The military factor in US foreign policy
Material posted: Publication date: 12-06-2012

The history of mankind is the history of wars. War accompanied humans since ancient times. It happened so that means the war has resolved certain issues, be it territorial disputes or the struggle for spheres of influence. In the modern world the factor of military force continues to play an important role in achieving political goals. The evidence of that is the active use of military force by the US and its allies.


1. The foundations of American foreign policy expansion

Ideological foundations of American foreign policy were first characterized in the j doctrine. Monroe, the purpose of which was the naval domination of America in two oceans: the American continent was declared a US sphere of influence and is closed to the intervention of the European powers.

This political line was only growing. The next step is the Spanish-American war of 1898 was the first U.S. war outside of the North American continent, spread their power over the Pacific. From 1899 to 1913 Washington leads a second war outside of the American continent, this time with the Philippine Republic, which falls into the actual dependence on Washington.

The climax in the development of American expansionism comes at the end of XIX - beginning of XX century In 1900, Brooks Adams, historian of the University. J. Hopkins, in his book "the Economic domination of America" suggests that the United States seek to expand their own political system. B. Adams with his supporters began to establish the idea of the American "chosen people" and "exclusivity" [2].

Expansionist aspirations of the US foreign policy intensified during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, who said: "No triumph of peace is quite so great as the Supreme triumph of war". Even then B. Adams in his letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt links war and economic competition: "the War is the culmination of the extreme economic rivalry between countries. This means that international economic competition, aimed at conquering new markets, must inevitably end in a war...".

After the Second world war is a radical change in the principles of the use of military force in international relations, resulting from the establishment of the bipolar system of international relations and nuclear parity basis. A confrontation between two ideological systems (the capitalist USA and socialist - in the face of the USSR) becomes the basis of the dynamics of foreign policy for forty years.

In these conditions the factor of military force has only increased, however, wore a fundamentally different nature. Under conditions of bipolarity, the military factor was the guarantor of deterrence and political-ideological attitudes of the USA and the USSR; the deployment of large-scale hostilities with the use of nuclear weapons would lead to the inevitable death of all mankind.

However, this does not mean that the factor of military force in international relations has lost its significance.

With the collapse of the USSR and the liquidation of the ATS there is another transformation systems international relations and global security. In a systemic crisis in the post-Soviet space increases the economic and political-military power of the United States, which subsequently turns the United States into the only global military power that provided her much of the dominance in the world.

During the first ten years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. carried out six operations outside of the American continent (Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia). NATO began to fill the political vacuum created after the collapse of the USSR. The process was conducted in two ways: acceptance into NATO of former Soviet republics and countries that were in the area of the sphere of influence of the USSR and the unilateral actions of the USA on expansion of military-political sphere of influence in Central Asia and Transcaucasia.


2. The global military dominance of the USA in the early twentiethI century

The strengthening of military factors in U.S. foreign policy after the events of 11 September 2001, when the United States was actually challenged.

The Administration Of George.Bush responded with a proclamation extremely harsh and unforgiving political lines: first, within a few months the US and its allies occupy Afghanistan, thereby having dealt with the Taliban regime that provided sanctuary "to al Qaeda", and secondly, developing a new strategic doctrine of preventive action, which involves an active war against the enemy, and not deterrence and containment that was the basis of American policy during the cold war, third, the U.S. invaded Iraq and removed the regime of Saddam Hussein under the pretext of that is, the state has created or sought to create the ISR [3].

Further, the U.S. unilaterally leave the ABM Treaty of 1972, and in 2004 announced that, in order the efficiency of its national missile defense, its progressive elements will be placed outside of the North American continent [4]. Such foreign policy is fully consistent with the U.S.'s own military doctrine, which is based on preventing threats on the distant approaches, that is, outside their own borders.

In June 2008, the U.S. Secretary of defense Robert gates elaborates on the military-political course within the framework of National defense strategy (NOS) USA. This document articulates five strategic goals for the near future: 1) maintaining global military superiority, 2) protection of the national territory, 3) winning the war on terrorism, 4) deterrence and conflict resolution, 5) the victory in the wars with US involvement [5]. Ie it becomes obvious that in the near future the US military presence, most likely, will only expand.

With the arrival in the White house the Obama administration, the emphasis is on the revision of the national security strategy of the United States, what the President announced on may 21, 2010 at the Military Academy in West point. Obama represents a departure from the attitudes of the previous administration, emphasising the sole preventive action on the global stage, waiting for the approval of the international organizations: "Washington will form a new world order based on diplomatic obligations, and ensuring the promotion of democratic values, it is necessary to preserve and protect existing alliances and seek new partners. We cannot act alone" [6].

However, this does not mean that the US will sacrifice its own national interests and will no longer pursue a foreign policy means military capabilities. In the national security Strategy of the USA 2010 confirmed the need to maintain nuclear weapons, which is an important deterrent. A phased reduction of nuclear arsenals, which was initiated by the United States itself, will not affect national security, as it will ensure a gradual build-up of defensive and offensive forces on the basis of advanced military technologies.

In addition, in may 2012, camp David and Chicago hosted the G8 / NATO summits to discuss the global economy and security. Indicative was the fact that the Russian leadership refused to participate in the Chicago NATO summit in the framework of the Council Russia-NATO. In fact, the refusal meant that Russia sees no common ground on strategic issues relating, first of all missile defense and NATO expansion to the East.

The NATO summit proved once again that the U.S. is committed to their doctrinal political and military installations and National defense strategy. During the summit announced a further expansion of NATO not only in the East but in the South, and the creation of a global missile defense system.

Trends talking about US by any means attempts to preserve its own military-political dominance in the modern system of global security, counteracting the development of alternative institutions in the broadest sense of the word.


A list of sources and references

  1. B. Adams, "American Empire", 1911
  2. Fukuyama, F. America at the crossroads. – M.: AST, Moscow, 2008.
  3. Baryshev P. the current strategy of the U.S. and NATO. – Moscow: OGI, 2011.
  4. R. Gates The National Defense Strategy: Striking the right Balance. Joint Force Quarterly. 1st Quarter 2009.
  5. Nuclear Posture Review, Department of Defense, April 2010.

Tags: assessment , USA , security