Foreign policy dictates how a country acts and presents itself to the world, and to have successful relationships with other countries, image is everything. America realized the importance of their reputation long ago; it affected the president’s war decisions and technological advances. It is the president’s job to assure other countries are willing to work with the American people and that Americans themselves support the country. However, it is not always possible to make a decision that is supported by everyone. For example, the Vietnam War brought chaos to the country, because the people did not trust that the government was acting in America’s favor by sending troops to a war we had no business fighting. Not all wars have separated America and other countries, though, during World War II Americans supported the decision to bring America into the fight, and even referred to it as “the good war”. It also strengthened ties with our allies and united us against a common enemy. Reputation is also a key factor in the rapid advances in technology over the years. The most obvious event in our Nation’s history that reflected this was the Space Race from 1957 to 1975. Every decision made during those years was to boost America’s journey to the moon before Russia.
Our history class gave ignite presentations, which are short five minute presentations about a particular topic, and a member of our class gave a presentation about the Space Race that highlighted the competition to gain the title of first country in space between America and Russia. As she stated, it was neither curiosity to discover space, nor a desire to improve technology that drove the two countries; it was purely competition. America worked tirelessly to achieve the goal and have the rest of the world marvel at its superiority. However, it was Russia that stole the spotlight by putting the first man into space. The embarrassment of that defeat gave America a new fire to ensure it would be an American who first stepped foot on the moon. With the world’s eyes on America and Russia, America proved their worth and sent Neil Armstrong and two other astronauts to the moon on July 20, 1969. It was a technological feat as well as a door into the mystery of space, but more importantly to America, it was proof that its might could not be surpassed.
Every country is aware of the images that other countries project and are more likely to engage in peaceful relations with a country who they know has done well in the past. America prides itself on being the most productive, accepting, and advanced country in this era and uses that to its advantage when dealing with foreign relations. Currently America tends to have the upper hand, because other countries know of its past success. And although they are aware of every public decision America has made, the success of the country outweighs some of its bad decisions. History has shown America wants to maintain its superiority and will continue to do so in the future; it will put as many flags on the moon as it deems necessary to continue its powerhouse image.