What should be the focus of US foreign policy now?What should be the focus of US foreign policy now?

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kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think our foreign policy actually has to focus on acting in such a way domestically that foreign countries might actually take us seriously.  I am as much a fan of real politik as anyone else, but at some point if we want to talk about things like human rights, we have to stop incarcerating the largest percentage of a national population as any developed nation.

But in terms of current foreign policy, we have to disconnect the idea of "nation building" from counter-insurgency.  Taking action against terrorists on good intelligence is super, trying to supply 50,000 troops in Afghanistan for the next twenty years will help go a long way towards bankrupting the country while likely accomplishing little.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my opinion, US foreign policy needs to focus (in the long term) on helping make the world as a whole more prosperous.  I think that widespread prosperity holds the key to world peace.

Right now, the US seems to have a variety of foci for its foreign policy.  It is trying to fight terrorism, to manage the rise of China, and to deter proliferation of nuclear weapons, among other things.  All of these are important, but I think that all of them could be (to some extent) solved by improving world prosperity.

This is not to say that we can ignore short term issues that arise.  However, the best way to secure our long term security is for us to help the whole world become more prosperous.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think the United States should focus our foreign policy, or refocus that is, on diplomacy.  We have tried force of arms and interventionism for some time, at great expense and with quite limited results, so perhaps a new approach is in order.  I'm not talking about negotiations with al-Qaeda mind you, but serious engagement in the six party talks with North Korea, now that their leadership may be changing, would be a smart move in my opinion.  So would constructive, delicate and deliberate negotiations with Israel and the Palestinians, with us as a broker.  There's a window there with the current leadership on both sides where we could make some real progress.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Well, hopefully now that Bush has left power the focus of American foreign policy will not be invading other nations. What would be encouraging to see would be America taking more of a lead in the fight against poverty and the environmental degradation that is swallowing up our planet. What would be really exciting would be if America could take a lead in renewable energy or alternative sources of energy and then share that knowledge with the rest of the world. We will see however...

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would like to see U.S. foreign policy in the next five years focus strongly on women's rights. There are many countries, and not just in the less developed world, that treat women at best as lower-class citizens and at worst as chattel. The U.S. needs to take a leading role in bringing economic sanctions to bear against countries where girls are refused education and where women are brutally oppressed. When America turns a blind eye, the rest of the world follows.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My wish is unlikely to come true, but I'd like to see our foreign policy become more balanced.  I understand that, in part, this is a function of leadership turnover which brings new perspectives to the issues every few years.  Why do we have to choose between being a bully enforcer or a passive observer?  Let's find some middle ground, so when we do speak or act or enforce we'll have more credibility. 

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The focus should be on becoming stronger and more independent through the use of and development of our resources--energy, environment, and etc. Renewable energy sources as someone earlier mentioned would be one step. Also incentives that make production of goods and services here in America more desirable for American manufacturers. Bring some of the outsourced jobs back to this country.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think the focus of US foreign policy should be understanding the Middle East and taking action to promote stability there.  Although the US is not popular in these countries, they are very unstable and their instability threatens our safety and economy.  Somehow, we must find a way to stabilize these countries or at least contain the damage.

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think our foreign policy should focus on the environment and also ways to create more renewable energy sources. These two kind of go hand in hand in my opinion. I would also like to see us practice diplomacy. However, I think we have more issues within our own borders to take care of.

epollock | Student

The foreign policy of the US should now be on helping the US economy get back on its feet and grow stronger. This can be making better trade deals with other countries who have long prevented American companies from entering their markets, such as the Korean automobile industry in Korea.