Inthe United States, the President and the executive branch play a pivotal rolein foreign policy and the global interstate system.
The President and theSecretary of State administer the foreign policy of the country, however, “lessformal foreign policy is also conducted through exchanges of citizens and othergovernment officials, through commerce and trade, or through third party statesand organizations” (New World Encyclopedia, 2017, p.1). Therefore, foreignpolicy is usually a response to global or regional affairs.
Foreign policy isdefined as “a policy pursued by a nation in its dealings with other nations,designed to achieve national objectives in world politics” (Squadrin, 2017). TheForeign Policy Agenda of the Department of State in the U.S., preserves the objectiveof making the world democratic, secure, and prosperous. The foreign policyachieves its goals by adhering to, “protecting the safety and freedom ofAmerican citizens within the U.S.
and abroad, protecting alliances and securityagreements with other countries, having membership and involvement ofmultilateral bodies like the United Nations, and following practices of internationallaws and conventions. Moreover, “the goals of the foreign policy are also to promotepeace, and freedom, in all regions of the world, providing aid to developingcountries and furthering free trade and capitalism to foster economic growth” (NewWorld Encyclopedia, 2017). Underthe Constitution, both the president and Congress have been given powers andresponsibilities for foreign affairs (Lecture, Nov.
30). The President is titledCommander-in-Chief and Chief Diplomat. As Commander-in-Chief, the president commandsthe 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, thepresident is given the duty of decision-making, the president negotiatestreaties with other nations, negotiates agreements on foreign commerce, and canveto legislation. In his role of Chief Diplomat, the President also appointsambassadors, and establishes American foreign policy.
The president acts as themain 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”. “Thefunctions of Congress were designed to act as a check on presidential power”(CliffsNotes, 2016, p.1). The President has limited foreign powers, since he or shecannot do anything without Congress agreeing to their decisions first.
Foreignpolicy, however, differs from domestic policy in many ways. Domestic policy, refersto the decisions made by a government regarding issues and needs that occurwithin a country. Unlike foreign policy which is more sensitive, and is only decidedby the executive government, domestic policy is more visible and is created bythe federal government. The goals of domestic policy are to address issuesamong 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 areimmigration, gun control, and surveillance. Domestic policy in the U.S.
isdivided into different categories, since each category of domestic policy dealswith different issues. The four basic areas of Domestic policy are Regulatory policy,Distributive policy, Redistributed policy, and Constituent policy. ThePresident’s role in domestic policy is to ensure that legislation created byCongress and the federal regulations created by the federal agencies are fairlyimplemented. The president also has control over the U.S. economy.
Thepresident creates the national budget, proposes tax increase or cuts, andimposes tax on foreign trade. How well the president executes his or her poweraffects the economy and the lives of its citizens (Longley, 2017, p.1).
The United States became a worldpower, due to its involvement in world affairs. The Spanish America War in1898, gave the United States Pacific power. “U.S. victory in the war produced apeace treaty that forced the Spanish to cease claims on Cuba and to cede sovereigntyover Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines to the United States” (Office ofthe Historian, n.d.).
The integration of Pacific territory gave the country numerouseconomic privileges. In 1899, Secretary of State, John Hay, issued the Open DoorPolicy, which stated that all countries should be given equal access to tradewith China. The opening of Japan to the Western world in the 19thcentury was extremely beneficial to the United States. The opening of Chineseports allowed for the creation of an American port on the Pacific, which “ensuredthe steady stream of maritime traffic between North America and Asia” (Officeof the Historian, n.d.). After the U.
S. joined the allies in World War I andWorld 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 19thcentury, trade, politics, and similar interests connected the U.S. with othercountries.
The United States is now considered a sole superpower because of itslarge economy, military and cultural influence (Lecture, Nov.30).Themilitary is one of the United States’ most important superpowers. Due to havinga strong military, the U.S. has hard power that allows the country to reach itsobjectives.
As the worlds superpower, the U.S. spends more on national defensethan any other country. “In 2014, the United States led the world in militaryspending 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, themoney spent on the military is necessary.
Having a strong military allows theU.S. to protect its citizens as well as the country from territory threats.Furthermore, having a large and strong military force gives the country prestigeand strengthens alliances with other countries.
America’s national defense alsogives us power in international relations and allows the country to haveinfluence on other nations.