DOI 10.17721/2521-1706.2023.15.6

Dmytro Lakishyk,

Ph. D. (History), Senior Research Fellow, State Institution «Institute of World History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine», Kyiv, Ukraine

ORCID logo

Abstract. The purpose of the article is to analyze the foreign policy strategies and doctrines of the USA in the last decades. Special attention is paid to presidential doctrines, which, focusing on the most important priorities of the president’s foreign policy, shape the position of the state in the modern system of international relations.

Currently, the key direction of foreign policy priorities has become the development of strategies covering the concept of “new challenges” to national security. Threats such as terrorism, regional instability, uncontrolled flows of weapons and drug trafficking, transnational crime networks and illegal migration, ethnic conflicts and political regimes, systematic violation of human rights, growing demand for resources, natural disasters, environmental hazards, and pandemics came to the fore. The renewal of the complex of strategic threats has caused the modernization of American approaches to ensuring security and defense.

As a result of the study, based on the application of political analysis methods, considerable attention is paid to the strategic culture of the USA as an answer to fundamental questions about the way of thinking and behavior of the state, the tools of its foreign policy, its perception of key categories for national improvement – «security», «enemy», «environment», «threat». Taking into account the evolutionary dimension of the perception, awareness and overcoming of threats to the USA, it is possible to single out certain features of strategic culture that played and continue to play a significant role in the process of making foreign policy decisions of this state, which are discussed in this article.

Conclusions. All US foreign policy actions are aimed at achieving its own national interests, and their structuring, reflection and consolidation in doctrinal documents allow for the synchronization of foreign policy steps and the adoption of important political decisions, despite the turbulence in international relations and the changing geopolitical realities of the 21st century.

Key words: USA, doctrines, international relations, G.W. Bush., B. Obama, D. Trump, J. Biden.

Submitted: 11.03.2023



  1. The New York Times. (2020,April 19). Afghanistans Marshall[In English].
  2. Allen, A. (2022, October 11). Germany and Poland Don’t See Eye to Eye on Ukraine – or Much Else. World Politics Review.[In English].
  3. Anton, M. (2019, April 20). The Trump Doctrine. Foreign Policy.[In English].
  4. Beinart, P. (2011, November 28). Obama’sforeignpolicydoctrinefinallyemergeswith «offshorebalancing». The Daily Beast.[In English].
  5. Brake, J. (2022, October 3). The Biden Doctrine. The Organization for World Peace.[In English].
  6. Brands, H. &Edelman, E. (2017, June 17). AmericaandtheGeopoliticsofUpheaval. The National Interest.[In English].
  7. Carafano, J. (2023, January 19). Is there a Biden doctrine? GIS Reports.[In English].
  8. Clinton, H. (2011, March 8). Interview with Kay Burley of Sky News. S. Department of State.[In English].
  9. Colucci, L. (2012). The National Security Doctrines of the American Santa Barbara, California: Praeger Security International.[In English].
  10. Curran,J. (2018). «Americanism, Not Globalism»: President Trump and the American Mission. Lowy Institute Analysis.[In English].
  11. The Economist. (2022, November 8). Donors are already mulling a Marshall Plan for Ukraine.[In English].
  12. Douthat, R. (2019, January 29). The Trump Doctrine. The New York Times.[In English].
  13. Dueck, C. (2011). The Accommodator: Obama’s foreign policy. Policy Review, 169, 13–[In English].
  14. Dueck, C. (2020, September 24). The Trump Doctrine: Pressuring Adversaries and Allies Alike. Carnegie Mellon University Journal of Politics and Strategy.[In English].
  15. Easterly, W. (2017, March 31). This common argument for U.S. foreign aid is actually quite xenophobic. The Washington Post.[In English].
  16. Fisher,M. (2016, November 16). What Is Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy? The New York Times.[In English].
  17. Fix, L. & Mankoff, J. (2022, December 2). Europe Has to Step Up on Ukraine to Keep the U.S. From Stepping Back. World Politics Review.[In English].
  18. Foerster, S. & Raymond, R. (2016, July 31). Balanced Internationalism: 5Core Principles to Guide U.S. National Security Policy. The National Interest.[In English].
  19. Friedman, G. & Shapiro, J. (2017). The Limits of the Trump Doctrine. Horizons: Journal of International Relations and Sustainable Development,9,12–21. [In English].
  20. The Washington Post. (2014, May 28). Full transcript of President Obamas commencement address at West Point.[In English].
  21. Goldberg, J. (2017, April 7). The Obama Doctrine, R.I.P. The Atlantic.[In English].
  22. Grunstein, J. (2020, September 30). For Macron, Being Right on European Strategic Autonomy Isn’t Enough. World Politics Review.[In English].
  23. Grunstein, J. (2019, November 13). Macron Is Right About NATO and the EU, but Will Europe Listen? World Politics Review.[In English].
  24. Grunstein, J. (2023, January 30). A Protectionist America Won’t Be a Global America. World Politics Review.[In English].
  25. Holmes, K. & Carafano, J. (2010, September 1). Defining the Obama Doctrine, Its Pitfalls, and How to Avoid Them. The Heritage Foundation.[In English].
  26. Ignatius, D. (2023, January 24). Blinken ponders the post-Ukraine-war order. The Washington Post.[In English].
  27. Indurthy, R. (2011). The Obama Administration Strategy in Afghanistan. International Journal on World Peace, XXVIII(3), 7–52.[In English].
  28. Joffe, A. (2018, December ). Explaining the Trump Doctrine. The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.[In English].
  29. Kaplan, R. (2004, March 29). World of Difference. New Republic.[In English].
  30. KimM.J. & LeeM. & Lamothe D. (2022, December 23). South Korea ramps up arms exports in goal to become world supplier. The Washington Post.[In English].
  31. Krieg, A. (2017). Trump and the Middle East: «Barking Dogs Seldom Bite». Insight Turkey, 19(3),139– [In English].
  32. Lakishyk, D. (2016). Evolution of US Foreign Policy: from George Bush to Barack Obama. American History and Politics, 2, 14–22.[In Ukrainian].
  33. Landay, J., Shalal, A. & Mohammed, A. (2020). Trumps Troop Cut in Germany Blindsided Senior U.S. Officials, Sources Say.[In English].
  34. Landler, M. & Baker, P. (2017, May 4). Saudi Arabia and Israel Will Be on Itinerary of Trump’s First Foreign Trip. The New York Times.[In English].
  35. Larison, D. (2019, April 23). There Is No «Trump Doctrine». The American Conservative.[In English].
  36. Liik, K. (2022, December 14). The old is dying and the new cannot be born: A power audit of EU-Russia relations. European Council on Foreign Relations.[In English].
  37. Limitone, (2018, June 28). Trump Is Modernizing Foreign Investment Rules: Larry Kudlow. FOX Business.[In English].
  38. Miller, P. (2017, March 6). Reassessing Obama’s Legacy of Restraint. War on the Rocks.[In English].
  39. O’Rourke, R. & Moodie, M. (2020). U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service.[In English].
  40. Poast, P. (2023, January 27). The «Free the Leopards» Campaign Paid Off for the West and Ukraine. World Politics Review.[In English].
  41. Pompeo, M. (2020, October 3). Respecting Life in Americas Foreign Policy. U.S. Department of State.[In English].
  42. Posen, B. (2013). Pull Back: The Case for a Less Activist Foreign Policy. Foreign Affairs, 92 (1), 116–129.[In English].
  43. Trump White House. (2017). Presidential Memorandum Regarding Withdrawal of the United States from the TransPacific Partnership Negotiations and[In English].
  44. Pew Research Center. (2016, May 5). Public Uncertain, Divided Over Americas Place in the[In English].
  45. Washington D.C. Government Printing Office. (2001, September 30). Quadrennial Defense Review [In English].
  46. Rajaee, B. & Miller, M. (2012). National Security under the Obama Administration. New York: Palgrave [In English].
  47. The White House. President Barack Obama. (2011, June 22). Remarks by the President on the Way Forward in[In English].
  48. Renshon, S. & Suedfeld, P. (2007). Understanding the Bush Doctrine: Psychology and Strategy in an Age of New York: Routledge.[In English].
  49. Resnick, E. (2020, October 21). Donald Trumps «Exceptional» Foreign Policy. Observer Research Foundation.[In English].
  50. Reveron, D. & Gvosdev, (2017). An Emerging Trump Doctrine? Horizons: Journal of International Relations and Sustainable Development, 9, 42–61. [In English].
  51. Rice, C. (2005, December 11). The Promise of Democratic Peace. The Washington Post.[In English].
  52. Rogin, J. (2020, November 12). GOP Leaders Can Follow Reagan or Trump, but Not Both. The Washington Post.[In English].
  53. Ruhle, S. & Lee, C. (2019, November 19). In Private Speech, Bolton Suggested Some of Trumps Policy Decisions Are Guided by Personal Interest. NBC News.[In English].
  54. Saunders,E. (2018, January 18). Is Trump a Normal Foreign-Policy President? Foreign Affairs.[In English].
  55. Shanker, T. & Erlanger S. (2011, June 10). Blunt U.S. Warning Reveals Deep Strains in NATO. The New York Times.[In English].
  56. Smith, T. (2017, March 30). The End of American Liberal Exceptionalism? The International Security Studies Forum (ISSF).[In English].
  57. The Washington Post. (1999, November 19). Text of remarks prepared for delivery by Texas Gov. George W. Bush at Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, Calif. on 1999, November[In English].
  58. The Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). (2014). Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2014 to 2017.[In English].
  59. The White House. (2010, May). The National Security Strategy.[In English].
  60. Trump White House. (2020). The Trump Doctrine: Terrorists Lose and Peace Wins.[In English].
  61. Tocci, N. (2022, November 22). Europe’s defense efforts remain underwhelming. Politico.[In English].
  62. World Politics (2023, February 23). U.S. Foreign Policy Under Biden.[In English].
  63. Wright, Th. (2020). The Point of No Return: The 2020 Election and the Crisis of American Foreign Policy. Lowy Institute Analysis.[In English].
  64. Wright, Th. (2016, January 20). Trump’s 19th Century Foreign Policy.[In English].
  65. Zakaria,F. (2019, May 2). Does a Trump Doctrine on Foreign Policy Exist? Ask John Bolton. The Washington Post.[In English].