US Foreign Policy Essay Sample

US Foreign Policy

Question 1

The U.S. making of foreign policy has received different interpretations from political analysts and scholars in Western democratic countries because of the outlined differences from the real public policy making. The implicit and explicit assumptions underlying the foreign policy definition elicit differing opinions on the contribution of the global goodness or harm caused to the global wellness. The orientation towards the making of foreign policy can get traced back to the eventful aftermath of World War I. After it the United States of America experienced the first years of being a great power and increased its attention to foreign relations. The conviction that isolationism was inappropriate in the international spectrum led to the active involvement of the United States in the affairs of the world hence foreign policy initiatives. A majority of the initiatives launched by the United States under successive government system received public appreciation and was considered as contributing to the global wellness. A big part of population and many organizations in the United States offer a helping hand in the formulation of foreign policy whose primary objective is the inculcation of diplomacy in the process of making solution to international problems. In this essay, the United States policy initiatives that promote a global wellness will receive discussion with example illustration in order to prove that the U.S. has been a Great Power that has contributed to the “global good.”

Promoting world peace and the making of a secure global environment has been a top priorities in the specter of the United States foreign policy initiatives. The progressive defense policies applied to different nations that threaten world peace have contributed to the peace of both Americans and non-Americans abroad. The United States foreign policy has pushed so hard through different adopted strategies to the end of nuclear expansion in Iran (Fisher, 2014). Consequently, the relentless pursuit to eliminate a threat to global peace through the American diplomacy, which is backed by straight pressure, has resulted in halting in the progress of the nuclear program in Iran. The United States followed a series of engagements in negotiation tactics to reach a peaceful treaty with the Iran to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weaponry. The Iran nuclear deal was a top priority for Obama's administration as regards foreign policy (Fisher, 2014). Obama reiterated the significance of the nuclear question in alleviating war despite carrying other risks. The nuclear deal with Iran involved the lifting of economic sanctions initially imposed by the US to facilitate the end of the nuclear weapon acquisition in the country. The lifting of economic sanctions offered opportunity for Iran to engage in warmer relations with the rest of the world, thus promoting the global peace in a secure international environment (Barker, 2015). The Iran nuclear deal in the spectrum of foreign policy under Obama administration illustrates the global wellness contribution of its political instruments since the relief of economic sanctions imposed on Iran was a step to a global economic integration hence lead to the relative peace.

Terrorism is a global issue that threatens the peace of nations. The United States implement foreign policy initiatives developed to help in the solving of international problems alongside the allies communities. The congressionally mandated analytical and statistical review indicates that global terrorism is booming almost everywhere but in the United States, hence there is a need for foreign counterterrorism initiatives (Zenko, 2015). The existing scholar and experts’ findings indicate that terrorism is a driving component of interstate warfare and permanent statehood fragility in countries like Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Syria. Those nations received an aid from the US foreign policy initiatives (Zenko, 2015). The employment of weak foreign policy methodologies in quelling terrorism led to the review of the approach evidenced by the ending of Afghanistan campaign. Thus, the revolution in approaches has led to the US offer to take a supportive role in the domestically motivated acts of terrorism in Afghan. The longest war that Americans witnessed is likely to reduce global terrorism (Fisher, 2014). The unpopularity of the war in Afghanistan has been bipartisan, and the foreign drawdown policy that Obama initiated seems to bear fruits in the process of terrorism annihilation. The US is still working alongside its primary allies to ensure that aggression of the Taliban-affiliated terrorist groups is brought under control (Fisher, 2014). The revolutionary approach in the process of bringing peace to Afghanistan and other terrorist-affected nationalities, as a foreign policy initiative adopted by the Obama administration, contributes to the global peace and wellness.

It is at the core of the United States foreign policy to promote democratic values and protection of human rights among various nations across the globe. The values that are stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights alongside other global commitments are consistent with the values upon which the United States of America were established centuries ago. The United States use a wide variety of tools for the advancement of the freedom agenda, and this includes bilateral diplomacy, multilateral engagement, economic sanctions, and foreign assistance. The US commitment within its foreign policy initiatives related to working with democratic partners and engaged citizens enhances pursuit for freedom in the global community. The US secretary of state, John Kerry, is entitled with ensuring that objective research on justice and law gets carried out to promote stable democracy across global nations that share a similar system (Kerry, 2015). The United States has sided with political parties in Syria to enhance a rightful treatment of the citizens with honor and dignity. Obama's foreign policy agenda has claimed to support the opposition that rejects terrorism in Syria. The US government also promised to work with the international community to give Syrians the future they deserve that is free of dictatorship, terror, and fear (Fisher, 2014). The attempts to spread sound law and justice through democracy promotion contribute to the global wellness as a foreign policy tools that the United States of America apply.

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The Obama administration gave a nod to the nuclear disarmament effort as a central foreign policy initiative. The American diplomacy influenced various countries to stop the proliferation of nuclear weaponry and to prevent nuclear materials from spreading all over the world. The foreign policy initiative effort on nuclear disarmament puts emphasis on reducing the reliance on Cold War stockpiles. It is clear, that the more the number of nuclear warheads in the world the higher the risk of war eruption is. It has been Obama's top political priority to secure the safety of the warheads left as well as reduce their prominence in countries that pose a threat to global welfare. The foreign policy initiatives resulted in signing of treaties between Russia and America with the aim to reduce the arsenal of weapons accumulated during the nuclear competition era. As Obama argued in a Prague address, it is important to move to peace and security in the world without the intimidation by nuclear weapons and use of it (Kroenig, 2013). The need to steer disarmament efforts in different countries grows from the realizing the fact that nuclear weapons are still the most potent military tools on the Earth. The collapse of the Soviet Union left the United States of America the only world superpower with strength in its unmatched military superiority (Kroenig, 2013). The changing times lead to military competition that the United States struggle to contain by preaching peace and tailoring foreign policy initiatives that aim at disarmament. These are the steps way to the global peace.

In conclusion, according to the study, the orientation towards the making of foreign policy was related to the eventful aftermath of World War I after which the United States of America experienced the first years of great power status and increased their attention to foreign relations. In this essay, it is evident that the United States policy initiatives were mainly meant to promote the global wellness of the State as a whole. This was achieved through promoting world peace and creating of a secure global environment, which was a top priority in the United States policy initiatives hierarchy. Lastly, in relation to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States of America gained its supremacy as the world’s superpower with strength in its unmatched military superiority.

Question 2a

Continuity and Change entail the foreign policy beliefs, which different political leaders in the United States adopt in order to promote the core elements and objectives outlined for the global wellness. After the American War of Independence, several leaders under different political authority have implemented change measures to guarantee an appropriate state of foreign relations as well as domestic well-being. After that, the evolution of the US foreign policies took different dimensions, which were based on the existing issues and the global state of foreign affairs. Foreign policy had an immense influence on the prevailing political and economic conditions, which can be exhibited by the defeat of the incumbent after a frustrating war engagement (Jones, 2008). In this essay, the principle elements of continuity and change in the U.S foreign policy will be discussed since the revolutionary war with examples illustrating the dominant characteristics of change.

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The coherent conception of the international environment is paramount to the shaping of the US foreign policy and elements of continuity and can be observed from subsequent administrations. The shared history of the Americans leads to the preservation of essential elements in its foreign policy mission aimed on enhancing unity and sovereignty protection. The Cold War period contains examples of aspects that remain retained for the saving of continuity in the foreign policy objectives. It is needed to emphasize, that the struggle for continuity has emanated from the attempt of America to preserve and extend its hegemonic position across the globe. The surpassing of Britain by the USA in the industrial sphere led to the transformation of the United States as an economic power into a military force.

After the Second World War, the United States gained triumph in political and ideological hegemony hence stamping of the American leadership in the face of the United Nations and NATO. The continuity of the foreign policy gets exhibited by the United States global ideological struggle after the events of Second World War. The one elemental constant in the United States foreign policy from the aftermath of the World War II to the present time is the attempt to sustain the American hegemony. The US formed alliances with its World War II partners to quell communism that was strongly perpetrated by the Russians (Florig, n.d.). The various administrations in different periods under diverse political and economic conditions had to adopt a list of strategies to maintain the American hegemonic position. The fundamental variation in the American hegemonic policy has been the recurrent oscillation between the method of hostile confrontation and the hegemonic engagement of the potential challengers under the mighty power of the United States. Hegemony maintenance as the United States foreign policy indicates continuity through the reliance on both the hard and the soft power using channels like the political alliances, the international institutions, and the ideological influence to supplement the most needed after military and economic superiority (Florig, n.d.). The hegemony has been consistent to the present day where the United States engage in global military confrontation to demonstrate its dominance and warfare power over other nations.

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Similarly, there exist a majority of the elements of foreign policy initiatives that have and continue to undergo changes based on the research of whether to keep or alter the policy aimed at maintaining the American hegemony. Policy makers and scholars carry out thorough research on the past foreign policy issues and propose the respective changes in the United States administration of international affairs. During the Cold War period, several of the United States foreign policy hegemonic strategies altered. The policy makers came out with arguments on the importance of economics, politics, and culture to the military power of the United States in the post-Cold War period. The United States took the shift to globalization having similar effects with an Americanization (Florig, n.d.). The drift in policy from the use of military force to the utilization of enticements of the capitalist wealth and democratic peace emerged to propagate American dominance in international system. That fact falls in line with the American policy goal to promote sound democracy around the world.

The dramatic changes in the global conditions are the key attribute to the shifts in American foreign policy. The justification for the global deployment of the United States and the NATO allies’ military forces was the Soviet challenge, which was necessary to the given era (Florig, n.d.). The recent dramatic events of 9/11 led to a change in the United States foreign policy since the Americans recognized that their homeland was similarly vulnerable to attack. The worldwide war on terror concept was initiated as a core of foreign policy, and it was primarily directed against the Islamic militants that challenged the American hegemony. The animosity between the U.S and the Muslim world leads to a shift in the foreign policy on terrorism under successive administration to maintain domestic and global peace (Florig, n.d.).

From the cited examples, it is evident that the arguments above point out how the American foreign policy is being tailored. The drastic changes in the global environment lead to the implementation of different foreign policy approaches to suit the issue and prevent any damage to statehood. The withdrawal of the US military personnel from the Afghan cites an example when without taking heed of changes in the foreign policy approach, more troubles can arise.

Question 2c

Bruce Jentleson, being one of the outstanding scholars, offers a crystal-clear conception of the United States foreign policy taking into account the tenets of foreign policy strategy and the politics involved. The theoretical framework, historical context, and policy analysis explained by Jentleson are essential for the comprehension of the American foreign policy in the twenty-first century. The four-part framework suggested by Professor Jentleson includes Power, Peace, Prosperity, and Principles. Jentleson defines power as even though the principles such as democracy and human rights are essential, they should rarely hold priority over the considerations of power. The power principle indicates that it should be embedded in the government despite provision for human rights pursuit and democracy. Jentleson asserts that the American power depends on the credibility of the Americans, which flows from the weak action or the inaction that the United States of America undertake in the face of humanitarian crises. If the US adopts an aggressive action in the humanitarian intervention, then it considers credible, but failure to take action or low reaction makes the United States being considered less reliable. In this essay, an illustration of how power has been a principal goal of the United States foreign policy in advancing the US national interests will be achieved.

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The United States has concentrated on political power to fashion an international environment that fits its interests and values in the past. A great part of the 20th century the American foreign policy was driven by geopolitics. Geopolitical control got evidenced by the successive presidents of the United States seeking to prevent a single country from portraying dominance on the centers of strategic powers in the Europe and Asian continents (Lindsay, 2003). The power struggle started when the United States participated in the two world wars and continued during a prolonged four-decade Cold War with the Soviet Union period. The primary goal of the American foreign policy to pursue power dominance was achieved after the Soviet Union collapse. Thus, the consolidation of the United States success happened during the 1990s when they sought to create a peaceful and undivided, democratic Europe (Lindsay, 2003). The United States relations are also evident in Asia with its vital regional partners like Japan and South Korea, which portray the US engagement. The success of the United States foreign policy has benefited greatly from the quest for power and the America's unrivaled authority in the global environment affairs.

Power should be a principal goal in the pursuit of the American foreign policy and retention of the American hegemony. It is the precondition of the military and economic dominance that world nations acknowledge to a great extent. The recognition of the United States the only truly global power fuels growth to the economic and military sectors. The political dominance guarantee that the United States military reach extends to every point on the globe whether it is on land, at sea, or in the air. The translation of power to the economic prowess also ensures that world trade and industry is fueled and controlled by the United States. The political and cultural appeal of the United States, referred to as the soft power, gains extensive coverage, and a majority of the international institutions reflects the interests of the Americans. The power principle, as framed by Jentleson, is paramount to the foreign policy pursuit in the consolidation of American hegemony (Lindsay, 2003).


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The United States of America combine its military force, economic clout, and a richly endowed cultural appeal while exerting power in every part of the world. America is likely to remain a sole global superpower for a considerable period. The United States use its political, economic, and cultural power to advance the state’s national interests (Bremmer, 2015). According to Saunders, the purpose of the American power is to defend and promote the United States national interests. The pursuit of power under the American foreign policy has led to the preservation and strengthening of the freedoms of Americans, which subsequently facilitates continued economic growth and protection of the US from attacks.

The United States and its allies are the principal architects of the global system and the US is a primary order beneficiary. The US central objective is to maintain international order through continued power leadership roles.

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