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Contents

Temporary title: Criticism of U.S. foreign policy

I worked on this on WP; most of the references are solid; it's balanced (plus and minus views).

One step to making this workable may be to break it into time periods. Jumping from the Spanish-American War to current Mideast policy is jumpy to read, and tries to compare things that don't compare.

Howard -- excellent idea; let me know how I can help here. It does jump around. Maybe this could be an adjunct article to a subject like "History of US foreign policy?" And be part of a "history of US" stuff? -- tom


For more information, see: U.S. foreign policy.

Criticism of United States foreign policy encompasses a wide range of sentiments about its actions and policies over time. Since it is an open society permitting dissent, there are many views, both positive and negative, regarding its interactions with other nations. This article considers two main dimensions. First, a moral dimension–whether given policy choices are seen as right or wrong. Second, a practical dimension–whether policy choices are seen as effective or ineffective, and instrumental for achieving a specific desired result. Both dimensions are bound up with value judgments and linked with each other, with considerable overlap, and it is up to readers to make value judgments.

Foreign policy in moral terms: right vs. wrong

First, establish the viewpoint of the moral view of foreign policy. realists aren't especially morality based, while Wilsonian liberal internationalists are, neoconservatives are on odd-numbered days, and Jacksonian American nationalists arguably are from an isolationist view.

Nations have interests, not friends — attr. Otto von Bismarck
If you would be moral, be not a prince. If you would be a prince, you cannot be moral. — Niccolo Macchiavelli

Since the U.S. is a dominant player in world politics, it is often singled out for negative criticism. And as its power relative to other nations declines in a relative way, it is often blamed for events which it really can not control. But many of the good things and positive influences it has had have a tendency to be overlooked, as the news media has a tendency to accentuate negative results particularly when they're more attention-getting and tends to focus on critics, while overlooking subtler, slower, and more benign but positive aspects of foreign policy which are less likely to sell newspapers.

Arguments that U.S. foreign policy is good

The United States in 2009 is the world's strongest country in terms of military power and economic resources, and to some extent it acts as a referee and a stabilizing influence in the world. Praise for U.S. foreign policy as a good thing generally falls in one of the following categories.

Supporting a peaceful world order

But is a peaceful world order likely or necessary? See The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

The United States is largely regarded as not being an aggressive or acquisitive state which invades other countries for the purpose of colonization or to steal their resources or imprison their peoples. During World War I and World War II, when its armies occupied substantial portions of foreign lands, the nation had many opportunities to seize land, plunder resources, and colonize, but instead required its soldiers to return home, and the lands were returned to the previous inhabitants. It generally opposes colonialism. It has the military force to conquer most other nations but chose not to do so. President Wilson advocated a League of Nations after World War I but an international body didn't happen until after World War II when the United States help found the United Nations. The name United Nations was coined in 1942 by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, and a conference in the U.S. city of San Francisco in 1945 attended by 50 nations agreed to form the body.[1] The United States donated a valuable swath of prime real estate in Manhattan for its headquarters. During most of the UN's history, the US was its most substantial contributor; in 2010, the U.S. contributes 22% of the UN's $5 billion annual budget.[2] The U.S. also founded and supported the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the U.S. Export-Import bank.[3]

Discouraging proliferation of nuclear weapons

For more information, see: nonproliferation.
Nuclear nonproliferation is considered a desirable goal.
=Among all the challenges that we face, only nuclear weapons pose an existential threat. And a world of 20 or 30 or more nuclear weapon states holds few prospects for avoiding nuclear catastrophe. The stability that we enjoyed for 50 years of the Cold War didn't happen naturally. It happened because of unrelenting effort on the part of the two superpowers, and some very close misses. The likelihood that we could achieve that with 20 or 30 nuclear weapon states–which we could easily get to if the regime fails -- is, I think, very close to zero. And the probability that some of that weapons fuel would end up in the hands of terrorists is, I think, very close to one.



We had 30 very good years under the NPT. It kept the number of nuclear weapon states far lower than its authors dared to hope. The bad news is that the last 10 years have been very bad ones, starting with the nuclear tests by India and Pakistan in 1998 and then, five years later, the discovery of the A.Q. Khan network revealed that businessmen and scientists from a dozen countries were selling technology, bomb designs, and materials to whomever had the money to pay. The North Korean and Iranian programs that we came to understand in that period used the cover of the NPT to hide covert weapons programs and underlined what we now know to be the Achilles' heel of the existing regime, which is that no safeguards, no matter how good the IAEA is, can provide real protection when a country has direct access to plutonium or highly enriched uranium weapons fuel.[4]

The United States has maintained a consistent policy of discouraging non-nuclear nations from getting nuclear weapons in an effort to make the world safer. Tuchmann believes the total number of nuclear weapons was considerably less than it could have been, partly through the systematic effort by the United States.

While the nation has a vast arsenal of nuclear weapons, it has restrained itself from using them after World War II. As of 2009, the world has not been subject to World War III. In 1963, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, US president Kennedy astutely defused a tense situation using a naval blockade which allowed leaders from the Soviet Union to save face, and the policy resulted in dismantling of nuclear weapons on the island of Cuba. It has consistently argued that nations such as Iran avoid developing nuclear weapons. It urged Libya successfully to not build them. It has advocated nuclear non-proliferation treaties. It cooperated with its adversary, the Soviet Union, to limit stockpiles of weapons as well as installed international hotlines to lessen the risk of accidental missile launches based on misunderstandings.

Encouraging free trade

Free trade worldwide has grown immensely during the twentieth century, and many foreign policy decisions helped protect free trade around the world. The US has consistently supported free trade and protected commerce between nations. The United States Navy and Air Force protect shipping lanes and enable the safe passage of ships and airplanes from many countries for purposes of trade and travel. In the early 1800s, the US fought and defeated pirates off the Barbary coast; in the early 2000s, it protected ships in the Indian Ocean from pirates with speedboats operating off the coast of Somalia. This is a free service which the United States does not charge payment for.

Not initiating war

The overall record of its wars suggests the United States did not initiate war but responded to aggression in most instances, although there were exceptions. (a specific change in the Bush Administration National Security Strategy of the United States of America (2002) In major worldwide conflicts such as World War I and World War II, the United States was not the initiator, but responded to a conflict between European powers. Similar arguments have been made about the Korean War which was initiated by North Korea which invaded South Korea without provocation, the Vietnam War which was initiated by North Vietnam, the first first Gulf War which was initiated by Saddam Hussein of Iraq, the War of 1812 which was initiated (by some accounts) by a policy by Britain's Royal Navy of forcibly impressing sailors into the naval forces.[5] Some analysts argue the second Iraq war was a response to a recalcitrant Iraqi dictator who defied no-fly zones and repeatedly defied treaty obligations and who foiled attempts by inspectors to hunt for dangerous weapons. However, its record is not blemish free; for example, the US did initiate conflicts regarding Colombia to further efforts to build the Panama Canal under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt. But, overall, defenders of the United States can claim a strong and consistent record of military restraint. The U.S. never launched a massive surprise attack against a large nation; in contrast, Japan launched a surprise Pearl Harbor attack before officially declaring war; Nazi Germany invaded Poland with a massive blitzkreig unprovoked attack.

Democracy promotion

The United States has a consistent record of speaking out about the benefits of democracy and popular sovereignty and, as an example, encourages free elections and a free press and support for human rights. At the beginning of its history, few nations were democratic while most were monarchies, dictatorships, or oligarchies; today, in contrast, a strong majority of nations are democratic, and people all over the world enjoy popular sovereignty and freedom and human rights to varying degrees.
|quote = First, in none of the cases he cites -- Ukraine, the Philippines, Chile -- was the U.S. called upon to do anything more than advise, encourage, and warn. We did not have to intervene militarily. Second, in all of these cases, the end result of "people power" was a friendly regime perfectly acceptable to the U.S. We had no reason of interest to obstruct the change. In both circumstances promoting democracy cost relatively little. That has not always been true in the past -- and it is unlikely always to be true in the future.[6]

Aiding allies

It has a strong record of supporting allies with armed force as well as economic support.[7]}} When Kuwait was invaded by Saddam Hussein, America came to its defense and ousted the invaders.

The United States has had a "special relationship" with Britain, not only supporting it in two world wars that threatened the U.S., but also for British interests as in the Falklands War. It cooperates with close allies such as Britain on a wide range of topics, Mr. such as a peace agreement for Northern Ireland.[8]

According to the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., it supported its ally Israel consistently with weapons and economic assistance despite intense international pressure not to do so.[9]

See also: Korean War

Within an overall containment policy against Communism, America supported its ally South Korea when it was invaded by North Korea in 1953, and successfully pushed back the invaders;[10] the U.S. spent $54 billion or $454 billion in 2009 dollars to keep allied peoples free.[11]


Doing good deeds

On numerous occasions the U.S. military has airlifted supplies to peoples devastated by earthquakes[12] and floods[13] and tsunamis.[12] Rescue missions brought little direct benefit to the nation but were done on an altruistic basis and for humanitarian reasons. When New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, many nations offered substantial assistance, which led Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to say "People have said that America has been so generous ... in other places, and now it is time to be generous to America."[14]

Protecting citizens

By preventing invasion by winning important wars, the United States has an enviable record of protecting its citizens. Americans unfairly jailed abroad have had the US government advocate for their release.

Keeping US free from invasion

Since its inception in 1789, the United States has not needed to defend its borders against invasion from warring armies. The few exceptions happened during the War of 1812, British armies advanced south from Canada to Plattsburgh, New York and the Capitol was burned. Another exception was the 9/11 attack in which terrorists hijacked jetliners and destroyed several buildings and killed 2,752 people in 2001.

Helping United States citizens prosper

The nation enjoys a high per capita income level and has an extensive GDP of $46,443 per person in 2009 (estimate).[15] One ranking is the U.S. ranks sixth in the world in terms of GDP per capita. And U.S. foreign policy can, in a sense, be credited with helping allow conditions for a successful economy.

Rescuing Europeans from Nazi aggression

At tremendous cost in terms of soldiers and treasure, United States forces working with Allied forces defeated the armies of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler and rescued millions of Europeans from a brutal regime of totalitarian rule. The United States did not benefit directly from this war, but indirectly. 405,399 U.S. soldiers died in World War II, mostly in Europe and North Africa; an additional 670,846 were wounded.[16] The war effort in both Europe and the Far East cost $288 billion, or $3.6 trillion in 2009 inflation-adjusted dollars, and resulted in the United States experiencing huge budget shortfalls during the 1940s.[17] Western Europeans were free. One estimate in a report in Time Magazine was that the U.S. and western forces liberated 800 million people from 1945–1961 by freeing enslaved peoples from Nazi aggression during World War II and freeing colonial peoples afterwards.[18] This is in sharp contrast to Eastern European countries after World War II; forces of the Soviet Union remained after the war and imposed a brutal military rule on countries inside the Iron Curtain which, in effect, enslaved millions of Eastern Europeans for decades afterwards; U.S. senator Adlai Stevenson compared the Soviet imperial system after World War II as "one of the most cruel and oppressive ever devised."[18] It is difficult to name any other nation in history who sacrificed 500,000 of its citizens to fight for the freedom of other peoples.

Open-door immigration policy

For more information, see: U.S. immigration policy.

Perhaps more than any other nation in history, the United States has welcomed immigrants from all over the world.[19] In 1990, the foreign-born population living in the U.S. numbered almost 20 million.[19] Further, it has successfully accommodated and assimilated a wide variety of diverse peoples into the American mainstream.[20] In the history of the world, the U.S. has an enviable record of accommodating peoples from around the world and successfully assimilating them into American culture.

Acting on principle

The United States has, at times, made foreign policy decisions on the basis of principles such as non-interference. Its Monroe Doctrine helped protect the American continent from interference by colonial European powers, and the US has had a consistent policy against colonialism.

For example, when in 1955 the nations of Britain, France, and Israel were poised to attack Egypt on a matter regarding the Suez Canal, the United States refused to support the action, and protected the sovereignty of Egypt despite the inclinations of three key allies.[21]

These critics, Nixon believed, were taking "a shortsighted and, if I might respectfully say so, immature view of the issues." When Israel, Britain and France attacked Egypt, the world wondered whether the U.S. would stand by its principles, or because its friends were involved, would "conveniently look the other way." If the U.S. had supported the British-French-Israeli position in Egypt, they "might have won a military victory in that area. But they and we would have lost the moral support of the whole world . . . Because we took the position we did, the peoples of Africa and Asia now know that the U.S. has no illusions about 'the white man's burden' and 'white supremacy.' The military victory our friends might have won in the Near East would not have solved ... the problem. Lasting solutions are rarely forged in the ruins of war." [3]
It was a decision characterized by principle.[22]

Giving generously

See also: Marshall Plan
See also: Agency for International Development
See also: Millenium Challenge Act

The United States has provided more aid to nations and people around the world than any other nation in history. After World War II when most of Europe was in smoking shambles with its industry and infrastructure wrecked, the US gave $12.7 billion in economic assistance in the Marshall Plan to help Europeans rebuild their war-torn economies.[23] The effort was remarkably successful; by 1951, the economy of every participating country except Germany had grown back to pre-war levels.[23] Today Europe is a thriving, peaceful multi-nation community with economic output that rivals America's. A reporter wrote in the US News and World Report about the Marshall Plan: {{cquote|When World War II ended in 1945, Europe lay in ruins: its cities were shattered; its economies were devastated; its people faced famine. In the two years after the war, the Soviet Union’s control of Eastern Europe and the vulnerability of Western European countries to Soviet expansionism heightened the sense of crisis. To meet this emergency, Secretary of State George Marshall proposed in a speech at Harvard University on June 5, 1947, that European nations create a plan for their economic reconstruction and that the United States provide economic assistance. On December 19, 1947, President Harry Truman sent Congress a message that followed Marshall’s ideas to provide economic aid to Europe. Congress overwhelmingly passed the Economic Cooperation Act of 1948, and on April 3, 1948, President Truman signed the act that became known as the Marshall Plan. Over the next four years, Congress appropriated $13.3 billion for European recovery. This aid provided much needed capital and materials that enabled Europeans to rebuild the continent’s economy.[7]

In addition to government assistance, wealthy Americans such as Bill Gates and Andrew Carnegie as well as Americans of all socio-economic groups have given billions in assistance to peoples around the world.

Richard Nixon wrote, with respect to the Middle East, "There must be generous aid in solving their very real economic problems so that their peoples may rise from the depths of poverty and disease. In the past these nations of the Middle East used their meager resources to build up military strength. Now we have the unique opportunity to show them what can be done by using their resources to build up the health and welfare of their peoples."[3]

Protecting allies from invasion

The US has maintained bases in West Germany[24] and South Korea[25] and Japan[26] for the purpose of deterring aggression by rival powers. It has maintained these commitments over decades with no remuneration from the protected nations. It organized the Berlin air lift to keep people in West Berlin supplied with necessities despite a blockade by the Soviet Union. Supporters of the U.S. suggest that substantial defense-related spending borne by American taxpayers which contributes to the safety of allied nations are not borne by Europeans or Asians. In this view, U.S. taxpayers are seen as subsidizing the defense of allied peoples who fail to carry their fair share of defense spending.

Defense budgets for NATO countries

Country Defense budget
(billions USD)
GDP
(billions of USD)[27]
Defense budget
% of GDP
United States 668 14,441 4.6
United Kingdom 58 2,680 2.2
France 55 2,867 1.9
Germany 38 3,673 1.0
Italy 33 2,314 1.4
Turkey 31 730 4.2
Canada 18 1,500 1.2
Spain 14 1,602 0.9
Netherlands 10 877 1.1
Greece 7 358 2.0
Poland 6 528 1.1
Norway 5 452 1.1
Other NATO 22



Main source: Trends in European Defense Spending - DIIG CSIS Other sources: [28][29] Year=2006.

Building the Panama Canal

The US expended $375 million or about $8 billion in today's dollars[30] to build a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans which greatly reduced shipping costs and travel times. While the US benefitted from the canal, the canal permits shipping by all nations, and in the late 1970s under the leadership of President Carter, the US gave the nation of Panama full title to the canal.[31]

Arguments that U.S. foreign policy is bad

Supporting dictatorships

The US has been criticized for supporting dictatorships with economic assistance and military hardware. Particular dictatorships have included several Pakistani leaders,[33] the Shah of Iran,[33][34] the Saudi Royal family, Maoist regimes in China,[33] warlords in Somalia, and, as a special example, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda. Of Museveni,
who cast himself as a staunch U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism at a time when he was facing growing criticism for his increasingly dictatorial rule. Museveni, who has been in power for more than 20 years, changed the constitution ahead of the 2006 election to allow himself a third term, and jailed a leading opposition candidate. As U.S. ambassador, James Kolker was critical of Museveni's government, but his successor was less vocal as the United States pressed Museveni to send peacekeepers to Somalia. Uganda sent 1,500 troops as part of an African Union force that has had trouble pulling in other participants. "Museveni has very cleverly played the U.S. like a violin," said Barkan, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. [35]

Opposing independent nationalism

The US has been criticized by Noam Chomsky for opposing nationalist movements in foreign countries, including social reform.[36]

Meddling in other countries

The United States was criticized for manipulating the internal affairs of foreign nations, including Guatemala,[37], Chile,[37] Cuba,[38] Colombia,[31] various countries in Africa including Uganda.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who cast himself as a staunch U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism at a time when he was facing growing criticism for his increasingly dictatorial rule. Museveni, who has been in power for more than 20 years, changed the constitution ahead of the 2006 election to allow himself a third term, and jailed a leading opposition candidate. As U.S. Ambassador, James Kolker was critical of Museveni's government, but his successor was less vocal as the United States pressed Museveni to send peacekeepers to Somalia. Uganda sent 1,500 troops as part of an African Union force that has had trouble pulling in other participants. "Museveni has very cleverly played the U.S. like a violin," said Barkan, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. [34]

Supporting Israel

The US has been accused of condoning actions by Israel against Palestinians.[39]

Failing to bring democracy to other nations

Sometimes the US has been criticized for not promoting democracy as well as discouraging it. Noam Chomsky concluded that Democracy Enhancement programs in Latin America were a systematic failure; and he said "Where U.S. influence was the least there you found the most progress towards democracy ... But where the U.S. had influence, it sought only limited, top down forms of democracy that did not risk upsetting the traditional structures of power with which the United States had long been allied."[40]

Exporting democracy sometimes brings bad results

In contrast to the previous criticism, the U.S. has been criticized for its support of democracy. A book World on Fire by Amy Chua suggests exporting democracy is not always a good idea, since in some situations, it can breed ethnic hatred and global instability.[41] Chua argues that the medicines of democracy and capitalism, taken together, sometimes have adverse side-effects in developing countries[41] and some nations may not be ready for the changes.

Imperialism

According to Newsweek Editor Fareed Zakaria, the Washington establishment has "gotten comfortable with the exercise of American hegemony and treats compromise as treason and negotiations as appeasement" and added "This is not foreign policy; it's imperial policy."[42]</blockquote> Allies were critical of a unilateral sensibility to US foreign policy, and showed displeasure by voting against the US in the United Nations in 2001.[43]

Hypocrisy

Z Magazine and Lewrockell both can be useful sources when balanced, but do tend to be far on one side of an issue. The US has been criticized for making statements supporting peace and respecting national sovereignty, but military actions such as in Grenada, fomenting a civil war in Colombia to break off Panama, and Iraq War run counter to its assertions. The US has advocated free trade but protects local industries with import tariffs on foreign goods such as lumber[44] and agricultural products.

The US has advocated concern for human rights but refused to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, according to one critic. As seen by the conservative group Concerned Women for America CWA_, ratification impinges both on national sovereignty and is an issue in the "culture wars". According to T. Jeremy Gunn, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, and a Senior Fellow in Religion and Human Rights at Emory University School of Law, the opposition by CWA and others as not about human rights or constitutional law per se, but
a cultural war over the perceived role of parents. While we can question the

excessiveness of their rhetoric and the inconsistencies of their arguments, it is important also to try to identify the underlying values that prompt their war metaphors and battle imagery...First, they have in mind what we might call an “idealized, conventional family” that leads them to ignore almost completely the plight of children who do not fit within this traditional family. Second, there appears to be an underlying fear that if children are allowed rights of expression and access to information, that they, as parents, will lose their children. They thus approach the question not from the perspective of the world as it comes to vulnerable children, but as parents who are attempting to shore up an image of an idealized, conventional family where two heterosexual parents are raising children in conformity with the parental ideals of religion and right behavior. The CRC opponents are unconcerned that, for vast numbers of children in the world, the problem is not the threat that the United Nations will interfere in the relationship between

parent and child, but that children do"[45]
The US has advocated a respect for national sovereignty but supports internal guerrilla movements and paramilitary organizations, such as the Contras in Nicaragua.[46]
In an annual report, the United States said Bolivia–the world's third-largest cocaine producer–Venezuela and Myanmar had all "failed demonstrably" to meet their counter-narcotics obligations. The same three countries last year were cited on the list, which allows the president to cut off U.S. aid other than counter-narcotics and humanitarian funds. But the U.S. statement, released late on Tuesday by the State Department, said the White House had once again issued a national interest waiver to continue certain bilateral aid programs in the two South American countries.[47]
The US has been criticized for voicing concern about narcotics production in countries such as Bolivia and Venezuela but doesn't follow through on cutting certain bilateral aid programs.[48] The US has been criticized for not maintaining a consistent policy; it has been accused of denouncing human rights abuses in China while supporting rights violations by Israel.[39] However, some defenders argue that a policy of rhetoric while doing things counter to the rhetoric was necessary in the sense of realpolitik and helped secure victory against the dangers of tyranny and totalitarianism.
Throughout the Cold War, American presidents combined the rhetoric of freedom and democracy with the realpolitik of maintaining alliances with imperfect democracies (Turkey) and outright dictatorships (Spain, Portugal, South Korea). President [George W. Bush]] is sometimes unwise enough to condemn this past policy -- mainly in the Middle Eastern context -- as a bankrupt and amoral strategy. In fact it was entirely justifiable morally as the only practical way of securing the larger victory of liberty against the worldwide assault of Communist totalitarianism.[6]
He is not the only President to take such positions.
Reagan's ringing endorsement of freedom, for instance, weakened Pinochet and Marcos at home and, when they got into difficulties, restrained even the president from coming to their assistance. Bush similarly found that his libertarian rhetoric had more or less committed him on the side of Ukraine's "orange revolution" against his anti-terror ally, Russia's President Putin.[6]

Focusing on counterterrorism while undermining human rights

See also: U.S. intelligence and transnational human rights issues
See also: Extrajudicial detention, U.S., George W. Bush Administration

President Bush has been criticized for neglecting democracy and human rights by focusing exclusively on an effort to fight terrorism. This was stressed in eastern Africa, in nations including Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Uganda and Kenya. For example, Salah Gosh in Sudan was supported for counterterrorism while he and more senior officials were being accused with human rights violations. "There was a time when Muslims here would trust the U.S.," said Ibrahim Ahmed, a lawyer who ran for Kenya's parliament last year. "As a Muslim, I can say that U.S. foreign policy has really destroyed the trust that existed." [35]

The US was criticized for alleged prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay detention camp, Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, secret CIA prisons in eastern Europe, according to Amnesty International.[49] In response, the US government claimed incidents of abuse were isolated incidents which did not reflect U.S. policy.

American exceptionalism

For more information, see: American exceptionalism.
There is a sense in which America sometimes sees itself as qualitatively different from other countries and therefore cannot be judged by the same standard as other countries; this sense is sometimes termed American exceptionalism. A writer in Time Magazine in 1971 described American exceptionalism as "an almost mystical sense that America had a mission to spread freedom and democracy everywhere."[50]</blockquote> American exceptionalism is sometimes linked with hypocrisy; for example, the US keeps a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons while urging other nations not to get them, and justifies that it can make an exception to a policy of non-proliferation.[51] When the United States didn't support an environmental treaty made by many nations in Kyoto or treaties made concerning the Geneva Convention, then Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to U.S Secretary of State Colin Powell, saw American exceptionalism as counterproductive.
The man who was chief of staff at the State Department until early this year continued: "If you're unilaterally declaring Kyoto dead, if you're declaring the Geneva Conventions not operative, if you're doing a host of things that the world doesn't agree with you on and you're doing it blatantly and in their face, without grace, then you've got to pay the consequences." [52]

Arrogance

Aftermath of WWII
Some critics have thought the United States became arrogant, particularly after its victory in World War II.
During World War II, the U.S. acquired a mental habit of considering itself nearly omnipotent and the defender of freedom all over the globe. This self-image carried over into the cold war, when U.S. power was needed to halt Communist expansionism. That stance is no longer possible because reality has changed; the U.S. no longer has a nuclear monopoly, its economic resources have limits, and other nations do not necessarily agree with the U.S. definition of freedom or the good life. Moreover, Communism has become fissiparous and more amenable to negotiated détente.[50]
=Move to multilateralism

Critics such as Andrew Bacevich call on America to have a foreign policy "rooted in humility and realism."[53] Foreign policy experts such as Zbigniew Brzezinski counsel a policy of self-restraint and not pressing every advantage, and listening to other nations.[54] A government official called the US policy in Iraq "arrogant and stupid," according to one report.[55]

Militarism

But what is militarism? Nevertheless, Eisenhower's concern about a military-industrial complex might be even more to the point.

Martin Luther King, an opponent of the Vietnam War, criticized America's "giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism," and saw a linkage between its foreign policy abroad and racism at home.[56] Another critic, in a letter to the editor of The New York Times in 1982, suspected there was a racial component explaining favorable US treatment of Poland over South Africa.[57]

Violating international law

See also: Iraq War, origins of invasion
See also: Protests against the Iraq War

Some critics assert the US doesn't follow international law. For example, some critics assert the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was not a proper response to an imminent threat, but an act of aggression which violated international law.[58][59] For example, Benjamin Ferencz, a chief prosecutor of Nazi war crimes at Nuremberg said George W. Bush should be tried for war crimes along with Saddam Hussein for starting aggressive wars — Saddam for his 1990 attack on Kuwait and Bush for his 2003 invasion of Iraq.[60] Critics point out that the United Nations Charter, ratified by the U.S., prohibits members from using force against fellow members except against imminent attack or pursuant to an explicit Security Council authorization.[61] A professor of international law asserted there was no authorization from the UN Security Council which made the invasion "a crime against the peace."[61] However, US defenders argue there was such an authorization according to UN Security Council Resolution 1441.[61]

Not generous enough

Some critics charge that U.S. government aid should be higher given the high levels of Gross domestic product. They claim other countries give more money on a per capita basis, including both government and charitable contributions. By one index which ranked charitable giving as a percentage of GDP, the U.S. ranked 21 of 22 OECD countries by giving 0.17% of GDP to overseas aid, and compared the U.S. to Sweden which gave 1.03% of its GDP, according to different estimates.[62][63] The U.S. pledged 0.7% of GDP at a global conference in Mexico.[64] According to one estimate, U.S. overseas aid fell 16% from 2005 to 2006.[65] However, since the US grants tax breaks to nonprofits, it subsidizes relief efforts abroad,[66] although other nations also subsidize charitable activity abroad.[67] Most foreign aid (79%) came not from government sources but from private foundations, corporations, voluntary organizations, universities, religious organizations and individuals. According to the Index of Global Philanthropy, the United States is the top donor in absolute amounts.[68]

Not supporting environmental efforts

The U.S. has been criticized for failure to support the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Lawrence Wilkerson said...the quote is general about unilateralism, not Kyoto[52][69]

Other criticisms

It has been criticized for the war with Mexico in the 1840s which some see as a theft of land.

It was the first and only nation to use a nuclear bomb in wartime.

It failed to admit Jews fleeing persecution from Europe at the beginning of World War II, as well as immoral policy for the Vietnam War.

Foreign policy in practical terms: effective or ineffective

Foreign policy can be evaluated along a different dimension: does it work? Did it accomplish an objective? In this light, issues such as a policy's goodness are pushed aside, and the relevant issue is the policy's effectiveness. While there will be disagreements about specific long range goals, it is up to the reader to judge effectiveness of particular policies. For example, it has been argued that sometimes supporting dictatorships is a wise course in terms of long range foreign policy even though the act of supporting a particular dictator can be criticized in moral terms. It's possible for a moral choice to be ineffective. While the issues of morality and effectiveness are difficult to consider without relation to one another, sometimes morality and effectiveness will conflict while other times they'll coincide. Goals vary, but there is agreement that general goals for most nations are peace and prosperity.

It should be noted that foreign policy is difficult for any nation since many factors and combinations of factors work in different ways in a constant flux of new technologies. Trade relations change. Nations rise; nations fall. History has numerous examples of city-states and nations making bad decisions which led to their ruin. Few nations have had a consistent track record of foreign policy excellence. Wise monarchs have been replaced by lackluster offspring. Democracies have had mixed results regarding foreign policy. According to political thinkers such as Machiavelli and Tocqueville, those few states which did have successful foreign policy track records existed within a larger government framework which balanced the three types of government–monarchical, aristocratic and democratic–with checks and balances between competing forces. And, within such a framework, there were foreign policy experts skilled in making predictions about the likely interplay of forces, who advised officials about what to do, and their advice was heeded. Machiavelli thought highly of ancient Rome, guided by the Roman Senate. Rome rarely fought two wars at once. Tocqueville, as well, agreed that an aristocratic body of foreign policy advisers is "like a wise man who never dies."

Arguments that U.S. foreign policy is effective

United States is healthy and prosperous

Historian Niall Ferguson in The Ascent of Money argues it's "far too early to write off the United States" and notes many instances in which business rebounded after serious financial crises.[70]

Excellent strategy to fight terrorism

CBS News in 2005 praised the U.S. for being realistic by forging alliances with undemocratic rulers in Central Asia and the Middle East as a way to win the war against terrorism combined with skillful use of rhetoric regarding freedom.
Bush has forged alliances with undemocratic rulers in central Asia and the Middle East to obtain U.S. bases against al Qaeda. ... But the concrete benefits they gain from an alliance with the U.S. outweigh any slight embarrassment they might feel. ... And the end result of this judicious combination of idealistic ends and prudent means is that the U.S. is winning the international war on terror with the cooperation of many governments, some of them dubious. Robert Kagan of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, writing in the Washington Post, sees a further and more subtle benefit in the presidential rhetoric of liberty: It eventually undermines even our friends among dictators. [6]
Anthony Cordesman sees positive aspects of U.S. foreign policy and terrorism prevention strategies as being successful in many respects.[71] The U.S. effectively used Ethiopia to attack terrorist forces in Somalia, according to one report.
Ethiopia, with U.S. backing, invaded Somalia in December 2006 to oust the Islamic movement, which the United States accused of having ties to al-Qaeda. Ethiopia then installed a U.S.-backed transitional government headed by Abdullahi Yusuf, who analysts say has used the fight against terrorism as an excuse to attack his political and business enemies.[72]

Economic prosperity

The United States continues to survive, prosper, thrive. It has the largest economy in the world. Its foreign policy has been effective in helping it reach this economic position.

U.S. survived the Cold War

See also: Cold War
See also: Containment policy
See also: Deterrence
It successfully avoided war with a dangerous nuclear-armed power, the USSR, during the decades-long Cold War. Its deterrence strategy worked and it can work again, according to Amy Chua.
Similarly, there are hints of neo-cold-warriorism in Leslie H. Gelb’s “Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy.” Gelb, who was head of the Council on Foreign Relations, argues that deterrence is much underappreciated as a policy weapon, though it was critical to America’s victory in the cold war. He asserts that “deterrence has worked on almost all occasions when presidents positioned it clearly and firmly.”[73]
During several decades of a tense nuclear stand-off between two rival and suspicious powers, there were no nuclear exchanges. The U.S. avoided armageddon. The SALT treaties worked.

Won important wars.

It was on the winning side of major worldwide conflicts such as World War I and World War II. It fought effectively in important wars. It won its war with Mexico in Mexican-American War in 1848. It won the Spanish-American War in 1898. It achieved stalemate in regional conflicts such as the Korean War and the War of 1812.

Nuclear non-proliferation

It has discouraged nations from building nuclear weapons. As of December 2009, there have been no uses of nuclear bombs in wars after World War II. There have been no wars between nations which used nuclear weapons.

No nuclear terrorism

As of December 2009, there have been no incidents of smuggled nuclear bombs detonating cities. There have been no incidents of major bioterrorism or chemical terrorism attacks.

Many allies worldwide through steadfast support

The U.S. has a wide range of powerful allies, including Britain, France, Spain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India which it has won through steadfast support and intelligent diplomacy. The relationship between Britain and the U.S. is particularly close, and both nations have had strong ties with each other during the twentieth century.[74] The U.S. supported its ally Britain when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982, although the U.S. called on both powers to settle the dispute amicably.

Checks and balances works

U.S. foreign policy has been effective in keeping domestic government within appropriate checks and balances. No one branch of government is out of control, that is, foreign policy has helped keep the power of the different branches of government in check. In 2009, the U.S. has avoided tyranny and dictatorship within its own government.

Historical growth

See also: Manifest Destiny

Since becoming a nation with the signing of the Constitution in 1789, the U.S. has expanded steadily in size. It doubled in size following the Louisiana Purchase, and later expanded into the Oregon Territory as well as California and western states such as Arizona and New Mexico as well as Texas following the Mexican-American War. It acquired Alaska from Russia, as well as the islands of Hawaii.[75]

Assimilated immigrants successfully into society

U.S. foreign policy has permitted wide ranges of immigration throughout much of its history, and the nation has been particularly skillful at making disparate peoples, who spoke many different languages, into one people with a common heritage.

Effective strategy to deal with authoritarian regimes

The United States foreign policy has been praised as an intelligent way to handle authoritarian regimes. One analyst suggested it was smart not to push Saudi Arabia into becoming a democracy.
Imagine, for instance, a revolution in Saudi Arabia. Rebels have seized key positions in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dahran, issued a manifesto establishing a Revolutionary Salvation Council, and promised to hold elections within six months. But our intelligence suggests that key figures on the Council are linked to anti-American terror networks. Do we (a) intervene on their side in the hope of influencing the new regime, (b) intervene the side of the present royal despots, or (c) let events take their course? If we do (a), then we are true to our democratic rhetoric but we probably replace a pro-American despot with anti-American ones. Both the other options make us look hypocritical. And the third makes us look weak as well. It is almost needless to add that option (c) is the one Jimmy Carter actually chose when the shah of Iran was threatened with the Islamist revolution of 1979 that created the present terrorist state there. [6]
Robert Kagan of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace suggests a side benefit of the "presidential rhetoric of liberty" is that it subtly undermines dictatorships.
Robert Kagan of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, writing in the Washington Post, sees a further and more subtle benefit in the presidential rhetoric of liberty: It eventually undermines even our friends among dictators.[6]

U.S. has access to oil

While the U.S. needs more oil than it has, its strategy has been cited for effectiveness in getting access to oil from the Middle East.[76]

Isolationism was a smart strategy in the nineteenth century.

Time Magazine analyst John L. Steele suggested ,in an essay in 1971., that the U.S. policy of isolationism during most of the nineteenth century was effective because it helped the nation grow prosperous while avoiding foreign wars.
Isolationism, it would seem, is once again on the rise. President Nixon has used the term neo-isolationist to describe certain of his senatorial critics who would alter U.S. foreign policy or who seek a greater role for the Congress in shaping it. Once the name of a popular and viable political doctrine, isolationism today—with or without "neo" attached to it—is a pejorative word. It has no real validity in a world of instant communications, internationally linked economies, and nuclear weapons that can bridge continents at Mach 23 speed. Properly speaking, the term suggests someone who would like to disengage the U.S. from the rest of the world and return to a 19th century insularity. No doubt some Americans are experiencing an emotional recoil from foreign commitments, as a result of Viet Nam and domestic troubles. But apart from a small group of myopic radicals totally obsessed with the need for revolution at home, there are hardly any real isolationists left.[50]

The U.S. was praised for avoiding wars which tended to characterize relations between European powers throughout much of Europe's history after the Middle Ages, including wars about religion, colonial possessions, and territorial disputes.

Built the Panama Canal

The U.S. built an important canal in Panama while the nation of France failed to achieve this task. It was a daunting task requiring tremendous resources as well as engineering expertise. The canal reduced shipping costs drastically and aided worldwide growth and transport and speeded up travel times between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Arguments that U.S. foreign policy is ineffective

Foreign policy expert Zbigniew Brzezinski described policy overall following the collapse of the Soviet Union as having been done "badly."[54]

Structural problems preventing effective policy

See also: Unitary executive theory

Some blame the Constitution for an architecture of government which hampers foreign policy. While the Constitution has successfully prevented tyranny through an astute system of checks and balances, the 1789 document was designed for a backwater fledgling republic with few powerful enemies in the hemisphere. The Constitution vested substantial foreign policy in the presidency while giving important duties to the Senate regarding ratifying treaties. But even the judiciary has a role since it can rule on the constitutionality of matters such as immigration policy. As a result, there isn't one body within government which has total control over foreign policy. Since there's a limit of two four-year terms for the presidency according to the twenty-second amendment, after every eight years the administration must change, and may change after only four. Accordingly, it's difficult for the United States to stick with policies which take longer than eight years to implement. Allies have trouble trusting the word of presidents. Further, there is no constitutional requirement that presidents have experience in areas such as military duty, diplomacy, world politics, or history.

U.S. can't keep long-range commitments

There are no rules requiring incoming presidents to maintain commitments by previous presidents. So, it is impractical for any president to make long-range commitments since the next administration may decide differently. Experts such as Kissinger and Brzezinski criticize the lack of direction and planning which characterize American foreign policy and cite a need for a better planning mechanism.[77]
Brzezinski wants to establish an executive-legislative planning mechanism to inject greater coherence into foreign policy. But this proposal fails to realize that consensus can produce bad policies as well as good ones. After all, we plunged into Iraq in 2003 because Congress followed rather than resisted the White House's lead. Brzezinski also wants "stricter lobbying laws" because ethnic lobbies have too tight a hold on Uncle Sam's ear. But this exaggerates their importance.[77]
Kissinger criticized the U.S. for ineffective diplomatic follow-up to military operations as well as inability to determine diplomatic goals; the result is unfavorable situations.[78] Kissinger sees the gap between military action and political objectives as characteristic for U.S. foreign policy in the 20th century. Defense analyst Anthony Cordesman gave the U.S. failing grades in the planning department.
One thing is certain, however–it is not enough to say that the United States should have all capabilities yet provide no clear plan to achieve them. Every time the 2010 QDR dodges around defining force structure, procurement, and readiness choices, it will be intellectually dishonest and operationally dysfunctional: Another “F” instead of the “A+” effort the US so badly needs.[79]

Lack of vision

Brzezinski criticized the Clinton presidency as having a foreign policy which lacked "discipline and passion" and subjected the U.S. to "eight years of drift."..."George H.W. Bush, Brzezinski argues, was a superb crisis manager who missed the opportunity to leave a lasting imprint on U.S. foreign policy because he was not a strategic visionary. He earns a solid B. On the other hand, Bill Clinton had the intellect to craft just such a post-Cold War strategy but lacked the discipline and the passion, leading to eight years that produced more drift than direction. He gets an uneven C. Finally, the younger Bush offered "catastrophic leadership" after 9/11 that has already stamped his "presidency as a historical failure."[54]The short-term election cycle coupled with the inability to stick with long term decisions motivates presidents to focus on acts which will appease the citizenry and avoid difficult long-term choices.

Presidency is over-burdened

Presidents have not only foreign policy responsibilities, but sizeable domestic duties too. In addition, the presidency is the head of a political party. As a result, it is tough for one person to manage disparate tasks, in one view. Critics suggest Reagan was overburdened, which prevented him from doing a good job of oversight regarding the Iran–Contra affair. Brzezinski suggested in Foreign Affairs that President Obama is similarly overburdened.[80] Some suggest a need for permanent non-partisan advisers.
One specific proposal: Congress could establish a small, select "National Security Committee," composed of members with expertise in military and foreign affairs, that would periodically discuss diplomatic problems with the President on a secret but utterly frank basis. Both Congress and the President can move away from an inflationary, supercostly military procurement policy that seems, at times, aimed more at breaking the Soviets by outspending them than by providing the U.S. with what it really needs for deterrence and defense. Unless this is done, says former Under Secretary of State George Ball, the U.S. economy is in danger of becoming "a Strasbourg goose with an overdeveloped liver."[50]

Presidency pushed by partisan concerns

Ideally foreign policy is what benefits the entire nation. But since presidents are the heads of political parties, critics have charged that presidents have made foreign policy decisions not in light of the nation's best interests, but what's favorable for labor or business interests. For example, president Jefferson passed the Embargo Act of 1807 which some critics have assailed as a partisan decision, since it crippled New England maritime business interests; Jefferson's party the Democratic-Republicans was more allied with farmers.

Dollars drive foreign policy

See also: Iraq War, origins of invasion
There are indications that decisions to go to war in Iraq were motivated by oil interests; for example, a British newspaper The Independent reported that the "Bush administration is heavily involved in writing Iraq's oil law" which would "allow Western oil companies contracts of up to 30 years to pump oil out of Iraq, and the profits would be tax-free."
Remarkable indeed. Four days before Rice went before the committee, The Independent, a British newspaper, reported that the Bush administration is heavily involved in writing Iraq's oil law, a draft of which the paper said it had obtained. The law would allow Western oil companies contracts of up to 30 years to pump oil out of Iraq, and the profits would be tax-free, the newspaper reported. Many foreign and domestic critics of the war have charged that getting control of Iraq's oil — not getting rid of weapons of mass destruction — was the real motivation behind President Bush's decision to topple Saddam Hussein. [81]
[82] Whether motivated by oil or not, U.S. policy appears to much of the Arab world to have been motivated by oil.
The whole Arab world believes that we went into Iraq in order to dismantle the most powerful Arab state and get our hands on its oil for Israel's benefit and our own. That's what they believe already. (p.25) ... If it were me, I'd be up here having bicameral, bipartisan hearings on the wisdom of this choice -- not in the context of the administration's position, necessarily, but whether this is something the United States wants to do. I think it has everything to do with the supply of people to al Qaeda.[4]
Some critics assert the U.S. decision to build the Panama Canal was motivated largely by business interests despite claims that it's motivated to "spread democracy" and "end oppression."
In 1903, Colombia's congress rejected a treaty that would have allowed the United States to build and manage a canal across its province of Panama, a deal that would have greatly benefited many U.S. businesses. The government of Theodore Roosevelt quickly threw its support–diplomatic and military–behind rebels who proclaimed Panama independent and granted the United States permission to construct the Panama Canal. In all of these cases, this nation claimed its actions were motivated by the desire to spread democracy and end oppression. But in every case, this nation's business interests reaped significant financial benefits from America's intervention.[81]
Andrew Bacevich suggests policy is directed by "wealthy individuals and institutions."
But when I suggested to each of them the necessity of ending the war, I got the brushoff. More accurately, after ever so briefly pretending to listen, each treated me to a convoluted explanation that said in essence: Don't blame me. To whom do (Senators) Kennedy, Kerry and Lynch listen? We know the answer: to the same people who have the ear of George W. Bush and Karl Rove -- namely, wealthy individuals and institutions. Money buys access and influence. Money greases the process that will yield us a new president in 2008. When it comes to Iraq, money ensures that the concerns of big business, big oil, bellicose evangelicals and Middle East allies gain a hearing. By comparison, the lives of U.S. soldiers figure as an afterthought.



Money maintains the Republican/Democratic duopoly of trivialized politics. It confines the debate over U.S. policy to well-hewn channels. It preserves intact the cliches of 1933-45 about isolationism, appeasement and the nation's call to "global leadership." It inhibits any serious accounting of exactly how much our misadventure in Iraq is costing. It ignores completely the question of who actually pays. It negates democracy, rendering free speech little more than a means of recording dissent. This is not some great conspiracy. It's the way our system works.

[83]
Some critics say U.S. foreign policy does reflect the will of the people, but blames the people for having a "consumerist mentality" which causes problems.[84] In 1893, a decision to back a plot to overthrow the rulership of Hawaii by president Harrison was motivated by business interests in an effort to prevent a proposed tariff increase on sugar; Hawaii became a state afterwards.<blockquote<And while the evidence to support this theory appears to be based more on conjecture than fact, at least so far, history is not on the side of those who bristle at such a claim: In 1893, President Benjamin Harrison backed a plot by U.S. business interests in Hawaii to overthrow that country. The sugar plantation owners said they acted to stop Hawaii's queen from assuming greater power, but they were really concerned with blocking a proposed increased tariff on sugar.[81]</blockquote> There was speculation that the Spanish-American War in 1898 between the U.S. and Spain was motivated by business interests in Cuba.
Five years later, when U.S. businessmen feared their investments in Cuba were being threatened by the war that Cubans were waging to end Spanish control of that Caribbean island, President William McKinley reluctantly decided to intervene — ostensibly to free Cuba from outside domination. The fighting ended in 1898. But U.S. troops occupied Cuba for four years, leaving in 1902 only after its fledgling government was pressured into adopting a constitution that gave the United States the right to intervene in that country's affairs and land for a military base. While much of this agreement was abrogated in 1934, the United States still retains control of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base over Cuba's objection.

Presidency has conflicting duties regarding domestic versus international matters

This is primarily a concern in situations where a president may have a conflict-of-interest situation in regard to two different tasks. For example, a president seeking re-election may launch a spurious foreign policy initiative to get a "bump" in the polls.

Presidents may lack experience

Since the constitution requires no prior experience in diplomacy, government, or military service, it is possible to elect presidents with scant foreign policy experience. Clearly the record of past presidents confirms this, and that presidents who have had extensive diplomatic, military, and foreign policy experience have been the exception, not the rule. In recent years, presidents had relatively more experience in such tasks as peanut farming, acting and governing governorships than in international affairs. It has been debated whether voters are sufficiently skillful to assess the foreign policy potential of presidential candidates, since foreign policy experience is only one of a long list of attributes in which voters tend to select candidates. The second Bush was criticized for inexperience in the Washington Post for being "not versed in international relations and not too much interested."
Wilkerson blamed Bush, "not versed in international relations and not too much interested," for letting the Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal to take over. He blamed Rice for dropping her role as honest broker to "build her intimacy with the president." And he blamed whoever gave Feith "carte blanche to tell the State Department to go screw itself." [52]

Presidency has too much authority

See also: Unitary executive theory
See also: John Yoo
See also: Jack Goldsmith
In contrast to criticisms that presidential attention is divided into competing tasks, some critics charge that presidents have too much power, and that there is the potential for tyranny or fascism. Some presidents circumvented the national security decision-making process. Lawrence Wilkerson part military man and part academic] ... said past presidents had also circumvented the national security structure. But, he said,
"the case that I saw for four-plus years was a case I have never seen in my studies of aberrations, bastardizations, perturbations, changes to the national security decision-making process." [52]
Critics such as Dana D. Nelson of Vanderbilt in her book Bad for Democracy[85][86] and columnist David Sirota[87][88] and Texas law professor Sanford Levinson[89][90] see a danger in too much executive authority.

Difficulty removing an incompetent president.

Since the only way to remove an incompetent president is with the rather difficult policy of impeachment, it is possible for a marginally competent or incompetent president to stay in office for four to eight years and cause great mischief.[91][92] In recent years, there has been great attention to this issue given the presidency of George W. Bush, but there have been questions raised about the competency of Jimmy Carter in his handling of the Iran hostage crisis. Ironically, a president who was arguably the most skillful in foreign policy, Richard M. Nixon, was impeached, but for offenses linked with domestic politics.[93]

President may be incompetent

The presidency of George W. Bush has been attacked by numerous critics from both parties as being particularly incompetent, short-sighted, unthinking, and partisan. Richard Perle acknowledged recently that "Bush mostly failed to implement an effective foreign and defense policy."[94] He was also criticized for advocating a policy of insisting on democracy and free-market capitalism for all societies, even if the society had not built the infrastructure for them.
Democracies, as events in Britain and elsewhere have shown, do produce radical Islamic terrorists. They can even, as Hamas's victory demonstrates, bring terrorist organizations to power. Creating democracies in places like Iraq where no precedent for one exists is arduous. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo have compromised America's credentials in the democratization business. [95]
Brzezinski described Bush's foreign policy as "a historical failure."
George H.W. Bush, Brzezinski argues, was a superb crisis manager who missed the opportunity to leave a lasting imprint on U.S. foreign policy because he was not a strategic visionary. He earns a solid B. On the other hand, Bill Clinton had the intellect to craft just such a post-Cold War strategy but lacked the discipline and the passion, leading to eight years that produced more drift than direction. He gets an uneven C. Finally, the younger Bush offered "catastrophic leadership" after 9/11 that has already stamped his "presidency as a historical failure."

And it goes beyond unfair to argue, as Brzezinski does, that had the elder Bush deposed Saddam Hussein when he had the chance in 1991, "a subsequent U.S. president might not have gone to war in Iraq." The younger Bush chose to wage war on Iraq; he was not forced into it by the choices his father made. Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag Carter waffled from being "both too tough and too soft at the same time;" too tough on human rights and too soft on Soviet expansion.[96]

Congress excluded from foreign policy

Critic Robert McMahon thinks Congress has been excluded from foreign policy decision making, and that this is detrimental.[97] Other writers suggest a need for greater Congressional participation.
The whole Arab world believes that we went into Iraq in order to dismantle the most powerful Arab state and get our hands on its oil for Israel's benefit and our own. That's what they believe already. (p.25) ... If it were me, I'd be up here having bicameral, bipartisan hearings on the wisdom of this choice -- not in the context of the administration's position, necessarily, but whether this is something the United States wants to do. I think it has everything to do with the supply of people to al Qaeda.[81]

Lack of control over foreign policy

Some accounts blame newspaper journalism called yellow journalism for whipping up virulent pro-war sentiment to help instigate the Spanish-American War. In The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt suggest foreign policy is manipulated by lobbies, although there is disagreement about the influence of such lobbies. Former Secretary of State George Shultz denied pro-Israeli lobbies “have anything like a uniform agenda, and that U.S. policy on Israel and the Middle East is the result of their influence, is simply wrong,...This is a conspiracy theory pure and simple, and scholars at great universities should be ashamed to promulgate it.”[98] Nevertheless, Brzezinski wants stricter anti-lobbying laws.

Alienating allies

There is evidence that many U.S. allies have been alienated by a unilateral approach. Allies signaled dissatisfaction with U.S. policy in a vote at the U.N.[99][43] Brzezinski counsels listening to allies and exercising self-restraint.[100]

U.S. foreign policy manipulated by external forces

A Washington Post reporter wrote that "several less-than-democratic African leaders have skillfully played the anti-terrorism card to earn a relationship with the United States that has helped keep them in power" and suggested, in effect, that foreign dictators could manipulate U.S. policy for their own benefit.[101][102]

[72] It is possible for foreign governments to channel money through PACs to buy influence in Congress.

Exporting democracy may be ineffective

Several critics suggest America's policy of advocating democracy may be counter-productive. Yale professor Amy Chua in World On Fire suggests exporting democracy is not always a good idea, particularly when conditions are not appropriate.[41] Brzezinski agreed that an "excessive focus on spreading democracy to defeat terrorism was dangerous," particularly in nations such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, or China. "Democratization was feasible in a country like Ukraine, but not, he insisted, in Saudi Arabia, or Iraq or China. "The coming to power of Hamas is a very good example of excessive pressure for democratization," Brzezinski, a Democrat who served as President Jimmy Carter's top security official, declared."

"His argument has been deployed a lot of late. It runs something like this: promote democracy in places not ready for it, like a putative Palestinian state or Iraq, and you end up with a terrorist organization in power intent on the destruction of Israel or with the power vacuum of Baghdad. In other words, Bush the ideologue of democracy is dangerous and his simplistic focus on freedom inimical to American interests. Realpolitik may be less romantic but it delivers America from adventures costly in blood and treasure. [103]

"There are plenty of holes, of course, in Bush's position (as well as his language). Democracies, as events in Britain and elsewhere have shown, do produce radical Islamic terrorists. They can even, as Hamas's victory demonstrates, bring terrorist organizations to power. Creating democracies in places like Iraq where no precedent for one exists is arduous. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo have compromised America's credentials in the democratization business.[103]

Analyst Jessica Tuchman Mathews of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace agreed that imposing democracy "from scratch" was unwise, and didn't work.
Olivier Roy, the distinguished French expert in this field, points out that the West has tried three different approaches with this area and that all three have failed. We have tried to strengthen the existing authoritarian regimes. We've tried reforming the existing authoritarian regimes, almost, in some cases, to the point of their collapse. And we've tried to impose democracy from scratch. None have worked. What we have not tried to do is to build democracy with the participation of the prevailing political forces in these states, and those forces today are Islamist. They cannot be end-run; they must be engaged. We should be engaged with moderate Islamist forces–and by that I mean those that have renounced the use of violence as a political tool, even when we find others of their views uncomfortable or even abhorrent.[81]
God was satisfied with Ten Commandments. Wilson gives us fourteen. — Attr. Georges Clemenceau

Realist critics such as George Kennan argued U.S. responsibility is only to protect its own citizens and that Washington should deal with other governments on that basis alone; they criticize president Woodrow Wilson's emphasis on democracy promotion and nation-building although it wasn't mentioned in Wilson's Fourteen Points,[104] and the failure of the League of Nations to enforce international will regarding Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan in the 1930s. Realist critics attacked the idealism of Wilson as being ill-suited for weak states created at the Paris Peace Conference. Others, however, criticize the U.S. Senate's decision not to join the League of Nations which was based on isolationist public sentiment as being one cause for the organization's ineffectiveness.

Ineffective public relations

One report suggests that news source Al-Jazeera routinely paints the U.S. as evil throughout the Mideast.[55] Wilkerson said, quoting an Egyptian friend.
And how about Karen Hughes's efforts to boost the country's image abroad? "It's hard to sell [manure],"[52]
[105] As a result of faulty policy and lackluster public relations, the U.S. has a severe image problem in the Mideast, according to Anthony Cordesman.[106] Analyst Mathews said that it appears to much of the Arab world that we went to war in Iraq for oil, whether we did or not.
The whole Arab world believes that we went into Iraq in order to dismantle the most powerful Arab state and get our hands on its oil for Israel's benefit and our own. That's what they believe already. (p.25) ... If it were me, I'd be up here having bicameral, bipartisan hearings on the wisdom of this choice -- not in the context of the administration's position, necessarily, but whether this is something the United States wants to do. I think it has everything to do with the supply of people to al Qaeda.[81]
In a 2007 poll by BBC News asking which countries are seen as having a "negative influence in the world," the survey found that Israel, Iran, United States and North Korea had the most negative influence, while nations such as Canada, Japan and the European Union had the most positive influence.[107]

Ineffective prosecution of war

Early 19th century
Going back to the 19th Century, there is criticism that the U.S. fought wars ineffectively. There have been historical criticisms of U.S. warmaking capability; in the War of 1812, the U.S. was unable to conquer Canada despite several attempts and having superior resources;
Until the outbreak of World War I, the U.S. consistently followed a policy of isolationism—at least in the all-important sense of acting alone—even as its actual isolation from the rest of the world gradually disappeared. To be sure, the U.S. invaded Canada in 1812, and gradually eliminated the British, French, Spanish and Mexican presence from within its continental borders. It also fought Spain in Cuba and the Philippines. But in all these enterprises, the U.S. took a unilateral stance and confined most of its treaty obligations to such limited matters as fishing and sealing rights, immigration and trade.[50]

The U.S. Capitol was burned and the settlement ending the war did not bring any major concessions from the British.[108]

Amy Chua thinks the Iraq war has been managed inefficiently, with wasteful spending.[109] One estimate is that the Iraq War along with the "war on terror" cost $551 billion, or $597 billion in 2009 dollars.
|quote= Original Cost: $551 billion Inflation Adjusted Cost: $597 billion. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President George Bush declared a new War on Terror with the stated objectives of securing the homeland and disrupt the international terrorist networks. In October 2001, the US and its allies launched Operation Enduring Freedom and invaded Afghanistan. |publisher= CNBC[110]
Boston University professor Andrew Bacevich has criticized American profligacy.
Perhaps the most persuasive work in this vein is Andrew Bacevich’s searing manifesto, “The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism.” Excoriating American profligacy and delusions of military invincibility, Bacevich calls for a foreign policy rooted in humility and realism. Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

Excessive defense spending

In the 1960s, Martin Luther King Jr. criticized excessive U.S. spending on military projects.[111] Even in 1971, a Time Magazine essayist wondered why there were 375 major foreign military bases around the world with 3,000 lesser military facilities and concluded "there is no question that the U.S. today has too many troops scattered about in too many places."[50]

In a 2010 defense report, Cordesman criticized out-of-control military spending.[112] Expenditures to fight the War on Terror are vast and seem limitless.[113] The Iraq war was expensive and continues to be a severe drain on U.S. finances.
In testimony before the House Oversight Committee's National Security and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee, Carnegie President Jessica T. Mathews delivered remarks entitled: “Six Years Later: Assessing Long-Term Threats, Risks and the U.S. Strategy for Security in a Post-9/11 World.” The Iraq war will be the turning point that changes the basic parameters of our security picture for decades. The war's monopoly on our political energy, which has now stretched to five years–an eon in a time of fast-moving global change–is one of its greatest uncounted costs.



However, if Congress wanted to save $200 billion a year it could get the same security we now do through the right cuts in the existing $600 billion defense budget. But there is a whole lot of politics buried in that. And I think every close student of the defense budget believes that at least a third is wasted. So I recognize that that is a politically unrealistic thing perhaps to say. (p.18)

[81]
Bacevich thinks the U.S. has a tendency to resort to military means to try to solve diplomatic problems.[114]

Mistakes regarding wars

For more information, see: Vietnam, war, and the United States.

The Vietnam War was a costly, decade-long military engagement which ended in defeat, and the mainstream view today is that the entire war was a mistake. The dollar cost was $111 billion, or $698 billion in 2009 dollars.[115] Similarly, the second Iraq war is viewed by many as being a mistake, since there were no weapons of mass destruction found, and the war continues today.

Problem areas festering

Critics point to a list of countries or regions where continuing foreign policy problems continue to present problems. These areas include South America,[116] including Ecuador,[117] Venezuela,[116] Bolivia,[116] Uruguay,[116] and Brazil.[116] There are difficulties with Central American nations such as Honduras.

But in recent weeks, the elections in Honduras and Brazil's open support for Iran, as well as Colombia's decision to allow U.S. anti-narcotics troops to use its military bases, have soured the atmosphere.
</br /> On Honduras, Brazil -- supported by Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua, among others -- has refused to recognize the recent election. On the other hand, the United States -- supported by Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica and Panama -- says it will recognize the Honduran vote.

On Iran, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva recently gave a red-carpet welcome to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, giving Iran's racist president a much-needed international image boost after the United States and much of the world blasted Iran's nuclear program and Ahmadinejad's dubious election victory earlier this year. In a telephone interview, Arturo Valenzuela, the head of the U.S. State Department's office of Western Hemisphere affairs, downplayed the rift in U.S.-South American relations. He said Brazil and Washington see eye to eye on most issues, although he highlighted U.S. concerns about Lula's support for Iran.[118]
Iran’s nuclear ambitions and missile programs, and their interactions with its growing capabilities for asymmetric warfare, are becoming steadily more critical security issues for the United States, Iran’s neighbors, and the international community. The foreign and domestic policy implications for the United States will be a major issue that the Obama administration must address during its first months in office. Iran’s actions, and the Iraq War, have already made major changes in the military balance in the Gulf and the Middle East. Iran may still be several years to half a decade away from becoming a meaningful nuclear power, but even a potential Iranian nuclear weapon has already led Iran’s neighbors, the United States, and Israel to focus on the nuclear threat it can pose and its long-range missile programs. Iran, as well, presents problems with nuclear proliferation.[119]
Pakistan is unstable,[120] there is active conflict in Afghanistan.[121] The Mideast in general continues to fester,
Olivier Roy, the distinguished French expert in this field, points out that the West has tried three different approaches with this area and that all three have failed. We have tried to strengthen the existing authoritarian regimes. We've tried reforming the existing authoritarian regimes, almost, in some cases, to the point of their collapse. And we've tried to impose democracy from scratch. None have worked. What we have not tried to do is to build democracy with the participation of the prevailing political forces in these states, and those forces today are Islamist. They cannot be end-run; they must be engaged. We should be engaged with moderate Islamist forces -- and by that I mean those that have renounced the use of violence as a political tool, even when we find others of their views uncomfortable or even abhorrent.

|publisher = Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Relations with India are improving.[122] Policy towards Russia remains uncertain.
For a decade, Russia, with its unpredictable and uncertain prospects, nevertheless remained at the center of U.S. policy, not as adversary but as a weakened and uncertain nuclear super power in search of its new international role. But 9/11 changed the American paradigm. For most of this decade, the Bush administration’s focus on the global war against terrorism and emergence of new global power alignments led the United States to give lessened priority to Russia. As a consequence, Russia’s role in U.S. policy diminished, and America’s policy often lacked coherence or strategy. The results were unfortunate and consequential. As America looked elsewhere, Russia’s economic, political, and international recovery was accompanied by increased international capacity and determination to defend its interests more forcefully. This process culminated in the brief but bloody war in the Caucasus that abruptly returned Russia to a central place in U.S. policy calculations. But this return only underscored the price of neglect. U.S.–Russia relations had reached their lowest point since the end of the Cold War. [123]
With respect to China,
Its capital account, while not closed per se, is adequate for handling the vagaries of speculative inflows and capital flight. Furthermore, China's economic growth is principally the result of domestic demand, not exports. Blaming it for the current crisis, although fashionable in some quarters, ignores a basic fact: while the American housing bubble began in 2000, China's oft-criticized trade surpluses did not become significant until the end of 2004. In reality, the crisis has its roots in four developments: (1) growing income inequality in the United States, (2) lobbying influence that prevents American politicians from imposing adequate regulatory oversight in the financial sector, (3) proliferation of complex but poorly regulated financial instruments in recent decades, and (4) imprudently sustained monetary policy injecting excessive liquidity into the U.S. and hence global economies after 2001.



History has no examples, that I know of, of a rapidly rising new power not producing at least tension and usually outright conflict as it enters the circle of major states. China knows this very well, and it has a strong desire to avoid conflict; hence its slogan, "Peaceful Rise." Conflict is bad for business, after all, and above all, China wants to grow. Yet if the past is any guide, and I think it is, it's going to be very difficult to manage China's rise peacefully, especially in an energy-constrained world that must begin to deal seriously with climate change ... We are on the right track now, I think, generally, with China. But if by our behavior we, over the coming years, turn China into an enemy; if we get China wrong, that, other than the failure to rescue the nonproliferation regime, will be the single most dangerous, worst mistake we can make.[4]
In addition, there are problems not confined to particular regions, but regarding new technologies. Cyberspace is a constantly changing technological area with foreign policy repercussions.
As a result of its speed, anonymity, and global reach, the Internet has become a powerful tool for Islamist extremists to raise funds, recruit new members, and spread their ideology. Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, Christopher Boucek highlighted an innovative Saudi model for governments looking to short-circuit Islamic extremism on the web... The United States should quietly partner with NGOs and other governments to help establish national versions of the Sakinah Campaign throughout the Muslim world. Such campaigns would benefit significantly from American financial support and technical know-how... At the same time, the United States should be careful to avoid any visible role. As the Saudi case has demonstrated, the legitimacy of such counter-radicalization programs hinges on their perceived independence from government—and particularly Western government—influence. [4]
Climate change is an unresolved foreign policy issue, particularly depending on whether nations can agree to work together to limit possible future risks.
And finally we have to tackle climate change, which means that we at long last, as Bob Lieber has just said, need a national energy policy. Voluntary policies are a joke. Research only policies are a copout. Research is necessary but not sufficient. And no serious national objective has ever been pursued on a voluntary basis. And the policy must begin, must be built on, must be based on, the recognition that by far the largest pieces, most quickly accessible and most climate sensitive energy resource that we have is drastic improvement in energy efficiency in every sector.[4]

Ineffective strategy to fight terrorism

Critic Cordesman criticized U.S. strategy to combat terrorism as not having enough emphasis on getting Islamic republics to fight terrorism themselves.[124] Sometimes visitors, such as Adam Habib and Tariq Ramadan, have been misidentified as "terrorists."[125] Mathews suggests the risk of nuclear terrorism remains unprevented.[81]

Historical instances of ineffective policies

Generally during the nineteenth century, and in early parts of the twentieth century, the U.S. pursued a policy of isolationism and generally avoided entanglements with European powers. After World War I, Time Magazine writer John L. Steele thought the U.S. tried to return to an isolationist stance, but that this was unproductive.
The anti-internationalist movement reached a peak of influence in the years just before World War II. Its primary goal was to prevent the U.S. from becoming entangled in the looming war in Europe. Hapless remnants of isolationism persisted for a decade after the war ended, as a score of Senators (most of them Midwestern Republicans) sought unavailingly to defeat such undertakings as the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan and NATO. But for all practical purposes, the doctrine died with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Senator Arthur Vandenberg wrote in his diary: "That day ended isolationism for any realist." The postwar efforts to keep the flame alive were merely, as Arthur Schlesinger Jr. put it, "the last convulsive outbreak of an old nostalgia." [50]
But Steele questioned whether this policy was effective; regardless, isolationism ended quickly after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.[126] Analysts have wondered whether the U.S. pursued the correct strategy with Japan before World War II; by denying Japan access to precious raw materials, it is possible that U.S. policy triggered the surprise attack and, as a result, the U.S. had to fight a two-front war in both the Far East as well as Europe during World War II. While it may be the case that the Mideast is a difficult region with no easy solutions to avoiding conflict, since this volatile region is at the junction of three continents; still, many analysts think U.S. policy could have been improved substantially. The U.S. waffled; there was no vision; presidents kept changing policy. Public opinion in different regions of the world thinks that, to some extent, the 9/11 attacks were an outgrowth of substandard U.S. policy towards the region.[127] The Vietnam War was a decade-long mistake.[128]

See also

References

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  70. Amy Chua. Where Is U.S. Foreign Policy Headed?, 'The New York Times: Sunday Book Review', October 22, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-12-21. “For example, the influential historian Niall Ferguson, the author of “The Ascent of Money,” argues convincingly that it is far too early to write off the United States. As he observed earlier this year in an essay for The American Interest, American business has repeatedly rebounded from disastrous financial crises through technological innovation — RCA, DuPont and I.B.M. after the Great Depression; Microsoft and Apple in the 1970s.”
  71. Anthony H. Cordesman, Erin K. Fitzgerald. The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Sep 8, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-12-22. “Ultimately, the review seeks to answer the question of whether the US should posture its forces and focus its acquisitions on dealing with conventional threats from rising peer competitors or more asymmetric threats emanating from weak and failing states. Secretary Gates’ terms of reference emphasized “balance” between these two competing priorities, stressing the need to institutionalize capabilities such as counterinsurgency while maintaining the existing US conventional technological edge against other countries.”
  72. 72.0 72.1 Stephanie McCrummen. U.S. Policy in Africa Faulted on Priorities: Security Is Stressed Over Democracy, 'Washington Post', February 22, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-12-22. “He cited Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who cast himself as a staunch U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism at a time when he was facing growing criticism for his increasingly dictatorial rule. Museveni, who has been in power for more than 20 years, changed the constitution ahead of the 2006 election to allow himself a third term, and jailed a leading opposition candidate. As U.S. ambassador, James Kolker was critical of Museveni's government, but his successor was less vocal as the United States pressed Museveni to send peacekeepers to Somalia. Uganda sent 1,500 troops as part of an African Union force that has had trouble pulling in other participants. "Museveni has very cleverly played the U.S. like a violin," said Barkan, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.”
  73. Amy Chua. Where Is U.S. Foreign Policy Headed?, 'The New York Times: Sunday Book Review', October 22, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-12-21.
  74. Catherine Mayer. The Red Sox Fan From Britain, 'Time Magazine', Jul. 26, 2007. Retrieved on 2009-12-21. “Not so, says an emphatic Miliband, who has rejected manifold opportunities to play to the gallery in Britain and elsewhere by so much as hinting at a cooling of relations with Washington. "Our relationship with the U.S. is our single most important bilateral relationship. It's as important under this government as it was under the last government. There are certain shared values but also from our point of view the recognition that America is the world's largest economy and the world's largest military power as well." He adds: "There's not a single anti-American in the U.K. government."”
  75. DeWayne Wickham. Dollars, not just democracy, often drive U.S. foreign policy, 'USA Today', January 16, 2007. Retrieved on 2009-12-22.
  76. DeWayne Wickham. Dollars, not just democracy, often drive U.S. foreign policy, 'USA Today', January 16, 2007. Retrieved on 2009-12-22. “Remarkable indeed. Four days before Rice went before the committee, The Independent, a British newspaper, reported that the Bush administration is heavily involved in writing Iraq's oil law, a draft of which the paper said it had obtained. The law would allow Western oil companies contracts of up to 30 years to pump oil out of Iraq, and the profits would be tax-free, the newspaper reported. Many foreign and domestic critics of the war have charged that getting control of Iraq's oil — not getting rid of weapons of mass destruction — was the real motivation behind President Bush's decision to topple Saddam Hussein.”
  77. 77.0 77.1 Nation: Kissinger: What Next for the U.S.?, 'Time Magazine', May. 12, 1980. Retrieved on 2009-12-21. “This Administration has no coherent philosophy. If in the fourth year of an Administration, the Secretary of State resigns over principle, that is not a trivial matter. And it explains why it is that foreign peoples and foreign leaders have such a sense of uncertainty about where we are going.”
  78. Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
  79. Anthony Cordesman, Erin K. Fitzgerald. The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, 'CSIS: Center for Strategic and International Studies', Sep 8, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-12-22.
  80. Zbigniew Brzezinski. From Hope to Audacity: Appraising Obama’s Foreign Policy (I), 'Foreign Affairs', 2010-01. Retrieved on 2010-01-11. “Obama himself is the main source of the strategic direction, but, unavoidably, he is able to play this role on only a part-time basis. ... As a result, his grand redefinition of U.S. foreign policy is vulnerable to dilution or delay...”
  81. 81.0 81.1 81.2 81.3 81.4 81.5 81.6 81.7 DeWayne Wickham. Dollars, not just democracy, often drive U.S. foreign policy, 'USA Today', January 16, 2007. Retrieved on 2009-12-22.
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  83. Andrew J. Bacevich. I Lost My Son to a War I Oppose. We Were Both Doing Our Duty., 'Washington Post', May 27, 2007. Retrieved on 2009-12-21.
  84. Alex Kingsbury. How America Is Squandering Its Wealth and Power: Andrew Bacevich, a military veteran and scholar, blames the Bush administration and the American people., 'U.S. News & World Report', August 19, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-12-21. “Most important is to see the connection between the American way of life and the foreign policy that our government conducts. There are some critics of American foreign policy, Noam Chomsky, for instance, who portray U.S. foreign policy as a great conspiracy where certain elites pull the wool over the eyes of the people to benefit themselves and their cronies. I've come to believe that U.S. foreign policy is broadly conceived to reflect the will of the American people.”
  85. Nelson, Dana D. (2008). Bad for Democracy: How the Presidency Undermines the Power of the People. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 248. ISBN 978-0-8166-5677-6. 
  86. The Conquest of Presidentialism, The Huffington Post, August 22, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-09-20.
  87. David Sirota. Why cult of presidency is bad for democracy, 'San Francisco Chronicle', August 22, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-09-20.
  88. David Sirota. U.S. moving toward czarism, away from democracy, 'San Francisco Chronicle', January 18, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-09-21.
  89. Sanford Levinson. “Wartime Presidents and the Constitution: From Lincoln to Obama” -- speech by Sanford Levinson at Wayne Morse Center, 'Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics', February 5, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  90. Anand Giridharadas. Edging Out Congress and the Public, 'New York Times', September 25, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  91. Error on call to Template:cite web: Parameters url and title must be specifiedSanford Levinson (September 17, 2008). . University of Texas School of Law. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  92. Sanford Levinson (LA Times article available on website) (October 16, 2006). Our Broken Constitution. University of Texas School of Law -- News & Events. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  93. Richard Zoglin. TELEVISION: Nixon Without Nostalgia, Time Magazine, Aug. 08, 1994. Retrieved on 2009-11-08. “paranoid Nixon White House of the early '70s, so obsessed with political foes that it had a psychiatrist's office burglarized to get dirt on Daniel Ellsberg (who had released the Pentagon papers) and ordered the fateful break-in at the offices of the Democratic National Committee.”
  94. Fareed Zakaria. Why Washington Worries–Obama has made striking moves to fix U.S. foreign policy—and that has set off a chorus of criticism., 'Newsweek', Mar 14, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-12-18.
  95. Roger Cohen. Freedom May Rock Boat, but It Can't Be Selective, 'The New York Times', April 5, 2006. Retrieved on 2009-12-21.
  96. Nation: Kissinger: What Next for the U.S.?, 'Time Magazine', May. 12, 1980. Retrieved on 2009-12-21.
  97. Robert McMahon, Council on Foreign Relations. The Impact of the 110th Congress on U.S. Foreign Policy, 'Washington Post', December 24, 2007. Retrieved on 2009-12-21. “The 2006 elections brought Democratic majorities to the House of Representatives and the Senate, with a new leadership determined to change U.S. policy in Iraq. In the first year of the 110th Congress, Democratic lawmakers steadily challenged President Bush but failed to budge policy on Iraq. Their impact on other foreign policy issues was mixed. Their inability to pass legislation on immigration, domestic surveillance, and other chief issues contributed to sliding approval ratings in surveys like the USA Today/Gallup poll issued at the end of 2007. On the other hand, they fulfilled pledges to bolster some homeland security protections and passed an energy package with sweeping changes to vehicle fuel economy and other conservation efforts.”
  98. Patricia Cohen. Backlash Over Book on Policy for Israel, 'The New York Times: Books', August 16, 2007. Retrieved on 2009-12-18.
  99. Tony Karon, Stewart Stogel. U.N. Defeat Was a Message from Washington's Allies, 'Time Magazine', May 04, 2001. Retrieved on 2009-12-22. “The most important fact in Washington's failure on Thursday to be reelected for the first time since 1947 to the U.N. Human Rights Commission is that it was America's friends, not its enemies, that engineered the defeat. After all, the likes of China and Cuba and other targets of U.S.-led criticism in the committee were always going to vote and lobby against Washington; the shock came in the fact that the European and other Western nations that traditionally ensured U.S. reelection turned their backs on Washington.”
  100. James M. Lindsay (book reviewer). The Superpower Blues: Zbigniew Brzezinski says we have one last shot at getting the post-9/11 world right. book review of "Second Chance" by Zbigniew Brzezinski, 'The Washington Post', March 25, 2007. Retrieved on 2009-12-21. “Technology has made global "have-nots" painfully conscious of their relative deprivation. It has also given them the tools to punish those they see as blocking their aspirations. If the United States is to avoid becoming the target of their resentment, its foreign policy must be seen as serving their interests as well as its own. That means exercising self-restraint rather than pressing every advantage that comes to a superpower; it means listening to others and not just working to preserve our own peace and prosperity but helping others to build their own.”
  101. Stephanie McCrummen. U.S. Policy in Africa Faulted on Priorities: Security Is Stressed Over Democracy, 'Washington Post', February 22, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-12-22. “"You can see it in several ways, but it's mainly the subordination of democratization to the so-called war on terror." Money for once-robust programs aimed at strengthening democratic institutions such as courts and parliaments has dried up, Barkan said. And critics say that several less-than-democratic African leaders have skillfully played the anti-terrorism card to earn a relationship with the United States that has helped keep them in power.”
  102. Stephanie McCrummen. U.S. Policy in Africa Faulted on Priorities: Security Is Stressed Over Democracy, 'Washington Post', February 22, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-12-22. “"Dictators are using and abusing the U.S. anti-terrorism campaign for their own ends," said Marara Gudina, a member of Parliament who chairs an opposition party in Ethiopia. "I think democracy is secondary on the list of U.S. policy priorities." In Sudan, analysts have suggested that U.S. reliance on Sudanese counterterrorism intelligence has prevented a tougher stance on the crisis in the country's western Darfur region, where a government crackdown on rebels has left as many as 450,000 people dead and 2.5 million displaced. Charles Onyango-Obbo, a columnist in Kenya who writes about the region, said some African leaders with good relations with the United States often feel so powerful that they see no need to engage with opposition groups.”
  103. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named NYT2006-04-05
  104. 15px Fourteen Points Speech
  105. Stephanie McCrummen. U.S. Policy in Africa Faulted on Priorities: Security Is Stressed Over Democracy, 'Washington Post', February 22, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-12-22. “While Bush has received praise across the continent for his fight against malaria and AIDS, many Africans who hoped that the United States would support their struggle for more just and open societies have been disappointed. They include opposition groups, human rights activists, intellectuals, professionals and, significantly in Kenya and Somalia, moderate Muslims who've felt unjustly targeted in the U.S.-driven hunt for terrorism suspects. "There was a time when Muslims here would trust the U.S.," said Ibrahim Ahmed, a lawyer who ran for Kenya's parliament last year. "As a Muslim, I can say that U.S. foreign policy has really destroyed the trust that existed."”
  106. Anthony H. Cordesman. Winning the War on Terrorism: The Need for a Fundamentally Different Strategy (see pdf file p.3), 'CSIS: Center for Strategic and International Studies', Sep 25, 2006. Retrieved on 2009-12-22. “From a purely American perspective, the United States needs to understand that it can only use its influence and its counterterrorism and military capabilities if it changes its image in the Islamic world. The importance of changing the U.S. image does, however, go far beyond public diplomacy. In fact, it is important to all Western efforts to push for reform in the Middle East and essential to “winning” the global campaign against counterterrorism. While U.S. public diplomacy has been a failure, it is the policies that are being communicated that create the problem, and not the way they are being “sold.” The American image in the Islamic and Arab worlds is a key factor in building popular support and tolerance for extremist and terrorism movements. This anger against the United States is not directed at its values or “democracy,” but rather at tangible issues like the U.S. role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Iraq War and the other U.S. policies in the Middle East. It is shaped by the perception that the U.S. reaction to 9/11 has gone beyond counterterrorism to a broad hostility to Islam and Arabs.”
  107. Nick Childs. Israel, Iran top 'negative list', 'BBC News', 2007-03-06. Retrieved on 2009-12-26. “A majority of people believe that Israel and Iran have a mainly negative influence in the world, a poll for the BBC World Service suggests. It shows that the two countries are closely followed by the United States and North Korea. The poll asked 28,000 people in 27 countries to rate a dozen countries plus the EU in terms of whether they have a positive or negative influence. Canada, Japan and the EU are viewed most positively in the survey.”
  108. Books: Mr. Madison's War, 'Time Magazine', Nov. 03, 1961. Retrieved on 2009-12-27. “Worst of all, Madison suffered the humiliation of having to flee Washington before a British army, which casually put the torch to the White House. At war's end, Madison did not win a single major concession from the British in the settlement.”
  109. Amy Chua. Where Is U.S. Foreign Policy Headed?, 'The New York Times: Sunday Book Review', October 22, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-12-21. “One of Bacevich’s most interesting arguments is that the astronomical costs of the Iraq war–not just unregulated hedge funds and subprime mortgages–contributed directly to the 2008 financial collapse. By 2007, he writes, “the U.S. command in Baghdad was burning through $3 billion per week. That same year, the overall costs of the Iraq war topped the $500 billion mark.””
  110. Gulf War II / War on Terror, 2009-12-27. Retrieved on 2009-12-27.
  111. Patrick W. Gavin. The Martin Luther King Jr. America has ignored, 'Christian Science Monitor', January 16, 2004. Retrieved on 2009-12-22. “It is equally unlikely that King, who warned that "a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death," would support the huge price tag of our war with Iraq, especially when Iraq's link to the events of Sept. 11 is nebulous at best, and when there are serious economic concerns at home.”
  112. Anthony Cordesman, Erin K. Fitzgerald. The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Sep 8, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-12-22. “The issues the QDR must address have been greatly complicated by the Department of Defense’s past failures to develop effective plans, programs, and budgets; carry out effective systems analysis; develop credible cost estimates; and create timely and meaningful future year defense plans (FYDPs). The combined cost of war, rising military manpower costs, the underfunding of operations and maintenance, and a procurement crisis in every service will force the Obama Administration to reshape almost every aspect of current defense plans, programs, and budgets in the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, if the situation is to be improved in any way. Worst among the problems was the failure to properly manage the procurement process, which reached such a point of crisis that it forced the current Administration to take action. So many major weapons systems programs were stuck in a morass of rising costs, development problems, and requirements debates that Defense Secretary Gates terminated several key programs in his FY2010 budget announcement in April 2009.”
  113. Anthony Cordesman. The Uncertain Cost of the Global War on Terror, 'CSIS: Center for Strategic and International Studies', Aug 9, 2007. Retrieved on 2009-12-22. “At the same time however, the dollar cost of the war is scarcely something that U.S. strategy and military planning can ignore. There is no end in sight to either the conflict in Iraq or Afghanistan, and there is no way to predict the final cost in either blood or dollars ... There is no way to do more than guess at the ultimate cost of the Iraq War, the Afghan War, and the war on terrorism. CBO projected the cost of war for the 2008-2017 period under two scenarios. The first case assumes a more rapid drawdown of the troops deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places in support of GWOT operations; the cost in such a situation would range from $481 to $603 billion, depending on the duration of the surge in Iraq. Under a second scenario, assuming a more gradual drawdown, the extra cost for the next decade would be between $924 and $1,010 billion, again depending on how long the current level of troops is maintained in Iraq.”
  114. Alex Kingsbury. How America Is Squandering Its Wealth and Power: Andrew Bacevich, a military veteran and scholar, blames the Bush administration and the American people., 'U.S. News & World Report', August 19, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-12-21. “The end of the Cold War and the first Persian Gulf War both bred in Americans a bipartisan infatuation with military power. But nobody captured that better than [then Secretary of State] Madeleine Albright's famous question to Colin Powell about the value of bragging about having a great army if you're never going use it. By the 1990s, we came to believe that military power was the most effective instrument for bringing about change in the world. Conservatives and liberals differed on the priorities for that military power and what kind of change needed to be brought about, but there was a united understanding of the effectiveness of high-tech military power. But this perception tended to minimize what had been the historical experience of war, in which the resort to arms time and time again produces unintended consequences.”
  115. Vietnam War, 'CNBC', 2009-12-27. Retrieved on 2009-12-27. “Original Cost: $111 billion Inflation Adjusted Cost: $698 billion Like the Korean War, the Vietnam War was another proxy war in the broader Cold War with North Vietnam supported by its communist allies and South Vietnam supported by the United States and its allies. Americans were deeply divided over the costs and benefits of the longest war in its history, including the deaths of over 58,000 US servicemen.”
  116. 116.0 116.1 116.2 116.3 116.4 Deborah Charles, Anthony Boadle. Clinton: U.S. worried by Venezuelan arms purchases, 'Reuters', 2009-12-21. Retrieved on 2009-12-21. “"We have expressed concerned about the number of Venezuelan arms purchases. They outpace all other countries in South America and certainly raise questions as to whether there is going to be an arms race in the region," Clinton told reporters after a meeting with Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez. The State Department said on Monday that President Hugo Chavez' announcement that Russia would loan Venezuela $2.2 billion to purchase 92 tanks and advanced anti-aircraft missiles might spur other countries to add arms.”
  117. Alonso Soto. Ecuador says CIA controls part of its intelligence, 'Reuters', Apr 5, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-12-22. “QUITO (Reuters) - Ecuador's president accused the CIA on Saturday of controlling many of his country's spy agencies, in comments that could fray ties with Washington and drag it into Ecuador's feud with neighboring Colombia. President Rafael Correa has fired a top intelligence officer and plans to overhaul spy agencies for belatedly informing him about links between Colombian rebels and an Ecuadorian who died in Colombia's raid inside Ecuador last month that sparked a regional crisis. "Many of our intelligence agencies have been taken over by the CIA," the leftist leader said during his weekly radio show. "Through the CIA, information found here was passed to Colombia to improve their position" in the dispute.”
  118. Andres Oppenheimer. Latin America's honeymoon with Obama may be over, 'Miami Herald', 2009-12-06. Retrieved on 2009-12-21.
  119. Anthony H. Cordesman, Adam Seitz. Iranian Weapons of Mass Destruction, 'CSIS: Center for Strategic and International Studies', Jan 22, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-12-22.
  120. David S. Broder. A Candidate At Home In Scranton, 'Washington Post', August 25, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-12-22. “Twenty years later, few of his colleagues in either party would dispute that he has done that. With his Republican partner, Richard Lugar of Indiana, he has rehabilitated the reputation of the Foreign Relations Committee and made it a vehicle for exceptionally thoughtful examinations of U.S. foreign policy. A consistent critic of Bush administration policy in Iraq and Pakistan, Biden has had more impact on the thinking of other decision makers than he ever did on voters when he returned to the campaign trail as a presidential candidate last year.”
  121. Gilles Dorronsoro. Fixing a Failed Strategy in Afghanistan, 'Carnegie Endowment for International Peace', 2009-11-01. Retrieved on 2009-12-22. “As the debate on future U.S. strategy draws to a close, the war in Afghanistan is spreading to the North (an area that had previously been relatively quiet), the balance of power in Afghanistan has shifted in the Taliban’s favor, and the Afghan government continues to lose legitimacy in the eyes of the population and international community. In order to correct a failing strategy, the United States and its allies need to protect cities and reallocate more resources to the North. Gilles Dorronsoro explains that more troops alone will not fix a flawed approach...”
  122. Ashley J. Tellis. Manmohan Singh Visits Washington: Sustaining U.S.–Indian Cooperation Amid Differences, 'Carnegie Endowment for International Peace', November 2009. Retrieved on 2009-12-22. “The Obama administration should announce its support for a permanent seat for India on the United Nations Security Council during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the White House next week, contends a new policy brief by Ashley J. Tellis. Although it would produce no immediate results, the bold declaration would signal New Delhi’s growing importance to Washington, and the Obama administration’s recognition of the changing global center of gravity. During Singh’s visit, both countries will likely announce new programs on areas ranging from agriculture and counterterrorism to medicine, energy, trade, and more. Tellis identifies two areas where cooperation will be most challenging, and most vital: nonproliferation and climate change.”
  123. {{cite news |author = James Collins |title = Opportunities for the U.S.-Russia Relationship
  124. Anthony H. Cordesman. Winning the War on Terrorism: The Need for a Fundamentally Different Strategy, 'CSIS: Center for Strategic and International Studies', Sep 25, 2006. Retrieved on 2009-12-22. “The latest events in Somalia are yet another warning that the United States, its Western allies and Islamic nations need to change their strategies to win the “war on terrorism.” The basic lessons have been the same in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the Islamic world. The present mix of Western action and Islamic inaction cannot possibly win.”
  125. Scott Baldauf. South African fights denial of U.S. visa–Adam Habib, a scholar and Iraq war critic, was denied a visa to the US for 'links to terrorism.', 'Christian Science Monitor', November 16, 2007. Retrieved on 2009-12-18. “The US government has not directly declared Adam Habib, a respected social scientist and deputy vice chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, a terrorist. But when Mr. Habib asked why he was denied entry at immigration at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport in October 2006, and denied a visa this past summer, the US Embassy in Pretoria handed him the statute under which his visa was denied.”
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  127. Joel Roberts. Europe Polled On Why 9/11 Happened, 'CBS News', Sept. 4, 2002. Retrieved on 2009-12-21. “According to a new poll, a majority of people surveyed in six European countries believe American foreign policy is partly to blame for the Sept. 11 attacks ... The French were most critical of U.S. foreign policy, with 63 percent saying U.S. foreign policy was partly to blame for the attacks. The Italians were the least critical - 51 percent of them blamed U.S. policy for Sept. 11. Among the other four countries, 57 percent of Britons, 52 percent of Germans, 59 percent of Dutch and 54 percent of Poles saw such a connection.”
  128. John L. Steele. Time Essay: HOW REAL IS NEO-ISOLATIONISM?, 'Time Magazine', May 31, 1971. Retrieved on 2009-12-22. “Most Americans, including most Congressmen, want to prevent American entanglement in future Indochinas. To accomplish that, it is not necessary—or wise—to impose overly stringent and sweeping limitations on U.S. influence abroad. But the nature of that influence must evolve in new ways. Viet Nam should teach us—as it did the French —that modern armies and industrial strength are not effective in all regions of the world or the automatic answer to wars of "national liberation" (even those backed by other nations). Both Congress and the President should jointly re-examine the security treaties and agreements that now bind the U.S. to more than 40 countries... Few things threaten U.S. power more seriously than excessive or misguided intervention; the Viet Nam War has done more than any other factor in recent years to reduce U.S. global influence.”