Introduction on American Foreign Policy
The main directions of foreign policy of Barack Obama
The origins of modern US foreign policy lie in the particularities of the formation of society and the state, geographical location, historical process, and other laws that determined the formation of the basic principles that successive administrations have followed and continue to follow. Naturally, the situation both in the USA itself and in the surrounding world determines a different combination of the main components of the foreign policy, which include the priority of national interests, the idea of being elected, the unconditional preservation of “free hands”, the use of force methods, etc.
To understand the prospects of US foreign policy, it is necessary to take into account that the American perception of the world is based on the ideals of freedom and justice, which inspired the colonists of thirteen “self-proclaimed” (using today’s terminology) states in the struggle for independence.
The aforementioned ideals of freedom and justice were also manifested in specific foreign policy actions of the young state, the desire to help the weak and unprotected, in particular, the proclamation of the Monroe Doctrine.
A later interpretation of it is generally characteristic of the development of foreign policy doctrines, when from the rich arsenal of democratic ideas and initiatives accumulated over two and a half centuries, the concept most appropriate to the perception of American public opinion is selected, which has specific goals and objectives that meet US national interests, as they understand them current administration.
The coming to power of the new head of state, as is known, is accompanied by fundamental changes, both in domestic and in foreign policy. The short term of Barack Obama’s reign has already shown differences from the so-called doctrine of George W. Bush Jr., which allows us to mark B. Obama’s foreign policy as more tolerant, peaceful, of interest to the study.
In the 2008 presidential election, a senator from the State of Illinois, a candidate for the Democratic Party, Barack Obama, was elected. He became the first African American president in US history. His rival was Republican Senator John McCain. Senate elections were held in some states on the same day, as a result of which the representatives of the Democratic Party received a majority. If at the beginning of its existence the US Democratic Party mainly represented the interests of the slave-owning South, then with time the priorities changed. The basis of modern party ideology is social liberalism. In foreign policy, Democrats are committed to diplomatic dialogue and the defense of human rights.
Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, received not only a country affected by the economic crisis, but also a set of problems in the field of international politics. The course pursued by the Bush administration over the past eight years has made it common for US foreign policy to violate international law, prefer external interventions, and divide states into friendly and hostile ones along the famous “axis of evil.” It is precisely this policy in recent years that has given “dynamics” to Washington’s foreign policy strategy and has justified many internal problems.
The 44th President of the United States received not only a country affected by the economic crisis, but also a whole range of problems in the field of international politics. The course pursued by the Bush administration over the past eight years has made it common for US foreign policy to violate international law, prefer external interventions, and divide states into friendly and hostile ones along the famous “axis of evil.” It is this policy in recent years that informed the “dynamics” of Washington’s foreign policy strategy and justified many internal problems. As a result of such foreign policy of the Republican administration of George W. Bush, the authority of the United States of America has sharply fallen. Before the new President, from the very first day he came to power, among others, an immediate solution was required to restore the former authority of the United States in the world. To do this, it was necessary to radically change priorities in the field of foreign policy. First of all, to replace the force pressure that was widely used by the previous administration, Barack Obama proposed his strategy. It is still too early to draw conclusions about the results of the new course of the Washington administration, but one thing is clear: the 44th President of the United States is determined to strengthen his country’s position in the world, to restore its leadership status, but by means different from those used by its predecessor. Where this will lead, time will tell.
On October 9, 2009, Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize with the wording “for extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people.” He became the third president of the United States, after Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, who received the Nobel Peace Prize during his tenure as President. She was also awarded to Jimmy Carter, but after the resignation of the president.
The relevance of this topic lies in the fact that there are currently no studies on the foreign policy of the administration of the Democratic President Barack Obama.
The aim of this work was to study the foreign policy of Barack Obama as President of the United States.
In accordance with the goal, the objectives of the study were identified, which consists in:
1. The study of foreign policy features of the US Democratic Party;
2. analysis of transatlantic relations under the administration of B. Obama;
3. consideration of the “new” and “old” US relations under the administration of B. Obama;
4. research into the views of the B. Obama administration on security issues in Iraq and Afghanistan;
5. summarizing the study and formulating conclusions.
In the process of working on our diploma project, we used materials from the press and book publications relating to various aspects of the foreign policy strategy of the new US President.
Foreign Policy Features of the US Democratic Party
1.1 Priority Issues
The program of the Democratic Party, which incorporates the most successful and popular ideas and slogans voiced during the election campaign, and not only among the Democrats, like any other document that does not have the force of law, is more advisory than binding. Nevertheless, in the conditions of sharp party confrontation and the upcoming midterm elections of 2010, opponents of the current administration are closely following the first steps of B. Obama in the international arena. The program contains ritual statements about the president’s obligation to be ready to demonstrate to America and the whole world that this country is still waiting for its best days, and to establish a peace based on freedom, the need to lead the world with its own affairs and example, and restore American leadership.
Obama spoke about the need for change during his election campaign. He emphasized that in the center of the new US strategy will be the fight against the global crisis, the solution of Iraqi and Afghan problems, the continuation of the struggle for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and ensuring energy security.
In his election program, Democrat Barack Obama took a moderate position. He advocates the use of multilateral approaches in expanding the number of democracies, using the concepts of pragmatism, “new Atlantism” and globalism.
Prior to Senate hearings, former Democratic presidential candidate and current Senate foreign affairs committee chairman Senator John Kerry published an article outlining his vision for future US foreign policy. His ideas almost exactly matched what Clinton said in the Senate. Kerry believes that after eight years of vicious practice of unilateral decision-making on the world stage and one-party paralysis at home, America has a real opportunity to change its position in the world. For this, it is necessary to return to moral leadership and restore the confidence of the world community through the practice of multilateral solution of international problems based on diplomacy. In other words, America must move from unilateralism to multilaterism in foreign policy. The main rule for the new foreign policy is to replace military and unilateral decisions with diplomacy and multinational consent. Kerry also noted that an important priority at this point is to reduce US strategic nuclear arsenals to 1,000 deployed warheads. It is only necessary to convince Russia to do the same. In addition, a discussion is scheduled to begin with Russia over the replacement of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
Before members of the relevant committee, Secretary of State of the new administration, Hilary Clinton, outlined the most important foreign policy priorities that allow a general idea of how the United States will act in the very near future. The most pressing issues in US foreign policy are still the Afghan and Iraqi problems. According to Obama, everything is not so bad in Iraq, but Afghanistan not only did not take the path of renewal and development, but, on the contrary, significantly worsened its situation. The newly elected President acknowledged that the Afghan government, backed by NATO, is not in a position to control the entire territory of the country, so most of Afghanistan is in the hands of the Taliban and Al Qaeda movements. In addition, he stated the danger of the conflict spreading to neighboring Pakistan. In this regard, Obama outlined the Afghan direction as the main front of the fight against international terrorism and announced his intention to almost double the US forces operating there and increase NATO activity in the region.
At the moment, there are several primary provisions on which American foreign policy will be based. First, as Clinton said, America will strive to return to the principles of bipartisan foreign policy. Perhaps this means that a foreign policy strategy should be developed with the involvement of representatives of both parties. Responsibility will be shared. Clinton clarified that international politics should be based on “a marriage of principles and pragmatism”, and not on a rigid ideology; on facts, not emotions and prejudice.
Secondly, foreign policy should help strengthen American global leadership. At the same time, the United States, according to Clinton, should play the role of a positive force in the world, constantly proving this in practice, whether in the fight against global warming or in the desire to expand opportunities for progress and prosperity of people in other countries. To advance its interests around the world, America should be an example of consistent compliance with certain rules, and its leadership should be based not on decrees, but on an example. Clinton said the story shows: the US is most effective when between its interests abroad and the values of the home. The interests of the country should coincide with moral obligations. At the same time, America, thanks to its status, still bears a huge responsibility in relation to all of humanity, and its interests are global.
Thirdly, America will fight global threats together with other countries, because the USA and all other states are mutually dependent on each other. America cannot solve global problems alone, but other countries cannot solve them without the participation of America. US security, vitality, and leadership in the modern world directly depend on the fact that they recognize the irresistible fact of their interdependence. Therefore, in order to be effective in solving global problems, it is necessary to build a world with more partners and fewer opponents. Clinton said that the best way to advance American interests in reducing global threats is to take such foreign policy decisions that rely on the extremely broad advice of other participants in international relations.
Fourth, foreign policy should be guided, according to the wording, by Hillary Clinton, “smart power” (smart power). This refers to the use of a range of means at the disposal of the state – diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal and cultural. America should simply choose the right remedy or combination of means for each situation individually. The use of “smart power” means that diplomacy, and not the threat of using military force or unilateral actions, is at the core of foreign policy. Clinton expressed her commitment to tough, but at the same time clever diplomacy. Nevertheless, in her opinion, military force is sometimes necessary, and America will resort to it in order to protect its citizens and its interests when this is necessary, but only as a last resort.
Undoubtedly, the principle of “smart power” is an attempt to separate Obama’s foreign policy from Bush’s foreign policy. However, it should be remembered that President Bush did not commit unilateral actions against Afghanistan and Iraq, or against Iran and North Korea. As for military force, the Bush administration has used it twice – in Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama strongly supports the war in Afghanistan and plans to intensify it in the near future. In this case, “smart power” should be understood as a counterweight to the Iraq campaign. At the same time, Senator Clinton herself voted for the war in Iraq.
Fifth, the United States will use the UN and other international organizations when it is necessary and possible. Clinton noted that international institutions, when they function well, only multiply the influence of America. And when they work unsatisfactorily, they should be reformed together with like-minded people so that they again reflect those principles that motivated their organization.
This means that American exclusivity and, as a result, the desire for moral leadership in the world will remain the ideological basis of US foreign policy, and the new administration in this regard will not differ from the previous one. Only the tools for implementing this exclusivity will change. The policy of force is supposed to go by the wayside, and diplomacy and reliance on reliable and durable alliances will take its place.
H. Clinton noted that the Democrats understand that in the current international situation, the possibilities for the United States to act alone on the world stage have significantly decreased. America will strive to regain the status of a leader setting a moral example, but will not act alone.
H. Clinton listed the main challenges facing America at the moment. First of all, President Obama must end the war in Iraq and use a broader strategy in Afghanistan, which will restore security and create the conditions for economic development. Vice President Joe Biden, on his last trip to Iraq, assured Iraqi leaders that the new administration was aware of its commitment to withdrawing troops from Iraq, which would not jeopardize security gains. America will gradually transfer responsibility for the country to the sovereign people of Iraq, and contribute to the further stabilization of the region with the participation of other states.
Terrorism continues to be a serious threat, and the United States, according to Clinton, will strive to create a comprehensive strategy that effectively leverages intelligence, diplomacy, and military methods to defeat al Qaeda, the Taliban, and terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The possibility of WMD falling into the hands of terrorists remains a serious threat. As a result, the new administration will curb the proliferation of nuclear, biological, chemical and cyber weapons.
Regarding the position on the Middle East conflict, Israel has every right to ensure its own security. At the same time, the legitimate political and economic hopes of the Palestinian people should be taken into account. Clinton said the Obama administration would be deeply sympathetic to Israel’s desire to protect itself from Hamas missiles. Hamas must renounce violence and recognize Israel. However, the tragic humanitarian cost of the conflict in the Middle East should be remembered. The solution to the problem, according to Hillary Clinton, should be the conclusion of a long peace agreement that will bring Israel real security, positive relations with its neighbors, and Palestinians – independence, economic progress and security in their own state.
The position of Iran on the new administration is not much different from the position of the Bush administration, with the exception that the Democrats expressed their readiness for a direct dialogue with Tehran. Iran must end its nuclear weapons program and support for terrorism. The presence of nuclear weapons in Iran is unacceptable, and therefore necessary in any way: diplomacy, sanctions, the creation of new coalitions to prevent its appearance in the Islamic state. Clinton emphasized that none of the possibilities for exerting pressure on Iran is excluded. And including military pressure .. But at the same time, Clinton added, the USA will use a new approach in relation to Tehran. Clinton never revealed any details of the new approach. She only said that the United States will try to achieve greater international support for sanctions and actions that could affect Iran’s behavior.
In addition, Clinton said that urgent action should be taken to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons in North Korea, it is important to completely close the market for the illegal sale of nuclear materials. The new administration will continue to consider the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as the basis for non-proliferation. Clinton assured that she would work with the committee and the Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and to resume negotiations on the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty.
According to Senator Clinton, the Obama administration intends to cooperate with Russia, primarily in the direction of reducing stockpiles of nuclear weapons, as well as in the field of strategic arms control. But the United States will seek further cooperation with Russia on a wide range of issues of strategic importance, but at the same time insist on American values and international standards. Russia’s behavior with an attempt to create a gas OPEC and the conflict with Ukraine is perceived by the democrats as a security threat, which, according to Clinton, needs to be countered with NATO partners.
Clinton also expressed her commitment to a positive relationship with China. But she emphasized that this should not be one-sided efforts. Much of what America will do will depend on the choices that China will make in its foreign and domestic policies. In general, together with Russia and China, America intends to work on resolving the problems of terrorism, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, economic problems, climate change and reforming financial markets. Clinton added that long-developed countries only talked about attracting developing countries to global economic governance. Now it’s time to move from words to action. The recent G-20 meeting was the first step in this direction, the new administration is considering the G-20 meeting as part of resolving the economic crisis and achieving global economic stability.
Climate change is understood by the Obama administration as a threat to national security. It can threaten even the very existence of the United States and in the long run can cause wars for food, water and fertile land. The world must give a coordinated response to climate change, and America will try to take a leading position in this process. Democrats believe the United States can no longer withdraw from global efforts to tackle climate change. Clinton stated the need to reduce carbon emissions within the United States, thereby reducing dependence on foreign oil and gas. This will not only combat climate change, but also improve the economy and security.
The United States will strengthen alliances that have stood the test of time, especially with its partners in NATO and Asia. Clinton announced that deepening relations with Europe will be one of the priorities of foreign policy, as Europeans are “allies who deserve the most trust”. The alliance with Japan remains the main link in American politics in Asia. It is based on shared values and common interests. The partnership with South Korea, Australia and other ASEAN friends continues to be of decisive economic and defense significance. Relations with India, which, as Clinton assured, the United States intends to develop and strengthen, have acquired a new meaning.
Occupying a leading position in the world, the United States in the postwar years pursued an active foreign policy based on a combination of two principles. First, with the help of force, they fought against changes that were unfavorable to them. Secondly, they adapted to them and tried to learn from them.
In an effort to establish its priority in the world, the United States actively intervened in international affairs in all regions of the planet. Repeatedly they used military force to secure their interests and defend Western democracy.
The question of strategic choice remains debatable – whether to abandon the course towards maintaining geopolitical superiority, which has been successively pursued by the successive republican and democratic administrations since the Cold War, or to move on to creating an approximate balance between the strongest states.
Such a strategy was not revised even after the collapse of the USSR, and the policy of maintaining the absolute superiority of the United States over other, potentially great politico-military powers, remained unchanged. As noted by the conservative “National Interest”, at the beginning of the XXI century. The United States exercised effective, although mostly informal control in the Western Hemisphere, Asian Rimland, the Arabian Gulf, and NATO’s area of responsibility, trying to expand its influence in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq.
China, Russia and India, working with the United States, remained the main countries outside the hierarchical order established by the United States.
The basis of this extremely costly strategy is based on the already mentioned principles and ideological postulates of foreign policy, which, apparently, the Obama administration is going to follow. However, the events of September 11, the development of the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan contributed to the development of a strategy of “foreign balancing”, formally designed to stimulate multipolarity and perceive the accompanying instability as a natural geopolitical state. In practice, the idea of establishing a balance of power in Europe, East Asia and the Persian Gulf by the new great powers provides for the preservation of the United States’ control functions, the possibility of not participating, but observing, and in case of threat of someone’s hegemony of interference in order to prevent a similar situation. To a large extent this applies to regional conflicts. Those. we are talking about saving manpower and resources, shifting a significant share of responsibility to allies and potential partners.
After confirming their parties as official candidates for election to the post of US President, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain were faced with the need to adjust their foreign policies. The main reason that led to changes in the candidates’ strategies was the hostilities of Russia in Georgia in August 2008. Their consequences forced the candidates to differently prioritize their proposed US foreign policy. Prior to this, they primarily focused their foreign policy strategy on the region of the traditional and “expanded” Middle East (including Transcaucasia, the Caspian and Central Asia), focusing on the fight against terrorism, ensuring energy security and the non-proliferation of WMD. Now a new priority of US foreign policy has appeared – aggravated relations with Russia. The US political establishment is aware that the state of these relations, the degree of rivalry between Washington and Moscow will directly affect the development of conflict situations on the BBV (namely, Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq) and the situation on world energy markets.
The complex of Middle East problems in the understanding of American politicians, experts and ordinary citizens does not fully relate to the sphere of only foreign policy activities of the current and future administrations. Many issues related to the region of the Greater Middle East have long and seriously affected the daily life of Americans (oil prices, terrorist threats, victims in Iraq and Afghanistan, interethnic and interreligious dialogue), and therefore are perceived as aspects of the internal policy of the administration. That is why US presidential candidates are beginning to hone their approaches to these issues. A clear manifestation of this was the repeated visits, first by John McCain, then by Barack Obama (July 2008) to Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as their speeches at the beginning of the summer in the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), influential pro-Israeli lobbying organization. Traditionally, McCain and Obama’s allegations of adherence to the strategic alliance of the United States and Israel have become the most important thesis of the US presidential candidates at AIPAC. The cornerstone of this alliance is the provision on the obligation of the United States to fully ensure the security of the state of Israel.
Thus, both candidates – McCain and Obama considered the Middle East direction as the most important in their presidency. However, at this stage, Obama’s position on the main “painful” issues in this region often looks eclectic and partly emotional, while McCain’s vision gives the impression of a complex.
During his July trip to Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama argued that the United States should expedite the withdrawal of its troops from Iraq and their deployment to Afghanistan to counter the Taliban reinforcements there.
McCain is confident that the implementation of a plan similar to that used to increase the number of troops in Iraq (George W. Bush’s “New US Strategy in Iraq”) will help the US defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The candidate from the Democratic Party is trying to demonstrate a completely different approach to the problems of the region, he focuses not on the military solution of issues, but on the deepening of the negotiation processes (credo: “ready to meet with leaders of any states regardless of their positions”). This applies to almost all the “hot spots” of the region.
The Obama team of foreign policy and national security advisers is made up mainly of Bill Clinton administration staff and Senator Hillary Clinton advisers. These are former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Warren Christopher, as well as former Secretary of Defense William Perry, former Director of the Department of Political Planning at the Department of State Gregory Craig, former Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives Lee Hamilton, former senators David Boren and Sam Nunn, former member of the US House of Representatives Tim Roemer, former National Security Advisor Anthony Lake. None of them have ever put forward any coherent concept of Middle East problems, on the basis of which an intelligible strategy could be built. Criticizing almost the entire Middle East course of the George W. Bush administration, the above-mentioned advisers to the Democratic candidate agree with the Republicans and the administration in only one thing – the continued support of Israel. / 6, p.27 /
Commenting on the outcome of a trip to Baghdad on July 15 in Washington, Barack Obama said that becoming president would end the war in Iraq, which “distracts us from all the threats that we face.” “Our unequivocal and endless emphasis on Iraq is not a sound strategy for America’s security,” Obama said, once again publicly reaffirming his principled approach to the Iraq problem.
1.2 International and regional security
What is noteworthy is the more controversial interpretation of the problem of terrorism, according to which the events of September 11, 2001, with all their tragedy, are not new, but the reaction of George W. Bush. was inadequate and unproductive.
It seems that this reflects not so much an alternative vision of international life, but rather the desire, dictated by purely party considerations, to relieve the Clinton administration of responsibility for “inattention” to the growing threat to US national security.
Over the past ten years, international and analytical circles have been paying close attention to the geopolitical and geoeconomic role of the Central Asian region, its place and significance in the international security system. The new US administration in the person of President Barack Obama and his team pays a lot of attention to issues of international and regional security. Central Asia is one of the most interesting US regions. Recently, Americans have been paying more and more close attention to the situation in the region, which may be due to the desire to control energy resources, as well as goals to combat terrorism. This is confirmed by the development of the US plan for Greater Central Asia, a project created with US assistance, but without the participation of Russia and China.
Washington believes that without the full cooperation of the West with Kazakhstan, it is impossible not only to pursue an Afghan policy, fight against drug trafficking, international terrorism, but also to build the entire security system of Europe and Central Asia.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana met with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns, the presidential press service said.
During the conversation, prospects for the development of bilateral cooperation, regional security, and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction were discussed.
N. Nazarbayev noted that Kazakhstan supports the initiative of US President Barack Obama to hold a global nuclear security summit in 2010 in New York.
According to the press service, the parties also discussed international issues of mutual interest, in particular, the problems of stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev has demonstrated leadership on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The United States also seeks to prevent its spread and set an example to other countries how this can be achieved.
According to the report, W. Burns emphasized that the arrival in Astana of the American delegation, which he heads, reflects “the high priority that President Obama attaches to relations with Kazakhstan.”
US President Barack Obama noted 100 days of his tenure with an address in which he took a number of obligations to the world
He undertook: on his own behalf and on behalf of his administration, to pursue a foreign policy aimed at ensuring the security of the American people, friends and allies. The starting point of US foreign policy is global cooperation based on mutual interests and mutual respect. And although there are certainly circumstances in which such an approach will not succeed, the US government will always be ready to listen to potential opponents and enter into a dialogue with them in the name of the national interests of the United States and the interests of the global community, hoping for the United States as a leader in security matters. In cases where it will be impossible to do without a more impressive demonstration of power, no enemy should be deceived about the outcome of the confrontation. To implement the new cooperation strategy, the president, barely having time to take office, appointed a number of the most talented American diplomats as special envoys and representatives – in the Middle East peace process, in Southeast Asia, Sudan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as on climate change. This fact alone indicates that in the 21st century regional strategies will be put at the forefront of American foreign policy with an emphasis on national and international security. This proves a clear understanding that the world needs to be seen as it is today, and not as it was in the 20th century. Over the past three months, our experts in the field of national security, including the diplomatic corps, have been conducting active and very productive diplomacy, overcoming the many problems that confront us. The first results are encouraging, although there is still a lot of work ahead.
President Obama has also made clear his determination to engage in a deep and positive dialogue with Muslim communities around the world. That is why he gave his first television interview as president of the United States to Al-Arabia television network. That is why he informed the Iranian people and their leaders of his desire for a new dialogue on all the problems facing the world, and for the same reason, he spoke about new partnerships in the field of education, healthcare and the opening of new opportunities, speaking in the Turkish parliament. And finally, that’s why he made it clear that the United States is not fighting, and will never fight Islam.
Secondly, he made it clear that the United States intends to fight Al Qaeda in order to defeat and destroy it. In March, the president announced the results of a revision of the strategy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, which would provide the necessary resources to achieve the goals and provide the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan with security and new opportunities. At the festivities in Strasbourg on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the President received wide international support for his strategy and assurances from NATO allies of their readiness to develop a new strategic doctrine that would make the alliance more ready to deal with the challenges of the 21st century. In Baghdad, Obama reiterated his intention to reduce the number of US troops in accordance with the Status of Forces Agreement developed with the Iraqi government, while helping Iraqis take on greater responsibility for the fate of their country.
Third, President Obama seeks to develop a unified approach to a wide range of global issues. In London, it was largely thanks to his efforts that agreement was reached on a number of specific measures to overcome the global financial crisis, including a new framework agreement on government regulation of financial markets globally, increased assistance to developing countries, and evidence of commitment to free and fair trade. In Prague, he proposed a plan aimed at putting under control all “orphaned” nuclear materials in the world in four years, stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons and taking a course towards the complete elimination of nuclear weapons around the world.
Speaking about America’s regional problems, President Obama acknowledged that the United States, along with other countries, should work more energetically to reduce drug demand and stop arms trafficking. At his suggestion, a new plan to combat drug-based violence on the border with Mexico was adopted. The President announced the lifting of restrictions on money transfers and trips to Cuba for Americans of Cuban descent, and at the Summit of the Americas he ushered in a new era in relations with neighbors in the hemisphere, offering them cooperation on a wide range of issues.
The President works a lot with international organizations. The United States managed to mobilize its allies and the entire world community to condemn the launch of the missiles by the North Korean regime and to expand international efforts to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia. Finally, the United States has expressed its intention to take a leading role in a number of other important initiatives relevant to our planet. These initiatives, announced at the first session of the Forum of Leading Economic Powers on Energy and Climate, are aimed at developing cooperation in the field of clean energy and climate change.
1.3 Human rights and the development of democracy
On the first day of his presidency, Obama ordered the prison to be closed in Guantanamo Bay during the year, imposed a ban on tougher measures to detain prisoners, and made it clear that the US government fully supported the Geneva Convention, did not use torture and did not justify their use . In this region. The Obama administration also intends to assume the leadership role, setting an example to others.
The State Department’s next report on respect for human rights in the world caused a strong wave of indignation in many countries. The creation of such irritants in relations with other states does not contribute to improving the international climate. Such an edifying tone and complete oblivion of the concept of sovereignty and one of the basic principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter — non-interference in the internal affairs of states — leads to disappointment precisely in the very “Western values” and “European democracy” that attracted during centuries, other civilizations and worlds, which gave the West and the United States major political dividends.
In fact, the position of the US administration in the field of human rights is based on the frank application of double standards, depending on whether this or that state is subordinate to Washington’s strategic objectives. The neglect of even the appearance of reliance only on verified facts and reliable sources is growing. Any statement made by an insignificant group of people who declare themselves to be the mouthpiece of a “civil society” in any country, but who have not proved their authority in society in any way, often existing from outside, is used as a charge. This is very similar to the methods and theory of “revolutionary legality” in the 1920s and 1930s of early Bolshevism, drawn in turn from the medieval Inquisition, from the era of the persecution of witches, when any charge obliged the “guilty” to present evidence of their innocence instead of proving the charge proved the blame. This is nothing but the violation of the basic principle of law – the presumption of innocence.
All this makes a painful impression on the non-Western world, which perceives these phenomena as a deep crisis, if not the decline and degradation of democracy, as the decline of the Western world and European civilization, which concerns not only America, but all of us. The result of such disappointment is the rise of anti-Americanism, and, since the United States claims to be the leader and “face” of the Western world, disappointment in the United States aggravates general hostility to Western, originally Christian civilization.
Such authoritative organizations in Washington (when it comes to other countries) such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are constantly criticizing the United States for domestic human rights violations and deviations from humanitarian law committed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries.
US human rights assessments show clear hypocrisy with regard to the movement towards democracy in countries such as Iraq or Afghanistan, tormented by acute internal conflicts, in an environment of continued foreign military presence. For example, in Iraq, 30,000 people are currently being detained without trial and investigation, half of which are held by coalition forces. Of the 15,000 arrested by the Iraqi authorities, only 8,000 are held in detention centers subject to the Iraqi Ministry of Justice, that is, on more or less legal grounds. They do not want to notice in the USA violations of the rights of the non-citizens of the Russian-speaking population in Estonia and Latvia either. Americans bypass the problematic issues of the Russian population in Ukraine, where the Convention on Regional Languages, ratified by the Ukrainian parliament, and the human rights situation in Georgia are grossly violated.
Along with all of Washington’s obvious foreign policy goals in this area, there is an undoubted danger in the inclination to cover up its goals in international politics with a world goal, such as a victorious march of democracy around the world that replaced the slogans of N.S. Khrushchev about the victory of communism on a global scale. The whole world has long regarded this as a screen that excludes criticism of the United States abroad and domestically covering the true American interests pursued in world politics. The same is the effect of the exaggeration of the allegedly increased external threat to US security, in the context of which any violation of the fundamental principles of democracy, the rights and freedoms of citizens seems justified.
The Washington administration’s efforts to “democratize Central Asian countries” produce the opposite effect, a kind of “boomerang effect”, because in many countries of the world, especially in the CIS, the democratic values of the USA and the West have begun to be perceived as the main instrument of US geopolitics, the aim of which is creation of favorable conditions for establishing control over the production and transportation of oil and gas from the Caspian basin.
The imposition of American or European standards on the policy of democracy and culture does not always correspond to the national and cultural characteristics of the countries where it is planned to carry out “democratic revolutions”. But through military action and mass unrest, democracy cannot be established.
Thus, the identified features of US foreign policy indicate the scale of its reach, ambitiousness, as well as the desire to strengthen US dominance in the world arena, as the sole regulator and builder of democracy in the world. It also became obvious that in order to get a more complete picture of the foreign policy features of the US Democratic Party, it is necessary to study the foreign policy vector set by the last and current presidents of this party.