Nixon Doctrine During his 1968 presidential campaign, Nixon said the United States should seek a negotiated end to the war in Vietnam, while insisting on the right of self-determination of the South Vietnamese people. Nixon said he had a secret plan that he would reveal after he was elected. It turned out to be Vietnamization: the turning over of the ground fighting to South Vietnamese forces, backed by U.S. air power. Nixon and Henry Kissinger (Secretary of State) agreed on the need to accept the conflict and competitiveness in which the world was immersed. Containment of communism was no longer U.S. policy: In a multipolar world America could even work with communist countries as long as they promoted global stability, the new core of U.S. foreign policy. Nixon doctrine contained 3 parts: -The United States would honor existing treaty commitments.-It would provide a nuclear shield to any ally or nation vital to U.S. security -It would furnish military and economic assistance but not manpower to a nation considered important but not vital to the national interest. He suggested that U.S. foreign policy should be guided by a fusion of idealism and realism. Nixon rejected the idea that the United States should seek to transform the internal behavior as this could hinder cooperation. He emphasized that the goal of peace between nations with totally different systems was also a high moral objective. 

Foreign policy – reflection of the national interests of that country or the values of its people.Realist approach: national interests and security are above ideology, ethics and morality. It is a “colder” approach to IIRR, as they see the world as “it is” and count on national self-interest for guidance. They are concerned about the concentration of power because of the non-hierarchical system (anarchy) that is always present in the international order. Idealist approach: foreign policy must reflect the ethical, moral and philosophical values of the country and how they relate to one another. Idealists always address the American exceptionalism. Exceptionalism: the US is destined to play a distinct role on the world stage, being uniquely virtuous and morally superior. The United States has never conducted its Foreign Policy with only one school dominating and there are 4 artificial archetypes created by Walter Russell Mead to help us to catalogue the American Foreign Policy:

Jeffersonian (Isolationism + Idealism) They believe that the most important thing that the US has its their history, institutions and values (freedom, democracy…). These are the things that make the US unique. They embrace an idea of “American exceptionalism”, being different from the rest of the world and must be careful to maintain it. – Their goal in Foreign Policy is to protect US values from foreign corruption.- An interventionist Foreign Policy would threaten the “American exceptionalism”, defending a libertarian isolationism. They are also opposed to having strong Armed Forces.- Don’t support US superpower status as they prefer a smaller Gov. that focuses more on protecting American rights and democracy, instead of actively intervening abroad. This is the way of keeping their “American soul” or identity, by preserving liberal individualism in opposition to a strong Fed. Gov. – They must be a “lighthouse”, defending an approach focused on economics and rejecting hegemonic power. – At their right we can find the “Libertarians”, who want a Gov. and Foreign Policy of minimums.

Wilsonian (Interventionist + Idealist) –  They believe that the US has a moral obligation -exceptionalism- to spread its democratic and social values to the world (creating a peaceful planet based on the rule of law). Their uniqueness (“treasure”) shouldn’t be kept only for the Americans. –  Their values can be universal and transform the world, following a moral policy. –  They think that the US should work multilaterally in institutions and reject unilateralism.2Branches:Liberal Wilsonians (Left, B. Clinton). US must fight oppression/tyranny and spread human rights and American values/institutions. Being more reluctant to support military intervention, they want to strengthen international institutions and signing new treaties (establishing communities of nations).Neoconservatives (Right, G. W. Bush). Believe they shouldn’t give up sovereignty to International Institutions.They think that the US should maintain its autonomy in Foreign Policy and and sometimes it is needed that they act on their own (using force). They are more suspicious about international institutions or entering into treaties.

Hamiltonian (Interventionism + Realism) Foreign Policy should be led by the interests of nations and reality, carrying on what contributes to their power, success and wealth. Leave moral principles or ideals apart.They support a strong US intervention abroad with also powerful Armed Forces (seethe world as a competition between powers)Support the strengthening of the Fed. Gov.They endorse free trade, open markets and institutions that encourage, capitalism,cooperation and prosperity between countries. There are no barriers for people or goods. They believe in removing barriers and signing trade treaties (like NAFTA).-  Mix of populism and nationalism. It is not the business of the US getting involved abroad, but they require having strong Armed Forces in order to defend its interests and honor.They encourage the establishment of a powerful and bigger Fed. Gov. Don’t have a libertarian/capitalist view and think that the Fed. Gov. should intervene and work on behalf of the Americans, being able to do it even if are the American companies the ones that hurt them.