Letter to the Editor: Foreign Policy
Letter to the Editor: Foreign Policy
Letter to the Editor: Foreign Policy
The foreign policy of a country sums up various economic and geopolitical components. This article explains various critics of the American foreign policy on war-torn countries such as Libya and their approach towards addressing the matter. The United States is heavily dependent on several Middle East countries for their oil and gas and this creates the need to ensure that these reserves are safeguarded and preserved. The writer in this article identifies three main positions concerning these foreign policies in America and the Middle East. Outstanding themes in the article include positions by the foreign policy experts, the citizens of the United States and the people living in the Middle East region. The American public relate that they are fed up with the unending feuds in the Middle East region while the people living in the Middle East believe that the United States is the one to blame for any mishaps in the region. Foreign policy experts argue that Obama is the one at fault. The writer states that the evolution of the foreign policy from the period of the cold war can be used to explain these positions. According to him, during the cold war, American foreign policy entailed how the United States affected the behavior of other countries. America was more concerned with their rivalry with the Soviet Union and was willing to form alliances with other states involved in the cold war in order to gain superiority over the Soviet Union. Today, American foreign policy is about affecting the governance and leadership of states. The United States is actively involved in the governance of many states in the Middle East region as they form a major source of resources for the state. Poor governance and the collapse of some of these countries would affect their resources and in the end paralyze the United States economy.
According to the writer, although the United States has played a role in the governance of some of these countries, it is very hard to alter another country’s behavior at the expense of the American people, something that most Americans do not tolerate. This is because changing a country’s behavior may involve changing the political culture of a country and reconciling rival countries. For this change to occur, use of force may not be the best approach, rather good policy frame works, proper coaching and offering good incentives would be the best way to go. These would however be ineffective if the people of the affected state do not want to take charge of their own country and transform it into a self-sustaining entity. In Iraq for example, no leaders emerged to assume ownership of the conditions that President George W. Bush put forth when the American troops withdrew from the region. He tried to create an environment where the Iraqis could live peacefully with each other by making them sign social contracts on how to live together but did not succeed owing to the country’s lack of initiative. In Libya, President Obama brought to an end the dictatorial regime of Col. Muammar Gaddafi but did not bring in American troops to monitor a new social contract. The country is still unstable despite having an open door for change and the locals have not made it sustainable. The people in these regions blame the United States for the war-torn state of their country instead of taking responsibility for the sustenance of their own country.
The foreign experts are of the opinion that Obama is the one to blame. The writer states that this may be the case since the troops left Libya too soon or because they did not go deeper into Libya or Syria. He states that some liberal critics wish to bring change to Libya but are reluctant to do that which is necessary. According to the author, Libya and Syria need a complete remodeling of their political and social culture even though this is going to be a hard and long-term occupation. He blames this difficulty on the conflicting priorities of these countries as most people want Islamist freedom than equality and justice in their country. For instance, the American officials are justified if they wish to use cruise missiles in Syria as a way of punishing them for using chemical weapons.
By doing this, the American officials wish to deprive the Syrians of the ability to initiate another chemical attacks and inflict casualties among loyal elements of the military who are senior personnel in Syria. Although outsiders can influence positive trends in these countries, they cannot influence the attitudes of the local people. The citizens of that country have to want the change and embrace it. South Africa’s apartheid regime was regulated because of leaders like F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela who opposed the regime and fought for change. Japan on the other hand rebuilt itself when they realized that they were lagging behind the countries in the West. The local people have to show the willingness to work and rebuild their own country.
The writer also believes that the American public recognizes the need to be self-dependent. The United States is highly dependent on oil and gas that occurs mostly in the Middle East, a region with many countries that are unstable. Before, the United States was over reliant on the Middle East for their oil and gas. Today, the rising energy efficiency, hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling, and renewable energy are reducing the dependence on other countries for energy resources. The United States uses 60 percent less energy today compared to forty years ago. Experts predict that the trend will continue and that the country will use half of what it uses now in 2020 if the country continues to come up with more solutions to meet the energy demand for the United States. This dependence is detrimental to the country’s economic health and the citizens have taken initiative by expanding domestic production of gas and oil and lifting the barriers preventing the use of nuclear energy. In addition, the United States plans to diversify its energy resources and imports in order to reduce the need to import oil and gas from the Persian Gulf. Oil is indeed a global market and the need for these resources may not be quenched. However, the urgency of the matter has been abated.
The writer recognizes the role of the president Obama in the current foreign policy. Although his policy may not be very satisfying, it is probably the best viable solution currently and is generally, what most American citizens want. The writer of the article approaches the America foreign policy in a rather diverse manner that brings out different underlying issues that need to be addressed in order to ensure that the policy is effective. Although many parties have different opinions on the same, the writer identifies the need for self-dependence and personal initiative to ensure the success of a country in all aspects, whether political or social.
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