U S Foreign Policy US Middle Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

The international community can obviously respond by seeking to marginalize the Taliban and similar movements as extremists. However, it has become clear following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that western governments have not been effective in infiltrating terrorist networks and pre-empting attacks. It has also become clear that there will be no shortage of people in the Islamic world who are willing to martyr themselves for as long as there are legitimate grievances against the U.S. And other countries. It is therefore in the interest of the Americans that actions are taken by its government that seek to address both the legitimate concerns of moderate elements within the Islamic world and American's own relative ignorance as to what is happening in the world beyond the U.S. (Marsden, 2002 pp. 153-155).

The Afghanistan military action of the U.S. wherein the Taliban regime was overthrown is a clear manifestation of realist perspective. The U.S. military intervention is said to be a form of counteraction and a failure of intelligence on the Americans as well the inadequacy factor of their defense policy. It would seem that American dissent has been growing and their enemies have been devising more violent and intricate means of getting their points across. At some cases, terrorism is the only instrument that dissident forces utilized to advocate their socio-political and economic concerns to the international community. With the failure of diplomacy, realism through an armed conflict or military intervention provides as the only viable option for conflict resolution. The 9/11 terrorist attacks further added to the escalating conflict between the U.S. And Afghanistan. Years of tolerance by the U.S. On the al Qaeda, its inability to extract Osama bin Laden and the alleged marginalization of the Afghans led to 9/11.

The implementation of a realism-based policy against another state would prove to be disadvantageous on the U.S. side over the long-term especially considering the factors of logistically and the ethical questions that arises over an all out war against terrorism primarily because the lives of American soldiers are at stake. The leadership question that the public was asking is that, is the war on terror, that is, sending more troops overseas to mitigate terrorism really worth it at the end of the day?

The current administration of Obama is in the process of rethinking the realist approach in favor of addressing the problem of terrorism using the piecemeal approach of democratization. With the conduct of elections, leaders in Afghanistan are legitimated through the people's consent. With a functioning parliament they could make responsive laws that reflect the true needs of the people.

The process of democratization which accords Afghans the opportunity to voice out their grievances in a political system that allows them genuine participation is a good first step to prevent the seeds of terrorism to grow. Addressing the issues of terrorism, by allowing countries to have a democratic government, assisting them towards the path of economic development and an open social system that treats women and men equally are more sustainable options for foreign policy in Afghanistan.


Marsden, P. (2002) the Taliban, War and Religion in Afghanistan. London: Zed Books Ltd.

Rashid, a. (2000) Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia. New Haven CT: Yale University Press.

Roy, O. (1986) Islam and Resistance in Afghanistan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rosenthal, J. (1991) Righteous Realists: Political Realism, Responsible Power and American Culture in Nuclear Age. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University.

Magstadt, T. (2009) Understanding Politics, Ideas, Institutions and Issues. Canada: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Grisby, E. (1999). Analyzing Politics: An Introduction to Political Science. Canada: Wadsworth Publishing Company

Rashid, a. (1994) the Resurgence of Central Asia: Islam or Nationalism. London: Zed Books.

Katzman, K. (2009) Afghanistan: Post Taliban Governance, Security and U.S. Policy. United States: Congressional Research Service. www.crs.gov

Katzman, K. (2008) Afghanistan: Government Formation and Performance. United States: Congressional Research Service. www.crs.gov

Dossani, S. (2008) the Case of U.S. Withdrawal in Afghanistan. Foreign Policy in Focus: Commentary Section, November 8, 2008. www.fpif.org/fpitxt

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