Ways in which Foreign Governments Interests Affect the United States of America
In family and individual life, people have to form relationships with others around them in order to survive because of the varied differences we all have that complement each other. Similarly, in the governance of any country in the world, the leadership must forge relationships with other countries in the world because of the different resources each has to offer and alliances that need to be formed so as to achieve commonly shared objectives. This is mainly done through concessions that governments give to one another so as to facilitate trade and commerce, military strategy, and even aid efforts in the needy areas of the world.
The degree of foreign government influence in the making of policies within another country is usually directly related to both power-play between the countries and the relationships that they have had in the past in relation to trade opportunities, labor possibilities, and strategy.
The United States of America has a highly diverse demographic that encompasses many communities from around the world such as Hispanics, Africans, and members from European countries among others. Every year thousands of people immigrate to the United States, some of whom do so as a result of transfers from other parts of the globe but most of whom do so in search of greener pastures in the shape of better employment opportunities, entrepreneurial endeavors, and education. This leads to increased demand for jobs and other social amenities required by the population which in turn demands policy formulation to provide for such numbers.
The flip side is that the increase in any country’s nationals in the United States or any country for that matter creates a situation where foreign policies in both countries need to cater for the immigrants, in which case both countries form policies to protect their citizens as the degree of cultural diversity and ethnicity among other issues increases, it is imperative that the United States give consideration to other countries foreign policies to foster peace and understanding. This is illuminated in the online article “US population reaches 300 million.” (par. 3). Immigration to the United States by citizens of other nations has been a major source of population growth and cultural change and diversity throughout much of the history of the United States.
The influence of foreign governments’ interests is very visible in relation to the education and general social program sector. In order to cater to the diverse population effectively, the United States education system has had to provide for a comfortable education system for the Muslim students who, traditionally, have the most culturally diverse education system based on religious doctrines called the madrasas which conventional American schooling may violate indirectly.
This accommodation is necessary so as to ensure that regular American society does not seem discriminatory against members of a Muslim dispensation amongst them as Robert. W. Hefner and Muhammad. Q. Zaman (pg.4) argues that Since the Taliban seized Kabul in 1996, the public has grappled with the relationship between Islamic education and radical Islam. The media has been propagating a view that madrasas-religious institutions committed to Islamic teaching- are formation centers for terrorists and teach anti-west ideologies (Zaman 4). There are is a general feeling that without reforms there will be no relationship between Islam and the West (Zaman 4).
In relation to social programs, the government has also had to set up programs that are sensitive to all cultures present in the United States as it is essentially a melting pot for such. The social service programs such as daycare for disadvantaged immigrant workers have had to grow to accommodate the influx in numbers, equal capacity adjustments have also been experienced in other programs as free housing and medical care. The result is that in most cases, public social programs tend to be inefficient due to funded government agencies and insufficient staffing of the same agencies. [i]
Yet another way in which the interest of foreign governments around the world affects the United States is during wartime or when there is increased tension between countries that happen to hold special interests for the government. In such times, countries involved in the conflicts are inclined to forge alliances based on existing relationships and those formed out of convenience. In the twentieth century, the United States got involved in First World War, albeit hesitantly, on the side of the western alliance whose policies and interests at the time coincided with their own such as weakening the Bolshevik empire. In the Second World War, the United States joined after the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese air force. The invasion and aggression by a foreign government military then led to America retaliating by the use of nuclear weapons on Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Devine 7).
In the cold war era, the interests of other western nations who opposed the communist system of governance prevalent in the eastern bloc countries were shared by America as she and her western colleagues used the capitalist paradigm which favored individually owned businesses and self-determination, a stark contrast to communism which imposed socialist living for all. This led to crises during the cold war era; most notable was the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. According to Devine (3), The Cuban missile crisis marks the closest the world has yet come to nuclear destruction. For six harrowing days in 1962, from the time President John.F. Kennedy informed the nation of the Soviet missile build up in Cuba until Nikita Khrushchev agreed to pull back the American people who lived under the threat of disaster.
This resulted from the Soviet Union and Cuba building bases for nuclear missiles capable of striking America after an attempt by America to overthrow the existing regime (Devine 6). The effect of this action on America was that it issued sanctions against Cuba for the action, many of which have never been lifted to date.
The communist interests of the Soviet Union and Cuba conflicted with those of America, thereby affecting the country because they believed communist regimes to be dangerous to the rest of the world and needed to be stopped, an issue which laid the foundation for many conflicts within the cold war era in the twentieth century.
In the business sector, the business policies of other countries affect the United States greatly in terms of revenue and employment. In the recent past, many Asian countries have experienced steady growth in their financial sectors thereby becoming economic powerhouses in their own right. As part of their growth strategy, the countries have employed the use of cheap labor and lower production costs than their western counterparts. This issue has indeed affected the American economy since more and more jobs are being outsourced to countries where the labor is cheaper and raw materials for products are readily available.
In addition to cheaper labor and raw materials, the laws in those countries which relate to the health and safety of the employees are more relaxed therefore allowing big multinationals to avoid paying hefty fees in high insurance premiums and safety gear for the staff. The confluence of these factors has led to the export of jobs from the production and service sectors from American soil to foreign soil where the capital input for businesses is cheaper than those available at home.
In conclusion, interests are what influence the directions that these individual countries take in terms of governance and policy development within themselves, interests which are generated by the interaction between them, interactions made simpler in the twenty-first century which has intertwined nations from around the globe due to the modern technology available such as the internet and other means of communication. It is these interests ultimately forge power alliances between countries of like minds around the world.
-  A point expanded on in other studies. See Castles pg. 75
- [i] The challenges faced by social workers and other implementers of social programs are highlighted by Gitterman and Germain in The Life Model of Social Work Practice: Advance in Theory and Practice.
Devine, Robert A. The Cuban Missile Crisis. Chicago: Markus Weiner Publishing, 1988. Print.
Hefner, Robert W., and Muhammad Q Zaman. The Culture & Politics of Modern Muslim Education, Boston: Princeton University Press, 2007. Print.
“US population reaches 300 million.” BBC News. 2006. Web.
Castles, Stephen. Ethnicity and Globalization: From Migrant Worker to Transitional Citizen, Canada: Sage publications, 2000. Print.
Gitterman, Alex, and Carel B. Germain. The Life Model of Social Work Practice: Advances in Theory and Practice, New York: Columbia University Press, 2008. Print.