US Government Foreign Policy
Every government has a responsibility to perform certain functions to its people. There are certain principles that guide this kind of interaction. The government also must relate to other states in different spheres regarding sectors like trade. Every state is sovereign is not in any direct control of any other state in the world; however its relationship with other nations has to be guided by what has come to be known as the foreign policy. Foreign policy basically sets parameters on how a state relates with other states of the world (Ambrosio 31)
Sovereignty of states makes all countries equal and this must be respected by all states including united stats to prevent conflicts. The American foreign policy is crafted in a way that it should help the American state provide security for its people and protect its territory. The foreign policy also cuts across all spheres of the nation including economy, politics, and defense, shapes the thinking of its people and determines the parameters of interaction between states. The American nation also has interests allover the world and their use and protection must be guided by its foreign policy.
The American foreign policy is not static, it has undergone changes over time initially the American foreign policy was that of a non-aligned and would not intervene in the affairs of other states. This trend was common during the world war period and after the world war I. this trend later changed after the United States became a super power up to the cold war period. The policy changed and the United States was more concerned with the world peace and the world hegemony.
The United States foreign policy shifted and adopted and idealist approach. Change in national interests dictates the change in foreign policy. America after the revolutionary war wanted to be more visible and independent of other powerful neighbors like Canada and other European nation members and its foreign policy was always motivated by the need to protect itself and its interests from more assertive members in Europe. The foreign policy adopted was also meant to prevent further colonization of America.
The interests of America were seen as paramount. The nation was in pursuit of expanding its economy and industrialization was important for that cause. The need to prevent bottleneck entanglements in trade prompted a strong foreign policy. With its foreign policy in place the United States was able to look for foreign markets for and to sell its products.
Foreign Policy Making
The American foreign policy is made based on the contribution of different sectors of the economy. The contribution of these different sectors of the economy is important because of their contribution to the economy. Foreign policy is supposed to be used as a unifying factor. This therefore means it is supposed to diplomatic and friendly. Diplomacy involves holding meetings that are aimed at making binding agreements. At the back bone of any foreign policy is to improve relations between countries to prevent international conflicts. Any foreign policy should not advocate for military settlements and it is with this in mind that American foreign policy is crafted.
The American presidents have always been instrumental in the creation of the United States foreign policies. Maintenance of world peace is very important to the United States presidents because of its immense resources and a developed economy and democracy. Representatives of the United States president meet from time with leaders from other states guided by the American constitution the senate also plays a vital role in scrutinizing treaties entered with other nations. The decisions of the senate shape the American foreign policy.
There are important officers of state that have played very vital roles in shaping and implementing foreign policies. The secretary of state together with other members of the state department is very instrumental in this regard. The secretary of state advices the president on matters of foreign policy, this is due to his special role as principle foreign policy adviser. The secretary of state is important and instrumental in all matters regarding relations of any nature with other states (Patrick, Pious and Ritchie 575).
The president’s office has the national Security Council whose role is to advice the president on matters touching on national security, economic policies and other matters that are important in keeping the nation safe from foreign mechanizations. The Security Council meets from time to time and whenever there is urgent need for their decisions. The national Security Council consists of the president and his deputy, defiance secretary among other members selected by the president. This organ is very vital and helps shape the foreign policy. The national Security Council is coordinated by a powerful national security advisor. The national security advisor is very influential as far as foreign policy is concerned.
The United States foreign policy is also shaped by its security agencies. The central intelligence agency or CIA as is popularly known plays a very important role due to its ability to gather intelligence. The central intelligence agency has a mechanisms of gathering intelligence efficiently, synthesizing such information and delivers the same to the president for action. The role of the CIA is very important and therefore its director is a presidential appointee.
Whereas George Washington is seen as a father figure and precedent of American foreign policy, there is a great shift from what was foreign policy then. The foreign policy has been changing from time to time depending on what is at play in the world. Some of the issues that have had a significant adjustment in foreign policy include terrorism, a resurgent Russia and fast growing economies like china, India, Brazil among other fast growing economies.
The foreign office also plays very critical role in shaping foreign policy. The foreign office includes the American embassies and consulates allover the world. These embassies represent the United States and convey and propagate the interests of the United States. The embassies also help in improving relations with other nations for the benefit of the people of United States. Through these embassies, the United States is able to provide any necessary assistance where there is need to the host country.
Making and Executing Foreign Policy
The current foreign policy is very comprehensive and though not conclusive or final covers most of what is of necessity to the American people. The foreign policy office in furtherance of the foreign policy has continued the expansion and establishment of foreign embassies abroad. The United States also plays a vital role in furthering and complimenting the roles of the United Nations General assembly among other organizations on the international sphere.
The United States has also pursued efforts to make sure that there is peace allover the world and together with like minded states help control proliferation of arms which have endangered world peace. The United States has also been involved in programs meant to alleviate poverty and maintain world peace. The United States also has a major role to play in ensuring that there is fair trade practices between nations. Its role in addressing complex trade barriers and currency manipulation as is the case with countries like chine cannot be ignored. It is the policy of the United States to ensure that all these world stage factors at play to not cause damage to its people, interests and economy.
The role of ensuring that the foreign policy is developed, implemented and sustained lies in the three government arms. That is the executive led by the president, the legislature which is the parliament and the judiciary. The bigger role however is left to the executive arm which is headed by the president. The senate will only scrutinize and approve or reject if it is not for the interest of the people. The roles of the president permeates all spheres of the foreign policy, from appointments of ambassadorial officers, control over the military, entering into various agreements and treaties with other states among other sensitive roles that other government agencies may not be privileged to be party to.
The president also holds power in different government agencies like the central intelligence agency which are critical in the formation of a foreign policy. All security organs fall within the ambit of the presidency and that makes his position critical in the formation and implementation of a foreign policy.
The judiciary also plays a critical role in formation of a foreign policy although its role is very limited. The role of the Supreme Court comes in when there are major agreements and treaties between the United States and other countries. Their role comes into play however when disputes arise. The court looks at the legality of such agreements in relation to the American people and public interest. Other cases adjudicated by the Supreme Court include cases on maritime, and other American diplomatic officers.
A foreign policy has to be legal and should not be imposed on people of any state. Many times in the history of foreign policy, disputes have arisen where the will of the president as to the choice of foreign policy has not gone down well with the senate. Whereas the senate has not engaged itself with direct making of a foreign policy, it has had to fight hard to reject some foreign policies. A case in point is when president Woodrow pushed for the treaty intended to establish the League of Nations after the end of the First World War. The senate was opposed the treaty. This is a classic example of disagreement between the two critical arms of government. The senate has however been very reluctant to deny the passage of a foreign policy and instead making it better.
The people of the United States also play a very critical role in crafting a foreign policy. The people are custodians of power bestowed upon the president to exercise on their behalf. Representatives of the people including the civil societies will always make their views heard. People have the ability to influence a president regarding foreign policy adopted.
Ambrosio, Thomas. Ethnic Identity Groups and U.S. Foreign Policy. Westport (Conn.: Praeger, 2002. Print.
Patrick, John J, Richard M. Pious, and Donald A. Ritchie. The Oxford Guide to the United States Government. Oxford [u.a.: Oxford Univ. Press, 2001. Print.