By Marina Henke
This essay by Marina Henke was awarded co-second place in the 2020 contest sponsored by the St. Louis Chapter of Citizens for Global Solutions.
The most fruitful step the United States can make towards improving global life involves a correction of its past missteps, a new foreign policy. Ever apparent in this last century of rampant globalization, the United States carries a marred past of covert and extractive involvement with democratically weakened countries. In this essay I assert that such interventions have done more damage than good, consistently putting the United States in tension with overall stability in global life. In contrast, involvement with democratically weakened countries should focus more than it has on building alliances and initiating mutually-beneficial intergovernmental efforts.
No example provides more evidence of the United States’ past missteps than its role in Sierra Leone’s political destabilization based in their extractive diamond economy. What should have been a national resource for good instead became a source of deadly conflict. Using this as a case study, I will argue that the United States woefully misused their global standing, and still has much room to grow in fostering collaborative and economically balanced alliances with newly formed democratic countries.
[The rest of this piece can be read on the Citizens for Global Solutions website.]