In
the United States, the President and the executive branch play a pivotal role
in foreign policy and the global interstate system. The President and the
Secretary of State administer the foreign policy of the country, however, “less
formal foreign policy is also conducted through exchanges of citizens and other
government officials, through commerce and trade, or through third party states
and organizations” (New World Encyclopedia, 2017, p.1). Therefore, foreign
policy is usually a response to global or regional affairs. Foreign policy is
defined as “a policy pursued by a nation in its dealings with other nations,
designed to achieve national objectives in world politics” (Squadrin, 2017). The
Foreign Policy Agenda of the Department of State in the U.S., preserves the objective
of making the world democratic, secure, and prosperous. The foreign policy
achieves its goals by adhering to, “protecting the safety and freedom of
American citizens within the U.S. and abroad, protecting alliances and security
agreements with other countries, having membership and involvement of
multilateral bodies like the United Nations, and following practices of international
laws and conventions. Moreover, “the goals of the foreign policy are also to promote
peace, and freedom, in all regions of the world, providing aid to developing
countries and furthering free trade and capitalism to foster economic growth” (New
World Encyclopedia, 2017).

Under
the Constitution, both the president and Congress have been given powers and
responsibilities for foreign affairs (Lecture, Nov.30). The President is titled
Commander-in-Chief and Chief Diplomat. As Commander-in-Chief, the president commands
the armed forces and is obliged to defend and protect the country from attack. Congress,
however, has the power to declare war and provide money for defense. Since, the
president is given the duty of decision-making, the president negotiates
treaties with other nations, negotiates agreements on foreign commerce, and can
veto legislation. In his role of Chief Diplomat, the President also appoints
ambassadors, and establishes American foreign policy. The president acts as the
main spokesperson in the U.S., as well as in other countries (Lecture, Nov. 30).
Congress can approve or ratify treaties by 2/3 majority in the Senate, and can also
“approve president’s nominees for ambassadorial and cabinet positions”. “The
functions of Congress were designed to act as a check on presidential power”
(Cliffs
Notes, 2016, p.1). The President has limited foreign powers, since he or she
cannot do anything without Congress agreeing to their decisions first. Foreign
policy, however, differs from domestic policy in many ways. Domestic policy, refers
to the decisions made by a government regarding issues and needs that occur
within a country. Unlike foreign policy which is more sensitive, and is only decided
by the executive government, domestic policy is more visible and is created by
the federal government. The goals of domestic policy are to address issues
among the nations citizens, therefore it is mostly influenced by public opinion.
For instance, domestic policy deals with issues regarding “healthcare, education,
social welfare, taxation, public safety, and natural resources” (Longley, 2017,
p.1). The most important recent domestic policy matters that the country faces are
immigration, gun control, and surveillance. Domestic policy in the U.S. is
divided into different categories, since each category of domestic policy deals
with different issues. The four basic areas of Domestic policy are Regulatory policy,
Distributive policy, Redistributed policy, and Constituent policy. The
President’s role in domestic policy is to ensure that legislation created by
Congress and the federal regulations created by the federal agencies are fairly
implemented. The president also has control over the U.S. economy. The
president creates the national budget, proposes tax increase or cuts, and
imposes tax on foreign trade. How well the president executes his or her power
affects the economy and the lives of its citizens (Longley, 2017, p.1).

            The United States became a world
power, due to its involvement in world affairs. The Spanish America War in
1898, gave the United States Pacific power. “U.S. victory in the war produced a
peace treaty that forced the Spanish to cease claims on Cuba and to cede sovereignty
over Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines to the United States” (Office of
the Historian, n.d.). The integration of Pacific territory gave the country numerous
economic privileges. In 1899, Secretary of State, John Hay, issued the Open Door
Policy, which stated that all countries should be given equal access to trade
with China. The opening of Japan to the Western world in the 19th
century was extremely beneficial to the United States. The opening of Chinese
ports allowed for the creation of an American port on the Pacific, which “ensured
the steady stream of maritime traffic between North America and Asia” (Office
of the Historian, n.d.). After the U.S. joined the allies in World War I and
World War II, it has had the world’s strongest economy and military. Subsequently,
it became a bipolar system following the Cold War. Towards the end of the 19th
century, trade, politics, and similar interests connected the U.S. with other
countries. The United States is now considered a sole superpower because of its
large economy, military and cultural influence (Lecture, Nov.30).

The
military is one of the United States’ most important superpowers. Due to having
a strong military, the U.S. has hard power that allows the country to reach its
objectives. As the worlds superpower, the U.S. spends more on national defense
than any other country. “In 2014, the United States led the world in military
spending at $610 billion, according to the SIPRI” (Carroll, 2016, p.1). Although,
the U.S. spends more money on national defense among many other things, the
money spent on the military is necessary. Having a strong military allows the
U.S. to protect its citizens as well as the country from territory threats.
Furthermore, having a large and strong military force gives the country prestige
and strengthens alliances with other countries. America’s national defense also
gives us power in international relations and allows the country to have
influence on other nations. 

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