Posts tagged ‘Fiscal’

August 11, 2010

Change in Foreign Policy is Changing America

by Vince

Entanglements at TNR put together an analysis of the future of American involvement in the world relevant to many areas and due to the Great Recessions’ vacuum effect. As Mandelbaum says at the end, this looks to be anything but benign:

Here the impact of the coming economic constraints on foreign policy will differ from the effects of the downsizing of the financial industry. Reducing the size of banks and other financial institutions will have benign consequences, reducing the risk of a major economic collapse, limiting economically unproductive speculation, and diverting talented people to other, more useful, work. By contrast, the contraction of the scope of American foreign policy will have the opposite effect because the American international role is vital for global peace and prosperity. The American military presence around the world helps to support the global economy. American military deployments in Europe and East Asia help to keep order in regions populated by countries that are economically important and militarily powerful. The armed forces of the United States are crucial in checking the ambition of the radical government of Iran to dominate the oil-rich Middle East. For these reasons, the retreat of the United States risks making the world poorer and less secure, which means that the consequences of the economically-induced contraction of American foreign policy are all too likely to be anything but benign.

Mandelbaum puts this in the perspective of everything tying together – a domino effect of sorts (minus the Communists). In a way, this sounds good to me. I don’t understand why we are spending more money now on foreign affairs and military engagements as we fight against Muslim ¬†nihilists who can’t light their car full of explosives on fire, the bomb in their shoe or in their underwear than against the Communist Russians and Chinese decades ago.
Mandelbaum’s new book looks appealing: The Frugal Superpower: America‚Äôs Global Leadership in a Cash-Strapped Era.