U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress [Updated November 24, 2020] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Introduction: "This report provides background information and issues for Congress regarding the U.S. role in the world, meaning the overall character, purpose, or direction of U.S. participation in international affairs and the country's overall relationship to the rest of the world. The U.S. role in the world can be viewed as establishing the overall context or framework for U.S. policymakers for developing, implementing, and measuring the success of U.S. policies and actions on specific international issues, and for foreign countries or other observers for interpreting and understanding U.S. actions on the world stage. Some observers perceive that after remaining generally stable for a period of more than 70 years (i.e., since the end of World War II in 1945), the U.S. role in the world under the Trump Administration has undergone a substantial change. A change in the U.S. role in the world could have significant and even profound effects on U.S. security, freedom, and prosperity. It could significantly affect U.S. policy in areas such as relations with allies and other countries, defense plans and programs, trade and international finance, foreign assistance, and human rights. The issue for Congress is whether the U.S. role in the world has changed, and if so, what implications this might have for the United States and the world. Congress's decisions regarding the U.S. role in the world could have significant implications for numerous policies, plans, programs, and budgets, and for the role of Congress relative to that of the executive branch in U.S. foreign policymaking."
CRS Report for Congress, R44891
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/