Chapter 12. Foreign Policy
At what point does government surveillance cross the line and become and invasion of privacy or even a violation of federal laws that are designed to protect citizens’ civil liberties even as the nation pursues national security goals?
What should be the goals of U.S. foreign policy, national defense, and homeland security? Should the policy tools that were previously widely used, such as diplomacy, international economic assistance, weapons procurement, and military intervention abroad be rethought and redefined? If so, how?
Goals of the U.S. Foreign Policy
Foreign policy refers to the collection of government actions that affect or attempt to affect U.S. national security as well as the economic and political goals associated with it.
Defense policy refers to the goals set and the actions taken by government officials directed at the conduct of military affairs.
The chief purpose of U.S. foreign policy since the end of World War II can be described as the promotion of national security through a diversified economic, political, and military strategy.
Five essential activities associated with the goal are:
1) the rebuilding of a war-devastated Europe through the Marshal Plan and the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO);
a. Marshall plan: authorized by the Economic Cooperation Act of 1948. Designed to help rebuild Europe after the defeat of Nazi Germany by the Allied forces, which included the US and the Soviet Union. The US offered up to $20 billion in aid because a stronger Europe could help to block the expansion of communism from the East and stimulate the U.S. economy through trade.
b. NATO also called the Western Alliance: was signed in D.C. in 1955. In response to West Germany’s entry into NATO, the Soviet Union and the East Germany established their counterpart, called the Warsaw Pact.
c. Cold War: The name emerged because the conflicts between the US and the Soviet Union never emerged into direct military confrontation b/w the two. Rather, wars were fought in surrogate nations, such as North and South Korea in the early 1950s and North and South Vietnam in the 1960s and early 1970s. The Cold War ended when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
2) the formation of and support for the United Nations;
The United Nations has many affiliated organizations to work toward goals, such as:
a. economic development of poor nations,
• World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF)
b. encouraging the growing interrelationship of all nations through global trade and communication, and
• World Trade Organization
c. maintain world peace and prevent wars.
• UN Security Council and UN General Assembly
3) a military buildup to ensure adequate capacity to deal with potential enemies;
The nuclear deterrence theory: A strike by one nation would likely be followed by an equal strike by the other, so that both nations are assured of destruction. If the nations are rational actors, neither should be motivated to engage in a first strike. Thus, having sufficient weapons would promote deterrence and there would be no nuclear war. The US relied on the policy of deterrence to prevent the outbreak of such a war.
Still, nuclear proliferation is a concern.
4) the development and growth of the nation’s intelligence agencies to provide reliable knowledge about security threats; and
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
National Security Agency (NSA)
5) the initiation of economic and military assistance to other nations for humanitarian and strategic purposes.
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
U.S. spending on foreign aid is much lower today than it has been historically, as a percentage of the nation’s GDP, and yet the nation is still among the leading contributors to developing countries.
1) Various security risks
2) Transportation security
3) Civil liberties and terrorism
a. Effectiveness v. efficiency
b. Legal and ethical concerns
Chapter 12. Foreign Policy