: Defence of Finland. New York: Brassey’s Publishing. 1988.

Ruotsila, Markku. Churchill and Finland: a study in anticommunism and geopolitics. New York: Frank Cass, 2005.

Schwartz, Andrew J. America and the Russo-Finnish War. Washington, Public Affairs Press. 1960.

Trotter, William R. A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940 (also published as The Winter War). Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books. 1991.

Upton, Anthony F. Finland, 1939-1940. London: Davis-Poynter, 1974.

Van Dyke, Carl. The Soviet Invasion of Finland, 1939-40. London: Frank Cass Publishers. 1997.


17 Sep



Simon S. Sundaraj-Keun

            Niccolò di Bernado dei Machiavelli was a famous Florentine political philosopher, musician, poet, and romantic comedic playwright. Machiavelli was born on May 3, 1469 to the city of Florence. He would make his mark in history by becoming an important individual in the Renaissance by contributing to the development of realist political theory. He wrote The Prince and the Art of War which solidified him as the “Father of modern Diplomatic Theory”.

            Machiavelli served the Republic of Florence after the expulsion of the Medici in 1494. He traveled to European courts in France, Germany, and other Italian city-states on diplomatic missions in order to gain to support for Florence during the Italian Wars and to formulate an alliance to deter the ambitious Venetian state. It was during his diplomatic missions that he would draw influence for The Prince from the European elites he met. His first diplomatic mission was in 1499 to Caterina Sforza, who appear as “my lady of Forli” in The Prince. Machiavelli was sent to France in 1500 to obtain terms from Louis XII for continuing the war against Pisa. His public life was enormously influence with the events arising out of the ambitions of Pope Alexander VI and his son, Cesare Borgia, and these individuals fill a huge space of The Prince.

            In 1512, Pope Julius II restored the Medici family to power, Machiavelli’s name was found on a list of individuals supposedly involved in a conspiracy to oppose Medici rule. He was briefly imprisoned and tortured in the Bargello in Florence. He maintained his innocence throughout this ordeal. Pope Leo X a member of the Medici family became pontiff in 1513 secured Machiavelli release and exiled him. Machiavelli moved to Sant’Andrea in Precussina, where he dedicated himself to literature.

            Later in life, he joined the humanist academy around Bernardo Rucellai which met at the Orti Oricellari. There he obtained Polybius unpublished translations which gave him ideas on the form of republican government. Machiavelli used his experience as a diplomat and knowledge of the humanists to write The Prince. The Prince was written in 1513 but it was published five years after Machiavelli’s death in 1532. His book The Prince drew critics from the spiritual and religious leaders like Dutch humanist Erasmus, English Catholic Cardinal Pole, and Frederick the Great who viewed his work as abomination to the Christian faith.

            Nevertheless, Machiavelli’s work became a testament of time that promoted the realist political theory. Realism is the acceptance of fact or reality and the rejection of the impractical visionary. Chancellor Otto von Bismarck was a student and follower of the political theory of realism. Bismarck promoted realism in order to sustain a balance of power in Europe in order to avoid an arms race. Henry Kissinger followed the school of realism in order to promote stability and peace during the Cold War.

            Machiavelli’s work inspires an individual to be a good diplomat by representing the state to the best of his/her ability. This present age where realist political theory would believe that the international system is anarchic. The Machiavellian logic that there is no power above a nation-state like an authoritative world government would be able to regulate a state interaction. A diplomat must serve his/her home state, rather than being dictated to them by some higher controlling entity like the United Nations. Diplomats assume the role as the link between sovereign states, rather than international institutions, non-governmental organizations, or multinational corporations that would be considered as secondary actors in international affairs.

            According to Machiavelli’s political realism theory, each state is a rational actor that takes steps towards its own self-interest, and the main objective of each state is to ensure its own security. The duties of today’s diplomats are to pursuit security, amass economic resources, and project the state level of power. That level of power is in turn determined by the state’s capabilities, both military and economic. Moreover, Machiavellian realism believes that states are inherently aggressive, and that territorial expansion is only constrained by opposing powers. The German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck orchestrated proxy wars like the Schleswig Wars of 1864 (Danish-Prussian War), Austro-Prussian War of 1866, and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 in order to beat surrounding powers in order to expand and unite German territories under Prussian leadership.

            However, diplomats in Machiavelli’s mind should be well-educated and experience in dealing with other states. A diplomat should be well-informed about his/her country’s foreign policy and be exceptionally knowledgeable of the culture, language, and history of one’s assigned state. The benefit of being a diplomat is being able to contribute to the defense of one’s state in gathering intelligence one’s assign state. The flip side of the coin is that a diplomat could be clueless to the economic or military activity of a state if the diplomat is unable to establish an intelligence networks in a host country. It is important for a diplomat to perform his/her duty in order to decipher and intercept other nation’s foreign services in the name of one’s national security. Machiavelli caution one not to reside in a foreign state for a long period of time due in order to prevent the questioning of one’s allegiance.

Personally, I believe that Machiavelli diplomatic theory is more relevant today because it is similar to the United States of America “Cowboy Diplomacy”. The United Nations is not an effective organization in maintaining the balance between states because it is exploited by powerful nations. Basically, the United Nations is an idealistic organization to that its existence is a contradiction of Machiavellian principles. Machiavelli main focus was to make sure diplomats were self-aware of the reality that surrounds them and not to be self indulge into the realm of idealistic grandeur by sacrificing one’s national security. The point Machiavelli emphasize in the end is to prepare a diplomat to be a realist in order to be successful in the field of diplomacy.

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