The Unlikely Alliance Against ISIS

The Islamic State or ISIS has been a constantly growing threat in the Middle East for years but the international community has been at odds on how to deal with the situation. Russia on one hand thought that one of the best way to handle ISIS was through strengthening the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria. The U.S. though was supporting the rebels in Syria. With such different motivations in the struggle it is surprising that the international community has finally come together to form a coalition.

The main motivation behind this unification is the attacks in Paris in November. The attacks led France to draft a UN resolution stating that all able states should join the fight against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. This resolution highlights a rare moment in it being unanimously accepted by the security council where both the U.S.and Russia have veto power.

The alliance between the two countries go even further though which only helps to emphasize the effect that ISIS has had on influencing the international community. After years of tension between Russia and the U.S., Putin has finally come out and said that Russia is ready to cooperate with the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group. This unlikely alliance between the two will go a long way towards keeping an open dialogue on how best to handle future situations in the region.

Rome General Peace Accords

In 1992 the president of the Republic of Mozambique and the President of Renamo came together and signed the Rome General Peace Accords in Rome, Italy. The signing of this joint declaration marked the end of 17 years of civil war in Mozambique that had been ongoing since the country gained it’s independence from Portugal in 1975.

The peace agreement was a test for the United Nations because within two months after the signing of the accord there was a peacekeeping force sent to Mozambique. There they followed a plan that had previously been unsuccessful of demobilization, resettlement, and elections. They hoped that in this case a proper balance had been found that would lead to lasting peace. This initial investment of troops helped give both sides incentive to maintain the peace. Without these troops they lost a valuable deterrent.

The accords ended up lasting 21 years before finally failing due to a government attack on Renamo’s base. The longevity of the peace can be traced back to the inflow of aid into the country. After a change of leadership and a decrease in dependence on the foreign aid the relationship between the two sides started to deteriorate. Without the aid there was no longer any incentive to keep the peace and in 2013 Renamo annulled the peace accord.

Realism in the Spanish-American War

The Spanish-American War took place in 1898 between Spain and the United States and was primarily a fight over the control of Cuba. The Spanish saw all of its empire, as a gift from God and did not want to give up control of Cuba under that ideal.  The U.S. on the other hand did not have such a lofty motive. Initially the U.S. wanted to buy Cuba from Spain to help the sugar trade and because the revolutionary fighting that was taking place was hurting the U.S.’s economy. The U.S. claimed though that they simply wanted to help insure Cuban independence.

The self-interest of each country is what eventually led to a breakdown of diplomacy. Coming from an ideological stand point, Spain giving up Cuba was saying that they did not have God on their side. The United States though was just emerging into the national forum and this was their chance to become an imperial power. After the war started and progressed the initial demands of the U.S. turned into further demands such a port in the Philippines. With no overarching power to prevent them from starting the war, the U.S. simply decided to take what they wanted.

The United States still owns Guantanamo Bay to this day, even though the war was over a century ago. Giving up this land back to Cuba would show for the first time since that maybe the war was not just about the U.S.’s own self-interests. Cuba now wants this land back but would be hard pressed into convincing the U.S. to give it up. The desire for power has instead shifted from one between Spain and the U.S. to now between the U.S. and Cuba.