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For forty-five years in the aftermath of World War II the international order hinged on what political scientists call the bipolar system It was an order based on the rivalry between the two Superpowers the United States and the USSR and their allies US foreign policy strategy was focused on the principles of containment and mutual deterrence Daschle 1996 Schwartz 1996 The fall of communism and the breakup of the Soviet Union has utterly destroyed the old bipolar order and along with it the central organizing principle of US foreign policy The purpose of this essay is to consider the responsibilities of the US as the worlds only remaining Superpower in the post-Cold War era We live in a one-superpower world-- that of world leadership dominated by the United States politically militarily and culturally We have the obligation to maintain and support good relations with the smaller and weaker nations throughout the world I will argue for the adoption of yet a different course for American foreign policy one that balances the two extremes of international leadership and isolation and is organized around the principles of international diplomacy and economic responsibility Benjamin Schwartz a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute provides a concise summary of how US policymakers and government leaders view US responsibilities in the post-Cold War era During the Cold War Schwartz argues US responsibilities focused on the duty of making the world safe for capitalism containing communist expansion and ensuring the creation of a capitalist world order with America at the helm Schwartz 1996 p 94 In the aftermath of the decline of communism and the dissolution of the Soviet Union both Schwartz argues the basic trappings of US foreign policy -- a strong defense budget economic rivalry with rising Asian powers and a tendency towards hegemony over the Third World -- remain virtually unchanged The US must continue to dominate the international system and thus discourage the advanced industrial
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