Contemporary International Problems

Topics: Cold War, World War II, United States Pages: 5 (1702 words) Published: January 30, 2013
Professor S. Hafezi
Contemporary International Problems
Midterm Exam
February 10, 2010

STUDENT NAME : Sunil Shrestha

Write (type) at least four (4) sentences on each of the following ten (10) questions. Be analytical and factual. You must upload you answers to Doc Sharing by February 12, 24:00 ET to give me enough time and post the grades online by the university deadline. If I do not receive any student’s answers by February 12, 24:00 ET, I will report the grade of “F” for that student. The exam is open-book.

1. What were the main features of the Cold War bipolar system? Was it stable? Why or why not?

Cold War bipolar system was the “zero sum game” where if West won the territory from the free land, the East lost. This was the clash between two super powers Soviets and Americans who never fought directly instead maintained a proxy because they knew it could have lead to nuclear attack and then the existence of both the continents could have been in danger. The numerous island and other small nations who remained neutral between those super powers proves this was a “loose bipolar” cold war. Both the countries hated each other but did not take a step in any kind of violent acts that could have end their dominance over the world. The cold war was somewhat stable because it stopped the Third World War, which could have lead to the destruction of human civilization and the earth itself. It prevented the nuclear attacks from both sides. Though we know both the countries had to go through other wars like the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and Americans in Vietnam, which broke down the Soviet economically and collapsed and Americans had to go through economic crisis as well, but still it balanced itself from attacking one another and saved the world.

2. What new international system is emerging? How can you tell?

After the fall of the Soviet Union, American became the supreme power of the world establishing Unipolar system and dominating the world with nuclear powers and strong economic establishment. In the meantime, other nations like Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and European countries stood up and grew rapidly forming a multi polar system. But still US stayed at top and the other countries would ask for economic and military support when needed. To stop US from over powering other nations, the small nations will group together and put on a counter weight on US and make it difficult to achieve the goals. One example of this is the recent attack by US on Iraq, where American decided to go on War alone without the support of UN and most of the nations. There is the distribution of power in the international system currently in terms of rich, newly industrialized, and nations at chaos. The globalization has further brought a competitive market in goods, services, ideas and natural resources.

3. What is the difficulty of defining your national interest in any given situation?

National Interest is a very critical subject because it changes according to the time and situation and where it benefits the nation. National Interest for this year may be the mistake for the next year. One example of this is the Iraq war, where US residents believed that going on war with Iraq to dispose the nuclear warheads was their national interest post 9/11; but soon after they realized that Iraq did not possess any kind of mass destructive weapons, people believed it was a mistake. National Interest can be objective and subjective which further makes it difficult to define it. Objective interest revolves round the areas closer to homeland and its main focus is to stay sovereign whereas, the subjective interest focus on areas away from its geographical location. Iraq war started as the subjective national interest, which questioned many Americans whether they should even focus on that area when it’s so far away from home. It is believed that we go for subjective national interest only when we trade with that part of...
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