When George W. Bush arrived in office as President in 2000, he was determined to limit the role of the United States in foreign affairs, although there was in his electorate a hope for a strong foreign policy. The new administration saw in the failure in Yugoslavia, Clinton's war , the proof that for the United States it was better to be involved as little as possible, and to protect their own interests only. But when the high jacked planes hit the towers of the World Trade Center, the United States were de facto in a state of war, and the Bush administration had to review its foreign policy. Indeed, few days after the attacks, the United States declared the war on terror, which was rapidly concertized by the invasion of Afghanistan and the war in Iraq later, motivated by similar objectives. Looking deeper in the American strategy, one can actually argue that only the style has changed, but that the great principles in American foreign policy stay unchallenged.
[...] Since 1973, as the production of American oil began to decrease, it has been a major stake in the country's foreign policy. Bush stands in this tradition, and a lot of critics argued that the war in Iraq was only motivated by oil. According to Godfrey Hodgson, need to build up American military power to protect American ( ) access to middle-eastern oil was implicit in the Project for a new American century.” In a report of May 2001, the National Security Council (NSC) assessed that there was a need to make pressure on “rogue States” to “increase American access to their oil production”, and even states that the use of force could be necessary to have a direct access to their oil fields. [...]
[...] Another change in American foreign policy in recent years has been the rethinking of the former alliances. As the threat is undefined and unstable, the alliances shouldn't be rigid. The first step of the Bush administration has been to “establish a distinction between the friendly countries and the threatening countries.” For instance, the United States are helping the development of the nuclear program in India and Israel, while making huge pressure on Iran to stop developing such a program. The real new component here is that Russia and China are not considered as threatening anymore. [...]
[...] Since September 11, Bush has tried to lead his own idealistic policy of the reshaping of the Middle- East, but he's now reaching a breaking point. Economical and political costs, the failure to export democracy in Iraq and the chaos in the country, the difficult situation in Afghanistan as well as the several cases of prisoners' abuses are the components of Bush's Lippman gap. Bibliography Kiely, Ray Empire in the age of globalisation. London, Pluto Falk, Richard A The declining World Order: America's Imperial Geopolitics. [...]
[...] As Gabriel Kolko states, “This ‘new' era in international relations ( ) in fact began long before then, but it was inevitable that the unilateralists now in charge of America's foreign policy bring it to its logical conclusion.” Unilateralism which led to the ignorance of UN's recommendation over Iraq is also a strong component of the Bush's administration strategy after 9/11. Ray Kiely argues that this behaviour is not new, and that it was even present in Clinton's administration. But after the attacks, the American government has, for the less, intensified the “unilateralist agenda”, he argues. [...]
[...] We will extend the peace by encouraging free and open societies on every continent.” Democracy and freedom have always been at the core of American involvement in the war. Bush stands, in his mind for the less, as the promoter of democracy in the world, such as Wilson in 1917, Roosevelt in 1942 or Kennedy in Berlin in 1961. It is very apparent in his speeches. stand in the tradition of Eisenhower and MacArthur, Patton and Bradley -the commanders who saved a civilisation” said G. [...]
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