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Elements of National Interest - Essay Example

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Other name (s) Course Elements of national interest The principles of power, prosperity and peace all closely related to the American national interest and particularly in the conduct of its foreign policies…
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Elements of National Interest
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"Elements of National Interest"

Download file to see previous pages Power refers to the ability to directly or indirectly influence the attitude and behavior of people either willingly or by coercion to get the desired end result. The principle of power is another important American principle that has significantly influenced the American foreign policy strategies (Jentleson, 17). On the other hand, the principle of peace is important particularly with regard to the fact that peaceful coexistence enables international institutionalism and economic interdependence between countries. Generally Peace can be defined as a state of harmony that exists when there is no violence, hostility and aggression. It takes into consideration inter boundary relations among countries A good example is the current European Union which has thrived on both the principles of power, prosperity and peace. It is the interaction of these principles that are embedded in America’s national interest. America’s power and show of might in protecting its citizen against aggression and assault by use of nuclear weapon is aimed at ensuring peaceful co existence of its citizens and the neighboring countries. The elements of national interest emanate from the fact that those who have power, be they leaders or politicians play a crucial role in the development of the country and its prosperity. Throughout the history both during the cold war period (1945-1990) as well as in the present times, many of the aspects of the US foreign policy strategies have occasionally come into conflict with the 4Ps as well as with one another. A good example of a contradiction between the principles and the US national interests during the cold war period was the Arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union. At the heart of the cold war were the ideological differences between America and its allies and the Soviet Union and its aligned countries. For example the Western bloc lead by the United States believed in capitalism, democracy, freedom and liberty while the Eastern bloc lead by the Soviet Union championed Communism and greater state control of politics and economics of their countries. The cold war resulted into a serious military and political tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and allies. The conflict between the US foreign policy strategies and its national interests during the cold was that while the stock piling more weapons including nuclear weapons was good for the security interests of the nation, it proved to be costly and resulted in an economic back lash that significantly affected the principle of prosperity. The major trade of that the leaders of the United States had to make during conflict of their principles of prosperity and national security interests was to compromise their economic prosperity for the sake of national security interests. Despite the costs, the US continued to be involved in the arms race with the Soviet Union and its allies. It also attempted to expand its influence to counter communism through regime changes in the Soviet aligned countries and this particularly proved to be politically and economically expensive as was evidenced by the Viet Nam war, Korean War and the Gulf war. All these wars proved to be costly and contradicted the principles of prosperity but the leaders chose to trade off the economic costs with the need to achieve more influence and power in the global affairs. The positive consequence of the trade offs in this regard was the fact that America achieved power and more influence in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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