Chapter 18: Foreign Policy
America at Odds
Mr. Barclay
May 16, 2000

A Short History of American Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy Definition:
    Foreign Policy is the systematic and general plan to guide a country's attitudes and actions toward the rest of the world.

F.P. includes all of the economic, military, commercial, and diplomatic positions and actions that a nation takes in its relationships with other countries.
U.S. Foreign Policy
A prime consideration of US F.P. has always been national security.
The ways the US has attempted to protect its national security has changed over time.
Foreign policy making reflects the influence of various political groups, the voting public, Congress, interest groups, as well as relevant agencies of the Executive Branch.
Early U.S. History reflected isolationism.
George Washington's "Farewell Address" in 1787 urged Americans to "steer clear of permanent alliances."
The Monroe Doctrine (1823)
    Departure from total isolationism.  A message that declared the U.S. would not tolerate foreign intervention in the Western Hemisphere; U.S. would stay out of Europe.
First true step towards interventionism (direct involvement in foreign affairs) occurred during the Spanish-American War of 1898.
U.S. fought to free Cuba from Spanish rule.
Spain ceded to the United States Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Phillippines.
The U.S. was suddenly regarded as a world power.
With World War I, U.S. under Woodrow Wilson proclaimed neutrality.
The United States entered World War I after U.S. ships in international waters were attacked by German submarines.
After victory in World War I, U.S. returned to a policy of isolationism, refusing to join the League of Nations.
With Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States joined the Allies against the forces of Germany, Italy, and Japan.
U.S. Foreign Policy
After World War II, the wartime alliance between the U.S. and the Soviet Union quickly deteriorated--Cold War was the result.
The countries of Eastern Europe fell under Soviet domination, forming the Communist bloc.
The Marshall Plan which was a program of massive economic assistance to war-torn Europe marked the beginning of a U.S. policy of containment of the USSR and China
The Wars in Korea (1950-53) and Vietnam (1964-1975) are examples of confrontations growing out of efforts to contain communism.
A nuclear arms race quickly emerged after World War II, between the U.S. China and the U.S.S.R.
A rationale for the buildup was the concepts of deterrence as well as later M.A.D.--mutually assured destruction.
U.S. Foreign Policy
Who makes foreign policy?
Framers of the Constitution envisioned that both the Congress and the president would share in these responsibilities.
Article II, Section 2:
    Names the president as commander and chief of the armed forces.
President also makes treaties which must be approved by 2/3rds Senate vote.
President can also make Exec. Agreements.
"Nuclear football" and US perception of worldwide power
While all members of the president's cabinet concern themselves with international problems, it is the secretaries of state and defense that concern themselves of foreign policy on a full-time basis.
The US Department of State is the government agency most directly involved with foreign policy.
Most US relations with other countries are maintained through embassies, consulates, and other U.S. offices around the world.
U.S. Foreign Policy
The Department of Defense is the principal executive department establishes and carries out defense policy.
The secretary of defense  advises the president on all aspects of US military and defense policy.
Secretary of Defense works closely with the Joints Chiefs of Staff (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines) in gathering and studying defense information.
Other agencies involved with U.S.foreign relations: AID, Peace Corps, NSC, CIA.
Congress alone has the power to declare war.
It also has the power to appropriate funds to build new weapons systems, equip U.S. armed forces, and for foreign aid.
Senate has the power to approve or rejects treaties, and the appointment of ambassadors.
The War Powers Resolution of 1973 limits the president's use of troops in military actions without congressional approval.
The existence of nuclear weapons in countries around the world continues to challenge US foreign policy makers.
Relations with Russia over nuclear arms continues to test limits--The Newly Independent States adds another complex dimension.
India and Pakistan tensions are increasing while both sides now have successfully detonated atomic weapons.

More than 20 countries have military research programs that resulted in development of chemical and biological weapons.
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is a treaty ratified in 1997 intended to abolish all chemical weapons worldwide.
Critics of the the CWC say it contains loopholes and weak enforcement mechanisms.
US China policy has emphasized China's weak human rights record.
The US has threatened to withdraw Most- Favored-Nation Status in response to China's poor record.
China continues to rise in influence and power throughout the world.
Foreign Policy Challenges:
World Bank, UN Repayment, State Department relevancy, nuclear proliferation ("Star Wars"), terrorism.