Table of contents
III. The relation to the United Nations
IV. The Clinton Doctrine
V. The Bush Doctrine
VI. The Obama Doctrine
After the end of the Soviet Union were only the USA left as an international superpower - a big player. But even with such a massive amount of power it is not possible for the USA to address all challenges at the international area alone at an unilateralism way. It needs multilateralistic structures. But in the past 20 years was the last remaining superpower in a struggle between unilateralism and multilateralism.
The main goal of the US foreign policy is the defence of the US sovereignty. US norms, standards and laws should take precedence over foreign or internationally promoted ones.1 It is part of the unilateralism, which is shown by the USA. The changing foreign policy between the democratic and republican presidents, like Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and the majority in congress is part of certain traditions within US foreign policy.2
But Clinton and Bush, a democratic and a republican president, used military forces to reach their goals in their foreign policies. The following semester paper will state the Doctrines of the last three US-Presidents, the changes between unilateralism and multilateralism and how the presidents used the military power of the USA. The main question is, if the unilateralism of the Bush Doctrine is typically for the foreign policy in the 21st century or if it is getting closer to multilateralism nowadays.
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III. The relation to the United Nations
„If the United Nations respects the sovereign rights of the American people, and serves them as an effective tool of diplomacy, it will earn and deserve their respect and support. But a United Nations, that seeks to impose its presumed authority on the American people, without their consent, begs for confrontation and (...) eventual U.S. withdrawal.“
Jesse Helms, in an unprecedented address to the UN Security Council on January 20, 2000.3
The UN is a family of independent and dependent organisations and the largest international structure. In the 90s it was recognisable, that the relation between the USA and UN was full of tension. Most of the time were the payments from the USA to the UN in the focus. After the terroristic attacks on 9/11 the relation changed again.
There are three core organs important for the role of the USA in the UN: the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Secretariat.
The Security Council is primary responsible for peace and security. During the Cold War it was its task to prevent a war between the democratic and the communist forces. After the fall of the Soviet Union it changed. The decisions of the Security Council are binding on all UN member states. As one of the five permanent members, the USA exercise tremendous power, both formally and informally. The General Assembly contains all members of the UN. Every member has one vote and the members are equal to each other. Because of the dominance of the third world countries during the 90s, the USA were not very active in the General Assembly. It can create resolutions, but they are not binding, they are more recommendations. The UN Secretariat acts as a morale force and a connection between the Security Council and the General Assembly.4
1 Malone, David M.: in: Malone, David M./ Khong, Yuen Foong: Unilaterism & U.S. foreign policy: London 2003: p. 19
2 Kennedy, Pipe: American foreign policy after 9/11: in: Cox, Michael/ Stokes, Doug: US foreign policy: New York: 2008 p. 402
3 in Malone, David M./ Khong, Yuen Foong: Unilaterism & U.S. foreign policy: London 2003: p. 20
4 Mahbubani, Kishore: The United Nations and the United States: in: Malone, David M./ Khong, Yuen Foong: Unilaterism & U.S. foreign policy: London 2003: p. 141
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- Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg – Institut für Politikwissenschaft und Japanologie
- Foreign Policy USA US Clinton Bush Obama Doctrine Military Activity