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Chapter 18
Foreign Policy and
Foreign Policy and Democracy
The Nature of Foreign Policy
• Foreign policy: programs and policies that determine
America’s relations with other nations and foreign
• American foreign policy arenas:
Military and security policy
International human rights policy
Economic policy
The Nature of Foreign Policy
Goals of Foreign Policy
Three main goals of U.S. foreign policy
1. Security
2. Economic prosperity
3. Creation of a better world
Goals of Foreign Policy
• Traditionally concerned with dangers posed by
hostile foreign nations
– Military and regime threats at home and abroad
• Today, threats posed by nonstate actors
– Organized groups that are not nation-states
– Such groups attempt to play a role in the international
system via rogue means
Goals of Foreign Policy
• Physical and online security
– Protection from attacks on U.S. citizens and property, both
domestic and abroad
– Security extends beyond physical borders, military
installations, and/or embassies.
– Technology leads to new concerns about intelligence
hacks, protecting power grids, massive fraud/theft on
Goals of Foreign Policy
• Isolationism: desire to avoid involvement in the
affairs of other nations
• Most of nineteenth century isolationism was
dominant U.S. foreign policy.
• Much easier in era when United States was not yet a
military or economic world power
• Technology (aircraft, communications, banking) era
also made isolationism viable.
Goals of Foreign Policy
• World War II ended isolationism.
• Isolation was replaced with deterrence.
• Deterrence: develop and maintain military strength
as means of discouraging attack
– So strong that no enemy dares engage
• Point of military buildup is so that weapons are never
actually used
– Stockpiling weapons for invasion is NOT a deterrence
Goals of Foreign Policy
• Preventive war
(preemption): policy of
striking first when a
nation fears that a
foreign foe is planning
hostile action
• Appeasement: effort to
forestall war by giving in
to the demands of a
hostile power
Goals of Foreign Policy
• The Cold War (1940s–1990s)
– After WWII, the U.S. and USSR became the world’s two
– Each was capable of destroying the world many times over
with their nuclear arsenals.
– Never fought one another directly (a “hot war”)
– Competed for the allegiances of other countries
• Nations all over the globe allied themselves with the
United States or USSR (democracy vs. communism).
Goals of Foreign Policy
• Deterrence assumes certainty and rationality.
– Works for countries (except rogue states) but not for
nonstate actors:
• USSR and U.S. both feared global nuclear war. Neither
would directly attack the other.
• Terrorist groups not fearful of losing life among their
own group members/followers
Goals of Foreign Policy
• U.S. international economic policies promote
prosperity by:
– Expanding domestic employment
• Ex: Toyota factories in six U.S. states
– Maintaining access to foreign natural resources at
favorable costs
– Promoting foreign investment in the United States
– Lowering prices that citizens pay for goods and services
Goals of Foreign Policy
• Trade policy
– The United States wants to promote exports and
discourage imports.
• Tariffs: taxes on imports
– Countries that reciprocate on low tariffs are granted “most
favored nation status.”
U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services
The United States and the World Trade
Goals of Foreign Policy
• World trade
– North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):
eliminated tariffs on imports between America, Canada,
and Mexico
– World Trade Organization (WTO): promotes free trade and
provides a dispute mechanism for members
Goals of Foreign Policy
• International humanitarian policies
– International environmental policies
– International human rights policies
– International peacekeeping
• These policies can range in priority depending on the
other security and trade issues associated with a
given nation.
Goals of Foreign Policy
Goals of Foreign Policy
• The United States has been on the forefront of
human rights issues.
– U.S. constitutional protections against discrimination based
on race, gender, political beliefs and religion
• Other nations often look to America to take
leadership on human rights issues, even if only in
public statements.
• Economic interest can take priority though.
Goals of Foreign Policy
• Humanitarian efforts include peacekeeping.
– Sending troops to keep other nations from fighting one
– Efforts to protect civilians from starvation, homelessness,
and abuse
– Frequently joined by other nations in these efforts
– Humanitarian relief during natural disasters (funds, military,
medical, logistical support)
Who Makes American Foreign Policy?
• President dominates foreign policy matters
– Can directly set foreign policy strategies
– Ambassador and military appointments
– Relationships with foreign heads of state
• Congress has a role, but less influential
• Courts, interest groups, public opinion also play a
– Highly charged issues like Iraq War
Who Makes American Foreign Policy?
• Presidents can be tremendously influential.
Head of state
Ability to initiate treaties and agreements
Place senior officials who oversee bureaucracy
Have enormous resources available for policymaking
Constitutional authorities uniquely position the president for
foreign policy leadership.
Principal Foreign Policy Provisions of the
Who Makes American Foreign Policy?
• Major governmental players in foreign policy
Secretaries of State, Defense, and Treasury
Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)
Director of CIA
Director of National Security Council (NSC)
• President appoints all of these positions.
– Hence, foreign policy can easily reflect a president’s
agenda (at least more readily than domestic policy).
Who Makes American Foreign Policy?
• Constitution: Congress has the power to declare war.
– Has only done so five times: War of 1812, Mexican War
(1846), Spanish American War (1898), WW I (1917), WW
II (1941)
• Congress controls funding for war.
– Rarely refuses to fund military actions the president has
– Politically very unpopular to vote against funds associated
with American military troops at war
U.S. Military Expenditure Since 2001
Who Makes American Foreign Policy?
• Interest groups
– Economic interest groups
– National origin groups
• Example: Jewish Americans with respect to Israel;
Cuban Americans
– Human rights groups
• Media
– Negative media can lead to negative pubic opinion
Who Makes American Foreign Policy?
• In times of foreign crisis:
The presidency is at its strongest.
• Congress not designed to act quickly
• Media and public look to singular voice, leader on
crisis matters
– The circle of influence is very constrained.
– Foreign actors can limit options open to U.S. policy
Instruments of Modern American Foreign Policy
• Diplomacy: the representation of a government to
other foreign governments
• American civilian jobs with the foreign service (State
Department) require extensive skill sets, and process
is very selective
• United Nations: comprised of 192 countries, each of
which gets one vote
Instruments of Modern American Foreign Policy
Instruments of Modern American Foreign Policy
• Economic aid
– America provides $30b a year to other countries
– “Carrot” (positive incentive, benefits) to get countries to
take desired actions that U.S. prefers
• Economic sanctions
– “Stick” (negative incentive, penalties) to get countries to
take desired actions that U.S. prefers
– Trade embargoes, bans on investment, bans on travel,
freezing of assets held in banks
Instruments of Modern American Foreign Policy
• Bank for reconstruction and development (World
– Mechanism for governments to lend money to one another
in ways that private-sector markets could not
• International Monetary Fund (IMF)
– Helps stressed nations borrow short-term funds
Who Ser ves in the U.S. Military?
U.S. Population
U.S. Military
14% Female
86% Male
51% Female
49% Male
SOURCES: Department of Defense, “Population Representation in the Military Services, 2010.” U.S. Census, 2010.
Race / Ethnicity
U.S. Population
U.S. Military
66% White
16% Black
10% Hispanic
3% Asian
5% Other
64% White
13% Black
16% Hispanic
5% Asian
3% Other
SOURCES: Department of Defense, “Population Representation in the Military Services, 2010.” U.S. Census, 2010.
New enlistees, 2010
U.S. Population
U.S. Military
98% High school
86% High school
SOURCES: Department of Defense, “Population Representation in the Military Services, 2010.” U.S. Census, 2010.
Geographic Origin
U.S. military new enlistees, 2012
U.S. population
Northeast 12.4%
Midwest 19.7%
Northeast 18%
Midwest 22%
South 42.2%
West 23%
South 37%
West 23%
SOURCES: Department of Defense, “Population Representation in the Military Services, 2010.” U.S. Census, 2010.
Collective Security
Instruments of Modern American Foreign Policy
• Collective security
– An armed attack against any of its members “shall be
considered as an attack against all …”
• Arbitration: agreement negotiated by neutral third
– “Soft power” as opposed to the military
– Virtually all international contracts have arbitration.
Instruments of Modern American Foreign Policy
Public Opinion Poll
Should the United States engage in trade or offer any
kind of military support to nations with well-documented
human rights abuses that are contrary to democracy?
a) Yes, the U.S. should do business with such nations if
it benefits the United States.
b) No, the United States should not trade or offer
assistance to nations that are antidemocratic in any
Public Opinion Poll
Should Congress be required to declare war before the
United States engages in armed conflicts?
a) Yes, there should be formal declarations of war by
Congress that signal the will of the people and the
nation to engage in the conflict.
b) No, formal declarations are not needed and serve
no real purpose.
Public Opinion Poll
Which foreign policy tactic would be the most
successful to convince the largest number of nations to
adopt policies favorable to the United States?
a) Economic benefits and/or sanctions
b) Military threats
c) Diplomacy (dialogue, negotiation)
Public Opinion Poll
Should the United States adopt a more isolationist
foreign policy approach as it did a century ago?
a) Yes, the United States should not intervene or
engage with other nations much, if at all.
b) No, the United States must be engaged with the
rest of the world and viewed as a major
power/player by other nations.
Public Opinion Poll
What is the biggest foreign policy concern to American
national interests?
a) Terrorist threats
b) Rising economic powers make the American
economy weaker.
c) Cyber hacks and attacks that compromise
American state secrets (e.g., WikiLeaks)
Chapter 18: Foreign Policy and Democracy
• Quizzes
• Flashcards
• Outlines
• Exercises
Following this slide, you will find additional images,
figures, and tables from the textbook.
Interest Groups
Digital Citizens
Who Makes American Foreign Policy?
Economic Aid and Sanctions
Thinking Critically about America’s Role in the
World Today