The Platform


The United States remains the only power that has the capability to promote universal human rights.

Decades of peace, stability, and progress are being threatened by rising revisionist powers seeking to capitalize on historical grievances. They do so by utilizing increasingly sophisticated propaganda and disinformation campaigns in capturing the attention of younger generations. Take Russia for example. Its decision to invade Ukraine was largely driven by historical grievances.

Younger people have little to no historical resonance or affiliation with past conflicts and do not relate to the relatively long peace that has lasted for decades. In an ideal world, democracy should be the glue that binds us all together. Democratic nations are more likely to secure peace, prevent aggression, expand market access, promote economic development, uphold human rights, and protect global norms in the environment, health, and shared challenges.

The United States remains the only power that has both the moral and hard power capacity to carry out the obligations and duties of protecting and promoting human rights. In its efforts to advance universal human rights, the U.S. has a range of tools at its disposal. Economic sanctions can be both a deterrence and soft power tool to try and coerce states to protect the human rights of their citizens.

Following the end of the Second World War, Washington could have chosen the same undemocratic path that Beijing and Moscow embraced to protect its own power and security, but Washington did not. America chose to be on the right side of history. Washington’s willingness to act unilaterally has occasionally caused resentment, even among those that share the same Western values.

However, the U.S. has remained steadfast in its approach and is likely to continue to be a world leader in the ongoing struggle for human rights. American diplomacy has been the cornerstone of the peace and stability that has been enjoyed by all for almost a century in solving conflicts through multilateralism.

Mistakes have been made throughout the decades, but self-correction and self-realization have created the needed counterbalance. Despite that, the U.S. is consistent in its approach as two centuries ago.

Collins Chong Yew Keat has been serving in University of Malaya for more than 9 years. His areas of focus include strategic and security studies, America’s foreign policy and power projection, regional conflicts and power parity analysis and has published various publications on numerous platforms including books and chapter articles. He is also a regular contributor in providing op-eds and analytical articles for both the local and international media on various contemporary global issues and regional affairs since 2007.