Previous outbreaks of ebola were more successfully contained because they began in isolated rural villages where it could be easily quarantined. In this new outbreak, it has spread into major cities of Liberia, including the capital of Monrovia.
The new Ebola outbreak is overrunning the health care infrastructure of Liberia.
Extremely understaffed health care system unable to deal with the outbreak
Pre-outbreak, the health care system of Liberia was already taxed
250 doctors for 4.1 million people in Liberia
In Austin, 4500 doctors
Not enough beds or equipment in hospitals to treat everyone
Sick people being turned away from hospitals
Sick people are out of quarantine, so they eventually transmit Ebola
In class, the rate at which it was spreading went from 1.4 to 1.7 people per case. However, newer evidence suggests that this rate is increasing geometrically.
The entire healthcare industry of Liberia is solely focused on treating those infected with Ebola, so people with health care issues not related to Ebola are being denied treatment.
Ebola outbreak leading to a collapsing economy in Liberia
People are staying at home to avoid contracting the illness, which has led to an economic standstill.
Crisis for Liberia's social structure
The rapid spread of the virus is undermining the ability of the Liberian state to cope with these challenges
President of Liberia is worried that basic order will collapse, and it's already collapsing.
Limited public health care, food shortages, limited police presence, and limited economic activity.
-Relieve human suffering, save lives
-Prevent disease spread
-Prevent social/economic breakdown
-Prevent civil conflict
-Boost international and domestic image
-Risk American lives by sending soldiers
-Strain American economy
-Overstretch American military
-Distract from greater threats
-Political risks - Failure, Disappointment
-Risk setting a precedent - Where do our obligations end?
benefits: saving lives, reducing human suffering, preventing greater spread of disease and economic breakdown, preventing return to Civil War, improving US image abroad
costs: risking innocent lives of US soldiers, cost money ($1 billion), overstretching US military (distract us from bigger threats like ISIS), potential political costs (US bound to disappoint someone), issue of setting a precedent (if we do help, where do our obligations stop?)
Congress was given the power to declare war and appropriate funds
Importantly and often forgotten these days, Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution was also carefully drawn to give Congress, not the president, certain powers over the structure and use of the military. True, the president would act as commander in chief, but only in the sense that he would be executing policies shepherded within the boundaries of legislative powers. In some cases his power is narrowed further by the requirement that he obtain the "Advice and Consent" of two-thirds of the Senate.
Congress, not the president, would "raise and support Armies," with the Constitution limiting appropriations for such armies to no more than two years. This was a clear signal that in our new country there would be no standing army to be sent off on foreign adventures at the whim of a pseudo-monarch. The United States would not engage in unchecked, perpetual military campaigns.
Congress would also "provide and maintain a Navy," with no time limit on such appropriations. This distinction between "raising" an army and "maintaining" a navy marked a recognition of the reality that our country would need to protect vital sea-lanes as a matter of commercial and national security, confront acts of piracy-the eighteenth-century equivalent of international terrorism-and act as a deterrent to large-scale war.
First, Republicans criticize Obama for not properly training the Free Syrian Army so they could take this fight on in the territory. Instead, Obama abandoned the Free Syrian Army. Now, Republicans are being critical of Obama's policy of air support for ISIS - they say ISIS is the size of Indiana with over 30,000 people involved (Pat: may only be 5,000-10,000 people) and there must be ground support, Special Forces, and intelligence rather than simply air weaponry.
Dana Milbank: "Republicans gallop toward ground war..."
Tom Cole - Obama was "far too quick to rule out options and tools that he in fact may need later."
Jack Kingston - "If it's important enough to fight, it's important enough to win."
The reason why Republicans have become so eager to engage in military operations against ISIS because they argue that it will not be an easy fight and they need to engage now before ISIS gains more power in the region. They argue they need to use more resources than are at the table at the moment. The Republicans imply that the current strategy against ISIS is destined to fail
Domestic politics are in play in their criticism. Their inflammatory criticisms are a tactic that is trying to shift the public debate.
It's election year, so part of this is it's an opportunity for the Republican party to criticize Obama
They can imply and explicitly state that this is Obama's mistake
They argue that the Democratic party is too weak for this issue, which makes the Republican party seem tougher and stronger, which may be beneficial in the upcoming election
No, he has not. In the past three months(6/22/14 - 9/7/14), military interventionism (more specifically, air strikes against ISIS in Iraq) has risen from just under 50% to 71%. However, despite the rise in favor of air strikes, Obama's support levels have stayed quite low.
Divided government can significantly influence the political dynamics of this crisis
Mixed messages from Republicans. They say yes, we need to do these air strikes, however Obama may not be doing it the right way, he might need to put ground troops, he has made bad commitments that might actually be emboldening ISIS which could undermine us later, etc.
Mearsheimer and Walt as theoretical "realists"
Significance: national interests should be defined by external threats to the United States; alliance relationships can be transient, subservient to these
Argument: The Lobby/AIPAC too powerful, hijacking US interests
How? Campaign contributions; collective action problem of societal opposition
According to Mearsheimer and Walt, the loose coalition that makes up the lobby has significant leverage over the Executive Branch, as well as the ability to make sure that the lobby's perspective on Israel is widely reflected in the mainstream media.
They claim that the American Israel Public Committee AIPAC in particular has a stranglehold on the US Congress, due to its ability to reward legislators and congressional candidates who support its agenda, and to punish those who challenge.
The authors conclude by arguing that when the Lobby succeeds in shaping U.S. policy in the Middle East, then "Israel's enemies get weakened or overthrown, Israel gets a free hand with the Palestinians, and the United States does most of the fighting, dying, rebuilding, and paying".
The Articles of Confederation (1781)
More like an alliance: loose union of states, state loyalty more important
Congress possesses authority to control diplomatic relations, requisition money and soldiers from states, coin and borrow money, settle disputes among states
Commercial regulation and taxation remain with the states
Article 2: "each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled."
April 1917, Germans forced his hand, they wanted to implement submarine warfare against merchant shipping in coasts of Europe, meaning more American merchant vessels would be destroyed and US citizens would die
Woodrow Wilson consistently worked to keep US out, campaigns on in 1916 election
E.g. Peace Without Victory Speech
German submarine campaign shifts public opinion, makes it politically impossible to stay out of war
In January 1917, Germany announced that it would lift all restrictions on submarine warfare starting on February 1. This declaration meant that German U-boat commanders were suddenly authorized to sink all ships that they believed to be providing aid of any sort to the Allies. Because the primary goal was to starve Britain into surrendering, the German effort would focus largely on ships crossing the Atlantic from the United States and Canada.
The first victim of this new policy was the American cargo ship Housatonic, which a German U-boat sank on February 3, 1917. Although Wilson tried hard to keep the United States neutral, by the spring of 1917, the situation had changed significantly, and neutrality no longer seemed feasible. Germany's unrestricted submarine warfare was taking its toll, as American ships, both cargo and passenger, were sunk one after another. Finally, on April 2, Wilson appeared before Congress and requested a declaration of war. Congress responded within days, officially declaring war on Germany on April 6, 1917.
Wilson also wants to shape the terms of the peace
wanted to get collective security system centered around League of Nations
Innately Antagonistic—give up any hope with any type of alliance with the soviet union, any sort of looks like cooperation is a lie and is calculated
Dual Nature: Expansionary but Cautious
Containment -- "The Adroit and vigilant application of counterforce at a series of constantly shifting geographical and political points, corresponding to the shifts and maneuvers of Soviet policy." (Kennan, p. 862)
Soviet union is like water, it will flow wherever it is allowed to and it will take it but if it faces a barrier it will stop, always probing but will retreat if the counter force is too overwhelming- US is that counter force
He argued that the US could not defeat with USSR military in the near future, he saw the cold war was an extended conflict that would take a long time, over decades, wearing down the USSR by keeping it from expanding, the USSR could not survive in it's current form if it cannot expand, so we have to keep it from expanding --- We must outperform the soviet union--- this came true.