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PSC 303: International Relations

McCormick, American Foreign Policy, 4/e Outlines

Prof. Jeremy Lewis, Revised 3 Feb. 2005. Some editing and reformatting 6 Feb. 2013.

Learning Objectives & Questions, adapted from 2/e


Chapters
4: American Foreign Policy After Vietnam
5: Foreign Policy after the Cold War: The Bush and Clinton Administrations
6: Before and After September 11: The Foreign Policy of the George W. Bush Administration
6e, Ch. 6: Change and Continuity in Foreign Policy: The Barack Obama Administration


4: American Foreign Policy After Vietnam
by Adam Farquhar, 2005 and Jason Lazuri, 2005

I.  Realism and Idealism
    A.  Realism
        1.  The nation state is main player in world politics.
        2.  Power is primary motivating force.
        3.  Distribution of power is primary concern.
        4.  Quality of state to state relations.
    B.  Idealism
        1.  Nation state one among many players.
        2.  Values shape policy.
        3.  Economic and social issues very important.
        4.  Over-all global conditions dictate policy.
II.  Nixon the Realist
    A.  Nixon stressed two main foreign policy goals:
        1.  Bringing China into the World scene.
        2.  Limited role in regional disputes.
    B.  Kissinger
        1.  World lacked real order.
        2.  Wanted a pentagonal balance of power.
        3.  Countries shouldn't be afraid to pursue interests.
    C.  Kissinger in Action
        1.  1972 Signed SALT treaty with Russia.
        2.  Disengaged from Vietnam in 1973.
        3.  Held resolve conflict in Middle East between Arabs and Israelis.
III.  Carter the Idealist
    A.  Carter's Foreign policy goals:
        1.  Emphasized domestic values.
        2.  Bringing focus away from Soviet Union.
        3.  Promoting Global Human Rights.
    B.  Human Rights in Action
        1.  Problems with human rights:
            a.  Defining human rights.
            b.  Putting it into effect.
            c.  Who should it apply to.
        2.  Some positive effects, like more democracies in the world.
        3.  Negative effects included some friction with allies.
    C.  Resolving Third World conflicts.
        1.  Area of great success for Carter.
        2.  Dealt with crisis in the Panama Canal, Africa, and China.
    D.  Change to Realism in last year.
        1.  American Hostages in Iran.
        2.  Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
III.  Reagan the Realist
    A.  Goals of Reagan
        1.  To expand military might.
        2.  Focusing on the Soviet Union.
        3.  Reinvigorating Allies.
    B.  Policy in Action
        1.  Met some international opposition.
        2.  Return to Soviet-American Summitry.
        3.  INF treaty.
        4.  Reagan Doctrine
        5.  Iran Contra scandal.
    C.  Policy towards the Third World
        1.  The Aquino victory.
        2.  US-PLO Dialogue.
        3.  Opposition to Apartheid.

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5: Foreign Policy after the Cold War: The H. Bush and Clinton Administrations
By: Steven Witt (2005)

George Bush was elected president in November 1988. Unlike Reagan, the previous president, Bush came into office with no means in changing foreign policy. Bush, like the rest of the American population, was completely satisfied with the continuity of the present foreign policy. Three dramatic events happened towards the end of his first year in office and as a result, his commitment to continuity was challenged. The demise of the Soviet Empire, the emergence of new political, economic, and social openness in Eastern Europe, and the movement toward the reunification of Germany. Basically the end of the Cold War was at hand.

By 1990, President Bush had begun to modify the American foreign policy away from one driven by the anti-Communist principles of the past and toward one driven by changes in the Soviet Union and East Europe. Shortly after the beginning of the Persian Gulf War, President Bush announced that “we stand at a defining hour” in our foreign policy.  Bill Clinton also ran for president on the theme of change. A change in domestic and foreign policy were his ultimate goals. Clinton thought that foreign policy had to change to meet the challenges of the end of the twentieth century and to prepare for the twenty-first. Clinton expressed that, “We face the same challenge today that we faced in 1946, to build a world of security, freedom, democracy, free markets and growth at a time of great change.” As president, Clinton made a promise to the American people, he promised a new direction in American policy based on its traditional domestic values.
Values and Beliefs of the Bush Administration
 The Bush administration came into office mainly seeking continuity in foreign policy. Although their commitment to continuity was severely challenged by the events in Central Europe and the Middle East, the foreign policy values and beliefs of the Bush administration remained markedly unchanged throughout its four years in office. The Bush administration's basic values in directing foreign policy were described as pragmatic and prudent. Bush did not come into office with a grand design for foreign policy, which was very ironic because Bush had wealthy knowledge of foreign policy. He was director of the CIA, an American representative to the People’s Republic of China, an ambassador to the United Nations, and the vice president of the United States. Bush was steeped in foreign policy experience and yet let continuity be his foreign policy of choice.
The Commitment to Continuity: A Problem Solver, Not a Visionary
 President Bush’s underlying political philosophy might best be summarized in this way: Getting results is more important than claiming ideological victory; getting results is the best way to achieve political success. The Bush administration was much more interested in relations with the strong (the Soviet Union and China) than with the weak (the Third World nations). This policy orientation was very closely related to the balance of power approach that Nixon, Kissinger, and Ford brought to U.S. policy.  Here the Bush administration is using precedence to guide U.S. policy for the future.
Bush’s Foreign Policy Team: “Sensibly Conservative
 The Bush administration had a superb foreign policy team with pairs that many foreign policy analyst say were nothing short of the very best. According to one longtime foreign policy analyst, “The Baker-Scowcroft combination is the most competent-looking pair of people any new president has put in those jobs.” James Baker being Bush’s secretary of state and Brent Scowcroft being the national security advisor. The only stipulation here was that all of these people in President Bush’s cabinet all agreed with him. They always had the same mind set on issues with maybe one or two dissenters in total. With such an absence of dissenting advisors, Bush was able to strategize freely with little resistance.
Policy Approach of the Bush Administration
 Basically at the outset of the Bush administration, Bush called for a “policy review”. The review process involved the entire foreign policy counsel and took almost four full months to complete. The results were announced in a series of speeches in April and May of 1989. The speeches did not reveal exactly what was planned for foreign policy but a positive approach toward working with the Soviet Union and Europe were conveyed.
The Policy Review: Initial Ideas and Proposals
 President Bush basically spelled out his administration’s approach to foreign policy with this commencement address. “We are approaching the conclusion of an historic postwar struggle between two visions: one of tyranny and conflict, and one of democracy and freedom…. And now, it is time to move beyond containment to a new policy for the 1990’s, one that recognizes the full scope of changes taking place around the world and in the Soviet Union itself.” Overall the Bush administration wanted to integrate the “new” Soviet Union into the community of nations. To achieve this aim of integration, President Bush outlined a number of changes in Soviet foreign policy that the United States would seek. In response to these Soviet changes, the United States would seek completion of the START negotiations, move toward approving verification procedures to permit the implementation of two signed, but unratified, treaties between the United States and the Soviet Union limiting the size of nuclear tests, and support a renewal of the “open skies” policy between the two nations. Further more, as soon as the Soviet Union reformed its emigration laws, the United States would seek a waiver of the requirements of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment for the Soviet Union, freeing up trade between the two countries.
Early Actions: A Mix of Moderation, Caution, and Realism
In two early instances, the Bush administration reflected pragmatism and moderation in policy.
The first instance involved policy accommodation with Congress over future support for the Nicaraguan Contras. Here President Bush realized that Congress was in no mood to provide further military support so Bush reverted to fashioning up a 50 million dollar nonmilitary aid to the Contras.
     The second instance occurred in dealing with the ongoing civil war among the four parties competing to control the government of Cambodia. The United States withdrew its support from the three parties opposed to the Vietnamese in Cambodia and agreed to have direct talks with Vietnamese government over the future of Cambodia. This strategy, formulated in cooperation with the Soviet Union, was intended to motivate all parties to accept a UN peace plan for resolving the dispute, first through an internationally supervised cease-fire and then through an internationally supervised election.
     President Bush showed reliance on political realism in his policy toward the People’s Republic of China. During May and early June 1989, massive pro democracy demonstrations calling for political reforms within the county occurred in Beijing and other Chinese cities. After the Chinese government could no longer tolerate the presence of these democratic reforms, they seized them with military force. The US reacted immediately by imposing a series of economic sanctions. The realism was though at the time as well as it is now, the U.S. did not want relations with China or any Super Power to go sour. U.S. government officials continued to meet with Chinese officials, even though a ban on such visits was in effect.
Political Change and Eastern Europe
 The Soviet Empire and the Soviet Union itself were unraveling. Moderate and pragmatic responses, with some realism, were still the governing principles. The events of 1989 and 1990 shook the foundation of U.S. foreign policy. In less than two years the Soviet Empire collapsed with most of the states of Eastern Europe moving from socialist states to capitalist ones and from non democratic (Communist) states to democratic ones. The future of divided Germany was resolved through reunification by the end of 1990; and by the end of 1991, the Soviet Union itself was dissolved.
The Collapse of the Soviet Empire
Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany were all changing to democracy which was very rapid and equally non-violent. Other Eastern European states like Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Albania experienced calls for reform, but democratic reform was less assured in each case. Elections in Bulgaria, Romania, and Albania produced regimes that grew out of the former Communist parties or that were closely allied with them.
The Unification of Germany
The unification of Germany was the second major Eastern European event of 1989-1990 and the one most directly related to the ending of the Cold War. Germany, which had been consciously divided by the victorious allies at the Yalta Conference in February 1945, and which had existed as two separate states from 1949 to 1990, was formally reunited on October 3, 1990 with the aid of the four main super powers of the time, the United States, France, Britain, and the USSR, which still retained rights over the future of the Germany and, in particular, Berlin.
The Collapse of the Soviet Union
The Soviet Union’s demise was inevitable with the ongoing changes that were sweeping Eastern Europe. In August 1991, the Soviet Union received a dramatic jolt: A coup attempt by Soviet hard-liners against the earlier reforms failed after three days, and internal change accelerated. Many constituent republics were passing various measures declaring their independence or eventual independence from the central government in Moscow. By December 1991, the pressures for formal dissolution of the Soviet Union were rapidly building and, on December 25, 1991, the Soviet Union was formally dissolved.
After the Cold War: Policy toward Central Europe
 Throughout the period of these changes in Central Europe and the Soviet Union, the Bush administration was largely an interested spectator, not an active participant. The United States sought to refrain from any actions that might appear as gloating over the extraordinary movement to democracy and capitalism in these countries. Toward Central Europe, however, the principal policy response was to provide some economic assistance to these new democracies and to encourage other European states to do so. In Germany’s case, the U.S. would only accept a reunified Germany that remained a full member of NATO.
After the Cold War: Policy toward the Soviet Union
 Basically, the Bush administrations policy toward the Soviet Union was to keep “very good” relations. Both the United States and the Soviet Union both had nuclear weapons and were by far the two most powerful nations in the world. To keep good relations with each other the Bush administration issued that the Soviet Union along with U.S. sign the START treaty which would trim the number of nuclear warheads and the number of nuclear delivery vehicles in their arsenals. The Bush administration also received numerous calls to initiate new and wider economic and political ties with constituent republics and the newly independent Baltic States. Yet, there were limits as to how far it would go in providing massive economic assistance. In general, the Bush administration did not deviate from its policy announced after the London summit which, in effect, withheld economic aid until significant and sustained policy reforms were carried out.
The Search for a New World Order?
 President Bush said the future direction was to build “a new world order”. He described this new world order in this way: “a new ear, freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace, an era in which the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, can prosper and live in harmony.” President Bush’s administration faced three major tests: the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the formation of policy toward a post-Communist Russia, and the new challenges from global disorder in Bosnia, Somalia, and Haiti.
The Persian Gulf War
 This was the first test if the initial cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union could be sustained in another arena and whether the global community could rally around a common task. The U.S. response was immediate as it condemned the Iraqi action and called for its withdrawal from Kuwait. The Soviet Union joined the United States in opposing the action in a joint statement issued by Secretary of State James Baker and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze. A few weeks later, President Bush and President Gorbachev arranged a meeting in Helsinki, Finland, to deal with this crisis and concluded by jointly stating that “Iraq’s aggression must not be tolerated.” Within a matter of a few weeks, about 100 nations had condemned Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. The first test of the new world order appeared to have been met with a unified international coalition freeing Kuwait from Iraqi intervention.
Relations with a Post-Communist Russia
 The second test of the new order arose over devising an appropriate set of policies toward Russia and the other successor states of the old Soviet Union. A summit meeting was held in Washington between President Bush and President Yeltsin. The summit produced the outlines for a further reduction in nuclear weapons held by the two countries which was to become the START II treaty. There was also progress in the economic area. In 1991, President Bush had been criticized for his failure to be more responsive to Soviet (and then Russian) requests for assistance. On April 1, 1991, he announced that the United States would participate in a $24 billion assistance program developed by the Group of Seven (G-7) to aid Russia. The plan was ultimately characterized “as a way for the United States and its allies to prevent economic collapse in Russia and stop a new authoritarianism from rising from the rubble of the Soviet empire.”
Note: the rest of the chapter now covers the Clinton administrations.

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6: Before and After September 11: The Foreign Policy of the George W. Bush Administration
by Amanda Blessing, 2005

- During the 2000 presidential election, George W. Bush claimed he would pursue a “distinctly American internationalism” in foreign policy.

- Bush wanted to differ himself from the Clinton administration and have more of a focus on American national interests rather than global.
- The events of September 11, 2001 changed foreign policy in its content and and process.
- The nature of this policy is summarized as “an effort to build a coalition of the willing” and “to find and defeat terrorists and tyrants on a worldwide scale.”
FOREIGN POLICY LEGACIES AFTER THE COLD WAR
- To understand the foreign policy of the George W. Bush admin., one must look at the previous foreign policies of Clinton and H.W. Bush.
- Both experienced policy shock after the Cold War, and sought to change the direction of American foreign policy to replace the anti-Soviet and anti-Communist principles that had previously guided the policies.
- Neither administration was truly successful in setting a new foreign policy course.
- H.W. Bush came to office committed to continuing Reagan’s legacy: a more moderate, less ideological commitment to political realism.
- He wanted to manage relations between America and the Soviet Union and other great powers.
- The opening of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and other changes in Central Europe made H.W. Bush change his administration’s policy. Instead of focusing on anti-Communist principles, a new international scope was implemented.
- Examples include: America’s response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, a humanitarian involvement after a Somalia tragedy,  and a more cautious response to new conflicts in Kuwait.
- While H.W. Bush’s foreign policy was focused on a “new world”, much wasn’t being done for American foreign policy.
- Bill Clinton sought to forge a new direction.
- He wanted a “liberal international” approach, which mainly focused on free people and free markets around the world to create peace and stability.
- Clinton also had to deal with post- Cold War effects such as cultural and ethnic conflicts in many parts of the world.
- This administration also had to recognize the growing powers of Russia and China.
- In Clinton’s second term, he took less of an international approach and looked more towards political realism. For example, its action in Kosovo and trying to strengthen ties with more traditional allies.
- Legacies left for the new Bush administration included commitments to global involvement, liberal internationalism in economic and social affairs, and to humanitarian intervention, which later came to be known as the Clinton Doctrine.
VALUES AND BELIEFS OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 11TH
- The Clinton legacies left to the new Bush administration were unwelcome, as W. Bush was more inclined to his father’s. George W. Bush did not come into office with much foreign policy experience or with a vision of America’s role in the world.
- Because of this, Bush was highly dependent on his policy advisors, whom, for the most part were realists, policy conservatives, and veterans of recent Republican administrations in Washington.
BUSH’S FOREIGN POLICY TEAM
- Dick Cheney, Vice President became a key player to Bush as an advisor. Cheney was previously chief of staff for Gerald R. Ford’s administration and secretary of defense in H.W. Bush’s administration.
- Condoleezza Rice was also important, as she had been on H.W. Bush’s National Security Council. Since she has such clear access to the President, she definitely shapes the direction of policy. In Fall 2003, Bush named her to lead the Iraq Stabilization Group, to advance reconstruction in postwar Iraq.
- Bush named Colin Powell as secretary of state. Powell was national security advisor during the Reagan administration and as served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during both the H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations.
- Donald Rumsfeld was a second time appointee as secretary of defense, which he had previously served in the Ford administration. His foreign policy views promoted primacy, and was especially pronounced after September 11th.
- George Tenet remained Director of Central Intelligence, which he had been appointed to during the Clinton administration.
- The key Bush advisors were experienced in Washington and foreign policies, and were more ideological and unilateralist than the Clinton Administration.
CLASSICAL REALISM AND BUSH’S INITIAL FOREIGN POLICY PRINCIPLES
- Classical realists assume that states are the principal actors in foreign policy and actions between states overcome any efforts to change behaviors within states.
- This means the quality of relations between states is the major way to evaluate a country’s foreign policy.
- American policy would focus primarily on state-to-state relations.
- Also for classic realists, a state’s “interests are determined by its power (material resources) relative to other nations.”
- As a state’s relative power increases, its political influence would also expand. This expansion would only be pursued after a cost/benefit analysis.
- American power can and should be used to restrain states that could harm the U.S. and its interests. American power should also be used carefully and selectively.
- Classical realists focus on managing relations among major powers, which are more likely to be threats to the international system.
- A rule for realists is that no great power should dominate or endanger a group of nations.
- The U.S. should focus on strengthening its allies and on challenging other states.
- In conclusion, the classic realist approach states that the U.S. can and should aid worldwide stability since it is in a position of strength, but should do so selectively.


WHAT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION INITIALLY SUPPORTED

- A top priority was to refurbish America’s alliance structure and manage great power relations. Europe and Asia were at the top of this list.
- Allied countries must also be partners, must share burdens and risks, and do more to support themselves and their defense.
- Bush also viewed Russia and China more critically than Clinton, China as a “competitor, not a partner” Cooperation with China was to be pursued, but without any fear of confrontation.
- Russia’s concerns were more within its “weaknesses and incoherence” than with its strength.
- President Bush compared the values of “soft” and “hard” power for the U.S. Hard power refers to military capacity, sanctioning behavior and threat behavior as ways to influence the behaviors of nations. Soft power relies upon the appeal of American culture and values to enable the U.S. to influence the behavior of other states.
- Bush prefers hard power because of the threat of adversaries in the world that will act upon their intentions to harm America. Hard power is also more traditional, and more universally understood.
- Another top priority was remaking and strengthening the American military. Increase military pay and spending.
WHAT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION INITIALLY OPPOSED
- The U.S. was not to be involved in trying to change the internal operations of other states or to create political democracy within other countries. America would invite imitations, but would not seek to impose its political structure on others.
- Bush opposed American humanitarianism involvement in communal and regional conflicts without a strategic rationale for being involved. The American military was neither a “civilian police force” or a “political referee.”
- Bush also avoided intervention with international institutions and opposed several key international agreements. For example, the administration rejected the Kyoto Protocol for controlling global warming, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to stop the spread of nuclear weapons to new nations. Bush did not want to embrace environmental and labor standards within the World Trade Organization.
- Bush also wanted less Congressional influence in the conduct of American foreign policy or its allies.
THE IMPACT OF SEPTEMBER 11TH
-Tragic events such as September 11th can reverse or change a generation’s views toward the international system.
- It was the first substantial attack on American soil since the burning of the Washington in the War of 1812.
- Assumptions of homeland security were shattered, in this attack upon American civilians, instead of other “days of infamy” where the subject of such attacks was primarily the military.
- The deadliest terrorist attack in American history- costing almost 3,000 deaths.
IMPACT ON THE PUBLIC AND CONGRESS
- American citizens became more patriotic, showing support for the heroes and victims.
- Bush’s approval rating rose from 51% prior to the attack to 86% immediately after. Four months after, Bush approval rating was at 84%, a year later, it was steady at 70%.
- After a total 18 months in office, Bush’s approval rating was 72%, the highest average of any post-Vietnam president.
- Bush support declined prior to the War with Iraq in early 2003, rose again with the outbreak of war and declined again when post-Iraqi reconstruction proved difficult.
- The tide of foreign policy changed completely, a more robust American approach was needed. The public now widely supported military measures, such as air strikes and even the assassination of terrorist leaders.
- 65% of the American population wanted to increase the spending on homeland security.
- Members of Congress also put aside partisan divisions to confront international terrorism.
- Within a week of the attack, Congress had enacted Senate Joint Resolution 23 authorizing the President to use force “against nations, organizations or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided terrorist attacks.”
- A month later, Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act that gave the executive branch greater discretion in pursuing terrorist suspects and narrowed some previous civil liberty protection.
- In October 2002, Congress passed a joint resolution authorizing the President to use force “as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq and enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions against Iraq.”
IMPACT ON THE PRESIDENT
- An analyst assessed President Bush’s leadership on six qualities- emotional intelligence, cognitive style, political skill, policy vision, organization capacity, and effectiveness as a public communicator- and found that Bush’s cognitive style and effectiveness with the public were the areas most affected, while the other areas were sometimes strengthened.
- Bush more thoughtful and focused in his thinking, and had an increased attention on foreign policy.
VALUES AND BELIEFS OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION AFTER SEPTEMBER 11TH
- Defense Realism/Limited Idealism: The threatening environment after September 11th propelled the administration to change its policy assumptions and actions, and create a new security strategy.
- The Bush administration also embraced idealism in foreign affairs, motivated by morals and seeking to promote common values within and across states. This helps the policy become worldwide.
- The administration became more concerned about the internal relations of other states and their attitudes towards terrorism.
- Multilateral efforts were pursued, a narrow policy left for a broader, more universal security.
- Instead of a “distinctly American internationalism,” Bush embraced a “comprehensive American globalism.”
- The “axis of evil” (Iran, Iraq and North Korea) were to be pursued, while several countries received commitments for military training (the Philippines, Yemen, Georgia, and American Naval efforts in Sudan.)
- The administration sought conflict resolution in India and Pakistan, with Colin Powell traveling to try to defuse the situation regarding Kashmir
- The newly labeled Bush Doctrine sought to hunt down terrorists and their supporters, on a worldwide scale.
FORMALIZING THE BUSH DOCTRINE
- The Bush Doctrine outlined the following:
- 1. Strengthen alliances to defeat global terrorism and work to prevent attacks against us and our friends
- 2. Work with others to defuse regional conflicts.
- 3. Prevent our enemies from threatening us, our allies, our friends with weapons of mass destruction.
- 4. Ignite a new era of global economic growth through free markets and free trade.
- 5. Expand the circle of development by opening societies and building the infrastructure of democracy.
- 6. Develop agendas for cooperative action with other main centers of global power.
- 7. Transform America’s national security institutions to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.
- This doctrine seeks to defend the peace, preserve the peace, and extend the peace.
CRITIQUING THE BUSH DOCTRINE
- Careful evaluations find a strategy is largely missing, i.e. anti terrorism support is more important than freedom support for some states.
- How welcome will the U.S. and Americans be in states where we fight terrorism?
- Does the U.S. have the moral high ground to complete this strategy?
- Criticism for the Bush approach being too unilateralist and ideological in policy content, and too secretive in its policy making.
- Skeptics say Bush skewed intelligence data to support his desire to go to war.
- Bush’s 2003 State of the Union claimed Iraq tried to obtain uranium from African nations, which was later deemed untrue. George Tenet later claimed the responsibility for this error.
- April 30, 2003- the administration issued the “Roadmap for Peace” regarding Israelis and Palestinians.
- The Bush administration lifted many security resolutions, encouraging international institutions and other nations to help in Iraq’s reconstruction process.
CONCLUDING COMMENTS
- September 11th had significant impacts on the Bush administration, completely turning around its foreign policy.
- Bush’s approach most resembles Reagan’s administration.
- The larger implication of Bush’s American foreign policy remains unclear.
- Will the Bush Doctrine unite America and other countries? Or isolate America?
- The Bush Doctrine may produce the opposite effect for which it was sought.
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Change & Continuity in Foreign Policy: The Barack Obama Administration
From MS of McCormick, American Foreign Policy, 6e, forthcoming, 2014
Notes, from own PowerPoint, by Jeremy Lewis, spring 2013
Overview
Obama ran for presidency on policy of change in both domestic and foreign policy
Sought to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
Sought to “reset” poor relations with allies
Goal: reengage with world, discard isolationism
Changed in values & beliefs – and substance of policy
Values & beliefs
Liberal internationalist approach
Promotion of democracies & freedoms
Knit a web of independence among peoples & states
International law & institutions have a modernizing & civilizing effect
Compared to Bush, seeks partnerships rather than assertive US leadership
Vision of Multi-partner world
Initial policy review
Non proliferation
Anti-extremism
global prosperity
promotion of democracy
global cooperation
Sec. Clinton: build partnerships to solve global problems, to multi-partner world
Unilateral, self-reliance remained available
National Security Stategy of Engagement
Rebuild American economy
American values at home & abroad
Reshape international system to permit global community to address challenges
Engagement with both friends and foes
US interests are bound to the interests of others
Major goals (1)
Address multiple security threats
Extremist nets, failing states, spread of nuclear weapons
Responsible transition in Iraq
Two-state solution in Palestine
Combat cyberterrorism with private sector
Force as a last resort, other options first
Reestablish prosperity
Invest in education, transparency, reduce deficit
Major Goals (2)
Promote key values: freedoms, rule of law, not torture
Promote democracy & rights but not impose it on others
Establish Just & Sustainable Int. Order
Build cooperative relations with C21st centers of influence
Expand ties with G-20 nations
Address global challenges through cooperation
Obama Worldview in operation
Engaged in bilateral and multilateral forums
Used regional and international organizations
US favorability ratings improved in most countries in 2009-10
Level of confidence in Obama’s leadership eroded slightly by 2011
Muslim majority countries did not raise approvals, despite support for Arab spring
Guantanamo Bay & Arab Spring
3 E.O.s issued early
Close overseas prisons by CIA
Close Gitmo detention center within a year
Task force to seek lawful options for suspected terrorists
Reduced interrogation measures (incl. waterboarding)
Overseas prisons and Gitmo still used
New E.O. confirmed detention policies
Iraq
Completed military withdrawal by end 2011 (as negotiated by Bush and promised by Obama)
Strategic success unclear because depends on continuing Iraqi political stability
Afghanistan
Obama saw this as real terrorist threat
McCrystal’s surge & COIN strategy
Similar to Petraus’s strategy in Iraq
Accepted but subject to
beginning withdrawal in 2011 (successful)
Added civilian nation building strategy (more problematic, national government)
Burnt Korans, killing of 16 civilians
North Korea
Six party talks
2007 agreement to dismantle nuclear facilities
2008 progress stalled
2009 NK abrogated agreement
2010 US condemned attack on SK warship
Kim Jong Un acceded, new agreement of food for suspension of nuclear tests
Limited progress
Iran
Critical reports from IAEA, failure to adhere to NPT
2006 Bush had participated in P5+1 talks, but no breakthrough
2011-12 sanctions by US and then EU
Unresolved so far
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Progress but no breakthrough
Proximity talks (US envoy met separately with parties)
2010 direct negotiations began
Indirect again after Israelis to build more housing units
Arab spring and Iran distracted US from Palestine
Reset with Russia
2010 new START treaty signed
Medvedev noted positive change with Obama
Reduce vehicles and warheads by 30% from 2001 treaty
Improved relations from 2008 E.European missile defense – Obama phased in over 10 years
Bilateral Commission  for defense cooperation
Pivot to Asia
US=China Strategic and Economic dialogue
China now US largest trading partner
Frictions over human rights and Tibet
US continues to supply Taiwan under 1979 Act
Frictions over Chinese claims to islands in Pacific
Global commons issues
Nonproliferation: Obama directives to refrain from nuclear weapons against states in compliance with NPT
Financial reform by G-20 summit, implemented by 2013
Climate change: cap & trade bill was sent to HR but did not emerge; UN Copenhagen conference: commitments to limit increase to 2C (but no enforcement); Cancun conference modest only.
Criticisms
Not a real change from W. Bush policies
Surge, Gitmo, renewed PATRIOT Act
More ad-hoc, pragmatic or consequentialist
Obama doctrine : multilateralism, drone strikes & limited actions with SOF & strikes
Sen. Lindsey Graham criticized failure to press Iranian regime
Soft power has not led to support for US policies
BUT did reset relations with Russia




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