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Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy

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Foreign Policy

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  1. Foreign Policy

  2. The President and Congress • Foreign policy is a shared responsibility of the President and Congress. • The system of checks and balances applies • The President is commander-in-chief/Congress appropriates the money and declares war • The President makes treaties/Senate ratifies them • The President appoints ambassadors/Congress approves them • President is primarily responsible for conducting foreign policy • We can see the importance placed on the President’s role in foreign policy by the extensive support for that role within the executive branch • However, there have been significant actions taken by Congress to limit the President’s power

  3. Checks on Presidential Power • The power of the purse • Limit in military spending • Congress also limits the president’s ability to give military or economic aid to other countries • Legislative oversight • House and Senate intelligence committees must be fully informed including covert operations • War Powers Act of 1973 • Any commitment of troops in hostile situations must be reported within forty-eight hours • Over sixty day commitment requires a declaration of war or statutory authorization • Generally ignored by the President; questions about contitutionality

  4. Foreign Policymakers • Secretary of State • Cabinet official responsible for foreign affairs • Other Cabinet officials • Foreign policy affects domestic policy, so other Cabinet secretaries (Commerce, Treasury, Defense, Agriculture) also have input • National Security Council • President, vice-president, Secretaries of State and Treasury, head of CIA, National Security Advisor, chair of Joint Chiefs of Staff, others • Coordinates policies that affect national security • National Security Adviser may have more influence than the Secretary of State (e.g., Nixon/Kissinger; Bush/Condi) • Physically closer to the President; loyalty to President alone • Department of Homeland Security • State Department and Foreign Service • Day-to-day management of foreign policy • CIA • NSA

  5. Influences on Foreign Policy • Public Opinion • Most of the public (75%) is relatively unaware of foreign policy except during a crisis • Attentive public (20%) is aware and interested • Opinion makers (journalists, gov’t officials, “think tank” reserachers, professors) are aware and influence the other two groups. • Public tends to support the president in crisis situations • Since World War II, the public has generally felt the U.S. should play an important role in world affairs

  6. Popular Reactions to Foreign Policy Crises

  7. Influences on Foreign Policy • Domestic Interest Groups • “Think Tanks” such as Rand Corporation, Council on Foreign Affairs, Hudson Institute • Ethnic organizations such as American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, American-Israeli PAC • Foreign nations’ lobbyists • Many nations hire lobbyists to represent their interests in Washington • Political parties • The tradition has been for a bipartisan foreign policy, one that is united and not torn apart by party differences • Containment of communist aggression, Vietnam War, Gulf War, war on terrorism, and war in Iraq (initially)

  8. An Overview of American Foreign Policy • Isolationism • Foreign policy where the U.S. tries to stay our of other nation’s conflicts, especially in Europe. • Monroe Doctrine • World War I ended this policy briefly, but U.S. returned until World War II • Containment • Postwar response to resist the threat of Soviet expansionism without direct confrontation • Truman Doctrine; Marshall Plan; NATO • Used as justification in involvement in Korean War, Vietnam War

  9. An Overview of American Foreign Policy • Détente • “unfreezing” or “thawing out” of geo-political tensions between U.S. and Soviet Union • Responsible for SALT I, Helsinki Accords, SALT II talks • Began during Vietnam, surrogate wars between the two powers continued around the world • Ended with the 1980 invasion of Afghanistan, boycott of Moscow Olympics, and election of Ronald Reagan

  10. An Overview of American Foreign Policy • Reagan Rearmament • Rollback of Soviet expansionism; massive defense spending that had been declining since the 1950s • Support Third World countries fighting communist influences (Iran-Contra Affair) • Credited as an influence in the collapse of the Soviet Union – 1991 • War on Terror • Highest priority of Bush administration post-9/11 • Punish terrorists and hostile states; preemptive action; idealistic spread of liberty and hope – “Bush Doctrine”

  11. Foreign Policy Considerations Today • Terrorism • Nuclear proliferation • Economy • Human Rights

  12. The Defense Budget • Changes in spending reflect public opinion and general support for a large military • Post-Soviet world caused debate about cutting defense spending • Desert Storm and Kosovo demonstrated the necessity of U.S. military force

  13. Public Sentiment on Defense Spending, 1960-2002