Washington’s Farewell Address
Washington’s farewell address1 was primarily aimed at informing the nation state of his impending retirement from service of the nation. Washington2 took the advantage to communicate to the citizenry his beliefs, aspirations and policies that he hoped the nation would adopt. In relation to foreign policy, Washington believed that America was supposed to pursue its isolationists policies limiting as much as possible the indulgence into foreign issues affecting other nations. Washington was cautious of the possibility of having to sacrifice national interests in the quest for satisfying the needs of any foreign allies. In addition to the clouding of foreign policy consideration, Washington did believe that foreign policy ought to be neutral so as to avoid unnecessary antagonism and enmity by nations at loggerheads with perceived allies.
Washington would probably not be appreciative of America’s current foreign policy3. He would most likely be critical and dismissive of the approach that America has since adopted in foreign policy. This is essentially since, the current approach departs significantly from the counsel of Washington captured in his farewell address. Washington advised against the extension of foreign engagements into allies and enemies. However, the foreign policy today envisions permanent allies and arguably permanent enemies. America has permanent in nations such as Israel and Britain. In fact, NATO4 essentially refers to the allies’ military wing of operation. On the other hand, America has consistently been against the enemies of the state of Israel. Currently, Israel’s main threat is the Islamic Republic of Iran. If America was to fully pursue the counsel by Washington, it would have stayed away from the bickering and conflict between Israel and selected Arab nations. In addition, Washington would probably be disgusted by America’s interference in the social, economic and political activities of other nations. For instance, he would criticize America’s participation in the Libyan rebellion against fallen leader the late Gadaffi5, the Syrian rebellion, among other interventions. He would cite the guiding principle which entailed the patriotic pursuit of national interest only.
Cox, M., & Stokes, D. (2012). US Foreign Policy (illustrated ed.). New York: OUP Oxford.
Viotti, P. (2011). American Foreign Policy (illustrated ed.). New York: Polity.