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  Wikipedia: Foreign relations of the United States

Wikipedia: Foreign relations of the United States
Foreign relations of the United States
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The United States of America have vast economical, political and military influence on a global scale, which makes the concepts and details of their foreign policies a subject of great interest and discussion around the world.

Purposes recurringly mentioned and emphasized by U.S. officials are:

Criticism and responses

Critics of U.S. foreign policy tend to respond that these goals commonly regarded as noble were often overstated and point out contradictions between foreign policy rhetoric and actions:

  • The mention of peace as opposed to the long list of U.S. military involvements
  • The mention of freedom and democracy as opposed to the many former and current dictatorships that receive(d) U.S. financial or military support.
  • The mention of free trade as opposed to U.S. import tariffs (to protect local industries from global competition) on foreign goods like wood (mostly from Canada) and steel.
  • The mention of U.S. generosity as opposed to the low spendings on foreign developmental aid (measured as percentage of GDP)

Many of the ideals of current U.S. foreign policy were formulated during the Cold War peroid. Following World War II the government of the United States grew increasingly worried - some say paranoid - of the expansionist actions of the Soviet Union, and its support for Communist revolutions in the third world and beyond. Foreign policy makers of that time are usually quick to point out that this atmosphere of conflict with the Soviets created many situations in which the United States was apparently forced to compromise on some of the ideological policy objectives stated above. For example, American support for certain dictatorships was frequently condemned by critics as an apparent violation of the U.S.'s Wilsonian principles. However, policy makers would justify such support by stating that supporting a certain dictator was often necessary when he was the only stable ruler of a unstable country, or when the alternative to his rule would be a Soviet-sponsored Communist dictatorship. This was often dubbed the lesser of two evils principle.

Economic critics

So-called globalization critics, like the Attac movement, also oppose the notion, most notably spread by US politicians, and international economic organizations closely related to the USA, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, that selling state industries to private investors (privatization) would necessarily improve quality and lower prices of the goods produced by these industries, arguing that certain industries must remain publicly-owned to avoid abuse of private monopolies, and that certain countries had already seen an erosion in price-to-value ratio as the result of privatizations. It is also argued that the sale of public property often includes potentially massive corruption, e.g. underpriced "sell-out" of public assets in return of personal or political favors.

International disputes

Illicit drugs

See also: War on Drugs

Military aid

The United States provides military aid through many different channels. Counting the items that appear in the budget as 'Foreign Military Financing' and 'Plan Colombia', the U.S. spent approximately $4.5 billion in military aid in 2001, of which $2 billion went to Israel, $1.3 billion went to Egypt, and $1 billion went to Colombia.

Related topics

External links


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona