Huanqiu Times , China
America’s Abysmal Foreign Policy Record
By Li Haidong
The United States has been planting seeds of trouble around the world, creating a negative global image that will be difficult to reverse.
Translated By Rosalyn Shih
16 June 2014
Edited by Gillian Palmer
China - Huanqiu Times - Original Article (Chinese)
Although Obama still has two years of his presidential term left, American foreign policy has created a miserable situation that should be regarded with awe. The seven-year-and-five-month Iraq War has only led to military confrontation with extremist anti-government al-Qaida organizations, who have occupied several regions in the north, as well as a new Iraqi government with closer ties to Iran. Meanwhile, the 13-year war in Afghanistan has forced the United States into a position where it must negotiate with the Taliban, resulting in a nation that still regards America with hostility.
In addition, Bashar al-Assad, who has been publicly condemned by the United States, has once again won a landslide victory in the Syrian presidential election. The Arab Spring, hailed by the United States as a welcome movement for democracy, has led to passionate anti-U.S. protests in the Middle East, North Africa and the western regions of Asia. As for the situation in Ukraine, because the United States proceeded independent of Russian policy, Europe and Russia have been brought even closer together. Finally, because of America’s unbridled support for the right-leaning government of Japan, which refuses to reflect on its history, the United States’ strategy in the Asia-Pacific has inadvertently revived support for Japanese imperialism. The United States has been planting seeds of trouble around the world, creating a negative global image that will be difficult to reverse.
This terrible record of foreign policy reveals both loss of strength and weak political strategy. Two time-consuming and costly wars, as well as a globally reaching national financial crisis, have severely corroded America’s power. This confirms the karmic principles in Paul Kennedy’s "The Rise and Fall of Great Powers": “Over-aggressive military tactics will lead to the fall of an empire.”* The increasingly polarized struggle between America’s political parties has now revealed a terrible model of democracy to the world. In addition, the Guantanamo torture scandal and the Edward Snowden incident have further damaged America’s soft power. Objectively speaking, the United States has failed at handling global foreign affairs; now it must make holistic changes to its own political and economic systems.
During a time when a country’s national security cannot be divided from the world’s, America still stubbornly dreams of maintaining alliances that threaten to tear apart global security. In the last 20 years, the last three NATO agreements have strengthened NATO’s military alliance through America’s insistence on Russia’s threat. Objectively speaking, this has led to tragedy after tragedy due to European separatist movements. Now, various Asian nations are calling for regional unification, but the United States insists upon China’s political threat. The United States calls for an Asian coalition based on the Japanese-American alliance, but this will only break down Asia’s regional security. America holds onto an antiquated perspective that not only harms its own economic situation, but also leads to condemnation from even more countries.
America is too persistent with its vision of imperialism. It not only excludes certain countries through traditional national boundaries, but it also divides nations through global public spaces such as information technology and online networks. The American Internet wars and strategies like “air-sea battle” are outdated ways of governing an ever-changing world.
Some American think tanks have attempted to warn the incumbent political party. While America’s aggressive approach has revived its economy, it must take care of its own domestic affairs instead of lighting and feeding fires elsewhere. In the early stages of Obama’s term in 2009, the American public had been optimistic about how their new president would successfully lead the country out of economic difficulties, as Roosevelt had. But after five years, the American economy has still not recovered. America has been divided politically, drawing greater gaps between the society’s rich and poor. However, the nation still tries to privately interfere on the global stage.
American policymakers must reflect on the tragedy created by their foreign policy. Last month, Obama asserted in a speech at West Point Military Academy that the United States must continue to lead the world for another 100 years. However, this powerless nation that still wallows in Old World thinking has done nothing but bring the world endless disputes. If America must continue leading the world, these nations may be led off the edge of a cliff. Is it that difficult for the United States to govern properly?
The author of this article is a research professor in the International Division of the China Foreign Affairs University.
*Editor’s note: Although accurately translated, this quote could not be verifiedhttp://watchingamerica.com/News/241162/americas-abysmal-foreign-policy-record/