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Interpreting US Foreign Policy (I). Why Study US Foreign Policy?. Security threats to the US Global weapon proliferation WMD & terrorist groups WMD & rouge states Disease of Mass Destruction (DMD) SARS Avian Influenza Threats are real at home 1993 World Trade Center bombing

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why study us foreign policy
Why Study US Foreign Policy?
  • Security threats to the US
    • Global weapon proliferation
      • WMD & terrorist groups
      • WMD & rouge states
      • Disease of Mass Destruction (DMD)
        • SARS
        • Avian Influenza
    • Threats are real at home
      • 1993 World Trade Center bombing
      • 2001 Terrorist attacks
    • Security threats affect daily lives of Americans
      • Enhanced security check at airport
      • Potential impact on civil liberties
why study us foreign policy3
Why Study US Foreign Policy?
  • Economic Interdependence
    • Increasing share of GDP from foreign trade
      • > 10% in 1960
      • > 25% in 2006
    • Int’l division of labor & US employment
      • Outsourcing production
      • Dependence on foreign consumer goods
    • Foreign currency exchange rates
      • Trade deficits & undervalued foreign currency
    • Foreign investment
      • FDI (foreign direct investment) & growth
      • Growth rate & employment
why study us foreign policy4
Why Study US Foreign Policy?
  • US & Global Society
    • Foreign domestic politics impact USA
      • Foreign environmental mismanagement
        • China’s desertification & sand storm
      • Foreign wildlife mismanagement
        • China’s wildlife survival crisis & SARS
      • Foreign farm animal welfare crisis
        • Threat of global spread of avian influenza
      • Poverty & immigration issue
        • Border security & relations with Mexico
why study us foreign policy5
Why Study US Foreign Policy?
  • Ethnic diversity of American society
    • Foreign born Americans & their ethnic culture
      • “Little Italy,” “Little Havana,” “China Town”
      • Foreign culture impact mainstream life
        • Foreign cuisine impacts American eating habit
        • Foreign arts & cultural products infiltrate American society
          • Jackie Chen & Chinese martial arts
          • Pokemon cards, hello kitty & American youth
      • Understanding foreign culture = understanding own culture
why study us foreign policy6
Why Study US Foreign Policy?
  • US Preeminence in World Politics
    • Only superpower
      • Enormous political influence
        • American democracy serves to inspire …
      • Superior military capability
        • Global presence and global reach
          • Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina
          • Japan, South Korea, Germany, Cuba, …
      • Extensive diplomatic engagement
        • North Korea, Iran & weapons proliferation issue
        • Israel-Palestine conflict
      • Economic might
        • China rising on ferocious American appetite for Chinese goods
why study us foreign policy7
Why Study US Foreign Policy?
  • US Preeminence in World Politics
    • Only superpower
      • Economic might
        • China rising on ferocious American appetite for Chinese goods
        • American tourists enrich Caribbean & other destinations
        • Popularity of American products overseas
          • American cigarettes, cars, McDonalds, KFC, Coca-cola
  • American citizens & foreign policy
    • Informed citizens exert influence via
      • Elections
      • Lobbying, protest, demonstrations, …
why study us foreign policy8
Why Study US Foreign Policy?
  • US Moral Obligations
    • Human tragedies remain around the world
      • Human rights violation
      • Murder as a policy tool in the Balkans
      • Genocide & mass starvation
    • Informed citizens help US respond to global humanitarian crisis
interpreting us foreign policy
Interpreting US Foreign Policy
  • Objectives of US Foreign Policy
    • Foreign policies are made in the name of national interest
    • Four core goals/elements of national interest (the “4 Ps” framework)
      • Power
      • Peace
      • Prosperity
      • Principles

A particular policy can be seen to pursue one, several or all of the “Ps.”

interpreting us foreign policy10
Interpreting US Foreign Policy
  • Power as the objective
    • A most basic goal since power :
      • Is key to a strong defense and credible deterrence
      • Enhances influence over other actors
      • Advances own interest and aggressiveness.
    • Realists perception
      • “International politics is a struggle for power.”
      • Competition and conflicts are constant
      • Cooperation among states is limited
      • The world is a self-help system; it is “jungle”
      • States pursue power enlargement for survival.
interpreting us foreign policy11
Interpreting US Foreign Policy
  • Power as the objective
    • Realists perception
    • Indicators of a realist foreign policy
      • Coercive diplomacy
      • Big military spending
      • alliance against a mutual enemy
  • Peace as the objective
    • Perception of International institutionalism
      • World politics is “a cultivable ‘garden’”
      • Cooperation is possible and reduces tensions.
      • Diplomacy works better than military means
      • International institutions serve to sustain cooperation
interpreting us foreign policy12
Interpreting US Foreign Policy
  • Peace as the objective
    • Perception of International institutionalism
      • Anarchy cannot be eliminated; but can be tempered or regulated via int’l organizations, negotiations, treaties.
    • Indicators of a peace-oriented policy
      • Acting as “peace broker”
        • “shuttle diplomacy” in the Mideast by Dr. Kissinger
        • The Camp David accord between Egypt and Israel in 1978
        • The 1995 Dayton accord ending the war in Bosnia
      • Diplomacy over military means
        • US participation in the “six-party” talk on North Korea
interpreting us foreign policy13
Interpreting US Foreign Policy
  • Prosperity as the objective

Two schools of thought

    • Capitalist free trade economic thinking

Foreign policy:

      • serves the general economic interest of the nation
      • Strives for a favorable balance of trade
      • Pursues a strong growth
      • Maintains a healthy macro economy

Reflections in foreign policy:

      • Granting of most favored nation status
      • Support of free trade
interpreting us foreign policy14
Interpreting US Foreign Policy
  • Prosperity as the objective

Two schools of thought

    • Capitalist free trade economic thinking

Reflections in foreign policy

      • Signing int’l agreements related to int’l trade
      • Supporting int’l econ organizations, e.g., GATT, IMF, WTO
    • Theories of imperialism & neo-colonialism
      • US foreign policy:
        • Serves the parochial interest of the rich such as
          • Multinational corporations and banks
        • Continues domination of the less developed nations thru economic means
interpreting us foreign policy15
Interpreting US Foreign Policy
  • Principles as the objective

This goal involves the values, ideals, and beliefs that the US has claimed to stand for in the world.

    • The perception of democratic idealism
      • “Right” should always stand above “might” as a policy choice since America is morally unique and “exceptional”
      • Promoting democracy around the world serves the interest of promoting peace because democracies do not fight among themselves
    • Indications of a principle-oriented policy
      • Ascendance of human rights as a policy factor
      • Sanctions imposed on Communist states
interpreting us foreign policy16
Interpreting US Foreign Policy
  • “4 Ps” & Interpretation: A Case

American-Iranian Relations (1953-1979)

See handout 1.

Interpreting US Iran policy objective

1. Pursuit of Power

        • Iranian oil needed to sustain American economic power
        • Alliance with Iran enhanced US power in Cold War years
        • US support of the Shah ensured American influence & presence in the Persian Gulf region

The US was strategically superior in Mideast to USSR.

interpreting us foreign policy17
Interpreting US Foreign Policy
  • “4 Ps” & Interpretation: A Case

American-Iranian Relations (1953-1979)

See handout 1.

Interpreting US Iran policy objective

      • Pursuit of Peace
        • US intervention was necessary to stabilize Iran & Mideast.
        • Intimate relations with US deterred Soviet aggression in Iran and Mideast.
        • When Mideast was stable, USSR had no reason to disrupt peace in that region.

A stable Mideast served the interest of peace between the two major military blocks.

interpreting us foreign policy18
Interpreting US Foreign Policy
  • “4 Ps” & Interpretation: A Case

American-Iranian Relations (1953-1979)

See handout 1.

Interpreting US Iran policy objective

      • Pursuit of Prosperity (I)
        • US prosperity requires extensive foreign economic relations
        • Increasing consumption of foreign raw materials calls for stable trade relations
        • Iranian oil helps fuel sustained growth in the US

American prosperity benefits the entire society.

interpreting us foreign policy19
Interpreting US Foreign Policy
  • “4 Ps” & Interpretation: A Case

American-Iranian Relations (1953-1979)

See handout 1.

Interpreting US Iran policy objective

      • Pursuit of Prosperity (II)
        • US-Iranian ties only benefited the rich & the multinational corporations
        • Like ties to other developing nations, US-Iranian relations served to sustain inequality between North & South

US Iranian policy sharpens the conflicts between the rich & the poor in the US and in the world.

interpreting us foreign policy20
Interpreting US Foreign Policy
  • “4 Ps” & Interpretation: A Case

American-Iranian Relations (1953-1979)

See handout 1.

Interpreting US Iran policy objective

      • Pursuit of Principles
        • US Iran policy aimed to fulfill America’s commitment to democracy around the world.
        • Intimate relations opened Iran to American values of democracy, equality and civil liberties.
        • US presence in Mideast works best for political & social change in this conservative region.
        • Iran could move from adopting Western lifestyle to embracing Western institutions.
interpreting us foreign policy21
Interpreting US Foreign Policy
  • “4 Ps” & Interpretation: A Case
  • Group Project 1: Interpreting US Operation in Afghanistan (See handout 2 on my webpage)
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