The US has been very active in international relations for a long time. They have participated in both military and diplomatic operations with the purpose of pacifying and uniting the world. Their readiness to participate in war and treaties has earned them the name “policeman of the world” (Tyler, 1992). It is necessary to note that the USA has always responded to other nations’ calls for help in a variety of situations, including natural disasters, economic constraints, military conflicts, and wars. Americans have always found it impossible to refrain from assisting others and tried to provide any assistance. At that, American policies aimed at assisting other nations have also been criticized extensively even though the steps made by the USA have proved to be successful, which justifies the name given to the country’ policeman of the world’ as even though some measures undertaken by police officers can be debatable they are effective and ensure order in the society.
Involvement of the USA
Recent International Events Related to Post-Civil War Foreign Policy
The operation in Haiti
An example of US involvement is the operation of US soldiers in Haiti in 2010. They went to Haiti in 2010 with the purpose of providing support to civilians after the earthquake that killed many citizens. However, the citizens of both Haiti and the US accused the US government of colonizing Haiti.
When the earthquake occurred in Haiti, the US sent its soldiers to aid the victims. The earthquake affected approximately two million people, both directly and indirectly. About 160,000 people died, and many others lost their homes. The US government reacted promptly by sending its navy seals to take pictures of the damage and collect other intelligence information. Other soldiers joined later and offered foodstuffs, medical services, and prepared the airport to receive support from other countries (Thompson, 2010).
Their involvement in the Syrian Uprising was King Abdullah’s request. American troops were in Jordan for training. In 2013, King Abdullah of Jordan requested the US to offer him reinforcement. He requested the US to leave some soldiers behind to secure Jordan from attacks by the Syrians and their allies. The US had opted to play a passive role in the Syrian Civil War. However, continued violations of civilians’ rights, especially the use of chemical weapons on citizens, prompted the US to join the war. They opted to facilitate the rebels by giving them food, weapons, and financial support. Their support was very useful in defending civilians against Syrian soldiers and the Hezbollah Forces (Klare, 2013).
Consequently, about 600 soldiers remained behind to protect the country from the Syrian Civil War. This act was criticized by the Syrians, Americans and the Jordanians. Some of the critics accused them of taking a passive role in the war, while others accused them of participating in a war that was not theirs. Regardless of the criticism, the US army has the responsibility of pacifying and unifying the world, and so far, it has played this role satisfactorily.
Events and Aspects That Have Led to the Rise of the US since 1865
Eviction of the Spanish from Cuba
Admittedly, only really powerful countries can have such a strong position in the international arena. The USA gained its leading position during the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. An event that led to the empowerment of the country was the eviction of the Spanish from Cuba, which took place in 1898. The start of the war is still a matter of heated debate, and it is believed that the anger of Americans against atrocities of the Spanish in Cuba was fuelled by newspapers of that time. The explosion that led to the death of 226 Americans in Habana was the last straw. In 1898, the war between Spain and the USA started. The war that ended soon after its beginning led to the signing of the treaty in Paris. According to the document, Spain recognized the independence of Cuba and had to pay $20 million to the USA (Boyer, Clark, Halttunen, Hawley & Kett, 2012). This victory helped the USA gain significant authority among other players in the international political arena.
The US role in the First World War
The USA also secured its strong position during the First World War. It is noteworthy that there were no combats on the territory of the USA, and, hence, the country did not have any damages. More so, the USA remained neutral up to 1917 and was in the war for about a year. The country’s entry was decisive for the Allied countries that were running out of resources for the war. At the same time, Americans were significant suppliers of military technology to Allied Powers. This was a great boost for the American economy (Conlin, 2011). Furthermore, the country was one of the winners, and it was another push which made the USA one of the most powerful countries in the world.
The First World War is an example of the major aspect that enabled the country to be one of the greatest powers in the world. The USA has not had military actions on its territory since the Civil War. Therefore, the country has not experienced the damage of the war and losses in manpower, which are the most devastating aspects of any war. The USA has participated politically and economically.
Events since World War II
The Cold War
The USA also played an important role in the Second World War and was a country which offered a specific economic plan for European reconstruction as it was almost completely ruined after the war. This plan divided the world into two camps, democratic and non-democratic. The USA became a pillar, so-to-speak, of the democratic values and tried to halt the expansion of the Soviet Union which was trying to transfer its power on countries of Eastern Europe, Latin and Central America and Asia (Schultz, 2009). Notably, the US activities were successful and based on economic and political assistance with an element of the military power as the Soviet Union was the main rival of the country in this sphere.
Involvement in Chile and Guatemala
It is necessary to add that the history of American empowerment had dark pages as well. For instance, the CIA implemented a covert operation and deposed the president of Guatemala, who supported policies which were inconvenient for the USA and its economic interests (Conlin, 2011). Furthermore, Conlin (2011) stresses that the CIA was involved in the development of the plot against a democratically elected president of Chile in 1973. The president’s position could “threaten” the US financial interests, and he was removed. The power was taken by one of the most notorious dictators, Pinochet. Nonetheless, this involvement was still favorable for the development of the US economy, and the country secured its position as one of the most powerful countries.
Driving Forces of International Policies
It is necessary to note that the example of the US empowerment can unveil the driving forces of international policies. In the first place, the financial interests of countries can be regarded as one of the major forces. The USA (as any other country) tried to create the most favorable environment for its citizens. This factor is linked to the impact of national interests. The government of every country is trying to pursue its national interests, which often translates into a desire to improve the country’s position in the world arena. Another factor is the war on terrorism that started only some decades ago. Democratic countries join their forces to eliminate international terrorism as it threatens the present world order. Admittedly, corresponding decisions are being made. American policies were also influenced by these factors, and the country managed to become one of the most powerful nations in the world. The US military has effectively played its role as the “policeman” of the world, and numerous events demonstrate their value for the welfare of human beings in all parts of the world and their selflessness in defending people facing different atrocities.
Boyer, P., Clark, C., Halttunen, K., Hawley, S., & Kett, J. (2012). The enduring vision: A history of the American people, volume II: Since 1865. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Conlin, J. (2011). Cengage advantage books: The American past, volume II: Since 1865. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Klare, M.T. (2013). Why the push for Syrian intervention is about more than just Assad. The Nation. Web.
Schultz, K. (2009). HIST. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Thompson, M. (2010, January 13). How the US military will help Haiti. Time. Web.
Tyler, P. (1992, March 8). US strategy plan calls for insuring no rivals develop: A one superpower world. New York Times. Web.