Friday, October 25, 2019

US Foreign Policy Essay -- American History, The Cold War

The contemporary foreign policy of the United States represents an evolving continuum of principles, conceptions and strategies that in part, derived from the particularistic American Cold War experience. As such, United States foreign policy is neither a static entity, nor is its intentions or direction uncontested. This essay will examine the underlying issues of identity and how, beginning with the Truman Doctrine, a distinct articulation of the national interest was evinced that has defined America’s role in the world. In doing so, focus will be given to the development of alliance policy, containment and its effect on transforming the US posture in the post-Cold War international order. Firstly, it is pertinent to reconsider the traditional narratives that underpin American identity. Inherent in this is Manifest Destiny, which asserts that Anglo-Saxon American’s are God’s chosen people, with a superior culture and who are pre-ordained to spread civilisation to inferior peoples (Hollander 2009, 169). This tradition offers instructive themes for the formulation of American exceptionalism and its manifestation into a missionary foreign policy (Hoffmann 1968, 369). It also raises to the forefront the Manichean character of American policy, its solipsism and tendency to justify geopolitical objectives in moralistic terms (Lepgold 1995, 372). Thus, US foreign policy is a discourse for reproducing American identity, containing threats to its core principles and legitimating global actions (Campbell 1998, 70). The Cold War era ended America’s historic vacillation between isolationism and internationalism. The Truman Doctrine committed, in part to â€Å"support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minoriti... ... rapidly evolving international system, the US is at the forefront and yet is most threatened by the emerging multipolar order (Zakaria 2009, 43). The contemporary foreign policy of the US reflects an evolution of the policies pursued during the Cold War. Using a combination of ideology, alliances and containment, the US cultivated a global order that defeated the Soviet Union. Having achieved pre-eminence, the signatures of these same philosophies remains embedded in US policy and strategic thinking. Perhaps the best indication of this is the designation of a new ideological enemy in terrorism and its resulting revalidation of Cold War dogma into a modern raison d'État. Most critically, the US is utilising this new calling to consolidate its alliances and contain adversaries in light of the emergence of an increasingly decentralised, multipolar global order.

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