A foreign policy is a policy that governs, or gives directives on how a state relates with other state and non-state actors on the international scene. It is usually broad in that it governs issues of military, economic as well as trade. In many countries including the United States the president is usually the chief negotiator of the foreign policy. The foreign relations of the United States are highly influential on the world stage. The officially stated goals of the foreign policy of the United States, as mentioned in the Foreign Policy Agenda of the U. S.
Department of State, are “to create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community. ” In addition, the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs states as some of its jurisdictional goals: “export controls, including nonproliferation of nuclear technology and nuclear hardware; measures to foster commercial intercourse with foreign nations and to safeguard American business abroad; International commodity agreements; international education; and protection of American citizens abroad and expatriation.
” . HISTORY OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY America’s foreign policy has been changing since independence in 1776. There are times when it was inclined to isolationism, at other times selective engagement and others containment. The foreign policy is also widely associated with the military. In the case of the United States the president is the chief negotiator of the foreign policy through the ministry of foreign affairs headed by the secretary of state, who is the primary conductor of state-to-state diplomacy.
In the united states the President is also Commander in Chief of the military, and as such has broad authority over the armed forces once they are deployed whether for domestic or for the purposes of the international community. Due to the fact that the president has veto powers within the country the executive has been able to implement foreign policy decisions at the expense of the legislature. Some of the recent examples of this are the governments’ decision to wage war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In this regard the executive has also widely kept the legislature in the dark concerning the CIA and us military operations overseas especially on the issue of their humanitarian records and treatment of terrorist suspects in CIA detention camps overseas. The United States is one of the two largest democracies in the world the other being India. As thus the United States government should have given the legislature the privilege of being a major partner in formulating the foreign policy. Instead the executive has gone ahead to even defy the doctrines of the United Nations to which it is a signatory.
In so doing the public has been kept in the dark on issues that even though they don’t affect them directly they are still of an important nature. American foreign policy has been the subject of much debate and criticism both domestically and abroad. Charges of negative influence have been levied even in countries traditionally considered allies of the United States. This has been mainly so since the foreign policy is designed in a way that it is only good if and only if the recipient country is willing to play by U.S terms if not so then everything changes.
CONCLUSION: The American foreign policy can be seen as an extension of the executive this is because many policy decisions even if they are discussed by the congress the executive implements them to its own terms. This has caused many negative criticisms from both domestically and internationally since even when an issue is approved by the congress the executive has had a tendency of over implementing the policies turning good intentions into a bad policy implementation.
US Dept of State Foreign Policy Agenda. Available at: http://usinfo. state. gov/pub/ejournalusa/foreignpolagenda. html Committee on Foreign Affairs: U. S. House of Representatives . available at: http://www. internationalrelations. house. gov James M. Scott (1998) After the End – CL: Making U. S. Foreign Policy in the Post-cold War World, Duke University Press. Israel, Iran top ‘negative list, Nick Childs, 6 March 2007. Available at: http://news. bbc. co. uk/2/hi/middle_east/6421597. stm