POLT 3310 - Conduct of Foreign Policy - book review

POLT 3310 - Conduct of Foreign Policy - book review - Fall...

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Fall 2014 Conduct of U.S. Foreign Policy Professor Kelly-Kate S. Pease Books Review – Foreign Policy Begins at Home Richard N. Haass wrote “Foreign Policy Begins at Home”, book that was published in 2013. Haass is an American diplomat, and works as president of the Council on Foreign Relations since 2003. He says the idea for the book came after the Iraq War in 2003, and later the Afghan troop in 2009. Haass claims both wars could have been avoided. He also claims that Americans have forgotten the lessons of Vietnam, in which is stated the “limits of military force of local realities to prevail over global abstractions” (p. 2). In both cases, Haass argues that there was no necessity for war, nor they were justifiable. He claims that in both cases there were alternatives to war, such as alternative policies that could be achieved by a historical analysis of similar events in the past. Both participations in 2003 and 2009 he claims have hurt the United States reputation. Besides, Haass is the author of “The Reluctant Sheriff” published in 1997 and “The Opportunity” published in 2005. “Foreign Policy Begins at Home” is a product of his previous ideas, which began to grow after the two wars previously mentioned. In his first book he argued about the mistakes that the United States government made by “aiming to low and trying too little” to establish and contend international institutions that would deal with emerging challenges (p. 3). In his second book, he argues that the United States was trying to do “too much of the wrong thing”, in this case, the 2003 Iraq 1
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War (p. 3). Therefore, Haass has driven with the ideas from his two previous books, and his conclusions from the Iraq War in 2003 and the Afghan troop surge in 2009 to write a new book. Haass argues that the United States is focusing its efforts in foreign policy instead of domestic policy, and this is the reason of many issues that are happening in the country. Although he recognizes many external challenges that should be dealt with, such as the rise of China, militarized North Korea and Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons, he believes that our real challenges are deficit and debt, second-class schools, outdated immigration system, and the prospect of a prolonged period of low economic growth. Haass claims that the challenges at home are a threat to the American projection of power and influence overseas. Having such serious unresolved issues at home he claims are directly influencing the way America is seen as an example for other states, diminishing its position of leader. Besides, Haass argues that the United States is a great country with a lot of potential. The U.S. continues to be world largest economy and presents continued growth, with great technology developments and many other strong features of a successful society. However, Haass claims that the United States is in decline, and that other societies are rising rapidly. As a result it will change the way the United States competes economically in international events.
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  • Fall '14
  • KellyK.Pease
  • 2003 invasion of Iraq

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