Driving Forces of Foreign Policy

In this article, I will discuss what should be the two driving forces of American foreign policy: promotion of international stability and the promotion of democracy.

We must prioritize the promotion of a peaceful world. In order for America’s international goals to be realized in full, we have to have as stable of a global stage as possible. The least stable areas of the world are in the Middle East, Central America, and Subsaharan Africa. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the following are the most pressing conflicts in 2015

  • Violence in the Crimea
  • Civil War in Syria
  • ISIL Based Violence in Iraq
  • Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • Increased Violence in Afghanistan
  • Boko Haram Violence in Nigeria

It is vital that we use any power at our disposal, whether economic, diplomatic, or even military, to stop this violence. If we have an unstable world, foreign nations will be unable to participate in productive negotiations that help promote our goals, and chief among these goals is promoting democracy abroad.

Here is a map of democracies. Green is a democracy, yellow is a transitional democracy, and grey is a non-democracy.

The more democracies that we have in the world, the more likely we are to have free, open, productive discussions that will not escalate into conflict. Therefore, the second driving force behind US Foreign Policy should be promotion of democracy.

In conclusion, the two driving forces behind American Foreign Policy should be promotion of international stability and promotion of democracy. These two forces are intrinsically bound together—if an area is stable, it is more likely to become a democracy and vice versa. If you look at the map above, the democratic nations are the ones with the least violence, and the nations with the least violence are democratic ones. This correlation is unmistakeable and must be kept in mind when making foreign policy decisions.


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