What’s Behind The Crisis in Foreign Relations?

From the May 1999 Trumpet Print Edition

The collapse of the Soviet Union at the turn of the current decade, embellished by the demonstration of the potential of massive U.S. firepower in the Gulf War of 1991, left the world with the impression that it was now dominated by a solitary superpower, the United States.

Many foreign-policy exponents saw the U.S. as simply playing the role of world policeman, steering the nations toward what President George Bush declared was an emerging New World Order. Some idealistic minds thought they caught a glimpse of a world at peace on the horizon.

Such has been the dream of the idealist and the hope of all sensible men and women throughout history. Yet, the ongoing history of man has continued to deliver war—war from generation to generation. Indeed, it seems, as one current observer has alluded, he who seizes hold of the future of war holds in his hand the future of humanity. In the human sense, this is what real power is all about.

As Donald Kagan states in his recent treatise on the subject, “The wisest modern students of war have concluded that something more fundamental produces wars: the competition for power” (On the Origin of War, p. 1, emphasis mine).

What do the leaders of the world’s nations conceive of as power? That wise commentator on international relations, Hans J. Morgenthau, claimed, “Whatever the ultimate aims of international politics, power is always the ultimate aim” (Politics Among Nations, p. 29). In terms of a pure definition of power, Morgenthau probably gave one of the most intuitive clarifications. “When we speak of power, we mean man’s control over the minds and actions of other men” (ibid., p. 30). He observes that whatever material objectives were contained in a nation’s foreign policy (sourcing raw materials, controlling sea gates, territorial extension, etc.), they always involved influencing the minds of others in order to control the outcome.

As the old saying goes, it takes two to make a quarrel! It is a plain fact of human nature that within all human groups there will be an evident tendency to dominate. This is so from that basic unit of society, the family, to human corporate and governmental institutions, through to entire nations. The most damaging effect of this striving for dominance, at the human level, was recorded in the present century when the Nazis wanted to colonize Eastern Europe, giving them dominance of the whole of Europe and a place from which to rule the world.

The current generation of foreign policy formulators and administrators in the West, particularly in the present British and American administrations, is the product of a left-wing, socialist-engineered education system that had its genesis in the 1960s (though its true origins may be traced to the Marxist-Leninist thought engendered by the fathers of socialism in the early 1900s). Socialist philosophy has always had particular appeal to the intelligentsia. Often described as the “baby-boom generation,” the post-World War II generation, which had their minds bent by German rationalist thought, tends to predicate all analyses, judgments and conclusions on godless evolutionary theory, based on the overall assumption that there are no absolutes.

In general terms, to this generation all of the values, mores, honorable traditions—even documented history of past events—are held up to question. This approach to subjective analysis is fundamentally sourced at a basic and false assumption—that the theory of relativity applies not just in the arena of physical sciences. By extension it is assumed that it generally may be applied to human behavior—religion, moral standards, ethics and human values. Thus we have the concept of “moral relativity,” which spawned the “new morality” of the 1960s, giving birth to a new and uncontrollable communicable disease—aids.

The Third Way

Many of the current generation of foreign policy formulators and administrators have been termed “third wayers.” That is, politically they embrace neither capitalism solely, nor socialism solely. For political expedience, while holding on to their core values of socialism, “third wayers” have developed a center-left approach to politics which is having a devastatingly confusing effect on the world. The current administrations governing in Britain and America are of this “third way” flavor. Their politics have changed by expediency, in order to gain office—but their core “values” have not!

In respect of this phenomenon in America, Elliot Evans, president of the Ethics and Policy Center in Washington D.C., puts it this way: “The truly bloody battle lines in American politics today tend to be cultural rather than economic. On any number of these broadly cultural issues, ranging from extreme environmentalism to gay marriage to multiculturalism to partial-birth abortion, ideology and coalition politics once again conjoin to propel third-wayers far from the center. Advocates of these causes share a mind set, and they also share a reliance on government power to help bring about the changes in American life they demand” (Commentary, April 1999).

The real concern here is that it is generally such minds, which on the one hand seek to destroy the traditional (Bible-based) values of our Western democracies (particularly in Britain and the U.S.), that on the other are now grappling (with a huge lack of success) with the most dangerous of foreign policy considerations. “One cannot but notice another striking lacuna [gap] in the thought of third-wayers: exactly how their approach is supposed to function in the realm of foreign policy. Given who most of them are, and where they come from, that too is understandable. Children of the ’60s, they seem alternately suspicious of and nonplussed by the American military; in none of their voluminous literature will one find advocacy of increased military spending or for that matter of American military superiority. As confident as they are about the uses of government power at home, they are commensurately skittish about the possible use of national power abroad” (ibid.).

The result is the recent display of ineptness at the most senior levels of, especially, U.S. foreign policy. Indecision, lack of clear analysis and poor judgment have been rife in the approach of the world’s most powerful nation to its relations and interaction with such countries as Haiti, Somalia, Liberia, Angola, Iraq, North Korea, China, Bosnia—and so the list grows. The consequences are an inevitable decline in military morale, a most dangerous reduction in preparedness, with the emergence of what some experts now call a hollow army. “As Ronald Reagan well understood, there is no middle ground between strength and weakness, between greatness and decline” (ibid.).

Power Without Will

No single country presently comes close to America in extent of economic power or military strength. Yet no other single nation shows such a lack of will to use their power. The burning question is, given the apparent lack of will to effectively deploy its military might to actually win a victory in its numerous military adventures in recent years, why bother to deploy force at all, let alone in such a vast array of foreign centers in which the average American is not interested in the slightest, nor even able to find them on a map?

George Friedman, chairman of Stratfor Systems (www.stratfor.com), said about this phenomenon: “In one sense the U.S. is overwhelmingly powerful. The potential to raise military forces and deploy them is awesome. [Yet] the extent to which we are operating below our potential is breathtaking. We are in grave danger. We are in the odd situation of having unnecessarily drawn down our forces and then simultaneously and inexplicably increased the tempo of our operations.”

Comparing the relative success of the British, in their heyday of empire, with the current U.S. ineptness in foreign policy, Friedman declared, “Britain had a principle which was that Britain had no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, only permanent interests. That was a very shrewd view of the world.” It is a view that the U.S. should have noted well, before it assumed the role of world policeman.

Value Change

Throughout the period of the British Empire and the history of the United States’ dramatic surge to world prominence (up to World War II), it was generally held by most Western policy formulators, administrators of government and military leaders that a supreme, Creator God was the sustainer of all things, including the laws which govern human behavior—the biblical Ten Commandments. Military generals went to war with a Bible at hand. Britain and America fought for God-fearing values against the military might of Nazi Germany and of imperialistic Japan. We saw it as an honorable and moral cause. The formulators of the American Constitution drafted that famous document which guaranteed the fundamental freedoms and inalienable rights of its people based upon moral tenets founded upon the Ten Commandments.

Times have changed. And with the changes over the past 50 years has come the corruption of the morals of Britain and America. This moral decline has led to a dramatic decline in matters of honor (Isa. 3:1-3, 5). The corruption of moral standards, the decline in honorable behavior, has erosion of the will to use the supreme power which those old allies, Britain and America, once possessed for the purpose of fighting to preserve that which was perceived as good and right. Common sense is now sacrificed on the altar of personal anarchy—“you may do whatever you wish to do in private, as long as it is deemed to do no hurt to anyone else.” Of course, the standards by which doing hurt is measured and judged are no longer pinned down to any fundamental, fixed values. So basically, the system allows, if you can afford the legal fees, if you vote for the party presently in power and you get the popular press on your side, you can literally get away with murder.

It is in such a climate, such a turgid moral morass, that the foreign policy formulators and the drafters of international law of today grope around trying to establish new meaning under the prevailing constancy of “wars and rumors of wars” (Matt. 24:6). It is by no accident that the decline in honor and respect for things British and American has coincided with the dramatic decline in demonstrated power and will by these nations to use what power they still possess.

Where There Is No Vision…

In the final analysis, what is it that is lacking from the judgments of our most senior foreign policy gurus? Given unimpeachable facts, given the most brilliant minds applied to analysis and strategic thinking, the very best that a foreign policy expert can do is assess the probable outcomes of any given international situation, based on the facts, considering past history, the predictability of human nature and the connection between cause and effect.

But the vision that enables a human mind to see all human interaction, be it at the family, state or international level, and predict inevitable outcomes with confidence, is plainly not given to man as a natural part of his make-up. It takes that which is supernatural, added to the mind of man, to gain such vision of future events. This is the phenomenon of divine revelation. It is open to man, but only to those whom God alone chooses to give it. It is simply termed, in biblical language, the Holy Spirit.

This is the power that Simon Magus sought to buy almost two millennia ago (Acts 8:18-20). It is the power which Jesus Christ simply called “the Comforter” (John 14:26). A power of which He declared, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy [Spirit], whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26). It is the Spirit of God which, upon repentance and baptism into the family of God, imparts continuing revelation to the human mind. Revelation of truth, revelation of prophecy, literally an understanding of the predictions of the future which almighty God made through the prophets of old, Jesus Christ being the chief prophet.

It is this power which is needed so greatly by those who would deal in foreign policy, matched with an understanding of the laws of God which govern human behavior. (Write for your free copy of our book Mystery of the Ages for a full explanation.)

Only when the minds of men are opened, by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, to discern the reality of human nature, to understand the laws and covenants, statutes and principles of living which almighty God has set in place, by which to govern human behavior, will those in charge of foreign policy truly see the way to peace on earth. That day is coming when, as Jesus Christ declared, “I will give you teachers after mine own heart.”

As Hans Morgenthau pointed out, the power comes from control over man’s mind. Almighty God will simply have to step in and stop mankind’s headlong slide toward oblivion. He created the human mind. He created the laws which govern peace. He will simply send one to this earth to whom He has committed all power (Matt. 28:18) to implement and enforce, with a government of perfect family love backed up by a perfect law of love (I John 5:3), the way which will lead to peace among the nations (John 14:27). He will reason with man (Isa. 1:18) and show him the source of all wars (James 4:1). He will offer to man the power to quell all wars, the power to control his own mind so that man will learn to desire to give to his neighbor, instead of lusting to get from him! That’s real power! The power to control one’s own mind and bring every thought into subjection to the perfect will of the loving Father of all mankind (II Cor. 10:5)! He will simply enforce God’s perfect foreign policy for all the nations (Isa. 2:4).

This is the hope, the great hope of all mankind. The current events in the Middle East and the Balkans are simply a sign of its imminence. It’s time to look beyond the wars and rumors of wars, beyond the sad straggling masses of displaced refugees, beyond the petty, prancing dictators of this world, into the future. It’s time to really grasp the vision of a future which is bright with hope and the ultimate reconciliation of war-prone man to his Maker, a God of perfect peace. It’s time to anticipate and prepare for a true and lasting peace which will engirdle the globe for a thousand years under the Prince of peace, King of kings and Lord of lords. That’s the hope which your Maker offers you if you will only turn from your own ways and begin to obey Him.