Clinton’sIdeas on the United Sates Foreign Policy
Clinton’sIdeas on the United Sates Foreign Policy
Afterthe Second World War, the United States emerged as a world leader ineconomy and military supremacy. The government developed a newchapter in international relations that would protect its boundariesand citizens across the world. As a country with internationalinterests, it became necessary to have to devise laws to guide therelationship between the government and its agencies with others indifferent parts of the world. The foreign policy approach became morevocal in the 20th and 21st century due to the competition in theglobal markets and military prowess (Krayewski, 2016). During everyelection debate, the issue of foreign policy is highly debated withDemocrats and Republicans having divergent views on how to keep theUnited States of America safe. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump haveexpressed their views on how to strengthen the country’s ties withthe rest of the world while at the same time guarding the interest ofthe citizens. As the secretary of the state and a partner in theClinton Foundation, Hilary has enjoyed the privilege of influencingkey stakeholders in the government and across the globe (Clinton,2014). People are skeptical about the direction her decisions onforeign policies will take with different schools of thoughtpredicting continuity, change, and others believing that it will beworse (Hudson & Leidl, 2015). Hillary Clinton’s foreign policyideas will transform the country’s role in the international arenabecause unlike her predecessor she is poised to shift the countryfrom isolationism to a multipolar approach a strategy that will haveto enable the position of America to rise among the world keystakeholders.
Ashort History of the U.S Foreign/Security Policy in the 20th Century
Inthe 20th century, the major themes of the United States foreignpolicy were aimed towards promoting democracy, expanding thecountry’s interests across the continent, advocating for liberalinternationalism, curbing international terrorism, developing thethird world states and supporting a strong world economy (Friedman,2016). At the beginning of the century, the country’s relationshipwith the outside world was shaped by the ideas of President WoodrowWilson. He had little interest in the affairs taking place around theglobe, and he maintained a neutral position during the First WorldWar. However, in 1918, the country’s contribution to the World Warbecame significant as it contributed troops to support its allies(Friedman, 2016). The landing of the American forces in Francerendered Germany hopeless, and its leaders gave up in the war.
TheFourteen Points conceived and made public by Wilson in January 1918gave the United States a direction on military, diplomacy and publicrelations. Some historians believe that Wilson erred in failing toconsult the Republicans who were the majority in the Congress and whodemanded the reservation of the right of the house to declare war onother states. The president failed to convince the Senate to ratifythe original treaty that would have seen the country enter the WilsonLeague of Nations. However, the country made separate and autonomoustreaties with various countries in Europe. The Wilsonianism ideologydespite being unfruitful in the early 20th century had an immenseinfluence on the decisions made by leaders who came after him.
Duringthe Second World War, President Roosevelt tried to avoid the mistakesthat had been made by Wilson. Instead of assuming a neutral state,the United States provided military resources for its allies, inparticular, Britain. The Lend-Lease strategy enabled the industriesat home to make great expansion milestones as they produced warmaterial to feed the troops going to war. The position changeddramatically in 1941 when Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor and thecountry became a full associate in the war. After the war, thecountry found itself more powerful than other participating nationssince its economy was not lacerated to a great extent. The presidentenacted the Marshall Plan after the war to assist its allies inreconstruction with an amount of $13 billion. Following the war, theposition of the United States in the globe became significant, and itwas a major stakeholder in the formation of the United Nations withthe first meeting being held in San Francisco. The veto powercompelled the major powers including America, Britain, France, theSoviet Union and China to become permanent members of the SecurityCouncil.
TheUnited States Foreign policy was also influenced by the by cold warthat ran between early 1940 and 1991. The government and its alliesfaced the Soviet Union and its close associates in the numerousregion wars and the threat of a catastrophic nuclear war (Friedman,2016). The surging communism led the government to adopt thecontainment policy. The mastermind of the policy, George Kennan,believed that the Soviet Union was aggressive and largelyanti-Western (Rovere, 2016). This idea would be a major factor ofconsideration in the later foreign policy documents.
Theproxy wars that ensued during the period also triggered the Americangovernment to use secretive strategies to intervene in the affairs ofother countries. Some of the most outspoken ordeals include thegovernment’s role in the Korean War, the overthrowing anddestabilization of the Iranian government, the Six Day and Yom KippurWar, the Vietnam War and anti-Soviet Mujahedeen. Other diplomaticinitiatives during the era included the establishment of NATO and theformation of the People’s Republic of China. By the end of the coldwar, the United States had expanded its military and economic wingsto virtually every part of the globe (Carden, 2016).
Afterthe disintegration of the Soviet Union to individual nations, newchallenges including terrorism, and climate change became primarythemes of the United States foreign policy. Regional dictatorsincluding Saddam Hussein became a threat to the international peacewhen he attacked Kuwait. The formation of the Middle Eastern Powerspioneered by President George Bush trimmed Hussein’s influence, buthis rule back in Iraq remained unchecked for another decade. Scholarsargue that the government erred in failing to take advantage of thepeace window during the 1990s. The government scaled down thespending on foreign policies and focused on developing the domesticeconomy. Under President Clinton, the government succeeded inattaining a budget surplus. However, the country continued toparticipate in peacekeeping as a member of the United Nations.
Afterthe attack on World Trade Center in 2001, the foreign policy took aturn with President Bush opting for a Unilateral Action that saw thegovernment focus on combating terrorism. The policy directiondominated the government agencies in the next one-decade leading tothe deployment of the American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. Theintensity of the war and the duration of forces in the warringcountries led to the allies becoming lax and the government earning anegative image back at home. Currently, the big challenge lies intransforming the country from a bipolar to a multipolar state. TheBRIC countries are gaining popularity both economically and inmilitary strength.
Canthis History be transcended?
Thetradition observed in the United States foreign policy is likely totranscend if Hillary Clinton assumes the control of the oval office.The rationale for this is observed in her changes to the policiesadopted by the Obama administration. In the 20th century, thepresidents made various changes in the laws embraced by theirpredecessors (Carden, 2016). For example, President Roosevelt changedthe way the United States viewed the global security affairs. He didnot assume the neutral position that was upheld by his predecessor,Woodrow Wilson. President Clinton also scaled down the spending onforeign relations, something that was partly embraced by PresidentBush until the 9/11 attack. Also, President Obama transcended theforeign policy strategies by investing in fighting internationalterrorism and thousands of troops were deployed to Afghanistan andIraq (Handjani, 2016).
Thecurrent political debates and the positions of the presidentialhopefuls are indicators that the Democrats and Republicans remaindivided on the issue of international policy. Clinton and Trump aredivided on nuclear regulations, the position China, immigration,Korea, Cuba, and Russia. Clinton and Obama share similar sentimentson these policies although the former first lady appears to be moreradical.
U.SGovernment Position on Foreign Policies
Informationfrom the Office of Foreign Relations provides the government’sstance on various issues across the globe. According to Stacey(2016), the country’s nuclear policy is to reduce the production ofthe weapons to the lowest levels possible. However, the governmentand its agencies should not compromise on the security and efficiencyof the country’s nuclear arsenal. This extends to controlling theactivities in Iran (Nasr, 2013). The Department of Defense holds thatthe government should consider Iran as a threat to the security ofthe United States and should be continued to protect the interest ofthe country.
Theposition of the government on preclusive measures is also animportant factor in the foreign policy discussion. The QuadrennialDefense Report that was adopted by President George Bush recommendedthe taking of preclusive approach in situations that threatened thesecurity of the United States. According to Pillar (2016), theposition of the Department of Defense is to launch an attack onadversaries who are perceived to be planning to infiltrate or destroythe assets of the United States. This led to investing inintelligence after the 9/11 terrorist attack and saw a series ofpreclusive invasions in different countries in the Middle East(Hillary, 2011).
Inaddition, the open-ended foreign policy also seeks to dissuade otherkey strategic countries around the world from engaging in unhealthymilitary competitions. This strategy is achieved through thecreation and maintaining government advantages in the critical areasthrough trade and economic agreements. Although the policy does notout rightly mention the countries involved, The American Interest(2015), points out China and the Soviet as the main targets. By 2020,China is expected to develop its military strength and a spinelessrelationship could revive another cold war. In addition, the UnitedStates must keep up with the military capabilities of the other firstworld countries (Trubowitz, 2016).
Besidesmatching the country’s defense ability with that of closecompetitors, the defense policy is also neutral on Russia. Theenvironment that was hatched during the cold era has not becomeobsolete. The United States hangs on the structural problems facingRussia with the assumption that the country is not preparing for war(The American Interest, 2016). However, the indicators that theEurasian power based in Moscow can continue in the internationalfunctions class for the next president to reconsider the policydecision that does not incline on the predicted Russian demographicand economic hurdles which effects are expected to be at optimumlevels by 2050.
Thegovernment also has a clear position on the issue of North Korea. Thecurrent administration does not consider North Korea as an imminentthreat to the United States although analysts and some historianshave different thoughts. As a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty,the United States does not make independent decisions on other memberstates. North Korea has sparked a difference among the key playersfor the continued testing of nuclear weapons despite warnings fromthe United Nations. Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump have expressedtheir views on the issue.
Trumpholds that he will bomb the insurgents out of their hiding placeswhile Clinton takes a more cautious stance of contributing to theSyrian peace as a member of the United Nations (Gedmin, 2016). InSyria, the White House did not engage directly in the war but offeredto provide buffer zones for the refugees. This was considered as afailure of the administration to act early enough to topple Assad’sregime before the blooming of the ISIS. This gave Russia a chance tolaunch attacks to the advantage of Assad.
Thereare various interpretations that can be made from Clinton`s stance onthe country’s foreign policy. Drawing from Obama’s administrationand the need to take more unilateral stances, it is clear thatClinton would have a changed democratic policy by building on thecurrent failures. Ideally, she is likely to take the road treaded byRoosevelt who did not want to make the mistakes that led to thecriticism from policy analysts (Ramos, 2015). Clinton has a historyof being a military hawk and an influential member of the country’sdecisions (Lander, 2016). She has been outspoken on the roles of theUnited States in Libya, Syria and the diplomatic relationship withIsrael. Clinton’s foreign policy is promising to one of the mostprogressive when compared with Obama and Trump’s stances. In fact,Trump seems to the exact opposite of Clinton when it comes to thecountry’s association with others across the globe. The currentglobal issues of economy, security and creating alliances demand aleader who inclines to a multipolar approach as opposed toisolationism (Rovere, 2016).
First,the current stance of the white house seems to have a neutral stanceon Russia. This has been achieved by counting on the internal hurdlesfacing the internal structures in Moscow. According to Deudney andIkenberry (2016), it is estimated that by 2050, the problems maulingthe country are expected to escalate. Hilary Clinton’s doctrineseeks to counter the Russian aggressions by contributing immensely tothe European Reassurance Initiative. The idea would lead to thepermanent placement of allied troops to Eastern Europe (Leupp, 2015).
Thecurrent defense policy encourages the investment on installation androtating brigades across the region. However, this has failed toelicit the commitment on the Eastern European allies. Placingpermanent troops would trigger the support of the allied nations andprobably help in solving the Russian problem (Zuesse, 2016).Clinton’s ideology contradicts that of Trump who advocates forcompelling nations to spend more on their defense budgets(Stephenson, 2015). While this can be a model idea if the parties hadshown willingness towards the contribution, it is worth noting thateven with the current policy that involves putting up installationsand rotating troops has not convinced them to be active participants.
Inaddition, critical analysis on the foreign policy ideas as describedby Clinton seems to have a progressive policy on Syria. During theObama administration, the effects of the Iraq war resonated among thecitizens who questioned the country’s participation in the war. Asthousands of soldiers were returned home in caskets, a significantnumber of citizens felt that the country was not ready to be draggedinto another war. According to Nossel (2016), Clinton does not wantto get the country directly being involved in the Syrian conflict.Her agenda would see a slight change in Obama’s stance on thesituation in Syria (Stephenson, 2015). For example, the United Statesfailed to destabilize Assad’s rule when they still had the chance.
WithHillary taking control of the oval office, there will an establishedno-fly zone and a buffer area to protect the refugees. Through herforeign policy, the North Atlantic Trade Organization would provideaerial security while Turkey will be involved in providing the groundforces (Sheppard, 2016). The European Union would be tasked withmonitoring the activities in the refugee zones while the UnitedNations would take care of Syria’s diplomacy (Street, 2016).Analysts term this strategy as the most appropriate in the currentstate of affairs. A Trump administration would result in the countryincurring additional cost and straining the budget to fund a waragainst the ISIS (Carden, 2016). Direct involvement in the war wouldcost the United States billions of dollars.
Besidesensuring peace in the Middle East, the U.S foreign policy alsofocuses on the development in African countries. The position of thecountry in overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi’s government was faulteddue to the continued destabilization of the internal structures.After NATO had assisted in the military operations, the Westernallies failed to ensure a peaceful transition. According to Bloom(2015), Clinton’s policy is aimed towards stabilizing the countryto fast-track development by reducing the influence of the rebels.Arguably, this would be the most significant positive efforts made bythe United States and the exit of Gaddafi.
Thereis also an expected change in the way the oval office handled thesituation in Ukraine. The government under Obama’s administrationtook an isolationist approach the eruption of the crisis in Ukrainedemonstrated the shortcoming of the United States (Vltchek, 2016).The failure to heed to Ukraine’s side against Russia squandered thechance for the West to control Russia’s aggression. Clinton isconcise that the situation in Ukraine gives the United States and itsallies to clip the Putin’s influence. The foreign policy under herwould see the country giving military aid to the Ukraine and providelethal weapons to launch counter attacks.
Fromthe information gathered from various sources, it is evident thatHillary Clinton will change the United States foreign policy to beingmore effective and preclusive. As a career politician, she has seendifferent administrations make mistakes on international issues andshe may not repeat the same. The rationale for this can be drawn fromher recommendations for the new role of the United Statesrelationship with other parts of the world. According to McGovern(2016), while some people fear that Hilary Clinton will perpetuatethe policies embraced by Obama, it is clear that she will introducean overhaul of the policies.
Shehas promised to intensify the role of the United States in clippingthe powers of Russia in the East without engaging Putin directly.Probably, she has learned from the flaws of an isolationist Obama whocould have taken advantage of the situation in Ukraine and Syria toprevent Russia from tipping things to her advantage. By havingpermanent troops in Eastern Europe, the allies will be compelled injoining their forces against the wishes of Russia.
Secondly,her idea of the government’s role in Syria and the defeat of theISIS would save the country from spending outrageous budgets in thename of flushing the insurgents. As a member of the United Nations,Clinton will not try to rebuild on what Obama failed to deliver whenhe still had the chances to topple Assad. Her multidimensionalapproach will prevent the country from engaging the ISIS directly butstill make a significant impact towards peace. Under her watch, thegovernment will introduce a no-fly zone and buffer zones for therefugees. Her ideology is unlike Trump’s who opt for a directattack on the insurgents.
Inaddition, drawing an inference from Clinton’s policy for Ukraineand Libya, it is evident that the United States role in warring anddeveloping countries will contribute to a better international imageand perception (Ramos, 2015). Instead of waiting for Russia tosuppress Ukraine, Clinton has expressed the idea of equipping theforces with weapons to enable the launch counter attack (Pierce,2016). In Libya, the role and image of the NATO and particularly theUnited States has been tainted since there were no efforts to aid inreconstruction after the overthrowing of Gaddafi. The image of thecountry in the developing countries will improve when she holds theoval office.
Summarily,although Clinton is regarded by many as a military hawk, she is notlikely to repeat the same mistakes done by his predecessors regardingthe country’s foreign affairs. Her democratic ideas can be viewedas calculated and cautious unlike Trump’s who appear more radicaland almost insensitive to the repercussion they would have in thecountry both in the short and long run. Also, she would notperpetuate President Obama’s foreign policies because she haslearned from his mistakes and this is evident by her views on theissues in her version of foreign policies. Therefore, her policieswould be something different from what the citizens have experiencedover the years and well calculated to create a multipolar state thatwill have healthy relationships with the rest of the world.
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