Is America a bully?

Very interesting article America now solves problems with troops, not diplomats by Monika Duffy Toft in The Conversation about the USA. First thesis: The United States has changed from an isolationist to a reluctant interventionist to become a global policeman and now a global bully, increasingly replacing diplomacy with military means, replacing experienced and ethnically experienced professional diplomats with political careerists and increasingly pursuing „kinetic diplomacy“.

„Is America a bully?

As a scholar, under the auspices of the Military Intervention Project, I have been studying every episode of U.S. military intervention from 1776 to 2017. Historically, the U.S. advanced from a position of isolationism to one of reluctant intervenor, to global policeman. Based on my research since 2001, I believe that the U.S. has transformed itself into what many others view as a global bully.

Historically, as a reward for those with deep donor pockets, political appointees made up only 30% of U.S. ambassadorial appointments, leaving 70% of the posts to career diplomats. Under the current administration, that proportion is nearly reversed.

The professional corps of foreign affairs bureaucrats has also diminished. According to the Office of Personnel Management, under the Trump administration, the State Department lost some 12% of employees in the foreign affairs division. Its remaining diplomats are increasingly isolated from the formation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy, with foreign policy being established much more often by the executive branch, and then implemented by the Department of Defense.

From the perspective of conservative U.S. political elites, U.S. diplomacy has not suffered. Rather, its quality has shifted from often hard-headed and hard-won negotiations among career diplomats in possession of in-depth local knowledge – what we political scientists think of as traditional diplomacy – to what I have elsewhere referred to as “kinetic diplomacy”: “diplomacy” by armed force unsupported by local knowledge. (…)

Looking at the overall use of U.S. armed force abroad, it’s clear that the U.S. has escalated over time as compared to both small and great powers. In our database, we note every hostile incident. We rate each country’s response on a scale from 1 to 5, from the lowest level of no militarized action (1), to threat to use force, display of force, use of force and, finally, war (5). In some cases, states respond; in others, they don’t. Over time, the U.S. has taken to responding more and more at level 4, the use of armed force. Since 2000 alone, the U.S. has engaged in 92 interventions at level 4 or 5.“

http://theconversation.com/america-now-solves-problems-with-troops-not-diplomats-120956?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+October+4+2019+-+1426413482&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+October+4+2019+-+1426413482+CID_865aa024a20cae5e5055ca9c4b0fe91f&utm_source=campaign_monitor_global&utm_term=America+now+solves+problems+with+troops+not+diplomats&fbclid=IwAR0krcDVr0MUsrZOMFuAIG1nneJhD3wo9jRjrlLGWAEm2VfZKajHlvmQxx8

Whether this tends to be true or has to be  relativized in the face of disengagement in the Greater Middle East since Obama, which is now continuing under Trump, will be seen in the future, because Trump also retains some military solutions for China and Iran should he be re-elected. So is the war against the Islamic State which had not been otherwise possible and is rather positive to evaluate, although the IS was also a consequence of the US disengagement, which required the correction.

More interestingly, the Pew survey in different countries shows to what extent the population sees the US as a greater threat to the country’s freedoms and peace than other powers. Here the global median value has risen from 25% to 45%. .  Poland is the exception, I also guess Israel and Saudi Arabia. Still, over 50% still do not see the US as more dangerous, but should  the trend continue and should  the US follow the trend towards global bullying described by Monika Duffy Toft, the US will no longer be seen as a bengign hegemon but as a global troublemaker.This will also be interesting if the US and NATO intend to deploy medium-range missiles against Putin’s medium-range missiles.

Über Ralf Ostner

Ralf Ostner geboren 1964 in Frankfurt am Main, 1984 Abitur in Bayern--Leitungskurse: Physik und Kunst/ Schülerzeitung. Studium der Physik (Nebenfächer: Mathematik, Chemie), Wirtschaftsgeographie (Nebenfächer: BWL, VWL) und Studium der Sinologie. 1991 Abschluss als staatlich geprüfter Übersetzer in der englischen und chinesischen Sprache am Sprachen- und Dolmetscher-Institut/München (Leiter der Chinesisch-Abteilung: Herr Zhang, ehemaliger Dolmetscher von Deng Xiaoping und Franz-Josef Strauß).Danach 5 Jahre Asienaufenthalt: China, Indien, Südostasien (u.a. in Kambodscha während des ersten Auslandseinsatzes der Bundeswehr, Interviews mit Auslandschinesen, Recherche im Karen-Guerillagebiet in Burma, Unterstützung einer UNO-Mitarbeiterin während den Aufständen in Nepal und bei UNO-Arbeit in Indien), Australien. Danach 5 Jahre als Dolmetscher, Delegationsbegleiter und Übersetzer in München. Abendstudium an der Hochschule für Politik /München (Schwerpunkt: Internationale Beziehungen). Abschluss als Diplom-Politologe (Diplomarbeit: Die deutsch-chinesischen Beziehungen 1989-2000 unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der SPD-Grünen-Regierung). Delegationsbegleitung von Hu Ping, Chefredakteur der chinesischen Dissidentenzeitung "Pekinger Frühling" (New York)und prominentester Vertreter eines chinesischen Liberalismus bei seiner Deutschlandtour (Uni München, Uni Mainz, Berlin/FU-Humboldt) bei gleichzeitigem Kontakt mit Liu Liqun (Autor des Buches "Westliches Denken transzendieren"/ heute: Deutschlandberater der chinesischen Regierung).Chefredakteur der Studentenzeitschrift UNIPOL . Projekte am Goethe-Institut und bei FOCUS TV. Seit 2000 Übersetzer (chinesisch-deutsch), Graphiker, freier Schriftsteller und Blogger.
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