Foreign Policy—National Interests
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- This page: https://www.globalissues.org/article/101/foreign-policy-national-interests.
- To print all information (e.g. expanded side notes, shows alternative links), use the print version:
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 Nations, 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 policy of some Western States have been harshly criticized by many who claim that the objective is to simply ensure that they remain as the power and authority in the world and to ensure that the "new world order" goes along the lines of Western ideals, with little consideration for other cultures.
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 site.
- Foreign Policy in Focus
- The Noam Chomsky Archive. Noam Chomsky is a prominent social critic and professor at MIT. He is critical of foreign policies of USA. Deterring Democracy is an example of one of many online books and articles to be found at the site.
- This link to some resources from Edward Said presents information especially about the stereotypes and perceptions of the Middle East by the West.
- Center for Defense Information, 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 issues
- They also maintain a weekly archive of their newsletters that are very informative
- Their Defense Monitors provide insight into some complex issues especially about American military policies
- The Foreign Policy, International Affairs and Intervention documentaries
- The Peace Pledge Union 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 Democracy 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!
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