Kitami Elmsoxogu Eng 103 Research Paper United States Foreign Policy

Kitami Elmsoxogu
Eng 103
Research Paper
United States Foreign Policy
First Draft
The foreign policy of the United States is very complex in my view. Some people
view this country as the humanitarian defender of freedom and democracy throughout the
world. While others view the United States to be very imperialistic throughout it’s over 200
year history. However, I do not believe the latter perception is true. It is my opinion that this
country has been the defender of freedom and democracy throughout history. It is my
opinion that the United States Foreign policy is indeed one that is the defender of freedom,
democracy, and humanitarian issues around the world. I believe that under the right
leadership this country can, have, and will use its economic and military might to make the
world a better place. In this paper I will try and defend my opinion by discuss some of the
international conflicts The United States has been part throughout its history and how
Americans and other Nations view these conflicts.
Before this country was an independent it was just thirteen loosely affiliated colonies
of Great Britain. When the colonies came together and declared independence from Britain it
was the first signs of how it would be a symbol of democracy; by wanting to free itself from
Britain’s monarchy rule and start its own democratic system of governments as an
independent nation. The United States was founded under the ideas of life liberty and the
pursuit of happiness; concepts that you will be hard pressed to find anyone to disagree with
no matter what country or region in the world they come from. It is because of this very
reason that I believe that this country is only out to do good in the world. I do understand
though why many people make think otherwise. Some of the decisions this country has made
on international matters have been obviously questionable, but at the same time I think the
U.S. should do what it needs to do to keep order in the world.
In 1783 after The United States gain full independence from Britain and was its own
nation it faced many obstacles. As new country it was trying to make name in the
international stage both economically and politically. This country needed to make trading
partners to strengthen its economy. It also had to make alliances with other countries in case
any other of the other very well established European nations wanted to test them. The
government of this country at that time understood that a strong military would be important
in establishing a powerful nation, both politically as well as economically.
In the 20th century The United States found itself in a major conflict in every decade
since 1914. At the end of the nineteenth century The United states was involved in a war with
Spain; the Spanish American War. This war started because the U.S. wanted Spain to come a
peaceful resolution to the Cuba’s fight for independence. Two world wars in the beginning of
the twentieth century would follow. The United States entered World War I because of
several back and forth complex propaganda stunts as well as the sinking of seven U.S.
merchant ships by German submarines. The American involvement in world war two began
because of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Starting at the end of World War II in 1945 the United States became involved in a
non combative, but very competitive feud with the Soviet Union which led to nuclear arms
race and involvement in the Korean War. This feud was called the Cold war and would last
until about 1991 after the fall of the Soviet Union, breaking up to several independent
nations. There was also the very controversial conflict with Vietnam from the mid to late
1960’s to the mid 1970’s This conflicts marked the first time in the history of this country
that Americans were against a conflict that The United States was involved in. The reason for
the United States involvement in this war was to stop the spread of communism in Southeast
Asia being perpetrated by Communist North Vietnam. The United States involvement of the
Vietnam War was highly criticized by the American people; many Americans believed that
The U.S. had no business getting involved with that conflict.
In the 1980’s The United States had minor conflicts in central and South America
over drug trafficking, and in the Middle East. They assisted the Afghani forces fight off an
invasion from the Soviet Union. One of the leaders of the Afghani force called the
Mujahedeen was some one by the name of Osama Bin Laden; a person that would latter be a
major figure in future U.S. foreign policy relations. The United States was also involved in
the Iran Iraq war; aiding the Iraqi efforts that was led by a man named Saddam Hussein;
another major figure in future U.S. foreign policy relations. It would be in the early 1990’s
that The United States would become involved in its first war with Iraq, the Gulf war. This
was the result of Iraq invading Kuwait. The 1990’s also saw The United States get involved
with relief efforts in areas of dire stray such as Somalia and Rwanda.
In the beginning of this century, The United States was hit with one of the most
disastrous events of its history. On September 11 2001, terrorists hijacked four commercial
jet line planes; two of them crashed and destroyed the twin towers at the world trade center.
Another plane badly damaged the pentagon at Washington D.C.
A fourth plane was
reportedly supposed to hit the white house, but when news of the other targets hit the
passengers on that plane it is believed that those very passengers helped avoid the white
house as a target by forcefully bring down the plane by relieving it from the hijackers
control. The plane would crash in rural Pennsylvania. The nineteen hijackers were members
of the terrorist group al Qaeda which is headed by non other that Osama Bin Laden. The
same man that U.S. Forces helped drive away Soviet forces from Afghanistan in the 1980's.
It seems as though the foreign Policy of The United States in that case was part of the worse
kind of irony.
A couple of years after the attacks of September 11, The United States invaded Iraq, a
move that was met with a lot of criticism; both by Americans and the International
community. These criticisms were drawn upon the fact that Iraq had not done anything to
The United States for it to be attacked. Not only that but also the reason for country being
attacked was thought by many to be because of the attacks of September 11 two years earlier,
when there were no real evidence of Iraq having anything to do with it. It was also widely
known that Al Qaeda who was in Afghanistan perpetrated the attacks. The war in Iraq
continues to this day and its criticisms is very similar to the way the Vietnam War was
criticized in the late 1960’s and the first half of the 1970’s.
I believe that even though it may be an unpopular idea that the war in Iraq was
necessary because the head of the country was a dictator, and it is in a part of the world that
breeds a lot of terrorist organizations and resentment of the United States. Leaving the
corrupt Iraqi government to operate may have caused a tremendous threat to The United
States and other nations as well, especially in that vulnerable time right after the attacks of
September 11 2001.
The foreign policy of the United States is viewed in a vastly different ways all around
the world. Americans see it so differently that it would be easy to forget that they are all a
part of the same country. Some people think that U.S. foreign policy is an aggressive form of
imperialism; trying to both polices the world and control it as well. Author Noam Chomsky
is one of leading elite figures that gives criticism to this country’s foreign policy. In an
interview he did on PBS he stated that “Even in Europe, which is where there is the largest
support for the U.S.; that the U.S. leads by far, among the population as a threat to world
peace, far beyond Iran. I found no evidence of this being the case, and would argue that if
Europe has the largest support for the United States, then why think it is a leading threat to
world peace. It does not make logical sense to both support and at the same time condemn a
country as a preventer of international serenity.
In the same interview Chomsky also spoke of the reaction of a speech given by
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez at the United Nations. He stated “Why is there a
prolonged applause (When Hugo Chavez spoke at the United nations)? Maybe it’s because of
the substance of what he said…that the United States is a leading threat to peace in the world.
That’s not controversial. I respect Noam Chomsky’s opinion to the highest degree but I do
not agree with it. All because Hugo Chavez’s statements about the United States were
applauded, it does not necessarily mean it is true. Hugo Chavez himself is not seen as an
honorable president in his country of Venezuela. He is very much criticized not only their but
around the world as well. On the contrary believe that a statement proclaiming that The
United States is a “leading threat to world peace” is very controversial. It is an opinion and
opinions are subjected to controversy.
Another point made by Chomsky in this interview that struck me was that “President
Bill Clinton himself acted in ways which increased the threat of terror.” Chomsky would
explain his point by talking about the bombing of Sudan and Afghanistan ordered by Clinton
in 1998. He went on to explain that the bombing of pharmaceutical in Sudan was not
necessary, and if an American pharmaceutical was bombed it would have clearly been seen
as an act of terror. Chomsky explains how the bombing of Afghanistan brought unification to
a previously not so good relationship between Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
There are certain aspects of this statement that I both agree and disagree with. I agree
with the fact that if a U.S. pharmaceutical were to be bombed it would in fact be terrorism,
but I don’t agree with that idea that President Bill Clinton willing increased the threat of
terrorism as Chomsky suggest through his connotation. The threat of terror increased because
people in this area do not know the reason why the bombing was done. U.S. intelligence
found that these pharmaceuticals centers where disguised centers that were used to produce
chemical weapons. Radical extremist also saw this as an excuse to act out forms on terrorism
against the United States. With respects to the ideas of the bombing of Afghanistan unified
the Taliban and Al Qaeda I must say it is true, but President Clinton did not order the
bombings for that reason. He did it to cripple known terrorist organization in that area. It
would unfair to the President and quite frankly absurd if it is suggested that the bombings
were ordered to inflame radical terrorist.
The way other countries view the foreign policy of the United States is a diverse as
the way Americans do. Israel a strong ally to United States since its creation in 1948 views
U.S. foreign policy as a good, a strong contrast to other mainly Arab countries in the region
which sees the U.S. defending of Israel and not recognizing the Palestinian movement as
bias. Kuwait is an Arab country that sees American foreign policy as good for the reason of it
being defended by the United States from an Iraqi invasion in the war against Iraq in 1991. In
Europe it is a little bit different. Some European governments Such as the United Kingdome
aligned themselves with the U.S. foreign Policy, but with backlash from the citizens of the
country. This was evidence in the second war in Iraq which started in 2003. British and
American forces were among the first aggressors in this war. Other European governments
such as France condemn the seeing no real reason to invade Iraq. Germany is a bit like the
U.K. The only difference is German forces are not as prevalent in the current war in Iraq. The
German people also denounce the war like in Britain.
There are many various effects of the foreign policy of the United States. Nations
understand that the U.S. is the only current super power, and they react to it as such. Some
Countries praise this position held by the United States while other countries such as North
Korea and Iran attempt to make their military stronger to go against this super power.
Nevertheless international communities are very much influenced by the foreign policy of the
United States.
U.S. Foreign policy is very complex. It could be perceived and interpreted in many
different ways. The same way some people view it as nothing more than just the biggest
bully in the world stage, using its financial and military power to imperialistically control
areas throughout many regions in the globe; others view it as one that is the defender of
freedom, democracy, and humanitarian issues around the world. I believe in the latter of
these points of view and that under the right leadership and government this country can do
plenty of good in the world. It will take a lot of work and of course criticism but it can be