American Exceptionalism? No. American Inclusion? Yes

There are growing numbers of American Citizens who believe that the time for American Exceptionalism is past, even long past. The time has come for American Inclusion; a foreign policy which forces the recognition of other “spheres of influence,” with concerns and localized issues that may transcend American needs for hegemony over others nationalist interests.

If we consider that U.S. advice and counsel may be more supportive (and less expensive) than military missions and bases in countries and areas for which the original needs have long been diminished, we might present a different and more rewarding image to the world at large. Korea? Maybe a lot less presence. Germany? All gone; sooner rather than later; and many other places as well.
For some, American presence around he world is our claim to a stake in their future. For some as well, it seems to represent a long-gone era in which “American Exceptionalism” was a path to controlling nationalistic fervor and expansionist desires for territory, resources including energy, even upgrading minority segments to majority rule. And, of course, commerce; mostly defense merchandise, but agricultural and commercial products as well.

This is no longer valid. There is little or no political or economic justification for American Exceptionalism in the long view of what the world has to evolve into, for the many peoples, regions and interests to live and prosper in a greater community of interest. Military presence in Germany, Britain, Korea, Japan, and other places only serves an attempt to prevent or inhibit regional alliances, both security and economic, in which American dominance and leadership is diminished.

Some may argue that as a good thing, others, particularly commercial interests and military goods manufacturers and interests, will not agree. In the end, American foreign policy needs critical upgrading through rethinking our strategy as “intervene of first resort.”
Libya, although not recognized as such, was a welcome surprise in the way NATO forces took the lead, with U.S. in a supporting role (we did dominate the air “no fly zone,” and led in other ways, but significantly did so “from behind.”) And, everybody “knows” that the U.S. pushed the action; unwilling(?) partners in NATO took the lead. Libya, even with it’s failures, points to a new direction in which regional and local alliances, coalitions, and Treaty partnerships, with, and even without U.S. direct support, manage to undertake and succeed in actions that might have been unthinkable in the past.

A real question, maybe the biggest question, is whether the U.S. is willing to accept a playing field in which we are leaders only part of the time, and “team players” and supporters most of the time; where business pursuits don’t dictate policy initiatives, and where President Monroe’s Doctrine of “our back yard.” once again achieves some validity. Think of the good that American investment could do just in the Caribbean Basin.
We might even discover a world in which our competitive skills and resources once again allow the U.S. to lead the way into higher living and health standards for everybody. Not all leadership is accomplished with a gun, or a contract.

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