Liberalism has been the dominant philosophy in recent debates about the role of the United States’ leadership on the international stage. A foreign policy of liberal hegemony or primacy has grown out of progressive-liberalism, where the US is an activist country to provide global security, global capitalism, democracy, and peace. The combination of universal liberal values with the unmatched US military power leads to advocates ignoring the historical and cultural contexts of other countries. The unintended consequences of progressive-liberal policies on the international stage is a rise of illiberal political movements. If liberalism does not become inward thinking, the belief in universal values may be its downfall.
Kevin Doremus | United States
The United States has been involved in four military conflicts since the end of the Cold War: Serbia, Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Of course, this is not counting proxy wars. The U.S. has spent an enormous amount of money and blood in regions that are known to be unstable. There needs to be increased restraint in how the government involves itself in foreign affairs.
Over the past decade, the United States has engaged in a policy commonly referred to as primacy, or liberal hegemony. Its advocates argue that the U.S. needs to preserve its power advantage and defend Western values such as democracy, universal human rights, and open markets. In Washington D.C., it is a strategy that has bipartisan support. Yet, the American populace has seemingly rejected this policy at the polls.
President Donald Trump has placed himself in a situation that he cannot easily pull out. His strongman persona is under threat by his response to Iran’s decision to down a US drone. While Trump made the correct decision, the situation with Iran demonstrated weakness and indecision. The combination of tough talk and his hawkish advisers led the US towards a war no one wants.
Friends from Slovakia, Romania, Slovenia, and Croatia talk about how in the West they are viewed as “eastern,” but in the East, they are considered western. There is a growing sense in Central and Eastern Europe of people who caught between two different worlds. Today, some migrants who left the region for better opportunities now want to return to what they call “home.” One common variable repeated by ex-expats was that they could not fully identify with the country they migrated to because of differences in historical experience.
According to the Washington Post, Chinese internet users now refer to President Trump as Marvel villain Thanos. President Trump has been negotiating a new trade deal that would attempt to reduce the US’s trade deficit with China. Similar to Thanos snapping his fingers, Trump threatened to increase tariffs to 25% on Chinese goods causing a sharp decline in the Chinese stock market on Monday.