Contemporary American Foreign Policy Essay

American foreign policy is mainly based on national interest, the real and psychological needs of Americans and the restrictions of the American power. Thus foreign policy is always intertwined with interpolitics and moral idealism. The best illustration is the Pearl Harbor where Franklin Roosevelt had the support the American people to bombard Japan with Atom bombs, the first and ever in the history. The mighty American defeat in the Vietnam War may be attributed to its unusual guerilla warfare.

The Korean War and the Gulf war had very clear grounds, limited goals. The dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur by President Truman testified the American limited cause as MacArthur opted to widen the Korean War. This can be compared to resignation of Rumsfield in the eve of criticism of this ill advice on Iraq invasion and recent debacle of democrats in the US election held in November, 2006. On the other hand, Somalia was the illustration of worst of moral idealism coalesced with a complete lack of broad national interest.

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Attack on the World Trade Center on September, 11, 2001 made USA again as a world boisterous and it usurped all the powers to wage on attack in the name tracking down Bin Laden in Afghanistan and against Saddam Hussein in Iraq. The national over-reaction after 9/11 attack reminded one the havocs during Haymarket riot in 1886, the witch hunts of the McCarthy era and the “red scare’ of the 1920’s. Most of the US invasions in name of its national security interest were failed to tackle root causes, were undemocratic and all most unproductive.

One may recall the American foreign policy during the Cold war and every thing was focused on the Soviet. George F . Kennan, a diplomat crafted the ‘Containment’ policy and this was implemented by the President Harry S. Truman which offered a coalescing philosophy that brought together isolated segments. It seems US does not have any more contemporary foreign policy as of now. What it all has now is a piecemeal set of retort to catastrophes, challenges and issues. No matter who capture power either Republicans or Democrats, their foreign policy remains the same.

In the name of tranquility and peace, Bush might have made an invasion in Iraq but it seems to be contained no element or fraction of concerted foreign policy and it was a secluded deed. During the last election in US, the web site of the presidential candidate both George W. Bush and John Kerry contains everything except any comment on foreign policy. Hence a critical question arises as ‘Do USA needs a foreign policy? ’ In the absence of coordination across all the factors that form the US’s association with the other groups, institutions, nations, the inventiveness all fall to rivals and enemies.

Without specific foreign policy, US is aimless and retaliate only when Al Qaeda execute another attack on US. According to Cecil V. Crabb, Jr, American foreign policy is the national intent of the American people and means of attaining these objectives. Further he added that the main intention of the foreign policy is the “conservation of American identity which the basic hypothesis underlying the accomplishment of other foreign policy aims’. Thus Iraq war and campaign against Al Qaeda has left the US with unclear links to the national strategy .

One has to recall the sayings of John F. Kennedy . Jr. and Rudolph Rummel who have emphatically viewed that democracies do not fight each other and to be of more democratic world means more secure world. The efforts of George W Bush to inflict democracy on resistant culture in Iraq can not be regarded as a contribution in broadening democracy around the globe. The method adopted by the US for spreading democracy is highly condemned. According to Samuel Huntington, a Harvard scholar, the supremacy of U. S is derived from its Anglo-Protestant cultural origins .

US has made the UNO as its official spokesperson and it never honored UN’s decisions and recommendations if it is prejudicial to its interest. The Middle East is wielding its indirect influence on U. S foreign policy because U. S has to depend them for oil . U. S can act and think independently towards Middle East only if it is able to establish self reliance and have invented energy alternatives. Thus the US foreign policy is in complete frenzy. U. S is badly in need of people not only with tactful abilities but also smart people with widespread sense.

A secret blue print for US global domination reveals that President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attach on Iraq to secure “ regime change “ even before he took power in January 2001. A plan called “Global Pax Americana “was drawn mainly to take control of the Persian Gulf region sans Saddam Hussein region while civil government was reestablished. It is to be noted that war was initiated on the main ground that Iraq was non cooperative in allowing inspection of weapons of mass destruction. However, in the aftermath of war, it became apparent that Saddam had no such weapons program.

Many Americans including prominent members of the Congress, claim Bush and his administration lied or misled the country based on doctored intelligence reports. The Bush Administration also linked the invasion of Iraq to the war on Terrorism, claiming that Hussein was giving safe heaven to and supporting terrorist groups. There were also accusation that Saddam was indirectly supported the September 11, 2001 attacks on America. It is to be noted that although the Bush administration strongly suggested ties at some level between Hussein and Al-Qaeda, it did not accuse Saddam of complicity in the specific events of 9/11 events.

By prioritizing national security policy than the U. S foreign policy has made the U. S more insecure. To retain its supremacy, US should devise methods to plan its long term global and national interest. It should formulate norms and principles to work with other nations to foster political stability, democratic values and economic growth. It should develop norms and principles that can encourage a successful foreign policy in a broadening integrated world. The U. S must formulate priorities to execute things and the desirable things it unable to achieve without overreaching its significant but not limitless resources.


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