The US Foreign Policy
RESEARCH PAPER GUIDELINES
For our next project, students will complete a Thesis Paper which examines US Government policies from a particular Administration or era, or legislation/policies related to a specific issue. The paper must have a thesis statement where you create an argument that you will set out to prove and support with specific evidence that you have uncovered during your research. It’s important to pick a topic or era that you really are interested in exploring.
- 5-8 pages (double spaced, size 12 font, with heading)
- At least five sources cited using footnotes (Note: For this project, you may only use ONE general reference site as one of your sources. The rest must be books, journal articles or primary sources)
The Progressive Era (As a whole or specific legislation)
The New Deal (As a whole or specific legislation)
Legislation related to “Redlining”
Civil Rights Act of 1964/Voting Rights Act of 1965
LBJ and the Great Society (As a whole, or specific legislation)
The War on Drugs
The Environment and Climate Change
The National Debt
Choose one of the topics in the “10th grade research paper” and write, thanks!
The US Foreign Policy
Foreign policy is how a national government advances its interests and protects its security through interaction with other nations. The foreign policy comprises the goals, strategies, and policies implemented to address external issues. The foreign policies of the US are the various self-interest acted by the US government in response to its relationships with nations from the rest of the world. Foreign policy and its implementation can significantly affect relations with other countries. In recent times, domestic politics, geopolitics, economics, and ideology have impacted U.S foreign policy. Additionally, democracy and nationalism are also said to have become key to influencing the American identity. However, they have received criticism throughout U.S. history due to the security issues they are related to since they sometimes outweigh moral considerations (Schultz (2017). This paper seeks to describe the state of the US foreign policy and the reasons as to why it is a failure because it has constantly failed to adhere to its objectives and rather caused more political instability across the world.
Elements of the US Foreign Policy
American foreign policy has been developed over time, and it has changed during each administration. The following elements are three of the most important:
Manifest Destiny - The United States believed it would expand from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific Coast. Not only was this a belief, but it was an imperative. Americans believed that this expansion would ultimately benefit every nation on earth because it would bring democracy and capitalism to them as well.
Interests - Foreign policy has faced influence by the interests of the US. From early on, Americans have believed that America's strength depends on its economic health, so there has always been a strong desire to develop new markets for American products. Also, America has always prioritized national security, so there have always been efforts to secure peace through strength (Wehner, 370).
Values - Since its founding, Americans have placed a high value on freedom and democracy. Even though we have often failed to live up to these ideals ourselves, we have always believed in these principles and sought to promote them abroad. We often pursue policies that elevate these values above others, such as stability or wealth creation.
Significance of the Foreign Policy
The policy's main goal is to safeguard the country’s interests, achieved by protecting its citizens and providing stability within its borders. Foreign policy has to be in tune with its domestic needs and citizens. In this case, the US foreign policies govern how it relates to other nations. The United States is a significant global player, and its foreign policy has a great effect on other countries. For instance, the Monroe Doctrine was a U.S. foreign policy statement that the U.S. would not tolerate new European colonies or interference in the Americans (Biden Jr, 64). The doctrine served as a justification for the U.S. declaring its independence and expanding westward across North America with little concern for European powers. Secondly, the Roosevelt Corollary was a form of expansionism that stated that the United States would intervene in any Western Hemisphere country if they got into financial trouble with European Countries due to defaulting on their loans or any other financial problems have been experiencing. This allowed the U.S., at times, to act as an international police force, intervening when necessary but staying out of affairs otherwise.
The US Foreign Policy is a Failure
Some scholars argue that the US foreign policy is driven by a desire for self-preservation and protection of national interests. However, others argue that the US is driven by a desire to dominate other nations and subvert their sovereignty, especially in the developing world. This idea stems from the background and basis that its actions appear to be trying to influence the internal affairs of other countries. Some people's perception towards the US is that it interferes too much with other countries' affairs. This perception has been fueled by many events in history where the US has used its diplomatic muscle to achieve certain outcomes in other countries politics.
First of all, the U.S. foreign policy establishment has failed the nation. It has failed to anticipate and prevent war and conflict, leaving the nation with costly, protracted wars that have not advanced its national interests. It has failed to deter most adversaries, and a problem most acutely manifested in N. Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, China’s assertive actions in the S. China, and Russia’s aggressive behavior in Eastern Europe, including its invasion of Ukraine, explains its other drawbacks (George, 240). It has failed to promote U.S. values abroad by supporting autocratic leaders who are complicit in human rights abuses or waging war on their people, a practice that has discredited us in the eyes of much of the world, as evidenced by recent polls.
Secondly, the tactics applied by the US in the far East have also come down crumbling. For decades, presidents and politicians from both parties have consistently pursued policy goals that are unachievable or ill-conceived. As a result, America's strategic position in the region has not improved, and the leverage with regional actors has declined. The nightmare scenario of a post-American Middle East has come to pass. In Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, raging civil wars and sectarian conflicts have resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees and billions of dollars in property damage. Moreover, the particular chaos has allowed non-state actors such as al Qaeda and the Muslims of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) to establish themselves as major players across the region (McConnell, 670). The various U.S.-backed governments in the region face existential threats from non-state actors and foreign powers like Russia and Iran, seeking to expand their influence at American expense.
The failure is not due to the lack of good people; many talented, dedicated public servants at the State Department, the Pentagon, and other institutions. It is because these talented individuals are working in an increasingly dysfunctional system. The system continuously conducts covert operations in Eastern Europe, Africa, and Latin America. The US overthrew democratically elected governments in Ukraine, Haiti, Honduras, Brazil, and Chile. The US is supporting neo-Nazis to overthrow the democratically elected government in Venezuela, which will result in even further suffering for Venezuelans (McConnell, 668). The US also supports a brutal dictatorship in Saudi Arabia which led to a humanitarian crisis in Yemen that could lead to famine for up to 14 million people if things do not change soon. The US should not try to be the world's policeman or nation builder and should support legitimate allies such as Russia and China when trying to counter threats like terrorism rather than opposing them when they do so.
However, Americans often focus on US military attacks and interventions when discussing foreign policy. But the US’s real power lies in its economic might, which also happens to be one of its greatest weaknesses. In broad terms, modern American foreign policy has been defined by a commitment to openness and openness abroad. That openness has allowed the US to build a global economy that provides immense prosperity at home while spreading the benefits of globalization to other nations on the globe. This approach has also given rise to three major challenges that will define the relationship between the superpower and the various nations on the globe for decades and perhaps centuries to come.
In conclusion, this paper has highlighted the nature of the US foreign policy and potential reasons why it is a failure since it has constantly failed to adhere to its objectives and rather caused more political instability across the world. A foreign policy failure is an outcome or result that did not meet the objective or goal of the stated policy. The US foreign policy governs its dealings with other countries and establishes norms for its institutions, enterprises, systems and people. Moreover, the nation's policy was developed to ensure that it safeguards the values and interests of the nation and its people as an independent entity. For the past several decades, Americans have been led to believe that their country's foreign policy is a success. It has made the world safer, we're told, and more prosperous. But in reality, it has achieved the opposite of what it set out to achieve: it has made the world less safe and less prosperous. The United States' attempts to shape the rest of the world have only spread chaos and instability.
Biden Jr, Joseph R. "Why American Must Lead Again: Recusing US Foreign Policy after Trump." Foreign Aff. 99 (2020): 64.
George, Alexander L. "Domestic constraints on regime change in US foreign policy: The need for policy legitimacy." Change in the international system. Routledge, 2019. 233-262.
McConnell, Allan. "A public policy approach to understanding the nature and causes of foreign policy failure." Journal of European Public Policy 23.5 (2016): 667-684.
Schultz, Kenneth A. "Perils of polarization for US foreign policy." The Washington Quarterly 40.4 (2017): 7-28.
Wehner, Leslie E. "The narration of roles in foreign policy analysis." Journal of International Relations and Development 23.2 (2020): 359-384.
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