In the contemporary world, international relations have intensified. The US, which has risen to be the world’s most prominent country, has formal diplomatic relations with almost all countries in the world. These relations exist for purposes of international trade, fighting terrorism, regional development, promotion of human rights, conservation of the environment, fighting diseases among many other purposes. The US has set up the council of Foreign Relations in order to formalize its relations with other countries. As such, the high level of formalization and legislations concerning foreign relations means that external social, economic, and political factors influence politics in the US. This essay examines the extent to which US-China relations, 9/11 and oil markets have influenced politics inside the US.
US-China Relations and its influence on the US politics
The relationship between the US and China has grown rapidly over the last 30 years in which China has experienced phenomenal social-economic growth. The political relations between the two countries are largely anchored on the fact that they are the two largest economies in the world. Politics spearheads the strategies of each country to remain relevant in the world and the rise of China to challenge the US’s dominance in the world has brought about several political changes.
While in previous era’s there has been intense rivalry, the Chinese administration under president Xi Jinping has asked the US to get into a “new model of major country relationship”. The US seeks to avoid such a relationship. The Obama administration has chosen to offer diplomatic support to China to enable it “play a greater role in world affairs”. The US has restated that it is not against the emergence of China as a great power. As such, the US politics are in an uneasy calm giving the Chinese social-economic revolution a keen eye. President Obama upon his reelection appointed a new team of foreign policy managers to look into easing the cooperation between Washington and Beijing.
The new team of foreign policy managers has chosen a political approach that is less opposed to war. The US has opted to be more cooperative “appointing” China as the agent to enhance security and stability in Asia-pacific region. In previous regimes, there has been open mistrust between Chinese and Us leaders.
9/11 influence on the US politics
The 9/11 terrorism tragedy influenced many political policies in the country. The President George Bush’s presidency had to institute many domestic and foreign policies in response to the deaths of more than 3000 Americans on September 11, 2001.
The 9/11 events led to the US government invading Afghanistan to fight the Taliban- a terrorist group which was part of an international terror scheme. The congress gave Bush’s administration the mandate to pursue terrorists and Saddam Hussein who was rumored to have weapons of mass destruction. The pursuance of terrorists and institutionalization of policies to safeguard Americans from terror was the major campaign issue that led to Bush’s reelection in 2004. Bush’s campaign used images of the attack as well as those of the war to win the hearts of many American voters.
The Iran and Afghanistan invasions have led to sharp political divisions and has been used a major campaign issue during political contestations. Frustrations over the Iraq war led to Bush’s ratings dropping sharply while little-know Democrat senator Barrack Obama rose to fame. Obama later became president on grounds of fighting terror and preventing a recurrence of 9/11 using strategies aimed at minimizing civilian casualties.
The Democrats led by President Obama criticized the manner in which Bush’s administration pursued the terrorists following 9/11. While the Democrats swore to uphold policies geared towards preventing a recurrence of the 9/11 attacks, the wisdom of attacking sovereign states such as Iraq and Afghanistan has formed substantial political fodder.
The 9/11 events were largely blamed on Osama Bin laden-leader of the Al Qaeda which claimed responsibility of the attacks. The Obama administration pursued and killed Osama in 2012 earning the president accolades from millions of Americans who saw the act a befitting justice for the 9/11 attacks. President Obama dwelt on the issue and used it to propel him to White house for a second term.
Oil markets influence on the US politics
Global oil markets have become highly volatile and this has led to oil markets controlling the US politics to a significant extent. US oil companies are the major players in influencing the politics of the country as they position themselves to ensure sustainability in the face of changing oil prices.
The US is seeking closer collaboration with the Organization of Petroleum Countries (OPEC). OPEC’s goal is the “stabilization of prices in international markets”. The US also seeks to maintain amicable political relations with the major and powerful oil producers such as Russia and the Middle East. The US has to get into diplomatic political relations to ensure that Vladmir Putin’s government does not allow people to infiltrate the oil industry and raise the oil prices. The war in the Middle East could also raise oil prices much to the detriment of US industries that could paint the current regime in bad light.
Many oil companies with stability in international oil markets influence the government’s policies on energy. For instance, President Bush appointed Dick Cheney to head a task force on energy that relied on recommendations from big oil companies such as Exxon Mobil, BP America, Shell Oil, Conoco, and Shevron. The government influenced congress to pass give tax cuts and subsidies to oil companies so that the companies would also contribute to presidential and congressional campaigns. The government of the day hoped that financially strong oil companies could cope with volatile international oil prices and remain stable and profitable to support political ideologies of the incumbent government.
Influence of the external forces influence on the next US president
The next US president will be under heavy influence from issues in the oil markets, the 9/11 attacks and the US-China relations. The Chinese economy is growing at a rate of about 10% annually and the Chinese are becoming more influential in the world. As such, the next US president will have to establish better relations with the Chinese leaders. The president needs to avoid the tensions between the two countries and target mutual economic benefits for the American people.
The international oil markets will influence political decisions of the next US president. The volatility of oil prices will compel the next US president to take charge of the sector to shield oil investors from losses. For instance, in June 2014, the price of a barrel of oil rose to $115 but prudent practices reduced the price to $70. The US president will need to look at such volatility and support local energy production and oil-drilling projects in Texas and North Dakota. Moreover, strong American oil companies will remain supportive of the president in campaigns should the president promise tax cuts and subsidies.
The 9/11 terror attacks will also continue to influence the operations of the next US president. There has been recent terror stacks in US such as the Boston bombings and these have awakened the commitment of the US administration to fight terror. The Obama Administration has also not withdrawn all the troops who went to Iraq and Afghanistan following 9/11. The next US president will have to address all the loose ends that previous administrations have failed to address following 9/11.
The US presidency and politics will remain under the influence of external factors such as oil prices, international trade, and foreign relations among others. This is so because the world is becoming more cohesive and the US being the world’s largest and most influential country will have to take a leading role. In order to lead the world effectively, the US politics will remain subject to heavy influences from the international community.
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