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Título: Foreign Relations Policy.

Por: Zukauskas, Rebecca, Salem Press

Encyclopedia, January, 2016
Base de datos: Research Starters

Foreign relations policy, also known as foreign policy, is the manner in which a
nation deals with other nations and international organizations concerning a variety
of issues. These issues can range from concerns regarding nuclear weapons and
the spread of infectious diseases to commercial interests and assisting other
nations with financial, military, or humanitarian aid. Although a nation’s foreign
relations policies involve interactions with other countries, these decisions always
take into account the original nation’s international goals and domestic priorities.
Most nations use diplomacy to carry out their foreign relations
policies. Diplomacy involves meeting with leaders from other nations to discuss
issues and negotiate solutions. Occasionally, a country’s leaders will decide to use
military power to meet their foreign policy goals. This can be somewhat
problematic as it often involves a more powerful nation using force against a
weaker nation to obtain what it wants. Depending on the situation, this sort of
action could be viewed unfavorably by other countries and affect the more powerful
nation’s standing in the international community.

The task of making foreign policy in the United States, according to the United
States Constitution, is divided among different branches of government, with the
executive branch having much of the decision-making authority, while the Senate
ratifies treat By Tomwsulcer (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Military allies of the United States; Purple: NATO member states, including
colonies and overseas possessions; Violet: Major non-NATO allies, plus Taiwan
and Panama; Blue: Signatories of Partnership for Peace with NATO By Sesmith
(Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
History of US Foreign Relations Policy
All nations have their own approaches to foreign relations policy. Over the years,
these policies are modified due to wars, changes in administrations, and domestic
needs. The United States is an interesting example of how foreign relations
policies can change dramatically over time.
During the American Revolution, the leaders of the revolting colonies engaged in
foreign relations by forming an alliance with France. In the end, this helped the
Americans win their freedom from Great Britain. Following the war, the United
States’s first president, George Washington, made the decision to start trading with
Britain again. However, Washington also cautioned Americans against forming
permanent alliances with foreign nations during his Farewell Address in 1796. In
this speech, Washington noted that Europe’s interests did not necessarily align
with the United States’ and suggested that Americans avoid entanglement in
European issues that did not concern them. While some argue that this was
Washington’s way of suggesting that the United States adopt a foreign policy of
isolationism, others contend that the first president was merely suggesting that
America focus on protecting its own interests in the early years of its nationhood.
Regardless of what Washington was advising, the United States did not stay
isolated for long. While the nation’s leaders attempted to remain neutral on a
number of international issues for a time, the United States became embroiled in
international affairs by the early nineteenth century. This was caused, in part, by
the nation’s domestic goals, the most prominent of which was the desire of
Americans to expand westward. Such expansion required the United States to
purchase land from other nations—as was the case in the 1803 Louisiana
Purchase from France—and engage in wars to gain more territory—such as in the
Mexican-American War of the 1840s that allowed the United States to gain
California and several other southwestern states.
After the United States had established its boundaries, the nation continued to play
an active role in international affairs for many years. By the beginning of the
twentieth century, America had become a world power, and it became difficult for
the nation to avoid involvement in international conflict, even if the country’s
leaders disliked the idea. This was evident at the beginning of World War I.
Although President Woodrow Wilson felt that America should remain neutral during
the conflict, the United States was eventually forced into the war. While some
people called for renewed isolation during the years between the World Wars, the
United States’ position as a world power made this impossible. International affairs
were now closely tied to the United States’ economic and political interests. This is
why America has played an active part in international affairs since World War II.
The Shaping of Foreign Relations Policy
Many factors and people shape foreign relations policies. A nation’s leaders must
consider the economic and political consequences of any foreign engagement
carefully before acting. In the United States, many agencies and people, including
the president and his cabinet members, contribute to the formation of foreign
relations policies. Of course, certain policies will change from administration to
administration as different leaders focus on different foreign policy goals. Another
key force in the shaping of foreign relations policies is the US Department of State,
led by the secretary of state, who acts as the president’s primary advisor on
international affairs. According to the US Diplomacy Center, the State
Department’s mission is to "advance the national interests of the United States and
its people." International diplomats, foreign ambassadors, and US embassy and
consulate employees in countries around the world carry out this work on behalf of
the Department of State.
Of course, other national leaders and state agencies have a hand in creating
foreign relations policies as well. While the president is responsible for designing
foreign relations policies, the US Congress can withhold funding for particular
policies if legislators do not agree with the president’s decisions. In addition, the
president has the power to use military force in certain situations, but Congress
must authorize the use of troops first. Besides Congress, the Department of
Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Central Intelligence Agency, National
Security Agency, and the military all play important roles in shaping and carrying
out foreign relations policies.

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Mar. 2016.

Source: Salem Press Encyclopedia, January, 2016, 2p

Item: 109057018
Recuperado el 11 de junio de 2017 de: