The U.S. Foreign Policy
The United States had a national policy of isolationism and non-interventionism in the first 200 years of independence. Precisely, most scholars have attributed the tradition of non-interventionism in the U.S. to President George Washington. In his farewell address, President Washington indicated that the American rule of conduct concerning foreign nations was to improve commercial relations and have little political connections with them as possible. Later, President Thomas Jefferson acknowledged Washington’s ideas during his inauguration on March 4, 1801. President Jefferson said that he would try to improve peace, honest friendships, and commerce with all nations but entangle alliances with none of them. The U.S. maintained this policy throughout the 19th century until the Spanish-American war that ended up with the U.S. occupying and controlling the Philippines. The United States has since adopted interventionism approaches in its foreign policy because of various developments such as the First and Second World Wars, the cold war, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The U.S. foreign policy helps the government to promote peace in the world, has an effect on the implementation of isolationism and internationalism alongside the media, and has a significant impact on the three branches of government, while political affiliations influence an individual’s belief about the foreign policy.
The Foreign Policy and the Role of the Branches of Government in its Development
How the U.S government uses foreign policy
The U.S. government uses foreign policy to preserve national security, promote world peace, and maintain a balance of power among nations. Furthermore, the government also uses this policy to promote democratic values and human rights and to solve international problems by working with allies. On the contrary, all three branches of government play a significant role in the development of foreign policy. First, the President and the Executive branch play a significant role in the formation and implementation of foreign policy. For instance, the President has the mandate to create treaties and appoint ambassadors with the help and advice of the Senate. Furthermore, the President has the mandate under the constitution to hold summit meetings with world leaders. Second, the U.S. Congress plays a significant role in the development of foreign policy as it has the power to impose tariffs and duties on foreign exports and imports and declare war. Consequently, the Congress approves, amends, or rejects the foreign policy proposals by the President. Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court handles foreign policy cases that involve treaties, maritime issues, and ambassadors. Furthermore, the Supreme Court has a jurisdiction to decide conflicts between states and foreign states.
The Effect of the Foreign Policy on the U.S. Implementation of Isolationism and Internationalism and the Role of Media
Some particular events in the U.S. foreign policy have prompted the government to change its ideology on the country’s involvement in global matters. Notably, the U.S. participation in the Vietnamese Civil War made the government rethink about its containment approach to the Cold War. The U.S. had hoped to use the containment approach to curb the spread of communism in Asian countries such as Vietnam. However, the U.S. military plan of battlefield engagement did not work well in Vietnam and the country had to withdraw its forces in 1973. As a result, the government adopted a neoconservative approach to foreign policy. In other words, the U.S. now embraced the idea of aggressively using its might to promote concerns and values around the world instead of exercising restraint and utilizing foreign powers to achieve international outcomes. For instance, President George W. Bush declared war on Iraq in 2003 while the Obama administration continuously utilized drones as counterterrorism weapons.
Similarly, the media significantly influenced the decisions of internationalism and isolationism. Undoubtedly, the U.S. media that unduly influence the rural areas has on several occasions convinced masses on the need of the U.S. to shift from isolationism towards internationalism. For instance, the media capitalized on the demands of the Second World War to convince the American public to push the administration to abandon the isolationism approach and adopt an internationalist one. The move would ensure that the government had no other option but to join the Second World War, especially after the Pearl Harbor attack.
The Impact of the Foreign Policy on the Three Branches of Government
Certainly, foreign policy has a significant impact on the tree branches of government. First, the President has a mandate as the head of the military and Foreign Service to respond to current events in other countries that pose a challenge to the U.S. interests. For instance, President Reagan prohibited arms sales to Argentina and provided material support for British operations in the Falkland Islands crisis. Second, Congress members formulate concurrent resolutions every year based on the current developments of the foreign policy. For instance, Senator A. S. Mike Monroney introduced S. Res. 264 in 1958 that helped the U.S. to establish the International Development Association as an affiliate of the World Bank. Finally, foreign policy has significantly influenced some court decisions in the past such as the Baker V. Carr (1962) case. The judges handling this case made political comments that apply to domestic and foreign policies although the case involved the manipulation of election districts in Tennessee. According to Justice William Brennan, this case raised foreign policy questions that required a single-voiced statement of the government views
The Impact of Political Affiliation on Foreign Policy Beliefs
Undoubtedly, political affiliations influence people’s beliefs about foreign policy. For instance, the Republican Party has often advocated for a more militarist foreign policy that has prompted Presidents to start wars throughout the course of American history. On the other hand, the Democratic Party has always advocated for a foreign policy that is generous and gives aid to distressed countries. Furthermore, the Democratic Presidents have held on views that encourage interaction with foreign nations.
President George Washington laid the foundation for the first U.S. foreign policy after independence. The policy had isolationism and non-interventionism policies that lasted throughout the 19th century. However, some developments such as the First and Second World Wars and the Cold War prompted the U.S. government to adopt interventionist policies. Precisely, the purpose of the U.S. foreign policy today is to help the government promote global peace and maintain a balance of power among nations. The three branches of government play significant roles in the development of foreign policy. On the contrary, some events in the foreign policy and the mainstream media influenced the United States’ implementation of isolationism and internationalism. Furthermore, foreign policy has a significant impact on the three branches of government. Finally, political affiliations can influence an individual’s beliefs about foreign policy.
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