The United States' Foreign Policy Creates a Global Issue in the Election

By Karlito Almeda
On October 5, 2016

Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of State, Flickr

According to the Democratic Party’s platform, “American leadership is essential to keeping us safe and our economy growing in the years ahead.”  Democratic leaders have served at the highest levels of the American government while fighting domestic terrorism, foreign terrorism, Russian encroachment, Russian cyberterrorism, Chinese expansionism, Chinese cyberattacks, North Korea’s nuclear promulgation program, Iran’s nuclear promulgation program, supporting the existence of  Israel and to maintain the world’s global economy. The Democratic Party’s foreign policy differs from leader to leader, but overall the stance that Democrats take is one of sustaining global partnerships and combating the expansionism of belligerent nations. For America, it is imperative that free-trade is unencumbered by the different conflicts that occur globally, therefore, it is necessary for the United States to take a global role in securing the autonomy and sovereignty of every nation through empowering the United Nations further. 

Currently, the United Nations is feckless. This is because the United Nations operates more as a confederation of governments instead of as a central actor to control the belligerent nations through military actions, punitive economic sanctions and enforcement of rulings created by the International Court of Justice. For example, the Hague international tribunal recently ruled against China’s claims in the South China Sea and found that the expansive claims China laid over the sovereignty of a swath of waters had no legal basis. While the case was a landmark ruling, and legally binds China to follow the decision, there is no enforcement mechanism. Due to the absence of enforcement, China had enumerated that the People’s Republic of China would not abide the tribunal’s rulings.

The United States should spearhead the initiative to develop a form of enforcement mechanism so that individual countries would not be able to ignore international rulings. Additionally, the United States should continue to emphasize the global and economic imperatives in attending to South East Asia. Although, much is still adrift in the Middle East, the multifaceted conflicts that the United States has been drawn into is a tax on our economic and military capabilities. President Obama was correct in seeing the need for an American “Pivot to Asia” because of the growing economies in South East Asia, the expansionist policies of China, and the increasing trade deficit the United States maintains with the People’s Republic of China. President Obama’s recent excursions into several South East Asian countries is what is needed to repair America’s relations with countries the United States had fought during the Cold War.

In regards to problematic areas such as Ukraine, Syria and Iraq, the United States should work with neighboring countries as well as other global powers to ensure the flow of humanitarian aid and the quarantining of an area of conflict. “Quarantining an area of conflict” will ensure that no competing powers continue to send weapons of mass destruction, conventional arms and military advisors. Areas of conflict should settle differences amongst the local political actors instead of including the intervention of global powers.

The addition of global powers, such as the United States, Russia and China will exacerbate a situation and augment the means of death. The United States should continue its path to operate within the confines of the United Nations and  international law to ensure domestic security as well as the free flow of trade globally.  

kalmeda@ramapo.edu

 

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