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Foreign policy involves the decisions made by a country such as the US that usually affects other countries beyond its borders. When the other countries make decisions and policies, these also have a direct influence on the US. Thus, Foreign policy in the US is the policy that the US uses to interact with other nations. Interaction standards are usually lay down by the US for its individual citizens, corporations and organizations. Foreign relations are still important to the identity of the United States just as they were in the past. There are various forms of communication that identity relies on and also description and representation. Communication, description and representation are major processes that are common in the US foreign policy compared to the domestic political sphere (Henkin, 298).
Desch (8) asserts that the US foreign policy is dated back to the 20th century. After the war with Spain in 1898, the US decided to join the imperialist scramble. It acquired the Philippines and proclaimed influence over Cuba. The US also influenced the special rights in Latin America. The history of the US foreign policy is dated to the period prior and after the World War I where the America revolution changed from isolationism, to the period of World War 2 and the cold war where it grew as world power and a leader in the political, economic and ideological dominance.
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The farewell address by George Washington is one of themes considered for foreign policy"". Other things for foreign policy are promotion of peace and stability with other nations, oberserving of justice to other nations. The US foreign policy has had a major influence on the Centr5al Americans Nations which have big effects on the US. The US is a major influence in the world both in the trade policies to the political policies. The US has diplomatic relations with countries like the United Kingdom, Australia and Russia. The US provides assistance such as financial aid to the less developed countries, military assistance such as invasion on Iraq to fight terrorism. The US also exports some of its products to the other countries like the European Union and the Sub-Saharan Africa. The US is also a member of NATO. This shows that the US is a major influence on most nations in the world and that is why the foreign policy is important in the US (Auerswald et al, 600).
The US foreign Policy traditions have evolved over time. During the 19th century, one of the major characteristic of the US foreign policy was a shift to the idealistic school of relations that were international from the realist school. In this century, the US foreign policy was marked by rapid expansion of its international trade and also the policy of avoiding wars with European powers was maintained. During the 20th century, the US along with its allies, got involved in World War 1 and World War 2. They defeated their enemies and also got an international reputation. The Wilsonianism program that aimed at fighting militarism and distributing democracy evolved out of Presidents Wilsons fourteen points.
These points were the basis of Armistice of the Germans and the Peace confere3nce in Paris these points showed insufficient conformity in the treaty of Versailles that resulted out them among the European allies. In the Paris Peace Conference, the US had to sign different treaties with each of its opponents (Chaudoin, 80). Although the League of Nations was formed as an outcome of Wilson's initiative, the US in no way joined it. The Isolationism stayed a strong outlook by the US despite a war that erupted in Europe. Presidents Roosevelt came up with basic freedoms such as people had to enjoy the right of speech, right to religion and right to be free from fear. He said that these rights were to be enjoyed by people in the whole world. The United Nations was founded by Roosevelt's establishment of terms among potential allies of the world after war. It is after the war that the US rose to become the nation that was not a colony but was dominant in the economic power and had a wide influence inn most part of the world.
According to Auerswald et al (600), the cold war emerged between US and Russia where the US developed a containment policy to discourage the Soviet Union from expanding, and the war lasted until 1989. The struggle in ideology was one of the characters in the cold war and the Non-Aligned Movement was also as a result of this war. The US wanted to prevent the spread of communism and also show the world that it was superior to Russia in its military. The US influence in the 20th century was very strong unlike in the 21st century where despite being strong, its influence especially in economic issues is declining. Nations like China, Japan, European Union and Brazil are rising and providing economic competition to the US. One of the factors causing its decline is the lack of defined goals and policies in guiding its foreign policy especially after the failure of Russia to spread communism.
The US foreign policy has evolved in the political, economic and the military issues. But as they evolve from time to time, The American Values are being threatened as well. Military intervention by the government on other nations has lead to conflicts between the US and the other countries. For example, the invasion on Iraq led to emergence of terrorism group al-Qaida. This terror group has led to security threats of the American people in that it is connected to the September 11 attacks in 2001. This Al-Qaeda group was formed an Islamic group to oppose the American foreign policy on Israel, and also the American troupes were still present in Saudi Arabia, when the gulf war had already ended and the US support for Israel (Mead,1). As much as Americans want to end the war on terror, it is still facing threats from militants that feel that the US became too much involved in the affairs of other countries. This has threatened the Values of American because innocent lives were lost during the September 11 bomb attacks.
Too much involvement of foreign affairs is making the US government solve more international conflicts rather than concentrate on becoming more involv4ed in the affairs of the nation. If the US government was more determined to increase security in the country while still fighting terrorism, the 9/11 attacks would not have happened. This is because it concentrated too much on the issue of fighting terrorism globally and forgot that it was still among the nations (Garrison, 778).
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There are people that see that the existing orientation of foreign policy on internationalism of liberalism has been decreasing because of the increase in domestic partisan separations. The US is a stronger supporter of international liberalism. With the rates of international liberalism going down, we find that the values of Americans are being pushed down. Other people feel that the Al-Qaida's bomb attack on the US and the Americans war on terror have made the America to be less liberal. Domestic liberties have been historically undermined and this is making the US to be illiberal. This is because Liberalism in the American view is to spread the American values globally (Desch, 35).
Although the main goals of the US foreign policy are to keep and promote the security of it citizens, in the international field, the foreign policy goals of the US are not always clear. This can threaten the values of the Americans in that there are no rules that dictate how much the US should be involved in affairs of other countries. There are questions such as the use of the US military in peace-keeping or for national security. Issues such as how the US should trade with other countries in the international trade are also arising (Auerswald, 607). The foreign policy is made independently by the president and must be agreed upon by the senate. The senates may have their own interests and most Americans may have a different view of the foreign policy. There are domestic policy issues in the US that the government should focus on rather than become involved in the international arena. America is more involved in pursuing the country's security goals more than its pursuing its economic and trade goals. This is one of the factors that led to inflation in the world in the year 2007. This led to a crisis in the credit card business as well as the mortgage crisis. This was due to the US shifting it focus on the war in Iraq and forgot on the economic. This led to a global crisis because the America's economy is the backbone of most nations in the world.
I would conclude by stating that as much as America is a super power, it should consider making the priorities of its citizens first and world issues second. As much as the US wants to dominate in the military and economic areas in the international arena, it should do so by involving the right members and also consider the views of the other countries. The way America relates with the other nations has an impact on its citizens.