“The Seven Sins of American Foreign Policy” Johnson and Caruson PS: Political Science and Politics Jan. 2003; 36, 1
One: Ignorance: General Public • Americans Knowledge of the World: • “Poll after poll of this nation’s citizenry reveals an embarrassing lack of knowledge about the world’s geography, events and conditions.” • Examples: • 50% of HS Students in CT Unable to Three • Countries in Africa. • 50 % of HS Students in CA Unable to Locate Japan on a Map • 95% of Students at a College in Indiana Cannot Locate Vietnam on a Map. • 1% of Americans Study a Foreign Language.
One Ignorance: Federal Government • “Spotty knowledge of the world’s language even extends into those government agencies expected to gather information about foreign affairs and advise top policy makers.” • Examples: • DIA had two Iraqi Analysts in 1990. • FBI had only One Analyst with Requisite Skills (Language) to track Al Qaeda. • Acute Shortage of Skilled Translators: Failed to Translate Al Qaeda Intercepts.
Two: Lack of Empathy • Does the US Public Lack Empathy to Poor Nations? • The US spends only .1% of its GDP on International Assistance, yet it is the leading international arms dealer. • Arms Sales: 2002 • 1: US: $9.7 Billion • 2: Russia: $3.6 Billion • 3: France, UK, Germany and Italy: $4.5 Billion • Source: Congressional Research Service: "Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations 1994-2001”
US Arms Trade • Top Five Recipients of US Arms (2003) • 1) Saudi Arabia: $1.1 Billion • 2) Egypt: $1.0 Billion • 3) Israel: $845 Million • 4) Taiwan: $646 Million • 5) Turkey: $523 Million • Mapping US Arms Sales
Three: Isolationism • There is a strong tradition of isolationism in the US: • George Washington: “Steer Clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.” • Thomas Jefferson: “Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” • Current Trends: • -Only 20% Supported a Policy of Aiding Weaker Nations • against Invasion. • -69% Thought Strengthening UN is a Low Priority.
Four/Five: Unilateralism/Preemption • World Policemen? • “To concern ourselves with the vast majority of political and military eruptions that occur inevitably around the world is a sure prescription for sapping America’s resources and energies, while portraying ourselves as an international meddler of the first order.” • Policy Example: Iraq War • …
Six: Presidential Imperialism • Theory of Unitary Executive Authority • What are the proper limits to presidential power? • Article 2, Section 2: • “The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States…” • Public Opinion and Presidency: • “The American people want neither an imperial president, free of legislative constraints, nor an imperiled president dominated by an overbearing Congress.”
Seven: Arrogance • Sum of All Sins: • The sum of all these sins is arrogance. Since the end of the Cold War, how seriously has the United States weighed the views of other nations? • Arrogance of Power: Failure to Understand the World • >>>