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The official goals of the US government foreign policy have been described by the US department of state as “to create a more secure, democratic and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community” (Evera, 2006, p. 1).
However, the approach towards foreign relations which the US government has adopted has become controversial both locally and at the international level. The enduring values and interest of the American foreign policy are identified as peace, prosperity, stability, democracy and defense (Evera, 2006).
American foreign relations policy came into existence first with the Olive Branch Policy. This was as a result of the attempts by the newly reformed US to reconcile with the Great Britain. This was during the Era of America Revolution. US strengthened its economic and political relations with other nations.
This was the beginning of foreign relations of the US. There are various other defining moments that followed in the US diplomatic history. Today, only seven nations are known to have no foreign relations with the US. This has made US to be the largest diplomatic nation in the world (Evera, 2006).
America and the Bay of Pigs Debacle
On the 17th day of April, 1961, 1400 US trained and equipped Cuban exiles went to the beach head of the Bay of Pigs, Cuba. Their objective was to incite rebellion amongst the Cuban people against the communist Leader-Fidel Castro. The US government feared to face vengeance from the Soviets; they therefore took the measure to hide their participation in the organized invasion.
However, the ill-planned CIA plan became more dangerous with their exiles facing defeat immediately after invasion. All the blame was shifted on the shoulders of President John Kennedy, who had just taken the US president seat. He accepted the responsibility of his action claiming “there is an old saying that victory has hundreds fathers and defeat is an orphan; I am responsible for Officer of government” (Kornbluh, 1998, p. 1).
From the invasion, sixty eight Cuban exiles were left dead at the Bay of Pigs Debacle; 1209 are said to have been captured. The US government paid greatly for the Bay of Pigs whose effect is still felt up to date. The invasion destroyed US government’s relation with the Cuba government. The cold war still remained even after trying to resolve the matter.
This even deteriorated the US relation with the Soviet Union. Even today, the cold war is still evident. The US government still refuses to acknowledge Cuba as state. The huge irony about the Cuban debacle is that the tailors of the plan overlooked the many loop holes and intervened to establish the same relations as before (Kornbluh, 1998).
The outcome of the Bay of Pigs was a big lesson. It is arguably the most humiliating event in the history of the US. It is said to be the most stupid or ridiculous and psychologically incomprehensible by the world. The long term consequences of the failed invasions were increased damage to the US security and relations with the other nations. This was evident by the relation between Cuba and Soviets become deeper thus putting US security at stake (White, 1999).
The lessons the US government learnt was the importance of foreign relations; President Kennedy became a book to many presidents and their role. Their role is described by conducting of their policies with utmost faith and with accordance to the law and the constitution. A president should have a vision and ability to lead by example, and develop good relations with the local and foreign nations. He also established the need to engage diplomacy on foreign policy issues (Kornbluh, 1998).
American Foreign Policy in the Current Era
The core of the tradition of American policy during the 1917-1991 was seen to fade at high rate. The nuclear revolution is being adopted by many nations as opposed to the past when the information was dominated by few nations. Consequently, this has posed a threat to the US government security more than in the past.
Other factors that have put the US and other nation’s security at risk include terrorism. This is especially due to the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) materials and technology and the massive increase of the terrorist groups that aim at mass killing and more particularly at the US. Other threats include global warming and public health concerns (Evera, 2006).
These threats have brought about the call for the major power nations to organize themselves into concerts, for instance, the 1815 concert of Europe. This will enable them to be united to fight against the increase of WMD, terrorism and threats to global warming and health issues. US government is actively involved in efforts towards organizing and sustaining these new concerts.
Secondly, the US government is re-orienting the national security policies and programs. This is to enable them to counter WMD proliferation and down grade any chances for war against other nations. Lastly, the US government is reorienting its programs towards the protection of the environment and global health concerns. They are being given the upper hand during the US foreign policy making (Evera, 2006).
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The three new threats to the US government include WMD proliferation, global commons and global public health. The collapse of the Soviet Union brought nuclear weapons and materials closer to the terrorists. The 1990s was conspicuous with counter proliferation successes for nuclear power: for example, South Africa abandoned their efforts to make bombs, Brazil and Argentina dropped their programs to make nuclear weapons.
They were followed by the Ukrainian country. However, recent past describes reversion of the efforts. For example, Pakistan tested their nuclear weapons in 1998. Other nations such as the North Korea and Iran have developed nuclear weapons. This has brought about the new breed of WMD terrorist (Evera, 2006).
The first emergence of the terrorist was the AumShnrikyo (1994/95) and Al-Qaeda. They used nuclear and other weapons to cause mass killing. This brought a total right turn to the major threats of America’s social security. Second threat is the emergence of the global commons. Global commons includes the global warming and public health. Global warming effects have already been experienced.
This has brought a total wreck to the economy. Recently, there were incidences of emergence of viral and anti-biotic resistant infectious disease. For example, the 1918 flu epidemic in America resulted to 675000 citizens dead. The danger with these infections is because they are consistent interactions between animal and human. These challenges indicate that unilateral action is not sufficient to counter them (Evera, 2006).
To handle the situation, the current US policy is focusing on shaping the global opinion on terrorism concerns, efforts to lose and lock down all sources of nuclear weapons and materials such as Russia. The foreign policy of this era also targets at the prevention of the interstate war in the world. It has been noted that terrorist take advantage of warfare to flourish.
A good example is the AL-Qaeda who has exploited the Israel Palestinian conflict to proliferate their movement. They are reported to use these conflicts as training for their terrorism acts. The US foreign policy is checking on the failed states to prevent them from failing further and to ameliorate them. This is a strategy to close down all possibilities and chances for terrorism proliferation.
The most important policy of all is the strengthening of the homeland security. They have reformed the FBI unit, integrated more local police patrol, improved the fire departments and public health facilities.
More so, the government has imposed tighter control over the US borders lastly, the government has elevated greater protection of the global environment. The global concerns have been given the higher priority in US foreign policy making (Evera, 2006).
In conclusion, American Government is devoted to seeking all the monsters and terrorist to destroy them, she supports freedom and independence for all nations. American government has been viewed as a supper power by many, whose prominence is very high.
Though her devotion towards establishing safe foreign relation has been a controversial topic to many, she still upholds her enduring values and interest of her foreign policy are identified as peace, prosperity, stability, democracy and defense. The American foreign policy keeps on changing with time to accommodate the new developments.
Evera, S. (2006). American foreign policy for the new era: From how to make America safe: new policies for national security. New York, NY: The Tobin project.
Kornbluh, P. (1998). Bay of Pigs Declassified: the secret CIA Report on the invasion of Cuba. New York, NY: The new Press.
White, M. (1999). The Kennedys and Cuba: the declassified Documentary History. New Jersey, NJ: Ivan R Dee.