Why Mongolia (4)
The other day, I wrote: "As should be known by now, I'm with Double Toothpicks here: there are reasons for the US's cozying up to Mongolia that are for the US's own national interests." I didn't mean to imply that the airbase angle is the SOLE reason that the US is friends with Mongolia. Obviously, there are several reasons:
1) Support for Mongolia's contribution to the War on Terror
2) Building friendship with a country, an alliance with whom would add considerably to the US's own regional and global positioning.
3) Support for Mongolia as a new and successful democracy in that part of the world
4) Giving Mongolia a shot in the arm by giving it good press and bringing it into the international spotlight.
But note: the two dominant ones (#1 and #2)--those without which Bush wouldn't have visited Mongolia in the first place--are strongly American interests. If it weren't for #1 and #2 on the following list, #3 and #4 would never have been sufficient to earn Mongolia a presidential visit. In other words, American self-interest (which may be and are shared by other countries) are the driver of American foreign policy. This is the case with just about every country everywhere (one notable exception is Europe, where countries are apparently giving up on their own national interest for those of a greater Europe), so I don't see why this should be a surprise to anyone.
Of course, there are also altrusitic motives that the US apparently has with re: democracy and freedom. But even then, if democracy and freedom abroad were sharply against American interests, I sincerely doubt that America would be quite so involved in promoting them in the world. Eventually, everything in politics (and perhaps beyond) boils down to some kind of self-interest. I'm not saying that this is the way things should be, but that's the way I think they are. There you are. I hope I'm clear this time.
Note: This response is also posted in the comments section of the post that prompted it.