To understand a country’s foreign policy you have to live there. The ideas behind the actions governments take are based to some extent on the ideology of its inhabitants. I dare to say some extent because the state apparatus has a life of its own. A state has to worry about its survival in what is an international society full of other states. These states come in every shape, size, language, and age. The all are made up of different nationalities.
The concept of nationality was born with the modern state and it joined people from many different backgrounds and cultures under a broader concept within the territorial boundaries of the state. The United States has been a melting pot of numerous cultures throughout the years and it will continue to be so. This means that the democratic system, through its means has to guarantee their Rights, and by this I mean human, economic, etc.; of all the citizens and respect their political stances.
The point I want to make is that a state is made up of a variety of communities and its political handling can be very difficult for a government. The United States has what seems to be an inherent constraint in the functioning of Congress and Senate and it’s the President of the United States which conducts most of the State diplomacy and foreign relations. This is because he is the most powerful man in the world, being the leader of the most power nation in the world. And as the most powerful man in the world he has to somehow align the moral principles with the state affairs, which can be a troublesome job.
This is because states function in a broader sense. It’s all about geopolitics still, I believe. My country, Kazakhstan, has been a democracy for about 25 years now, since the fall of the Soviet Union, and as the world can recall, this event, left the United States as the Last Man Standing after the Cold War. The United States is now looking for the Balance of Power. The concept has been around since the 1600´s when European states saw that power is better distributed between nations that are balanced out in terms of geography, economy, resources, etc. This can avoid catastrophic wars, or at least it is intended to.
World Wars were fought, wars went on through the Cold War, and they are still being held in some way or another. I want to mention wars because it is what the world apparently knows the United States for now. The last decade has marked the world’s perception of the nation over the actions taken in the Middle East. As a state I would argue that the intentions were made on a rational basis and with the idea of national interest behind it. But these terms are hard to comprehend when states handle such power in terms of economic structures and military forces with world changing capacities.
My advice, if I may give one to U.S Foreign Policy makers and advisors is a more local approach in relations with other nations. “Think global and act local”, might be a safer approach. Foreign Policy has driven the U.S to extend its permanence in international conflicts by reasons that locally were unmanageable, as they proved to be. Building democracies and allies in Central Asia and Asia as a whole, which has to be of the most strategic importance for the U.S, will require the global mindset and embracing the local one.
The author, a citizen of Kazakhstan, received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Suffolk University in June 2016