American Geopolitical Interest

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A Game of Strategy Mark Twain once defined the term, sphere of influence to be, “A courteous modern phrase which means robbing your neighbor—for your neighbor's benefit.” Like Twain, many claim that economic interests have caused America to rob its Southern neighbors and act in a self-seeking manner. Others claim that the ideological conviction that America altruistically acts according to its neighbor’s benefit has strongly influenced America’s international behavior. However, America, possessing a huge GDP at its disposal, a strong government, and a patriotic society realized that these assets alone could not guarantee the nation’s survival. It must be able to ensure national security as well as protect its interests abroad. Although it is true that ideology, economic welfare, as well as domestic politics all have played a significant role in U.S. foreign policy, the fundamental factor that has governed American foreign policy has been geopolitical objectives. The Monroe Doctrine, contrived by President Monroe in 1823, is a lucid example of America’s pursuit of geopolitical interests in the Pan-American region. The Doctrine was an audacious declaration to the powerful European nations to abstain from the region. It followed the spirit of “Manifest Destiny”, the rousing conviction that Americans had the right to seize the territory surrounding them. According to Coerver and Hall, the essential principle that this Doctrine was based upon was the “conviction that the United States was destined to expand”(13). The authors proceed to remark of the State Department’s concern that Spain’s loss of its empire may yield to other European powers taking over various areas of Latin America, especially the prospect of Br... ... middle of paper ... ...icy in the region. Through the analysis of the Monroe Doctrine, the Roosevelt Corollary, the importance of the Panama Canal, and a host of other examples, one can perceive the great importance America imposes on its national security interests. Even to this day, geopolitical concerns dominate American foreign policy. This time, however, Latin America goes unobserved as the United States proceeds to pursue its new strategic interests in the Middle East. Works Cited 1. Coerver, David and Linda Hall. T a ngled Destinies . Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1999. 2. LaRosa, Michael and Frank O. Mora eds. N e ighborly Adversaries: Readings in U.S. - Latin American Relations . Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 1999. 3. Brockett, Charles. “An Illusion of Omnipotence: U.S. Policy Toward Guatemala 1954- 1960.” Latin American Politics and Society, 2002.
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