Foreign Policy

Topics: United States, International relations, Policy Pages: 8 (3466 words) Published: September 17, 2013
From pages 350 to 381 in The Politics of Power the topic of foreign policy is discussed. Foreign policy, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “the policy of a sovereign state in its interaction with other sovereign states (“Foreign policy Definition”).” When it comes to making the United States’ foreign policy, the executive branch has the most control. The Politics of Power agrees with this point and backs it up by explaining exactly how the United States’ foreign policy is made on pages 352 and 353. Basically, the president is the heart of the foreign policy process, but occasionally he requires the aid of his advisors, such as the National Security Council, national security adviser, and the National Intelligence Council (Katznelson, Kesselman, and Draper 352). Notably, his advisors are also part of the executive branch. Other executive members, such as the secretaries of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, also help to add their opinions and advice (Katznelson, Kesselman, and Draper 352). However, the executive branch is not the only part of the Unites States’ government responsible for the making of its foreign policy seeing as congress as well as public and private actors also play a role. Congress’ main roles in the making and forcing of foreign policy are its abilities to pass legislation, create funds, and summon military and civilian leaders to testify (Katznelson, Kesselman, and Draper 353). In addition to Congress, the private interests of certain public and private actors, such as transnational corporations and large defense contractors, affect foreign policy because they are affected by foreign policy, in return (Katznelson, Kesselman, and Draper 353). The best explanation for their power is the mobilization of bias considering that what is good for business is what is good for the country and what is good for business in this case is outsourcing. With the making of foreign policy in mind, the book declares that the main two components of the United States foreign policy are the military and the economy (Katznelson, Kesselman, and Draper 350). I must agree with this statement. However, the economy deals with such a vast amount of different and specialized interactions between countries. As a result, more specified subtopics are in order, such as globalization and unilateralism. That is why I believe that the three main points discussed in this chapter about foreign policy are globalization, unilateralism, and the military. The Politics of Power defines globalization as “the situation in which there are extensive flows of commodities, capital, culture, and people across national boundaries (Katznelson, Kesselman, and Draper G-4).” Its occurrence is likely the result of advances in communication and transportation that has decreased the cost and increased the speed of travel (Katznelson, Kesselman, and Draper 361). Naturally, there are those who argue against the presence of globalization in the United States. To those people, The Politics of Power illustrated several dramatic points by proving that direct foreign investment in capitalist countries increased at triple the rate of international trade and that the United States’ exports only make up ten percent of its GDP (Katznelson, Kesselman, and Draper 361). The Congressional Research Service composed by Jackson proved that foreign investment in the United States is still increasing. Despite the decreasing rates during 2000, it has picked up and continuously increased from 2008 proving that there is still foreign investment in the United States (Jackson). Although the real GDP, the measure of outputs, rose 2.5 percent during 2010, the United States’ exports still makes well below fifty percent of its GDP (Mataloni and Hodge). This helps to prove that globalization is occurring in the United States because it is receiving a minimal amount of its GDP through exports, therefore it must be making up for it by importing. Both of these credible statistics prove...


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