National Interest And Foreign Policy Pdf WriterBy Frank W. In and pdf 21.04.2021 at 22:44 6 min read
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- Foreign policy
- Diplomacy: Meaning, Nature, Functions and Role in Crisis Management
- National interest
- Foreign policy
The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries. In recent times, due to the deepening level of globalization and transnational activities, states also have to interact with non-state actors. The aforementioned interaction is evaluated and monitored in an attempt to maximize benefits of multilateral international cooperation.
What this may disclose to them is not only that our society is not one of consensus, but of division and conflict, at least so far as the nature of justice is concerned, but also that to some degree that division and conflict is within themselves.
Which Rationality? Disagreement and conflict plague our foreign policy discussions in the same way confusion about the nature of justice makes it difficult to make ethically informed personal decisions.
Foreign policy consensus is rare in America, just as moral consensus is the stuff of fairy tales. Government officials, military leaders, and diplomats must still make decisions and pursue foreign policy goals despite the lack of clear, unambiguous guidance. Indeed, many disagreements in the foreign policy community arise not from a lack of clear goals, but rather from their overabundance.
Prioritizing them, deciding where to dedicate significant resources and which to abandon—these are the subjects of never-ending debate in public discourse. Today there exist two basic camps within the American foreign policy community. Prescriptions within this camp typically diverge when it comes to the means whereby nations should pursue this interest or the rationale justifying it. The second camp, the Wilsonian tradition, has manifested itself more recently in the Bush and Obama Doctrines.
What rarely emerges through this discourse—and which is precisely the root cause of these disagreements—is a subtle assessment of the term national interest , which has remained largely undefined and serves primarily as a catch-all phrase to justify the pursuit of often discordant goals. Recognizing the reality and legitimacy of the discrete aims pursued by these foreign policy traditions is not at issue here. Military or diplomatic intervention for humanitarian reasons, resource security, ideological influence, or any other goal can all serve the U.
The trouble lies in the obvious but often overlooked reality that these foreign policy goals are discrete and frequently work against one another. A nation has national interests as opposed to a uniform national interest. The difficulty is threefold.
The same insurgents funded and armed with U. What would certainly benefit the U. Second, weighing, prioritizing, and assigning significance to the various national interests often become mired by political in-fighting, given that interest groups within civil society prioritize specific interests over others.
Accordingly, trying to organize these conflicting interests in light of some higher overarching national interest, which benefits the nation as a whole and recognizes the common good as a standard, would require one to be almost inhumanly detached from such thought-distorting things as bias and personal attachments. American citizens often become devoted to specific causes and will support a foreign policy that prioritizes these causes over others.
Politicians likewise have the narrow interests of their constituencies in mind when making foreign policy decisions. Lobbyists try to ensure their interests are protected, which, for the politicians they support, might mean pursuing a foreign policy aimed at controlling essential natural resources, a relationship with a particular market for goods, or developing different trade terms with a particular trade partner.
The varied interests of these groups will rarely coincide in a singular national interest. The third issue emerges because of the limited resources that states are able to dedicate to achieving these foreign policy goals. Priorities must be assigned, and some very worthwhile objectives must be abandoned. The supply of trained soldiers, diplomats, money, and public resolve is limited.
Using these resources to secure one foreign policy objective could very well mean making it impossible to pursue another. The tensions outlined here are equally present in academic circles.
Among the most prominent realists today, John Mearsheimer consistently argues that America should abandon its ideological and counterproductive foreign policy of liberal hegemony.
The United States, Mearsheimer argues, should embrace its traditional and realistic role of being an offshore balancer. In this regard, he represents the quintessential anti-Wilsonian. The United States has no strategic interest in this country, Mearsheimer claims, as the moribund Islamic State caliphate neither posed any realistic existential threat to America nor was it ever a viable candidate as regional hegemon in the Middle East. Its territorial acquisition never amounted to lasting economic gains or great-power status.
But, for him, this intervention achieved no legitimate national interest. He believes it involves several core national interests, which include checking Iranian ambitions to extend its influence and gain key fortified military positions close to the Israeli border.
As McGurk would acknowledge, the Syrian civil war never posed an immediate existential threat to U. Nevertheless, its outcomes can spill over into issues about which Washington cares deeply. In short, Wilsonians, like McGurk, believe this trust and concern for humanitarian principles serves the U. The preceding analysis serves to illustrate the complex and controversial nature of the national interest, but is not meant to completely undermine its terminological credibility.
If anything, the disputes highlighted above should emphasize how real and pressing the various national interests are, and how tragic it is the United States is unable to pursue all of them with equal enthusiasm and resources. But this partial impotence leaves a problem. How should the United States prioritize its foreign policy objectives? How can it best allocate its limited national resources?
How can it make sense of these objectives and justify them not only to the world but to its own citizens? In this, the Wilsonians are probably correct. Without a keen sense of who it is as a nation, no amount of acquired global power for the United States could overcome the lack of direction for how to use it.
Because many Americans tend to view their country as unique in history, having some exceptional mission not subject to the same geopolitical laws that have governed other nations in the Old World, they often forget that America exists in a world of limited resources and its enthusiasm for spreading western values more often than not violently clashes with the deeply held values and priorities of other cultures.
In other words, America must beware that the moralistic idealism inherent to its societal narrative will overshadow its pragmatic and calculating pursuit of concrete, realistic objectives.
It must be wary of pursuing abstract principles at the cost of real strategic gains, or in the worst case, strategic losses. This idealism enabled the United States, for better or for worse, to maintain an ongoing military campaign in the Middle East for the past nineteen years.
The key is to use this reservoir of resolve sparingly, only for realistically achievable foreign policy objectives. To apply it indiscriminately to every humanitarian disaster, ideological disagreement, or geopolitical setback would be folly. It, therefore, must prioritize and clearly define these national interests in light of this societal narrative, but must never let this narrative undermine the working conditions that make carrying it out possible.
Historically, these conditions are the following: first is the physical security of the nation which protects its sovereignty from foreign military intervention. Realists correctly view this national interest as the first priority. Without secure borders and freedom from fear of foreign invasion, civil society cannot operate to its full potential.
Individuals would be unable to pursue worthwhile goals, and a debilitating uncertainty would plague the economy. Achieving and maintaining this secure regional hegemony may involve offensive, not just defensive, military actions. Mearsheimer considers himself an offensive realist because, as he sees it, the only potential threat to American hegemony in the Western Hemisphere would be a rival hegemon in another region of the world. Nevertheless, how should America behave if it has firmly achieved this first foreign policy objective?
The factual achievement of this first layer is where the second level of national interest surfaces. Integral to maintaining a high level of domestic security for the future is having the material wealth necessary to initiate and sustain the military campaigns essential to the first level of national interest. America thus has an interest in securing the free-flow of natural resources and commerce that will ensure current and future prosperity. Thus military interventions that aim to secure the conditions for the possibility of this prosperity, such as the global oil supply, can be justified at this level.
Next in order of importance is the security of allies, as they allow the United States a certain amount of maneuverability as it pursues the first two levels of national interest. They allow it to set up airfields or forward operating positions, share intelligence assets, and boost troop levels in military engagements. The U. Granted that it should never allow supporting an ally get in the way of achieving the first two levels of national interest, it is nevertheless the case that they can sometimes be essential to achieving these priority objectives.
The next level of national interest is spreading ideological influence. Realists tend to minimize the importance of this foreign policy objective. However, one should not wholly dismiss the role of ideological dissemination.
It would be impossible to find the energy reserves necessary to conduct any level of military or diplomatic intervention. It is also necessary to mention that alliances are more naturally formed, and much more likely to last, if there are ideological ties binding nations in addition to their geopolitical interests. Indeed, it is a sign of strength.
America is one of the only nations to have secured the first layers of national interest to such an extent that it can afford to engage in seemingly profitless adventures to help non-Americans who will never be able to return the favor.
Once again, the American societal narrative is vital in this equation. Without a clear sense of who it is and how, ideally, it should wield the raw power it accrues, America would cease to have the identity it does and could very easily undercut its ability to pursue all of the interests outlined above. The reality is that sometimes these myriad interests overlap and sometimes they conflict.
The role of political leaders is to assess the international situation and to capitalize on those interventions where discrete interests are intertwined and avoid actions which would undermine strategic priorities. In certain instances, spreading ideological influence may have a long-term effect on protecting allies or protecting domestic sovereignty from foreign intervention just as protecting an oppressed population or saving one from genocide can go a long way in creating future allies and partners.
But stopping a genocide does more than create allies; it reinforces the City on a Hill sense of America as the New World power which will use that power for the world, not just for its own petty needs.
It reinforces the societal narrative that is the lifeblood of our resolve for any foreign intervention. Michael Colebrook is a U. Army officer. He has a Ph. The views in this essay are his own, and do not represent the views of the U.
Army, the Department of Defense, or the U. This article appeared orignally at Strategy Bridge. For the argument that Wilsonianism has been the de facto position of American foreign policy theorists since the end of World War II, see Ninkovich, Frank.
The Wilsonian Century: U. Foreign Policy Since Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, Although the first three were notable contenders in American foreign policy discussions prior to World War II, they have largely been drowned out by the two camps described above.
For a description of these four traditions see H. W Brands. The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. New York: W. Norton and Company, pgs.
Diplomacy: Meaning, Nature, Functions and Role in Crisis Management
What this may disclose to them is not only that our society is not one of consensus, but of division and conflict, at least so far as the nature of justice is concerned, but also that to some degree that division and conflict is within themselves. Which Rationality? Disagreement and conflict plague our foreign policy discussions in the same way confusion about the nature of justice makes it difficult to make ethically informed personal decisions. Foreign policy consensus is rare in America, just as moral consensus is the stuff of fairy tales. Government officials, military leaders, and diplomats must still make decisions and pursue foreign policy goals despite the lack of clear, unambiguous guidance. Indeed, many disagreements in the foreign policy community arise not from a lack of clear goals, but rather from their overabundance.
It seems that you're in Germany. We have a dedicated site for Germany. This book presents the evolution of the field of foreign policy analysis and explains the theories that have structured research in this area over the last 50 years. It provides the essentials of emerging theoretical trends, data and methodological pitfalls and major case-studies and is designed to be a key entry point for graduate students, upper-level undergraduates and scholars into the discipline. The volume features an eclectic panorama of different conceptual, theoretical and methodological approaches to foreign political analysis, focusing on different models of analysis such as two-level game analysis, bureaucratic politics, strategic culture, cybernetics, poliheuristic analysis, cognitive mapping, gender studies, groupthink and the systemic sources of foreign policy. The authors also clarify conceptual notions such as doctrines, ideologies and national interest, through the lenses of foreign policy analysis. This exceptionally well organized book will be valuable for a variety of courses in foreign policy and international relations.
Foreign policy of a country is formulated to safeguard and promote its national interests in the conduct of In this sense,Foreign Policy defines the goals of national interest prominent writers on the subject were historians, jurists and.
A state 's foreign policy is its objectives and activities in relation to its interactions with other states, whether bilaterally or through multilateral platforms. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Government's strategy in relating with other nations.
International relations scholarship typically treats foreign policy as a taken-for-granted analytical concept. It generally holds that foreign policy differs in essential ways from other kinds of policy, such as carrying with it a special need for secrecy. I argue against this view. Growing domestic differentiation between state and civil society in the eighteenth century—articulated through a relatively free press operating in a nascent public sphere—enabled the emergence of foreign policy as a practical concept. The concept served to delimit the legitimate sphere of political discourse from the exclusive, executive sphere of king and cabinet.
Diplomacy stands accepted as the mainstay and the core process of relations among nations. The process of establishment of relations among nations begins effectively by the establishment of diplomatic relations among nations. A new state becomes a full and active member of the family of nations only after it gets recognition by existing states. The common way in which this recognition is granted is the announcement of the decision to establish diplomatic relations. Thereafter diplomats are exchanged and relations among nations get underway.
Prior to reformations that swept 16th century Europe, national interest was often understood as secondary to that of religion. To engage in a war, rulers would need to justify the action in such context.
National Power is the ability or capability of a nation to secure the goals and objectives of its national interests in relation with other nations. It involves the capacity to use force or threat of use of force or influence over others for securing the goals of national interest. We can understand the meaning of National Power by first analyzing the meaning and nature of power:.
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