International Relations Quiz #1: Kevin Miller

The following is a quiz that I did for college back in 2010 that I wanted to get out there because I still think my answers are relevant:



Kevin Miller


International Relations

Professor Murphy



Short Answer Questions: 5 points each

Before completing this quiz, go back and read the directions to make sure you complete it correctly.

  • Read each question carefully and provide your answers as outlined below.
  • Remember, these are short answer essay questions. The length of your answer should be four to six sentences, or a well thought out and cogent paragraph. Be sure to answer with complete and coherent sentences. Phrases and incomplete thoughts will be marked wrong.
  • Plus, do not copy and paste direct quotes from the text. These answers must be written by you.
  • Lastly, be sure to answer the question that is asked.



#7. Israeli Military Calculations towards Iran

As related in “Israeli Military Calculations towards Iran,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made some carefully crafted and outrageous statements, such as denying the Holocaust. Explain the reasons given in the article for these statements?


The main reasons in the article for Ahmadinejad’s outrageous statements are many fold. The most obvious of them is that he wished to galvanize the Middle East for the abating “Islamic Revolution” where comments about the destruction of Israel are very popular. He also wished to codify his power in his own company which is currently suffering from Sunni-Shia tensions and an ailing economy. Iran has fresh sanctions against it that were only being considered at the time of this article’s publishing. These new sanctions have been in the pipeline for a long time and so perhaps by deflecting attention away from the possibility of these sanctions Ahmadinejad can further collate his hierarchical supremacy in the revolutionary guard units.


Okay, I think, but your writing is a little confusing….




#10. Evolving Bioweapon Threats Require New Countermeasures, Helen Purkitt and Virgen Wells.  

As presented in “Evolving Bioweapon Threats Require New Countermeasures,”  greater transparency is a better option for governments looking to contain biological weapons than more traditional control strategies.

  1. What are traditional control strategies?


The traditional control strategies of the past the article has argued were ultimately ineffective and led to more confrontation than regulation. One such strategy was the visa restrictions that were put into place after the 2001 9/11 terrorist attacks and the subsequent anthrax “bombings”. This control measure simply forced rogue nation states, such as Iraq for instance to move their student populations to Europe or non-western universities where the same information was readily available. Another traditional control strategy was the fact that these advanced weapons R&D required Bio safety Level 3 facilities or higher. This fact though has been eclipsed by the technology curve and has led to rogue states establishing portable and mobile facilities much as how Iraq was purported to have immediately before the 2003 Iraq war. And also these facilities are now within reach even for failed states such as Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe which at one point was facing 9000% inflation in their currency.


  • Right, traditional control measures seek to prevent access to the information and equipment necessary for these programs.



  1. Why is greater transparency a better option?


Internationally sanctioned transparency inspections are a more viable route due to the proliferation of information, and the cost associated with biochemical warfare development. Information about biochemical warfare is readily available at almost any major university throughout the world and also there is a multiferous amount of information readily available online to would be kitchen sink terrorist or failed state/rogue state researchers. The cost of the facilities needed for development has been greatly reduced over time to the point that there are “fast build” biochemical reagent lab kits available for even an enthusiast not to mention non-state actors. This requires transparency on the part of the companies that produce these goods and services so that the biological plant parts and chemical dispersants can be readily tracked as well as the expertise that is requesting these goods.


How so?

  • Greater transparency could lead to more successful outcomes in controlling biological weapons because there would be more focus on standardizing Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) and safety standards.
  • GLP guidelines include inspections of active laboratories, university labs, foreign labs, and inactive labs.
  • These inspections are focused on standard practices and safety, and the guidelines used may help to control access to reagents and equipment or to monitor illegal labs in remote areas.
  • They could also promote greater transparency in biotechnology research and further the development of new international norms about what constitutes public and proprietary information and activities, see  pages 46-47.
  • 4/5

#9. The Terrorist Threat to Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons, Shaun Gregory

As detailed in “The Terrorist Threat to Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons,”:

  • What are the security measures that Pakistan has implemented for its nuclear weapons?

The security measures that Pakistan has implemented are manifold. The most obvious is a robust security apparatus that is administered by the army personally with many operations operating interdependently in a “stove pipe” chain of command – that is to say not letting the left hand see what the right hand is doing.


  • Physical security, concentric tiers
  • Personnel reliability programs (PRP), Punjab Province, see page 41


Other less obvious procedures include a Permissive Action Link or PAL system, and dummy warhead sites that project power without the risk of weapons falling into the wrong hands. The Permissive Action Link (PAL) is a system similar to ones found in Europe that prevent the weapons from weaponizing if they fall into the wrong hands and being launched or activated only by the appropriate authorities in Pakistan. The dummy warheads are novel, though not unique to Pakistan, but are effective nonetheless. By placing dummy warheads at dummy facilities throughout the country the likelihood that there will be a “rogue spear” or active nuclear warhead that gets into the hands of dangerous “non-state” actors. The Pakistanis in addition to this also keep their war heads disassembled so that they can have “fast build” or “weaponization” abilities in their arsenal. This too is meant to prevent weapons from falling into the wrong hands.



  • To which forms of terrorist assault are Pakistan’s nuclear-weapons-infrastructure sites vulnerable?


Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are vulnerable to at least three forms of assault by non-state actors. The first of this is an RPG attack or some other type of assymetrical explosive device which would cause a fire at the facilities creating a radiological hazard. Another way that terrorist groups could attack the facilities is that they could use assymetrical tactics to again cause a fire at the facility that could in turn create an explosion at the facility which would create a radiological hazard. The third and most obvious of the tactics used by terrorist is to somehow infiltrate the facility through the use of subterfuge or the “turning” of a scientist or other nuclear cooperative an order to gain ahold of a working nuclear weapon.

  • 5/5


#13. The Petraeus Doctrine, Andrew Bacevich

As detailed in “The Petraeus Doctrine,”:

  1. Explain the differences between the Powell Doctrine and the Petraeus Doctrine.


The Petraeus and Powell doctrines are diverse on a multitude of critical junctures. The Powell doctrine saw the Iraq war as something that would be short and would encompass militaristic strategy, and tactics. This emphasis on military runs counter to the assertions in the Petraeus doctrine. The Petraeus doctrine sees war as amorphous and constituted of both military and doctrinal strategy. The core belief that is held in the Petraeus doctrine is that societal change cannot be co-opted by the tip of a spear alone but must also grounded in the idea that a society grows when it is nourished and fermented with the seeds of growth. It is only by recognizing this crucial difference can we begin to actualize the change in the Middle East that is so desperately needed and that are even now showing their fresh shoots.


  1. Explain the differences between the Crusaders and the Conservatives of the Great Debate Identify which side agrees with the Petraeus Doctrine and which side agrees with the Powell Doctrine.


In the debate between the Crusaders and the Conservatives the differences run in stark contrast between one another. The Crusaders see the mistakes of the Vietnam War as intrinsically political. They argue that the mistake of the war wasn’t the idea that we went in the first place but that the politico’s in power at the time lacked the political will to ameliorate the leadership of not only the Military but the domestic clout as well. They posit that Had Creighton Abrams been given priority by the politicians over the then resentment of the war by a wide cross-section of the American public, then victory would have been certain. This mode of thinking is in line with the Petraeus doctrine.


The other side the so-called conservatives believe in the idea of a responsive military that is more reticent of problems as they develop. They argue that the issues that we face in Iraq today are present only because the U.S. militaries leadership is not of the same rapidity in the malleability of their thinking as a grunt who is on the ground. They dismiss the notion of “institutional Genius” and they regard meticulous planning, rather than allowing the conditions on the ground to dictate policy. The idea that had the Powell doctrine been advised as suppose to Gen. Franks’ plan at the beginning of the war then the issues of Iraq would not be present. In fact they go as far as to say that Gen. Franks’ plan, or lack thereof is the reason for the Iraqi Quagmire. The conservatives chief architect is retired General and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.


Good 5/5


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