US Foreign Policy in Action
eBook - ePub

US Foreign Policy in Action

An Innovative Teaching Text

Jeffrey S. Lantis

Partager le livre
  1. English
  2. ePUB (adapté aux mobiles)
  3. Disponible sur iOS et Android
eBook - ePub

US Foreign Policy in Action

An Innovative Teaching Text

Jeffrey S. Lantis

DĂ©tails du livre
Aperçu du livre
Table des matiĂšres

À propos de ce livre

This innovative teaching text on United States foreign policy interprets the foreign policy decision-making process through the lens of political debate and exchange. It introduces historical developments and theories of U.S. foreign policy and engages students in the politics of the foreign policy process through innovative learning exercises.

  • Features critical analysis of contemporary trends in U.S. foreign policy, including debates in the Obama administration, foreign policy and the 2012 presidential election, and reaction to the Arab Spring
  • Written by an award-winning teacher-scholar in international relations, with extensive experience in both policy making and pedagogy
  • Views foreign policy decision making through the lends of political debate
  • Offers fresh perspectives on historical developments as well as surveying prominent foreign policy theories
  • Includes new and innovative participatory learning exercises exploring a range of themes including executive/ legislature conflict
  • Contains extensive teaching and learning applications, including discussion questions, document templates, worksheets, suggested readings, and links to web resources throughout

Foire aux questions

Comment puis-je résilier mon abonnement ?
Il vous suffit de vous rendre dans la section compte dans paramĂštres et de cliquer sur « RĂ©silier l’abonnement ». C’est aussi simple que cela ! Une fois que vous aurez rĂ©siliĂ© votre abonnement, il restera actif pour le reste de la pĂ©riode pour laquelle vous avez payĂ©. DĂ©couvrez-en plus ici.
Puis-je / comment puis-je télécharger des livres ?
Pour le moment, tous nos livres en format ePub adaptĂ©s aux mobiles peuvent ĂȘtre tĂ©lĂ©chargĂ©s via l’application. La plupart de nos PDF sont Ă©galement disponibles en tĂ©lĂ©chargement et les autres seront tĂ©lĂ©chargeables trĂšs prochainement. DĂ©couvrez-en plus ici.
Quelle est la différence entre les formules tarifaires ?
Les deux abonnements vous donnent un accĂšs complet Ă  la bibliothĂšque et Ă  toutes les fonctionnalitĂ©s de Perlego. Les seules diffĂ©rences sont les tarifs ainsi que la pĂ©riode d’abonnement : avec l’abonnement annuel, vous Ă©conomiserez environ 30 % par rapport Ă  12 mois d’abonnement mensuel.
Qu’est-ce que Perlego ?
Nous sommes un service d’abonnement Ă  des ouvrages universitaires en ligne, oĂč vous pouvez accĂ©der Ă  toute une bibliothĂšque pour un prix infĂ©rieur Ă  celui d’un seul livre par mois. Avec plus d’un million de livres sur plus de 1 000 sujets, nous avons ce qu’il vous faut ! DĂ©couvrez-en plus ici.
Prenez-vous en charge la synthÚse vocale ?
Recherchez le symbole Écouter sur votre prochain livre pour voir si vous pouvez l’écouter. L’outil Écouter lit le texte Ă  haute voix pour vous, en surlignant le passage qui est en cours de lecture. Vous pouvez le mettre sur pause, l’accĂ©lĂ©rer ou le ralentir. DĂ©couvrez-en plus ici.
Est-ce que US Foreign Policy in Action est un PDF/ePUB en ligne ?
Oui, vous pouvez accĂ©der Ă  US Foreign Policy in Action par Jeffrey S. Lantis en format PDF et/ou ePUB ainsi qu’à d’autres livres populaires dans Politik & Internationale Beziehungen et Internationale Beziehungen. Nous disposons de plus d’un million d’ouvrages Ă  dĂ©couvrir dans notre catalogue.


United States Foreign Policy in Action
You see, Washington has been telling us to wait for decades, even as the problems have grown worse. Meanwhile, China is not waiting to revamp its economy. Germany is not waiting. India is not waiting. 
 These nations aren’t playing for second place. Well, I do not accept second place for the United States of America. As hard as it may be, as uncomfortable and contentious as the debates may become, it’s time to get serious about fixing the problems that are hampering our growth.
Barack Obama (2010)1
The purpose of foreign policy is not to provide an outlet for our own sentiments of hope or indignation, it is to shape real events in a real world.
John F. Kennedy (1963)2
Chapter Contents
Historical Foundations
Major Actors in the Foreign Policy Process
Pedagogical Approach: How to Use This Book
Key Features
Overview of the Book
Chapter Summary
This is an exciting period of transition for United States foreign policy. Think about how the world has changed just in our lifetimes. When you were born, the United States was emerging from the Cold War and decades of competition with the Soviet Union. The “victory” of western ideals over communism coupled with rapid economic globalization positioned the United States as the single dominant power in the world. Many leaders in Washington, DC, saw the new era as a unique opportunity for the United States to influence global affairs, to mold the world in its image. This period of dominance lasted only a decade, however, before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the rise of China, and other developments changed the international order.
Today, the country faces many new foreign policy opportunities and challenges. Questions of how the United States will respond – and whether the country will be a major player in global politics in the future – are more open-ended than one might think. Foreign policy issues often involve differing interpretations of primary values and interests. Foreign policy can be surprisingly divisive, and these issues demand that key players engage in struggles over allocations of government resources and commitments. This seems to go against the advice of Senator Arthur Vandenberg (R-MI), who once called for disagreements over foreign policy to stop “at the water’s edge.” Only unity could boost America’s image and power in global politics, he believed.
Debates over US foreign policy typically involve actors with vested interests in determining policy scope and direction. The framers of the Constitution debated which branch of government should have the most authority in foreign affairs, for example. After World War I, some leaders called for the United States to retreat from engagement in global affairs. Later, events like the Vietnam War and foreign aid to developing countries divided the American people and their elected representatives in Washington. Questions about whether the United States should trade with Communist China or commit itself to international treaties that might yield more costs than benefits also have been divisive. Today, some constitutional lawyers question the legality of US surveillance programs in the war on terrorism, as well as the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, popularly called drones, to carry out military strikes in distant countries.
Foreign policy is defined as the actions and strategies that guide government relations with the rest of the world. Foreign policy includes actions taken by states, such as providing aid, making official statements of support for another democracy, or even deploying military troops. Foreign policy is also a function of strategies behind these actions, such as official doctrines or policies formulated to achieve key national security interests. These actions and strategies are typically developed by elected representatives, especially the president and members of Congress. They are also influenced by unelected actors ranging from civil servants in government agencies and lobbyists to bloggers and average citizens who share infor­mation or participate directly in the process. This broad definition underscores how foreign policy is the product of a complex mix of actors and actions. It also highlights the degree of surprise, drama, and unpredictability in the foreign policy process.
Foreign policy decisions are often the product of complex political processes. These processes can be noble, such as when government officials respectfully dis­agree over the best path for future policies and patiently exchange views in an effort to find reasonable compromise. They can be complicated, like when players consider both short- and long-term implications of their actions in relation to political commitments. Or they can be tough political street fights in which powerful groups line up on both sides of a controversial issue in an attempt to shape the final outcome, creating clear winners and losers.
This book is designed to bring the politics of US foreign policy to life. It represents a synthesis of traditional content (theoretical frameworks and historical coverage) and interactive exercises. It encourages critical reflection on contending perspectives in political debates, promotes engagement with fundamental concepts and theories in the discipline, details relevant historical information, and provides innovative learning exercises that address a number of foreign policy dilemmas. It draws together the best trends in both politics and pedagogy – including increased access to information in the digital age, reactions to fast-changing circumstances, and imaginative critical dialogues – by interpreting the foreign policy decision-making process through the lens of political debate and exchange. Broadly speaking, this project is founded on republican ideals of knowledge and engagement: the belief that through participation in a community of learners students will develop interests and capacities that promote active citizenship.

Historical Foundations

The history of the United States of America offers a fascinating narrative, from the development of values that shaped the nation at its founding to modern-day struggles over interpretation of those values in a changing world. Actors with defined values and convictions formulate foreign policy. Those actors – women and men, philosophers and pundits, students and diplomats – are stewards of US foreign policy. They have personally vested themselves in the foreign policy process to achieve desired ends. They frequently disagree over the proper conduct of foreign policy. These differences matter.3
United States history began well before the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the adoption of the Constitution in 1787. The first settlers arrived in the New World over a century earlier. And like the generations that followed, these stewards disagreed over the values and principles that would define our nation. Fast-forward from the founding of the country to other formative developments: President Abraham Lincoln (1861–1865) had to manage scores of foreign policy challenges during the Civil War, and endured significant dissent inside his cabinet on policy choices. Nearly a century later, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his advisors struggled over how to respond to a global economic depression before the United States plunged into yet another major war. Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson struggled with Congress over the limits of US containment policy. Each of these leaders looked at the world, and how to respond to global challenges and opportunities, through the lens of their own personal convictions and knowledge of domestic political constraints.
Map 1.1 World map.
Profound debates over US foreign policy did not end in the post-Cold War era. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush enjoyed high public approval ratings, and Congress acted in bipartisan ways to support major foreign policy initiatives. These included backing the war in Afghanistan, passing legislation that may have curtailed civil liberties, and even authorizing the invasion of Iraq. Yet, by the start of the Iraq War in March 2003, Americans had become deeply divided over the direction of US foreign policy. Nearly as quickly as the Bush administra­tion gained support for an assertive foreign policy agenda, consensus faded and the American people entered into a bitter and partisan period. Those divisions played out in the 2008 presidential election in competition for votes in “red” and “blue” states – the outcome of which was considered a referendum on the eight years of the former Bush administration.
President Obama faced a number of foreign policy challenges in his first term in office. The year 2011 brought the “Arab Spring” of democratic revolutions in former authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and North Africa. Each new uprising presented both opportunities and dilemmas for the United States. For example, as the Egyptian dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak teetered on the brink of collapse, facing a popular revolution centered in Tahrir Square in Cairo, the president faced a tough choice: Egypt was a long-time ally of the United States, and Mubarak had served as a critical voice for moderation in the Middle East for decades. Egypt and Jordan were the only two countries in the region that had signed treaties for peace with Israel, and the governments also played a role in helping to control virulent Palestinian nationalism. Accordingly, President Obama seemed caught between idealism and pragmatism. Should the administration back a long-time ally of the United States against a popular uprising, or should it pressure Mubarak to leave office by using both diplomatic carrots and sticks? Secretary of State Hillary Clinton favored the former option, but Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned that protesters were dying for their cause and US intransigence threatened to place Obama on the “wrong side of history.” In the end, Obama phoned Mubarak directly and made his case: “It is time to present to the people of Egypt its next government. The future of your country is at stake.”4 This and other events contributed to Mubarak’s resignation from office on February 11, 2011, and the start of a transition to democracy in that country.
Photo 1.1 US President Barack Obama and Turkish President Abdullah GĂŒl, September 23, 2011.
Source: White House Photo/Pete Souza, (accessed March 29, 2012).
The United States faces many other contemporary foreign policy challenges, including:
  • Economic policy: How should the US government manage the fallout from the latest global economic crisis? Should the United States liberalize or restrict its trade policies to promote economic growth?
  • Security policy: How should the United States deal with challenges presented by “rogue states,” such as Iran and North Korea? How might relations between these countries change with the death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il in 2011 or presidential elections in Iran in 2013?
  • Great power relations: Could the Obama administration truly “reset” relations with Russia for the twenty-first century? How do democracies balance concerns for human rights in China with the need to strengthen economic ties in Asia?
  • Border security: What should the United States do about drug trafficking and immigration problems along the border with Mexico? How can the US government respond to the violent drug war escalating just over the border in Mexico?
  • Environmental policy: How cooperative should the US government be in international negotiations on the environment? Should the United States accept dramatic limits in greenhouse gas emissions in order to become a leader on climate change solutions?
  • Human rights: How do concerned citizens respond to human rights violations and ethnic conflicts around the world? Should the United States send ground troops to intervene when governments crack down on civilians in Libya or Syria, or to stop the devastating civil war in the Congo? Should the Obama administration close the GuantĂĄnamo Bay prison for detainees in the war on terrorism?
  • Economic development: How can the administration improve US relations with developing countries? Would a rapid influx of foreign assistance funds help some countries to escape the poverty trap?
Once again, answers to these contemporary questions must be seen as a function of both international challenges and domestic political struggle, involving a fascinating mix of players.

Major Actors in the Foreign Policy Process

This text will explore the roles of key actors involved in formulating United States foreign policy. The first major force shaping US foreign policy is external: Global political developments impact the policy process every day. Had Communist North Korean forces not invaded South Korea in June 1950, for example, President Harry Truman would not have deployed hundreds of thousands of US soldiers to fight there. Had Latin American countries asserted greater control on farming and organized crime, illegal narcotics trafficking might not be as great a threat to US security as it is today. Indeed, there are countless ways in which world politics can impact US foreign policy – from debates in the United States about immigration policy to nuclear disarmament to support for Israel. Events in the international system force the United States to grapple with very difficult issues every day.
In the domestic arena, this book begins with an examination of the role of the president and the executive branch of government in foreign policy development. At this writing, the United States has had only forty-four presidents. Directly elected by the people, many presidents profoundly impact policy during their terms of office. Indeed, these leaders often make their mark on history through major foreign policy statements and decisions – such as President Jefferson’s leadership in expanding the nation’s territory at the turn of the nineteenth century to President Kennedy’s management of the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 1960s (see Chapters 2 and 3). The US Constitution vests ...

Table des matiĂšres