This question shows that some Westerners think US foreign policy has deteriorated in recent decades, having once been strong and vibrant. That is an illusion and I will try to dispel it in the following. Let me just say that there is a constant pattern in US foreign and military policy that has not changed since about the 50s.
US foreign policy is unique, for example, as follows:
In terms of defence, the priority is not on defence of the homeland at all but on defence of foreign states that are of little or no benefit to the American people.
This is illustrated by the US foreign policies of the 60s and 70s. During the 6-Days War of 1967, the US supported Israel, at least diplomatically, adopting the narrative that the Israeli attack on Egypt, Syria and Jordan was defensive even though the Israelis actually bombed the respective airports on the ground before any planes could take off in self-defence.
This reflexive US support for Israel kindled the righteous ire of the Arab world and triggered an oil crisis in the 70s with the oil exporting Arab countries imposing an embargo that increased oil prices several fold. Nixon and Kissinger found a way out that killed two birds with one stone, solving the monetary crisis triggered when Nixon took the US off the gold standard and buying the friendship of the Gulf States. Nixon and Kissinger met with Saudi king Faisal and made an agreement whereby the Saudis would settle their oil trade ONLY in USD and also keep their cash reserves ONLY in US dollars, thereby propping up the value of the US dollar and creating the petrodollar, which exists to this day but is now threatened by the Fed’s profligate printing press. In exchange, the US agreed to use its military not just for the purpose of defending the American people, as mandated in the Constitution, but also to defend a country in which the US grassroots had no intrinsic interest whatsoever. Thus it created a world in which nothing is real any more, where monetary value is created by political and military means instead of real-world manufacturing or a gold standard to which the US had agreed with the rest of the world – a tenuous system that can be ruined by a profound crisis of the COVID type.
Now the US had always supported Israel unconditionally since its founding in 1948, for the reasons enumerated at the below-linked Quora page: https://www.quora.com/Which-of-the-USAs-global-interventions-were-purely-well-motivated/answer/Vince-Dhimos
Thus, since the signing of the petrodollar agreement with King Faisal, US foreign policy prioritized not the interests of the American people but the security of two foreign countries, ie, Saudi Arabia and Israel, that had no intrinsic interest in the security and well-being of the American people.
None of these reasons are, of course, related to the defence of the US homeland. This makes the US unique among nations but makes it vulnerable, forcing it to fight wars that are not its own and also to concoct and disseminate fake rationales for these wars to placate the US public. It’s a recipe for instability.
Thus another common feature of US foreign policy has, at least since WW II, been to enunciate one policy while actively pursuing another completely different one. And in turn, this feature owes in part to the fact that, as stated above, the US is no longer focused on its own interests but for political reasons, must pretend for the sake of the voters, that its unjustified wars are justified and somehow supposedly make the US public more secure. To do this, it has fabricated an endless litany of pretexts, such as the famous narrative of the supposed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This need to constantly lie to its people puts the Establishment in a precarious position with the voters, to say the least. For example, Trump’s dangerous provocation of Iran is based on a commitment to Israel, whose corrupt officials are pressuring the US to attack Iran, but to make the policy seem justified, the White House, State Department and Congress were obliged to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a “terrorist organization.” This is beyond absurd since that group and related Iran-supported militias have adopted the principal mission of fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria, and they have done an admirable job so far. The US Establishment’s sleight of hand in convincing the US public that a country dedicated to fighting terror is in fact a terrorist itself has been a grand achievement worthy of an Emmy for best fiction film. Only the US Elites in government and media could have performed this role so brazenly, if not convincingly, and only a supremely gullible audience could have bought the narrative. The propaganda ministry under Goebbels never came close to this achievement.
Another example of the US fighting wars on a false basis was, I think, the concocted rationale of preventing the “spread of communism.”
This sleight of hand was not noticed by many observers during the 50s and 60s, when the US political elites managed to con the world into thinking that there really was a “red menace,” ie a threat that communism could spread all around the globe.
The credibility crisis arose when President Richard Nixon, the president who arguably presented himself as the most anti-communist of all, and who even went to the extent of breaking the law to oppose an activist he considered a far left opponent of his war, did an about face after the “anti-communist” Vietnam war was over and immediately initiated diplomatic relations with communist China. And the Elites did not strongly oppose this. This is strong evidence that the Washington elites were never sincere when they warned of the “red menace.” They clearly had something else in mind. But the public slumbered on, imagining the Washington elites were keeping them secure.
So what was the Washington elites’ real motive in massacring 6 million mostly civilians in Korea and then Vietnam?
Though the true motivation is not clear, we know that Washington has never stopped going to war on the flimsiest of excuses, so I suspect that whatever their motives were in the 50s and 60s they are the same as they are today.
Listed below are the US Elites’ underlying motives for war that we can be reasonable sure of:
1—the desire to keep feeding what Eisenhower called the military industrial complex. I posted at Quora a detailed analysis showing that the US Establishment wants to send vast amounts of money to its cronies in the arms industry, in part to provide meaningless employment for the masses. In the video linked at the below linked post, renowned aircraft designer Pierre Sprey says in response to a question. “The point is to spend money. This is the mission of the airplane [F-35]. It is for Congress to send money to Lockheed. This is the true mission of the aircraft."
2—A constant anti-Russian (Russophobic) component in Western psychology that has existed since the 1800s. This was reinforced throughout the early 20th Century and beyond by the Scofield Reference Bible, which predicts that Russia will attack Israel (The Holocaust had not yet happened and Scofield wrote, in 1909, that Russia – not Germany, mind you – was the most anti-Jewish country in the world (he apparently didn’t know that Spain had banished its entire Jewish population!). Therefore, in his mind, the Biblical prediction relating to Israel’s enemies Gog and Magog must have referred to Russia – which was, absurdly, the country whose army would later liberate Auschwitz). Millions of US Evangelicals believed Scofield was divinely inspired and thus believed implicitly that Russia was Satanic and had to be destroyed by “Christian” America. (More recent archeological findings show that God and Magog were located in what is now Turkey, nowhere near Russia). This anti-Russian sentiment in the heartland, spreading to Washington, might explain why Nixon in the 1970s might have been willing to open up relations with communist China – despite the apparent anti-communist leanings of the US elites, partly in the hopes that a trade agreement with China could drive a wedge between China and Russia. Now, as we enter the third decade of the 21st Century, as the rapprochement between Russia and China tightens, the elites finally see that this was an unfounded pipedream and they suddenly want to destroy China for not fulfilling their dream – even though China had never even remotely agreed fulfil anyone’s dreams but its own!
3--The psychopathic drive to prove US superiority over everyone else and to bring the world under the control of the US hegemon. This was the mentality that brought the world Deutschland über Alles. (I am not a psychologist so I will not try to explain it).
Thus, the US pretended to be defending the world against communism but the real rationale for the Korean and Vietnam wars was probably one or more of the above motivations.
And with the passing of time, this same political schizophrenia – with Washington sending one message to the people about its intentions but actively and consistently pursuing roughly the opposite policy in its day to day reality – was manifested again in the US policy toward the Middle East and Afghanistan. Thus we heard the loud voices of US rhetoric proclaiming a “War on Terror” for public consumption, but anyone who closely examined what the US military was doing in Iraq and Syria saw that the US elites were actually siding with the terrorists. There are many examples, but let’s look at the most conspicuous ones:
1—I had posted a while back a detailed analysis of how the US-led West created ISIS. It is linked here: https://www.quora.com/Are-there-any-sources-for-American-involvement-in-the-Middle-East-since-9-11-It-s-for-a-paper/answer/Vince-Dhimos
2--Obama declared he was fighting a “War on Terror,” but this was clearly a lie because, while the US Air Force deployed in Iraq and environs had plenty of A-10 Warthogs loaded with all kinds of ordnance, the world was soon treated to those famous videos of ISIS militants in white Toyota trucks with machine guns mounted on their beds, rolling over the desert from Iraq to Syria in broad daylight, where they presented ideal targets for the Warthogs, Obama failed to order his air force to attack them. Though no one seems to realize it, this dereliction of duty was in fact the most grievous war crime against humanity in the “War on Terror” because it allowed ISIS to mingle with ordinary citizens in cities like Aleppo and Raqqa, where the US and Russia were obliged to fire missiles into highly populated areas to fight them. Obama set us all up. This was the prime example of declaring one policy and pursuing a completely different, almost opposite, one. The real policy was in fact outright support for terror. The Obama-Biden administration would repeat this deceit in Libya, leaving that country in its current state of chaos and civil war. All the while pretending to be fighting a “War on Terror.”