Does America Have An Isolationist Policy?
They say history often repeats. It is true, great empires have collapsed from within many times for a variety of internal reasons-take Greece, take the Romans, more recently, cold war Russia. America in the 1920-30's had a foreign policy that was isolationist, meaning, whatever problems outside of the US were ignored. It was an attitude of, "not our concern" and "we are focusing on our own issues". America had just finished a short stint in WW1, after much begging from England to get involved. There were many issues at home to deal with, then, the great financial collapse of 1929 really made American foreign policy inward. Thus, during the whole 1930's, as Hitler came to power in Germany, America simply watched and went on its way.Hitler's coming to power was not secret. Even after Germany invaded Poland in 1939, America seemed not to be concerned. Even in 1940, when Germany invaded France, America felt the same way. That was a European problem. Of course, had not Japan attacked in 1941 in Hawaii, America might have delayed entering in WW2 as Hitler took much of Europe with "boots on the ground".
President Obama's "engagement" policy is the current foreign policy. Some think, it is making America "isolationist" again, as our trillions of debt and recession needs to be dealt with. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have drained many Americans. Iraq remains a bad place. Afghanistan is simply a more modern Vietnam, after the US leaves, many doubt if Karzai will last for very long as the Taliban and al-Qaeda return to remote regions.
Engagement is a hit or miss policy. Usually, with jihadists or extreme governments with devout beliefs, it amounts to appeasement and delay. The US may view it as containment or success, but in the end, the other side gets whatever they wanted to begin with. Vietnam is a classroom example. Nixon tried it and failed. Obama engages with Iran and North Korea and both continue to whatever their goal is.
The French in Mali have requested help from many countries. Some have provided logistical support, supplies, transport, intelligence at no cost. Yet, the US has offered transport planes and use of predator drones to the French but want the French to pay for the help. This shocked them and view as rude, so, they may refuse it. Japan recently sparred with China over the Senkaku Islands near Okinawa by firing a warning shot at Chinese aircraft flying over the islands, which both nations claim as theirs. China called it an "act of war" and will respond. America said while we have a defense treaty with Japan, we are neutral on this one. How so? Would the US keep their promise with Japan?
Syria continues for a second year and the "engagement" policy means keeping the US other NATO countries out of it as 60,000 are killed. Yet, Russia sees it as a weakness, as does Iran, which continue to send aid to Assad right under America's nose.
As America becomes more isolationist in foreign policy, the more history is repeating in some ways until there will be another "event" to reverse the trend.