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Chapter 23 and 24 Foreign Policy & Charting a Course. p gs. 574-621. US Foreign Policy (596-619). A country’s plan for dealing with other countries of the world.

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us foreign policy 596 619
US Foreign Policy (596-619)
  • A country’s plan for dealing with other countries of the world.
  • The US’s foreign policy has changed over the years. We sought to avoid involvement, but as we have globalized (communication, transportation, trade), we have been forced to be involved with the rest of the world.
    • Maintain National Security
    • Supporting Democracy
    • Promoting World Peace
    • Providing Aid to people in need

Isolationism: at first, the US concentrated on our own development and growth. We tried to stay out of foreign policy.

    • Even as we started, this was hard. We dealt with Canada to our north and the Spanish territory to our west (blocked manifest destiny).
  • War of 1812: between the US and Canada (British). In the end it was a stalemate, but both sides negotiated a peace treaty (gave respect to the US).
  • Monroe Doctrine: as Latin American countries gained their independence in the 1800s, the US feared that European powers might take them over. President Monroe declared in 1823 that Europe was not allowed to get into the affairs of any country in the Western Hemisphere and the US would stay out of Europe.

Roosevelt Corollary: Theodore Roosevelt added this to the Monroe Doctrine in 1904. We became a police force in Latin American countries.

    • We took care of new independent movements, uprisings, and all troubles.
    • The US invested much money here and therefore protected our investments with our military (dollar diplomacy)
  • Good Neighbor Policy: as the US did this, we interfered with Latin American authority over their own countries. Therefore, President Franklin Roosevelt announced this policy stating we would only have friendly relations in Latin America (not military interventions), unless they asked for our support or military aid

World War I: the US tried to stay out of this war (neutrality).

    • Our ships were sunk (Lusitania), the Zimmerman Note, and because politically we were linked to the allies, we joined in 1917 and were victorious.
    • After, President Wilson created the League of Nations (solve world-wide disputes without fighting).
    • We remained out of the League because we believed in isolationism.
  • World War II: we were neutral again. We were loaning arms to the allies (arsenal of democracy) and then were attacked at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.
    • The US was a part of the winning side again, but helped create a new world peacekeeping organization called the United Nations in 1945.

The Cold War: the US and Russia were allies in WW II. However, our economic systems and our governments were very different (democracy vs communism).

    • Russia turned its countries along its borders into communist nations too (satellite nations).
    • The US and Russia competed around the world to increase their power (democracy vs communism). Both used propaganda, spying, alliances, foreign aid, and other methods to “win the war.”
    • In 1947, President Truman said the US would aid all nations fighting communism (policy known as containment-stop the spread of communism)

Berlin Blockade: Germany was divided into separate zones after WW II. Berlin in the Russian controlled section of Germany was also split. Russia then took control of the democratic side of Berlin. The US and GB had to conduct a massive airlift to get supplies to those people in West Berlin.

  • Communism in China: communism spread to China in 1949, under Mao Zedung. The US refused to recognize his new government.
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis: balance of power between the US and Russia (both had nuclear weapons). In 1962, President Kennedy learned that the Cubans (communist under Castro) had built secret missile basis there. US demanded the Russians take all missiles out of Cuba and would not allow new missiles to be shipped there. Russia agreed (closest to war).

Korean War: example of limited war (countries did not use their full power, usually meaning all their countries’ resources).

    • Korea was divided into a communist north and a democratic south after WW II. The north had weapons from Russia and troops from China. The UN helped support the south. Stalemate in 1953, still remains divided today.
  • Vietnam: limited war. Vietnam was divided too (communist north, democratic south). Wanted to unite in 1956 but it didn’t take place. Communist started to take over. The US feared that if South Vietnam fell to the communists so would other South East Asian nations. President Johnson sent troops (Gulf of Tonkin). In 1973, a peace agreement was reached, but eventually South Vietnam fell to the communists.

End of the Cold War: By 1985, Russia was in turmoil. New leader, Gorbachev announced glasnost (openness and freedom to Russians) and perestroika (improve their economy).

  • By 1990, 6 countries in Eastern Europe had overthrown their communist governments.
  • Germany was reunited (democracy)
  • In 1991, Russia collapsed (turned into the CIS – commonwealth of Independent States).
  • The US supported them with their transitions to democracy (not too much)
foreign policy today
Foreign Policy Today
  • US foreign policy still remains to promote peace, trade, and friendship throughout the world.
  • Russia and Eastern Europe: US helps these countries resolve conflict (ethnic conflict) and set up new governments.
  • Iraq: 1991 Persian Gulf War (get Kuwait back) and from 2001 – today, stop Hussein from terrorist plots and building WMD’s)

Israel: US tries to stop the tensions between Israel and Palestine. We usually support Israel

  • India and Pakistan: 1998, both test nuclear warheads. US tries to ease tensions here.
  • China: try to improve human rights, try to promote trade with China, and try to continue to have American business there.
  • Africa: help end apartheid, 1993. Help keep peace and hold free elections (Civil War). Help decrease disease and illness (AIDS).

Latin America and Canada: with NAFTA, try to open up trade. Look to improve border security to prevent illegal immigration. US tries to fight drug trafficking. Also, have an embargo against Cuba, communist.

  • Fighting Terrorism: on 9-11-01, the US started the war against terror. Improve national security, airport security, transportation security, power network security, etc. Go after Osama Bin Laden, head of al Qaeda of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Bin Laden is gone but fighting and war still remains.
powers the constitution gives to people in the government for foreign policy
Powers the Constitution gives to people in the government for Foreign Policy
  • The President: Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution.
    • Military: commander in chief (recommends), orders troops, planes and warships into action. The War Powers Act (recall troops within 60-90 days)
    • Treaty-Making Powers: President can make 3 types of treaties (peace treaties, alliances, and executive agreements).
    • Diplomatic Powers: appoints ambassadors to represent the US and receives ambassadors from other nations (diplomatic recognition or refusal).

Department of State:

    • This is the principal organization for carrying out US foreign policy.
    • Acts as the “eyes and ears” of the President.
    • Advises the president and supervises the activities of US ambassadors, ministers and consuls.
    • These officials and their assistants are members of the diplomatic corps (work toward friendly relations).

Department of Defense:

    • Advises the president on troop movements, placement of military bases and weapons development.
    • Speak to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and military matters.
  • Others Sources of Assistance:
    • Other executive departments assist with foreign policy. Dept of Ag (send food to foreign nations). Also send medical supplies and money to foreign nations. CIA provides national defense.

Congress’s Role: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Committee on International Relations make foreign policy recommendations to the president.

    • Approval Powers: Senate must approve all treaties between the US and foreign nations. The Senate must also approve the appointment of all ambassadors.
    • The Power to Declare War: Only Congress can declare war (War Powers Act).
    • Financial Powers: Congress must approve all expenditures of public funds (national defense, military spending, etc).
the united nations
The United Nations
  • In 1945, representatives from 50 countries met to form an organization that would promote peaceful coexistence and worldwide cooperation (The United Nations, UN).
  • General Assembly: discusses, debates, and recommends solutions to problems.
  • Security Council: mainly responsible for peace keeping. China, France, GB, Russia and the US are the 5 permanent members.
  • International Court of Justice: member countries may take international legal disputes to the UN law court (World Court).

Economic and Social Council: dedicated to improving the lives of the world’s people (health, human rights, education, narcotics, and world population).

  • Trusteeship Council: to help various non self-governing colonies at the end of WW II. Disbanded in 1994.
  • Secretariat: manages the day-to-day activities of the UN and the other UN divisions.
  • Also has specialized agencies to carry out special functions for the UN.