The United States became a world superpower over the 20th century. Its dynamic economy enabled a pivotal role in the regional and international politics. America was able to shape its regional milieu through its growing power, both soft and hard, to serve its security and material ends to the best of her ability (Hughes et al., 2013). U.S foreign policy is to a great extent characterized by interventionism and the use of military might to perpetuate America’s vital interests of security and economic wellbeing as well as in diplomacy that has had a mark in shaping global events (Margulies, 2009). Critics argue that the policing role has provided a stage for America to exercise its military superiority. However, these actions have received full protection and backing from the United States Secretaries of State across the decades (Hughes et al., 2013). Although many countries and organizations across the globe accuse America of its ruthless attack on other countries, I believe that these actions had positive consequences, and reduced terrorism threats.
After the civil war U.S quickly went from isolationism to imperialism taking control of most places in the South America (Aziz, 2014). The Roosevelt Corollary to Monroe Doctrine prevented European influences in the Spanish American war. He intervened in world affairs through a unique form of presidential diplomacy that led negotiations to bring a cease-fire on the 1905 war between Russia and Japan. A year later he successfully oversaw a similar explosive colonial conflict between Germany and France (Margulies, 2009). His successor, President William Howard Taft, used dollar diplomacy to protect American corporate interests around the globe. President Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy sought to maintain an open door for trade between America and China. He also felt the need to intervene in what he called the need for Mexico to be “properly guided” towards stability. This was done by sending U.S troops in Mexico, Santo Domingo, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Cuba. The largest such operation is one that involved General John Pershing’s 6000 troops in 1916-1917 fruitlessly pursuing the Mexican revolutionary Francisco Pancho across north the north (Hughes et al., 2013). Following these foreign policies the U.S became increasingly involved in the world politics and activities, taking the international policing role, a position that has shaped global relations for a long time. These foreign policies are seen as the basis for some of the international events that U.S has participated in the last five years.
Operation New Dawn refers to the armed forces’ involvement in the Iraq War in 2010 where about 50,000 U.S service men were deployed to ensure stability operations by advising, training and assisting Iraqi Security Forces (Margulies, 2009). This reflects the U.S commitment to the people and government of Iraq as a sovereign, stable nation that will be a strategic partner with the U.S. the troops were to conduct stability operations and partner in counterterrorism operations, in Iraq. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta confirmed American military personnel joining their Jordanian allies to protect against the violence spread beyond Syria (Aziz, 2014). The U.S has maintained ties with Jordan authorities to monitor biological and chemical weapons sites in Syria as well as in assisting with the refugee situation. The State Department in charge of supplying nonlethal aid has been providing food rations while the C.I.A has been running a covert program to train and arm the Syrian rebels along the Turkish-Syrian border. They also helped the opposition forces develop supply routes and provided them with some communication gadgets. The North Korean crisis in 2013 was an escalation of tension between South Korea, North Korea, Japan, and United States Nation’s Security Council Resolution 2087, which condemned the North Korea for Launching of Kwangmyongsong-3 Umit 2. The situation was elevated by North Korea’s administration rhetoric and actions suggesting an imminent nuclear attack against South Korea, U.S, and Japan (Hughes et al., 2013).
Capitalism has been very instrumental in the history of the United States of America that has led to its rise as a world superpower policeman. U.S became the leading industrial capitalist nation in the world between 1865 and 1920 (Aziz, 2014). During the earliest phases of industrialization, American industry was to a great extent characterized by local monopolies that were protected from competition by high transportation costs. Competition only permeated the American industrial market several years after the civil war. Technological change and the drive for greater profits per worker shaped the lengthening of the workday in the industry. Industries started engaging in research by 1900 to promote progress in their fields. This in turn changed America into a nation of science from agriculture to architecture (Margulies, 2009).
Capitalist interests were perpetuated on all levels of government especially on large-scale corporate entities. During the early American economic history, business and government were customarily closely interrelated. Capitalists continued with powerful lobbies for legislation on matters that had direct economic interest such as taxes and tariffs, this resulted in more intimate relationships which had direct relations with major aspects of the government programs and policy through political parties formed by financiers and industrialists. One such aspect was military power as is demonstrated by the wars against Western Indians. Capitalist promoted the U.S economy making it a stable and powerful nation able to finance its military activities and ambitions (Greener, 2009).
According to Greener, (2012) President Bill Clinton ushered in an era, which saw the US experience rapid economic prosperity in the United States after taking office in 1992. It also ushered in the uprising of the Islamic Terrorism against the American control of the Middle Eastern oil. The terrorists attacked the World Trade Center; the U.S forces base in Somalia in 1993, Bombed the United States Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and the 2000 USS Cole bombing in Yemen (Margulies, 2009). More attacks have continued through suicide bombers and other forms of attacks on American citizens in Afghanistan, U.S and several other parts of the world. These attacks were primarily fueled by America’s interference in Middle Eastern politics for instance the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the Gulf War, and the Iraq-Iran War. These wars radicalized the region creating Islamic extremists and strong anti-American sentiments. These subsequent attacks prompted the U.S to the Walfowitz Doctrine foreign policy outlining a policy of pre-emptive military action to suppress potential threats. This acted as a base for the U.S participation in world policing (Greener, 2012).
Hughes et al., (2013) postulate that America’s role in international diplomacy is rooted in past foreign policies, values, and beliefs especially under the regime of Roosevelt, who believed that America must rise to benefit those benighted people not born in America. This was guided by his broader progressivist principles of social-Darwinism, moralism, and nationalism. It was the moral duty of America to take the position of force for good in the world as well as maintaining international order.
The 1962 Thailand Third Marine Expeditionary Unit intervention is one of the inenternational incidents where the US has assumed an active role in policing since World War II aimed at supporting the country against its threat from communist pressure (Greener, 2009). In the early 1980s, the US troops were sent to Lebanon to settle the fall-out from the Israeli invasion. The U.S marines oversaw withdraw of the PLO from Beirut. The U.S troops were mandated to restore order, work for withdraw of foreign forces, and support the weak government Lebanese government. President Bush formed a large, diverse international coalition between 1990 and 1991 and deployed over half a million of U.S personnel to the Persian Gulf as part of an allied force to force Iraq out of Kuwait. Both the popular and the allied support was largely maintained with substantial success during this campaign. In 1994, following the failure of negotiations U.S sent troops to Haiti to restore the ousted President Jean-Bertrand to power and to head off possible wave of refugees (Greener, 2012).
Economic expansion was a crucial step towards America’s rise to world-power status. It enabled its leaders to build a powerful nation enabling and financing its major defense, the Navy (Margulies, 2009). This was primarily achieved through international cooperation and trade, beliefs, values, and cultural influences. In addition, the issue of terrorism prompted the U.S to the Walfowitz Doctrine foreign policy outlining a policy of pre-emptive military action to suppress potential threats (Greener, 2009). Policies such as the Dollar Diplomacy and the Open Door policy further, propagated U.S presence and control of the international arena. Roosevelt’s vision and the Trans-Isthmian Canal treaty with Britain that allowed America to build a neutral and unfortified canal to be secured by the Navy safeguarded U.S interests and investment enhancing its leverage exercise on regional politics. The Taft-Katsura Memorandum was signed by the United States and Japan in 1905. Japan acknowledged American sovereignty over the Philippines, and the U.S acknowledged Japanese control of Korea. Further, the two nations pledged to cooperate with each other to maintain peace in the Far East (Greener, 2012).
These policies, treaties, and leadership regimes are seen as pivotal in the creating the modern day America as a superpower taking the role of international policing. Historical events such as capitalism shaped the foreign policies and the leadership of the U.S creating a new paradigm of values and beliefs. This in turn shaped the leadership and the role of the nation in world politics as it is today.