Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy With the world balancing on the edge of destruction, foreign relationships are extremely important to the United States of America. The United States is fully recognized as the most powerful nation on the planet earth, and with that power comes a definitive sense of responsibility. The U.S. needs to pay close attention to this responsibility if it hopes to keep its place on the throne as king of the nations. This is where the United States foreign policy comes into play.

Foreign policy is essentially positive or negative interaction with other nations as well as the goals and principles that are included (Morrison #1 607). The United States have a couple of choices concerning their position; they could play the part of world leader or the part of world loner. Lets look at the viewpoint of an average college student whose knowledge of world affairs is somewhat lacking and then discuss the possible positions the United States can take in regards to their place in the world. I will also go over an example of each and get a grasp of what our governments two political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, say about these. The main purpose of every countries foreign policy is to survive and stay stable in todays world (Morrison #2 434).

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It is policy that provides a strong national security, keeps a good economy with other nations, and it is a chance to provide influence in the world; but above all this is the want for international peace (434). One of the main ways to conduct good foreign policy is that of diplomacy, where nations negotiate and compromise problems they might have in order to get along (434). By these diplomatic relations, countries can interact with one another and learn to work together for a better understanding of each others nations. Another method of foreign policy is that of being a loner or isolationist. Isolationism is the idea that we keep to ourselves and our own western hemisphere rather than venture into the affairs of the eastern world (Morrison #1 611). This was basically the accepted perspective taken by the United States up until about the first world war when President Woodrow Wilson decided to plunge into the war effort.

Then a peacekeeping association came about called the League of Nations, which Wilson helped propose, but the United States Senate gave it a firm no (608). This kept the United States in its loner state once again. Some years later the United States entered a period of awakening concerning getting out and about in the world. We journeyed into a time of Internationalism after the second world war but it was many earlier events that led up to this, particularly our interaction with Latin America. Back when the United States was just breaking away from Britain and starting as a nation, President James Monroe came up with a declaration called the Monroe Doctrine.

In 1823 he wrote this, telling European nations to keep their noses in their own hemisphere (609). What Monroe didnt know was that he was establishing a beginning to a leadership responsibility in not only the western hemisphere, but in the entire world. The United States began sticking up for nations such as Mexico and Puerto Rico, and soon got involved in various other Latin American countries. In fact, the United States got involved eight times from 1904 to 1934, then again in the affairs of Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and the destruction of the leftist government of Brazil after the second world war (612). It was during the beginning of World War II that the United States began to get more involved.

At first the United States tried to keep to itself and stay out of the fighting. But when Germany, Japan, and Italy tried to expand by force into China, Ethiopia, Poland, Austria, and present day Czech Republic, Britain and France declared war on Hitler, and the United States did nothing (611-612). It wasnt until that fateful day of December 7 in 1941 when the United States had had enough. Pearl Harbor was attacked and Americans died, which was more than enough for us to start our trek into Internationalism and intervention. After World War II, the United States began its journey as world leader. It was now time for America to help other nations rebuild and start its hate of Communism.

George Marshall, an Army General for the United States came up with the Marshall Plan, one that would provide extensive help for other nations in Europe by providing loans for economic recovery. Later America plunged itself into a war with North Korea to protect its neighboring South Korea, this was possible through the United Nations Security Council and although many Americans lost their lives, we created a bond with the South Koreans. The next set of foreign aid came when John F. Kennedy was President. Kennedy not only began the counterinsurgency force called the Green Berets to stop communism, but also invaded Cuba and posed the question of war with Russia (612). Then came one of the biggest interventions in Americas history of foreign policy.

In the late 1950s the United States, under John F. Kennedy sent 16,000 American military advisers to Vietnam (612). The southern based republic of Vietnam was in desperate need of help against the Viet Cong, which was the Communist funded North Vietnamese. This was actually the beginning of two wars. The first was a struggle between Vietnamese nationalists and the French colonial regime which was aided by the United States at the time.

During this second war the United States stepped in to take the place of France against the northern based Communists and the southern insurgents. The United States felt it had to get involved to stop this Communist attack, if it were to happen that the Communists won, we thought that the Domino theory would go into affect. Basically what this theory said was, that if one southeastern country were to fall to the Communists the rest would follow like dominoes. After Kennedy was assassinated Lyndon B. Johnson stepped into the role of Vietnamese protector and current Communist bane. He increased the United States troops and started a plan to bomb the North Vietnam area.

During the course of the war Johnson relied heavily on the use of Selective Service, the drafting of Americans into the military, to send for support. All this support was for naught though, fore in January of 1973, a truce was signed in Vietnam and the United States withdrew their troops and involvement as Vietnam was …


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