Many adversarial relationships exist in politics. On the domestic level, political parties frequently compete with each other to gain control of coveted offices.
A contest, which transpires on the international level during periods of international revolution, is counter-revolutionary and revolutionary states spreading opposing doctrines. One way that counter-revolutionary and revolutionary states spread these doctrines is by invading nations that are considered to be in need of political change.
The most recent example of this form of doctrinal proliferation is the series of American invasions that were conducted at the beginning of this century. The leaders who embark on these ideological interventions obviously think they are worthwhile (Hans Morgenthau). However, the leaders, who witness them, do not share this sentiment. These individuals do not possess a fondness for ideological interventions because they violate “the principle of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of other states” (David Armstrong).
The information from the last sentence draws attention to how these interventions make counter-revolutionary and revolutionary states disobedient actors on the world stage. Fortunately, these entities eventually become more obedient. In fact, the United States, the counter-revolutionary power that was alluded to in the preceding paragraph, recently made this transition. It will be possible to substantiate this point by conducting an extensive examination of the behavior of the United States during the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
This analysis will pay close attention to how the United States eventually started to engage in certain practices or institutions that were utilized by the more obsequious members of the international community. These practices were adhering to existing treaties and only proceeding with important ventures on the world stage that had received international approval (Hedley Bull). Before we go further, some information is helpful on how the United States became a counter-revolutionary state.
How Did the United States Become a Counter-Revolutionary Power?
In order to understand how America turned into a counter-revolutionary power, one has to look closely at certain events that transpired in the Middle East. This part of the world has been experiencing anti-government demonstrations since the beginning of 2011. Dissidents are confident that these demonstrations will lead to political change because acts of civil disobedience have already brought down unpopular regimes in nations like Egypt and Tunisia. This is not the first time that widespread political change has looked imminent in this volatile region. Back in 1979, the government of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was overthrown in Iran by an Islamist contingent that was led by Ayatollah Khomeini.
In the aftermath of this upheaval, Khomeini attempted to engineer other Islamist revolutions in neighboring countries. A common assumption about the leaders of revolutionary regimes is that they just seek to initiate affiliate revolutions because they are determined to liberate the oppressed in other nations. What often gets overlooked is the way that these individuals are interested in accomplishing another objective, which is ensuring the survival of their regimes. One becomes cognizant of this other motive while looking at the comments of V.I. Lenin.
After the Russian Revolution, the Soviet Union repeatedly tried to produce other communist regimes. While this campaign was in progress, Lenin claimed that he wanted to free the workers who were located in other countries. However, he also confessed that he hoped “the mighty support of the insurrectionary workers of other countries” would keep the Soviet Union from becoming extinct (V.I. Lenin).
If we turn our attention back to the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution, we will see how Khomeini possessed the same motives as Lenin. There were citizens in other countries that this Ayatollah was interested in helping, but he was also determined to keep his new regime in power. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Iran was surrounded by hostile governments, including Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq. If governments like this one were replaced by other Islamist regimes, there would have been a better chance for Khomeini to remain in control of Iran.
The ascension of new Islamist leaders would have been advantageous for Khomeini. However, it would have been a major problem for the United States since it had established alliances with some of the leaders that Khomeini wanted to overthrow. If they were replaced by Islamists, Washington’s influence in this region would have decreased considerably. Such a development would have made it much more difficult to accomplish key foreign policy objectives like maintaining an oil supply for the American homeland. The United States was fortunate because the Iranian campaign did not generate multiple rebellions in the Middle East during the 1980s.
In fact, as this decade was coming to an end, Tehran began to focus less on producing political change abroad. Several failed uprisings played a role in this transformation, but another factor was also responsible. In 1989, Khomeini, one of the most vocal proponents of exporting the revolution, passed away and was succeeded by Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Rafsanjani was not interested in intervening in the domestic affairs of Iran’s neighbors like his predecessor (Armstrong). Instead, he wanted Iran to be guided by an isolationist foreign policy.
Eventually, other Islamist actors surfaced that were eager to generate affiliate revolutions. This development does not come as much of a surprise. After all, it is quite common for an advocate of affiliate revolutions to be replaced by other parties when a revolutionary wave is in progress. One can detect this simply by looking at the international communist wave. This wave commenced with the aforementioned Soviet campaign to initiate other communist revolutions in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. Once this nation’s commitment to producing other insurgencies began to wane, other communist countries like China and Cuba became the chief proponents of affiliate revolutions.
The Islamist actors, which attempted to initiate affiliate revolutions after the moderation of Iran, possessed a much different background than the actors that succeeded the Soviet Union. As we just saw, the actors that succeeded the Soviet Union were other revolutionary states. Iran’s successors, on the other hand, were transnational revolutionary organizations such as al Qaeda.
These transnational revolutionary organizations also wanted to establish other Islamic theocracies. However, it is important to highlight a major difference between them and the Iranian regime. The latter was led by Shiite Muslims, so it hoped that these new theocracies would be ruled by other Shiites. The majority of the transnational revolutionary organizations, in contrast, were dominated by Sunnis. Consequently, they were more interested in seeing the ascendancy of Sunni leaders.
These organizations did not want these new governments to be led by Shiites like Iran did, but they consistently utilized an Iranian tactic for generating political change. When Iran was attempting to overthrow certain governments in the 1980s, it often had dissident groups conduct terrorist attacks. The most well known domestic organization that carried out operations was the Lebanon based Hezbollah. The most destructive operation, which Hezbollah executed, was the truck bombing that killed 299 American and French soldiers in 1983.
During the following decade, these transnational revolutionary organizations started to conduct similar attacks in other nations. For example, in 1998, al Qaeda leaders had some operatives detonate truck bombs near U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
The American response to this wave of violence that commenced in the 1990s primarily consisted of military force. In fact, in the immediate aftermath of the embassy bombings, President Bill Clinton had the U.S. military bomb al Qaeda training facilities in Afghanistan. After Clinton left the White House in 2001, military personnel were still asked to destroy Islamist training camps, but they were also given another responsibility. George W. Bush, Clinton’s successor, wanted American soldiers to replace multiple authoritarian regimes in the Muslim world with democratic governments, which would seek to improve the living standards of their citizens.
If living standards began to improve under these governments, it would supposedly be more difficult for transnational networks such as al Qaeda to attract support for the establishment of Islamic theocracies. Now that we have discussed how the United States became a counter-revolutionary nation, we can proceed to the most important part of this study, which is looking at the way that it started to become more compliant once Bush left office.
The Neglect of International Institutions during the Bush Presidency
Failure to Follow International Treaties
A major goal of social scientists is to determine certain behavioral patterns. Of course, all scientists are not concerned with the behavior of the same actor. If an individual reads through the work of different sociologists, he or she will notice that the primary objective of these scholars is to discern the tendencies of human beings. A subsequent reading of various international relations studies would help this same person recognize the fact that international relations scholars are not focused on ascertaining the tendencies of people like sociologists are.
Instead, they are more interested in determining the tendencies of states. Some of the most important tendencies, which have been identified over the years, were actually alluded to in the preceding pages. Within this section, the one that we will be paying closer attention to is the inability of counter-revolutionary states to follow international treaties.
Counter-revolutionary states usually disregard the terms of treaties when a leader is preoccupied with certain ideological interventions. It will be possible to illustrate this point if we turn our attention back to the actions of the United States at the time of the Bush presidency. In the preceding section, it was mentioned how the Forty-Third President of the United States sent military personnel to countries like Iraq so that democracies could be established. While these missions were in progress, Bush elected to disregard prominent treaties, including the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the Geneva Convention (Fareed Zakaria).
The former was neglected because Bush wanted to construct a defense system, which would protect the United States from missile attacks by rogue states and Islamist organizations. The Geneva Convention was periodically violated when the U.S. captured the members of Islamist organizations. All of these individuals were supposed to be treated in a humane fashion by American personnel. However, the Red Cross found that some were tortured at places such as Guantanamo Bay. Members of the Bush administration actually claimed that this mistreatment could not be considered a violation of the Geneva Convention since these captured militants were non-combatants as opposed to prisoners of war.
This argument makes one realize that Kenneth Waltz was correct when he said that the United States was “coming up with its own international rules” while Bush was in the White House (Kenneth Waltz).
In addition to undermining the Geneva Convention, the mistreatment of prisoners led to an increase in the number of terrorist attacks against the United States. This repercussion is quite ironic because individuals from the Bush administration insisted that prisoner abuse would lead to a decline in terrorist attacks. This was thought of as a probable development since it was anticipated that tortured prisoners would divulge pertinent information, which could be used by American personnel to disrupt attacks that were being planned by the leaders of Islamist organizations.
What these proponents of torture failed to recognize was how a more problematic development could unfold after these prisoners were mistreated, which was angry individuals from the Muslim world participating in terrorist attacks against America after learning about this abuse. When this turn of events did transpire in the aftermath of the prisoner abuse, the Bush administration was subjected to a lot of scrutiny.
However, there were far more significant consequences from this backlash against the United States. Among them were the deaths of numerous American soldiers who were involved in the Iraqi mission. If some comments from Matthew Alexander are taken into consideration, it will be possible for us to see how the individuals who killed U.S. troops were motivated by the abuse of prisoners.
At one point, this interrogator for the U.S. military in Iraq revealed that he “listened time and time again to captured foreign fighters cite the torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo as their main reason for coming to Iraq to fight.”
These individuals played a major part in the rise of terrorist operations against the United States. However, it is important to highlight the fact that abused prisoners also contributed to this increase in attacks. A person who can be used to substantiate this point is Said Ali al-Shihri. In 2007, al-Shihri was sent by the United States to Saudi Arabia. Once he arrived in Saudi Arabia, he was placed in a program that was used by Riyadh to discourage Islamists from performing more terrorist operations.
This rehabilitation program clearly did not have much of an impact on al-Shihri since he was involved in multiple terrorist attacks once he completed it. One of the most notable attacks was a bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen during 2008.
Within this section, it has been shown how the United States disregarded prestigious international treaties during the Bush presidency. At the time, members of the Bush administration believed that this course of action would turn out to be advantageous.
However, this did not prove to be the case since this defiance was followed by undesirable outcomes like the rise in terrorist attacks against the United States. This is not the first time in this article that we have seen the leaders of a state being disappointed after neglecting a particular international institution. One might recall how Iran’s failure to respect the sovereignty of various states did not result in the ascension of other Islamist regimes in the 1980s. From these Iranian and American experiences, it can be gathered that the disregarding of international institutions does not usually produce benefits for the leaders of counter-revolutionary and revolutionary nations.
Proceeding with Ventures on the World Stage without International Approval
Our main concern in this section will be examining certain American efforts to secure support for initiatives in the international realm. Before the analysis of these efforts commences, it is imperative to introduce the ways that a country can solidify approval for an initiative. In other words, we need to become familiar with the methods that a country can utilize if it wants an initiative to be considered legitimate on the world stage. At the moment, it is fair to say that the most widely accepted technique for securing international legitimacy is having an international organization endorse the initiative. One can notice the popularity of this technique simply by looking at the comments of international figures like Jacques Chirac.
At the beginning of 2003, the former President of France stated that, “Only the Security Council can legitimize the use of force.” In addition to demonstrating how international bodies can legitimize a state sponsored initiative, Chirac’s comments indicate that the body in the international arena with the most respect is the United Nations.
The UN has clearly earned the respect of many international leaders since its creation in 1945. However, it is important to point out the manner in which there are others who believe that this organization possesses certain deficiencies. A deficiency, which has received a considerable amount of attention, is how members of the Security Council occasionally veto resolutions that would allow the UN to legitimize worthwhile initiatives. One way to avoid this problem is by having the major powers cooperate outside of the UN. This alternate route to legitimization has been promoted in scholarly publications such as “A World Restored”.
Throughout this book, Henry Kissinger concentrates on the establishment of world order. In one part, he asserts that a new order can be considered legitimate if it “is accepted by all the major powers.”
From this quotation, it can be gathered that Kissinger believes legitimacy can only emerge with unanimous approval. This should not be the requirement for the granting of legitimacy since it is not very often that a particular course of action receives this type of approval in politics.
Unanimity is a rarity, but there are usually occasions when a majority supports an initiative. Since this is the case, it seems appropriate for a consensus to be the requirement for the conferring of legitimacy.
This perspective has actually been endorsed by a number of scholars. One becomes cognizant of this fact while reading Legitimacy in International Society. At one point in this book, Ian Clark says “the widely held view has been that legitimacy itself in some sense derives from the existence of a consensus” (Ian Clark).
Now that the major techniques for securing international legitimacy have been presented, we can turn our attention to the behavior of the United States. At various points in this article, the American military campaign in Iraq has been mentioned.
Before this mission commenced, the members of the Bush administration attempted to legitimize it by using the methods that were touched upon in the preceding paragraphs. Within the discussion about the first technique, it could be detected that the preferred international organization for legitimizing initiatives is the UN.
Individuals from the Bush administration worked diligently to gain UN approbation for the operation in Iraq. What needs to be highlighted about this lobbying campaign is the fact that these individuals did not emphasize the need to liberate Iraqi citizens while it was in progress. Instead, they elected to concentrate on how regime change was imperative in Iraq because Hussein was allegedly developing weapons of mass destruction. At first, it seemed as if this campaign was going to be effective since the members of the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1441 on November 8, 2002, which set the stage for a new round of weapons inspections inside Iraq.
However, at the beginning of 2003, it became quite clear that the campaign was not going to lead to a Security Council Resolution authorizing the use of military force against Hussein’s regime. This turn of events was deemed to be impossible because multiple anti-war speeches were delivered during Security Council sessions. When the military campaign in Iraq finally did transpire in March 2003, UN officials continued to condemn this course of action. In fact, the former Secretary-General of the UN stated this about the Iraq War, “it was illegal.”
In the above paragraph, we learned that the Bush administration was unable to get an international organization to legitimize the invasion of Iraq. What remains to be seen is whether it managed to get the major powers in the international system to support this mission. When we were discussing the second method for securing international legitimacy earlier in this section, it was never mentioned how the majority of the major powers exhibit their approval for a particular initiative. If they are in favor of an initiative that entails the utilization of force, they will usually choose to assist the party that has organized the mission.
Once the mission in Iraq commenced, Britain was the only major power that decided to provide the United States with assistance. The main form of assistance was the deployment of 9500 British soldiers to the Southern part of Iraq. Since none of the other powers provided troops or other types of assistance, it is quite apparent that the American mission in Iraq was not legitimized in this fashion either.
The United States’ mission in Iraq was not supported by the international community. However, there were still occasions during the Bush presidency when this counter-revolutionary state was able to secure international approval for particular initiatives. Perhaps the most important American initiative, which was deemed to be legitimate, was the military campaign in Afghanistan. When this campaign commenced in the fall of 2001, it was supported by the United Nations and most of the major powers. It became quite clear that the former was in favor of this Afghan campaign because the Security Council passed a resolution guaranteeing UN assistance. European powers like France and Germany indicated that they were interested in helping the United States as well, but they ended up providing a different form of assistance than the UN. The UN sent personnel to Afghanistan to help construct a new government that would “respect the human rights of all Afghan people, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or religion.”
Meanwhile, major powers sent soldiers to participate in military operations, which were designed to defeat a resistance effort that was led by the Taliban, the leaders of the former Afghan government, and al Qaeda.
It is not surprising that this other American initiative was legitimized by these actors in the international community. After all, previous counter-revolutionary and revolutionary states also managed to secure international approval for certain military campaigns during periods of defiance. The Soviet Union serves as an interesting case in point. In the late 1930s, this revolutionary state elected to invade Finland. When this military campaign was in progress, the USSR was subjected to a considerable amount of scrutiny in the international community just like the US was after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The international backlash against the Soviet Union was definitely more severe though. One can recognize the accuracy of this statement by examining the conduct of different international bodies. Earlier in this section, we saw how the Secretary-General of the United Nations made derogatory comments about the United States after the Iraqi invasion. In 1939, key officials from the League of Nations criticized the Soviet Union for invading Finland, but they also decided to expel the USSR from this international body. During the subsequent decade, another Soviet military mission produced a much different reaction on the world stage.
In the middle of the Second World War, Soviet troops were sent into a number of Eastern European countries so that Nazi backed governments could be overthrown. This initiative did not receive the approbation of any international organization. However, it was frequently praised by the other powers that were attempting to uphold the international status quo. These nations even sent military supplies to the eastern front in order to make it easier for these Soviet troops to complete the mission. The United States shares the above connection with the Soviet Union, but there is also a major difference between it and the USSR that needs to be taken into account.
Throughout this section, our primary focus has been how the leaders of states often attempt to secure international support for military initiatives in the international system. What has not been mentioned up until this point is the fact that some leaders also try to gain domestic approval for these campaigns. These leaders tend to be located in countries with democratic as opposed to authoritarian political systems. It will be possible to illustrate this point if we turn our attention back to the United States and the Soviet Union. In the preceding paragraph, we saw how the latter chose to invade Finland in the late 1930s. Prior to this invasion, Joseph Stalin, the dictator who controlled the Soviet Union from 1924 to 1953, did not attempt to obtain any domestic approbation for it. George W. Bush did not behave this way before the invasion of Iraq.
Instead, he tried to gain support for this invasion by delivering various public speeches and having members of his administration make appearances on television programs and in front of prestigious congressional committees.
Domestic approval for the Iraqi campaign eventually did surface. Earlier in this section, it was noted how a particular initiative on the world stage can be labeled as internationally legitimate when the United Nations Security Council endorses it with the passage of a resolution. An initiative can also become domestically legitimate with the passage of a resolution. In the United States, a resolution needs to be passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Towards the end of 2002, these legislative bodies passed a resolution, which gave President Bush the power to attack Iraq.
Respect for International Institutions during the Obama Presidency
Following International Treaties
In the last two sections, it became evident that the United States was quite defiant while George W. Bush was president. Such a conclusion had to be reached because important international institutions were routinely disregarded by the Bush administration between 2001 and 2009. Within the next two sections, we will begin to see how this counter-revolutionary power started to become a more obsequious member of the international community after Bush’s departure from the White House. This metamorphosis transpired because Barack Obama elected to respect some of the practices that were largely ignored by his predecessor.
Earlier in this article, it was mentioned how the United States violated multiple treaties when Bush was in power. One of the most important treaties that was disregarded by the individuals inside the Bush administration was the Geneva Convention. When Barack Obama assumed control of the executive branch, the United States started to follow this treaty once again. It is appropriate to make this statement because Obama signed an executive order that prevented personnel of the American government from utilizing torture during the interrogation of terror suspects. In order to understand why Obama chose to sign this document, it is imperative to examine the advisors who were surrounding him. As we were in the process of discussing the neglecting of the Geneva Convention during the Bush years, it was noted how the administration of the Forty-Third President of the United States was filled with individuals who believed that the torturing of prisoners would lead to a decline in terrorist attacks against the United States.
Obama advisors like the National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair knew that a noticeable rise in terrorist operations had actually occurred while Bush was president. In addition to this, they were cognizant of the fact that it would just continue during the Obama presidency if prisoner abuse was not prohibited since many of the participants in the prior attacks were seeking to avenge the abuse of prisoners. American military personnel in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq were subjected to fewer attacks after the prohibition of torture as Obama’s advisors anticipated.
However, it is important to highlight how this ban was not solely responsible for this development. Another key factor, which contributed to this turn of events, was Obama’s decision to conduct several covert missions in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Obama and Bush both believed the Predator aircraft was a valuable tool in the struggle against Islamist organizations, but it is safe to say that Obama valued this aircraft more than Bush. After all, in the aftermath of the transfer of power, there was a clear rise in the number of Predator strikes along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. This increase proved to be effective because it led to the deaths of numerous individuals from al Qaeda. Secret raids by special operations soldiers also allowed the United States to kill al Qaeda members within Afghanistan and Pakistan. Without question, the most important member, who was killed during one of these raids, was Osama Bin Laden.
Although the actions of the Obama administration played a major part in this decline in terrorist operations, it must be acknowledged that the behavior of Islamist organizations contributed to this turn of events as well. In the preceding pages, it was noted how the leaders of organizations like al Qaeda instructed operatives to conduct terrorist attacks where American personnel were present. What has been disregarded up until this point is the manner in which they often told operatives to attack soft targets. In other words, these individuals were ordered to carry out operations where civilians were situated. Since many of these operations were quite gruesome and led to the deaths of numerous civilians, citizens in various Muslim nations became less willing to join Islamist organizations and participate in terrorist attacks. It is possible to recognize the severity of this backlash by taking the results of a 2005 Pew Research Center Survey into account. The organizers of this survey found that “confidence in Osama Bin Laden to do the right thing in world affairs” had started to decline considerably in most Muslim countries.
Some attention should also be devoted to Obama’s handling of arms control treaties. One might recall how George W. Bush was not very keen on adhering to treaties like the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Obama was more receptive to complying with the terms of these treaties. He was also in favor of entering into new agreements with other nations. In fact, at the beginning of 2011, he signed the monumental Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). Within this pact, Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to “reduce their deployed strategic nuclear warheads to no more than 1,550 in seven years and reduce deployed long-range missiles and bombers to no more than 700.”
Securing International Approval for Significant Initiatives
Another shortcoming from the Bush years was proceeding with certain initiatives that were considered to be illegitimate by most actors in the international community. Bush’s successor did not possess this flaw. This conclusion can be reached because the 2011 bombing campaign in Libya received international approval beforehand. During the preceding pages, it was brought to our attention that a state sponsored initiative on the world stage can become legitimate in two ways. One way to secure legitimacy is by having an international organization such as the United Nations endorse the venture. It is quite clear that the UN was behind the Libyan mission. After all, the Security Council passed a resolution that endorsed using “all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in the country, including Benghazi” in Libya.
The language in the above resolution is similar to the language that appeared in United Nations Security Council Resolution 678, which was passed on November 29, 1990. Within this resolution, the members of the Security Council announced that “all necessary means” could be utilized to push Saddam Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait.
Of course, this resolution legitimized the military operation that was launched by George H.W. Bush and other heads of state during the early stages of 1991. Another noteworthy connection between the bombing campaign in Libya and the 1991 Gulf War is how both of them received support from the Arab League. Although this regional organization supported these initiatives, it is fair to say that its members were more enthusiastic about the liberation of Kuwait. This statement can be made because various members also offered to provide military assistance while it was in progress.
For example, Hosni Mubarak, the President of Egypt, was willing to deploy soldiers for peacekeeping purposes. Presumably, men like Mubarak were more interested in seeing this mission succeed because they recognized the fact that they would benefit from this success. If troops from the United States and other coalition countries removed Iraqi soldiers from Kuwait and remained in the Middle East for a period of time in the aftermath of the operation as anticipated, Hussein would be reluctant to attack other Arab states in the future.
At the time of the Libyan operation, the leaders of these Arab nations did not need to fret about possible attacks by Gadhafi since the previous victims of his acts of aggression were located inside his own country. We have seen how multiple international organizations approved of the campaign in Libya. If these organizations did not endorse this initiative, it would not be possible to label it as legitimate. After all, the other actors in the international community, which have the ability to legitimize a military mission, were not very fond of it.
These, of course, are the major powers. Earlier in this article, it was mentioned how these powers display their support for a particular initiative by providing the leader of the initiative with assistance. The only powers that elected to help the United States with the bombing in Libya were Great Britain and France. What remains to be seen is whether the mission in Libya received support within the United States. In other words, we need to determine if it was domestically legitimate.
Within the preceding pages, it was noted that an international initiative is considered to be legitimate in the United States if a resolution is passed by the U.S. Congress. Prior to the bombing campaign in Libya, a resolution was not passed in these legislative bodies. In fact, the Obama administration did not even attempt to get the members of these bodies to vote in favor of a measure that would have authorized the use of force in Libya.
From this information, it can be gathered that the Libyan mission was not domestically legitimate like the operation in Iraq was during the Bush years. It is important to highlight the fact that this was not the first time in American history that an internationally legitimate initiative did not receive domestic support.
At the beginning of the 1950s, Harry Truman had American soldiers participate in the Korean War. This mission was endorsed by the United Nations Security Council. However, it did not receive the support of American legislators. The UN has not always been the major international organization, which has legitimized an American venture that has not received domestic approval. The war effort in Kosovo can be used to illustrate this point. When it commenced during the latter stages of the presidency of Bill Clinton, it was approved by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization rather than the United Nations Security Council. Although NATO supported this operation, it was never endorsed by the legislative branch.
In the introductory portion of this article, attention was paid to how counter-revolutionary and revolutionary states usually undergo a major transformation. Initially, these actors are quite disruptive because they participate in activities like ideological interventions. However, after some time elapses, they become more compliant. The latest counter-revolutionary state to make this transition from defiance to compliance was the United States. It is appropriate to make this statement because America recently began to engage in certain practices that were followed by the more obedient members of the international community.
Multiple factors contributed to this alteration in America’s behavior, but one was definitely more impactful than the others, which was Barack Obama replacing George W. Bush as President of the United States. It was not until the latter was out of power that the U.S. started to be more respectful of various international institutions. It is not surprising that this change in leadership played such a pivotal role in the transformation of the United States. After all, a number of other counter-revolutionary and revolutionary states that experienced the same metamorphosis did so after a notable transfer of power. We actually were exposed to this trend in a preceding section.
While we were in the process of discussing how the United States became a counter-revolutionary power, it was mentioned how Iran turned into a more docile nation once the reign of Khomeini came to an end in the late 1980s.