In the film Monsters to Destroy: Manifest Destiny, United States of America's (USA) policy has been discussed after the end of the Cold War in 1991 and disintegration of the Soviet Union. After the Soviet Union had broken, USA was the only super power in the world, with no major enemy.
The film discusses the Manifest Destiny and its major influence on the decision of the USA. Manifest Destiny refers to a popular American belief, coined by John O’Sullivan in 1845, which implies that the Americans have a God-given right to expand across land and regions in order to spread their developed ways and knowledge and to help the other countries advance with this expansion.
“After the end of the cold war, the United States (US) adopted policies and actions that followed the Manifest Destiny, which was consciously or subconsciously exercised by them in all major decisions.”
Support and Summary
Although the original use of Manifest Destiny might have been in more economic and financial terms, yet now that meaning seemed to have become militarized, and the US President George H. W. Bush struggled as the old foreign policy was designed for the world in which the Soviet Union was a big threat to America. Now a new and more concrete foreign policy was needed which, as the events that followed proved, was not entirely clear to the US administrations that followed President Bush.
The Middle East and Oil
President Bush created the New World Order in order to ease the concerns of some of the US citizens that perhaps the country had been trying to access other lands (For example Iraq) to gain access to their oil reserves since it was the biggest consumer of oil in the world. The USA had to deal extensively with the Iraqi issue. In order to deal with the Middle Eastern crises, the USA had to increase their military presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This move had enraged Osama Bin Laden, who decided to mobilize against the country and initiate terrorist attacks on the USA.
New World Order
Finally after utilizing vague policies for years, President Bush declared a “New World Policy”, which meant that there would be newer ways of working with other nations, controlled and reduced weapons and arsenals, and peaceful resolution of world issues. Although seemingly this was a very positive idea and strategy, which reflected on the idea that the USA had helped in solving the Gulf War issue in order to promote democracy, this positive vibe was short lived. Thus, we can see how the new policy although unsuccessful drew on the Manifest Destiny as a stepping stone, where the US takes all responsibility to help the world improve.
Somalia and Rwanda
United States of America had perhaps taken a decision that was most compliant with the original Manifest Destiny when President Bush decided to aid Somalia in 1993 by trying to end its Famine. However, even this humanitarian effort quickly deteriorated and required military intervention as the Somalian warlords started killing UN workers.
After the US military forces had left Somalia, new and even more outrageous conflicts arose in Rwanda, in April 1994. However, the country was unsure under the new administration of Bill Clinton of their actions and therefore refused to interfere. A country which had been trying to adhere to its Manifest Destiny ideology, decided not to follow it in the event of a massive genocide. This sadly resulted in thousands of deaths of about 800,000 Rwandan.
The US had declared itself by this point to have become an "indispensible Nation. This hints how the US administration still had the idea of its Manifest destiny instilled in the minds of the US citizens.
The situation in Bosnia escalated in 1998 and the US was faced with another question of whether to help out the citizens and oppressed people in Bosnia or not. Past experience from the previous administrations, especially with the cases of Somalia and Gulf war, had taught the country enough to take a newer measure. In 1998 Bosnia's situation got worst, and President Clinton took a newer route of action and instead of going through the United Nations (UN) or going against the UN's wishes, the country took the help of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Although the US used a different channel this time, it did not put its own military forces on the ground; maybe as a result there were still a large number of deaths which resulted because of this conflict.
Afghanistan and Iraq
As Afghanistan was rebuilt, the U.S. administration was cautious to not make the country dependent on foreign aid. It reflects how the super power had wanted other countries to have a proper functioning democracy as was the idea of its Manifest Destiny.
The US invaded Iraq in 2003, despite the UN's opposition. This was a widely unpopular view in the international community since it was largely believed that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
These two decisions were not well received by the international community and the USA's claim about trying to establish democracy was used as a reason to continue their own ground military operations.
Since the steps taken by the US failed in the Middle East, it only angered people, and cost the country millions of lives and dollars. However, despite such obvious losses and hypocritical steps, the US maintains its entitlement to manifest destiny as a self-image characteristic. It has lead and will continue to lead the super power in almost all of its major political decisions.
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