Does America Need a Foreign Policy?: Toward a Diplomacy for the 21st Century

Does America Need a Foreign Policy?: Toward a Diplomacy for the 21st Century

In seven accessible chapters, Does America Need a Foreign Policy?

With a new Afterword by the author that addresses the situation in the aftermath of September 11, Does America Need a Foreign Policy?

Reviews of the Does America Need a Foreign Policy?: Toward a Diplomacy for the 21st Century

and: "A flurry of reports suggest the 93-year-old diplomat is positioning himself as a intermediary between Vladimir Putin and President-elect Donald Trump." in: 28th December 2016 ---- *in:

Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski did the same, in 2008 in America and the World: Conversations on the Future of American Foreign Policy. While in that later book Kissinger talks about the long history of foreign relations, in this 2001 book he talks about the continuity of U.S. foreign policy after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Kissinger does a better job of looking at Latin America and Africa than these types of books usually manage, though the only thing he praises about the maladroit handling of foreign affairs by President Clinton is NAFTA, the fair trade deal which we are reconsidering now. Later he says American foreign policy became increasingly driven by domestic politicslike when early in his administration President Clinton made the granting of Most Favored Nation status to China dependent on Chinese demonstrations of progress on human rights within a yearNothing illustrates better the collapse of the Westphalian notion of noninterference than the proposition that freedom of speech and the press, which has never existed in the five millennia of Chinese history, could be brought about through legislation by the American Congress I guess thats a no on tying cooperation to human rights. The United States has come a long way since John Quincy Adams warned against going abroad in search of monsters to destroyOn one level the growing concern with human rights is one of the achievements of our age and it is certainly a testament to progress toward a more humane international orderThere is irony in all this when one recalls that, during the Cold War, the Wilsonians the ideological Left had argued that excessive concern with security was leading to strategic overextension and an illusion of American omnipotence. It must not allow legal principles to be used as weapons to settle political scores Kissinger sounds horrified that Americans, in particular Americans in leadership, could be judged by such international standards of justice, when they were only pursuing a foreign policy that was for their exclusive benefit. When the International Criminal Court later wanted to convict some of the leaders in the former Yugoslavia for crimes against humanity, an American judge put in place significant roadblocks which had the effect of raising the burden of proof involved in convicting political leaders.

Of course the US needs a foreign policy. This is an overview of the inter-state anarchy of international foreign policy, as viewed by the most calculating of grizzled realists. The book begins with a cursory introduction of America's switch between idealist internationalism and realism since Roosevelt and Wilson, and then moves on to discuss the role of the United States in foreign policy with regard to these areas. Although there were tensions over the Iraq War, these have largely subsided as the US and NATO have collaborated over limited intervention measures during the Obama administration (Libya, Mali). -Peace and Justice Against the 'solipsistic' view of foreign intervention.

That got old after a while, especially considering all the high-flown recommendations that Kissinger makes about morality -- he's responsible for some of the worst horrors in US foreign relations, such as undermining a democratically elected socialist-leaning government in Chile, or selling the Shah all the military weaponry he wanted and other things to exacerbate the problems in the Middle East. Since I am a total neophyte in the study of US foreign policy as a whole (vs study of Latin American countries and their interactions with the US) -- I found some of this book useful and will use it as a foundation for additional research as I know there are bound to be better books out there on diplomatic relations. He did a good job later in the book of detailing Jacksonian vs Wilsonian diplomacy and the impact on US foreign policy. While he briefly mentions the IMF, he talks about the socioeconomic disparities and economic problems in Latin American countries almost as though their issues had no provenance in US or IMF promulgated recommendations or requirements for aid. He even goes one step further, to point out the risks of growing socioeconomic disparity -- but it's kind of laughble: A permanent worldwide underclass is in danger of emerging, especially in developing countries, which will make it increasingly difficult to build the political consensus on which domestic stability, international peace, and globalization itself depend. Kissinger seems to contradict himself -- where earlier he says that you can't rush a country through the process to adopt the American model, think that "Some of these dangers can be averted by accelerating free trade." but cautions: The dark cloud that is hanging over globalization is the threat of a global unraveling of the free market system under political pressure, with all its attendant perils to democratic institutions. FAIR & BALANCED As an antidote - here are some articles, at least read the first one - it's effective: Debacle, Inc.: How Henry Kissinger Helped Disorder the World

These particular chapter talks of the environment as changing of the entire world,and also the challenge America as to confront. America & Europe: The World of Democracies I It talks of the changes of the Atlantic,as also of the European Relationships.The Future of Europe & Atlantic integration & cooperation in his meaning.The European Military Crisis as a strategic doctrine: The missile cases and The Atlantic Alliance.The Russian Relations.A New Structure in Atlantic Relations.

And the course of action he recommended on Irak? Pitting Irak against Iran would be much more effective, and far less costly. Not that I think they SHOULD have done that, all I am saying it that, from a purely amoral point of view, that would have been considerably more efficient. Point is, it is a good book, if you're looking for a brilliant, if a little obsolete, view of the diplomatic situation of the world today.

The bias should not detract from the beneficial overviews or the intelligently crafted insights and arguments that Kissinger makes, but it does need to be acknowledged.

I have many reservations about Dr. Kissinger's roll in American history, but did find myself enjoying this book.

A proponent of Realpolitik, Kissinger played a dominant role in United States foreign policy between 1969 and 1977.

  • English

  • Politics

  • Rating: 3.49
  • Pages: 352
  • Publish Date: September 4th 2002 by Simon Schuster
  • Isbn10: 0684855682
  • Isbn13: 9780684855684