American Foreign Policy Blunders

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After the end of World War Two President Truman declared that all nations had the right to self determination. Hindsight shows that this declaration was either ignored or it was only half hearted to begin with. Multiple blunders throughout the following century show that American political forces sought to dominate the world through military action and economic subversion. The Red scare would dominate foreign policy as the U.S. extended its power and influence in a policy of “containment” to ensure Capitalisms success and Communisms demise. What is sad is that so little thought seems to have ever been given to the lives of the citizens that would be affected throughout the world by this ideology. In its attempts to support democracy and liberty the U.S. seems to have forgot the concept of “of the people, by the people, and for the people” and replaced it with “of America, by America, and for America.”

The time leading up to and including the Vietnam War is one of the U.S.’s great foreign policy blunders. At the end of WWII President Truman called for the self-determination of all peoples. This did not apply to the French controlled Indochina. After the Japanese were defeated and a power vacuum was created in the region Ho Chi Minh declared the nation the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Quoting the American Declaration of Independence, calling for the equality of all men, Ho Chi Minh set out to unify the country under Vietnam control. The U.S. along with the U.S.S.R. and the United Kingdom wanted to keep the region under French control and military assets and funding were sent to maintain the area. France eventually began a campaign against nationalist guerilla fighters receiving 80% of its funding from the U.S. as to...

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...lled by another least it find itself in mortal combat. The failure to apply self-determination to all nations has caused the U.S. to create many enemies in the world and has done more harm than good in our goal of national security. Though we may not feel a great threat from any one nation, the extremist that have spawned throughout the world, most notably in the Middle East, have shown this nation just how vulnerable we are. The multiple embassy bombings, the bombing of the USS Cole and the attacks of September 11th are simply the radicalism we created in our endeavor to create “pro-American” powers. It is in my opinion that we take ourselves off this high pedestal and start acting like a partner in global affairs instead of its puppet master.

Works Cited

McKay, John p. et, al, A History of World Societies, 8th Edition. Boston: Bedford/St Martins, 2008
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