President Clinton’s foreign policies are controversial some of them had a huge impact on people’s lives then and have it even now, but there are some that didn’t bring that much use to the society.
But what is signed is already signed, so we will be taking a critical approach to just analyzing the overall influence and the known facts that are now known as history. Bill Clinton is the 42nd President of the United States, the representative of Democratic Party. He came to the White House having the idea of restoring the American Dream and making everyone able to have that “Dream”, it caused a phenomenal rise of hope for durable modifications of the economic system and just a better life for everyone in society.
And indeed, during his time in the office, America had an era of peace and prosperity.After few months of presidency, two important documents were signed by President Clinton. The first one is Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, that raised taxes and made it possible to have surpluses in the future. The second is the North American Free Trade Agreement which is a contract between the US, Mexico, and Canada, that created a trade alliance in North America.
New technologies were invented, and the President and his administration launched the first White House website. It was Bill Clinton’s step of a movement towards web communication with the Population of the States. By the time of the second term, Bill Clinton observed budget surpluses, which was the first change in the American budget since 1970. This meant the success of his presidency, butut this success was darkened by an attempt of impeachment that was initiated by the House of Representatives in 1998.Some of the listed above laws were the part of foreign policy but for the better understanding of what the foreign policy actually is, we have denoted an easily understood definition.
A foreign policy is a set of political objectives that describes the way of a certain country cooperation with other nations. These policies are destined to protect national interests, economic improvement, national security and so on. This can be implemented in the form of peaceful cooperation or in violence and even a war.Let’s analyze the policies we have talked earlier. For example, North American Free Trade Agreement, it is clear that it is an agreement between the North American countries on the creation of trade bloc. The analyses of the economic research show that this agreement washelpful to the North American earnings and for the average citizen life. But at the same time was harmful to the workers in the field of trade game. That gives us a great example of President Clinton bringing the agreement into work for the greater good of the Americans, and for the more stable relations with the countries that participated in this transaction.
Now is the time to move to the main policy that we are revising and that is the counter-terrorism policies. The end of the Cold War assigned the United States the task of rethinking and reshaping their foreign policy. Thus, since the beginning of the 1990s, new challenges and new opportunities were created for the US and in particular for President Bill Clinton. The winner of the presidential race in 1992 faced a number of difficult tasks, one of the biggest difficulties were the rise of terrorism and criminal movements.
Nowadays, terrorism is prevalent all around the world. Terrorism is a criminal activity, which encompasses a range of activities that are dangerous for people’s lives and designed to cause a great fear. Just one day before 4 terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, former president of the United States confessed that he nearly got Osama bin Laden and could have got him killed but decided not to do it because innocent people could be injured.
However, it would have prevented the fatal events on that Tuesday. The terrorist act on September 11, 2001, ushered the beginning of a new epoch of terror. Fatal events including the modern attacks in Madrid, London, Bali, and Paris have made counter-terrorism one of the highest priorities for national governments. Because of it, many governments decided to limit individual freedoms and civil rights and furthermore, they raised budgets for anti-terror spending. This has caused slowing down of social and economic development. Consequently, the most crucial element of a strategy is how to decrease and minimize the threat and result of tragic terrorism while protecting public liberties. This global problem existed back then too.It all started with Osama bin Laden becoming known for his actions and growing as an American enemy, that his capturing had started to be a goal of the US government.
On February 26, 1993, A car with the bomb in it was planted in the World Trade Center’s Parking by the terrorists known as the members of al-Qaeda, that were under the leadership of Osama bin Laden. Six people died in the explosion and 1042 were wounded. Clinton immediately commanded his National Security Council and the FBI to solve this crime and punish those who are responsible. The FBI determined the vehicle that was used in the bombing and as it turned out it was stolen in New Jersey 1 day before the crime. The FBI was able to find 5 people that were involved in the bombing thanks to their lead. All of the guilty were arrested. Bill Clinton in his 1995 State of the Union address suggested: “comprehensive legislation to strengthen our hand in combating terrorists, whetherthey strike at home or abroad.” It was done in order to extend federal criminal jurisdiction, make it easier to deport terrorists, and act against them.
After the bombing in Oklahoma City, the president amended that legislation to increase wiretap. The President started to make actions against terrorism and In June 1995 he published Presidential Decision Directive 39, which declared that America should deter, and respond to terrorist attacks on the territory of the United States and against its citizens.In this particular moment, we can observe President Clinton use his presidential power to modify the American foreign policy for the new occurring threat as terrorism. The declaration of American’s reaction to the problem brought all democratic parts of the world against one enemy and increased the effect of terrorism on the diplomatic schedule.The CIA set a special group of officers to analyze the information about bin Laden to develop a plan of action against him in 1996.
This particular unit was the first who recognized bin Laden was a leader of a giant worldwide terrorist network based in Afghanistan. With this in mind, the NSC urged the Department of State to “pay an utmost attention” to this country.On May 22, 1998, Presidential Decision Directive 62 was signed by the President of the United States of America. The main function of this document’s existence is that the fight against terrorism is now distinguished as a top national security priority. Here, once more the President uses his executive power to try to stop terrorism from happening.
This PDD is followed by Richard Clarke being appointed as a leader of newly created Counter-terrorism Security Group in order to fight against terrorism issues. Shortly after that, a Clinton’s Counter-terrorism Center began developing a plan of action in order to set up an ambush for bin Laden in Kandahar. This center was absolutely sure that this plan could work and therefore they came to White House to get an approval, but the government considered that project is way too hazardous.
But anyway, they thought that sooner or later bin Laden will make attacks in the territory of the United States. So, it’s better to start acting on them. The management of the CIA was distrustful of this plan and decided to stop this operation, standing in fear of too big financial expenses. We don’t have data confirming that Bill Clinton was informed about this operation.Counter-terrorism Center proceeded to follow bin Laden and at the same time, they realized bin Laden is planning to make an attack on the national forces.
Then Bill Clinton said the CIA Director is his “personal representative” in operations with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabians said they will do everything they can in order to send bin Laden to the American court. The intelligence chief of Saudi Arabia arranged several meetings with Taliban chief Mullah Omar and got a confirmation that bin Laden will be released, however, Omar eventually refused it and got out of that promise.Bin Laden hit again in various places at the same time.
The attacks were in The US embassies in Kenia, Tanzania, and Nairobi on August 7, 1998. The CIA found out and officially affirmed that the leader of these attacks was none other than bin Laden. After that they reported that terrorists will have a meeting near Khowst, to discuss future bombings.Clinton commanded rocket strikes on Al-Qaeda camps and factory where bin Laden was supposedly producing his weapons. Despite all the attempts to kill the leader of the terrorist group, this goal was not achieved. It was assumed that they had probably missed bin Laden just by several hours.Meanwhile, Clinton was drawn into a big Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, where he was accused of having a sexual intercourse with 22-year-old White House intern. His reputation suffered at first, he denied that he had any kind of sexual relationships with this woman, but later he decided to admit it.
After that scandal, the President was accused of diverting attention from his personal life by starting military attacks. Impeachment.A lot of criticism followed Clinton, some say that it’s a shame that he wasn’t able to manage an arrest of bin Laden and he will always be remembered as the one who couldn’t. Considering all the work that was put on counter-terrorism field by this president and his office that is shocking that people remember him like that. How would we live now without these policies? Terrorism would not be seen as such a threat, if not President Clinton.
Just like Nixon opened China for America, Clinton opened terrorists and it is not the greatest deed, but would it be any better, if we didn’t know about it. We can make a parallel with the time we live no, the number of terrorist attacks has decreased, they still do happen, but it not that big of a problem anymore. Simultaneously, we make a much bigger deal out of it, we think. It is being advertised to us, it is put in our heads to know what may happen and remember what already did. The piece of history that started this overprotectiveness of our generation is the time when Bill Clinton was a president.
His work on the foreign policy was hard, understanding that the change you bring may save people’s lives and if you make a mistake people may be dying. At the time of his work, relations with other countries were becoming more stable, more allies came to perspective. America was becoming greater; the main concentration of the president was to use the foreign policy more for the American good then for the world’s one. And that makes a total sense, you have to create the safe place for the things you love and how can a president love anything else that a country that he or she is ruling.
In conclusion, it is safe to say that Bill Clinton was a good president, who was trying to do the best for his country, America met a lot of challenges at that time and it is amazing that they were able to overcome them. The input of President Clinton on the international relations of America with other countries is pretty significant and the counter-terrorism may not have been as important and useful as it is now. So, one of the things we can do is to thank Bill Clinton for the safer life that they have brought to us, for the work that he and his office had put in the realization of the threat and the creation of the ways of fighting with it.