|It doesn't stop at the water's edge:|
|Random strands and actors|
Since World War II, appeasement has been used a snarl word hurled at anyone who took a conciliatory or dovish foreign policy approach. In fact, a certain fetish seemed to develop around "resolve" and "credibility," leading to some Cold War policies (such as the escalation of the Vietnam War and its continuation) that had no basis in empirical reality. The phrase "Munich Syndrome" was coined to refer to the pathology that "the opponent is always Hitler, and it's always Munich 1938." Even in situations in which concessions might have been appropriate, they were hard to implement, as they were labeled appeasement.
In recent years, appeasement has seen a resurgence as political scientists and even policy wonks have begun debating the usefulness and limits of deterrence. Instead, many have gone back and studied other (far more successful) attempts at appeasement, and found it to be a worthwhile policy under certain conditions. Most of these conditions have to do with the nature of the opposing regime, and the motivations for the claims they make. An insecure or frightened state is easily appeased; a paranoid or greedy one not so much. Moreover, a state hell-bent on war for war's sake (such as Nazi Germany) is impossible to appease.
Unknown to most American, the current American hegemony has roots in British appeasement of the US at the turn of the 20th Century, on matters from the Canadian-Alaskan border to the fortifying of the Panama Canal.