AS a student and writer on American foreign policy I feel that ours in the last decades has been a failure.
I say this because in two decades we have gone to endless wars and the threat of even more to come…..Albright, Powell, Clinton and all the Trumpites…..confrontation and armed conflict has become the norm as opposed to the exception.
How to describe U.S. foreign policy over the last couple of decades? Disastrous comes to mind. Arrogant and murderous also seem appropriate.
Since 9/11, Washington has been extraordinarily active militarily—invading two nations, bombing and droning several others, deploying special operations forces in yet more countries, and applying sanctions against many. Tragically, the threat of Islamist violence and terrorism only have metastasized. Although Al Qaeda lost its effectiveness in directly plotting attacks, it continues to inspire national offshoots. Moreover, while losing its physical “caliphate” the Islamic State added further terrorism to its portfolio.
Three successive administrations have ever more deeply ensnared the United States in the Middle East. War with Iran appears to be frighteningly possible. Ever-wealthier allies are ever-more dependent on America. Russia is actively hostile to the United States and Europe. Washington and Beijing appear to be a collision course on far more than trade. Yet the current administration appears convinced that doing more of the same will achieve different results, the best definition of insanity.
Our failures have been shown to be forefront…especially with Trump’s favorite tactic….sanctions…..
The U.S.’s military might be the most powerful weapon in the country’s arsenal, but economic sanctions are being fully exploited to go after “enemies” real or imaged. The U.S. Treasury Dept. identifies 30 active sanctions programs that include, according to one estimate, 7,967 operating sanctions.
The Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) defines an economic sanction “as the withdrawal of customary trade and financial relations for foreign and security policy purposes.” It notes that the modern sanction era began in the wake of the Cuban Revolution and escalated following the 9/11 attacks when Pres. George W. Bush signed an Executive Order (#13224) that gave the Treasury Department officials “authority to freeze the assets and financial transactions of individuals and other entities suspected of supporting terrorism.”
It is time for the US to re-learn the use of diplomacy as opposed to direct action…..diplomacy costs less (something that Repubs should be pushing if they truly are deficit hawks) in cash and lives.
“Lego Ergo Scribo”