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Chapter 14. Foreign & Defense Policy. What is Foreign Policy?. Nation’s external goals and techniques/strategies used to achieve them

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chapter 14
Chapter 14

Foreign & Defense Policy

what is foreign policy
What is Foreign Policy?
  • Nation’s external goals and techniques/strategies used to achieve them
  • American foreign policy includes national security policy, which is policy designed to protect the independence and the political and economic integrity of the United States
tools of foreign policy
Tools of Foreign Policy
  • Diplomacy = process by which states carry on relations with each other (can also mean settling conflicts among nations through peaceful means)
  • Economic aid = assistance to other nations through grants, loans or credits to buy the assisting nation’s products
  • Technical assistance = sending individuals with expertise in agriculture, engineering or business to aid other nations
competing views of foreign policy
Competing Views of Foreign Policy
  • Moral idealism = views nations as willing to cooperate and agree on moral standards for conduct; tied to liberal institutionalism, international organizations (e.g., UN, WTO)
  • Political realism = sees each nation acting principally in its own interest; tied to realpolitik; emphasis on anarchy at the international system level; maximizing power, influence; use of alliances; arms control
  • US foreign policy consists of both strains
challenges in world politics
Challenges in World Politics
  • Terrorism
  • Nuclear proliferation (along with proliferation of other WMD’s)
  • China – increasing power and influence; 21st Century will be China’s
  • Global economy – dependence on oil, attempts to rationalize world economy
  • Regional conflicts – ongoing; persistent
powers of the president in foreign policy
Powers of the President in Foreign Policy
  • Constitutional Powers (expressed and inherent/implied)
    • Solemnly swears to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”
    • Commander in chief of the military
    • Make treaties (which are later ratified by the Senate)
    • Executive agreements
    • Appoints ambassadors
powers of the president in foreign policy cont
Powers of the President in Foreign Policy, (cont.)
  • Informal powers
    • Access to information
    • Legislative leader who can influence Congress’s foreign policy
    • Influence public opinion
    • Commit nation morally to a course of action
other sources of foreign policy
Other Sources of Foreign Policy
  • Department of State
    • Supervises relations with other independent nations and with multinational organizations like the United Nations
    • Staffs embassies
    • Power has declined since World War II
    • Has “negative constituents,” Americans who oppose aspects of U.S. foreign policy
other sources of foreign policy cont
Other Sources of Foreign Policy (cont.)
  • National Security Council
    • Advises the president on policies relating to national security
    • Provides continuity from one presidential administration to the next
other sources of foreign policy cont10
Other Sources of Foreign Policy (cont.)
  • Intelligence community = includes government organizations involved in information gathering about the capabilities and intentions of other countries
  • Some agencies in the intelligence community include
    • the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
    • National Security Agency (NSA)
    • Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
other sources of foreign policy cont11
Other Sources of Foreign Policy (cont.)
  • Department of Defense
    • Largest federal department, created in 1947
    • Designed to bring all military activities under the jurisdiction of a single agency headed by a civil secretary of defense
    • Size of military significantly reduced
    • Seen reductions in civilian employees
other sources of foreign policy cont12
Other Sources of Foreign Policy (cont.)
  • Congress
  • Elite opinion
  • Mass opinion
    • attentive public = 10-20% of the population that pays attention to foreign policy issues
  • Military-industrial complex = mutually beneficial relationship between armed forces and defense contractors; concern of Eisenhower
major foreign policy themes
Major Foreign Policy Themes
  • “Negative” foreign policy during 1700 and 1800’s (Isolationism)
    • Mistrust of Europe
    • Militarily weak
    • Shaped by the Monroe Doctrine (no new European colonies in the Western Hemisphere; no European intervention; no US intervention in European affairs)
  • Spanish–American War and World War I
    • Seen as temporary entanglements
    • Lasted from 1898-1918
    • Followed by a resurgence of isolationism
major foreign policy themes cont
Major Foreign Policy Themes, (cont.)
  • Era of Internationalism
    • Began with bombing of Pearl Harbor and U.S. entry into World War II
    • Resulted in significant increases in defense spending
    • America emerged from World War II with a strengthened economy
    • America was first nuclear superpower
the cold war
The Cold War
  • = Ideological, political, and economic impasse that existed between the U.S. and the USSR following the end of their WWII alliance
  • U.S. foreign policy dominated by containment, the idea of limiting Communist power to its (then) existing countries (Truman doctrine)
  • Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) was the closest the superpowers came to direct confrontation
  • Détente between the U.S. and the Soviet Union occurred in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s
the cold war cont
The Cold War (cont.)
  • During the 1980’s, the Reagan administration lobbied for the development of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI or “Star Wars”), and also negotiated significant arms control treaties
  • End of Communist rule in eastern Europe in 1989
  • Dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991
discussion questions
Discussion questions
  • Was the invasion of Iraq justified?
  • What are the most significant foreign policy challenges facing the world today?
  • What is the best way to combat terrorism?
  • Does the executive branch have too much power in determining foreign and military policy?
  • Why is the “attentive public” so small in the United States?
hot links to selected internet resources
Hot Links to Selected Internet Resources:
  • Book’s Companion Site:
  • Wadsworth’s Political Science Site:
  • U.S. Department of State:
  • The Brookings Institution:
  • Central Intelligence Agency: