The United States foreign policy presents a matter of particular importance. Officially, it implies providing the citizenry and the entire international community with a secure, democratic and prosperous place of living. The significance of the U.S. role in foreign affairs cannot be underestimated, as it has the most advanced and developed chain of diplomatic embassies. The U.S.A. is a foundation member of the United Nations organization and the North-Atlantic Alliance and a constant member of the UN Security Council. The U.S.A. diplomacy actively participates in solution of a considerable number of international conflicts. The regulation of global policy and economics by the United States present a matter of importance. Moreover, it is essential to draw attention to own country’s interest to the same extent. This way, the purpose of the paper is to provide the background of the foreign policy course in the 21st century and propose an ideal doctrine according to the global and state interests and needs.
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George Bush Jr.’s Doctrine
In order to understand the current events properly, it is essential to get acquainted with the latest doctrines. One of them is George Bush’s doctrine, which dramatically influenced the actions of the U.S.A. on the world stage. George Bush declared the ability of the U.S.A to accumulate such power that made all the armaments race senseless. The focal point of his foreign policy course was a preventative attack. The doctrine, which foundation was unilateral actions, justified the right to launch such a strike. Moreover, it was declared that America was ready to address anyone, who was considered to be potentially dangerous. In other words, the major orient was “defending the United States, the American people and our interests at home and abroad by identifying and destroying the threat before it reaches our borders” (Kaufman 7). The doctrine presumed that the attacking side enjoyed doubtless superiority (Reveron et al.). The initiative allows to impose on the will and the method of operation, that is why this strategy is winning.
The doctrine implied intervention to Iraq without sanctions of the UN Security Council under a pretext of Iraq’s availability with the weapon of mass destruction. However, it was clarified later that the accusation did not match reality. Moreover, the United States put pressure on Germany and France due to their negative reaction to American aggression in Iraq. The invention to Iraq appeared to be the failure of the doctrine. During the military campaign, the United States army shows aggression and intemperance. Having conducted a preventative attack, the U.S.A. government not only did not solve old problems, but also caused new issues. For instance, the question of protection from the guerilla war did not have an appropriate answer, as well as the concern of finding western values adherents in a country, where democratic tradition did not exist. This action was criticized comprehensively, so the doctrine appeared to be George Bush’s failure.
Barak Obama’s Doctrine
Barak Obama’s doctrine implies the concept of the D: Defense, Diplomacy, Development. The previous president highlighted the importance of taking the world at face value. The major orient for foreign policy course was the necessity to support democracy and human rights. Another thesis regarded entering alliances, and Barak Obama considered that it was impossible for the U.S.A. to act unilaterally, and it was essential to stick to a multi-faceted approach. The major directions were nuclear disarmament, the achievement of comprehensive peace and security, ecological protection of the planet and creation of the economic system, which responded to the citizenry’s needs (Glaser et al.). Moreover, Barak Obama did not believe in the effectiveness of using only military forces.
The effectiveness of Obama’s foreign policy doctrine presents a matter of numerous discussions, but it is impossible to deny that it was successful to a particular extent. Obviously, the Paris Agreement may be considered as the positive result of Obama’s doctrine. The agreement addresses the greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation and adaptation and presents a matter of extreme ecological importance, as it allows to regulate the global temperature increase. This way, the results are useful in the long-term perspective, which cannot be underestimated.
Donald Trump’s Doctrine
Donald Trump’s doctrine may seem to be indistinct and difficult to formulate. However, analyzing Donald Trump’s public speeches makes it possible to formulate the main orients in the foreign policy course (Goldberg). First of all, the current president highlights the necessity of raising patriotic feelings. Another president’s famous soundbite “America first” proclaims that the interests of America and its citizenry are the priority. This way, all the actions on the stage should be taken in accordance with the own country’s interests (Goldberg; Reveron et al.). In general, the current doctrine may be divided into three components. The first one regards the necessity of changing the policy according to the modern trends. The following one addresses the inefficiency of liberal internationalism, despite its significant achievements during the post-war era. Globalism and transnationalism supply developing countries with opportunities, allowing them to approach the leadership of the U.S.A. These issues are needed to be taken into consideration today, that is why Donald Trump is trying to correct the current course. The last component is consequentialism in the realization of the country’s interests.
Despite the beneficial orients of the current foreign policy course, there is a great number of doubts and controversies around the question of the success of the current doctrine. For instance, the commercial conflict with China and threats directed against Iraq and Syria do not benefit the reputation of Donald Trump. Moreover, the doctrine’s primary failure implies withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, as it declines the U.S. reputation on the world stage. This way, the current foreign policy course may have disadvantageous and long-term consequences.
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Ideal Foreign Policy Doctrine for The 21st Century
As for Donald Trump’s doctrine, it predominantly responds to the current needs and values. The necessity to promote and defend the U.S.A. and the citizenry’s interests is uncontradictable. In order to assure that it is correct, it is essential to remember the recent mass arrival of refugees in Europe. The acceptance of refugees did not address defending the interests of European countries at all, but violated them (Kaufman). This choice was made in accordance with the willingness to help, however, it damaged the accepting countries severely. Refugee caused riots and raised the crime rate, as they arrived without any resources to live. Moreover, the government had to expend a significant part of budget money to supply the refugees with everything needed for living. In summary, the fact that the government did not follow their countries’ particular needs did harm the citizenry and economics. This way, a particular country’s interests and their sequential execution present the major orient in the current foreign policy course.
The direction to correct the foreign policy course is by reference to changes in economics, the population’s requirements and sentiments, the situation on the world stages and global issues matches the current needs. It has become apparent that the strategy of spreading liberal internationalism study does not benefit the United States and its population anymore. For the reason of willingness to achieve this aim, Washington started absurd wars in these areas, where this study cannot settle down due to the specificity of traditions, historical development and mentality (Mead). It was the focal point of Barak Obama’s doctrine, which has proved usefulness. Now, such military campaigns are impossible to finish or win and appear to be a heavy burden for the U.S.A. and the citizenry. This issue also addressed the direction mentioned above to stick to the country’s interests. Consequently, Donald Trump’s doctrine appears to be relevant and potentially resultative, and a particular country’s needs and interests and the demand to change the course in accordance with the current events are the prior values.
Other issues, which should be drawn attention to, are maintaining peaceful settlements of conflicts and the comprehensive peace in the world. The U.S.A. cannot isolate from the entire world in the fights for own interests. Being a member of the UNO, the North-Atlantic Alliance and the UN Security Council, it should use its strength and influence to escape from the possibility of levying wars. At the moment, when states own nuclear weapons and other means of mass destruction, such threats become extremely dangerous for the whole planet, and the U.S.A., whose central role is inconvertible, should be cautious. Moreover, the significance of maintaining and improving both hard and soft powers should not be underestimated, as it stays the most important means of influence. This way, the U.S.A. foreign policy doctrine should cover the global problem, but, in the current situation, they present fewer prior issues than the ones mentioned earlier.
Today, it appears to be almost impossible to stick to the doctrine precisely, as well as develop an ad hoc foreign policy. The balance between the two options is the best solution to this issue. The importance of articulating a course in achieving success on the world stage is apparent. However, occasionally, it is more fruitful to make a decision proceeding from the current events. The foreign policy course allows to define the direction of successful development, and corrections according to happening occasions are necessary for the realization. For these reasons, sticking to the right balance is essential for achieving high results in foreign affairs.
The United States foreign policy has a crucial role on the world stage. During the beginning of the 21st century, foreign policy doctrines had been changing dramatically, but all of them responded to the current needs and values. Today, the situation had undergone some changes, and Donald Trump’s doctrine appears to be relevant. However, some improvements are possible to elaborate in order to benefit the U.S.A. population and the world. While promoting own interest presents the primary value for today’s America, it is significant to take the world issues into consideration and carefully observe the alignment of forces and impending conflicts. They should not be left unaddressed, as their development may appear to be threatening. Moreover, it is essential to add the possibility to decide situationally in order to achieve the best results. This way, the ideal doctrine’s soundbite could sound like “America first, the World second”.
Glaser, John, and Trevor Thrall. Obama’s Foreign Policy Legacy and the Myth of Retrenchment. Cato Institute, 2017, Web.
Goldberg, Jeffrey. “A Senior White House Official Defines the Trump Doctrine: ‘We’re America, Bitch’.” The Atlantic, 2018, Web.
Kaufman, Joyce. A concise history of U.S. foreign policy. Rowman & Littlefield, 2017.
Mead, Walter. “The Jacksonian Revolt.” Hudson Institute. 2017, Web.
Reveron, Derek S., and Nikolas K. Gvosdev. “An Emerging Trump Doctrine?” Horizons: Journal of International Relations and Sustainable Development, no. 9, 2017, pp. 42–61.