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American Foreign Policy after 9/11 Expository Essay


After 9/11, Leffller noted that the American administration under President Bush came up with radical measures to respond to the state of security in the country. The government’s response generated a heated debate with supporters of Bush claiming that the action would bring change in the way country’s security is handled.

In their view, the proponents of observed praised the government by describing them as bold, creative, imaginative since they would minimize terrorist threats. The opponents termed the government’s move as adventurous, proactive, and imprudent in the sense that they would not have facilitated the realization of interests.

The author took a neutral stand by claiming that the changes introduced were not an end, but instead a means towards improvement of state security. The policies designed after 9/11 was a continuation of the American foreign policy that had been put in place several years ago.

He noted that understanding of the current measures in handling country’s security calls on an individual to analyze the changes in the state foreign policy. The current foreign policy has the potential to improve the performance of the state globally while on the other hand, it might affect state interests in case implementation is not done appropriately.

While the state has been focused on bringing about change with the major aim of improving the standards of living, revolutions are not included since they simply alter the fundamental principles. In his analysis, the country’s behavior in response to the 9/11 attack constitute a recalibration of the complex interactions and interrelations as far as threats, interests, values, and power are concerned.

Depending on what the country is interested in, the foreign policy is expected to change and interactions among various aspects is a determining factor as well. If the state is under threats from terrorists, rogue states, and belligerent actor, the issue of values would generate a heated debate. The government is likely to incite members of the public to support its policies by claiming that the country’s values and ideas are in danger.

This means that the state has always formulated a foreign policy that serves its interests at the time and incorporation of the public is critical for purpose of funding. In his view, the 9/11 security policies were not revolutionary in any way since the president was guided by the government’s 2002 strategy statement.

Opponents suggest that the National Security Strategy statement, which was designed after the attack, aims at preempting threats, unilateral formulation of policy, and gaining military hegemony globally. The author opposes the idea that the government was concerned with gaining military strength when it formulated the policies after the attack since the strategies were not any different from the traditional foreign policies.

After the First World War, the author confirms that the US reformulated its economic and foreign policies to reflect the new realities in the global system. The state was decided to empower its people economically by allowing them political and economic freedom, resolving conflicts with other actors peacefully, and respecting human dignity.

In other words, the US foreign policy has always been focused on promoting freedom in the international system. The US president was reaffirming his commitment to the country’s values since he aspired to defend liberty and justice, as the two principles were right and true to all people in the country.

In the document designed after the attack, the president called on all states to support his mission since it would defeat global terrorism, encourage cooperation in diffusing regional conflicts, and prevent enemies from causing destruction. The scholar went a notch higher to compare the Bush policies with other decisions made several years ago, especially when the state interests were at stake.

He gives readers an opportunity to think about the open door notes of 1899 and 1900, Wilson’s fourteen points on democracy, the Atlantic charter, and Truman’s doctrines. Recently, he reminds readers of the Clinton’s efforts to ensure a peaceful global environment that support democracy and human development. Clinton was focused on facilitating peace, preventing aggression, managing, defusing, and preventing any form of conflict.

On the domestic front, Clinton was concerned with enhancing exportation, opening up markets, helping American traders globally, fostering development, and promoting sustainability. During the Clinton administration, the United States was faced with the challenge of dealing with human tracking, narcotics, terrorism, crime, and development.

The administration drafted a blue print on how to deal with the issues based on the country’s foreign policy framework developed several years ago. Similarly, the Bush administration relied on the same policy framework to design strategies to respond to the 9/11 attacks.

Was the Bush administration right to design new strategies to deal with terrorism

The US government has always been guided by a certain foreign policy framework that aims at ensuring state interests are realized. Before the World Wars, the state was guided by non-interventionist policy and it stated that the government had to keep off from external intervention.

After the attack on the Pearl Harbor, the foreign policy changed significantly and the state was expected to intervene whenever it was felt that national interests were at risk.

Following the bombing of the US, the government had the mandate of ensuring that people are safe and the only way to deal with the terrorists who were a major threat to the realization of American dream. Therefore, drafting of policies to respond strongly to security threats was the best thing that the Bush administration did.

Were the changes introduced after the 9/11 attack revolutionary in any way

President Bush had various options, including consulting the United Nations and waiting for a multinational action, but this would take time since it would need members of the Security Council to agree on the best way forward. This would have given terrorists, rogue states time to restructure their policies and defeating them would not have been easy.

Therefore, the government had to do swing into action right away to deal with the menace. Many leaders relied on the prerogative powers bestowed to them constitutionally to safeguard the interests of the state.

President Wilson noticed that the world was in need of democracy to facilitate healing and peace. He drafted the fourteen points that acted as the guiding principles towards peaceful resolution of conflicts. Similarly, President Bush had to draft policies that would guarantee its citizens peace and tranquility.

Were the President’s decisions unilateral, preemptive, or hegemonic

Depending on the way an individual views the terms, any answer would be accepted, but the author claims that they were not in the sense that they aimed at helping all actors in the international system.

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1. IvyPanda. "American Foreign Policy after 9/11." June 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-foreign-policy-after-9-11/.


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IvyPanda. "American Foreign Policy after 9/11." June 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-foreign-policy-after-9-11/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "American Foreign Policy after 9/11." June 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-foreign-policy-after-9-11/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'American Foreign Policy after 9/11'. 20 June.

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