As we talk about American foreign policy, we've discussed what our goals and guiding principles should be. Our foreign policy goals, as we have collectively discussed in 3 different classes, seem to be:
- protect U.S. freedoms at home
- improve the quality of life around the world
- promote democracy
- gain allies
- become wealthier as a nation by promoting trade
- to maintain our status as the world's superpower.
Today, we discussed how the U.S. might act in situations involving human rights violations (we used China as an example) or genocide (Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur come to mind). In addition, many other scenarios could come to mind when thinking about how America should act - how should we treat our allies? Should we honor treaties that we've signed 40 years ago but don't really fit our needs now? What kinds of trade practices should we follow? With these and many other questions, we could fill the rest of the year w/ debate and discussion.
But, right now, I just want to focus on two:
1. Should America's #1 foreign policy goal be to spread democracy around the world? Why or why not? (Think about the assumptions as mentioned in your textbook -pgs. 894-895)
2. Should America be the world's policeman, creating order out of chaos, helping ending conflicts, etc.? Why or why not? Please check these links for a debate about this actual question:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=19180589 - NPR audio file of the debate.
http://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/TranscriptContainer/AmericaWorldPoliceman%20021208.pdf - transcript of the debate.
Answer only one of these questions in a thoughtful paragraph of a minimum 150 words. Your answer is due Wednesday before class.