The United States needs to use its mouth more than its munitions
Since its birth, U.S. Foreign Policy has followed a path that has appeared to fly in the face of the country’s Constitution and its Bill of Rights. An overriding sense of American “exceptionalism” and a “grand design” have always been at the very core of our militarist dealings with sovereign nations around the globe.
America’s latest attempt at ideological domination and expansionism in the Middle East is a prime example of why we might be better off with a little less aggressive approach.
As Barry Rosen writes in Foreign Affairs Magazine: “Shifting to a more restrained global stance would yield meaningful benefits for the United States, saving lives and resources and preventing push-back, provided Washington makes deliberate and prudent moves now to prepare its Allies to take on the responsibility for their own defense.”
Furthermore, “Scaling down the U.S. Military’s presence over a decade would give partners plenty of time to fortify their own militaries and develop the political and diplomatic machinery to look after their own affairs. Gradual disengagement would also reduce the chances of creating security vacuums, which opportunistic regional powers might try to fill.”
Of course, any US ally, partner or associate would balk at this plan on the grounds that they couldn’t possibly afford the percentage of GDP it would take to fill the void. They’re all sitting fat, dumb and happy with the U.S. assuming command of global conflicts, no matter how large or small.
It may come as surprise to the rest of the world, but the United States can no longer afford to shoulder the burden of global policeman. America spends more on defense than the next twelve Counties combined. For the most part, all these countries have existing treaties and/or security agreements with the United States.
When it comes to long-term global stability, one would think that it would be reasonable to spread the global policing around to minimize the impact on any/all security commitments. Certainly, Japan, Germany, France, Saudi Arabia, India, Russia, and China could all step up and police their own little piece of the pie.
This would also serve to uncomplicate the ethnic, cultural, religious, and regional awkwardness experienced when a far off colonial power attempts to ply its own brand of foreign policy. A ten year phase out of American political and military expansionism coupled with a phase in of other economically capable nations would serve the US well in the eyes of the world.
A change such as this would actually put the United States in a far more viable position to work diplomatically with others who, for instance, seek nuclear power and weapon capabilities. This easing of tension would be the result of a less aggressive posture that many countries see coming from American shores.
By the way, who are we to dictate governance and philosophy to another sovereign entity? How would we react if someone outside our borders dictated our internal affairs? We have no right whatsoever to dictate to another country how they should govern and we’d be extremely upset if another nation tried to tell us how to run our government.
The US seems to have success in their foreign policy when they deal from a position of diplomatic strength, rather than military force. We neglect the entire segment of our diplomatic corps when we react to global situations and regional flare-ups with the immediate application of military force.
An example of a successful diplomatic effort would be the cease-fire between Israel and Egypt that was brokered by the United States at Camp David by President Carter back in 1978. It led to an actual peace treaty the following year.
Another example would be the Dayton Accords that were brokered by Bill Clinton in 1995 that led to the end of three and half years of war in Bosnia- Herzegovina (the old Yugoslavia). Currently, our State Department is working on bringing the Sudanese and the Darfur Rebels together in an attempt to reach a diplomatic solution to their armed conflict.
So, leading by example in statesmanship and diplomacy does work for the U.S. and the hot spot conflicts in the World can be solved by these mechanisms. I am not fomenting total separatism. I am suggesting a more rational, logical path to a peaceful world.