Policymakers face increasing challenges when utilizing the tools of conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction. These devices are interconnected, however, since the end of the Cold War their connections have become critically important due to the overwhelming degree of intrastate conflict. This essay will explain conflict resolution and reconstruction as well as why conflict is notably internal post-Cold War. Understanding the connections between political, security and economic tools of resolution and reconstruction will aid in understanding how they are applied. As well, this essay will analyze the challenges actors come up against when using those tools in an attempt to resolve a conflict of notable intrastate dynamics.
Wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo
International involvement in the violent clashes the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has faced since the dwindling of the Cold-War can be summarized into three terms: subsidization, systemization, and sustainability of conflict. This essay will draw out in detail why the international ‘response’ to clashes in the DRC is anything but an intervention and more indicative of the creation and maintenance of a political economy of conflict surrounding natural resources. The principal mechanism of exchange shown in this economy will be resource theft and weapons smuggling, with rebels groups acting as proxies for foreign interests facilitating an ultimately self-defeating quasi-state security apparatus for traders. Understanding how this economy of conflict works is acutely relevant in predicting future relations in the DRC and progressing towards a lasting peace. It is worth noting the DRC arguably has never had non-violent elections, and a new round of presidential elections are coming up in November.
Successful negotiation boils down to three essential factors: agency, operation, and language. There has to be a drive by both sides to talk. Our readings this week have adequality shown when and where those meeting points transpire, of which they are rooted in the struggles for power and whichever side of the conflict is losing or winning, as well as the general population’s perspective on either group. That appears to be something akin to the proverb ‘it is what it is.’ What is entirely disheartening about that is the ‘is’ in this case is war and civilian death. However, it is legitimate to base an understanding of negotiation on the disparity between conflicting groups. Where I find a much greater need for agency and discourse on agency in negotiations would be the international response to intrastate conflict.
Today is a day of reflection. Today is a day to wonder what will come about tomorrow and the day after. What exactly does the United Kingdom leaving the European Union mean? Why do so many say this is the dawn of a new era? There is a lot that will be told and learned in the time to come. Right now the shock is achingly real making it worrisome to ponder predictions, besides the overall worrisome that comes with predictions. However, one cannot feel there is something to worry about in all this. While it might not be understood, the economics might fly over our head, and the politics are muddy, something still feels ominous about this new relation in the UK.
The age of disparity should be yesterday, but it is not. One cannot stand very firm with the notion the UK does not carry an unequal amount of global influence. It is entirely accurate to say that a sovereign nation much like people will follow the leader is an oversimplification. However, in this case, the proverb might ring quite true. Should we even worry about the precedent this sets up with other countries in the EU? Does this apply to those countries that are not in a union similar to the UK but rather still possess an environment where influence could be burdensome?
The answer is yes; we should worry about this on all fronts because of the influence the UK carries and the painfully critical times at hand. Deciding against cooperation might just be the spark numerous other disgruntled countries need to close their doors. We live in times where cooperation is decreasing globally and misconceptions and doubt reign supreme. A global power like the UK should not set an example of going at it alone. Going ‘Rogue’ could have sinister causalities that we do not see coming.