The U.S. international policy has often evoked a lot of discourse in the international arena. The middle of the twentieth century was marked by the Cold War that shaped U.S. approach to different countries.
However, the polarized world ceased to exist in 1990s, and the USA became the only world power that had enough military capacity to reach any part of the globe (Hinnebusch, 2007). It is necessary to note that the USA used this capability from time to time. For instance, such countries as Panama and Iraq acknowledged military power of the USA.
The country launched some military campaigns in Panama and Iraq within the past two decades. Panama has already recovered, whereas Iraq is only yet to become a strong and peaceful state. Therefore, it can be interesting to draw parallels between the two countries to trace the U.S. approach to different countries during the past two decades.
The USA has often had quite tensed relations with Panama. Notably, such kind of relationships between neighboring countries is quite common. The relations between the USA and Panama were also aggravated due to the fact that Panama was one of the major centers of drug trafficking which had effects on the USA (Schulzinger, 2006). More so, policies implemented by the then leader of Panama, Manuel Noriega, escalated tension between the two countries (Hensel & Michaud, 2011).
This resulted in the Operation Just Cause. The U.S. President George Bush justified the invasion of Panama stating that Panama’s dictator turned the country into a center of drug trafficking. Bush added that Noriega’s regime threatened American people’s lives, and democracy and peace in the region.
The operation did not last long and the U.S. military forces started withdrawal within a month (Hensel & Michaud, 2011). Since then the relations between the two countries has been based on cooperation. The U.S. companies have invested into Panama’s businesses considerably (Schulzinger, 2006). Now the USA also provides financial aid which helps Panamanians to cope with various constraints that the country has to face.
The relations between the USA and Panama can be compared to those between the USA and Iraq. The USA resorted to military force in Iraq as well (Kane & Taylor, 2011). The United States participated in several military operations in Iraq. The U.S. government justified military campaigns by the necessity to help Iraqis to build a democratic state. The USA claimed that the situation in Iraq jeopardized stability in the region so it was essential to intervene until it was too late (Hinnebusch, 2007).
Nowadays the United States provides financial aid to Iraq. Americans also invest in Iraqi businesses (Hinnebusch, 2007). In fact, some analytics suggest that the major reason for military operations was American’s willingness to penetrate Iraqi oil business (Hinnebusch, 2007). However, American interest is not confined to oil industry.
The USA invests in the reconstruction of Iraq. Besides, the United States is also determined to continue the policy of debt forgiveness which favorably affects the process of Iraq’s recovery.
The two countries try to develop proper relationships based on principles of cooperation. It is possible to draw a parallel between the way the USA acted in Panama and Iraq. First, the USA used their military force to overthrow regimes which prevented the countries from cooperation. After this, the USA started investing in the economies of the two countries.
The U.S. relationships with the two countries can be a good illustration of the U.S. foreign policy. Thus, during the past two decades the USA used its military force to modify foreign policy of other countries, i.e. to bring to power political forces that would cooperate. The USA justified their military operations by the necessity to assist people of those countries to overthrow regimes of dictators. The USA claimed that it was important to help countries to develop democratic societies.
It is important to note that those military operations contributed greatly to the development of the U.S. image as a country which has considerable influence in the international arena. At present the country also provides financial aid to many countries worldwide. Thus, Panama and Iraq have obtained financial assistance which enabled the countries to develop their economies. The USA also tries to develop close relations with the countries. Admittedly, such relations are fruitful for both sides.
When the USSR ceased to exist, the USA remained the only one superpower which was able to use its military forces in any part of the world. Many analysts consider this to be one of the major reasons why the USA resorted to military force in several countries. It is important to note that during the past two decades the USA had military operations in such countries as Panama and Iraq.
Nowadays, the relationships between the USA and these countries develop in terms of principles of cooperation and economical support from the part of the USA. Notably, such cooperation positively affects American economy as well. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that during the past twenty years the USA has influenced many processes which were taking place in the international arena.
Hensel, H.M., & Michaud, N. (2011). Global media perspectives on the crisis in Panama. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Hinnebusch, R. (2007). The US invasion of Iraq: Explanations and implications. Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies, 16(3), 209-228.
Kane, S., & Taylor, W. (2011). The United States in Iraq: Options for 2012 (PB 88). Retrieved from http://www.usip.org/files/resources/The_United_States_in_Iraq.pdf.
Schulzinger, R.D. (2006). A companion to American foreign relations. Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons.