Todays Date
January 19, 2021

International and domestic security dilemma

By Denko Maleski


National security is the primary issue of every country, just as physical survival is the primary issue of every individual. Do you check whether the front door is locked before going to bed? It is your personal security dilemma. While the country, with its monopoly on the use of force, is the one that takes care of the order and peace among the citizens, the anarchic nature of international politics makes the countries extremely insecure when it comes to the intentions of other countries. Here, in the absence of a world government and the presence of armed entities (countries) that carry autonomous decisions on war and peace, “security dilemma” called by John Herz is born, which can be explained in the following way: the search for of the country A produces insecurity with country B, which, fearing the intentions of country A, takes measures to increase its security, which, in turn, only strengthens the insecurity of the country A, and so endlessly, sometimes to an absurdity! I remember an old caricature in American newspapers from the Cold War: an American general nervously comes home and tells his wife they have just found that the Soviet Union has the potential to destroy America a hundred and one times while America can destroy the rival only a hundred times. In fact, faced with this absurdity, that you can destroy someone more than once, decades ago, the great powers stopped the meaningless arms race, fueled by the security dilemma, and have begun to reduce their military arsenals through international treaties.

With the NATO membership our country resolves its security dilemma with its neighbors. Small countries in the Balkans with their ridiculous miniature armies would not be ridiculous at all if they started fighting each other, resolving their security dilemma through a conflict. Thus, sitting at a joint table in Brussels, under the umbrella of America, they were referred to co-operation. They jointly design their security plans. Moreover, our insurance security policy is in the Charter of the Alliance, specifically in Article 5 which states that an attack on a NATO member is an attack on everyone. Although we also need to know that there is no blind automatism, according to which everyone will go to war if someone attacks North Macedonia, our security is dramatically strengthened. We know the price that we had to pay for and better educated people and better educated political elites would have been able to swallow their dignity bravely and would not have allowed the society to succumb to national emotions that undermine the security of the country. Starting from the situation in this so imperfect world, these generations of Macedonian citizens, however, were born in happy times. Under the security umbrella of NATO, with a resolved security dilemma with our neighbors, our country can boast that peace has been secured for years. Together with the previous 70 years of peace, it will be a great achievement in a world where constantly there are wars.

Is there a domestic security dilemma? I would say that there is. It is reflected in what can reduce the conflict between the parties and what will direct them to cooperation, just as NATO does it for the country as a whole? They can unite around the construction of a democratic and legal country. In this field there is so much to do in our desolate state so if the parties sincerely dedicated themselves, they would have a lot of work to do. The four universal principles that make up the working definition of the rule of law are the following: 1. Accountability, under which the government and private individuals are accountable to the law; 2. Fair laws, which means that the laws are clear, published, stable and fair, apply equally to all and protect fundamental rights, including the security of a person, contracts and property rights, as well as basic human rights; 3. Transparent government, which means that the processes through which laws that are passed and enforced to be accessible, fair and efficient; 4. Available and unbiased resolution of disagreements, and it refers to timely delivery of justice by competent, ethical and independent representatives who are neutral, accessible, possessing adequate resources, and reflecting the composition of the society they serve to.

How we will solve our internal security dilemma depends on these four principles of the rule of law. We only need to unite, roll up our sleeves and make a plan. The plan should be formulated above, in the country, and the support should come from below. This project should cover the whole society. Faculties of law in the country, among others, should have a significant place in this plan, where future judges and lawyers are educated, and the schools where future students are educated. Just imagine this view: instead of party A to suspect party B for intentions to destroy it through mounted trials, raising a spiral of hostility, party leaders together with the future president of the country, sitting around a table in a thought effort to resolve this domestic security dilemma: building a democratic rule of law. It can be a wide field for competition for the presidential candidates. The beginning will certainly be difficult. In the absence of elemental trust among party leaders, the fear is that the proclamation of peace by one side will mean losing positions in the war of parties, for the other. Here, the role of the president of the country can be significant. In fact, the battle for democracy and the rule of law will be the first and final test for the future head of state. The domestic security dilemma is on the agenda. But if energy is spent on revision or annulment of the already absolved external security dilemma, as the opposition and its presidential candidate began, the country’s progress towards a democratic and legal state may not be annulled, but it will certainly be slower.



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