The domestic implications of the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, Sept. 11, have already been realized, but the effects on international relations and the United States foreign policy are still unknown.
In numerous speeches, President Bush has stressed the importance of cooperation of other nations. Bush said the support of nations across the world will aid in winning the war on terrorism.
“We will continue to work with Pakistan and India. We will work with Russia,” Bush said. “We will continue to work with the nations that one would have thought a couple of years ago would have been impossible to work with to bring people justice, but more than that, to win the war against terrorist activity.”
The United States has begun persuading nations to support the country in its efforts to eradicate terrorism. The AP reported Australian Prime Minister John
Howard said Wednesday that Australia would take all measures necessary to support the United States.
“There’s no point in a situation like this being an 80 percent rally,” Howard told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “We leave open the option of any kind of military involvement which we are capable of and would be appropriate. And, yes, that includes troops.”
Jacques Chirac, president of France, recently visited Washington, D.C., and British Prime Minister Tony Blair has arranged a trip to the U.S.
It is estimated that Britain lost 300 citizens in last Tuesday’s attacks, and senior officials speculate Britain will contribute troops to any military effort.
Support from NATO is also an assurance. The 19-member alliance has pledged that if the attack on the United States was “directed from abroad,” NATO will regard it as an attack on all allies.
There will be noticeable changes in the short-term relations between the United States and many other nations, but the status of long-term relations cannot be determined.
“There will certainly be changes over the next six months or so, but it is too early to predict how permanent these changes will be,” UW political science professor Bruce Cronin said.
An initial positive U.S. relationship with other countries may be thwarted by long-term consequences.
“Once we start taking military action, it’s going to have to be on the ground of some country. Once we do that we run the risk of further alienating some countries,” UW political science professor Charles Franklin said. ” In the short run, it could be kind of positive, but in the long run there could be more alienating of some countries.”
Although there will likely be short-term alterations in U.S. foreign policy, even these will be determined by the course of action the government decides to take.
“It depends on whether [the policy] is initiating a true coalition or if it wants to move unilaterally,” Cronin said.
“If it’s a coalition, it’s less likely to involve heavy military action; if it is unilateral then it involves the playing out of the conflict between Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell.”
The Pentagon called Wednesday for air forces to depart to the Middle East. These actions are considered the precursors to military retaliation. Other nations have supported the United States in possible retaliation, and U.S. alliances have the potential to grow.
“There is a hopeful side that it will strengthen alliances with the positive support of NATO,” Franklin said. “The other hopeful side that it would even reach out to places in the Middle East that have so far been supportive — that could help our relations with them.”