The American View of National Security

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In his book Diplomacy, Henry Kissinger describes how the United States has had a different approach to foreign policy and national security in contrast to policies of other countries of the world. The reason for this is evident when one looks at the geographic nature of the United States. America is bordered by oceans on the east and west and by non-aggressive neighbors to the north and south. European countries, on the other hand, were ever vigilant of neighbors exerting pressure on them with power plays or military might. The problems of security that inevitably tainted Europe during 1600s and afterward, did not affect America for the greater part of its existence. Another reason why America remained, for the most part, unaffected by European conflict and other world affairs was our lack of proximity to the goings on in Europe, our policy on intervening in European affairs and vice versa, and our democratic nature. Many of the historical European foreign policy problems occurred in an age when communication did not take place as easily as it does today. America was, in a sense, isolated from most of what went on outside its borders. The U.S. did not have to deal with or worry about European affairs directly affecting its homeland. This mindset was represented in the Monroe Doctrine, which in effect, made a moat of the Atlantic Ocean. The US would not become involved in European affairs and Europe would not become entangled in affairs of the Western Hemisphere. The basis of America’s foreign policy and national security has remained, for the most part, unchanged in our history. We have always had a defensive stance and seldom sought interfere directly in the goings on of the world. In the 1800s, the U.S. had an extremely isolationist view of its position in the world, living by the guideline that we would not become involved in European struggles for power. As America moved away from its isolationist view with Woodrow Wilson and the First World...
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