US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently raised concerns when he tried to explain the Trump Administration's "America First" foreign policy. He appeared to divorce American policies from American values, which is how publications like 'The Guardian' interpreted his argument.
The statement "...And in some circumstances, if you condition our national security efforts on someone adopting our values, we probably can’t achieve our national security goals or our national security interests. If we condition too heavily that others must adopt this value that we’ve come to over a long history of our own, it really creates obstacles to our ability to advance our national security interests, our economic interest...." probably alarmed people, especially non-Americans, the most. Just as the world reacted to America's unilateral, seemingly arbitrary, and terribly justified use of American might to crush the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, statements and sentiments like this frighten people, because they frame the United States as a scary, self-serving emperor of the world that expects all to obey its will or face armed invasion.
The Tillerson's speech does reflect "the balance" theme that the Washington Outsider has argued "America First" should and must embody in articles, such as "International Governance In An Age of America First and Nationalist Movements," "US Foreign Policy Politics Decrypted: International Governance Versus Nationalist Politics," and "Trump On Foreign Affairs: Criticism Explains Failures of US Foreign Policy." Tillerson also asserts the need to preserve US values while his jumbled argument does rightfully highlight the need for the US to stop imposing American views and policy approaches onto the Peoples of the world. It does, however, appear that Tillerson has convoluted these ideas in such a way that he is justifying the support of abusive, oppressive governments for the sake of alleged US economic and military objective, which are often motivated by politics and special interests . It appears he has not learned the lessons discussed in Washington Outsider articles like "Trump, World Leaders Neglect Lessons from Arab Spring Revolutions: Empower the Peoples of the World."
American global power, economic and military, is rooted in America's alliances. It is precisely, because American policies are rooted in American values, that the world chooses to support the United States over other global powers. When the United States does act to pursue US national interests, without developing policy objectives honor US values, it has resulted in a betrayal of American values and countless disasters. As part of the anti-Obama theme of the Trump Administration, Tillerson's assertions are a rejection of Obama's foreign policy stances. Obama's foreign policy was, of course, a response to the failures of the George. W Bush Administration's foreign and the Arab Spring Revolutions, which revealed what happens when the US spends decades supporting oppressive dictators in order to achieve US military and economic interests without America' principles. The Obama Foreign Policy had many issues, but the foreign policy Tillerson appears to embrace has decades of failure attached to it.
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