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As Samantha Powers, the current UN Ambassador and a leading moral interventionist once wrote: “Few Americans are haunted by the memory of what they did in response to genocide in Rwanda.” It therefore seems that while U. elites may support a liberal foreign policy, the American public is mostly concerned with Realist objectives such as security and the national interest.The duty of American elites then is not to wrap realist policies in liberal narratives, but to convince the American people that supporting a liberal foreign policy is in their national interest.
Let's pretend for a moment that you are the class president at your school.
You have this fantastic vision to turn an empty classroom into a lounge.
Realpolitik is most commonly associated with German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who was a master statesman and used realpolitik extensively and with tremendous success.
Bismarck and realpolitik are almost intertwined to those familiar with 19th century European history.
This cannot be said for many American elites who, despite acknowledging the enormous risks involved, nonetheless are convinced that the U. does have a moral obligation to intervene to uphold a liberal international order, if not an actual responsibility to protect the Syrian people from their own leaders.
Some may argue that the Syria case is an anomaly that merely speaks to how war-weary an otherwise enthusiastic American public currently is.After some negotiation, you tell them you can do without the state-of-the-art technology and are willing to settle for a lounge with a television and a computer.Sure, it's not what you hoped for initially, but you like it, and feel good about it. In some ways, this example is similar to the 19th century concept of realpolitik.Again, there’s probably some truth to that but overall I’m not convinced. Marines were killed on a humanitarian intervention in Somalia in 1993 for instance, Bill Clinton was immediately forced to withdraw from the mission under withering public pressure.In fact, at least with regards to military interventions, Americans usually seem to reject liberal arguments, and instead are guided primarily by whether America’s security is threatened. Similarly, only 28 percent of the American public supported Clinton’s decision to send troops to Haiti to restore democracy the following year, compared to the 54 percent who opposed the operation.Thus, they supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003 because the George W. When these security threats failed to materialize, and Bush began to emphasize the freedom agenda in promoting the war instead, American support for the war plummeted. S., despite strong opposition throughout the rest of the world to drone strikes, as well as countless reports of civilians (including in some cases children) being killed in these strikes. And only 30 percent of Americans felt in 1995 that the U. had a responsibility to “do something” when Serbs and Bosnians were fighting each other, compared to 64 percent who said it didn’t.Bush administration had largely relied on security threats to the U. More recently, Americans overwhelming support the use of drones to eliminate terrorists that U. None of this should come as a surprise to anyone who followed U. True, a plurality of 47 percent of Americans said the U. did have a responsibility to do something about Kosovo, but only 27 percent said the same thing about Libya.Such is the case in China, where the Communist Party depicts itself reversing historic wrongs from the nation’s “era of humiliation.” Elsewhere the CCP claims to be combating hegemonism and U. Such narratives may seem aggressive and offputting to Americans and perhaps other Westerners, but they are morally appealing to domestic audiences.There’s no need here to recap all the different possible moral or ideological justifications leaders around the world may invoke to gain support for their policies.It is often stated that, in contrast to people from other countries, Americans’ political values preclude them from accepting a foreign policy based on realism.Realists themselves are especially strong proponents of this argument.