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U.S. Foreign Policy

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on 14 December 2014

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Transcript of U.S. Foreign Policy

At first, the U.S. followed a foreign policy of neutrality to protect our commercial interests and because our military was weak.
World View
America's image is still somewhat positive, with 30 out of 43 nations expressing good opinions of the U.S.' foreign policy.
U.S. Foreign Policy
The Basics
The main purpose of Foreign Policy is to solve international problems and prevent military action as much as possible.
Outside Influences
Presidential-Congressional Relations: Follows a pattern of cooperation, constructive compromising, institutional competition, and confrontation. There are usually political disputes over decisions.
The President and his representatives meet with world leaders to solve problems and make treaties. Congress must approve any treaties and the Supreme Court makes sure their constitutional.
The Secretary of State is the President's main foreign policy advisor and is in charge of the State Department's Foreign Service, which has ambassadors and other representatives in more than 160 countries.
The National Security Council helps deal with foreign policies that affect national security.
The CIA gathers, analyzes, and transmits information from other countries that might be important to the security of the nation.
Intra-Executive-Branch Politics: How well a president does is based on their foreign policy experience and expertise, their personal traits, and their belief system. 4 senior political advisors, and various executive departments and agencies try to influence decisions to promote their interests.
Interest Groups: Five types of interest groups that try to influence foreign policy are economic groups, identity groups, political issue groups, state and local governments, and foreign governments. These groups use specific policies and techniques in their attempts to influence foreign policy.
News Media: The 3 distinct ways news media influences foreign policy are agenda setting, shaping public opinion, and having direct influence on policy decisions. It can both support and criticize any decisions made, influencing what course of action the government will take to remain or become favorable.
Public Opinion: The ways public opinion influence foreign policy are parameter setting, centripetal pull toward the center on presidents who need coalitions, its ability to impact Congress, its ability to affect diplomatic relations, and its influence over presidential elections.
Example: Cuba Embargo
The Cuba Embargo was a policy set 52 years ago, around the time of the Cold War. It consists of economic sanctions against Cuba and restrictions on Cuban travel and commerce for American companies and people. People who support this says that it would make the U.S. look weak if it is lifted, and it pressures Cuba to change its ways. People who are against it say it hurts international relationships and it hinders Cuba's ability to change.
Example: Somalia
In 1992, a civil war between 2 rival clans in Somalia caused a massive famine, killing 300,000 people. The most powerful warlord at the time, Mohamed Farrah Aidid, took over the capital and began to confiscate international food shipments. The U.S. responded, bringing food and order back to the country.
However, In 1993, after the U.S. leaves, Aidid declares war on the U.N. peacekeepers who remained in the country and began targeting Americans. The U.S. responded in August 1993 by sending in troops to eliminate Aidid. After 6 weeks with no success, Washington approved a raid to capture some of Aidid's officials so they can locate Aidid.
The raid was a complete disaster. 1000 Somalians died, and the U.S. lost 19 soldiers, 2 Black Hawk helicopters, and one U.S. soldier was held prisoner for 11 days. 2 weeks later, President Clinton pulled all U.S. forces out of Somalia. Aidid wasn't killed until 1996.
Example: U.S. and Climate Accord
Around Nov. 2014, in the city of Beijing, President Obama, other U.S. representatives, Chinese President Xi Jimping, and other Chinese representatives met to discuss several things, including trade in the Pacific and climate control. They eventually agreed to a plan that included ways to cut emission by the U.S. and China's first commitment to stop emissions from growing by 2030. They are now working on a plan to keep both their trade treaties in the Asia-Pacific region intake, but balanced.
Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin-America, and young people have positive views of the U.S.' foreign policy.
Russia, the Middle East, and Uganda have negative views of the U.S.' foreign policy.
Iraq War and other Middle East conflicts hurt the global opinion of the U.S.
Other issues that hurt the world's opinion of the U.S. are its spying on foreign nations, its use of drone strikes, disagreements over the Middle East and other tensions.
"Black Hawk Down": directed by Ridley Scott
Online Textbook
During the early 20th century, the U.S. followed a more imperialistic foreign policy to take advantage of foreign markets and help the country's growing industry.
After WW1, the U.S. had an isolationist foreign policy, consisting of high tariffs and immigration quotas.
After WW2, the U.S. helped create the U.N. and NATO. They also became involved in a cold war between the Soviet Union, where the U.S. had a foreign policy of containing communism by any means necessary.
After the S.U. collapsed in 1991, the U.S. adopted its modern foreign policy. This consisted of maintaining national security, promoting world peace and stable world environment, maintaining a balance of power among the other nations of the world, solving international problems with our allies, promoting democracy and human rights, and furthering cooperative international trade and involvement in international trade organizations.
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