This article kicks off a series on American foreign policy over the next few decades. The United States has entered a period of disengagement. This disengagement should have taken place after WW2, but the emergence of the Soviet Union necessitated a more involved U.S. foreign policy on the “World Island”. Before we take a look at where we’re going it’s important to first look back and see how we got here.
U.S. foreign policy for the framers was pretty easy to define. Two quotes come to mind:
“It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world"
"Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none."
It was quite obvious that those who founded the Republic wanted a clear separation between the old and new world.
Fast forward to December 2nd 1823. President James Monroe would deliver his seventh annual State of the Union address to Congress. The contents of this speech would be dubbed the “Monroe Doctrine”. The United States declared political sovereignty over all of the Americas and warned the old world European powers to stay out.
An argument can be made that this was orchestrated by Great Britain in order to secure an economic and political foothold in South America. Whatever the ulterior motives the old world now had to deal with an assertive United States in their sphere of influence. From Monroe’s perspective this would help keep the corruption and age old feuds of Europe out of the Americas. Where as Manifest Destiny would orient the U.S. from east to west the Monroe Doctrine would orient the country north to south. The U.S.’s prosperity would center around the economic and political relationships among the nations of the America’s. A clear separation from the bickering millennia-old rivalries in Eurasia.
In 1918 we had the end of World War 1. With Russia’s exit from the war the threat of German dominance over all of western Europe was too great to ignore. At that moment the United States was forced into the affairs of the old world. It was indeed necessary. One nation in control of all of Europe threatens the balance of the entire planet.
The main problem is that the United States should have disengaged after the end of the war. Instead, Woodrow Wilson took the lead in European affairs and issued his “Fourteen Points” as a basis for a truce. The fourteenth and final point was his globalist ideal for a one world governing body called the League of Nations.We’ll get into the specifics of how Wilson’s Fourteen Points and the Treaty of Versailles can be attributed to much of the current problems in the world today in follow up articles. Right now the main point is that Wilson put us on a course of deeper involvement with the old world. Involvement that our founders warned us about.
WW2 once again showed that the ramifications of one nation attempting to control Eurasia were too critical to ignore. The United States had to intervene despite trying desperately to stay out. A Nazi dominated Eurasia could theoretically dominate the world. The U.S. absolutely did the right thing by entering the war. The problem is that in the devastating aftermath of the war we could not disengage. The Soviet Union now stood on top of the ashes that Hitler wanted to control. Hitler fell but Stalin was right there to pick up the pieces. The threat of one nation controlling Eurasia was still in play.We had fought WW2 to stop Germany from dominating Eurasia. We would now fight the Cold War to stop the Soviet Union from doing the same.
As mentioned before, the U.S. was on a course of orienting from East to West and then North to South on the American continent. However, two catastrophic wars set off a series of moves that would distract American foreign policy up until the present day.
We should have disengaged after the Soviet Union fell in 1991. Instead we remained upon occupied territories, and continued the cold war strategy of spreading democracy throughout the world in order to undermine foreign governments.
This series will focus on providing a blueprint to return to the Monroe Doctrine. To continue our plans to orient North to South on the American continent.