Realism In The Vietnam War

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Realism is an often overlooked theory in international relations, and it is fair to say that this approach to foreign policy is often overshadowed by other ideals in the world, namely liberalism and neo-conservatism, and the United States is no exception here. In this essay, I will explain how the United States does not act upon realist assumptions, and is in fact a country that is hinged on its liberal and neoconservative values, from the individual and bureaucratic levels respectively. I will outline what it means to have realist principles and assumptions, followed by explaining how the United States deviates from these assumtions by quoting past actions, and conclude by explaining how the United States instead subscribes to the assumptions…show more content…
However, instead of forming an alliance to deter Germany, France, Britain and Russia each embarked on separate paths to maintain amicable relations with Germany, which eventually led to Germany attacking France in 1940. (Rosato, S., Schuessler, J.) The Vietnam War would serve as an even stronger example. To put it plainly, the U.S. proceeding with the Vietnam War is a direct violation of realism. Vietnam was a startlingly weak and minor power in contrast to the United States. At that time, Southeast Asia was not a rising power, and it was not regarded as a strategically important region. (Rosato, S., Schuessler, J.) Under realism, the U.S. would have avoided war in that region altogether. This applies to the Iraq War as well. If the United States subscribes to realism, it would have merely contained Iraq instead of invading it, considering that the United States and its allies within the region were exceedingly more powerful and stronger than Iraq. (Rosato, S., Schuessler, J.) All these actions beg the question as to why the United States acts the way it does. It points to the fact that the United States and its people are instead rooted into liberal views and ideals. (Mead,…show more content…
On an individual and mass level, Jacksonianism is most prevalent in the shaping of United States’ domestic and foreign policy. Jacksonianism is the “expression of the social, cultural and religious values” of the large majority of the American people. (Mead, W.R.) It hinges on certain principles like honour, equality and individualism, and is a very emotive element that has an enormous influence on the nation’s foreign policy. Jacksonianism is highly fuelled by emotion, and in a democracy such as the United States, Jacksonianism shows how the people got involved in the political arena as

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