Governance cannot be a foreign policy option for any world leader – Geopolitics TOU

Governance cannot be a foreign policy option for any world leader – Geopolitics

 TOU

Governance cannot be a foreign policy option for any world leader – Geopolitics

T.US President Joe Biden paid a two-day visit to Poland in March and concluded with a speech at the Royal Castle in Warsaw about the Russo-Ukrainian War. In the speech, he condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin for launching an invasion of Ukraine and declared, “For God’s sake, this man cannot stay in power.” Immediately after the speech, a White House official denied the allegations, saying “they are not discussing Putin’s regime or regime change in Russia.” Biden apologized to the press two days after his speech. “I did not elaborate on the change in policy. I was expressing the moral outrage that I felt,” he said.

Incidentally, the Biden administration refuses to follow the regime change, not only in Russia but also in China, which it calls “The most serious competitor” For the United States. Indo-Pacific Strategy, The White House announced in February that “(o)Your goal is not to change the PRC (People’s Republic of China) but to shape the strategic environment in which it operates, balancing the influence in the world that best suits the United States, our allies and partners and interests. And the values ​​we share.

James Carden, a former adviser to the US State Department, points out His latest columnPublished in George F. Canon’s article is worth a look again Foreign affairs In 1951, in connection with Biden’s ad lib comment in Warsaw. In her Article “America and Russia’s Future,” Cannon states, “that no great and lasting change in the spirit and practice of government in Russia will ever come, primarily through foreign inspiration or advice. It has to do with the initiative and efforts of the Russians. It is a shallow view of the course of history that looks at things like foreign propaganda and the movement to bring about a fundamental change in the life of a great nation. “

When Kane wrote this article, the United States occupied West Germany and Japan in order to democratize them. Since then, both countries have kept their democracies alive. This is generally seen as evidence of how effective it was for remaking the American enterprise, although this observation clearly contradicts Canon’s argument above.

The US occupation of Germany and Japan was lauded in the United States, especially by George W. Bush. Around the time of the Iraq war started by the Bush administration. According to historian John Dover’s book, Ways to forget, ways to remember, Published in 2012, “This is exactly what happened after World War II when administrators began to expect Japan and Germany’s businesses as a model or mirror – or as a talisman – for liberalization and pro-American recovery – in post-Saddam Iraq. Was overturned. For obvious reasons, Japan quickly emerged as a more attractive Lodestar than Germany: like Iraq, it was non-Western, non-white, and non-Christian. “

In one Op-ed essay In New York Times On October 27, 2002, while Dover acknowledged that “the occupation of defeated Japan was a significant success,” he noted that “most of the factors contributing to the success of nation-building in official Japan would be absent in a militarily defeated Iraq. By the United States.” Among the factors he mentioned, he emphasized Japan’s receptivity, saying that “what ultimately enabled Americans to institutionalize democracy in defeated Japan was not only the existence of strong pre-war democratic traditions, but also the existence and cooperation of the current bureaucracy.” . The administrative structure remained essentially intact, from central ministries and agencies to the level of city and village governments, and administrators at all levels often found the vision of a new and better society to be truly acceptable.

The word “really” should be emphasized in order not to take the wrong lessons from the American occupation of Japan. Although the Japanese could have rejected the “new vision of a new and better society” offered by the United States, as many Iraqis did, they accepted it positively. This positivity or spontaneity of the Japanese people was a major factor that led to the success of the American occupation. Henry Kissinger’s comment in this perspective Interview With a Japanese newspaper, Yomiuri, Notable in December 2014. Referring to the changes in the international system since 1945, he said, “We (the United States) are coming from a time when it was thought that we could rebuild the governments of every other country based on a false analysis of business in Japan and Germany. We did not remake Japan. Japan adapted itself, but within its traditional values.

It is certain that behind Kissinger’s remarks was the US struggle for nation building in Iraq since 2003. Through this struggle, the American Establishment delayed Learned that no great and lasting regime change would come “primarily through foreign inspiration or advice”. The big shock in Afghanistan last year may have strengthened that belief. Therefore, it would be appropriate to accept Biden’s excuse about his ad lib comment in Warsaw.

However, like Putin, who started the war with Ukraine to establish a pro-Russian regime in Kiev, there are still world leaders who believe that regime change can force those who do not want it. Although it is too late for Putin, unfortunately, they should read the canon Foreign affairs A 1951 article, with a historical understanding of how Germany and Japan underwent a change of government after World War II.

[Photo by U.S. Department of Defense, Public domain]

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

Keikichi Takahashi is a professor at Osaka University in Japan, specializing in US diplomacy toward East Asia. That “China or Japan? American Search for a Partner in East Asia, 1941-1954.

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