The strategy of offshore balancing comes as an alternative to the existent strategy of preponderance. Implementing the offshore balancing strategy could help insulating U.S. from potential great-power conflicts and at the same time would help it make the most of its powerful position in the international community. It would also help America to shun its perpetuating image as a hegemonic nation. The recent times bear witness to a changing world order. Offshore balancing is an approach adopted for a multilateral world order under the parameters of US foreign policy. However, in the given situation there is a substantial influence of Christian beliefs, particularly backed by white Protestants of English origins and this group believes in spreading Christian beliefs in the context of US hegemony of world order. In this context, William Martin’s text, The Christian Rights and American Foreign Policy, published in Foreign Policy in Spring issue (1999) is a very important writing on the subject and views the issue predominantly in an idealist manner.
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William Martin indicates that there is a substantial support for Christian Rights in the most influential quarters of the US voters or the white Protestants of English origins or WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant). This part of the US voters are extremely influential in the administrative segments and are interested in the ideology that the ‘Christian value system’ (Martin, 1999) should be spread across the globe as an essential foreign policy articulation. However, Martin indicates the fact that until this date the ideology is unable to incorporate itself as a realist method of reshaping the country’s foreign policy as there is not much support from the rest of the voters in US. However, the efforts are on an unremitting basis from the believers and there is a constant ideological pressure to alter the foreign policy in favor of the Christian Rights, without much success. The believers of the Christian Rights and the supporters of implementation of ‘Christian value system’ (Martin, 1999) like Gary Bauer are hopeful that soon one day these would be incorporated in the US foreign policy system. However, at this point of time, this appears to be more of a belief than an actual realistic policy.
In Europe, there has been a growing dislike of the American unilateral dominance. It has worsened the good will caused by post-Cold War alliances and events of September 11. It also promoted the unification of European nations and escalated claims for autonomy in security, which can be substantiated by increased European participation in peacekeeping missions in the Balkan Peninsula. A policy of restraint and de-engagement of European operations helps to prevent the growth of discontent sentiments against the U.S. and foster U.S-European relationship. Thus, the approach of Christian Rights can be associated with realism to counter the non-religious influence of Europe. However, it should be taken into account that till date Europe has not responded well to this approach even under the threat of post 9/11 Islamic terrorism. Thus, the aspect of realism stands little chance and the arguments collapse into general idealistic phenomena with little influence in actual foreign policy construction. Thus, the issue of Christian Rights is more of an idealist thought process rather than realistic achievement in the context of US foreign policy determination.
Martin, W. (1999). The Christian Rights and American Foreign Policy. Foreign Policy, Spring, 66-79.