Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Foreign and Military Policy

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Foreign and Military Policy"— Presentation transcript:

1 Foreign and Military Policy

2 Kinds of Foreign Policy
Majoritarian Politics- widespread benefits and costs (Pres has most power, public opinion supports but doesn’t guide) Ex. Wars, military alliances, nuclear test ban, Interest Group Politics-groups pitted against one another for benefits/costs (larger Congressional role) Ex. Tariffs: Japan vs. the Steel industry Client Politics- benefits to identifiable group w/o costs to any distinct group (Congress is central) Ex. Israel policy (may be changing!)

3 Constitutional/Legal Context
Constitution creates “invitation to struggle” between President and Congress Pres Commander-in-Chief, Congress appropriates $ Pres appoints, Senate confirms Pres negotiates treaties, Senate ratifies Americans perceive President as being in charge, which history confirms

4 President’s Power President is stronger in foreign policy than domestic Pres can send troops w/o declaration of war Probably stronger power than framers intended But…president is weaker when compared to other heads of state Wilson, FDR couldn’t get ally with Britain Wilson couldn’t join League of Nations HW Bush debated Congress on Iraq war Supreme Court gives wide powers Reluctant to intervene in Pres-Congress disputes Ex. FDR and Japanese internment camps, Nixon enlarging Vietnam war, Carter’s freezing of Iranian assets

5 Checks on President’s Power
Political rather than constitutional Congress controls the $$$ War Powers Act of restricts the president If Pres commits troops he must report it to Congress within 48 hours Only 60 day commitment w/o declaring war Previously, Congress could use legislative veto to bring troops home Has had very little influence, politically impossible (Congress will of course support successful military action)

6 Effects of War Powers Act
Congress rarely invokes it Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton all sent troops w/o authorization Politically impossible Congress wouldn’t challenge successful military action (even Vietnam) Constitutionality is questionable (so they don’t push it)

7 Machinery of Foreign Policy
Post-WWII major power status consequences: President more involved in foreign affairs (top of agenda) More agencies shape foreign policy Too many and too big to really be coordinated (Sec. of State is only 1 person, agencies owe no loyalty to him) National Security Council created to coordinate

8 National Security Council (NSC)
Created by law, chaired by the president Includes VP and secretaries of state and defense National Security Advisor heads the staff Goal of staff is balanced view Grown in influence since JFK but downgraded by Reagan NSC rivals Secretary of State Consequences of multi-centered decision-making: “it’s never over”- rivalry between branches for foreign policy power Agency positions influence their interests and policy

9 Foreign Policy and Public Opinion
Before WWII public opposed US involvement Attack on Pearl Harbor shifted opinion WWII Universally popular war Successful US emerged as dominant power in the world Public opinion varies, is highly general, and is dependent on: polling questions opinions expressed by leaders impact of world events

10 Backing the President Public tends to support the president during crisis (approval ratings go up!) Support does not decrease with casualties Body bag fallacy: soldiers come home in coffins Support for escalation and victory Most wars do have public opposition Highest among Democrats, African Americans, and those with post-grad degrees *In sum: People are leery of wars until they start, then they support them and want to win.

11 Mass vs. Elite Opinion Mass Opinion: Elite Opinion:
Generally poorly informed Generally supportive of the president Conservative, less internationalist Elite Opinion: Better informed Opinions change more rapidly (Vietnam) Protest on moral/philosophical grounds More liberal and internationalist Even more so in leaders active in politics, academia, media, or other organizations concerned with foreign affairs

12 Cleavages among Foreign Policy Elites
Events have no meaning until interpreted by people who must react to them Who are the elites? Administrative position in foreign policy field(State dept, NSC), key congressional committees, various private organizations, editors of relevant publications

13 The Defense Budget Total Spending
Very low spending in peacetime until 1950 Driven up by Containment policy for USSR Changes in spending tend to reflect changes in public opinion Debate once USSR fell: Liberals: cut defense, we aren’t world’s “police officer” Conservatives: some cuts ok, but world is still dangerous and we must be ready Saddam Hussein soon proved them right Involvement in war in Bosnia proved military had been cut too much…Clinton increased spending

14 What do we get with our money?
People- most expensive From draft to all volunteer since 1973 More women, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” recently overruled “Readiness” –Training, supplies, food, fuel, etc 1st to get cut due to client politics (no constituents to get mad) Bases- at one time many opened and few closed due to client politics Commission on Base Realignment and Closure created to take client politics out of the decision

15 What do we get with our money?
Hardware: big ticket items and small ticket items Cost overruns: actual cost is more than estimated cost. Why?: Unpredictability of cost of new item Incentive for contractor to underestimate cost at 1st Military chiefs want only the best “Gold plating”- ask for everything at once Sole-sourcing- new weapons are purchased from a single contractor…so no competition When cutting defense budget Congress will not cut but stretch (start and stop production drives up the cost)

16 Structure of Defense Decision Making
National Security Act of created Dept of Defense Headed by Sec. of Defense (must be civilian)- command authority over defense on behalf of pres Sec. of Army, Air Force, Navy, (also civilians) manage daily functions Joint Chiefs of Staff (military) Branches of military kept separate- Why? Fear if unified they would become too powerful Desire of services to preserve autonomy Inter-service rivalries intended by Congress to increase info

17 Structure of Defense Decision Making
Joint Chiefs of Staff- committee of heads of 4 military branches, chairman, vice chair, and military officers appointed by the pres./confirmed by Senate No command authority over troops Key to national defense planning Since 1986 reorganization, Chairman of JCS has been president’s principal military advisor Chain of Command: Pres Sec. Defense various specified commands (these can go through JCS, but they have no command power) Civilians head the military to protect from concentration of power

Download ppt "Foreign and Military Policy"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google