In preparation for the Foreign Service Written Examination a couple of weeks ago, I reread one of my textbooks that covered American Foreign Policy since 1896. While it did not cover much of what was on the exam, I did jot down some thoughts as I went. I decided to log them here so I can look back at them next year as I take another class on Foreign Policy in the fall. These are largely lessons that I think are especially relevant in today''s world.
- Wanted to maintain/grow markets
- Self government is learned slowly/never imposed
- To get this change, surround with American principles to bring about desired change
- Refrain from military coercion, use economic coercion
- WWI appears to have shattered this plan for self-determination\r\n
Hiram Johnson/Progressive Republican
In response to the League of Nations:
I am opposed to American boys policing Europe and quelling riots in every new nation's back yard.
- Opening/Feeding poor markets to consume U.S. goods
- Losing farm subsidies increases farm profits--could this be the answer to this problem even today?
- Attempt to restructure the world financially and politically fueled the Depression and WWII
- System was structured to fail--in a deeper sense than casually noted (i.e. more than just financially constructed poorly)
Charles Hughes on page 335 states that Americans must seek:
- The president can not be a rational actor as Stalin was able to be during the Korean Way
- The American President must satisfy an irrational constituency to win reelection or election of like-minded colleagues
- This insight from Truman's presidency could be the key to unlocking much of the Foreign Policy failures of the past 30-40 years