Falling Behind on the World Stage

America’s greatest foreign policy strengths are its ability to create strong and lasting alliances economically, militarily, politically, and democratically. We’ve a critical part of such organizations as NATO, NORAD, the UN, numerous free trade agreements, and treaties that we believe are just and fair and moral.

However, countries from Venezuela to Vietnam and South Africa to Greece are questioning whether it’s worth it to form economic ties with us, to work with us militarily, to trust our expertise in how to continue providing the world with greater and greater prosperity, and indeed to trust us to do right by them.

With that, there are six key areas we all need to work on to be sure America can continue to dominate the world stage so that we can continue to do what we know is right.

International Organizations

As mentioned, the United States is a member of numerous international organizations, as are many countries, but the United States seems to have a very disproportionate influence on the direction of these organizations. Some of these positions won’t likely change anytime soon, like our permanent position on the UN Security Council. However, Trump has angered many NATO countries, and we need to maintain strong ties with NATO countries. An attack on one is an attack on all, but the way you feel about someone is always going to dictate your actions more than the terms of a contract ever could.

The United States is also a member of organizations you’d never think it’d be a part of. They are a “nonregional” member of APEC in Asia, a “dialogue” partner in ASEAN, and an “observer” in many more. It doesn’t take much to understand why we’re able to stay so involved: we have the power to broker agreements between member nations and additional countries around the world, we have the money to invest, and we have the unbelievable military strength to assure the member countries that they can accomplish their goals without interference from nations that wish to harm them.

Democracy

Several countries around the world are questioning whether democracy is the best system of government. Venezuela is now a dictatorship. Several years ago, Greece elected Alexis Tspiras, whose has shown an interest in a cordial relationship with Russia. The government of Pakistan is technically democratic but seems not operate as such. Despite our ability to form symbiotic relationships with many countries, 75% of Pakistani citizens in 2012 responded to a poll by saying that they wouldn’t vote for either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney for President of the United States. The Pakistani government dislikes us even more and believes that the Chinese government offers substantial benefits for them. Their citizens are now required to learn Mandarin, and China is claiming to offer numerous economic benefits.

Our ability to encourage countries to let democracy flourish and let their people decide their own fate has often been tied to our influence over certain countries more than our influence in certain countries. At least that’s how some of those countries see it, and more and more, they are questioning whether they could break away from conditional agreements they have with the United States. We offer relief packages, loans, military assets, and infrastructure in exchange for allowing their people to have more freedom. However, the balance between encouragement and over implementation has sometimes left them to manage their young democracies without much control from the United States. That was seen as a good approach because we shouldn’t be controlling them, but they’ve come to believe that we tore their countries into pieces and left without helping them implement democratic rule. While I certainly disagree in most cases, what matters most is they are seeking other systems of government and are often finding that a reversion to dictatorship is more palatable and more realistic for them, claiming they aren’t ready for democracy because it would be too chaotic.

As a result, these countries are eschewing influence from the United States as much as possible, and they have found a great alternative in Asia. The Chinese Communist Party is claiming to offer money with no strings attached. This is a cruel lie with all its burdensome loans that bankrupt taxpayers for generations, but China focuses on smaller countries that the United States has abandoned due to questionable human rights records and violent dictatorships.

Donald Trump is promising to ignore these countries even more, and they are leaving us left and right. Many are saying that our influence on the international community will not hold throughout his entire administration, and we’ve seen already that countries in Western Europe have signed economic agreements with China, hedged their bets by joining organizations with both the United States and China, and openly denounced the United States as a result of Trump’s actions and behavior.

The problem here is that dictatorship centralizes power and allows a foreign country to have immense influence quickly and painlessly because there are no elections to stop them. As a result, China can quickly convert Venezuela into a country that does whatever China wants it to do, which will be a major national security concern for the United States, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Without the power of the people, a foreign power can quickly influence an entire nation.

27 comments

    1. You’re welcome, Noelle. I hope you enjoy your time here. If you have additional information about any of my posts, I’m happy to hear from you.

  1. Wow, and phew! Thank you for following my blog, very much indeed, and THANK YOU for doing what you’re doing. Knowledge may, or may not, be power but it is certainly preferable to ignorance!

    1. Thank you so much. I really enjoy what I’m doing. You’re so right. Knowledge may eventually become power, but for now, I just hope to educate as many people as I can.

      I hope that my viewers contribute additional information so that we can have productive discussions. I love to learn.

    1. Thank you! I appreciate that. If you have any additional information about this post or any of my other posts, I’m happy to have you here!

    1. You’re welcome, Rosaliene. Thank for visiting ReasonsToResist. If you have any additional information about any of my posts, I’d be happy to have your input. I hope you enjoy your time here.

  2. Great site! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights and collecting so much important information here. Really looking forward to reading your future posts, thanks for connecting.

    1. Thank you. I appreciate that. There is a lot to learn, and I’ve made it my goal to unravel all the complexity so that everyone can understand what’s going on here in D.C. I hope that I’ve done.

      If you have additional information about any of my posts, I’d be happy to hear from you!

  3. The sad thing is Trump doesn’t seem to care about the rest of the world . Look at who’s on his terrorist watch list. Countries that don’t do business with his companies . How is Saudi Arabia less of a threat than some of those other countries. Also he was quick to denounce what happened in Barcelona but didn’t say ANYTHING about Charlottesville for THREE DAYS ! Keep on giving us posts like this so we understand just how this president is making the world and his own people dislike him more and more.

    1. Thank you for your comment. When I think about what to write and how to write it, I must focus on the truth and then figure out the best way to communicate it so that everyone can understand.

      That’s why it’s so hard for me say that Trump was hesitant to condemn one group and had no problem immediately condemning another based on their religion, the color of their skin, and their national identity.

      Because that is the actual truth.

      This is NOT what we’re about. But I will continue to speak out and inform and explain everything that’s going on so that NO ONE can say they didn’t know or they were confused or they didn’t think it was that bad.

  4. An argument I always find myself involved with on the Net is this very topic.

    Those isolationists supporting the ultra-nationalist agenda of Trump simply don’t realize that the world moved far beyond nationalism decades ago. Geopolitical boundaries are disappearing in many realms, but mostly in economics and isolating ourselves in this arena is purely suicidal.

    We cannot support our own consumption habits, regardless of what Trump and his followers wish to believe. Trump’s own xenophobic tendencies towards Mexico alone has the potential of crashing the US economy.

    We import more than $300 million from Mexico, a full third of our agricultural products among that number. With Canada being second only to California in food production for the US, you can easily see what a fool’s direction this takes us.

    With Trump’s isolationist agenda, there’s simply no way for the U.S. to make up for the food imports from Mexico alone and if we allow him to attack Canada in the same manner, we will all find ourselves on starvation diets, like hot or not.

    Trump is attempting the age-old “horse before the cart” trick in trying to disrupt our economic ties long before he’s even attempted to build the manufacturing and agriculture infrastructure to support such a move. And, I’m not certain it would be possible to do so at all.

    Trump’s agenda is seriously short-sighted, both in terms of economics and in all the other realms you listed.

    Capitalism’s next logical evolutionary step is global economics, a direction the world, including the U.S. long ago embarked upon and to abruptly end this direction is nothing short of stepping off a high-speed train, mid journey, foolishly expecting to survive. It’s the only direction left for the capitalist market and until that direction is exhausted, we need to either choose evolution or extinction. That’s not a socio-political decision, it’s simply a matter of stark reality.

    You and most of the U.S. see the results of Trumps ignorance already taking place with nations beginning to shun the U.S., be it for economic security, or purely social perspectives.

    Unless the rest of the nation is blind and deaf, the only reason those who stubbornly continue to support Trump is nothing less than the typical human trait in which once we make a decision, it’s very painful to our ego to revisit that decision and admit to ourselves that it was a very bad decision.

    However; if we don’t admit the error of this past election and the fallaciousness of the direction in which Trump is trying to take us, the end results will be catastrophic for the United States, as the world leaves us behind. Then; we will, very quickly, learn exactly what it’s all about to be what so many Americans are fond of calling other less developed nations, “third world”.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I think the most dangerous outcome of these fear-based protectionist policies is that some countries might feel the need to form deeper ties with each other, ties that may exclude us even if we eventually decide to come back.

      The international community knows that most of the United States doesn’t stand behind our administration, but we need to constantly remind them that they haven’t been forgotten.

    1. Thank you. I appreciate that. Knowing how our actions affect the rest of the world is a crucial component of any policy, and I will continue studying this.

    1. Thank you, Michael. I’m glad you’re enjoying your time here. If you have any questions or additional information about any of my posts, I’m happy to hear from you.

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