The one of the most significant turning


The end of the Cold War is one of the most significant turning points in
the history of the world. The bipolar system of the world has ended after Cold
War and United States of America has become the influencer of the world
politics and economy. Since then the world has been into an era where USA
dominated the international politics as much as they can.


After the end of the Cold War, America’s foreign policy has changed from
the bottom. Before that it was all about containment and uniting the West Block
around the Soviet Union. With the end of the Cold War, there was nothing to
contain anymore. So their foreign policy changed deeply. Common view suggests
that USA had a general strategy during the Cold War but after the end of the
Cold War they couldn’t come up with a strategy like that. It is believed that
during the Cold War, Washington followed a strategy called “containment” which
was found by George Kennan. According to this strategy, USA had determined the
threat to challenge them and set up their agenda according to their plan to
challenge the threat. The aim of this strategy was to avoid a war and get rid
of the Soviet threat. With that, the American decision-maker system would place
around the world and manage the threat of Soviets without starting a war like World
War II where millions of people died. When Soviet threat had become a threat
large enough like Nazi Germany and Empire of Japan, containment strategy was
developed in the context of a solution. But after the dissolution of the Soviet
Union, a new general strategy needed to be found. 

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In common view USA could not developed a new general strategy or a foreign
policy vision after the Cold War. Washington seems to choose different
strategies for different events or crisis’s. 
In USA’s foreign policy, we can see the traces of an after-Cold War
strategy going back to the “Father Bush” period. Thus, we can see the
strategies in the documents of that period. However, the traditional view
suggests that United States had different strategies over the periods from
Father Bush to Clinton, from Clinton to Bush, from Bush to Obama. They all had
different agenda’s regarding United States’ foreign policy. After the Cold War,
they all pursued different strategies and visions. There may be a
differentiation of speech or rhetoric between the presidents, different ideas
of how to save America after the Cold War era. There may be presidents that
thought their ideas was completely unique and the previous presidents had it
all wrong regarding the foreign policy of the United States but after all every
president followed a similar strategy when looked to the overall. Washington’s
general strategy after the Cold War was consistent enough compared to the Cold
War era foreign policy. This strategy does not have a specific name like
“containment” but it has almost the same coherence as containment strategy. After
the Cold War American decision-makers had tried to prevent a situation where
another actor which would challenge the American supremacy on the economic and
martial fields, like another Cold War. To achieve that, United States tried to discourage
and block the possible challengers to the United States’ power. They uphold a
huge military power, giving the message to challengers that they won’t even
come close to US’s military capacity with increasing their military
spending.  In fact, the message was
clear. No sane country would ever try to challenge America with a military
presence that can’t even be balanced. So, in the future it would become obvious
that challenging America would be pointless.

In the presidency of Reagan, military spending was %26 of the world’s
total military spending. In the presidency of George W. Bush, it was %50 of the
total, meaning United States has spent exactly same as the rest of the world
combined.  Was the threat that USA faced
was less significant in 1986 then 2006? Clearly not. Military-wise, the rest of
the world has fallen behind USA this period. USA on the other hand, started
multiple oversea wars and enhanced their military presence on other countries.
Today, the military power difference is much larger between USA and other
countries relative to 1990. This difference is the outcome of a strategy called
“iron fist”.


United States has pursued its iron fist strategy
with “silk glove” approach. With “silk glove”, USA has interacted with the
possible challenger countries and provided some positions for them in the
status quo. They provided some countries positions which were over their
economic and military capacity to make them feel happy about the status quo and
prevent them to act revisionist. This strategy has ensured USA to preserve
their status on the world arena. They did not dictate their supremacy over
others but instead they gave other actors some roles on the arena. In the
period of Obama silk glove strategy had been used widely. While it could be in
different perspectives, Trump administration can have expected to be pursue the
tendencies that started with the Obama administration. The offshore balancing
strategy which shaped in the Obama administration suggests the limitation of
USA’s engagement in different regions and providing space to regional actors.
The importance of this is that United States would get rid of the unnecessary
weight that has been left from the Cold War era and producing the strategic
flexibility to upcoming challenges in the future. For the rest of the world, at
least in the short term, this would mean the recalibration politics’ effect of
producing more risk is enhanced. In the Middle East, the destruction of this
strategy has increased to a level which would harm the legacy of the Obama
administration. Excluding Iran’s nuclear program and supportive Israel