Drifting of the U.S. Foreign Policy

Academic Paper, 2018

14 Pages, Grade: 1




Nature of Current U.S. Foreign Policy Approach

Continental Foreign Policy Drift

U.S. Foreign Policy Drift in Asia-Pacific

U.S. Foreign Policy Drift In the Middle East

U.S. Foreign Policy Drift In Europe

Approaches for Strengthening U.S. Foreign Policy




Over centuries, the U.S. foreign policy has been experiencing reforms to reflect the status of the nation’s international relations. These reforms have been instrumental to different administrations in the American history in addressing both domestic and international challenges. For instance, the emergence of the Cold War which created tension between the U.S. and its foes including Russia and the Soviet Union prompted Truman’s and Eisenhower’s administrations to adopt the containment policy, in order to counter Soviet aggression (Costa, 1998). This strategy enabled the U.S. to subvert political, military and economic consequences of Stalinism.

Despite the numerous reforms that have been designed to redefine the U.S. foreign policy in accordance to its domestic and international interests, it is apparent that the country has not yet adopted an ‘all-inclusive’ foreign policy that advances its interests. In the current global order, numerous issues related to the U.S. foreign policy have emerged including the intensification of domestic and international challenges. These changes in the evolving global order seem to have placed the U.S. foreign policy in a state of drifting. Holmes & Inboden (2015) reaffirm that “America's standing in the world, and arguably its influence -- has diminished” (par. 6). This phenomenon can be explained by the current rifts between the United States and its continental allies which are characterized by the rise of anti-U.S. political regimes in Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America. This calls for appropriate measures which will redefine U.S. engagement with the international community as it is envisaged in the Obama’s Doctrine, the ‘Grand Strategy’ (Chadha & Muni, 2014). Therefore, this research paper will provide a comprehensive overview on the U.S. foreign policy drift. It will discuss this phenomenon by focusing on the rifts between the United States and other countries which have compromised the effectiveness of the country’s foreign policy.

Nature of Current U.S. Foreign Policy Approach

From an aesthetic perspective, a comprehensive evaluation of the current nature of the U.S. foreign policy deems necessary in determining the extent to which the U.S. foreign policy is drifting. It is apparent that the U.S. foreign policy has evolved from isolationism nature which was adopted in the second half of the twentieth century during the Cold War to the current version that enhances entangling of alliances.

One of the most fundamental goals of the U.S. foreign policy is to preserve national security. As such, the U.S. Government has committed itself in achieving this goal (Harris, 2002). In retrospect, this is the most challenging issue given that international terrorism has turned out to be an enormous crisis with implications of threat to national security. This is seemingly the reason why the U.S. has shifted its focus to terrorism. Hutcheson et al (2001) remark “The war we are waging will be a long struggle with many dimensions” (p. 7). As result, the U.S. has redefined its foreign policy to address terrorism in meeting a number of objectives related to national and international security. Foremost, anti-terrorism policies have been designed to prevent terrorist attacks. As such, they are focused on flashing out terrorists from their hideouts as it was the case in Afghanistan, disrupting terrorist networks by curbing drug trafficking, smuggling of arms and trafficking in persons around the globe. Another objective of the U.S. foreign policy related to terrorism is providing assistance to the U.S. allies and international partners in fighting terrorism. This involves bolstering their capabilities for threat assessment and adoption of appropriate counterterrorism measures. Moreover, anti-terrorism policies encompass measure for pressuring nations involved in supporting terrorism to terminate their sponsorship activities (Hutcheson et al., 2001).

The second foreign policy goal that defines the U.S. foreign policy status is the creation of a secure global environment through enhancing peace in the world. In pursuant of this goal, the U.S. government has been taking part in peace keeping missions in various parts of the world where world peace appear to be threatened. Over the years, the U.S. government has been playing pivotal roles in maintaining world peace. For instance, it has been collaborating with the United Nations and other international agencies such as NATO to address security issues in chaotic regions including North Africa, Middle East and Asia-pacific region. An outstanding example of the U.S. interventions in security crises can be provided by its role in the so-called Responsibility-to-Protect defined by the UN charter. The U.S. has been intervening in military conflicts in Libya, Syria and other countries to restore peace. On the other hand, its peace keeping mission in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia is aimed at promoting world peace (Harris, 2002). In retrospect, this foreign policy approach seems to have devastating consequences to the U.S. and it serves as one of the forces causing a drift of the country’s foreign policy. This is so because it has immense consequences to the U.S. economy given that peace keeping in foreign nations involves a huge expenditure. As result, the U.S. domestic economy has suffered in various dimensions; thus prompting the U.S. government to reconsider isolationism. Moreover, foreign policy aims at enhancing democratic values. This is why the country has been in the forefront in supporting the establishment of political democracies, especially in countries where autocratic rule exist. This has been the case in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen where autocracy undermines human rights.


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Drifting of the U.S. Foreign Policy
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Caroline Mutuku (Author), 2018, Drifting of the U.S. Foreign Policy, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/432161


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