It’s time to care about U.S. foreign policy

As college students, it’s easy to get wrapped up in local news. However, some of the most important events right now are the ones happening in the world around us. Just because these events do not occur in our own backyards, if ignored, they could very well possibly become issues to which we can no longer turn a blind eye.

Foreign policy is equally, if not more, influential and important than local. At The Alestle, we don’t want to take sides on each of the issues or examples, but instead reflect on each of them and point out how important it is to understand 

what is happening to the world. Being informed and knowledgeable about what is happening is crucial to how we vote, interact with others and decide what is factual and important when reading news online.

In the past few months, there have been some big events, and the news has covered many major events recently. It’s difficult to narrow down the most important ones.

Events such as the New Zealand mosque shooting and Sri Lanka bombings call into question the concept of religious freedom, which is legally protected in both countries, just as it is in the U.S. Mass shootings tend to be more common in the U.S. than other parts of the world. How U.S. foreign policy reacts to these events is not only a testament to levels of humanity, but also calls into question how we react to beliefs that are not our own. 

Perhaps one of the most media covered foreign policy concerns is North Korea’s nuclear missiles testing program and the president’s response. While North Korea is violating U.N. Security Council resolutions, President Trump maintains confidence that Kim Jong Un will not violate his promise to denuclearize North Korea. It’s clear that whatever one believes, the testing of missiles and the responses to them could have a drastic impact on the world as we know it. 

Again, we hear more talk of missiles as the U.S. navigates tensions with the Middle East. The only way to sum this up objectively is that no matter what one believes is the right response — sending in troops, extra surveillance or trying to have conversations about it — what is done now could have a huge impact on the state of the U.S. and other countries.

Recently, the U.S. stopped aiding Palestinians in occupied West Bank and Gaza. While the reasoning behind this is said to be to stop terrorism, it also begs the question; “What moral obligations do we have to those in other regions of the world?” Involvement in Gaza could set a new precedent for how the U.S. handles the convergence — or apparent cross over — between homeland security and aiding foreign nations. 

The political turmoil in Venezuela once again propels the theme of human decency and when and how the U.S. should get involved in the crises facing foreign countries. Additionally, according to BBC, the U.S. is the third most popular place where Venezuelan migrants to seek refuge.

According to experts, Trump’s plan to impose a 25 percent tariff on Chinese goods will also damage our economy here in the states and even cause an increase in inflation.

However, many steel workers at Granite City steel support Trump’s policy, as his tariffs on foreign steel put 800 former employees back in a job. 

Just because something seems to only impact those far away, it can have impacts at home too, making it even more important to stay informed. 

Because of tariffs, Ford is currently pending layoffs due to slower sales in the China market and higher costs due to the tariffs. In January, Fox Business reported Ford lost over $100 million. 

Poverty, hunger and lack of education are commonly correlated, and the situation in Nigeria is no exception. However, SIUE alumnus Philip Alabi of Nigeria showed there is hope. Alabi sent leftover textbooks back to his home country to improve education there. Even though helping foreign countries may seem like a difficult task with the barriers of distance, language and culture, there is always something that can be done.

According to CBS News, over 1 million species of plants and animals may soon face extinction. This not only harms the plants and animals, but also food supply, water supply and human health in general.  

These are all very important issues that not only highlight some key discussions between peers or family, but also should make constituents want to go out and vote. 

We at The Alestle feel it is important to get all of the information on what is happening to the world around us, make a decision on how it should be changed and figure out ways to do just that. Alabi proved there are ways we can all help out and try to make this world

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