The Power of US Politics on External Affairs

charles-de-gaulle-1219802_640Whether we like it or not, there is a heavy influence on external affairs imposed by United States politicians, from whomever is in office is at the time. This is particularly true in today’s modern era of politics. What are some examples of this? How much of a role does the sitting President have on foreign policy? Where does Congress come in? Let us delve into this topic a bit and find out.

The President, Congress, and External Affairs

Typically, the President of the United States is the one who appears to set forth an agenda on external affairs, and on foreign policy in general.However, when it comes to the “power of the purse,” as it relates to foreign policy, Congress is required to approve it. Congress also must be consulted regarding any trade agreements and, of significant importance, when there is any discussion of matters pertaining to war. It ought to be noted that Congress should never intentionally upstage a sitting president on international affairs, at least not publicly.

Understanding of External Affairs is Critical

The above statement is especially true of the United States President. Before being voted into office, candidates for President MUST display an understanding of foreign policy. He or she needs to know how to approach each international leader, as well as what matters are of importance to them. Additionally, political office-holders must demonstrate they have the type of personality necessary to effectively deal with foreign administrations. These attributes are also true of the candidates for, and current members of, Congress.

Does Public Opinion Play a Role?

Although the public does not make policies when it comes to external affairs, it is understood by politicians that the public should have a say in these matters. If political leaders do not implement the wishes of the people, they can find themselves voted out of office. This is particularly true when it comes to how our leaders treat the leaders of other nations. Therefore, indirectly, the American people do play a role in external affairs.

Other Areas of Importance

When it comes to modern politics and external affairs, from the perspective of the US citizens, there is little as important as protecting human rights. Regardless of whether or not the affected people are American, nothing spurs the public into action more than when others are being abused. This can be mental abuse, emotional abuse, or physical abuse. When someone’s rights are being violated anywhere in the world, the American people expect their leaders to help put an end to it. Evidence of this can be found almost anytime in the news or on the Internet. Check it out for yourself and see.

 

Influence of US Politics on External Affairs

money-994845_640When speaking about the world’s “superpowers”, the U.S. is one of the countries that first come to mind. The term can be defined as any country with such a high level of political, economic and military power that it is capable of convincing nations from all over the world into doing something that otherwise wouldn’t even be considered. That being said, it becomes clear that simply by defining the U.S. as a “superpower” we are acknowledging the fact that it has a significant influence on world politics.

There was a time when the title of the world’s most powerful nation belonged not to the U.S., but to Great Britain. That all changed during the course of the Second World War, after which the American influence significantly outweighed the British. It wasn’t long, however, before another “superpower” – the Soviet Union – emerged from the background and started competing for dominance in a political standoff that is now commonly referred to as the Cold War. For the past couple of decades, the U.S. has been the only country considered to be worthy of the title, but some analysts claim that, especially considering China’s rapidly increasing economic influence, it is likely that it will have to share it once again.

Considering the fact that the global economy is in a state of constant change, how is it that experts agree that the U.S. won’t lose its power any time soon? To answer this, three key elements to earning the title of “superpower” – political influence, economics and military – have to be addressed.

When it comes to political influence, the U.S. is and will remain ranked highest, mostly thanks to its high financial involvement in foreign affairs. It has been estimated that in 2013, the U.S. spent $32.7 billion on foreign aid, while Great Britain doled out only $19 billion.

In the field of economics, although it can’t be denied that there are countries experiencing impressive growth, the U.S. is still far ahead when it comes to GDP per capita. The fact that financial transactions made in dollars make up over 80% of all transactions serves as sufficient proof for the claim that the U.S. economy is still the bedrock of the global economy.

Last but not least, the U.S. has the strongest military presence of all the countries that are considered to be politically and economically powerful. Although each of these three elements by itself can’t account for such power, when combined, they make a country with an enormous influence on the rest of the world.