Foreign Policy Is One of Journal

Excerpt from Journal :

It was however an essential move for the foreign policy of the United States in its quest for containment of the communist threat.

A proper example of the way in which the decisions taken in terms of foreign policy were the reflection of the interests of political parties vs. their electorate was the Carter administration that took some of the most important steps in the discussions with the Russian Communist forces on human rights issues. Better said, usually the first steps in improving the diplomatic relations with a country or a set of countries is the start of negotiations on smaller and less important aspects for the political forces. One such subject, in the late 70s and early 80s was the discussion on human rights. As opposed to the more stringent and real problems the U.S. had with the U.S.S.R. that included nuclear threats or economic competition, the issue of human rights was considered to be a good and digestible starting point for reconsidering diplomatic dialogue between the two sides. In this sense, President Carter managed to include his Democratic Party's doctrine and the need for a more open foreign policy in the same strategy. More precisely, "the President hoped to move the nation beyond Vietnam, seeking strategies to achieve peace with the Soviet Union, while strengthening the image of the Democratic Party on national security. Carter pursued all of the hallmarks of detente, including arms negotiations, trade agreements, and territorial compromises" (Zelizer, 2010).

The strategy behind this approach related to the background of the Carter Administration. After a period in which the American public was dominated by the constant desire to see an end to the war in Vietnam that was at its peak during a Republican administration, that of Richard Nixon, the Carter Administration of the Democratic Party took upon itself to ensure that the American foreign policy would change its course particularly because it won the elections on the principles of ensuring a less violent and less war-prone foreign policy. Therefore, the Carter administration promoted a more relaxed foreign policy vs. The U.S.S.R. because of the Democratic doctrine on the one hand and the need to ensure popular satisfaction on the other. However, in order to send such a peaceful message across all the segments of the public, both Democratic and Republican, the Administration was forced to address an issue that would be unequivocally agreed by the entire political spectrum. In this sense, the issue of human rights can rarely be opposed by political parties particularly because human rights represent the humanitarian doctrine on which democracy is based. Therefore, the Carter Administration, in order to ensure that such an approach in foreign policy vs. The U.S.S.R. would be supported, chose to address human rights in its initial discussions with the communist force. At the same time, this subject would clearly be accepted by the American public that demanded an end to years of bloodshed and involvement of the American troops in wars that were not American. This approach in turn would lead to an improvement in the confidence and acceptance of the Democratic Party as the one that viewed foreign policy in a more peaceful manner.


Zelizer, J.E. (2010) "Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security - From World War II to the War on Terrorism." New York: Basic Books.

Sources Used in Documents:


Zelizer, J.E. (2010) "Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security - From World War II to the War on Terrorism." New York: Basic Books.

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