Foreign policy of the United States has carried on from president to president and like the history of Congress and especially certain presidents, the gist of that policy has not changed greatly; and that core is a policy of providing funds to purchase allies.
When George Washington was sworn in as our first President of the United States, he immediately enacted two major foreign policies begun by assuming control of treaty negotiation with a hostile power, which initially was the Creek Nation of Native Americans, of which he sought approval from Congress after the treaty was final. The second policy was sending American emissaries overseas for negotiations without legislative approval.
In 1789, the French Revolution was a disturbance to the new government of the United States, many citizens had remembered how the French aided them in their revolution and struggle for independence. The majority of Americans felt the favor should be returned, especially since France was in conflict with Great Britain.
During the same period, the British were inciting Native Americans to attack settlers in the westward regions of the new nation, hoping to cause instability of the Republic. Americans, of course, were angered over the attacks, which reinforced the idea of aiding France in any conflict against Great Britain.
But President Washington was not in favor of getting entangled in the conflicts in Europe, mainly because compared to the major European nations, the United States was weak militarily. His foreign policy was to remain neutral and insisted that foreign affairs should be primarily the authority and duty of the presidency.
France declared war on not just England, but several European nations only days after Washington was inaugurated. The argument over American involvement quickly accelerated with Jefferson and Hamilton arguing continually over the issue. Meanwhile, the French ambassador, Edmond-Charles Genet, began to tour the 13-state Republic, seeking support for the French cause. He succeeded in getting a majority of people in favor of aiding France and stirring up the populace, which angered President Washington who considered him to be a meddler. Ambassador Genet went a bit too far when he allowed a French-sponsored warship to sail out of Philadelphia against the orders of President Washington; which then the former general demanded that France recall Genet.
Meanwhile, in 1793, England announced it would seize any ships trading with France, and that included American ships. Once that news hit the United States in the press, several American cities erupted into civil disorder. By 1794, tension had mounted so greatly that Washington stopped all American shipments overseas. Despite John Jay's attempt to reconcile with England as an envoy, the British built a fortress in Ohio to increase Native American hostilities. John Jay negotiated a treaty that was weak in which it undermined freedom of trade and which failed to compensate Americans for slaves taken by the British during the Revolution. The treaty did not address the problem of the British practice of impressing civilians into their navy. Nevertheless, Congress approved the treaty, but with the provision that trade barriers imposed by England be reduced. President Washington was not satisfied by the treaty, but signed it. For the first time, members of the government were openly criticizing President Washington.
During the course of President Washington's presidency, he dismissed three foreign ministers, two consuls, eight collectors, and four surveyors of internal revenue – without the advice or approval of Congress.
Washington's treaties in the final years of his presidency mostly consisted of one with Algiers and Spain. It as also during this time that pirates from the Barbary region of North Africa were seizing American ships, kidnapping their crew members, and demanding ransom. A treaty was established that demanded that the rule of Algiers be paid annually for the protection of American ships from Barbary pirates. It was then that President Washington became determined to establish a US Navy that would be able to protect American shipping. The navy built by Washington would later aid future altercations with Algiers.
The treaty with Spain was more pleasant with Spain agreeing to stop inciting Native American attacks on settlers in Florida. In addition, Spain conceded to allow unrestricted access of the Mississippi River to American vessels, which allowed the opening of the Ohio River Valley for settlement and trade. Agricultural produce now traveled the Mississippi River on flatboats from the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers to New Orleans and subsequently to Europe.
When Thomas Jefferson became president, his actions were focused upon the limit of power of the federal government, foreign affairs, and continuing his Federalist policies. His first task involved the Barbary pirates who were still getting annual tribute that now included several Barbary states – Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, and Tripolitania. In 1801, the Pasha of Tripoli became greedy and raised the rate of the tribute. President Jefferson then refused to pay the increase and sent warships to the Mediterranean to blockade the pirate nations.
When Jefferson learned that Spain had secretly ceded Louisiana to France in 1800, he ordered his ministers to negotiate the purchase of the port of New Orleans and, if possible, West Florida. Jefferson was intent upon ensuring that American farmers could move their produce down the Mississippi River unrestricted from the Ohio River Valley to the Gulf of Mexico. The Spaniards, despite their previous treaty, closed the Mississippi River in 1802. Jefferson favored France as an ally, but did not trust Emperor Napoleon, so he moved swiftly for the Louisiana Purchase. Napoleon needed funds to finance his European war against England, so offered to sell the United States most of the land from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains for $15 million. Jefferson made the deal with Congress approving the purchase five months after it was purchased; unprecedented for the strict constitutionalist president. It was after that when President Jefferson outfitted a 25-man expedition to explore new lands led by his secretary Meriwether Lewis and Captain William Clark, US Army.
During the presidency of James Monroe, he sought to improve the reputation of the United States, reinforcing its independence. In the beginning, the Monroe foreign policy was to improve relations with England. The Rush-Bagot Treaty demilitarized the Great Lakes down to one military vessel on Lake Chaplain and Lake Ontario. The Convention of 1818 established a fixed border between Canada and the United States at the 49th parallel. The Monroe Doctrine has been a key historical precedence that established sovereignty of the United States as well as expansion of its real estate. It was the first significant policy that protected not only the United States but the new Latin American republics that resisted further European encroachment in the Western Hemisphere and becoming the foundation of American foreign affairs policy.
The gist of foreign affairs of the early history of the United States was to steer clear of foreign disputes, unless it involved direct conflict with US policy or threats against American shipping.
After the American Civil War, slavery had finally been abolished, a troubling argument for the Founders who felt that a constitutional republic should not condone slavery. In reality, the united thirteen colonies would not have been united into one national republic because the southern states was economically dependent upon the slavery institution; mainly because it was an agricultural and not a developing industrial complex that the northern states had developed.
The United States was changing and so too its foreign policies.
By the time Theodore Roosevelt became president, he inherited a United States whose strength was growing as an empire in 1901. After the Spanish-American War in 1898, Spain ceded the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam to the United States. In addition, the United States has established itself as a protectorate of Cuba and Hawaii. For the first time, the United States had an overseas empire; but not as colonies that Great Britain had established, but territories protected by the United States.
President Roosevelt wanted to increase that influence, as well as the prestige of the United States with the intention of becoming a benevolent global power. He wanted to see American values exported and the concept of a free republic take root elsewhere. His phrase “speak softly and carry a big stick” became famous and the gist of his ideology when it came to foreign affairs. If persuasion did not work, force would be necessary. His ideology was that a strong defense was key to preventing war, much like Ronald Reagan's policy many decades later. Roosevelt extended the McKinley policy to end isolationism of the United States that had been established since its founding. His foreign affairs were aggressive, often without the support or consent of Congress. This was something that Thomas Jefferson had warned future generations about. While President Theodore Roosevelt was a good domestic policy president, his aggressive foreign policies were questioned then and focused upon by historians. At home, Theodore would be a popular president. Despite the periods of aggressiveness in foreign policy, Roosevelt has been proved, historically, to have been a peacemaker. As the Russo-Japanese War was raging, and Japan winning many victories, Roosevelt approached both nations to come to a peaceful resolution. His policy was that arbitration should precede any inclination towards war and he offered settlements in order to end international disputes; with war being the last resort. This became, generally, the major philosophy of foreign affairs of the United States for generations to come.
Roosevelt also arbitrated a dispute between France and Germany over the division of Morocco.
As previously mentioned, Roosevelt believed that a strong defense was the best deterrent to enemies of the United States from waging war; he also believed that a large and powerful Navy was an essential part of that national defense posture. During his presidency, the US Navy became the largest in the world, convincing Congress to add battleships to the fleet and increase the number of enlisted men. In 1907, he proposed to send the fleet on a world tour to show off what he called the “Great White Fleet”; mainly to impress other countries, but also to gain experience of naval worldwide travel. So, in December of 1907, a fleet of sixteen battleships left Hampton Roads, Virginia, and traveled around the world, returning to the United States in February 1909.
After the second world war ended, US foreign policy was established within the attitude and weariness of the people of war; yet wanting to prevent another war and its devastation that would involve so many nations. Just as Wilson did unsuccessfully, a world congress of nations was established as the United Nations, which began with the concept of aiding in the prevention of a world-wide conflict as well as promoting democracy, rights and liberties among its group of nations. It has failed and become corrupted for a myriad of reasons that is too lengthy to discuss here.
Several presidents in the 'modern era', stand out in terms of poor foreign policy and ineptness in foreign affairs – but the president today, who is 'serving' his second tenure, had had major failures. The gist of the reason for those failures is the gist of the reason why foreign affairs of the United States repeatedly have failed: the same failed policies are repeated, over and over again.
There are six foreign policy failures of President BH Obama:
As in Iraq, almost $420 million in weapons and other material has disappeared from US Army bases in Afghanistan, and because of poor accountability and mismanagement, will not likely ever to be recovered. As we can see in the case of Iraq, the enemy is using our weapons against us and our allies. In addition, there is no reasoning or benefit for the United States to spend so much and put Americans in danger that will equate to any victory. It is the Vietnam War being repeated, where military is hindered in ending Islamic Jihadism. Called the War against Terrorism by the GW Bush administration, too many politicians do not see it as a war and political ideology gets in the way from the US military waging it with the fervor to win it.
Fighting Islamic Jihads with Funding
Late in 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish then-Foreign Minister and current Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu launched what they called the “Global Fund for Community Engagement and Resilience,” which CNSNews.com said was intended to “support local communities and organizations to counter extremist ideology and promote tolerance.” It would do this essentially by giving potential jihad terrorists money and jobs – an initiative that proceeds from the false and oft-disproven assumption that poverty causes terrorism.
Our foreign policy failures has been established because the United States has developed the idea that allies can be bought.
Interference by Toppling a Head of State
Barack Obama has long had Bashar Assad in his sights, but has been stymied by the fact that the only significant opposition to the Assad regime are Islamic jihad groups. Now, however, he thinks he has found a way to square the circle: remove Assad, and the jihadis’ raison d’etre will be gone. CNN reported Thursday that Obama “has asked his national security team for another review of the U.S. policy toward Syria after realizing that ISIS may not be defeated without a political transition in Syria and the removal of President Bashar al-Assad.” … The fact that this is even being considered shows that Obama doesn’t take seriously the Islamic State’s proclamations that it is a new caliphate that is going to keep on trying to expand. He thinks they’re just fighting to get Assad removed, and so if he obliges them, they will melt away. But who does he think will replace Assad?
Arming “Moderates” - Covert Enemies of Free Nations
Alistair Baskey also said Thursday that “alongside our efforts to isolate and sanction the Assad regime, we are working with our allies to strengthen the moderate opposition.” Who are the moderates in Syria? In September 2014, Obama said: “We have a Free Syrian Army and a moderate opposition that we have steadily been working with that we have vetted.” That was over a year after Free Syrian Army fighters entered the Christian village of Oum Sharshouh in July 2013 and began burning down houses and terrorizing the population, forcing 250 Christian families to flee the area. Worthy News reported that just two days later, Free Syrian Army rebels “targeted the residents of al-Duwayr/Douar, a Christian village close to the city of Homs and near Syria’s border with Lebanon…. Around 350 armed militants forcefully entered the homes of Christian families who were all rounded-up in the main square of the village and then summarily executed.” And in September 2013, a day after Secretary of State John Kerry praised the Free Syrian Army as “a real moderate opposition,” the FSA took to the Internet to post videos of its attack on the ancient Syrian Christian city of Maaloula, one of the few places where Aramaic, the language of Jesus, is still spoken.
Read the rest at PJ Media.
US foreign affairs needed fixing before Obama, but now it is a matter of US survival. The Cold War and the policy beginning with President Truman to wage small wars called “conflicts” to prevent a big one is not working – yet our presidents continue the policy. In addition, despite an alarming national debt, we are funding money and material to entities bent upon the destruction of the United States and our true allies.
Yet, there is a problem with the political monopoly of two political parties who have nothing in common except the fact that they will unite to prevent a viable third political party. American Thinker calls for a need for a regime change.