Bill Clinton: Conflict Avoidance Strategy

  • Karen A. Feste
Part of the The Evolving American Presidency Series book series (EAP)


Clinton entered office as the first post-Cold War president. “No other modern American president inherited a stronger, safer international position than Bill Clinton,” states Hyland (1999, p. 1). The nation was at peace; the United States was now the world’s sole superpower. Major threats posed by the delicate balance of hostile bipolar relations with the former Soviet Union—an arms race in nuclear missiles and the spread of communist regimes in third world states that had shaped American foreign policy for nearly half a century of the Cold War era—had virtually disappeared. The Cold War had ended with American victory. The Gulf War in 1991 also brought American victory—Kuwait was freed and Saudi Arabia protected from Iraqi aggression. The United States felt at liberty to act on the international stage without fearing confrontation from any formidable adversary. The new president, like his predecessor, George H. W. Bush, was an internationalist; he resisted the temptations of isolationism. Unlike his predecessor, he was a moralist and took a liberal stand on global politics arguing that noble humanitarian goals, enlarging the realm of democracies, and advancing the protection of human rights should be pursued around the world, stating in his inaugural address that “Our hopes, our hearts and our hands are with those on every continent who are building democracy and freedom. Their cause is America’s cause.”


Saudi Arabia Oklahoma City Terrorist Incident American Foreign Policy Conflict Avoidance 
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© Karen A. Feste 2011

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  • Karen A. Feste

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