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Obama"s Disastrous Foreign Policy

Conservative101
Posts: 191
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3/21/2014 8:39:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I got this one from a friend. I read it, and its really good. I agree with what he has to say about our nation's current foreign policy. If anyone has a response or something to add on, I would be glad to hear it.

Obama's Foreign Policy: A Disaster Waiting to Unfold

We hear it all the time. Libya. Syria. Africa. North Korea. Cyberattacks. Terrorism. Russia. After the end of the Cold War, many seemed to think that international problems were a thing of the past. These people couldn't be more wrong. Few realize this, but the world we live in has never been more dangerous. And although it may seem as though the world is at peace; in reality, it is like a slowly but steadily inflating balloon just waiting to explode. In scary times such as these, the most important thing we could have is an accurate foreign policy. However, our president fails to see this. This essay will explain the problems with extremist foreign policies, how our foreign policy needs to work, why Obama"s is not working, and what the consequences of this will be in our future if left unchallenged.

In the United States, there are three different general ways of viewing the outside world and American foreign policy. The first is the isolationist perspective. Isolationists tend to call for limited American involvement in other countries. This usually comes in the form of neutrality, limited trade and restricted immigration. Isolationism was much more common in the early 20th century, especially in the Interwar period. During this period of American history (roughly 1919-1941), Americans scarred by the horrors of World War I influenced the government"s decisions to raise tariffs, severely limit immigration, and promote worldwide disarmament. We can understand the isolationist view on these policies. Certainly they did not (and still don"t) see the outside world"s problems as their priority. Rather, they wanted to focus on internal problems. I completely understand the standpoint of the 20s generation and the policies implemented during that era, even if I don"t agree with them. However, isolationism has consequences. When the United States ignores what happens in other countries, problems arise, as World War II and the Cold War would later prove. Imagine how World War II and all 70 million deaths resulting from it could have been prevented had we simply taken an active role in Europe and Asia. Isolationism time and again has resulted in our enemies growing in power, and more problems arising in other countries that the US cannot avoid. Isolationists need to understand that we cannot ignore what happens in this world; eventually it will catch up to us.

However, this does not make the other extreme correct in the foreign policy matter. This side is the extremely-interventionist side. Extreme interventionists think that America, as the sole world superpower that it is, has an obligation to step into every conflict and crisis in the world. "If there"s a civil war, humanitarian crisis, AIDS outbreak, natural disaster, or any other problem, America needs to intervene", these people seem to think. There are problems with this idea. For one thing, the United States is the world"s sole superpower, but that doesn't make it the world"s policeman. It is not our job to solve the world"s problems. Rather, it is the job of local governments, international and local charities, as well as the efforts of individuals, to help those in need. I am not arguing that Americans shouldn't help people, I am simply stating that it is not the US Government"s job. The Government cannot be responsible for holding up the weight of the world over its head, and such a state of the world would threaten the roles of charities and individuals in bringing about relief. Also, America should not intervene in every single war, overthrow every single despot, and replace every single despotic regime. As I will explain soon, the United States needs to protect its own interests as its #1 priority. For example, if Nicolas Maduro is a threat to American interests and there happens to be an uprising in Venezuela with many people dying, there is a good reason for America to consider intervening. But if the Venezuelan rebels (remember, this is a hypothetical situation) are even more anti american and socialist than Maduro, why should America sacrifice the lives of its troops, as well as its resources, only to replace one American-hating despot with another? This may not be the best example, but it should underline the point that America does not intervene in other countries just because it can. We must have good reasons and pick our fights well. This brings about the third foreign policy viewpoint, the most accurate of them all.

By far, the viewpoint of foreign policy in the United States most likely to bring about a stable and secure future is the conservative one. This foreign policy emphasizes America"s interests. It does not mean America is a selfish, greedy country. After all, no other nation even comes close to America when it comes to charities and sacrifice. Not to mention, every country shapes their policies around their interests. What other nation considers other countries" interests as much as the United States? When we intervene in other countries, contrary to other super powers throughout history, we do not stay for centuries and impose our rule on the people of that country. In fact, we do other countries a service by taking out dictatorships such as that of Manuel Noriega (1989) and the communist government in Grenada (1983). They should be thanking us, not crying for "reparations".

To get back to the main point, the conservative view of foreign policy is most importantly, to secure American interests, and if possible, to balance that with other countries" interests. Securing our interests can come in the form of invading other countries with governments hostile to the United States, protecting our people from foreign threats, and assisting our allies, as well as other countries whose goals are similar to ours. The other most important areas of foreign policy are removing despots, protecting civilians, and promoting stability, although these goals do not always reconcile with the #1 goal. For example, we have supported and continue to support several dictators throughout the world. Many people are shocked and appalled by this, and are disappointed that their government supports dictators. However, these people fail to see the whole picture. They see the world as black and white. They believe that the choice is between good and evil. But that is rarely the case. Almost always, the choice is between a bad dictator and an even worse one, as proven in Dinesh D"Souza"s Letters to a Young Conservative. As D"Souza argues, failing to support pro-US/Western dictators is a bad move, because they are often replaced by an even worse, anti-US/Western dictator. American lives should not be spent overthrowing dictatorships that will only be replaced by worse ones. Would the American people rather have a pro-western dictator or an anti-western dictator who would likely be far worse? For example, the Russian czar Nicholas II, who lived in the early 1900s, was authoritarian and ruled the Russian Empire with no real opposition, but certainly, we can all agree that he was better than Joseph Stalin, who murdered over 20 million people during his rule from 1929 to 1953, and who imposed complete government control over the economy and even the everyday life of the Soviet people. These are the choices we are often faced with in our world today.

(Continued in comments because of character limit)
When in doubt, start riots and scream racism
Conservative101
Posts: 191
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3/21/2014 8:40:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Promoting stability and protecting civilians, as discussed earlier, is primarily the responsibility of local governments. We should only intervene as a nation or government if the threat to civilians is out of control and if our intervention is certain to bring stability and not to bring extensive danger to American lives and resources. For example, forcing rival tribes in Africa to get along is not America"s job (though of course, we should still care), and there is little we can do to solve that problem. We cannot tell African tribes to get along, nor can we force them to. They must find a way to make peace with one another, rather than blaming the west for starting these problems. These efforts, consisting of initiative and negotiation, are much more likely to result in success. To sum this up, America"s accurate foreign policy should be primarily to defend American interests and ideals, and if possible and likely to have positive results, to mix this with other countries" interests, promoting stability, protecting the innocent, and spreading democracy to other countries, along with any other goals that are worthy of pursuing.

Now that we have a framework of accurate vs. inaccurate foreign policy, let"s talk about what Obama is doing in contrast to that. This includes, but is not limited to, his policy towards Russia, the Syrian Civil War, relationships with our Allies (including Israel) and third world countries, as well as policy towards rogue states such as Iran and North Korea. Obama is giving Russia almost complete control to do whatever it wants. Obama so far has essentially given Russia a free hand in Ukraine, and he has been less willing to help countries threatened by Russia, including Poland and Georgia. These countries are allies of the United States, and should be able to feel safe allying with us. After all, is that not what allies do? America needs to consider its allies" interests almost as seriously as its own, because our interests are mutual. In recent decades, America has been abandoning support for countries such as Taiwan, Georgia and Poland in order to pursue better relations with Russia and China. These attempts have met with very limited success. Every time we take a step forward with Russia and China, we are soon forced to take a step backwards. The reason is that we are not friends with these countries. They strive to regain their lost glory, gain power in their respective regions, and manipulate us into giving them what they want. To counter this, we need to stand with our allies, and tell Russia and China that we are not going to allow them to be a threat to world peace and stability. After all, one is more likely to respect another if that person stands firm, rather than being swayed by the wind. To put this into foreign policy, Russia is much more likely to respect the United States and not cause problems if they are convinced that we are strong and ready to defend our allies. In fact, standing firm will probably make Russia and the United States greater friends! Ronald Reagan stood up to Mikhail Gorbachev in the 80s when it came to the nuclear disarmament treaties, and together, they made a lot more progress than Putin and Obama have. This world has no room for passive politicians. Likewise, with the Syrian Civil War, America should not get involved. Bashar Al-Assad is certainly a despot, but he poses no threat to the United States. Furthermore, there is no evidence that overthrowing him will result in a pro-western democracy. The rebel coalition includes many people who want democracy and freedom, but these people will likely be brushed aside by terrorists from Al-Qaeda and other groups fighting in the war, who will then seize power and turn Syria into a state similar to Afghanistan under the Taliban. Unless Al-Assad becomes a threat to the US and/or its allies, or the situation becomes unstable and scary, the US should not consider risking its own blood. Rather, the US should pressure the Syrian Government to hold free elections, and both sides should be encouraged to negotiate. Our allies, including Israel, are our top priority to support, not neutral third world states, for whom Obama travels to for hundreds of millions of dollars. That money should be going to our allies, not countries that kill our ambassadors and burn our flag. Iran must be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons, which could threaten the security of the Middle East, and North Korea needs to understand that America means business.
Obama"s foreign policy is a complete disaster. By weakening our relationships with our allies, limiting our influence, and ignoring rising threats from rogue states as well as countries such as Russia, he is creating a future of war, suffering, and destruction. Time and again, in the last 100 years, it has been proving that without America"s watchful eye, bad things happen. America is no ordinary country. It is a world superpower (the only one of its kind left) and the leader of the free world. If we don"t take a stand, the other free countries of the world have nowhere to turn and no one to turn to, as history continues to prove. Too many people have lived under oppression. Too many have been killed by power-hungry dictators, or in wars. And although there is no major war being fought right now, it won"t stay that way if we continue down the path we"re on. When America is gone, our enemies take advantage of our retreat as freedom to inflict pain and suffering on the people of the Earth. We cannot keep allowing that to happen, and if we continue following Obama"s plan for the future, it will end up as a repeat of the past instead.

To conclude, America is a world superpower, and it does have a role to play in international relations. That role should not be too large or nonexistent, but rather, it should be selective, as we pursue our interests and try to meet our goals for the future. Let us make good goals, learn from the past, and prevent Obama from destroying the peaceful, free world that has been developing in the present day, the first of its kind.
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Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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3/21/2014 8:52:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
What problems? How many US soldiers or citizens have died in Libya? In Syria? In what Russia is doing?
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Conservative101
Posts: 191
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3/21/2014 9:10:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/21/2014 8:52:11 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
What problems? How many US soldiers or citizens have died in Libya? In Syria? In what Russia is doing?

What do you mean what problems? Did you read the article?
When in doubt, start riots and scream racism