American Foreign Policy

Terms in this set (138)

The policy of enlargement is a strategy focuses on promoting democracy and market economics around the world. Its core belief is that as democracy and market economics spread around other countries, the U.S. will be more secure, prosperous and influential, and the world will be more humane and peaceful. This is policy asks
Enlargement should replace containment because: (1) the Cold War is ended, the U.S. does not need to fight aggressor and contain communism as before; (2) many changes in the Post-Cold War era (the four aspects), which requires the U.S. to replace containment with enlargement; (3) the policy is consistent with the principles of different administrations since Woodrow Wilson that promote democracy and market economics will eventually protect American interests and security.
First, the core of enlargement is strengthening the community of major market democracies.
It is important because the revival of American democratic system and economics and of other core market democracies (Europe, Canada and Japan) will consolidate America's global strength and attract other countries in the world to pursue democracy and market economics.
Second, help foster and consolidate new democracies and market economies.
It is important because by doing so, the U.S. can turn former enemies into new partners, reduce threats of nuclear weapons or potential refugee flows, thus secure the U.S. and its friends and allies.
Third, counter the aggression and support the liberalization of state hostile to democracy and markets.
It is important because rules in many undemocratic regimes fear losing power and thus refuse reform and suppress their people's effort to pursue democracy. The U.S., as the leader of democracy and market economics, has the moral responsibility to help those people to liberate themselves and isolate those undemocratic regimes.
Fourth, pursue a humanitarian agenda not only by providing aid, but also by working to help democracy and market economics take root in regions of greatest humanitarian concern.
In general, American foreign policy at the time had been geared to the defense of American capitalist interests and had its expansionist dimension. After suffering economic crises at home that set off under-consumption and over-production, the U.S. had been growing its interests in seeking new foreign markets, principally in Latin America. U.S. exports to L.A. and investments in local industries bloomed. Besides, the U.S. launched numerous military interventions in L.A. to defense foreign investments and other economic interests of American corporations and financiers. Examples: (1) United Fruit Company, and U.S. invasions in Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti and Dominican Republic; (2) through the Platt Amendment, the U.S. ensure its special economic interests in Cuba.
It actually reveals the complexity (and inconsistency) of American foreign policy, as well as the tensions among the 4Ps (Power, Prosperity, Peace, Principle). For most of the part, the U.S. played as a regional hegemon that exerts its Power largely as it saw fit, managing hemispheric Peace but on its own terms, and dominating economically for the sake of its own Prosperity.
(Examples: little altruism feature in Monroe Doctrine; military, economic and political intervention in L.A. for economic interests; and Roosevelt Corollary: U.S. as the international police power.)
During President Franklin Roosevelt's period, U.S. tried to be the good neighbor, true to its Principles, a benefactor to those in its hemispheric neighborhood, promoting democracy and respecting their equal rights and privileges as sovereign nations. (Examples: FDR repealed the Platt amendment, withdrew the Marines from Nicaragua and Haiti, settled a long dispute with Mexico, signed bilateral trade treaties and treaties of conciliation with many LA countries. In WWII, FDR struck mutual security deals to protect LA countries.)
The orthodox view puts principal responsibility squarely on the shoulders of Josef Stalin and the Soviet Union. It argues that Stalin had determination to confront the Western democracies in every aspect: used the Red Army to make Eastern Europe Soviet's own sphere of influence; tried to subvert governments in Western Europe; blockaded West Berlin to force the ally force out; and spied in the U.S. Globally, the Soviet Union aided revolutions everywhere: supported the communists in China, Southeast Asia, and Latin America; helped start the Korean War; and supported anticolonial movement in Africa.
The revisionist view argues that the U.S. also has its own responsibility of causing the Cold War.
Some revisionists see the U.S. as seeking its own empire for Power and Prosperity and domination to serve American grand ambitions. Because of this neo-imperialist ambition, the U.S. used to intervened in Russian Revolution and fought against the Communists with other European forces from 1918-1919.
Others see that U.S. miscalculated the true purpose of Soviet Union, which did not seek for territorial expansion, but preserved Poland and Eastern Europe as buffer zone (cordon sanitaire) to prevent future invasions of Soviet soil. And after WWII, there was a classic "security dilemma" between the U.S. and the Soviet Union: both side fear and do not trust the other side, and try to be aggressive. This loop of mutual distrust and aggression caused a persistent tension. If the U.S. had focused on reassurance and cooperation rather than deterrence and containment, there might not have been a Cold War.
There are two crucial errors of the LoN. First, the U.S. didn't join the League, thus American policy makers didn't have to take positions on potential threats to international peace and security in the 1930s. Without the U.S. membership, the League could not make substantial effect in maintaining international peace and security. Second, the League assigned each member equal power to its Assembly (all members) and its Council (four permanent and four rotated). Thus, it is difficult to vote for an agreement and all the decisions and resolutions passed by the League did not have any binding power on its members.
These are two most important organs of the United Nations. The Security Council is the institution with the responsibility to maintain international peace and security.
The General Assembly is main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN. It serves as a forum for policy discussion for all the member states and other non-member political bodies. It has much less power than the Security Council. The resolutions passed by the GA do not have binding forces on member states.
The Security Council is more powerful. Based on the UN Charter, only has it the power to authorize the use of military force, to order the severance of diplomatic relations, to impose economic sanctions, and to take other actions and make them binding on member states. It is made up by five permanent members (America, Soviet Union/Russia, Britain, France and China, aka P5). The P5 have the power to veto any Security Council action.
Article 43 encourages world peace between countries. The article is monitored by the Security Council and requires all members of the U.N. to report if there needs to be any kind agreement or settlement between countries if conflict arises. The Security Council and its members negotiate all settlements between countries. By enforcing such a regulation, countries are able to have security, limit threats, and maintain international peace.
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