Some have described U.S foreign policy as isolationist in the years between world wars and the military policy as one of maintaining force levels over the procurement of state-of-art equipment. Why were these policies pursued?
Describe the impact these policies had on U.S army and national security in this period.
The United state being a super power economically and politically is known to protect and defend their interests without fear all across the globe. However, this has not always been the case considering that between World War I and World War II the country underwent an isolation period. Isolationism can be described as a political or economic policy that isolates country or a region from participating in international relationships (Aregood, 2015). Over the years, the United States has participated in isolationism because of its lack of involvement in particular wars or alliances. During World War I, the United States did not join the League of Nations, and as a result, it isolated itself from other countries. This assignment will focus on shedding more light on the United States isolation policies as well as their impacts.
United States isolationism between the world wars was a bipartisan policy that drew support across the social and political spectrum of the country. The fundamental postulate of the policy focused on the idea that the United States should not complete withdrawing from international affairs, but rather should retain independence in foreign policy that had been its norm until 1917. America losses in the World War I prompted the nation to adopt isolation policy considering that these losses were less significant in reinforcing that position than a growing sense that the war had been fought over nothing. Many American leaders felt that the nation obtained nothing from its participation except uncollected debts and thus, this did not suit their interests in any manner (Smith, 2013). The rejection of the League of Nations covenant in 1919 was the first of many steps of bipartisan designed to move the United States as far as possible from diplomatic and economic woes of both Europe and Asia. Moreover, this isolation gives the country the time to mobilize and equip their military to make them strong to protect their interests internally and abroad.
At the beginning of the 20th century, most of the American leaders, as well as citizens, felt that they were good on their own and thus, they did no need the rest of the world. As a result, after the end of First World War, the nation returned to its policy of isolation in the attempt to make America great, unique and powerful. American isolation policies focused on avoiding disputes that could lead to war, despite encouraging trade with other countries such as Germany and Britain. Some of the primary reasons that prompted the United States to adopt the isolation policy include economic problems that followed the wars, and American citizens did not trust Europe, and as a result, she did not want to meddle in European affairs. Moreover, the nation had negative and bad memories of the First World War despite entering the war late. On the other hand, the isolation policy brought both positive and negative effects on the country, especially in the military (Mead, 2013). Despite the fact that the country had an ample time to focus on building the country, both economically and politically, especially military power, as the policy contributed to the great depression and some degree contributed to the World War II. Moreover, isolation hampered trade between America and other countries thus reducing available funds to finance military practices and buying equipment for the forces. International engagement is crucial in keeping the homeland safe from wars as well as terrorist attacks from other nations.
Aregood, R. S. (2015). American Isolationism and The Political Evolution of Journalist-Turned -US Senator Gerald P. Nye. . Journalism Practice, 9(2), , 279-294.
Mead, W. R. (2013). Special providence: American foreign policy and how it changed the world. Routledge.
Smith, M. (2013). The Myth of American Isolationism: Commerce, Diplomacy, and Military Affairs in the Early Republic.