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    Rewording Pol Sci questions

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    Can you please rework each individual questions in your own words?

    1. In your opinion does the United Nations have a key role in world politics? What reforms should the United Nations undertake to remain relevant? Is UN peacekeeping effective?

    Yes, the UN does play a key role in world politics, in that it provides a forum for all countries to come together, negotiate differences, and cooperate to solve shared challenges. The UN plays a large role in determining policy for conflicts in the world, such as the Iranian nuclear and the issue of Palestinian statehood, and provides international responses to issues such as world hunger and disease, armed conflict, natural disaster response, etc. I think tho two best steps the UN can take to remain relevant are to reduce corruption and abuse of resources, and eliminate the ability of the five permanent UNSC members to veto any legislation, which nearly cripples the UN's ability to act on significant events around the world. I do not believe that UN peacekeeping has been effective, due to the multiple instances where peacekeepers have been completely ineffective at protecting civilian populations: Serbia, Rwanda, Darfur, and the Congo have all seen significant failures of UN troops to fulfill their mandate. Other UN missions have turned into long-term missions with little evidence of effectiveness: Lebanon and Syria. In addition, troop misconduct is a significant barrier: protected populations must be able to trust the blue helmets.

    2. In your opinion what are the key concerns United States has against the International Criminal Court? Should the U.S. sign the ICC?

    The U.S. has significant concerns with the ICC. First, that the ICC's mandate is vague, and the court has been given distraction past what one would reasonably expect--the court's commission to try "crimes of aggression" are too poorly defined and leave signatories open to political retribution when no crime has been committed. Second, the court does not enforce international law, making prosecutions unconstitutional under the US Constitution. Third, even though the prosecutor is supposed to be apolitical, this fact means that the prosecutor is more likely to be politicized. A politicized prosecutor could create significant problems simply by launching an investigation. Finally, the court is not accountable to any one; there is no system of checks and balances to ensure that the court does not overstep its authority.

    I believe the US should sign the ICC. We have already made progress and acceptably resolved the first difficulty regarding unclear definitions. The other issues can be resolved by changing the structure of the court--formalize the law that the court is intended to enforce, and add oversight via the Security Council. Establish multiple prosecutors to balance the politicization of the office. These changes will make the court's structure acceptable to US and will also be to the advantage of other signatories.

    3. Do the captured terrorists deserve legal protection? Can the terrorists get fair trial? How can international law be strengthened to protect the right of this new category of international actor - the international terrorists?

    Every captured suspected terrorist deserves legal protection, either as a combatant in a recognized army, or as an individual suspected as a crime. No government or individual has the right to declare that an individual is not subject to the law and that they cannot be treated in accordance with the law. This is one of the basic principles of human rights--that all human beings have equal rights under the law--and by discarding this principle when it is convenient to us, we are denying ourselves the ability to demand that our own citizens and soldiers be treated in accordance with the law. I do believe that suspected terrorists can receive a trial, whether that means a criminal trial for a suspect captured in the U.S., or a military tribunal for a suspect captured on an international battlefield.

    The possibility of holding detainees for the duration of the conflict disturbs me, because there will never be a definitive end to the "War on Terror". There may be a definitive end to the conflict with al Qaeda within the next couple decades, although I doubt we will remain in Afghanistan long enough to actually capture or kill the majority of al Qaeda fighters. Without a definition of the "duration of the conflict", we can essentially sentence fighters captured on the battlefield to life in prison with no trial.

    I do not believe that terrorism suspects have rights as terrorists per se, but rather that they have rights as human beings who are either part of a military body or are suspected of a crime. However, international agreements could do more to protect prisoners world-wide and guarantee that they are being treated humanely and in accordance with international law. For example, the U.S. should be held responsible for its treatment of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay and detainees at Abu Ghraib, as well as its policy of extraordinary rendition, while other countries such as Egypt should be held responsible for their abuse of prisoners as well. Sanctions and penalties imposed by the UN would be effective, although the UN must remove the ability of the "big 5" to veto any measure before such a policy could be implemented.

    I do not believe that suspected terrorists held as military detainees should be afforded all the privileges offered to Prisoners of War under the Geneva conventions. Some provisions, such as protection against torture, protection against self-incrimination, free practice of religion, etc., absolutely must be afforded them, but the Third Geneva Convention, which is typically thought of as "the Geneva Conventions" and provides guidance for treatment of military prisoners of war, are designed to govern a situation where a large body of personnel from a regular army are held and are designed to preserve their military structure. Obviously, this doesn't apply to al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations.

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    Solution Preview

    1. In your opinion does the United Nations have a key role in world politics? What reforms should the United Nations undertake to remain relevant? Is UN peacekeeping effective?
    The United Nations is a gathering place for nations to discuss and debate. While it is charged with helping to negotiate and find solutions for world conflict, it does not meet this challenge well. The conflicts often are in country, which makes it difficult for the world organization to find agreement. Political interests often outweigh the needs of the people involved. Additionally, the Security Council is set up to give only a few countries true power and authority. Therefore, those few countries can argue, vote, and make decisions among themselves. These decisions are all too often based on currently government relations between the countries.
    One key point in the sending of UN troops to regions of violence and unrest is their lack of true authority within the area and are as much as show of world concern as an actual force to battle. Too many nations realize this making them more a stand-in for world leaders disapproval. If true battle needs to be done, other groups like NATO or countries will come in to help with the fighting.
    What the UN does very well is provide humanitarian ...

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