Critique of American International Relations

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Caitlin Zammuto
December 19, 2011
AUCW 212
Professor Canedy
Final Examination

Question Three
American international relations are extremely scattered, and when examined can be interpreted in many different ways. This may be because there is perhaps a blend of these major schools of American foreign policy in all of our international relations. The major schools that will be used as lenses are isolationism, liberal internationalism, Kissingerian realism, democratic globalism, and democratic realism. I am going to use these lenses to examine how the liberation in Iraq was handled, and what foreign policy was mainly used.

Isolationism is a foreign policy that states we should detach ourselves from other nations affairs regarding alliances, economics, monetary, etc (Dictionary.com). Instead, all of our efforts should be targeted internally. The benefit of isolationism is keeping peace with other nations, and focusing on advancing internally. Although many Americans believe we should be an isolationistic nation, we have proved that we are not. In March 2003, George W. Bush did the opposite of what an isolationist would do, and invaded Iraq. His reasoning for invading was to find the rumored weapons of mass destruction, and to overthrow Saddam Hussein. George Bush addressed the nation saying, "The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder. We will meet that threat now, with our Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of fire fighters and police and doctors on the streets of our cities" (Singal). Although it may be viewed as a noble cause, we still put our own soldiers over seas, made alliances and agreements, and made important decisions for another nation. Our American foreign policy, in regards to invading Iraq, in no way isolated ourselves from their countries complications.

Liberal internationalism, on the other hand, states that a nation should intervene in other countries. This intervention could include either humanitarian aid (such as charity, money, doctors, etc) or militant invasion. According to Daniel Drezner, liberal internationalism is meant to encourage security, free trade, human rights, rule of law, and democracy between nations, and achieving this through legalism, multilateralism, and humanitarianism (Drezner). The war in Iraq could be viewed as a liberal internationalist movement because we invaded a nation that we decided needed the help of America. Although we first invaded for weapons of mass destruction, and when we found none, stayed to promote democracy, Bush claimed to be there for moral reasons. The debate arises with the slaughter that took place. If we were there to create a free and safe nation, why were so many lives taken? The reasoning for being in Iraq was viewed as outlandish, and not secure in meaning, therefore did not gain a sufficient amount of support. The war in Iraq is supposedly meant to halt terroristic tendencies in Iraqis by inspiring them to overthrow their government, and live democratically (Ikenberry). If Iraq succeeded, with the help of Americans, then the liberation movement could be labeled as liberal internationalism.

Kissingerian realism is an extremely pessimistic view on international relations. This foreign policy states that the most important aspects to be preserved in a nation are it's security and national interest. Kissinger, a former secretary of state, encouraged a realism foreign policy. It initially succeeded, yet soon proved to not last. Realists view the world as having an ineradicable evil, that we must fight to contain. Also, they view humans as having innate tendency towards conflict, therefore trusting anther nation is impossible. The main goal for a Kissingerian realist is to hold all of the power, recognizing no authority other than over themselves. Being the...
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