Chapter 9: Upon What Principles Should Foreign Policy Be Based in the 21st Century?
Thomas J. Schoenbaum I INTRODUCTION As the ﬁrst decade of the 21st century draws to a close, international political relations are dominated by the foreign oﬃces of some 192 states of varying sizes and inﬂuence. The population of these countries now exceeds 6.5 billion, by far the greatest number of human beings that has ever lived at the same time. The world is a messy and dangerous place: 42 so-called international ‘conﬂicts’ exist around the globe.1 A ‘conﬂict’ can be deﬁned as an international disagreement that is serious enough to create war or a threat of war. Eight of these conﬂicts are termed ‘major wars’ by the United Nations, which deﬁnes ‘major war’ as a war that kills at least 1000 people per year.2 As bad as this is, the world has seen much worse. The 20th century was the bloodiest in human history by far. Two World Wars alone killed some 70 to 80 million people, and from 1946 to 1989 the world was involved in a Cold War between the United States and its allies and the Soviet Union and the communist ideology it promoted around the world. Although direct war was avoided between the United States and the Soviets, numerous bloody proxy wars and insurgencies were fomented in many countries, resulting in the deaths of millions and widespread destruction. With the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989–90, the world seemed to...
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