Resources based conflict

L’économie de guerre en DRC

Greak Lakes Regions and New Scenarii

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This paper presents some of the issues I perceive important and can responsibly productive for the courses. My interest in peacebuilding and conflict studies targets the question of resource war (Political Economy of Civil war and Peace) and their management. I did strongly explore the theme in various contexts including Angola, Kenya, RD Congo, Sierra Leone, Angola, Mozambique, Soudan and South Sudan, and the USA war against Iraq (1992 and 2003) and among others. I should assume at the same time the perspective of presenting the conflict and the opportunities that emerges in Africa through an economical lens is quite challenging.


Politics and Stupidity

State should strongly be realist before engaging in the neoliberal wave, some African states have not understood that

Human Economy

Towards a Human Economy : some thoughts

At the same time, the society is identified with the market economy and economic considerations which are now seen as being central of political democracy.  This structure is weak if the democratic structure do not serve or favor vulnerable people within the society neither mobilize people for the common good…..  ( Marius Mufuta

Human economy emerges from the preoccupation of heterodox economists who want to answer to the question how the economy might become more human (Keith & Sharp, 2014). The ultimate aim of human economy is building social coexistence in shaping new ideas from the daily life of the people. If not yet established, more than building “humanity”,  the ultimate vision of human economy is toward a  “ just world”, more especially  creating peaceful meanings locally and of course globally. This can only be possible when embedded in creative and innovative traditions which save people from the two principal institutions that uphold inequality: formal political institutions and informal customary practices shared by members of a community; People will be better off if forced to engage with the world outside their fortified enclaves (Hart, Sharp, and Laterza, 2014, pp. 17-18). The purpose of human economy is thus human interests out of greed; people’s concrete activities and aspirations.  The ultimate basis of this is for achieving democracy.  here, the concept of democracy include the power by the people and for the people. Considering the global picture of inequalities, power for the people has never been in the preoccupation of the modern-states.   In this sense, the concept of democracy should be scrutinized and see whether it resolves the problem of inequalities. Better to say that the type of democracy which can work in this new century and this new vision of engaging individuals in federal network should emphasis more on how people don’t delegate their power, but find alternatives far from the established political institutions which failed to work for the people.  ( Marius, Mufuta)

Trends in Multinational Corporations and the DRC Violent Economy


After the Congo second war (1998-2001), the country has thereafter been recovering from a series of conflicts that broke out in the 1990s. This long period had several effects on the economy and it led to a social slump. According to KPMG, (2014, p. 4) the Congo is slowly recovering from decades of decline caused by systemic corruption since independence in 1960 and the conflict that began in May 1997. These factors have dramatically reduced the national output and the government revenue; it has increased external debt and resulted in the deaths of more than 5 million people from violence, famine, and diseases.

In fact, these experiences influenced the collapsed economic sector. More and more, the government and other existing international organizations are working on normalizing the economy including restructuring the chain of investments by targeting specific economic actors and sectors.

Since the country is dependent on natural resources, the restructuration targets specifically companies working in the mining sectors. The main focus is on how to integrate the existing mechanisms which govern the mining companies’ behavior such as their linkage to the corrupted economic sound of the country. It is from these factors that various authors conclude that the causes of the conflict are directly linked to the natural resources curse. Beyond of this lays a controversial debate on the contribution of the mining sectors in the Congolese development.

This paper critically assesses the positive as well as the negative role of conflict finances downplayed by some extractives industries in the socioeconomic development of Congo.

In the next pages, we will present the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) country profile, the role that multinational corporations can play or are playing in the socio-economic development. We will present some “rogue” mining companies and “responsible” companies.

1.      Quick Outlook of the Congolese Economy

DRC is a low income country, ranging 186 out 187 in the Human Development Indicator (2013). She has a population size of around 68 million and covers an area of 2. 344. 858 km2 with a GNI per capita of US$160. In 2012 the per capita income was rated around US$220. DRC remains among the most potential rich countries and she is a goop supplier for precious metal for the global market. The major exports are crude oil, diamonds, cobalt, copper, gold, coffee, tobacco, sugar, and wood products. It imports maize, wheat, food stuffs, transport equipment, and fuel (FAO, 2012). According to the World Bank (2014), “DRC has the potential to be one of the richest countries on the African continent and a driver for the African economic growth with 1,100 minerals and precious metals”.

Since 2010, the Congolese economy has performed well with an amazing economic growth of 8.5% in 2013. It is ranked the 4th country after Sierra Leone, Chad, and Ivory Coast in the economic performance (Africa Outlook, 2014). This result is due to the normalization within the mining sectors, the implementation of prudent fiscal and monetary policies, and the investment in infrastructure. Robust extractive industries have played an important role in this economic performance and the terms of trade of have been favorable to DRC due to stable trends in the commodity prices.

However, the Congolese financial system is shallow and underdeveloped (IMF Country Report No. 14/315, 2014) and it has contributed to the non-performance of the country in the business climate. The Business Climate Index 2014 ranked the Congolese environment 183 out of 189. This factor has a negative impact of attracting external investors.

The Congolese political economy is “a violent economy” surrounded by a history of wars. The presence of several actors in the conflict trade including the conflict entrepreneurs (predatory elites – looters, organized criminals, military manager, and political entrepreneurs), the conflict opportunists, and conflicts dependents cannot to sustain the stability of the Congolese economy.

In the political context, DRC is a fragile country due to weak institutions and the tense security situation in the eastern provinces. However, peacebuilding and economic recovery efforts are being carried out. As noted by the HDI (2014), the poverty rate is higher even though it fell from 71% in 2005 to 63% in 2012. Despite the eastern Congo crisis, DRC is a reconciled society expressed by the mutual acceptance of the different ethnic groups.

Despite the nature of its violent economy, DRC receives several investors, specifically in the mining sector. Some of these investors are working in the conflicting zones controlled by rebel groups and others in the zones under the state control. In the opinion of majority of Congolese, most of the multinational corporations working in the conflict zones sponsor the rebel groups in order to create a scenario without the control of the government where they can freely make profit from the resources. The next sections will provide a critical analysis of the role of multinational corporations, addressing the case of DRC.

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Just War Theory and Political Economy of In Kuwaiti Invasion


The Just war doctrine and realism assumed that war should be justified by a convincing motive. The motive may be either ethically driven or rational. At least, conflicting parties should build “a foundation of a case of war” (Frowe, 2011, p. 51).  In the 1970s (Walzer, 1977, pp. 297-298), specifically in the post-Cold War area, the notion of “responsibility to protect” emerged as the “ultimate just cause” to protect civilians and legitimize third-party intervention. Sometimes this has created a “political conflict” or “political dilemma” between the unconditional sovereignty of a state and the state’s adherence to minimum international humanitarian norms (Falk, 1998, p. 13).

Beyond this dilemma, there is a new factor that influences third party intervention namely the precious natural and key resources. In the many wars that have been fought in the aftermath of the Cold War, precious  materials such as oil, diamonds, coltan, cobalt, and the like  have been among the just causes “for third-party intervention within “the emblematic prize of so called resource war” (Le Billon & El-Khatib, 2005, p. 109). According to Peters (2005), the resource war has become a threat to global security and therefore defies the morality, legitimacy and legality for the just war doctrine.

The scramble for oil and the counterterrorist activism in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East are among the various controversial debates on the presence of Western and USA pro-active military p in the Persian Gulf. According to Le Billon and El Khatib (2005), “Western diplomatic and military support of friendly local regimes in the Persian Gulf was closely linked to the protection of Western oil interests” (p. 109).  The West and the USA are perceived to be looters and imperialists of the black gold.

But the West and the USA do not see that way. They justify their long standing military intervention under the label of humanitarian intervention and the fight against terrorism in order to restore international peace and security (UN Charter, 1945: principal objective).

This paper raises a debate between the “economic invasion” of oil reserves in the Gulf, termed as war economies (Coulomb, 2004) and the possible ethical evaluation on resource war. More specifically, how war was dehumanized by the notion of national interest (Peter, 2005) during the war in Kuwait war between the United Nations’ coalition that was led by the USA against Iraq.

We will first discuss the normal trend of just war theory in the context of Iraq’s invasion in Kuwait and the counter aggression act of the UN coalition. Thereafter we will engage in the debate of trying to review how the political economy of the Gulf War distanced from meeting the standards of just war doctrine and the challenges that the post reconstruction encountered.

1.      An History of Aggression in the Gulf

According to (Mokhtari , 2010, p. 1), Iraq was created in 1919 from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire and is a collection of three former Ottoman provinces. Kuwait was claimed to be part of the Iraqi territory, specifically the province of Basra in the coastline of the Gulf. All Iraqi governments have claimed this province which was made worse by discovery of oil in Kuwait.

Kuwait’s autonomy was backed to 1913 treaty with Ottomans and was followed by the Kuwaiti independence in 1961. However, this autonomy and the independence were not recognized by Iraq. The reason behind Iraq’s refusal to recognize Kuwait was over the claims that Iraq has some historical rights over Kuwait that should have been addressed before the independence (Gazit, 1992).

The scramble for oil in the Persian Gulf started with the Iran and Iraq war which was followed by the Iraqi invasion in Kuwait on the 2nd August 1990 (Australian War Memorial, 2014), and late the US-aggression of Iraq in 2003–09 to which scholars often refer to as the third Gulf war.

The Iraq invasion in Kuwait was driven by the economic consequence of the Iran-Iraq war which cost Iraq a foreign debt ranging from U$570 to 80 billion (Gazit, 1992, p. 8). Iraq tried to compel the countries within the region to help her recover from the war by forgiving her their different loans and debts. The case of Kuwait was different because of the historical territorial grievance they had in the past. Iraq obligated Kuwait to pay an amount of U$10 billion as compensation for the extraction of oil in the disputed territories and to forgive her loans to Iraq.

Due to the refusal of the Kuwait to meet these demands by Iraq, Iraq decided to invade Kuwait on the 2nd August of 1990 (Persian Gulf , 1993).

At the international level, this act was considered as an act of aggression and therefore was covered by the international law as asserted by the Geneva Convention and there is a necessity to for of restore the international law by liberating Kuwait (Peter, 2005). Hence, the United Nations decided to form a coalition in order to counteract the Iraqi aggression under “Operation Desert Storm” which marked the start of Kuwaiti war. The war was a fight between Iraq and a coalition of 30 nations gathered by the United Nations Security Council under the United States.

In the just war doctrine, scholars are more concerned more with the real motives of the humanitarian intervention and the possible just and real causes of Iraq stepping in Kuwait. The more common and accepted hypothesis is that the USA led coalition’s aim was not because they were against the act of  Iraq’s aggression but since they wanted to protect western and USA interests within Saudi Arabia in case Iraq decided to pursue her conquest further (Freedman & Karsh, 1993, p. 87).

  1. Application of Just war theory in the Kuwait War

2.1. Jus ad Bellum

2.1.1.      Just Causes

According to Little (1992) applying force without good reason is an “egregious violation” p. xxvii). Therefore, the use of force should be justified by just causes or reasons. Iraqi Legitimate cause: Recover Her Stolen Assets

The only justifiable cause for Iraq to attack Kuwait was to recover her stolen assets, her Islands (Warba and Bubiyan); which, according to just war doctrine is reason enough to go to war (Bellamy, 2006). Iraq claimed Kuwait was a part of the former ottoman province of Basra and an integral section of the geographical unit situated to the southwest of the Shalt al –Arab river which is Iraq’s natural zone of access to the Persian Gulf (Gazit, 1992, pp. 7-8). According to Gazit (1992, p. 8), this “historical argument was more of a pretext to justify the action than a concrete motive for it”.

For Saddam Hussein, “Kuwait is part of Iraqi territory that was seized in the past by the British occupation authorities in order to weaken Iraq by depriving her of strategic position on the Arabian Gulf; which position would strengthen her pan-Arab security and to limit the free movement of Iraqi (Freedman and Karsh, 1993, p. 42). Therefore, Saddam Hussein defended his actions in Kuwait as “necessary to redress flawed regional borders drawn up by colonial powers that had installed a corrupt minority in the Arab World’s richest territory” (Stoessinger, 2008, p. 298).

That is why even at international level, Iraq’s threat to Kuwait was not taken with all the serious response because Iraq had some legitimate grievances. Coalition just causes: Counteracting an act of Aggression

The coalition was formed to protect the sovereignty of Kuwait as it was being violated by Iraq. The Iraqi invasion was condemned by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 and demanded that Iraq withdraw all her forces immediately and unconditionally.  For the USA and the United Nations, the Iraqi aggression broke up an important international order established in the aftermath of World War II, the inalienable right of sovereignty. Therefore, as asserted by Freedman and Karsh (1993), “the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait was a text book case of aggression” (p. XXIX).  For Dower (2009, p. 1), the gulf war was meant to reverse Saddam Hussein’s invasion in Kuwait.  We now understand why President Bush simply referred to this action as “naked aggression” (Stoessinger, 2008, p. 298).

In his study of new wars versus old wars, Kaldor (1999, p. 28-32) informs that the Gulf War (Kuwait) apparently satisfied the international standards because it was significant as the first-post Cold War international crisis. Freedman and Karsh (1993) argument makes the case more consistent that

The crisis provides a remarkable snapshot of the international system at the start of the 1990s, and an opportunity to explore the wider significance of the break-up of the Soviet empire in Europe and its implication for the conduct of diplomacy and the role the military force (p. XXXI).

Their suggestion pinpoint that the fact that an effective global governance started with this intervention. Indeed, the United Nations Intervention in Kuwait was under the peace enforcement strategy as provided by chapter VII of the United Nation, the Gulf War was a primary example of peace enforcement (Wallensteen, 2012, p. 240).

In the Arab world, the invasion of Kuwait was seen as a betrayal of the central concept of Al Amn am Qaumi (the security of the Arab nation) endorsed by all members of the Arab league (Khalidi, 1991, p. 19). Iraq did not respect the imperative of non-aggression between Arab states and the Arab collective security as the responsibility of the Arab states within the framework of the Arab League (Joint Defense and Economic Cooperation, 1950, art. 1).

Conclusively, the decision to engage in military action against Iraq was a palpable just cause to rectify an injustice and to repair a flouted international law (Dower, 2009, p. 100).

2.1.2.      Legitimate Authority

Without the United Nations consensus, the USA did not have any authority to wage war against Saddam Hussein. George Bush sought for legitimacy from the Congress and the House of representatives by using several arguments including that “the best way to avoid war was to be prepared to fight one and to prove this to Saddam (Stoessinger, 2008, p. 306). Since the action has endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, a legitimacy to wage was then established.

However, Iraqi legitimacy is controversially argued. For Saddam Hussein, he had the legitimate mandate as president to wage war against Kuwait to restore Iraq’s territorial integrity. However, the international perception of him committing an act of aggression delegitimized his authority (Stoessinger, 2008)

2.1.3.      Right Intention

According to Aristotle in Bellamy (2006), “we wage war in order to have peace” and “therefore using force for any other purpose than to restrain and minimize force is reprehensible” (Little, 1992, xxix). In the resource war in the Persian Gulf, right intention encountered challenges of interpretation.

For Dower (2009), the decision to force Iraq out of Kuwait was legal according to the international law, specifically the Geneva Convention of 1949, Protocol II, Art 3 that emphasizes the respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity. However, “many critics of the US-led 1991 Gulf War and 2003 Iraq war strongly suspect that a powerful motive was in fact the desire to secure Western oil  interests”(Dower, 2009, p. 91). Therefore, the United States’ presumption to defend Kuwait was to protect its national interest.

Among the Scholars, the Iraq war in 2003 was out USA continuity intention to remove Saddam Hussein from power just like during the Gulf war. This because that, even though Saddam helped the Western powers to weaken Iran, he had the possibility to become a major and feared threat to Western interests in the Gulf. The death of Saddam Hussein was the real manifested intention of the Kuwait crisis.

On the side of Saddam Hussein, we could have b expected him to only recover the islands upon which he had  claimed some historical rights but not to build a case of  resource war which could not be justified by the  international conventions on warfare. Furthermore, for Gazit (1992, p. 8), Saddam Hussein wanted to assume a leading role in the inter-Arab system, the achievement of direct unhampered access to the Gulf, and a greater share in the regional oil export industry.

Conclusively, what led the Kuwait war was the bad intention of the warring parties.

2.1.4.      Last Resort

The Iraqi government tried to peacefully resolve the conflict while the UN intervention acted rapidly. Iraq tried to negotiate with Kuwait during the Kuwaiti-Iraqi summit in Jeddah (31 July 1990). However, the Kuwaiti delegation did not take the demands because, six hours after the Jihadi, Saudi Arabia meeting, Iraq marched into Kuwait (Stoessinger, 2008, p. 299). On the other hand, the USA and UN were completely absent at the different peace talks initiated by Iraq and Kuwait (Stoessinger, 2008, p. 299).

Kuwait was not ready for negotiation while Saddam Hussein claimed that “as long as discussions last between Iraq and Kuwait, I won’t intervene with force before I have exhausted all the possibilities for negotiation” (Freedman and Karsh, p. 1993, p. 50). But the different peace-processes initiated could have been seen as “smoke-screen aimed at gaining international legitimacy for the impending military action (Freedman & Karsh, 1993, p. 62).

Yet the act of aggression had been established, but the United Nation Security Council did not give enough time to Iraq before the authorization of the use of force. For the United Nations, Iraq had to leave Kuwait without setting up any conditions.  Indeed, the response to the Iraqi invasion took less than 5 months for the United Nations Security Council to allow the use of force against.

The UN had other possibilities to pursue other policies including targeted sanctions. It appears that it the war was not the last resort for the Gulf Persian war and knowing the military capacity of the Iraqi military force, the war could have caused many casualties. According to Dower (2009), “given the great cost of war, it is clearly necessary to avoid it, if at all possible by negotiation, diplomacy, and so on” (p. 92). However, in war economies, if the cost is relatively lower to the profit that warring parties will gain from this war, often, war is the last resort.

The Persian war should not have been the last resort because the aim of sanctions did not meet the purposes of “rewarding aggression and helping Saddam Hussein to acknowledge his mistake through peaceful means with face save concessions (Dower, 2009, p. 91). The duration of sanctions by the UN was only strategy to convince her allies and the United Nation Security Council for a possible military intervention, but not to compel Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait.  Moreover, it translates the new trend of international system of both realism and neorealism which think that  states have to pursue their national interest, if necessary at the expense of morality, neorealism can be used to justify military interventions for the sake of energy security in lieu of proposing how to avoid them (Peter, 2005, p. 190).

Freedman and Karsh ( 1993) thought that the economic pressure was seen as the most appropriate  means to Saddam’s grip on power both before and after the main Iran war”( p. XXX III). However what means sanctions for a regime which was indifferent to the suffering for its own population.

2.1.5.      Reasonable Hope of Success

If Iraq failed to win the war, it is because it did not rationally analyse the chance of success including the misperception of the external forces in the intervention while USA’s tardiness after convincing the different countries of the region and other super power gave them the hope of success. We will only analyse Iraq’s attitude while assuming that the coalition of 30 countries against one country is ipso facto a determining factor of hope of success.

Gazit (1992) gives eight conceptions of this misperception. But for the purpose of consistence, we will only analyze five of them. First, Saddam thought that the occupation of Kuwait was not a threat to other states, so he could not expect any immediate intervention very soon.  Secondly, blind by the ideology of the “Arab world”, he thought that Arab states would not ally themselves with infidels (the West). For him, “Muslim-Arab states would never consider asking for military and political support from outsiders and would not join a political and military coalition with infidels” (Gazit, 1992, p. 10). If Saudi Arabia did not allow an international coalition to use her territory, the success to evict Iraq from Kuwait was limited and no purely Arab forces, singly or together represented a threat to Iraqi armed forces. Thirdly, Iraq was not the only Middle Eastern country to have seized territory by force, so did Israel and Syria. If Israel declared to abandon the territories it had occupied in 1967 and Syria agreed to withdraw its troops from Lebanon (Gazit, 1992, p. 11), then Saddam was ready to back off on the eventual invasion of Kuwait. For Saddam, this common Arab problem could not be ignored by any Arab capital-impolitic. Fourthly, the biggest and may be unrealistic mistake that Saddam Hussein made was to exclude the possibility that an international coalition against Iraq would be formed against him. For Gazit the world is just from the cold war, and the global governance had taken place. Naively, Iraq failed to read the new international map: the map of a system in which superpower rivalry was no longer operating. The USA and Russia could easily find a road map and the frequent use of veto power was no longer in common use (Gazit, 1992, p. 12). For Stoessinger (2008,  p. 303), the Security Council vote of August 2 was a historic occasion because the USA and the Soviet Union decided to make a common cause to defend Kuwait (cf. De Luka, 1991).  Last, but not least, the great failure was that the “US would not go to war “because she had not yet overcome the trauma of the Vietnam war and that it was a democracy in decay, a paper trier” (Gazit, 1992, p. 13). Therefore, the fate of Kuwait was not interesting for her.

Two other conditions are left including the public declaration and proportionality which in the Kuwaiti war did not play an important role.  We shall discuss the issue of proportionality in the coming section.

2.2. Ius in Bello

Ius in Bello is concerned with proportionality, discrimination of non-combatant Immunity. It aim at prohibiting assault on innocent people, or threatening to assault, it declares that the weapons, tactics, and strategy must be morally efficient.  For Little (1992, p. xxix), the suffering and the devastation of war always threaten to outweigh whatever benefits may result.  The fourth Geneva Convention afforded the protection of the civilian human treatment for all persons in enemy hands; it specifically prohibits murder, mutilation, torture, cruel, humiliating and degrading treatment, the taking of hostages and unfair trial.  It requires that the wounded, sick and shipwrecked be collected and cared for.  It grants the ICRC the right to offer its services to the parties to the conflict (Internal Committee of the Red Cross , 2010).

In the Kuwaiti war, the UN coalition failed to respect some international laws such as the treatment of prisoners of war by killing almost the Iraqi soldiers and Palestinians who decided to withdraw from Kuwait and to surrender.  Moreover, what means a coalition of 30 countries against one state and to which extent is it possible to ethically evaluate the proportionality of this war. The coalition used very sophisticated air bomb and equipment including the air strikes which created many casualties in which hundreds and thousands of Kurds and Shiites died (Kaldor, 1999, p. 3).

Approximately 100, 000 Iraqi troops and three hundreds tanks crossed the border and rolled unimpeded down an empty superhighway that Kuwait had built several years earlier as token of friendship with Iraq (Stoessinger, 2008, p. 297). 1000 civilians were murdered during the occupation and many forcibly deported to Iraq (Freedman & Karsh, 1993, p. 68). In addition, Iraqi troop sent missiles on Israeli localities in order to divert the attention of some member of the coalition including USA, Egypt and Syria. But for Stoessinger (2008,  p. 309), this action of sending missiles into cities of a non-combatant country was a moral issue of concern in which Saddam Hussein broke the international law. For many, Saddam exceeded the limit of reason (Freedman and Karsh, 1993, p. 57).

  1. Some Trends of Morality in  War Economies

3.1. Resource War  and Third Party Intervention

The political economy of war is one of the characteristics of new generation or in itself constitutes the new generation of warfare. Driven by the process of globalization and certified by the intensification of global interconnectedness- political, economic, military and cultural (Kaldor, 1999, p, 3), the new generation of warfare is the relics of the Cold War. It is characterized by the power vacuum, availability of surplus arms, the discrediting of socialist ideologies, the disintegration of totalitarian empires, energy supply security, the withdrawal of super powers to support the client greedy regimes world created by the capitalist ideology which actually constitutes the principal feature of globalization, and the pursuit of precious material and resources (Kaldor, p. 5).  Among those resources, “Oil as a trigger for geopolitical resource wars, has been a theme of international relations analysis since the OPEC oil shocks of the 1970” (Shankleman, 2006).

This fact shifted the conflict to a mere fight for identity politics and international political clash to warfare of function utility (Berdal & Malone, 2000). Therefore, the real cause of intervening parties has been questioned. Definitely, warfare is not a charitable affair therefore and therefore “third parties are never only benevolent” (Brauer & Dunne, 2012, p. 121).

In addition, the couple wealth and morality find itself in dilemma either behaving in ethical way or defending the morality of national interests. Pacifists find their activism against war limited by state interests which realists justify to be the “moral commitment’ according to which states should pursue their national interests” (Keohane 1986, pp. 320-1).

As discussed in the background, the Persian Gulf was actually a great challenge on the ethics of war. The causes, justifiable or just, are criticized by the way the intervention has been done and the way actors behaved during war. On the both sides, there was almost misconduct (anti-ethics) due to the fact that the intention of both parties was not rightly directed to build peace. In the same line, Morse (1999) thinks that

The Gulf War of 1991 was the first war in modern history fought specifically over oil. It serves as a reminder that as long as hydrocarbon resources remain fundamental to economic growth and as long as there are powerful governments that want to ensure access to hydrocarbon supplies. There will be a commitment to use force to prevent any single government from controlling the market (p. 16).

Analysing resource wars in the light of just war doctrine, the right intention is the determining factor to ethically evalutae the attitude of the actors in  ius ad bellum, in the conduct of war, and the aftermath of the war.  Accoridng to Gazit (1992, p. 8), the Iraqi invasion was driven by several economic agendas. Iraq accused Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates of having exceeded the oil production quotas set for them by the OPEC. For Iraq, they had lowered world oil prices and reduced the oil income of other OPEC members which cost Iraq billions of dollars. However Kuwait violation of this quota has been seen as detrimental to Iraq’s interests and triggered the declaration of war (Freedman and Karsh, 1993, p. 46). Was that enough reason to build a case of war (Frowe, 2011, p. 51)?

The non-respect of an economic cooperation regulation is not a “just cause” for waging war against a sovereign state. Indeed, Iraq war campaign focused on Kuwait’s wealth (Freedman and Karsh, 1993, p. 45) and pressurized other Gulf States to forgive their loans (Saudi Arabia and Kuwait). The war for Saddam Hussein was a way to find money and pay her debt of $70 billion that Iran war left him with. The assumption that Kuwait was an Iraqi province cut off arbitrarily by the imperialism was an escape goat and Saddam wanted to use annexation as retaliation for “economic warfare” (Stoessinger, 2008, p. 298). According to Mokhtari ( 2010, p. 1), by invading Kuwait, Iraq could have control of the 20 percent of the world’s oil supply and thus exercise a strangle hold over the Western countries.

Furthermore, Iraq has requested Kuwait to pay U$10 billion of the compensation of the islands oil field. The Kuwait offered to pay U$9 billion which represented 90% of the amount requested by Iraq. The Iraqi refusal to accept this amount shows the fixed motive of Saddam Hussein to attach Kuwait because his ambition was to accomplish the reconstruction programs he had promised after the Iran War to his population (Freedman and Karsh, 1993, p. 63). Beyond recovering the stolen assets, Iraq had other intentions.

One question which still is pending is why the USA does take the lead for such intervention.  During the Iraqi declaration of war, USA intention was not revealed. Later one the activism to intervene in Iraq brought to light the economic agenda of such commitment.  According to (Khalidi, 1991, p. 16), the “United States military power was the only one capable to deter or reverse any future Iraqi aggression” (Khalidi, 1991, p. 17). However,  Dower (2009) saw it differently  when he pointed out that “many critics of the US-led 1991 Gulf War and 2003 Iraq war strongly suspect that a powerful motives was in fact the desire to secure western oil interests”(p. 91). Le Billon & Khatib(2005 ) recorded a quote President Roosevelt to British Ambassador in 1994 “saying than “Persian oil … is yours. We share the oil of Iraq and Kuwait. As for Saudi Arabian oil, it is ours”.

Moreover, the scramble for oil and the counterterrorist activism in the Persian Gulf are among the various controversial debates on the Western (British and French) and USA pro-active military presence in the Persian Gulf Persian. According to Le Billon and El Khatib (2005), “Western diplomatic and military support of friendly local regimes in the Persian Gulf was closely linked to the protection of Western oil interests” (p. 109). The West and the USA do not see this it this way. They justify their then intervention and their long standing military intervention as the fight against terrorism.

Being a realistic, Bush gave clearly his position that the USA would defend its interests and friends on the region, to support “the sovereignty and integrity of the Gulf states” (Freedman and Karsh, 1993). The question of defending its interest was not enough to justify its action; although the invasion was an enough legitimate reason to intervene as mean to protect economic interests.

For the Western alliances, Saudi Arabia remains a western strategic position for their interest. In this sense, the quick intervention of the western alliance’s forces and the USA in Kuwait is perceived a strategic action to secure their oil bridge, which was Saudi Arabia. Freedman and Karsh (1993) are not silent to think that the United States intervention in the Gulf, “it was argued, had nothing to do with its concern for the world order. It suited America to take up this particular crime because it happened to interfere with their basic interest (p. xxx). For Stoessinger (2008), “Operation Desert Storm might have ended up as an American war, not as a United Nations collective security action” (p. 313).

Furthermore, the concept of national interest diminishes the extent to which the international arena works. The different great powers who constituted the coalition were all Iraqi friends including Britain, France and USA. They supported Iraq to the first Gulf war (the Iran-Iraq war). Britain was the third largest trading partner. After the Iran war, for the USA state department claimed that normal relations between the US and Iraq would serve their long-term interest in both the Gulf and the Middle East. Therefore, the US government should propose economic and political incentives for Iraq to mediate its behaviors and to increase our influence with Iraq (Freedman and Karsh, 1993, p. 26).

3.2. National Interest against Morality

The Gulf war is four years older than the Rwandese genocide. One can ask why did the United Nations and the United States miss the opportunity to prevent the Rwandese genocide. The Kuwaiti invasion was not a “supreme emergency” (Walzer, 1977) as in the eminence of the threat or the nature of the invasion than was the Rwandese genocide. It appears as if; and theorists of war economies are justified here, humanitarian intervention in Kuwait has something non-ethical but mainly rationally and economically motivated (cf. Holzgrefe, 2003).

The USA intervention was not a purely altruistic reason. Even though there was no reason to doubt that the president’s principled position that this aggression must not stand. There was also the matter of oil to consider (Stoessinger, 2008, p. 303). Leaving Saddam Hussein to aggress Kuwait was by the Western giving him the opportunity to control of almost half of the world’s proven oil reserves. It was really a case of lifeline to the United States and the entire Western world.

For Khalidi (1991, p. 5), the bulk of the Arab oil countries wealth is known to find its way into the economies of the western industrial countries, and particularly in the United States. He pursued in arguing that there is psychological map reflecting  the perception that western countries had come to be the true beneficiaries of Arab oil wealth at the expense of the non-oil rich Arab countries,  while acting as the guardian of the  noted socio-economic statu quo and of the rulers who benefited from it” (Khalidi, 1991, p. 6).

The USA has not signed a dependency treaty with the Gulf States but support independence and security. It translates the fact protecting its interest and the stability of the region was a major concern in the Kuwaiti war (Freedman & Karsh, 1993, p. 59). Indeed, the United States supported Kuwait’s economic war against Iraq at a time when that contained fundamentalist Islamic state threatening the interest of the West as well as those for the United Sates (Freedman and Karsh, 1993, p. 57).

Despite the liberation of Kuwait, the conditions of the Ius ad bellum of the Gulf War remains forcibly controversial for both sides of Iraq and the Coalition. The structural analysis of the Kuwait invasion by the coalition formed by the United Nation translates the dilemma of war waged from motives of lust, love of violence, cruelty or hatred in one’s heart, rather than initiated and fought with the desire of peace and justice (Dower, 2009).

In the Gulf war, relative just causes and right intention have been challenged. For Dower (2009), the determination to pull Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait war according to the international norms with the respect to protect ones’ state sovereignty. But it does not justify why the USA took the lead to the operation, because according to (Stoessinger, 2008, p. 301), reporting by the U.S. State Department spokesperson Margaret D. Tutwiler, the United Sates had no defense treaties with Kuwait, no special defense or security commitments to Kuwait”, why then, they would have been the lobby to defend the fate imposed by Iraq to Kuwait. At this point the, debate is still opened.

  1. Ideological War

Beyond the ethical evaluation and the economic prospect in which one can engage in the Kuwaiti war, there is the ideological map which crosscuts the debate.  Certainly, one the major reasons of Iraqi Invasion was the elimination of the trace of western colonialism left in the Middle East (Freedman and Karsh, 1993, p. 42). The invasion of Kuwait was justified through the calls to Arab nationalism.  In the region, Iraq remained the only country still pushing for the expansion of the Arab Union while several countries were still depending on the western alliances.

In the clash of civilization, Huntington raises a consistent debate on what he referred to as the double standard of democracy. He argued that “democracy is promoted but not if it brings a fundamentalist to power; nonproliferation is preached for Iran and Iraq but not for Israel […] aggression against oil-owning Kuwaitis is massively repulsed but not against non-oil owning Bosnians” (Huntington, 1996, p. 184). Khalidi (1991) thinks the same that the USA, a great democracy collaborate with terror based, autocratic and quasi-totalitarian regimes, absolute leader, monarchical, patriarchal, semi-feudal autocratic regime if only they share its ideology or safeguard its national interest. The interest of protecting Kuwait was not only economically, but “the remarking of world order” forcibly driven by the desire to spread democracy. At the time of war, “the only Muslim state which was clearly more pro-Western than it had been ten years previously was Kuwait” (Huntington, 1996,   p. 214).  .

For Huntington (1996, 248,) the paradox of democracy was the great paradox of the Kuwait war.  This is justified by the resentment and tardiness of the other Arab countries to condemn the Iraqi invasion and welcomed the western forces in Kuwait. If Saudi Arabia, did not feel threatened by the Iraqi audacity, it could not probably accept her territory to be used by the coalition against Iraq because of the ideology of protecting Arab nationalism.

Finally, several Arab countries condemn the West military operation in Kuwait. Since the earlier stage of the conflict, the Arab world did not want any external intervention (Khalidi 1991). For them “It is a family affair to be settled within a family and those intervened in the name of some grand theory of international justice were doing so to protect their own selfish interests and to maintain Arab subordination to the West” (Huntington, 1996, p. 248). The view among the Arab was that Saddam Hussein was wrong to invade Kuwait; the West was more to intervene hence Saddam is right to fight the Invaders. Therefore the reason of Iraq steeping in Kuwait translated the ideology of Saddam seize with the western powers interest and the westernization of in the Arab countries.

5.      Post-conflict analysis (ius post bellum)

The post conflict reconstruction in the case of third part of intervention is not always well planned, if the motive of was something else rather than its profit than the safety and rehabilitation of the local population. According to (Mokhtari , 2010) the territorial tension between Kuwait and Iraq was made more venomous after “Desert Storm”. What we could have expected from the coalition was to address this historical injustice or grievance of boundaries. The inequitable division of the coast-line remains a source of continual tensions between the city-state Kuwait and the much larger Iraq.

Although, the United Security Council Resolution 687 (1991) created a Special Commission (UNSCOM) and charged it with the responsibility to search out and destroy as many of the hidden weapons caches as possible and to help drawing the boundaries between Iraq and Kuwait, and the payment of compensation (Wallensteen, 2012, p. 82), the historical grievance on territories remains a major challenge to date. Among the critics to the USA foreign policy, one raises the lack of the USA as global power to suggest a security framework which allows it to exercise the prerogative of reducing its regional presence without endangering her interest (Mokhtari , 2010, p. 1).

On the transitional justice, scholars like Stoessinger (2008,) went far thinking that, the trial of Saddam Hussein and his people was seen as a distributive justice of his past crimes including Kuwait invasion.  In most of cases, the termination of resource war is winning-lose situation or power sharing model. In the context of Iraq if Justice did not happen after the Kuwait invasion, it remains that in the Saddam Hussein trial of 2004 took into account the crimes he committed starting from the Iran-Iraq war to his aerostation by the US-led invasion in 2003, constituted his charge in 2006.  Moreover, the Saddam Hussein trail has been criticized of being illegal and had no right to try a sitting president of sovereign state. It was a victor’s justice, in this view, not a fair trial under international law (Stoessinger, 2008, p. 367). According to Stoessinger (2008,  p. 367) It was not legally correct to trail Saddam Hussein in Iraq because of the security and the fairness of trial. The International Criminal Court could have done better. However, the fact the Hague excluded the option of death sentence; it was an enough reason for the USA to lobby for a trial within Iraq where the death penalty could was possible.

Conclusion and Way Forward

The Gulf war (Iraq-Kuwait) translated into the perfect example where just war doctrine and resource war thoughts crossed.  It also shows the intermittent debate of the theories that guides the international relations.

For Iraq, beyond the ethical motivation of territorial integrity, was an economic motivation while no ethical justification on the side of the American and the coalition could challenge their action.  In the international law, an aggression cannot ethically justifiably and admissible. Yet the intervention could be perceived as “justice to the aggressor” (Walzer, 1977) but the use of force was not a last resort and the economic plunder of Arab oil have attracted the members of the coalition.   Neither Iraq has reacted in promptly in ethical way nor did  the coalition.

This picture for both Iraq and the coalition is somehow the dilemma in which the ethical norms of war are translated, annihilated and assimilated with national interest. Just causes mean only national interest considering the state as the primary actors.  For Stoessinger (2008), the defense of Kuwait, through Saudi Arabia was a strategic imperative, not an application of the ethical norms that guide the just war doctrine. Generic

A generic critic which maybe use to embrace the pacifist thinking is the concept of just war, even though it translates a certain morality that the concept “just” is not enough to justify violence. Violence whether it is justified or not create several causalities. For Schellenberg (1996, p. 122), there is no other form of conflict resolution which can always perfectly resolve the issues either, but the physical violence is not a complete methodology to restore sustainable peace if it is used for economic purposes rather for the common good of the local population in the rightness of the intention.

Therefore, the concept of “just peace”[1] doctrine proposed by the Council of Churches and advocating by religious confessions comes in as to reverse violence. For Smock, 1992, 2002, pp. 33-35) could replace the way the warfare is viewed. He argued that “while just war theory has focused on common security from violence, just peace represents a mutually supportive relationship between friendship and justice along with common security from violence”. With Regards to the Iraqi invasion could have been resolved peaceful, if the United States intentions, a former friend of Iraq, could not have been economically motivated. According to Smock (2002),  “Just peace assumes that human self-interests can be activated to find a negotiated settlement and that were more time and energy devoted to the development of sophisticated negotiation, more and more conflicts could be addressed without resort to armed conflict” ( p. 34).

However, does this fact make the just war doctrine relevant today? Whatever is the dilemma, as noted by Holmes quoted by Smock (2002, p. 36) while the theory itself has some merit and those who initially formulated it were well-intentioned in the new thinking about the moral problem of war, let us accept it has recently been misused.

In the case of Persian Gulf, it does reflect on the serviceability of a theory rather than on the regulator principles that sustain the just war doctrine as perfect and an ideal model of humanizing war. Therefore, resource war or economies war it is a deviation on international relations and cannot challenge the whole design of the just war theory. However, it can only serve as a red light to help rethink some core values guiding the just war doctrine and their application in a given context.

[1] Just Perspective was presented by Professor Susan Thistlethwaite of Chicago Theological Seminary (Smock, 1992, 2002)

(lire la suite)

For me to live is Christ ( Phil 1: 21)

For me to live is Christ ( Phil 1: 21) :   Religious, advocate for peace



Il y a plus trois jours que le gouvernement Congolais et la MONUSCO ont décidé de répondre aux accusations de l’inertie leur adresser depuis la défaite des M23. Les deux forces conjointes chargées de mettre la fameuse résolution 2098 en pratique sont accusées d’un retard dans la neutralisation des autres groupes rebelles incluant les FDLR, les ADF et les différents groupes Mai Mai dans les régions du nord Kivu. Bien de questions se posent entre autres : pourquoi l’opération contre des FDLR qui devraient être une deuxième priorité de la force conjointe FBI et des FARDC a dû faire longtemps pour être effectives ? Si les annonces faites de les attaquer militairement est l’ultime option, pourquoi alors il y a désaccord entre la MONUSCO et le gouvernement Congolais dans l’opération Sokola 2 ?

La neutralisation des FDLR dans la région des grands lacs demeure une préoccupation tant pour la communauté internationale, le gouvernement Congolais que les pays dans la région des grands lacs, plus spécialement le Rwanda. Si la force militaire était une option nécessaire pour neutraliser les M23, il n’en demeure pas évident qu’elle est l’ultime mesure pour un groupe armé-civil qui a à son sein des enfants et des femmes rwandaises ou congolaises qui ne sont pas armés. Plusieurs organisations humanitaires partagent ce point de vue. Les FDLR ne sont pas que des personnes armées : femmes comme enfants les accompagnent, vieux comme civils les aident dans l’activité de leur instinct de survie. Autrement dit qu’une action militaire contre les FDLR viserait toutes ces personnes civiles autour d’eux. La communauté internationale qui n’a pas encore trouvée des thérapies pour se « detraumatiser » du génocide rwandais, du génocide au Darfour, du génocide congolais, l’actuel génocide dans le Soudan du Sud, n’est pas prêt à assister à un autre massacre d’une ethnie en quête sérieuse des besoins primaires que tout humain déclare : la sécurité de l’identité. A moins que ce groupe appartienne à la génération sacrifiée de plus 5000000 congolais qui sont morts depuis 1994 pour couvrir le massacre rwandais. Un des Interahamwe âgé de 28 ans, se confiait à moi un de ces jours dans une interview: « Je suis victime d’une complicité internationale parce que j’ai perdu toute ma famille proche et d’autres parents au nom de cette étiquette de « Génocidaire ». Je n’ai tué personne, moi et les autres sommes victimes d’une complicité ; il viendra aussi un jour où nous compterons nos morts ».

Il est clair que l’action de la force militaire contre les FDLR présenterait plusieurs conséquences humanitaires que l’ensemble de la communauté internationale et le gouvernement Congolais pourraient regretter dans l’avenir.

Ceci peut-il justifier des petites brèches de discordance entre le gouvernement Congolais et les Forces Onusiennes dans la coordination des opérations Sokola 2. Il est vrai que la MONUSCO présente une certaine attitude de prudence dans le lancement de cette opération. Mr Martin Kobler l’a peut être bien déclaré dans son discours du 27 Octobre 2014 au Conseil de Sécurité, après avoir constaté le refus du désarmement volontaire des FDLR : « j’ai un regret de vous dire que, malgré le début promoteur (la victoire contre les M23), le processus est maintenant dans une impasse (les opérations contre les FLDR) ». Au demeurant, une question reste énigmatique, pourquoi les FDLR n’ont pas acceptés de faire une reddition. Il y a une réponse à cette question que l’opinion publique ne connaitra jamais. Cependant, la conférence des envoyés internationaux dans les régions des grands Lacs au Luanda (Angola) a accouché d’une chimère, laquelle conférence allait donner le motus qui encouragerait des FDLR à désarmer volontairement, certains gouvernements ont refusé de céder aux griefs des FDLR. Ceci avait marqué un recul du processus de la réalisation de l’Accord Cadre d’Addis-Abeba, cela pourrait être cette impasse dont Mr Martin Kobler.

Dans tous les cas, le gouvernement congolais s’est décidé de se jeter dans l’aventure compliqué depuis ce Jeudi.29.2015 pour désarmer les rebelles rwandais FDLR, et pourtant la MONUSCO boude. Le chemin de labyrinthe s’est-il frayé ? Si c’est oui pour le gouvernement Congolais, il n’est pas évident pour la force onusienne. Il y a lieu de prédire un jeu de pierre qui pourra commencer dans les jours qui viennent accusant l’armée congolaise d’avoir tué des civils rwandais ou d’avoir carrément commis un « massacre » contre une ethnie des « génocidaires ».

Et pourtant il faut en terminer avec les FDLR. Qu’est qu’il faut faire ? Il semble que la solution est en dehors de la RDC ; la communauté internationale le sait très bien. Les revendications des FDLR, qui sont parfois troublantes, peuvent être écoutées et adressées s’il y a une volonté politique de leur gouvernement d’origine et une pression internationale. Les FDLR sont enquête de sécurité et enquête d’Etat. Si la MONUSCO joue à la prudence, il est souhaitable qu’au niveau du gouvernement Congolais que la loi de la prudence soit aussi le principe qui dirige les opérations contre les FDLR. La guerre contre les FDLR pourra être le début d’une autre crise congolaise. Le pari est donné !

Si la force militaire était une option pour les autres groupes armés, il n’est pas évident qu’elle est une option pour un groupe ethnique qui s’est installé il y a plus de vingt ans dans cette partie de l’Est. Il serait souhaitable que le gouvernement congolais, en prenant une telle décision puisse mesurer les conséquences et une stratégie de sortie pour qu’il ne soit pris au piège dans lequel l’horloger s’était heurté lorsqu’il ne savait pas qu’il avait réglé son horloge dans le sens inverse des aiguilles.

31 Janvier, Marius Mufuta,

Economie Politique de la guerre et de la paix


The discource of Economic Security in Understandind International Security

Marius Mufutua Kayembe

 ( Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations, MAII)

The discource of  Economic Security in Understandind Internationa Security 

The central concern of human behavior is the question of security. The old understanding of security considered only the state’s behavior to protect its boundaries due to the prevalence of the realist ideology   with the international arena. After the Cold World with the increasing number of intrastate conflicts, an imperative concern arose in understanding to which extend the concept of security can be expanded. One the expansion was to infuse the role of economics as a type of security. This paper discusses the design of economic security in the new reform of security and to what extent security is influenced by economic variables. It aims at indicating how the economic security is the logic scheme towards the realization of the other forms of the security.


Since centuries, several challenges emerged in understanding the synergy which drives human behavior and its implication and commitment in building and shaping a sustainable environment. The central concern of such behavior is the question of security. As noted by several authors, security is widely used, but it is difficult to define it unless an operational definition is given to guide a concern. Hence, in this paper, security is defined as set of mechanisms and policies towards war and peace in a given territory, such as a nation, a region. Such definition aims at understanding the shift of narrow national security to the broad notion of security.

The security reform wanted to respond to the holistic approach of development. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have restructured in suggesting indicators which create the real total and safe environment of citizens in a given territory. Causes of insecurity are not only external (territorial level or trans-border between nations) but internal disputes cause more insecurity than expected. Unemployment, inequalities in resource distributions, poverty, and low level of education can lead to strike, protestation, irredentism and become later one the feared threat to the state stability. Consequently, there is a need to create new axis to security. Therefore, security targets not only defense security as related to national security but explore social opportunities, environmental issues as well as economic issues.

This paper discusses the design of economic security in the new reform of security and to what extent security is influenced by economic variables. It aims at indicating how the economic security is the logic scheme towards the realization of the other forms of the security. Our reflection will be hinged on three parties a) how economics can be used for maintaining peace or war in international level, b) how economic measures can help to protect the most vulnerable people of the society and c) the role of economics in enabling collective action and capacities to eliminate extreme poverty.

  1. 1.      Economic Security and National Security :  the Crossroad of Peace and War

1.1. Line of demarcation

National security is linked to politics, while economics is considered to be out the public affairs of the administration of the city. Whereas, the broaden agenda of the twenty first century have shifted the economics from a simple practice of private system to become an influence, even the command which influence the decision making of political leaders. This brings to this conclusion that it is difficult to distinguish political and economic power, since each is always present in the other.

From a comparative perspective, national security is not bargaining related question while economic security is shared point among states.  National security refers to the ability to withstand aggression from abroad and involves winning this economic war[1].  This includes the protection of land and possession of natural resources which are essential commodities of the economic well-being of a nation. This implies that national security is serving the economic axis of a state.

Conversely, the economic factors downplay a big role in the stability of the states in two ways by supporting the military expenditure and sponsoring internal policies to reduce the intensity of internal threat to state stability. To that the point, “the economy is important only to the extent that it provides the material and financial means to attain (or ‘produce’) national security”[2].  For the realist legacy to security, the economic dimension is crucial among other reasons because it is seen as one of the key criteria by which great states are defined. Great states over the world are economically stronger and militarily the most equipped. Thus, the economic dimension is crucial because economic resources are one of the key criteria by which can be estimated and it defines the great power[3]

During this twenty-first century the role of economics in international security and international relations become more relevant. For Huntington, “in a world where military conflict between major states is unlikely, economic power will be increasingly important in determining the primacy or subordination of states” [4]. This issue will be discussed later on geo-economics and geopolitics section.

Simply, economic security concerns access to the resources, finance and markets necessary to sustain acceptable levels of welfare and state power[5]. It is war fought with other tools.  For Cable[6], economic security refers most obviously to those aspects of trade and investment which directly affect a country’s ability to defend itself: freedom to acquire weapons or related technology, reliability of supplies of military equipment, or threats of adversaries acquiring a technological advantage in weapons. This economic dimension of security pins point to which extent security is subordinated to economics.

Neocleous[7] suggest three ways in which economic strands get involved in the security studies.  The first strand is directly linked to the definition of the economics which deals with the production; distribution, and the consumption of the means to livelihood, with the aim of continual betterment of life[8]. For Neocleous[9], the extent to which the state system is obviously cut through by the dynamics of production, consumption and class, the budgetary constraints on grand strategy both internally and internationally. The second strand holds the hypothesis that the main actors in global politics certainly never divorced security from political economy because economics and national security have been linked to some extent or an “absolute distinction” can never in any case be made between political and economic power, since each is always present in the other[10]. The third strand focuses on academic approaches of security which pointed to the integral relationship between economics and security during the 1940’s after the World War II and during the cold war: the military and intelligence services, while international political economy developed an independent path, more or less treating economic power independently from security questions.

1.2. Security Dilemma in the context of economic security

The realistic perspective of the international relations considered each state as the primary actor of its own security in anarchical system; all states maintain military capabilities for their own defense therefore each state seeks to enable and produce self-defeating efforts to achieve national security, from which window emerges the fundamental element of realistic security thinking, “ the security dilemma : state defense-offense”[11]. In digging the concept of security dilemma, two ways can link economic security to the traditional security.

The first locates the security dilemma in the unhappy circumstance that ‘many of the means by which a state tries to increase its security decrease the security of others and which refers to war economies[12] . The second assumption deals with the allocation of national resources between economic welfare and military security. This involves the “division of resources between guns and butter, and the actual level of consumption of both goods are determined by two factors: the productive capacity of a society, and its preferences”[13]. The state is reduced as monad without alliances. This approach ignores the fact that “security is a special form of politics […] but not all political conflicts are security issues”[14] . It implies that the threat to security is more various than the mere will of political destabilization.

This new understanding of prudent politic interdependence debates on the possible cooperation; yet the anarchical system in the internal arena is a fact or social construction, but still an alternative towards cooperation is indeed and imperative. The economic interdependence can help a state to pursue cooperation even though the reason of cooperation, economic interests, can be misused for war or insecurity. There is still security dilemma in discussing the role of economic interdependence in state behavior; basically the fear of the state to cooperate with a state is more powerful, knowing that mistrust is still the principle guiding international relations. Therefore, the same economy can be a referential term of peace or war in the international irony.

  1. 2.      Theorizing Economic Security

2.1. Mercantilist theory

Wealth and power are the stakeholders of a state. “The conjunction of economics and security, or ‘economic security’, has more recently become an increasingly important dimension of both international political economy and security studies in global power[15]”.  For Dunne and Brauer[16] “without economics there can be neither war nor peace, thus follows that for the state to ensure its defense, it must  carefully  understand how its economic can  feed other societal level[17]. They are correlated; “economics and national security have always been seen as being linked to some extent[18]”. Either economics provide expenditure to the security or security protects the economic resources of a country.  There is an economic dimension to the successful practice of security politics.

Mercantilists share a static conception of international economic relations in asserting that the country can only progress economically by disadvantaging another country, it is from where we understand the real theory of economic war[19].

In emphasizing on the state’s power players, mercantilist theory argues that economy is an instrument of power in the hands of politicians which uses military force to protect this instrument; therefore economics become a factor to influence war[20]. For them, politics dominate economics[21].  This assumption holds a realistic view wherein the main symptom is the national interest defined in term of power[22].  Linked to neo Marxist, militarism is a support of capitalism for the third word exploitation and economic war. Ibbo[23] argues that “capital seeks to maximize profit, and in profit’s pursuit seeks to conquer all territories, all markets, all natural resources and all human labor, skills and ingenuity”. Therefore they have elaborated the “balance of trade” theory supply in which the “development of trade is of benefit to the country if it generates an excess over imports, the trade balance returning to the nation as money”[24]

Hence, it becomes the combination between Realism and Marxism, Real Marxism, to which extent the Neo-mercantilists stand in assessing that the international political economy during the two latest centuries is driven by the purchase of economic interest over key mineral resources in weak countries by the imperialist. According to the mercantilist, “all means are good to ensure the national economic and political domination”[25] through this statement, they are promoting the sense of an economic war.

For Brauer and Dunne, this fact is highlighting the role that violence plays in the wealth of nations by term of “static peace dividend”[26] to ensure the economic growth of nation by disabling other nations. The static peace dividend focuses on the redistribution of economic activities from violence- related to non-violence related spending; war is a source of income. The state is ready to launch outside its territory to gain interest and use for its own development. For example If Rwanda and Uganda are accused to support several group in exchange with natural resources in the eastern, the Rwandese economy will growth faster and the venues can be used for social needs in Rwanda[27].

2.2. Geopolitics and Geoeconomics

For Brauer and Dunne[28], among the risk factor that may predispose a state to experience large-scale of violence leading to insecurity includes natural resources; low income; low economic  growth; ethnic antagonism; neighborhood external instigation or armed conflict, geography competition for scarce resources; inequality; high military expenditure and large armies . The incompatibility of those factors is driven by some personal interests which act as catalyst. Le Billon suggests that some resources-dependent countries have been the one to experience civil wars mostly in the territory where mineral resources and oil are concentrated. “A wealth of natural resources such as oil or diamonds should, in theory, favor a country’s economic and social development”[29]. Amazingly, the competition over scarce resources is increasingly source of insecurity. Consequently resource-dependent countries are shaping the violent geopolitics war. The different parties to conflict who cause this insecurity are mostly the local conflicting parties (commodities supply), international intervening parties with vested interests) and multi- national corporations. Thus this section discusses insecurity within the global economy in focusing one of the exchange products within the international trade of natural resources.  How the presence of resources become drivers of insecurity. What tension exists between saving the local population life and leaving them in the mercy of predator invader or international market?

2.2.1.      Geopolitics

Geopolitics attempts to dramatically simplify international politics by reducing it to the struggle for control of limited number of key areas[30] . The control is motivated for strategic position, economic commodities or security related plan. For Hussein [31]  geopolitics is a form of competition for power and legitimacy of territory after the cold war. It determines the new phase of international relations by drawing attention to four possible security model including Unipolarity – the capacity of one state (USA) to project military power on global scale –; Balance of power – a system of competing centers (alliances) of power which don’t reflect the dictates of the imperial power (NATO versus WTO),  it is a kind of competitive multipolarity- ; Concert of power – cooperation between great power for issues of global security which refers to co-operative multipolarity – and finally  Universal system of security – a system  with the notions of collective and common security. All those scenarios determine the current international behavior in international security.

Relating to the four perspectives, the geopolitics also determines the role of third party intervention in acting as interest parties to security zone. The third intervention in this case referrers to either unipolarity; alliances of power; co-operative security or the universal system of security.  For Brauer and Dunne, “the third parties are never only benevolent. They have interests and will bring these to bear: Cuba intervened in Angola, the United States in Vietnam, and Russia in Afghanistan, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the Balkans and in Libya. They may support one side more than the other, push their own interests” [32].  Geopolitics has also justified the motives of the Cold war and the military presence of West and the United States of America (USA) in the Gulf Persian for oil. The geopolitics acts more in external level policy and determines the bargaining within the international relation. It is related more with how a State can maximize and feed its capital from abroad. This scenario describes and designs the bipolarity during the cold war the USA and the Soviet Union, looking to conquer territory, to impose their beliefs and to flourish their economy the curse of the geopolitic strategies is their consequence in the local population and the insecurity.

A good example is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which has become the battle ground of economic international market between the West and China and the Great Lake region countries and its allies[33]. DRC is really the great picture of competitive multipolarity facing the global economy of war that becomes the source of underdevelopment with a lower economic growth, a higher number of unemployment, difficult access to education and health. The level of economic growth and economic development as provided by the United Nations Human development Report (2012) confirms this notification in placing it the last but one. Cater thinks that “resources like diamonds and coltan as such are not valuable for Congolese, which contributes of course to the low price of production. “They […] have little intrinsic worth; it is only within the context of the international market that they have value”[34] In several reports have pointed the activities of some African, European and Middle Eastern companies and the atrocities taking place in DRC. This linkage is alleged by gold mining, the illegal exploitation of natural resources, oil, timber and the arms trade[35] For Congolese, mineral resources are cursed. They don’t contribute to their development. Given the level of insecurity for example in the eastern part of DRC, we expect a low movement of people. Notwithstanding the insecurity there is an increase in the level of activities and business in the area held by multi-national corporations, rebel groups as well as local population.

2.2.2.      Geoeconomics

Geoeconomics retraces the economic capability being itself an instrument of policy available to states and capable of being applied as force or power[36]. In the same, Cable understands Geoeconomics to be the power supply that is considered as the economic productivity which can be applied as force. As discussed above, the identification metric of great power is their high level of economic capabilities to be international creditor or their contribution to the International Institutions. The USA contribution of the United Nations for example, makes her to become more influential and powerful in decision making than other states with a low contribution to the UN budgets.

For Edward Luttwak[37], geoeconomics is “the pursuit of adversarial goals with commercial means”.  It is the state policy to have access to its interest by use economic means. It is more about competiveness which has penetrated popular thinking it emphasis that ‘each nation is like a big corporation competing in the global market place’ in disadvantaging other actors, it is a kind of knock-out competition where states or actors used strategies to weaken other actors. The discourse of Western aid in Africa, the Breton Woods institutions plan for Africa and the Chinese presence in Africa and the Marshal Plan used to block to spread of communism ideology are seen as this kind of competitiveness.

Chinese presence in Africa is perceived as a kind of determination for breaking this western imperialist. Therefore, Chinese venture in Africa as considered as an offense to West. The latest consider Chinese invasion to be multifaceted, multilayered and extremely heterogeneous and dangerous for western economy expansion and interest. As Stefaan Marysse and Sara Geenen pointed “ the no strings approach by China is a very welcome alternative to the ‘ paternalistic’ policy of the western  donor community, that is now  thwarted by a newcomer, who is going to challenge the so-called ‘new international financial architecture’ designed by the Bretton Woods Institutions” [38].

A current example has been driven by the so-called ‘le Contrat Sino-Congolais’, a red agreement signed between China and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) In September 2007 which brought several debates among DRC partners. The deal of the cooperation implied that in exchange for an access to 10.6 million tons of copper and 600,000 tons of cobalt in the Katanga region, in terms of amount, the total revenues from the mines could come at least $40 billion[39]. China would invest US$ 9 billion for national wide construction in vital infrastructures to the country.  China state companies will build 3500 km of roads and 3500 km of the railways, 31 hospitals of 150 beds and 145 dispensaries, and the modernization of mining infrastructure[40].

Bretton Woods Institutions are offended because Chinese state is likely to be the buyer as well as the principal seller of the copper and cobalt being mined and to gain more market in infrastructure, agriculture and business. What is directly perceived, China will win the market of those precious materials.  As it was been noticed above, Behind IMF and the World Bank, Western countries which indeed invest in those institutions are seeing their interest lost.  They have asked for a negotiation of such agreement and they insist on the fact mining and infrastructure activities must be accounted for the international standard including an independent third party with audits being made public. This kind of geoeconomic game assesses that the competiveness within the international market gives to states the possibility to look for market to the save their interests.

In a given range, the first concept of security was more focuses more on the defense security in highlighting the strength of each state to secure its borders against any threat to its peace. The attention given to military security defense does not take into account the preventives measures to address the root causes of internal and social threats because; the attention was more external than internal.  However in the aftermath of the Cold war, the increasing number of intrastate conflicts due to several factors such as nationalism, irredentism, and poverty and among others enforced the idea of understanding security in broader perspective in including the preventive measures that address social problem as well economic grievances susceptible to causes deadliest conflict.

  1. 3.      Emergence of new model of economic security

3.1. The Neo-Economist

The new model of economic security focuses more on the use of economic factors to ensure peace and development. For the classical economists (Jean-Baptist Say [41], Malthus [42], David Ricardo [43] legacy of Idealism (Kant)[44], the development of economic interdependence owing to the market, outside public action, ineluctably leads to international peace or international stability[45]. Acting under the principle of comparative advantage of Adam Smith[46] and the Free Trade Liberal theory, The Neo-Economist argues the international trade and the free markets which connect people will reduce war and establish prosperity, peaceful relation, among states and individuals, hence commerce would replace war. They enhance commercial business since they believe that “free trade is the best human means for securing universal and permanent peace” (an 1842 title) and warfare is counterproductive[47].  For List[48], the pacification of international relations is gained through economic development. Say believes that peace will be possible when all the nations will reach the same level of economic development that the industrial progress will help in removing the possibility of wars of aggression and insecurity[49].

Two basic assumptions guided this school. First peace is a condition of economic development, through enabling the establishment of free trade and the evolution of economy towards an increased liberalism guarantees the advent of a lasting international peace in internal arena[50]. The Neo-Economists suggest that the economy war can be managed in establishing an economic mechanism, without any political consideration.

The limitation within this theory is that the principle of laissez-faire and laissez-passer has created an anarchical environment in which non-states actors become the potential threat to national and transnational security. In this case, we do not yet see the real demarcation between security – state –stake holder whether nationally or internationally and security as a set of policies for developmental needs in the grassroots level.  Furthermore, this assumption deals with interstate conflict in ignoring the internal conflict that can emerge from the grassroots. Mostly it defines the concept of political economy where the states and the market are the stakeholders. It deals more with international market, economic growth which is limited on productivity growth, long-term opportunities for production, and income generation does not focus on the way this is distributed or consumed[51] .

The challenge is that, the new economist in holding liberal capitalism view ignores the grassroots level. Indeed, one of the defining characteristics of liberal capitalism is “uncertainty and risk” that actors face when the market does not meet their expectations[52] Therefore the state should set policies to overcome those troubleshoots. A real economic security would like to focus more qualitative and equity aspects of economy, such as rural development, the wellbeing of women, and the elderly, and minority or disadvantaged populations. Therefore, it may take into account the measures of personal happiness, communal vitality and resilience[53]

3.2. Economic security and developmental needs: ending poverty

The emergence of the new order of economics of peace is guided by the policies of the political economy. The latter is perceived and mainly criticized as the basis of inequalities in which only the “bourgeois” are the major player in the global or national economy. Later one, without the participation of the entire society, it become the whirlwind of insecurity internally or globally. Yet economic security as related to political economy of globalization should shift from its pure form of capitalism where the form of decentralized market  gives access to certain classes of the society to level where it does not serves the real needs of the marginalized population, the poorest of the poor.

Technically, there is a distinction between, social market economy (political economy) which combines the allocation of resources in competitive markets with income redistribution and social policies which mainly refer to unemployment insurance, pension payments, and health insurance[54]. The correlation of both helps a country to face the competiveness of the international market. The first focuses on the benefit that a state gains over the international bargaining self-interest and the second is a countermeasure of the international bargaining and intrusion of domestic policies. In any case, economic globalization seems to have contributed not only to sustained global growth but also to increasing inequality in many countries as well as downward wage pressure for unskilled workers in other countries. The true challenges of these are the consequences of weak economies which cannot survive and cope with the international competitive market; it regenerates poverty among local population. Great powers have found the way to deal with that in building an economic security as safeguard for the betterment of the population, still poor states are struggling to cope with the wave of the globalization and the competition of the international market[55].

In meeting the crossroad of economic security, some scholars are looking to understand what can be the relation between economic growth and development[56]. If development is understood as the entire process to empower population with opportunities for better life, including their safety, the economic growth should create the environment of such progress. Conversely, the Africa Progress Panel 2013 gave an argument such

Africa’s economic fortunes have changed dramatically in the past decade. Economic growth has been driving up average incomes, and most countries in the region have recovered strongly from the global recession. Resource-rich countries have contributed to the region’s impressive growth record, but their record on human development is more chequered. Rising inequality seems to be the main reason for the disappointing overall record on reducing poverty[57].


It implies that the economic globalization seems to have contributed not only to sustained global growth but also to increasing inequality in many countries as well as downward wage pressure for unskilled workers in many countries[58]. To some extent, if economic growth does not foster economic development, the economic security becomes an elusive and pervasive for academic debates rather than “strategy of social transformation”. Development is the accomplished security form that each human being intends to get or to reach. For Sachs, the development is acquired by the satisfaction of preconditions infrastructures (roads, and ports), human capital (health and education) that the international market or the global economy cannot offer unless measures are taken to encourage people to find their way with local manufacturing. The attention should be on agricultural inputs, on investments in basic health, investments in education and the capacity to offer power, transport, and communication services and safe drinking water and sanitation[59].  The synergy of these different factors determines the course of development or the well-being of population and is likely to reduce insecurity. To this also can be added the all strategies of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) based on poverty reduction strategy which shaped on eight axis including eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, improve and reduce maternal health by three quarters, fight HIV/AIDS. Different efforts have been done to achieve the core objectives in these different sectors though one cannot that in 2015, the world will be developed. [60]

A particular concern on dealing with economic security is mainly the youth unemployment. The teeming unemployed youths engage in nefarious acts in order to satisfy their basic needs; youth who supposedly are hope for the future generation. What they do join terrorism, why do they become criminal, one the reason is to find what they need (such food, shelter) for survival. For Singh, Singh, and Singh[61], young people joining those different cops of terror because governments do not structure policies to respond to social, political, even economic challenges. For example, the extreme poverty in the Asian part (Bangladesh, Afghanistan) makes young people vulnerable to the ideology of terror, thus an economic policy empowering people with new opportunities and employment for example will a way toward the problem of insecurity[62]

In Republic Democratic Republic of Congo, the lack economic security can be addressed in two ways, the number of children joining militia group mostly in the eastern part and the level of criminality in big cities like Kinshasa. The informal economy is the one sustaining people life in DRC, even though  the Annual Report of the World Bank of  2013 have shown  that DRC has made some  economic progress, but it does not reflect the reality on the ground. According to Africa Progress Panel the “Democratic Republic, on the world’s best-endowed resource economies, is at the bottom of HDI”[63]. This can justify the increasing youth criminal group such Kuluna or Diable Rouge who become source of insecurity. Those groups have no political, ideological, religious motivations. They can be exploited by any political group which can offer them unless food. This is the same scenario in the eastern part with the increasing of child soldiers working for those warlords in the mining fields who don’t have any access to education, to employment; therefore they look by their own how to survive.  This observation is based on the research of Collier and Hoeffler on how for example the non-enrollment in secondary schooling is highly correlated to the outbreak civil war[64].

This assumes that internally, there are potential and tremendous security threats to state which can disable the entire system.  Therefore, the economic security should be understood   as the capacity of the state to foresee in preventing internal causes of security in empowering of vulnerable people and in offering them opportunities.  Some states have taken some preventive measures to face this challenge; this gives the preventive side of economic security.

3.3. Preventive side of economic security

Sometimes confused to the social security, economic security is linked to preventive measures taken by the state to ensure the life expense and the way a state stand to secure its economy after a long period of conflict. It can also refer to policies to protect the society against beggars. For Elliot (1939) if economic security is going to mean “the duty of the government to promote the general welfare, you can see into what large areas of public policy the question of the content of economic security is carried”[65].  Economic security is the entire welfare of the citizens. In this perspective, economic security can be understood as the degree to which individuals are protected against the risk of finding themselves without an income or with an income that is not sufficient to guarantee them a dignified standard of living[66]. It involves policies and institutions to implement those strategies. At this point economic security cross cut with social protection.  According to Giuliano Bonoli, “social protection here is understood as a form of state intervention that takes place only after resources have been allocated according to market principles”[67]. The all social insurance, health insurance can be understood as a part of economic security. The preventive measures are not taken by the state but can be provided private sector while the state plays the role of watchdog and regulator.

The preventive approach to security corroborate with the thesis that the state is not only one to offer security, but non state actors or the private sector become the major player in the security reform, even though, the state can still have control on that, but still the increasing and the independence, for example in the free market, is likely to go beyond the state control. It implies directly that the economic security have expanded the content of security as well as actors.  The United Nations have agencies which together work to ensure the entire human security such food security.  More and more the state is losing the total control of security while other actors are becoming more significant in addressing pertinent issues related to security challenges.


One but not last, economic security is a key tool to state organization and structure without which a state is compared to a car moving without fuel and can break at any time. It is compared to a standing shaped man and well-dressed but who can fall at any time because he is hungry. Fuel and hunger are the basic components to sustain those tools. The same way economics is the skeleton of state – understand as political organization- in shaping its external relation with other states and in providing to its citizens a safe and alive environment. There is no way a state can survive without money or human resource labour.

Leaving asides the military expenditure area where economics is a servant of defense security, the concept of economic security is widely taken to underline the way a state suggest policy for the development of its citizens. Economic security is more the basis for satisfying developmental need of citizens. This shift leads to the dilemma between individual securities versus national security wherein security is used to individuals from all threats either internal or external than protecting the “absurd state” which service is given to small range of citizens[68]. In this context each citizen should be considered as a “whole unit” of the entire society therefore a specific attention should be given, failure he can become a threat to state overall security design.

In this case, the safe and alive environment is not only structured by proliferations of arms race it must should be “a collective action through effective government provision of health, education, infrastructure, as well as foreign assistance when needed[69] by each citizen.

This underpins also a holistic economic security and all the means which surround human life and its existence because human safety and prosperity depend at least as much on collective decisions to fight disease, promote good science and widespread education, provide critical infrastructure, and act in unison to help the poorest of the poor, than fighting external aggressors. It is not only the way a state constructs and strengths its weaponry against military invasion or respond to macro-economic challenges which will create a steady environment for development but it is in the way a state polishes its economic strategies to sustain its intern structure and become “an effective response” to its population needs.  This is possible is the defense security spending should is cut off and used to productivity-enhancing physical, human, institutional, and social capital which refers to a dynamic peace dividend. It is from this perspective that economic security meets its focus point of the human development when it focuses on national developmental needs of the citizens.


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[1] Luciani Giacomo, The Economic Content of Security in Journal of Public Policy, 8(2), (1998), 151-173.

[2] Luciani Giacomo, The  Economic  Content of Security , 151-173

[3] Mikael Sheehan, International Security: an Analytical Survey (London: Lynne Rienner, 2005), 66.

[4] Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilization, In Foreign Affairs 72, (1993), 22-49.

[5] Mikael Sheehan, International Security: an Analytical Survey, 47.

[6] Vincent Cable, What is International Economic Security?  In International Affairs, 71(2), (1995), 305-324.

[7] Mark Neocleous, “From Social to National Security: On the Fabrication Order”. In Security Dialogue ( 2006)

[8] Jurgen Brauer and J-Paul Dunne, Peace Economics: A Macroeconomic Primer for Violence-Afflicted States (Washington, D.C: United States Institute of Peace, 2012), 10.

[9] Mark Neocleous, From Social to National Security: On the Fabrication Order. In Security Dialogue ( 2006)

[10] Mikael Sheehan, International Security: an Analytical Survey, 47.

[11] Mikael Sheehan,  International Security : an Analytical Survey, 58

[12] Fanny Coulomb, Economic Theories of Peace and War, (London, New York: Random House, 2004).

[13] James Sperling and Emil Kirchner, Economic Security and the Problem of Cooperation in Post-Cold War Europe, In Review of International Relations, 24 (1998), 221-237.

[14] Paul Welfens, Social Security and Economic Globalization (Berlin: Springer-Verlag Heidelberg, 2013).

[15] Mark Neocleous, “From Social to National Security: On the Fabrication Order”. In Security Dialogue ( 2006)

[16] Jurgen Brauer and J. Paul Dunne, Peace Economics : A Macroeconomic Primer for Violence –Afflicted  States ( Washington, DC : United Stated  Institute of Peace, 2012)

[17] Barry Buzan, People, States and Fear: An Agenda for International Security Studies in the Post-Cold War Era (New York: Haverster Wheatsheaf, 1991), 232, 237.

[18] Mikael Sheehan, International Security: an Analytical Survey, 65.

[19]  See Fanny Coulomb, Economic Theories of Peace and War, (London, New York, NY: Random House, 2004).

[20] See Fanny Coulomb, Economic Theories of Peace and War, (London, New York, NY: Random House, 2004), 24.

[21] John K. Galbraith, La Paix Indésirable ? Rapport sur l’Utilité des Guerres (Paris : Calmann-Lévy, 1984).

[22] See Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics among Nations: The Struggle of for Power and Peace, 5th ed. (New York, NY: Knopf, 1978).

[23] M. Ibbo, ed. Reflexions on the Crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Harare: Sapes Trust, 1999), 10.

[24] Fanny Coulomb, Economic Theories of Peace and War, (London, New York: Random House, 2004), 25.

[25] Fanny Coulomb, Economic Theories of Peace and War, 27.

[26] Jurgen Brauer and J. Paul Dunne, Peace Economics : A Macroeconomic Primer for Violence –Afflicted States ( Washington, DC : United Stated  Institute of Peace, 2012), p. 9

[27]  This particular case challenges to some extent the annual reports that are published by the World Bank on the Economic growth of each country.  If for example Rwanda is doing well or the USA are doing well, we better understand the fact their involvement in destabilizing other countries can be part of it and they become somehow “dirty economies ”

[28] Jurgen Brauer and J. Paul Dunne, Peace Economics : A Macroeconomic Primer for Violence –Afflicted States ( Washington, DC : United Stated  Institute of Peace, 2012), p. 89

[29] Philippe Le Billon, “The Geopolitics of Resources Wars: Resources Dependence, Governance and Violence”, In Philippe Le Billon, Ed, the Geopolitical Economy of Resource Wars (London: Frank Cass, 2005), 1-24.

[30] Mikael Sheehan, International Security: an Analytical Survey, 20.

[31] Samuel Hussein, Ed. Challenges to Global Security: Geopolitics and Powers in an Age of Transition (New York, NY: I.B. Tauris, 2008), 33.

[32] Jurgen Brauer and J. Paul Dunne, Peace Economics : A Macroeconomic Primer for Violence –Afflicted States ( Washington, DC : United Stated  Institute of Peace, 2012), p. 89

[33] Jacques Nzumbu, Pouvoirs et Affaires  dans une Zone à Déficit de Gouvernance : Les  Enjeux de la Réforme Minière  en R. D. Congo de 2002 à 2009 (Kinshasa : CEPAS, 2011),  23

[34] Charles Carter, “The Political Economy of Conflict and UN Intervention: Rethinking the Critical Cases of Africa”, in Karen Ballentine and Jake Sherman, Eds. The Political Economy of Armed Conflict : Beyond Greed and Grievance ( London : Lynne Rienner, 2003), 33,

[35]  William Schabas, “War Economies, Economic Actors, and International Criminal Law”, in Karen Ballentine and Heiko Nitzschke, eds. Profiting from Peace: Managing the Economic Dimension of Civil War (London: Lynne Rienner, 2005), 425.

[36] Mikael Sheehan, International Security: an Analytical Survey, 70.


[37] Edward Luttwak, Disarming the World’s Economies (Unpublished CEO) (Washington, DC: Centre for Strategic and International Studies, 1990), 308.

[38] Stefaan Marysse and Sara Geenen, Les Contrats Chinois en RDC : l’Impérialisme Rouge en  Marche in L’Afrique de Grands Lacs : l’Annuaire  2007-2008 (Retrieved from, 20/10/2013, 2009), 287.

[39] Global Witness, China and Congo: Friends in Need, (March 2011) retrieved from, (London: Global Witness Limited, 21st October 2014), 4.

[40] Global witness, China and Congo : Friends in Need, 4,

[41] Jean-Baptiste  Say, Traité d’Economie Politique (Paris : Calmann-Lévy, 1972).

[42] Thomas Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population (London: St. Paul’s Church-Yard, 1978) retrieved from, 115th Oct. 2013.

[43] David Ricardo, On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, 3rd ed (Canada: Batoche Books, 1821).

[44] Emmanuel Kant, Essai Philosophique sur  la Paix Perpétuelle   (Paris : G. Fishbachelier, 1880), Retrieved from

[45] Jean-Baptiste  Say, Traité d’Economie Politique (Paris : Calmann-Lévy, 1972).

[46] Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776), retrieved from, 23rd March, 2014.

[47] Fanny Coulomb, Economic Theories of Peace and War, ( London, New York : Random House, 2004), 33

[48] Friedrich List, Système National d’Economie  Politique (Paris : Chapelle Editeur, 1841).

[49] Jean-Baptiste  Say, Traité d’Economie Politique (Paris : Calmann-Lévy, 1972).

[50] Fanny Coulomb, Economic Theories of Peace and War (London, New York: Random House, 2004), 33.

[51] Jurgen Brauer and J. Paul Dunne, Peace Economics: A Macroeconomic Primer for Violence –Afflicted States (Washington, DC: United Stated Institute of Peace, 2012), 12.

[52] Vincent Cable, What is International Economic Security, in International Affairs, 71(2), 306, (305-324), 1995.

[53] Jurgen Brauer and J. Paul Dunne, Peace Economics: A Macroeconomic Primer for Violence –Afflicted States (Washington, DC: United Stated Institute of Peace, 2012), 15.

[54] Paul J. Welfens, Social Security and Economic Globalization (Berlin: Springer-Verlag Heidelberg, 2013).

[55] Michael Todaro and Stephen Smith,  Economic Development, 4th ed. ( Boston : Pearson, 2012)

[56] Michael Todaro and Stephen Smith,  Economic Development, 4th ed. ( Boston : Pearson, 2012)

[57] Africa Progress Panel, Equity in Extractives: Stewarding Africa’s Natural Resources for all. (Switzerland: Africa Progress Panel, 2013), 13.

[58] Paul J. Welfens, Social Security and Economic Globalization (Berlin: Springer-Verlag Heidelberg, 2013).

[59] Jeffrey Sachs, The End of Poverty: the Economic Dimension of our Time (New York, NY: Penguin Press, 2005), 234.

[60] United Nations, The Millennium Development Goals:  2014 Report (New York, NY) retrieved October 13, 2014 from

[61] Singh Aleya, Singh Vinod,  and Singh Mahadevi, Eds,  Manmade Disasters ( New Delhi : APH publishing  Corporation, 2010), 310

[62] Jeffrey Sachs, The End of Poverty: the Economic Dimension of our Time (New York, NY: Penguin Press, 2005), 234.

[63] Africa Progress Panel, Equity in Extractives: Stewarding Africa’s Natural Resources for all. (Switzerland: Africa Progress Panel, 2013), 10.

[64] Paul Collier and Anker Hoeffler, Greed and Grievance in Civil War (Washington, DC: World Bank, October 21st, 2001), 8.

[65] William Y. Elliot, “The Struggle for Economic Security in Democracy”, In Social Research, 6(2), 298-312, 299.

[66] Giuliano Bonoli, “Social Policy through Labor Markets: Understanding National Differences in the Provision of Economic Security to Wage Earners”, In Comparative Political Studies, 2003, 36 (Sage publications)    or online version, 108.

[67] Giuliano Bonoli, “Social Policy through Labor Markets: Understanding National Differences in the Provision of Economic Security to Wage Earners”, 109.

[68]  Cf. Barry Buzan, People, States and Fear: An Agenda for International Security Studies in the Post –Cold War Era (New York, NY: Haverster Wheatsheaf, 1991).

[69] Jeffrey Sachs, The End of Poverty: the Economic Dimension of our Time (New York, NY: Penguin Press, 2005), 3.



The international arena is regulated by the morality of anarchy wherein the primary actors/states, counterattack any attempts meant to direct their conduct or limit their pursuit of national interests with the available means in their hands, including waging war. This observation opens the critical debate on the recourse to war amid the scholars of just war theory tradition and the realist thinking. Both have convergent points and divergent points.

According to Coates (1997, p.17), realism resists the application of morality to war. Further, Hegel, reported in Bellamy (2006, p. 90), “insisted that there were no a priori moral standards governing combats”. Under this circumstance, sovereigns are legitimately authorised to wage war if it is justified in terms of necessity (Raison d’état). While the just war theory aims at providing moral discourse on the jus ad bellum, jus in Bello and jus post bellum. They can be termed as ‘war conventions’ with the intentions of establishing ethical and legal norms which would employ “unharmed mechanisms”. This tendency is perceived by realists as utopian, legalist, moralist, naïve, stupid or hypocrite behaviour.   For Realism, as Clausewitz argues “war is nothing but a continuation of political intercourse with a mixture of other mean” (Clausewitz 1982, p. 402 in Coates, 1997, p. 22). The world is not perfect but evil and war is the strategy for survival in the highly competitive and dangerous environment (Morgenthau, 1978, p. 173). Moral principles can be achieved if only they are within the constraint, realities and power tendency (Coates, 1997, p.18). Morality is not only hostile to the international environment of international relations, but also dangerous; dangerous to think that the world is basically driven by the good will of people with harmless behaviour, and ready to sacrifice themselves for others’ interests. Realism assumes that any rules to regulate war should always be evaluated regardless of the state interest, an attitude which is fundamentally a utilitarist approach of morality. Therefore, any moral rules are subordinated to the State interest (Carr 1981, p. 153) and therefore using Coates’ words, are dictated “by pragmatic considerations of power and interest” (Coates, 1997, p. 23).

In his interview to the students of Military Academy of West Point, Professor Noam Chomsky (2006), confers to the just war theory the role of offering means to the “humanization of war”. It implies that just war theory gives a moral pretext and legal provisions to limit the brutal realist behaviour towards war which they perceive as the extension of politics. This attitude is justified by the fact that realism puts states which have no moral obligation towards one another on the forefront of politics (Carr, 1946). Among them they have treaties which have no binding force and which could cease if their national interest is exposed. Such attitude is dictated two core values of necessity and prudence. In ius ad bellum, the prosecution of war depends on necessity rather than on justice whereas in jus in Bello, proportionality is associated with the prudence of the state. We understand Coates formulation asserting that if necessity is given, “all available means of carrying the war to the enemy should be employed, not in any moralistic spirit of vengeance or retribution, but simply out of pragmatic necessity” (Coates, 1997, p. 27).

In the two domains of just war theory and realism, there is a type of reliance on the fact that war should legitimately be conducted and for just causes, fault to which it will be unnecessary to go to war whether it is politically motivated or morally justified. In the ius in bello, both sides argue on the immunity of non-combatants as well as the collateral damages of unintended action. The reasonable hope of success is among the points of convergence. The Just war theory embraces the “rational interest and pragmatic moral” of realist as the recourse. Is there ethical evaluation regardless of this condition or simply an evaluation on the benefit and the opportunity that war offers?

In conclusion, the realists abide by a certain type of morality. Likewise, at the heart of the realism lies a “moral commitment’ according to which states should pursue their national interests” (Keohane 1986, pp. 320-1), failure to which a sovereign can be sanctioned by the population if he does not accomplish this moral duty. Just like Coates, we may assume that there is a blame game in the sense that “the utopian claims the moral high ground, accusing the realist of moral duplicity and even the rank immorality, while the realist regards the utopian or moralist at best as a dangerous if well-intentioned fool”(Coates, 1997, p.19). However, they need each other in a context where the state deals with individuals who are embedded in the cultural and moral values, and where morality needs physical environment to apply its principles


Just war relies on seven conditions including just causes, proportionality, a reasonable hope (chance) of success, legitimate authority, right intention, last resort, and public declaration of war.  Some of those conditions are reasonable but some are probably and reasonably relative.

1) Just causes are “the foundation of a case of war” (Frowe, 2011, p. 51), but all of them cannot be justifiably universal. For example self-defence in an emergency and necessity context is justifiable. It is not justifiable as a response to a past aggression or injury. The Congolese government cannot attack Rwanda as response to ten years of past aggression; there are international laws and international institution to resolve such matter. 2) The legitimate authority aims to reduce anarchy in the conduct of war. The state has the monopoly to wage war and any international institutions such the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union. However, does a citizen who feel threatened, unsafe, whose rights are violated go to war of protest and declare a war against its home state if the state fails to protect him? As it will be discussed in the coming question, just war theory finds itself challenged with the growing number of intrastate conflicts, where rebel groups can actually destabilize a state. 3) Proportionality relates to the proportionate response to a received or anticipated injury (Frowe, 2011, p. 154) or the necessary force needed to defeat an enemy. Its reasoning is to prevent excessive force which can cause more damages. This condition sustains for one reason making warfare the pursuit of justice rather than a battle of power. Proportionality challenges itself when the intention to go to war is to win or to protect national interests. Several states fail to apply this condition. In my understanding the moral evaluation of proportionality can be inflected in the jus post bellum where consequences or caused damages are proportionate to the strategies and the logistics used. How could we evaluate proportionally the bombings of the Twin Towers and the death of Osama Bin Laden? How can one explain the global activism war on terrorism by the United States in Iraq or the NATO invasion in the Republic of Libya?

4) Right intention can be understood as the actual motivation behind the last resort to war (Frowe, 2011, p. 60). Having just causes is one thing but expressing “the hidden agenda” should morally assess the righteous of war. The purpose of war is not harming but to repair or to restore peace. Bellamy (2008, p. 19) quoting Cicero, argued that “the only excuse… for going to war is that we may live in peace unharmed” or Augustine’s statement “it was not the act of killing in self-defence that was itself sinful but the inward disposition that drove the act” (Bellamy, 2006, p. 26).  According to Thomas Aquinas, “there is a required right intention on the part of the belligerents: either of achieving some good or of avoiding some evil’ (Bellamy, 2006, p. 4). The right intention will lead the just war theory to one of suspicion in which the evaluation of one’s motivation is only measurable after the war. In the case of Central Africa Republic, the rebel group, Seleka, had a political motivation of being part of politics in the country. Later on, they were no longer interested in the power sharing model, but in overthrowing Bozize. Yet, their “grievance” to seize the country according to the Congo Brazzaville peace talks which revealed to which extent their “right intention” was – about “autonomy or secession seeking”. Somehow; to have right intention is privately reasonable, but if the intended disposition is different from unintended action, then the end will justify the means.

5) What I conceive to be more reasonable is the serious prospect of success which is a rational calculation and which materializes to other conditions. The West cannot fight Russia for Crimea unless they want to have a nuclear holocaust. The United States is reluctant to intervene in Syria because its chance of success is limited. The reasonable chance of success, which is not a moral condition, but a pragmatic and realistic consideration’, transcends the just causes. Punitive war cannot be effective if the one to attack will not win the war, unless they agreed to have some alliances. The reasonable hope of success, dictate states attitude towards war.

6) Last resort: todays international relations is governed by plenty of alternative disputes resolutions. Peace can be achieved by peaceful means or existing legal provisions rather than through physical violence. The previous conditions are not enough if the the seat-talk method of Kaye (2007) have not been applied. In the same line the United Nations Charter, 6, 33 encourages states to seek for pacific settlements negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice. The encouragement is reasonably accepted among states and it constitutes ipso facto – the feature of democratic nations; however, the mainstream question is to which extent states are willingly ready too corporate if their interested are threatened.

The commitment of the United Nations to limit war is mainly expressed on the rules of engagement in the “code of conduct” on the use of force.  The use of controlled force does not have the purpose of killing the enemies, but aims to establish cosmopolitan norms i.e. enforcement of international humanitarian and human rights law (Kaldor, 1999). The international legal institutions find themselves weaker due to lack of political will of the state to be bound by them.

Worse, in the past decades following the Cold War, we saw emerging violent wars promoted by democratic institutions, USA and NATO intervention in Afghanistan and in Yemen, USA in Iraq, France in Libya, USA and Western Countries in the Persian Gulf, the protracted conflict in the Middle East (Dunning & Wirpsa, 2004) and violent civil wars in Central Africa as well as the last events of the Arabic Spring.  These assert that war is the first alternative and not the last one.

7) Public declaration of war: the Hague convention of 1907 recommended that “war must not “commence without previous or explicit warning, in the form either of a declaration of war […] or ultimatum with conditional declaration of war” (Frowe, 2011, p.63). Since this declaration was made, we can count how many wars have been fought without being declared, giving the fact that secrecy is on the feature of the strategic warfare.

In conclusion, we hold on the objective of the just war tradition of regulating war, whether those conditions can or cannot be achieved, we should stick on the fact that war is evil in the number of causalities. Limiting and regulating war should be the preoccupation of any human kind. I might not add another condition, but I will recommend more research on the just causes and legitimacy taking into consideration the growing number of intrastate conflicts, terrorism and the enforcement of laws, and coercive measure on transitional justice in order to reduce impunity in the conduct of war.


At the end of the cold war, scholars brought to attention the new and violent scramble over identities and resources pitted between local warlords and states (Klare, 2001). This new model, also called “new generation” of civil war challenges the seven conditions of just war theory.

Who is the authority to wage war today or what are the just causes going to war today? In the context of Africa and elsewhere, it is being assumed that war has been privatized and relativized while the monopole use of force by the state has been weakened because of the increasing level of rebellion capable to destabilized or even topple a government.

In some four cases in Africa including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan, the Republic Central Africa and the Republic of Somalia, we realize that the states have lost  their primary authority and are been driving  by the “ mood” of the rebellion. For example the ex- Conseil National pour la Defense du Peuple (CNDP) in DRC, followed later on by the M23 had the “just cause to rebel”, over the security of their identity (self-preservation) which cannot be compromised.

The Universal Declaration of Human and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights legitimatize this attitude. In the African warfare; just causes are more of fights between structural or ascribed identities and structural identities. In most cases the International Community encourages government to seat and talk with these rebel groups.  In DRC for example International Conference of the Great Lake Regions signed in Nairobi on 24th November 2012 urged the Congolese government to listen to M23 grievances and to evaluate their claims so as to answer pertinently if they are legitimate. Again, In the context of South Sudan today, using the just war tradition conditions, once we may assume that Riek Machar does not have the legitimate authority to wage war, but how do we explain his action which paralyzes the entire region?

To conclude, there is a question left behind “what is the impact of the authority on self-preservation in context where a state is accused to oppress its own peoples or cannot be responsible for their security of its own people? Once the trust within the social contract is broken, the question of legitimacy becomes relative. More and more, the just war theory should examine the responsibility to protect and   how its failure create internal distortion within a state or within a region.

Marius Mufuta



Bellamy, A. J. (2006). Just Wars : From Ciceron to Iraq. Cambridge: Polity Press .

Carr, E. H. (1981). The Twenty Year Crisis, 1919-1939. London : Mcmillan.

Chomsky , N. (2006, 4 20). Retrieved from The Problem of the ‘Just War Theory’:

Clausewitz, C. V. (1982). On War. London: Penguin .

Coates, A. J. (1997). The Ethics of War. Manchester : Manchesters University Press .

Dunning, T., & Wirpsa, L. (2005). Oil and The Political Economy of Conflict in Colombia and Beyond: A linkages Approach. In P. L. (Ed.), The Geopolitics of Resources Wars: Resource Dependence, Governance and Violence. London : Frank Cass.

Frowe, H. (2011). The Ethics of War and Peace : An Introduction . London: Routledge.

Kaldor, M. (1999). New and Old Wars. Cambridge : Polity press .

Kaye, D. (2007). Talking to the Ennemy : Tract Two Diplomacy in the Middle Easr and South East and South Asia. Santa Monica, A: Rand Corporation.

Keohane, R. O. (1986). Neorealism and Its Critics (Ed). New York : Columbia University Press .

Kissinger, H. A. (1957). Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy. New York: Harper.

Klare, M. T. (2001). Resource Wars : New Land Scape of Global Conflict . New York: Metropolitan Book.

Morgenthau , H. J. (1978). The Politics Among Nations : The Struggle for Power and Peace(5th ed.). New York: Knopf.


The Tragic End of a Dream with Lies: the M23 could do or be better by staying CNDP

“This paper is a critical comparison between some provisions of the 23rd March 2009 peace-accord between the National Congress for Defence of People ( CNDP, French acronym) and the Congolese government and the 12th December 2013 Nairobi Declaration of the Congolese government after the M23 ( Movement of 23rd March) defection. It shows how it could better and profitable for the M23 to stay CNDP and to profit from the advantages they benefited than to become M23, where they are apparently losers after the Kampala peace-talks“. Beyond this observation, this article a pre-argument of an upcoming publication on “the politics of resource war management:  violence perspective”  where it will be argued that the success of peacebuilding in the context of greed model is to dislocate the rebel from the field of natural resources in order to reduce their financial capacities and to compel them to disarm” ( Full text.. contact the editor)


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