Tuesday, September 25, 2018

U.S. Foreign Policy Faces Grave Danger, Part 2

The intellectual foundations of U.S. foreign policy lie in the teaching and research of leading American universities. A root cause of recent U.S. foreign policy failures is the marked contrast between political practices and institutions in relatively homogeneous nations with common ethnic/racial identities, values and interests that seek exclusive governance, as against the United States, where the practice of  diversity and inclusion that originated in American universities has spread to encompass the media, business, non-profit organizations, government, the armed forces, and every other social institution.

This contrast is not intended to proclaim the superiority of one set of political arrangements over the other.  Rather, it reflects major demographic changes that have transformed the racial/ethnic composition of the U.S. population during the past half-century, which differs from worldwide trends towards smaller and more homogeneous nations and 150 active ethnically-based secessionist movements.

The United States has changed from an overwhelmingly Non-Hispanic White majority of 89.5% of the population in 1950, to 88.6% in 1960, 87.7% in 1970, 83.1% in 1980, 80.3% in 1990, 75.1% in 2000, 72.4% in 2010, with an estimated 59.7% in 2020, 55.5% in 2030, 51.0% in 2040, becoming a minority of 46.6% in 2050, and 42.6% in 2060.   Barring major changes in fertility and immigration, Non-Hispanic Whites will be increasingly outnumbered by Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and Pacific Islanders, Indians, Eskimos and Aleuts, and mixed-race persons.

Demography compels all segments of American life to adjust to this new reality.  Universities are the spearhead of diversity and inclusion.  They assert that diversity and inclusion among their students, staff, faculty, and its centrality in educational content are needed to prepare students to interact with increasingly diverse populations in their schools, towns, cities, regions, and the country at large.  Universities claim that diversity and Inclusion foster understanding, knowledge, tolerance, and respect that will better enable graduates, including those engaged in foreign policy, to better deal with foreign peoples and nations.

In many parts of the world, the inverse of e pluribus unum, (traditional motto, from many one, appearing on the Great Seal of the United States) predominates.  The message of diversity and inclusion that American university graduates carry with them clashes with a growing worldwide trend toward homogeneity and exclusion, an emphasis on borders, language and culture.  It’s easy to understand how presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, reinforced by their respective foreign policy teams, made colossal mistakes intervening in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya to first remove their leaders and then try to impose U.S. style democracy, which instead resulted in death and destruction.


No region better illustrates this harsh reality than the Balkans, which gave rise to the word “balkanized.”  Yugoslavia, created in 1918 as a new state, was composed of areas that had never experienced a common government and which for centuries had been under the domination of different foreign powers.  When the Communist Party came to power after World War II, five distinct Slav nationalities were given official recognition:  Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Macedonians, and Montenegrins.  The constituent units of Yugoslavia were Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Bosnia & Herzegovina. These diverse and regionally concentrated ethnic communities are separated by both religious and cultural practices.

Post-World War II elections were dominated by Tito’s Communist party, which was a collection of the various regional Communist parties rather than a centralized unified party.­

Upon Tito’s death in May 1980, which removed the unifying force, ethnic tensions grew in Yugoslavia.  Nationalism rose in all the republics and provinces.  Slovenia and Croatia agitated for looser ties and the Albanian majority in Kosovo sought the status of a separate republic.  Montenegro joined with Serbia in favoring Yugoslav unity.  Croatia took steps to strip Serbs of their rights in the republic.

On June 25, 1991, Slovenia and Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia.  The Yugoslav army was ordered to restore unity, but desisted, pulling out of Slovenia.  In Croatia, however, a bloody war broke out in August 1991 between ethnic Serbs in a portion of the republic they inhabited and the new Croatian army and police force.  Meanwhile, in September 1991, Macedonia declared its independence without resistance from the Yugoslav Army.  UN forces moved into the region to monitor Macedonia’s northern border with Serbia.

In Bosnia, in November 1991, Bosnian Serbs held a referendum that favored staying in a common state with Serbia.  The following January the Bosnian Serb assembly proclaimed a separate republic of the Serb people of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The government of Bosnia declared the Serb referendum unconstitutional, but itself approved a referendum for Bosnian independence.  In response, the, the Bosnian Serbs declared their independence as the Republika Srpska.

The war in Bosnia between Serbs, Croats and Muslims followed shortly thereafter.  In March 1994, the Muslims and Croats signed an agreement, which reduced the warring parties to two.  The conflict ended in 1995 with the so-called Dayton Agreement.  Three years of ethnic strife destroyed the economy of Bosnia, caused the death of about 200,000 people, and displaced about half the population.  Bosnia was organized into two geographical units, the Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosniak-Croat Federation).  The presidency of the Bosnian Republic rotates among the three members (Bosniak, Serb, and Croat).   A national legislature makes laws for the republic with two-thirds of the delegates for both the upper and lower houses selected from the Bosniak-Croat Federation and one-third from the Republika Srpska.  Separate parliaments, which exercise regional power, are elected in the Bosniak-Croat Federation and the Republika Srpska.

The unity of Serbia and Montenegro gradually weakened.  By order of the Yugoslav Federal Parliament on August 4, 2003, Yugoslavia ceased to exist.  On May 21, 2006, Montenegrins voted in favor of independence, declaring their independence on June 3, 2006.  Serbia followed suit two days later.

On February 17, 2008, the Assembly of Kosovo, in a meeting attended by 109 of the 120 members of the assembly, unanimously declared independence from Serbia.  The 11 representatives of the Serb minority boycotted the proceedings.

As of April 2018, the breakup of Yugoslavia consisted of the following political units:

Slovenia 1991- (Ljubljana)
Macedonia 1991- (Skopje)
Central Serbia 2006- (Belgrade)
Serbia 2006- Vojvodina (Novi Sad)
Kosovo 2008- (Pristina)
Montenegro 2006- (Podgorica)
Croatia 1991- (Zagreb)
Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina 1994- (Sarajevo)
Republic of Srpska 1992- (Banja Luka).

What was a once common Serbo-Croatian language has devolved into separate sociolinguistic standards for Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian languages.


As those educated in diversity and inclusion pursue their domestic and global vision, they will encounter opposite trends in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, where homogeneous and exclusive nationalities, cultures, and languages are the driving forces of political identity.

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