Foreign Policy

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Consider the extent to which the United States still tries to do "good" in an imperfect world and seeks to be both powerful and loved. Is the United States today isolationist or internationalist?

The United States today is pursuing a hybrid foreign policy that combines elements of internationalism with a move toward greater isolationism. The country is moving towards greater cooperation with international partners by rejoining the Paris Accord on climate change and renewing its commitment to NATO. At the same time, the country is withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, although it intends to maintain humanitarian and economic aid after the withdrawal of US military has been completed.

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The United States today is neither fully isolationist nor fully internationalist. It is a country pursuing a combination of the two policies. Under the current administration, the country is moving towards greater cooperation with international partners than it conducted under the prior administration. For instance, the United States has rejoined...

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The United States today is neither fully isolationist nor fully internationalist. It is a country pursuing a combination of the two policies. Under the current administration, the country is moving towards greater cooperation with international partners than it conducted under the prior administration. For instance, the United States has rejoined the Paris Accord on climate change to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. The US also has renewed its commitment to NATO, although the prior administration criticized the alliance for not apportioning financial and military responsibilities evenly. President Biden has said,

The United States will work closely with our European Union partners to meet the range of shared challenges we face.

Reflecting its geographic position, the US has been able to shift between isolationism and internationalism at various times in history. Placing America first, ahead of foreign interaction, dates back to foreign policy following the American Revolution and has recurred at various times in the country’s history. However, geopolitical realities have emerged at times that have essentially pulled the US into global affairs. The importance of international cooperation in mitigating climate change is one example of this.

The U.S. is not exclusively pursuing internationalist actions on all fronts. For instance, on the military front, the US is withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, targeting a deadline of August 31, 2021 to end military assistance there. However, the US intends to maintain humanitarian and economic aid to Afghanistan after the withdrawal of U.S. military troops has been completed.

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