Debate Essay Essays Example
The United States has extended its presence throughout the world ever since the end of WWII. Part of the reason for this is the Truman Doctrine, which allowed for the US to provide assistance in all forms to democratic nations under attack from authoritarian regimes. Because of this doctrine, the United States has had an extended influence throughout Asia, especially in regards to communism. They have gone to war with several countries and have tense relations with many others. Since their involvement in foreign nations has increased, the United States has gone through a number of different international institutions in order to change the landscape in Asia. The primary institutions used are SEATO, WTO, and the United Nations. However, since 1945, the US involvement in Asian nations has generally had a negative influence on the world and its stability, especially regarding its usage of international institutions.
The first instance of American overreach and creation of constant instability is in the Korean War. Beginning in 1950, communist forces from North Korea attempted to unify South Korea. Due to the Truman Doctrine, the US intervened on the side of South Korea and defended them. However, after three years of war, very little was accomplished. The United States was unsuccessful at eradicating the communist influence from the Koreas, and a cease fire was agreed to, never officially ending the war. Conflict still remains to this day along the border, and American troops are still present. Furthermore, the attempt to intervene in Korea brought China into the affair, and they began to have a negative view of America as well. Anti-American sentiments rang throughout China and North Korea because America was blamed as having caused this conflict and loss of life. In response to the Korean War, the United States and several other countries formed SEATO, or the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization. The purpose of this organization was to block further communist gains in Southeast Asia. The United States had just lost North Korea to communism, so they were determined to stop its spread into other places. This treaty was signed in September of 1954.
SEATO included members in Australia, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, and the UK apart from the United States. SEATO was largely ineffective in carrying out its goal. For example, it failed to prevent the greatest blunder in American foreign policy: the Vietnam War. Once again, America intervened as part of the Truman Doctrine, as South Vietnam was a democratic country. US policy held that a North Vietnamese takeover would not be good for the world, and the US went to war beginning with the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964. President Lyndon Johnson oversaw the start of the war, and it concluded in 1975 with the Fall of Saigon to communist forces. The United States lost the war to the communists, so there was no positive impact on their involvement. Had the US decided not to intervene, the communists would have taken control of Vietnam. There just would have been less loss of life. In fact, the South Vietnamese were treated harshly by the time they fell, and it is quite possible this could have been prevented had the United States not intervened. Furthermore, questionable tactics were used by the Americans which saw their image decline within the world community. The war left an ugly mark on human civilization in general, as nothing good came of this war.
Unfortunately, the effects of the Vietnam War were not just felt on Vietnam itself. The impact of SEATO could not prevent further communist takeover in neighboring countries. The American involvement saw itself cut through Cambodia, which caused instability throughout that country as well. Cambodia was weakened because the US engaged in an offensive that sought to fight North Vietnamese forces within Cambodia. While this was likely the most successful operation in the entire Vietnam War, it left lasting damage on the country of Cambodia. Winning this battle also had no effect on the war as the US lost and had to withdraw all troops from the region. The problem in Cambodia was that the eastern side was almost completely destroyed, leaving them susceptible to governmental revolution.
This occurred with the takeover of the Khmer Rouge regime. They took control of the government in 1975 and proceeded to strip all Western influence out of the country. Khmer Rouge was a communist regime that sought to create an agrarian society. However, in doing this, they are responsible for killing thousands of Cambodian citizens. This became known as the “Killing Fields,” in which any Cambodian citizen who had ties to Western influence was executed. This all occurred because of the destabilization brought by the American involvement in the Vietnam War.
A second international organization used that hindered progress in Asia was the United Nations. Many of the actions done by the US through SEATO led to hostile feelings in China and North Korea. North Korea emerged as a major enemy to the United States. They have been a threat to obtain nuclear weapons, which North Korea has threatened the United States with. Because of this, the United States, through the UN, has imposed sanctions upon North Korea, further angering them. They do not engage in business, and this causes a destabilization in the region. Furthermore, there are tense relations between the United States and China, and this comes out in diplomatic efforts throughout the UN.
A third international institution used by the United States to influence Asia is the World Trade Organization (WTO). This organization is set up the regulate trade between participating countries. In this case, most of Asia is a member, as well as the United States. The United States does of lot of international trade with China and other Asian countries that have cheap labor. This destabilizes the region because it supports human rights violations by purchasing products who use child labor and force workers to perform in harsh conditions. By using the WTO to conduct trade with Asian countries exploiting their workers, the United States has caused harm to the region in terms of economic fairness.
In conclusion, the American involvement in Asia after 1945 created a destabilization in the region, as shown throughout its involvement in international institutions. It led to the rise of brutal regimes who killed their own people, and created potentially harmful enemies against the United States. Its credibility was damaged due to its questionable war tactics, and relations major Asian powers deteriorated as a result of the Cold War policies. The United States has failed at using SEATO and the UN to ensure a stable Asia.
Arguments for why US had a negative influence on Asian countries in terms of international institutions.
The Korean war led to the creation of SEATO in 1954
SEATO was ineffective at stopping communism, under the leadership of the United States
World Trade Organization used to do business with Asian countries that exploit workers, effectively supporting this practice that violates human rights.
The diplomatic efforts between the United States and China/North Korea in the United Nations have led to instability throughout the region, as there is tension between these countries
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