Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

March 25: Is U.S. Foreign Policy Effective?

This coming Monday, we will discuss the question: “Is the U.S. still effective in influencing global events?”

As supplied by one of our regular participants:

We have discussed various individual conflicts and touched on potential political differences in approach to some of the situations like NATO, Russia, China and the Middle East.  Regardless of politics over the years, the U.S. foreign policy has held a remarkably uniform consensus.  The Executive and Legislative branch implements foreign policy, but what are the determinants of U.S. foreign policy – the Council on Foreign Relations, State Department bureaucracy, established think tanks, international corporations, academic establishment, “military-industrial complex”, global elites (Davos)?often discuss U.S. foreign policy in the context of a specific world event or challenge—Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the war in Gaza, U.S. strategy toward China’s various initiatives.

If not, is U.S. effectiveness diminished because of lack of will, competence, loss of economic and military power, international status, or just the inevitability of the multipolar international forces.  What should be the response – disengagement or reengagement – or another paradigm?

Thank you to Richard for the above topic. Here’s an Op-Ed piece with one person’s view to get us started. Richard notes the obvious…that there are plenty of other perspectives, sources, and pundits with a view. We have six days before the next meeting to curate our favorites.


  • The Quincy Institute has been pushing against against the “Beltway Blob” of foreign policy mavens. See Here is their position:
    “The practical and moral failures of U.S. efforts to unilaterally shape the destiny of other nations by force requires a fundamental rethinking of U.S. foreign policy assumptions. So does the emergence of a multi-polar world in the 21st century where economic power is more evenly shared across nations. Yet the influence of the “military industrial complex” that President Eisenhower warned of has led to a situation where the foreign policy debate within Washington is intentionally constrained and fails to incorporate the diversity of views needed for that rethinking.”

  • Peter S. asked me to post the attached article…
    America Has a Resilience Problem (Foreign Policy

  • Fareed Zakaria is a thoughtful pundit. Here is a good piece from the WA post:

  • Hybrid War – Hybrid warfare is a theory of military strategy, first proposed by Frank Hoffman,[1] which employs political warfare and blends conventional warfare, irregular warfare, and cyberwarfare[2] [3] with other influencing methods, such as fake news,[4] diplomacy, lawfare, regime change, and foreign electoral intervention.[5][6] By combining kinetic operations with subversive efforts, the aggressor intends to avoid attribution or retribution.[7] The concept of hybrid warfare has been criticized by a number of academics and practitioners due to its alleged vagueness, its disputed constitutive elements, and its alleged historical distortions (clip from Wikipedia).
    my perspective
    Our natiional and international effectiveness has been hamstrung by ineffective
    policies on 1 st amendment rights with incompentent laws supporting a reasonable interpretation of the 1st amendment.

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