“Was There a Clinton Doctrine?”


&quotWasThere a Clinton Doctrine?”



Thequestion of whether there existed a Clinton Doctrine was frequentlyasked at the State House with the majority arguing that his doctrinewas not clear as compared to the other principles developed byprevious leaders. John Dumbrell analyzed the question is his book“Was there a Clinton Doctrine?” which seeks to identify thevarious theories that he demonstrates. Dumbrell argues against someof the Clintons interpretations and the importance to sustain aparticular doctrine (Colucci, 2012). Dumbrell identified five keyClinton principles that he keenly investigated.

Thefirst doctrine that Dumbrell investigates is the enlargement offoreign policies. The system is considered a success because Clintonpromoted democracy and improved the international relationships. Hehad established non-aggressive policies that were based on hisprinciples and hence achieved the purpose of the doctrine (Colucci,2012). The evidence that Dumbrell uses to show how the Clintonadministration supported the principle was the several occasions thathe tried to spell out a foreign policy vision. He had centered hisvision on enlargement and engagement. For instance, when addressingthe residents of Francisco on foreign policy issues, he demonstratedthe need for human rights, their freedom and democracy in the UnitedStates. The author achieves the stated objective of the doctrine byshowing the achievement of the international peace and the peacefulintegration of China and Russia. In addition, the US border threatsreduced, and an improved global trading and financial system wasestablished. President Clinton ensured that the democracy prevailedby reducing foreign political interventions (Colucci, 2012).

Theother doctrine analyzed is assertive humanitarianism. The Presidentpointed out that no one should be discriminated on grounds of ethnicbackgrounds and prevented the abuse of human rights (Colucci, 2012).He also demonstrated that his government will not allow any genocideto occur in any country in the whole world after being faced withallegations that they unable to prevent the Rwanda mass killings thathappened in 1994-1995. The doctrine has also been confronted withnumerous challenges and some claim that the United States providesmilitary support that helps the enemies to commit gross violations offundamental human rights. Through the doctrine of humanitarianism,the liberals of the US encouraged other nations to reunite thedivided communities (Colucci, 2012). It led to the establishment ofpost-Vietnam War doctrines that proved helpful in achieving thisprinciple. The author warns that the assertive humanitarianism thatoccurred during Clinton`s second term need not be exaggerated.Further, he says that the theory does not stipulate the US tointervene in all situations when there is an issue ofhumanitarianism. Dumbrell claimed that the US misinterprets thetheory in order to be all over the world (Colucci, 2012).

JohnDumbrell compared President Clinton to Bush as a multilateralist. Thestate policies are unilateral if they have an impact on people fromother countries, but used by one country without rejection of suchtreaties. The doctrine of unilateralism argues on matters of nationalinterests and sovereignty (Colucci, 2012). The principle was firstdemonstrated by the Christian rights on US foreign policy after theWorld War two. The aim of this war was to gain the superpower andacquire from those who could not resist. The differences between theUS and China policy gave America a claim and privilege tounilateralism. Dumbrell says that America wants to act unilaterallyto conduct military operations that will help protect people fromallies.

Theforth doctrine was on restraint. The Clinton government wasindecisive on the use of force. The President did not make astatement on international control, but this can be made a doctrinein the view of an integrating foreign policy vision (Colucci, 2012).The aims of the theory were to expand the market worldwide byensuring that there is less nation isolation and interaction as wellas promoting democratic peace. However, the success of the doctrinewas interrupted by the extension of the North Atlantic Treaty.Dumbrell argued that the democratic enlargement proposed by Clintonwas just another step in the capitalist power projection. Theauthor`s argument shows that the doctrine emphasized on certainwarnings rather than giving statements (Colucci, 2012). The UnitedStates was always considered to help maintain peace in certain areasof the country. It was due to their intelligence and a strongunilateral defense system.

Thedoctrine of Rogue states was first developed by President Reagan.Dumbrell analyzed the doctrine and declared that it was bestdeveloped during the Clinton administration. Clinton took it with theaim of making it a dual containment policy for both Iraq and Iran(Colucci, 2012). The destruction and support of terrorism have been athreat to the US security that has encouraged it to engage on theworld stage. The author argues that the doctrine has done less topromote the development of policies that can help addressinternational terrorism. Dumbrell demonstrates how the Clintonadministration was instigated by the development of Korea`s NuclearProgram making them forsake the rogue states. Another example thatDumbrell gives to show that the doctrine`s aims were never met is therejection of the non-rogue nations. The continuous involvement withSyria that manufactured Weapons of Mass Destruction led to a conflictwith the Europeans and other North America countries (Colucci, 2012).Despite the scandals, the Clinton regime is regarded as the mostsuccessful in creating a stronger nation.


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Colucci,L. (2012). Thenational security doctrines of the American presidency: How theyshape our present and future.Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger.

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