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Home | Why Diplomacy Matters | Why Foreign Policy Is Important

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Why Foreign Policy Is Important

Date: 08/11/2010 Description: Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, at the Department of State.  - State Dept Image
The U.S. Department of State works with foreign governments, international organizations, and people in other countries to bring them together into arrangements to promote peace, prosperity, and democratic governments.

The State Department has four main goals that it follows to make and carry out foreign policy. We want to:

  • Protect America and Americans;
  • Advance economic prosperity, human rights, and other interests of the United States in the world;
  • Gain international understanding of American values and policies;
  • Support U.S. diplomats and other government officials who work at home and abroad to make all this possible.

We will discuss these four goals throughout this section. You'll learn about U.S. policies for dealing with foreign countries and plans for making sure that we have people trained and experienced in the skills that are needed.

What America Shares With World

The United States remains, as it has been since its founding, a nation of nations. Immigrants and the children of immigrants, representing every nation, nationality, and ethnic group in the world today make up the American population.

People from all over the world have shared and contributed ideas and cultures; that makes America what it is today. Likewise, Americans share with the rest of the world our values of:

  • Democracy;
  • Freedom; and
  • Human rights.

These values inspire peoples throughout the world. Some countries may criticize America and/or its policies. However, they still respect the ideals of freedom and opportunity that we represent--and look to America to defend those values in other nations.

Foreign Policy in the World Today

Today, as never before, our links to the world through trade, travel, technology, and communications are very important to our economy and our economic prosperity, just as the prosperity of other nations depends on the openness of U.S. markets and trade.

America deals with a number of challenges that cross national boundaries that also affect us here in the United States:

By nations working together and with the United States, these global problems can be dealt with successfully.

We especially face a threat from terrorists and from countries supporting terrorists. Terrorists who attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, had no respect for human life or national borders. These terrorists and the countries that support them threaten not only Americans but all peoples who believe in freedom and democracy. They are the enemy of all civilized nations, and they will be defeated only through the united action of nations throughout the world--nations that look to the United States for leadership.


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