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Putting out fire with gasoline – are lessons learned from the past or will hardline hawks and liberal interventionists continue to lead the future in US Foreign Policy?
As the world’s far most important superpower, the U.S. has the leading role in international relations in a foreseeable future, thus exposed to various ‘new’ and complex challenges. But although numerous research point out that the “war on terror” has been counterproductive, namely made the US less safe, created more anti-American sentiment and instability, many influential think-tanks and significant security advisers are now criticizing the present administration for being weak. By using similar arguments as in various historical examples, they urge the administration to take “new threats more seriously” and implement a more engaged foreign policy, including firmer military strategies. Simultaneously, an increasing number of policymakers and high ranked officers are questioning previous strategies and urged for a new policy. By interviewing influential policy makers and following the debate in Washington closely, this paper examine the ongoing political discussion on security matters and explore the dominating discourses regarding future strategies for U.S. to counter new threats. Furthermore it asks what possible outcomes the dominating perspectives might mean for the international security environment in the future. Is there a chance for a future build on diplomacy and off-shore balancing – or will future U.S. strategies (continue to) putt out fires with gasoline?
Is there a risk that presented strategies will (continue to) put out fires with gasoline – or will new tactics build a future for peace and stability?
Nyckelord: American foreign policy - security; amerikansk utrikespolitik