May 29, 2024

Does USA’s Foreign Policy Needs a Reset?

Featured in:

By: Muktha Prasannan, Research Analyst, GSDN

USA flag and World map: source Internet

The United States’ foreign policy governs its relations with other countries and establishes guidelines for its institutions, businesses, and individual residents. To build and sustain a democratic, secure, and prosperous world in the interest of the American citizens and the international community is the official stated mission of the U.S. foreign policy, as well as the missions of all U.S. Department of State bureaus and offices. The three main objectives of US foreign policy are security, economic growth, and establishing a better global environment. Encouraging liberty and democracy while safeguarding human rights globally is fundamental to American foreign policy. The principles upon which the United States was established centuries ago are congruent with those included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, along with other international and regional agreements.

 The United States’ foreign policy in the post-Cold War period has undergone significant shifts and adaptations in response to the changing global landscape. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War marked a new era in international relations, characterized by the emergence of new challenges and opportunities. With the demise of the Soviet Union, the United States emerged as the sole remaining superpower, leading to a period often referred to as the “unipolar moment.” During this time, the United States sought to shape the international order and advance its interests through economic, military, and diplomatic power. The United States emphasized promoting democratic values, free markets, and human rights as crucial components of its foreign policy. It aimed to spread liberal democracy globally, encouraging countries to embrace democratic governance and market-oriented economies.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) expanded its membership to include former Soviet-bloc countries in Central and Eastern Europe. This move aimed to consolidate democratic values and enhance regional security while extending the influence of the United States and its Western allies. The September 11, 2001, attack shifted the focus of U.S. foreign policy toward counterterrorism efforts. The U.S. launched military interventions in Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003) as part of its broader strategy to combat terrorism, dismantle extremist networks, and promote stability in the Middle East. The U.S. adopted a counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq, seeking to build stable and democratic institutions while simultaneously combating insurgency and terrorism. This approach emphasized a combination of military force, nation-building efforts, and engagement with local populations. The United States has generally pursued policies that promote economic liberalism and free trade, advocating for open markets and trade agreements. However, there have been instances of protectionist measures, such as the imposition of tariffs, particularly under the Trump administration.

The Constitution allows the President and Congress to participate in foreign policy. Each has been granted specific powers and has acquired more authority through precedent or by depending on other constitutional duties. As commander in chief of the armed forces, the President negotiates treaties and selects ambassadors to represent the country abroad. Presidents have circumvented constitutionally imposed restrictions on their authority to determine the course of American foreign policy by using their authority as commander in chief of the armed forces to engage the country in multiple foreign conflicts without Congress’s formal declaration of war throughout American history. Executive agreements negotiated with a head of state are not subject to Senate approval, even if they are only in effect for the period of president who made them.

The range of possible policy alternatives is limited by geopolitical competition and globalization; therefore, the decisions made by the US president have a significant impact on worldwide events. The executive’s influence has continued to rise, making these decisions more unrestricted. The President will shape the US-China relationship and the global economy, significantly impacting America’s allies. Policymakers in Europe are aware that the president significantly impacts the US’s dedication to its transatlantic allies. It’s possible that Donald Trump might try to pull the US out of NATO during his second term in office. The best course for maintaining regional peace in the Middle East and Eurasia will be dramatically different under a Trump or Biden presidency, will influence US policy in the areas of technology, global health, arms control, and climate change. will go into effect. The US has retreated from its position as the world’s leading liberal nation under Trump. By doing this, the US has frequently provoked its closest allies, particularly in Europe, while granting strongmen like the Philippines, North Korea, and Russia impunity about human rights violations. In particular, the administration has fulfilled President Trump’s pre-election pledge to cut back on US international commitments by pulling out the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the UN Human Rights Council, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It has officially announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which had been affected the day after the 2020 election.

The United States must envision a more fundamental reinvention of America’s place in the world to manage the unfolding complex shift. The devastation by the pandemic is all around us, with over half a million people lost their lives worldwide, the number of malnourished populations doubling, and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression raging. US President Joe Biden spoke in his first foreign policy speech since assuming office, He presented it as a change of direction following four years of Donald Trump’s America First policy, promising to reinvest in diplomacy and partnerships while highlighting democratic principles.

Despite their differences in the role of the United States in the globe, Biden nevertheless prioritizes the interests of his fellow citizens. His representatives and he discuss a foreign policy that safeguards US workers’ earnings and jobs. According to Biden, there is no longer a clear distinction between domestic and foreign affairs. We must keep American working families in mind with every move we make when conducting ourselves overseas. It will have an impact on his trade strategies. As a result of Trump’s trade battle with China and his tense relations with America’s allies in Europe and Asia, as well as his increased hostilities with opponents like Iran and Venezuela, bilateral relations are at their lowest point in decades.

The multilateral order had to be restored, and Biden’s program was essentially based on rejecting Trump’s “America First” legacy. It was evident in his early actions to restore American climate diplomacy leadership and rejoin the World Health Organisation and the Paris Climate Accords. Additionally, Biden saw a chance to restore US leadership in the world and mend ties that had started to deteriorate under Trump in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic. However, Biden’s goals and Trump’s agenda have much in common. A more refined form of Trump’s emphasis on prioritizing American interests over its international obligations, his “foreign policy for the middle class” links American diplomacy to domestic peace, security, and prosperity. The disintegration of the Afghan government and the ensuing chaotic withdrawal came at a political cost for Biden, who also carried out Trump’s promise to leave Afghanistan without first discussing or coordinating with Washington’s NATO partners. On other matters, such as his stance on immigration and border security, Biden first showed no signs of adjusting anything immediately.

Beginning in 2024, US President Joe Biden will find himself in circumstances that any incumbent would envy. The economy is expanding steadily, the stock market is closing the year at all-time highs, unemployment is at a half-century low, inflation has decreased, and the president’s most likely opponent has charged with 91 felonies in four indictments. After taking office, the Biden administration promised to prioritize diplomacy in US foreign policy, but it has not accomplished much after more than two years in power. The “democracy vs. autocracy” narrative Biden and company have adopted is partially to blame. It does not help the US collaborate more successfully with the autocratic regimes that outnumber democracies worldwide and whose support could become increasingly valuable as rivalry between great powers grows. It exposes the US to hypocrisy charges and does not inspire Washington’s democratic friends significantly.

In stark contrast to the democracy vs. autocracy framework, European leaders travel to Beijing to protect their economic interests with the (autocratic) People’s Republic of China. Likewise, conversations wereheld between one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top national security advisors and Narendra Modi, the president of largely democratic India. There are still unresolved matters on the administration’s agenda in the interim.

When Biden assumed office, he declared he would carry out his predecessor’s decision to leave the nuclear agreement with Iran.Iran is becoming closer than it has ever been to having nuclear weapons, which increases the likelihood of a Middle East conflict that the world and the US administration do not need at this time.

Taiwan, where presidential elections are scheduled for mid-January could impact whether Biden has to deal with another significant crisis. One of the main objectives of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s term is the reunification of China and Taiwan. Although he acknowledged to Biden at their November meeting that there is no set timeframe for achieving this goal, he also stated that China reserves the right to use force if Taiwan opposes or delays unification. Beijing is unlikely to invade Lai in retaliation for her victory, but it might still cause significant hardship for the island nation. It might disrupt supply routes vital to Taiwan’s economy, meddle in military operations that violate Taiwan’s maritime and aerial sovereignty, and obstruct commercial vessels. Moreover, if any of these actions were taken, Washington would have to decide how to react.

Election politics and results in the United States are typically unaffected by foreign policy. Nevertheless, Biden’s electoral chances would be seriously hampered by just one of these crises, much less all three. Foreign policy is complex and constantly evolving in response to global events and challenges. Therefore, periodic reassessments and adjustments are a normal part of the process.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
29 days ago

Simply wish to say your article is as amazing The clearness in your post is just nice and i could assume youre an expert on this subject Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work

5 days ago

Hi my loved one I wish to say that this post is amazing nice written and include approximately all vital infos Id like to peer more posts like this

Find us on

Latest articles

Related articles

Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons: The Dangers in the Indian Sub-Continent

By: Aasi Ansari, Research Analyst, GSDN Introduction South Asia is considered one of the nuclear flashpoint due to the...

75 Years of NATO: Relevance and Future

By: Darshan Gajjar, Research Analyst, GSDN “There’s also hatred here... They’d be the first to be dreadfully unhappy...

The May 9, 2023 Incident: A Manifestation of Pakistan’s...

By: Lt Col JS Sodhi (Retd), Editor, GSDN In the annals of Pakistan's tumultuous political history, May 9,...

The Dragon Stretching its Wings – Chinese Overseas Military...

By: Mahima Sharma, Research Analyst, GSDN In recent years, China has been rapidly expanding its military power and...

The Mayhem of Minorities in Pakistan

By: Lt Col JS Sodhi (Retd), Editor, GSDN Pakistan has a diverse population with numerous minority groups, including...

Re-evaluating India’s Second-Strike Capability: Rethinking India’s Nuclear Doctrine

By: Sourishree Ghosh, Research Analyst, GSDN Strategic Importance of India’s Second-Strike Capability The sea-based nuclear weapons in South Asia...
Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.

Powered By
Best Wordpress Adblock Detecting Plugin | CHP Adblock