ERIC Number: ED392736
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Resisting the Isolationist Temptation.
Public and congressional opinion of U.S. involvement in world affairs has begun shifting from support to opposition. Recent public opinion polls and congressional decisions such as the one to re-direct $100 million of the United States Information Agency's (USIA) budget to Midwest flood relief indicate waning advocacy for internationalism and a growing tendency toward isolationism. Lack of a clear understanding about the impact of international affairs programs has led to ebbing enthusiasm for such projects. The United States must maintain the international relations cultivated during and following the Cold War; the nation cannot separate its domestic economy and foreign policy by decreasing world involvement because it depends too much on foreign trade and resources. The notion that to rebuild the domestic economy the United States must direct its attention away from the outside world is challenged by several facts, including: (1) 1991 imports and exports comprised nearly one quarter of the Gross National Product; (2) 50 percent of overall growth since the mid-70s has been in exports; (3) one of every six manufacturing jobs in this country depends on exports; and (4) of all articles published recently in research and scientific journals worldwide, half were co-authored by people from countries other than the United States. Engagement with other countries is vital not only economically, but also because of the threat of other countries' ballistic missile, bacterial, and chemical weapons capabilities; migrations of large groups of people; and environmental threats such as global warming and acid rain. The mission of USIA and similar organizations is largely educational--specifically, to promote and spread democracy--and because a world of democratic nations is a more harmonious and thus safer one, continued support of internationalism by the United States is critical. (LP)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Internationalism; Isolationism; United States Information Agency
Note: Paper presented at an international visitors program (Pittsburgh, PA, September 22, 1993).