Feb 11, 2021 in Politics

American Foreign Policy

Question 1

The US approach to the Ukraine-Russia crisis arose from the threat of Russia to international security and violation of the norms that govern inter-state relations. The annexation of Crimea region and subsequent deployment of Russian soldiers in eastern Ukraine violated the territorial integrity of Ukraine. The US foreign policymakers saw this as an affront to sovereignty and stability of the international system. The fear that Russia would escalate the crisis to other countries within the region led to the US action to prevent the spillover effects. In this respect, measures to contain Kremlin become handy. The United States led its NATO allies to enhance security in Eastern European states such as Estonia and Poland to ensure that Russians do not violate the territorial integrity of its member states.

Moreover, the US engaged in shuttle diplomacy that led to imposing sanctions on Russia. The decision to apply sanctions was justified by the fact that military action against Russians was not a priority, thus the need to exploit other measures in trying to force them to withdraw from Ukraine or slow their extraterritorial activities in the country. It is imperative to note that Russia is the nuclear power, which makes any move by the United States to respond to the crisis with military force a recipe for hot war between the two great powers. The consequence of such kind of warfare can be devastating and irreversible. By imposition economic and security sanctions on Russians, the US choose a peaceful way to weaken and force the enemy to rescind on its aggression in Ukraine. American foreign policy also resorted to the military and economic support of the Ukrainian government. The decision was a right move based on the fact that Russia had armed the rebels and cut off the gas supply to the country. Consequently, there was the need for immediate financial and military to maintain the Kiev regime in place, against the heavy assault from the Kremlin-backed insurgents in the eastern region.


Question 2

The Truman doctrine and Bush refer to a number of foreign policy actions that were taken by the US during the reign of President Truman and Bush, in 1945 and 2001-2008 respectively. Truman doctrine came into being as a result of the 1946-149 threat of the Soviet Unions communism ideology in Greece and Turkey. Washington offered financial and armaments to countries that fought communism within their borders; this became an incentive to keep vulnerable states away from the Soviet Union influence. On the other hand, the Bush doctrine was occasioned by the September 11th terror attack, which saw the United States accuse Afghanistan and Iraq of sponsoring international terrorism. The outcomes of this doctrine were the US invasion of Iraq, leading to a prolonged war that become a challenge to the US foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond. The two doctrines were rooted in unilateralism, the sovereign right of the United States to protect its interests without much consideration of what the other players will say. The resultant effects of these two doctrines were the advancement of the US interests overseas, which have helped it to maintain its influence in the international system.

The outcomes of the Truman doctrine included financing of the Greek government against communist resurgent. The approach was successful in preventing communist spread in the country. Moreover, the doctrine led to later state funding rebels movements against communist regimes in Cuba and Angola. On the other hand, the Bush Doctrine led to the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, whose outcomes were the ouster of the Taliban regime from power as well as removal of Saddam Hussein from power and his eventual killing. Additionally, the results of the American foreign policy of preemptive strike in Iraq are responsible for the prolonged and costly war that the US has fought in the Middle East. The region is more unstable than before the war by Americans.

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Question 3

Domestic factors have played a significant role in the formulation of past the United States foreign policy. The popular culture of freedom explains the democratization crusade that dominated the American foreign policy abroad. The withdrawal of American soldiers from Vietnam and Somalia was as a result of the public opinion turning against support for the war. The cost in financial and lives had become unbearable to the majority of Americans, thus their expression of displeasure on how the government was handling the Vietnam War. Protests in the main towns and continued media criticism forced Washington regime to pull out Vietnam humiliatingly. Lobby groups such as human rights and environmental organizations impact on the US foreign policy cannot be underestimated. In the past, these groups have urged the US to support environmental protection regimes. Therefore, domestic factors contribution to the USA foreign policy has had a great impact in several selected past incidences.

The pressure from domestic actors yielded fruits in protecting the US national interests in areas of pollution and sustainable development. America has signed several environmental treaties that compel it to implement them locally. As a result, the industrial sector is guided by local and international environmental regimes. The decision by American foreign policy-makers to pull out of Vietnam impacted negatively on the US interest abroad, particularly about cold war. Communist triumph in Vietnam spelt doom for the Americans, as more countries fell to the Soviet Union economic and political ideology. On the other hand, withdrawing from Vietnam saved the United States from more loss of lives and finances to a war that had no sign of victory. Overall, American national interests were injured as it lost it momentarily lost its prestige as the most powerful state with a powerful political and economic ideology that need to be adopted by other countries.

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Question 4

American exceptionalism is referred to the distinct character of the United States from the rest of the countries as an outstandingly free nation that is rooted in democratic, human rights and principle. Consequently, it is considered a country that is more advanced in areas of individual liberties and an epitome of good governance that the rest of the world can copy. Moreover, the value of human rights and freedoms explains why America has assimilated millions of immigrants in the past decade. America is the land of opportunities to all, locals and immigrants, the only country that grants citizenship to huge numbers of foreigners. The United States remains the leading crusader of the rights of minority groups such as gays, lesbians, and also freedom of worship. Its foreign policy advances the same ideals overseas, countries that violates human rights are often isolated and even sanctions imposed on them by the US and its allies. A good example is Zimbabwe, Russia, Sudan, Syria, and Iran.

In my view, the United States is exceptional in a number of ways that support the idea of American exceptionalism. The American system of democracy is unique and highly publicized across the whole world. The president is elected by an electoral college and not the popular vote. The unique character of the United States is found in the nature of its political systems. The declaration of independence (1776), the revolution (1776-83), the charter of human rights, and the US Constitution (1787) and the amendments thereafter make America a unique democracy. The freedoms of the people and their sovereign power over the government is given more weight than in any other state. The liberties of the Americans are a priority to actions taken by the state, and there are strong checks and balances to the powers of each arm of the government. Therefore, American exceptionalism is the truth; it can be traced in its governance and ideals.

Question 5

The concept unilateralism can be defined as the act of an actor taking action without consulting or involving the other parties. In this respect, the foreign policy of a country does not put it consideration the opinion or action of the other players on the issue is not addressed. The decision by President George Bush to launch the United States war on Afghanistan in 2001 after the September 11th terrorist strike is an example of unilateralism. President Bush did not consult other states, particularly the European member states and seek their approval, but just declare war in Afghanistan. President George Bush also took a unilateral decision to withdraw the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, the International Criminal Court treaty, and Kyoto Protocol on climate change. He did this without consulting with other member states and actors.

Multilateralism refers to a joint action or decision by players who are stakeholders in a given issue of concern. The United States and the European Union response to Russias annexation of Crimea is a good case of multilateralism. The two consulted before deciding which kind of action to take against Kremlin regime, which explains the US foreign policy towards European Union and Russia. Sanctions and enhancing security to Eastern European NATO member states were some of the joint resolutions that were made. President Clinton adopted a multilateral approach in dealing with the Iran nuclear threat. He engaged Russia, Iran, China, and European Union in the talks to try and reach a peaceful resolution. Failure of diplomatic maneuvers led to more sanctions by the United States and its allies, which was arrived at after serious consultations. Presidents Clinton and Obama applied multilateralism in negotiating climate change regimes, where they lobbied the world to support measures to curb environmental pollution, especially on greenhouse gas emission.

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Question 6

 foreign policy in a number of ways; One, as a global superpower, military strength matters a lot in coercing unfriendly states to agree to Washingtons demands and desires in the international system. The United States has waged and get involved in numerous military activities since the ending of World War II. War is a continuation of diplomacy, and it can be only fought using the armed forces, thus the critical role of the military power in application of US foreign policy. Trade embargoes, enforcement of ceasefire, and tackling terrorism are some of the aspects of the American foreign policy that have the strong backing of the military. Moreover, a strong military is used to advance the US foreign policy on matters concerning security, NATO and security agreements with countries such as Canada, Japan, Djibouti, Kuwait, and Pakistan are anchored on the importance of marinating strong military presence across the world and protecting the United States interests and allies.

Power refers to the ability of a country to control the action and decisions made by other nations or actors in the international systems. It also entails compelling or influencing and actor to behave in a manner that would not have been possible without influence. The United States influence in future will depend on hard power, the era of heavy reliance on soft power is ending. Diplomacy is becoming ineffective to deal with new security threats such as terrorism and civil war. The action by Russia to annex Crimea region is another testimony on how hard power is going to be of great value to future US foreign policy than soft power. The challenges such ISIS and the weaker government will demand hard power to protect the American interests. Soft power has failed to contain Russia, Iran, and North Korea. It is likely that these countries and other new threats can lead to war, thus the importance of strong military force to restore peace and orderliness in the international system as well as protect Americans national interests.


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