Foreign policy errors damaging to US prestige

Over the past few years it has become increasingly apparent that America lacks direction in its foreign policy. As the global economic system collapses, Islamic fundamentalism spreads, and oppression continues around the world, America is seemingly unwilling or unable to react. In the meantime, America is embarrassing itself in front of the global community. What is going on? What happened to the superpower? Unfortunately, an inept administration and an isolationist Congress have combined to decrease America’s global prestige. From the Middle East to Latin America, we are not responding to the increasing number of threats looming over our heads.

Because America has not reacted to the world’s pressing problems, it has precious little credibility left. We have cheated the world and ourselves by not playing a dynamic and assertive role in recent global politics.

In recent years, America has fallen victim to numerous foreign policy debacles, which include:

The situation in Iraq — Eight years after the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein remains in power and is still actively engaging in the development of weapons of mass destruction. He repeatedly acts in violation of United Nations mandates, flagrantly violates international law, and is a constant embarrassing reminder of America’s recent ineptitude as a world power.

The Balkan conflicts — After four years of Serbia’s tortuous massacre of Bosnia, we finally reacted to form a fragmented peace agreement to the conflict there. Now Serbia is at it again in Kosovo, and again we are doing little or nothing to stop Serbia’s tyrannical brutality. How many massacres, village burnings and mass graves will it take for America to respond this time around?

Islamic fundamentalism — From Algeria to Pakistan, a violent movement that defiles one of the great religions of the world is polluting the minds of young and passionate fanatics. Islamic terrorist groups are threatening America’s presence in the world and have already attacked two of our embassies, killing hundreds and wounding thousands.

India & Pakistan — The fact that India and Pakistan both decided to pursue nuclear weapons programs clearly indicates that America’s prestige is not what it used to be. A central part of our foreign policy has been to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Both countries were aware of this policy and we obviously had no impact on their decision to manufacture and test nuclear warheads.

Global economic crisis — The worlds’ markets are in constant free fall around us; Congress won’t approve IMF funding to aid the crippled economies in Asia and Latin America, whose markets are essential to our economic well-being. So far, Washington has had a limited reaction to what seems to be an impending global depression

Obligations to the United Nations — Because Congress refuses to pay our UN dues, many around the world see America as an inept power that does not respect its international obligations.

The above situations are evidence of Washington’s current ineptitude when it comes to global policy. There are many problems out there on the horizon, but we lack the will to address them. With Washington all abuzz about the President’s litigious libido, no one is paying attention to the problems that are lurking around us. The global order is collapsing and we are doing nothing. Because we are so embroiled in scandal and have a Congress full of narrow-minded isolationists, America has proven itself ineffective in asserting its power and weight in the geopolitical world. As a result, many around the globe no longer respect the United States. We no longer have the same influence, because we lack proper leadership; neither the White House, State Department nor Congress is strong enough to act on what was once our enormous influence.

Our foreign policy makers must take action soon to stem the growing crises around the world. We must forget about Lewinsky and focus on tackling problems such as the global economic meltdown and ensuring freedom for people around the world. Our Congressmen must open their eyes and expand their horizons by no longer being a bunch of backwater isolationists.

They must pay our UN dues and approve more IMF funding to help our Asian and Latin American friends. Congress must also allow the executive greater freedom to make foreign policy decisions, such as granting the President “Fast Track” trade authority.

Because America is all about helping people fight for freedom, we must let the world know that America is going to help the little people, the underdogs, and that we will defend the Bosnian, the Kosovar, or the Tibetan.

We must also have a zero tolerance policy for any nation that wishes to have nuclear weapons; countries like India or Pakistan should not be investing their resources in such devices. We must let the nationalist/fundamentalist governments of both countries know that if they do not get rid of their nuclear weapons soon, America will.

America must take an active effort to eliminate terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism. For the world’s own good, America ought to locate and eliminate terrorists such as Osama Bin Laden. We must also remove Saddam Hussein and any like him from power; he is an embarrassing irritant and we should just get rid of him once and for all.

We must also let Serbia know that they must stop bullying their neighbors; we need to find a way to remove Serbia’s bloodthirsty murderer of a leader, Slobodan Milosevic, from power. Moreover, we need to ensure the Kosovars their self-determination and let them live free of Serbia’s tyranny.

We need not be afraid to take a more active and assertive role in foreign affairs. The Clinton administration needs to formulate a coherent and dynamic foreign policy.

Congress needs to be aware of and respect America’s commitments and responsibilities to the global community. America can be a force for good and stability around the world and we must use our vast resources and capabilities to ensure that America remains the world’s superpower. For the good of the global community, America must regain the respect and influence it has lost in the past few years in order to create a better, safer, and freer planet for all the world’s people.