Does the United States now follow a moral idealist or a political realist approach in international affairs?
To what extent? As I indicated above, I think America is treading on thin ice in a sense with the Obama Administration trying to be realistically pragmatic in terms of our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, while at the same time, trying to be idealistic, in terms of America's moral responsibilities; and as an important piece within the War on Terror. In a sense, in both Bush & Obama administrations, we are once again trying to make our world safe for democracy, just as Wilson tried following World War I and the League of Nations.
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I will give you my answer and then you can draw your own conclusions:
According to The Resolute Group (2010) although we are at the dawn of the 21st century, and the US have the most technologically advanced nation on Earth, it is still heavily influenced by theories devised nearly a century ago. For American diplomacy, (eg international relations) can said to be influenced by two divergent theories on international politics; realism and idealism. According to this same site (2010) one can argue that most American foreign policy rhetoric is idealistic, as idealism is used to sell foreign policy to the American people and to the wider world. According to these authors, the Truman doctrine was portrayed as a plan to formulate a safer democratic world in which people could live free of communist tyrrany, its realistic content was to contain Communism. In addition, according to this same article, the 1991 Gulf War was similarly portrayed although it was perhaps more to do with the economics of oil. According to this site, in a nation ...
This paper discusses the philosophy of American foreign policy, in terms of its being a realist or idealism type of policy. The author discusses how both descriptions have been utilized alternatively throughout our nation's history. In addition, the notions of realism and idealism remain continuing traditions in American foreign policy, for they compete in defining our nation's objectives.