Following the war with Vietnam, America foreign policy saw a new shift. This shift is marked by the decline of containment to a policy of a ‘here and now’ approach. That is, the United States’ new policy was to deal with each situation on a case by case basis rather than treating every threat of communism as a threat to containment. This reclaimed part of the old policy of objectivity in international affairs. As the past shows, controversies and wars alike have the power to dramatically shift a countries foreign policy. One can only wonder what will cause the next change.
Henretta, James A, and Davis Brody. "An Emerging World Power." In America: A Concise History. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010
It is somehow strange for today’s reader to find out that the situation with America’s foreign affairs hasn’t changed much. As some clever people have said, “The History book on the shelf is always repeating itself.” Even after nineteen years, Americans think of themselves as citizens of the strongest nation in the world. Even after the September the 11th. Even after Iraq. And Afghanistan.
The events of September 11 have changed the America forever. Undoubtedly, the age of American innocence is over. However, the question remains: does the end of innocence mean the end of superpower status? The reevaluation of American hegemony is inevitable, but will this reevaluation signify the end of the hegemony? Undoubtedly, America dominates the world scene, even after the attack, but it must begin to understand better what it means to dominate this ever-changing world. America must never again sink into the complacency that had taken over in the past decade. It is only through constant reevaluation that America will ever truly understand the huge responsibility that accompanies being the world's lone superpower.
Traditionalists have claimed that America’s doctrine, or motive, were to protect democracy and promote security throughout the world in the post-war era. Revisionist’s holds that America was on a rampage to export, import, and invest – all tenets of capitalism. America had a firm footing in the international system, and the Soviet’s became worried. They responded to the United States’ doctrine by competing and countering the doctrine that they were diametrically opposed to. The USSR became worlds opposed rather than worlds apart because it was not willing to participate in the liberal world-system, as the Soviet’s were unwilling to pivot away from totalitarianism or Stalinism. The Cold War begins in t...
What has been termed as “the long peace” by some has proven to be the most intense time period in world history. A historical rarity, two superpowers fought rigorously across the globe for support, each carving out their own sphere of influence. The bi-polar of international affairs resulted in an arms buildup between the United States and the Soviet Union; including weapons that exceeded the atomic bomb, then the most effective and destructive weapon in price and devastation. Yet, to everyone’s surprise, the Cold War abruptly ended in 1990 with the collapse of the Soviet Union under its own economic weakness, its political conflict, and military farce. A decade later, we ask: Who can claim victory for the Cold War, if anyone? Could America, the champion of capitalism and democracy, the state that still stands tall as the present states of the former Soviet Union remain in economic and political turmoil? Could the Soviet Union, who for nearly half a century, successfully checked the power of the United States, and attained its own quadrant of loyalty from Eastern Europe? For approximately 45 years, the two forces brought the globe into its tension, making the prospect and fear of the nuclear , and claim victory for the Cold War. The United States lost just as much as the Soviet Union in the post Cold War era, when, presumably, it should have been the lone superpower, unchecked and free to do as it so pleased.
George Friedman states in his book The Next Decade that America has inadvertently become an empire due to its influential economy and far reaching military superiority. Whether America likes being an empire or not it will have to figure out how to keep the republic it loves intact. Friedman believes that the key to keeping the American empire strong and our republic alive is a “cunning” and perhaps “ruthless” President (Friedman, 2011, Kindle edition location 709). Friedman then analyzes the regions of the world and explains what he believes will or should occur for America to remain the world power. In the end, Friedman believes that for the next decade America will remain the world leader.
The story of the United States after World War II is one of triumph and tragedy. After almost two centuries of proclaiming liberty and freedom, the country finally had the power to pursue those ideals across the globe. Unfortunately, as the U.S. gained more power it also lost its soul, relying on policies of self interest to expand and maintain its new dominance instead of harnessing its authority to improve the world. These policies accomplished the opposite of the traditional American ideals of self-determination and liberty, instead creating an atmosphere of fear at home and a system of imperialism abroad. It is only by accepting this failure can one stop the United States’ continued policy of self interest and try to regain its great soul of freedom.
The author’s reasons for this are that the United States is the most powerful nation economically and technologically, in addition to having the most powerful army. This makes it difficult for one to argue with the unipolarity of the U.S. I believe that unipolarity exists, but I disagree with the suggestion that it is stable, as the stability of a system largely depends on the leadership, and within a unipolar system leadership will be all the more integral to the existence of the system. This is especially in a country such as the United States, as the leadership changes every four to eight years and the tactics used to deal with hegemony will change with those leaders, thus creating an unstable
At the heart of the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1940s was a fundamental difference in the ways the great powers envisions the postwar world. One vision, first openly outlined in the Atlantic Charter in 1941, was of a world in which nations abandoned their traditional beliefs in military alliances and spheres of influence and governed their relations with one another through democratic processes, with an international organization serving as a arbiter of disputes and the protector of every nation’s right of self-determination. That vision appealed to many Americans, including Franklin Roosevelt.