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Foreign policies include processes and strategies adopted by a nation to protect international and domestic interests and define its interactions with other states. In the United States, the foreign policy covers its citizens to ensure continued access to global markets and protection of human rights in the world. To achieve the established goals, leaders pursuing foreign policies should have a moral obligation to ensure the security and survival of the various states. The nation’s foreign policy should also promote respect for fundamental rights to create a secure and prosperous world that can advance its interests. Although the country has a strong bilateral relationship with Afghanistan, the extreme cases of human rights violations by the Taliban indicate an inadequacy of the policy.
The news highlights the various struggles faced by Afghan women preventing them from exercising their freedoms. Afghanistan society practices gender segregation evidenced by the restriction of women from participating in public activities, which has exacerbated the country’s existing economic problems. The institutionalized discrimination against women indicates a need to review the US foreign policy to prevent the Taliban from violating women’s rights. The majority of institutions promote a social environment that stigmatizes feminine attributes allowing males to benefit from the resources (Legewie and Thomas, 2012, p.464). The growing gender gap in educational achievement in Afghanistan is likely to have resulted from the lack of an effective policy that addresses gender inequality. Wynn’s article explains the importance of moral foundations in procedures to prevent gendered differences in occupations. According to the article, gender inequalities are attributable to aversion behaviors promoted by organizational policies seeking to harm women (Wynn, 2020, p.108). For the case of Afghanistan women, promoting moral reasoning would require the United States’ foreign policy to consider maintaining order in the nation that encourages the pursuit of individual interests.
Taking morals into consideration in foreign policy is complicated because we have to weigh intentions, means, and consequences in various scenarios. History recounts that morals do matter, thus considering them when creating foreign policy should be regarded.
Yes, ethics, morality, and human rights should be at the top of the list when the United States (US) engages in foreign policy. It can, of course, be challenging to be the altruistic country the US purports itself to be at all times in all parts of the world, but the US should lead by example as often as possible. There are very dangerous and scary places around the world, and having relations with some countries can be very difficult. The US may need help in some way from a shadowy country for some very high-level purpose, and in return, may have to acquiesce to some less-than-ideal demand. This is the highly complex world we now live in, in 2022.
I chose a topic that has recently occurred with a G7 member, Russia, and the war they have waged with Ukraine. While there is so much to talk about with these two countries and their long and storied past, I will focus on an event that just happened yesterday. On March 14, Marina Ovsyannikova ran into their Russian TV news studio onto a live news program holding a poster that notified everyone watching not to believe the propaganda and stop the bloodshed and war. What happened next is something out of a horror movie. “Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor on Russia’s state-controlled Channel One TV who interrupted a live news broadcast on Monday to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, was arrested and held incommunicado for at least 15 hours after her show of dissent” (Amnesty International 2022). Knowing that President Putin and the Russian government will arrest any average citizen for speaking his or her mind on what a terrible event this war is, how can the US engage with Russia in any meaningful way ever again? My position is that while Russia requires some historical understanding on why the Russian people don’t overthrow President Putin and his supportive oligarchs, the world is quickly changing, so the US needs to be very firm with extricating President Putin from the global systems which he has enjoyed access to for far too long.
There is, however, the possibility that this woman protesting is in the minority. Russian sociology can have some revealing aspects to its autocratic past, especially over the last one-hundred-fifty years. “First, the over-politicization and ideological biasness of sociological activities; second, the sacrifice of sociologist as a romanticized practice, potentially harmful for the discipline; third, the difficulties of the professional sociology institutionalization; fourth, the deprivation of the policy sociology development” (Sorokin 2017:135). This leads to the notion that the Russian experience is an overly political sociology instilled in the masses and can help explain why there is not more outrage from its citizenry. Additionally, The US should push for harsher sanctions regarding Russia for its deleterious views on its civil and human rights. “Most countries have been moving toward a little more secularization, and quite a lot towards self-expression values. Russia has moved in a retrograde direction, toward more traditional values and a bit more toward survival values” (Brym 2016:196).
From whichever of the plethora of reasons to take a more rigid stance on Russia the US choose from, it should. US foreign policy should not engage with such authoritarianism and brutality any longer. Ethics, morals, and human rights matter. Russia can start by allowing mainstream news agencies to broadcast in Russia and not arresting news editors when they speak out against propaganda.
IN 5-6 LINES, RESPOND TO THIS TWO DISCUSSION BOARD
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