Foriegn Policy of Reagan and Bush

What is foreign policy?

Foreign policy is a set of political goals that seeks to outline how a particular country will interact with other countries of the world. Foreign policy is also a continuation of domestic policy. The foreign policy of U.S is not only shaping by the president but also the executive and legislative branches have the authority to act.

Ronald Wilson Reagan

Reagan was elected in 1981_9. He was the 40th president of United States and the 33rd governor of California. At the age of 69 he was the oldest president of U.S. Before entering politics he was a Hollywood actor and spokesman of general electric. Reagan originally was democrat and supporter of Franklin Roosevelt but later on in 1964 he became Republican while John F Kennedy was in office. His persuasive quotable speaking style earned Reagan the title of “the great communicator”. He was also known as “the Teflon president” for surviving few assassination plans and scandals.

Ronald Wilson Reagan was the last president of U.S in the cold war era. He was strongly anti communist and socialist. He called Soviet Union as “the evil empire” which was a great threat for American way of life. He also believed in free market and believed that the American economy was hampered by excessive economic controls and misguided welfare programs enacted during the 1960s and 1970s.

His political principals were:

1.Lower taxes

2.Smaller government

3.Using force to support U.S interests

4.Abolish small business administrations

5.Zero tolerance on crime (wikipedia, January 3rd 2007)

Soviet Union was the most important target of his foreign policy so
His administration was very boldness to fight against communism.
Some socialist in Europe knew him as war monger.
Wilson Reagan was supporter of apartheid in South Africa and this cause many African American leaders to criticize him.

Star war was Ronald W. Reagan’s doctrine. This program was reference to the popular 1980s science fiction film trilogy. The SDI was designed to be a national defense network of missiles that could target and destroy any incoming enemy missiles before they reached the United States. His doctrine leaded to development of U.S weapons arsenal. He was the one who sole many weapons to Iraq during the war with Iran.

During the second term of his presidency the relationship between U.S and Soviet Union was blossoming. Reagan was supposed to consider other Middle Eastern countries and Latin Americans. Israel was important to him like other American presidents so he pledge to support Jewish state of Israel at the expense of the many Muslim Palestinians living in the region.

Latin America was the other targets of his foreign policy. His administration committed in many hotspots to fight against communist like El Salvador in 1982 (wikipedia, January 3rd 2007).
Reagan did increase the size of the military, spent billions on national defense, and fought Communists in Latin America. Yet, more cordial relations with the USSR, arms reductions, and a shift away from anti-Soviet policies characterized Reagan’s second term in office.

During the second term Reagan made no overtures to thaw Cold War tensions between the two superpowers. His strategy was to wait and see how the Soviets would react to a drastic increase in U.S. defense spending. He was confident that the Soviet economic system would not allow them to keep pace with the U.S. in an arms race. His diplomacy was based on warm relations with Soviet Union at that time.

Reagan and Gorbachev built a close relationship and peacefully ended the Cold War. In my idea Reagan’s policy was strong enough that could manage leadership of the world by diminishing its rival. This good ability to handle the last hard times of Cold war era might refer to Reagan’s acting background in Hollywood films that could help him to direct everything through his goals.

George W. Bush

George W. Bush was has been in office since 2000 twill be till 2008. He had little foreign policy experience when he moved in to white house. He is republican and express himself as a born again Christian. His policies are based on faith. As we might know the republicant focus on American values, American jobs and American-style religion.

In the early months of his administration he announced that there would be no continuing U.S engagement in the Middle East peace process, no suspension of the talks with North Korea (Cameron, 2005, 29) but after 9/11 things changed. The September 11th incident created a new era in American history. War on terror program of Bush affected his foreign policy a lot. His Administration’s suspicious to Bin Laden was an excuse to invade Afghanistan and bring democracy for them. The next target of his program was Iraq. George Bush followed the Iraq liberation act which was signed by Clinton in 1998 so the Bush administration asked Iraq to deliver back its weapons of mass destruction and because of the delay and denial he invaded Iraq in March of 2003 (wikipedia, January 3rd, 2007).

His foreign policy as Condoleezza Rice indicated also is based on unilateralism and internationalism. George Bush has also addressed the issue of upgrading the technological capabilities of the military, pledging an increase of $ 2.6 billion for research and development.
Nuclear profile of Iran has had its controversial time during Bush’s presidency. The reason why Bush administration and other European countries didn’t want Iran have nuclear energy is the fear of weapons of mass destruction. Israel is the ally of America and Iran by having NE might reduce Israel from the map.

Execution of Saddam Hussein is a reason of Bush’s defeat in Iraq. They were looking to success but by the mid term election republicants defeated badly and to compensate they finished Hussein’s file by executing him.


To conclude my article I will say that both these two presidents who were/ is belonging to republican parties were engaging with the problem of Iraq but with a difference. During Reagan’s era Iraq have better time because Hussein was the ally of America and supported by him militarily. Saddam was having his best time in power. But during Bush administration Hussein’s expiry date was finished. He couldn’t have any use for America and that’s why America used him to submit his power in the Middle East and promote his democracy. Execution of Saddam was an excuse to compensate Bush’s failure in Iraq. Both of these presidents couldn’t understand Iran as it is and mostly jugged Iran by stereotypes.

Foreign policy of these two is concerning the Middle East and I think this region has been very important for the world since the very beginning. Especially about Iran and the fear of exporting the revolution to other Middle Eastern countries I think America is worried about it and also the oil revenues. Both the Reagan and Bush administrations can also be described as clearly focused and interventionist (foreign Affairs, January 3rd, 2007).

Reagan was important for being the last president of the cold war era and Bush the first president of 21st century in U.S. As a conclusion both believed in military power and practice it in war, Reagan indirectly in Iraq Iran war and Bush directly in invasion to Iraq.

•Cameron, F (2005) US foreign policy after the cold war, Rutledge, UK.






No Comments

Leave a Comment