- Term Papers and Free Essays

What Is The Concept? - The Cases Of Bosnia, Haiti And Somalia In The Early 1990ies And Their Importance To American Foreign Policy Values.

Essay by   •  December 5, 2010  •  1,348 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,723 Views

Essay Preview: What Is The Concept? - The Cases Of Bosnia, Haiti And Somalia In The Early 1990ies And Their Importance To American Foreign Policy Values.

Report this essay
Page 1 of 6

In my paper "The undone change of American Foreign Policy after the Cold War" I addressed the inability of the U.S. institutions to meet the newly created challenges of the post-Cold War world. I argued that due to a lack of leadership, especially by the President, the opportunity to "reconfigure" U.S. foreign policy institutions; supported by an absent corresponding ideology; the U.S. had missed its chance to change its foreign policy in the post-Cold War world.

America as the new superpower, the economically and military strongest nation on the globe had to meet new challenges. The Kuwait threat by Saddam Hussein definitely posed a first example. The Bush administration had to act on an Iraqi dictator that had attacked one of their allies in the, to U.S. interests very important Middle East region.

Another challenge was coming from Somalia, a country not very well known to the American public, before the media initiated TV coverage about starvation and the brutality of the local civil war there in 1991. Further, the end of Communism questioned the further existence of the multicultural nation of Yugoslavia, which threatened to fall apart and involve in a civil war. Finally, the president of America's poorest nation Haiti was overthrown by locals, which had to be dealt with, since this happened in America's backyard.

What was the major strategy applied by the United States in these cases? How would the most powerful nation react, lead or response to the threats? As I pointed out before, there was no stringent course recognizable. America reacted in every case differently with no clear guidelines to use of force or national interest visible. To prove this statement, I will take a look at the lecture of each case and draw an overall conclusion.


Somalia is often seen as a failure of U.S. foreign policy involvement, but I would make the distinction and call it a lesson - not only bad things happened for the US in Somalia . The initiative taken by the Bush administration to "Operation Restore Hope", a commitment on solely humanitarian basis, was a success. The limited time frame gave the chance to help the starving people without taking sides in a local conflict.

The action to agree to the U.N. Secretary Generals idea of a nation building effort in Somalia was the mistake, since the new President Clinton was not willing to commit the necessary resources and, even more important, the definition of goals to be achieved through

the involvement.

As soon as the United Nations decided on the extension of the mission and the hunt for the local warlord Aideed, the U.S. took sides in the local conflict and made a commitment they were not able and willing to carry out . The implementation of the "Operation Restore Hope" plan clearly showed the power and influence the United States had within the United Nations organization. However, the change of commitment to a nation building effort lacked the U.S. leadership totally.


The demise of communism indirectly caused the demise of the multi-cultural nation of Yugoslavia. After nationalistic leaders like Milosevic and Tuchjman took office as presidents of the new created republics, the chance of a peaceful secession period, in which the old Yugoslavia is kept as a lose union and democratic development is supported, seemed diminished. The Serbs under Milosevic claimed supremacy in a Yugoslavia and would not allow secession of the other republics .

Secessionist movements, especially in Slovenia and Croatia grew fast and the split of the country became unstoppable. Paced by the acknowledgement of the European Commission, led by German foreign minister Genscher, the region slid into a civil war. While Serbian forces seek civilians in the towns of Dubrovnik, Vukovar and later on Sarajevo, followed by ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, the U.S. stood back.

Steps should have been taken earlier . When Secretary of State Baker visited Serbia in 1991 he should have made more than a political statement. He should have used the threat of force to condemn Serbians who were willing to overthrow secessionist regions to keep a country under their rulership. But instead of fixing the problem the U.S. and its European allies started fighting for interest over this war. While the Europeans want a quick end of the war, with no question about the political commitments, the U.S. wanted to get rid of the Serbian threat.

It took until 1995 to agree on a plan for the two allies, after the Clinton administration had opposed several peace initiatives such as the Vance-Owen Plan. In the end the U.S. had to leave behind several of their principals, such as the non-division of Bosnia into ethnic zones and that there would be no direct negotiation with Milosevic, who was seen as a war criminal .

America missed out on the leadership



Download as:   txt (8 Kb)   pdf (127 Kb)   docx (11.9 Kb)  
Continue for 5 more pages »
Only available on