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American Foreign Policy

The 50 years from 1941 to 1991 gave America the first real foreign policy it has ever had, the saving of the world from first fascism and then communism. The American idea was no longer just a distant example to other people; it was deployed on the world's front lines. Now that the double rescue is complete, America does not appear to have decided on what a permanent foreign policy should look like, especially after a bad case of anti-climax had set in. With the Cold War end, the Germans have achieved the chief thing they have wanted since 1945, the unification of their country. The French, on the contrary, have lost the chief thing they wanted since 1945, which was the ability to control Germany.

The 20th century has lived through two great political distortions, fascism and communism. When the red flag came down over the Kremlin, in December 1991, the 20th century had beaten them both. The first effects are already visible: the collapse of Soviet power made it possible to construct the coalition that drove Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait; the discrediting of the communist example is tilting much of Africa towards multi-party politics and market economics; the fact that Central America guerillas no longer get backing from Moscow should help the building of democracy; and the spread of pluralism may encourage the advance of liberal ideas for the first time in nearly a century.

The Cold War was won, former-President George Bush insists, because he and Ronald Reagan (the hawks) prevailed with a combination of ideological fortitude and military might. Democrats (the doves) counter that the West's victory was the product of a bipartisan effort that began with the Truman administration's strategy of containment. Truman's leadership and principles were unarguable: "Let us put it bluntly: Since 1947, when the Truman Administration (with Stalin's full cooperation) convinced the American people to rescue and revive Western Europe, American ...

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American Foreign Policy. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 14:42, March 18, 2019, from