Good Foreign Policy As Social Work Article Review Example
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The article “Foreign Policy as Social Work” written by Michael Mandelbaum addresses to the failed military policy of President Clinton administration and the image of the United States that was formed during Clinton presidency (Mandelbaum 1996). Moreover, the distinctive international political course that has been chosen by the Presidential team was met with severe criticism that resulted in total failure of the whole course. The main issues that are researched within the article are campaigns in Bosnia, Haiti and Somalia that can be defined as the key factors for the overall defeat of Clinton political program that influenced all his Presidential term.
In the beginning, Mandelbaum discusses the importance of the role of abortive interventions that occurred after the end of the Cold War period. The author underlines that one of the main losses of Clinton’s team was the misunderstanding of the post-Cold war period and its specific features. All of such campaigns included undeveloped and contemporary weak countries distanced from the main centers of American interests and influence in the prior period. This seriously distinguished the new policy as the previous presidents preferred to concentrate American attention on opposing powerful and potentially extremely dangerous actors of political arena that cannot be compared to the periphery that was in the focus of Clinton’s foreign policy. Another factor that makes this political course unique is the concentration of attention not on the states-neighbors of the country involved in the conflict, but more on the inside economic, social and political environment. Therefore, while the previous military campaigns were trying to define their reliability by underlying the potential danger for American citizens and the strict opposition to the United States, these issues were leaving such values behind while concentrating on the proclamation and distribution of American values.
The main approach of Clinton’s presidential team is defined as “Pragmatic Neo-Wilsonianism” that is demonstrating close connection of the views of Bill Clinton with one of his predecessors Woodrow Wilson that was a well-known supporter of the distribution of democratic values and supported its distribution on the Western European states as a measure of possible prevention of the new World War. However, the issues on Haiti, Serbia and Bosnia were not likely to result in the emergence of the World War II and moreover – the Wilson’s ideas of democracy were based on the right of the proclamation of independence given to each state, while Clinton has not supported the appearance of new independent countries in Balkan region.
Mandelbaum researches the whole period of Clinton’s residency beginning with the period that occurred in 1993 and was marked by the untraditional indifference of the American political leader to the issues of foreign policy that has not been present in the White House for the last six decades. Moreover, this period was marked by the end of the Cold War that was a serious step for the global and American society. The prior support of American society of the countries of the Third World and connection of this issue with the support and proclamation of American national interests made this mistake of the main during Clinton’s presidency.
This problem was followed by the issues in Haiti and Bosnia in 1993 that were worsened with the adaptation of American government of the new policies considering the conflicts in these territories that resulted in the usage of force. Mandelbaun defines this decision as an attempt to rectify the previous mistakes. The success in Haiti occurred in 1994, although the positive outcomes were temporary as the following development of this issue demonstrated the lack of stable economic and political systems in Haiti that resulted in the new problem for American state.
This period of stagnation was followed by the campaign in Bosnia that was much more complicated as it included the relationships with Britain and France. This resulted oin more than 9 motnhs of copmplicted poreltionships and misundertandings. This cpmflci was much more important for international society and therefore it required quick and effective solution. However, the United States vetoed all the peaceful plans while the European side was rejecting the variants of force usage and bombing. Without the elaboration of possible solutions conflict took more and more lives and a huge number of places were destroyed in this war. These issues together with the position of American side in conflict in Northern Ireland revealed the absolute weakness of American diplomacy at that period. American government failed to support its national interests in relationships with Russia, Korea and Japan and were unable to define the concrete purposes of American state in the post-Cold War period that was especially important in that period.
Mandelbaum, Michael. “Foreign Policy as Social Work.” The Foreign Affairs Journal, Council on Foreign Relations, Inc. Jan. - Feb. 1996. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.
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