This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

'Soft' Power and the Failure of U.S. Foreign Policy

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. foreign policy is failing.

Russia is pushing into the Ukraine and threatening Eastern Europe; China is bullying Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam in the East and South China seas; and terrorist groups in the Middle East and Africa are displaced in one place, only to multiply and create more lethal threats in others.

Since the end of the Cold War, both Democratic and Republican administrations have in varying measure premised policy on the notion that economic incentives and other soft power can cultivate peaceable democracies throughout the world and friendly societies adhering to Western liberal values.

The U.S. and Western Europe have offered China, Russia and developing countries access to markets, investment, foreign aid and technical cooperation, but in many places, those have yielded few results other than to finance threats to our common security.

China remains an authoritarian regime led by an oligarchy -- the Communist Party -- with a poor human rights record. Its superior economic performance, greatly assisted by trade with the U.S., and the material gains enjoyed by its citizens virtually ensure the party's continued grip on power. Beijing, however, sees American influence in the western Pacific as a threat and is actively challenging U.S. naval superiority.

Russia President Vladimir Putin and his loose coalition of oligarchs appear to be more interested in restoring a lost empire and amassing wealth at the top than genuinely improving the lot of ordinary citizens. They are happy to sell natural gas to Europe to finance those ambitions, but don't count on international commerce to make Russia a benign actor.

If the U.S. doesn't match China's navy and Russia's army with resources and forceful actions when challenged, those rivals will prevail in their regional ambitions.

Still President Obama is correct to warn flexing military muscle is not a stabilizing solution everywhere, especially the Middle East and Africa.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $123.25 0.00%
FB $83.30 0.00%
GOOG $548.34 0.00%
TSLA $185.00 0.00%
YHOO $45.10 0.00%

Markets

DOW 17,712.66 +34.43 0.19%
S&P 500 2,061.02 +4.87 0.24%
NASDAQ 4,891.2190 +27.8570 0.57%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs