Broadly defined, United States foreign policy is comprised of the
vision and strategies the United States government employs to shape
its interactions with other nations and define its role in the world.
Currently, the leading United States foreign policy question revolves
around the use of military actions to enforce United Nations'
resolutions and disarm Iraq. Other high profile issues as defined by
the Bush Administration include:
United States "War on Terrorism"
Middle East peace process and the Israeli-Palestinian "Road map to
U. S. opposition to the "Axis of Evil" (Iraq, North Korea, and Iran)
U. S.-European relations, including NATO, European Union, and "New
There are countless other issues. However, given the context of your
question, these are the issues that provide the backdrop for the
complaints about United States foreign policy that you are likely to
hear in the current news cycle, with its focus on the Iraqi conflict.
Before we go further, I should explain that the type of quote you
provided, "We are not anti-American people, we are anti-American
foreign policy", is a diplomatic way of saying "We disagree with the
current (Bush) administration" without naming names.
To understand the objections, it is important to understand why
commentators are interested in United States foreign policy to a
greater degree than the policies of other nations. The reason is
because the United States is a dominant world power, in fact, as the
sole existing Super Power, it is the preeminent world power. Other
nations worry that this power may be subject to abuse if it is left
unchecked, leading to worries that stem from a world that has had a
history of colonialism, imperialism, and hegemony.
The primary objection that you will see most frequently cited is the
new United States doctrine of preemption developed as a reaction to
the events of "9/11". This is the idea that, rather than going to war
after being attacked, the United States may attack another country to
prevent the possibility of it attacking in the future. (In truth, it
is unlikely that this will be long lived enough to become a true
doctrine, though some critics do worry about it.)
Another objection is to the use of military actions to cause a "regime
change" in Iraq, instead of using weapons inspectors and containment
policies to minimize the threat posed by Iraq.
Underlying all of this is an objection to a Super Power acting without
due deferance to the opinion of other nations. Critics would
characterize this as an "arrogant" foreign policy, pointing to the
following quotes and others:
"You're either with us or against us in the fight against terror." U.
S. President George W. Bush
"You're thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don't. I think
that's old Europe." U. S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld
Below are articles and speeches that provide an overview of U. S.
Foreign Policy or discuss objections to it:
U. S. Department of State: "Defining U.S. Foreign Policy in a
Post-Post-Cold War World" by Richard N. Haass, Director, Policy
Planning Staff, April 22, 2002
Hearst Newspapers: "Preventive War Sets Perilous Precedent" by Helen
Thomas, March 20, 2003
CNN: "'You are either with us or against us'" November 6, 2001
CNN: "'Old Europe' hits back at Rumsfeld" January 24, 2003
Washington Post: "Here Comes the New Europe" by Anne Applebaum,
January 29, 2003
Foreign Policy In Focus: "The U.S. as Global Outcast: Growing
Anti-Americanism" by Stephen Zunes, July 2001
Search Strategy: Find examples of objections to U. S. Foreign Policy.
US foreign policy defined
Bush with us or against us
Rumsfeld old europe new europe
U. S. arrogant foreign policy object
I hope that you have found the information provided useful and easy to
understand. If you have questions about this information, please do
not hesitate to post a clarification request prior to rating the