Foreign Policy—National Interests
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Every nation has a foreign policy to ensure that its needs are represented in the global community. However, throughout history, including recently such as during and after the Cold War, power has used in the international scene to push forward national interests and agendas, sometimes without any regard to the nations and people they may directly or indirectly affect.
This has sometimes resulted in a rise in resentment against some of these nations who are then seen as bullies, getting away with many acts of hypocrisy.
In the increasingly smaller global community,
national interests do not necessarily mean that they are good for the international community.
Former US National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, gives an example of why many worry about real objectives of those with power:
It is sometimes difficult to decide when national interests and international concerns should be addressed in a balanced way.
The United Nations2, an international body to tackle various global concerns, as an example, has been constantly abused by those who have the power to act unilaterally when the international community's views and opinions do not agree with their own national interests.
The foreign policy3 of some Western States have been harshly criticized4 by many who claim that the objective is to simply ensure that they remain as the power5 and authority6 in the world and to ensure that the "new world order" goes along the lines of Western ideals, with little consideration for other cultures7.
For more on foreign policy (this is just a start as this topic is so huge!) check out some of the following:
- This section of the globalissues.org web site used to provide articles on some examples of foreign policy at work. However, those article have grown in their own right, and formed part of the Middle East section of this web site8.
- Foreign Policy in Focus9
- The Noam Chomsky Archive10. Noam Chomsky is a prominent social critic and professor at MIT. He is critical of foreign policies of USA. Deterring Democracy11 is an example of one of many online books and articles to be found at the site.
- This link to some resources from Edward Said12 presents information especially about the stereotypes and perceptions of the Middle East by the West.
- Center for Defense Information13, an independent military monitor based in Washington D.C. run by retired military generals, admirals, colonels etc who present a very open and objective critique of the military policies of USA and the world. They have a TV series called American Defense Monitor which presents information on the military’s effect on the political system, the economy, the environment, and society as a whole. They also look into foreign policy, international affairs, armed intervention, and nuclear and conventional weapons. They have some useful web material, including:
- Many other transcripts on a variety of military issues14
- They also maintain a weekly archive15 of their newsletters that are very informative
- Their Defense Monitors16 provide insight into some complex issues especially about American military policies
- The Foreign Policy, International Affairs and Intervention documentaries17
- The Peace Pledge Union18 is a great web site with hundreds of statistics on wars and conflicts as well as covering many issues related to wars and arms trade.
- The Institute for Economic Democracy19 has some excellent research and in-depth analysis into the histories that have led to the current disparities between the developing nations and the developed nations. This is a must check out site!
- Military Expansion Serving Economic Objectives
- The Bush Doctrine of Pre-emptive Strikes; A Global Pax Americana
- The Clinton Doctrine of Humanitarian Interventions
- A European Defense Force
- Dominance and Change in the Arctic
- Arms Race
- Foreign Policy—National Interests
- Power and Empire Links for More Information
(Note that listed here are only those hyperlinks to other articles from other web sites or elsewhere on this web site. Other sources such as journal, books and magazines, are mentioned above in the original text. Please also note that links to external sites are beyond my control. They might become unavailable temporarily or permanently since you read this, depending on the policies of those sites, which I cannot unfortunately do anything about.)
- Global Issues: “Middle East”, Last updated: Tuesday, December 06, 2011, http://www.globalissues.org/issue/103/middle-east
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