Many foes, few friends

The United States is losing credibility and support abroad.

When it comes to foreign policy, the Bush Doctrine has been more defined by action and less defined by diplomacy. The recent missile test-launch by North Korea and the growing defiance of U.S. foes illustrates the failure of the president’s unilateralist vision of American power.

When President George W. Bush first entered the White House he promised to operate under a “humble” foreign policy that would avoid unnecessary conflict. Things changed after Sept. 11, 2001. The attacks bolstered the administration to formulate a new, aggressive foreign policy and to wield U.S. power. Pre-emption was at the center of this new international strategy. The United States alone would extinguish any state it viewed as a potential threat and spread “democracy” throughout the world regardless of the diplomatic consequences.

And where has this “go-it-alone mentality” gotten the nation? The United States has alienated allies and emboldened enemies. Four years after Iraq, Iran, and North Korea were dubbed the “Axis of Evil” the United States remains at war in Iraq with no end in sight; Iran’s nuclear ambitions are larger than ever; and North Korea just test-fired missiles intended to be capable of reaching the United States.

U.S. resources are stretched to the brink in Iraq, prohibiting further military action in places like North Korea. This problem is exacerbated by allies withdrawing their support for the war.

The Bush administration now is faced with the reality that it must shore up international support to diffuse tensions with anti-American nations. It must wait for others to help and pursue diplomatic avenues. One cannot help but wonder whether the United States would be in a better position had this strategy been initially implemented.

The question now becomes, with waning public support and dwindling international credibility, is it too little too late?