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Cycles in US Foreign Policy Since the Cold War

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. has confronted a very broad spectrum of problems. The return of great power rivalries with a rising China, a resurgent Russia, and a self-reliant European Union have changed the international environment. Furthermore, nuclear weapons, energy dependence, and regional problems in the Middle East and Africa are now viewed differently, and America has not been a bystander in this changing environment.

 

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. has confronted a very broad spectrum of problems. The return of great power rivalries with a rising China, a resurgent Russia, and a self-reliant European Union have changed the international environment. Furthermore, nuclear weapons, energy dependence, and regional problems in the Middle East and Africa are now viewed differently, and America has not been a bystander in this changing environment. Within this context, Cycles in US Foreign Policy Since the Cold War, by Thomas H. Henriksen, aims at analyzing post-Cold War American foreign policy by focusing on how and why American responses fluctuate toward overseas challenges. The main argumentation is based on the proposition that American foreign policy cycles have alternated between engagement and disengagement in global affairs. By concentrating on the post-1989 era, Henriksen analyzes the decisions of four American presidents (George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama) and attempts to unravel the complexities of U.S. politics with special attention given to the formulation of U.S. foreign policy. Henriksen also aspires to make the study of cycles an enlightening factor in appreciating the past and in offering a forecast for the future.

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