US Foreign Policy after the Cold War: Global Hegemon or Reluctant Sheriff?

US Foreign Policy after the Cold War: Global Hegemon or Reluctant Sheriff?

US Foreign Policy after the Cold War: Global Hegemon or Reluctant Sheriff?

US Foreign Policy after the Cold War: Global Hegemon or Reluctant Sheriff?

Synopsis

Concentrating on the post-Cold War era, this is an accessible and comprehensive introduction to all aspects of American foreign policy. It examines the administrations of George Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, explaining the complex interaction between the institutions of power, the key actors and also non-government organizations to give a complete picture of foreign policy making in America. Key features of this textbook include: * case studies of the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Somalia, the Balkans and the Kyoto Protocol * lists of key points at the beginning of each chapter * figures explaining the organization of US foreign policy making, the National Security Council and the Department of Defense * analysis of issues of globalization, trade, the media and public opinion * a chronology of key dates in American foreign policy * a complete glossary of terms.

Excerpt

At the start of the twenty-first century, the United States (US) is the world's only superpower, or “hyperpower, ” as French Foreign Minister, Hubert Vedrine, famously described it. the use of “hyper” aroused considerable controversy in the us but if one takes the analogy of a French hypermarché being so much bigger and stocking far more goods than a supermarché then the comment is justified and is not pejorative. the us has the largest and most productive economy in the world, a long history of democracy, political stability, a highly educated and inventive population and a military power unequalled and unrivalled in the history of the world. Yet even this huge power could not prevent the horrendous terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September 2001.

Following the change of administration from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush in January 2001, it seemed that the new administration was set resolutely on a unilateralist approach in foreign policy. It gave the impression that it preferred to establish its own policies without reference to its international partners. in its first nine months in office the Bush administration rejected a host of international treaties, much to the consternation of the rest of the world. the terrorist attacks in September 2001 brought about a major reassessment of us foreign policy as President Bush recognized the importance of building a broad-based international coalition to tackle the terrorist threat. Six months after the attacks, however, there was little evidence that the President's new found desire for multilateral cooperation to tackle terrorism was being reflected in other policy areas. Indeed other policy areas were largely neglected as us foreign policy was focused completely on the war on terrorism. President Bush made it clear that the us was prepared to act alone if necessary in tackling threats from states, such as Iraq, suspected of seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction. the recurring metaphor of recent us foreign policy conjures up a sheriff and a posse. the sheriff rides out of town to round up the bad guys. Willing deputies such as Britain's Tony Blair are welcome to ride along. But the sheriff calls the shots.

The motive for writing this book arose from the fact that us foreign policy

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