American Foreign Policy Towards Saudi Arabia Post

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American Foreign Policy Towards Saudi Arabia Post

Nearly all political and economic pundits agree that the events of September 11 2001 have changed "everything", including American foreign policy. The question is whether the degree of change is "remarkable". In the following pages an attempt will be made to describe some basic aspects of American foreign policy and to determine the implications of terrorist attacks on American foreign policy output (Paul, 33-41).

In a recent book, W.R.Mead refers to the four major schools of thought that have affected the foreign policy making process throughout American history. These schools, Mead argues, have constituted "the basic ways of looking at foreign policy" until now. 'Hamiltonians' seek a close alliance between the government and business which includes, in the contemporary context, integration into the global economy (Paul, 33-41). 'Wilsonians' emphasize the importance of constructing an international community, establishing the rule of law around the world, and settling international problems within the legal bodies of international organizations. Their foreign policy approach is based on far-reaching cooperation with the rest of the world. The 'Jeffersonian' approach differs from the above-mentioned two schools in terms of integrating with the world. While 'Hamiltonians' and 'Wilsonians' support an outward foreign policy, 'Jeffersonians' defend the argument that "American foreign policy should be less concerned about spreading democracy abroad than about safeguarding it at home." (Paul, 33-41). Lastly, the 'Jacksonians' focus on the internal security of the US territory, and the wellbeing of the American people.

These schools constitute a leading guide for US foreign policy planners. They have followed the principles set forth in compliance with the gradual or drastic changes as they have occurred around the world. Therefore, the US has successfully adapted itself to new developments in the arena of international politics since its inception. In the 19th century Bismarck attributed the success of the US to chance, coincidence or the special favor of God. Whatever the reason, there is no doubt of the special place of the US as the world's most prosperous nation and dominant power, upholding as well such noteworthy values as freedom, democracy and the rule of law (Rachel, 99-102).

How has the US managed to become the leader of the international community within such a relatively short time? To answer this question, the general aspects of American foreign policy first need to be identified and evaluated.

American Foreign Policy

The most striking aspect of American foreign policy is its flexibility. It changes as conditions change. Its rate of adaptability to the most current situation is very high. Mead explains this feature of American foreign policy as follows: "American foreign policy is too naïve, too calculating, too openhanded, too violent, too isolationist, too unilateral, too multilateral, too moralistic, too immoral." (Rachel, 99-102). What the above quotation implies is that American foreign policy is changeable, flexible, and adaptable to every condition. In this context, it is possible to argue that the US does not have a constant foreign policy and even that it does not have a foreign policy at all ...
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