THE MAKING OF US FOREIGN POLICY FORMATIVE INFLUENCES, SYSTEMIC ISSUES AND THE PROCESS
Keywords:foreign policy, process, open society media, congress
Every foreign policy is moved by the same guiding principles of national interests and cold blooded power politics and America is no exception. The process of foreign policy making in USA is hard to understand even for those who live in the US but especially for those abroad particularly if they have not been exposed to the American history, culture and political system. This paper is an attempt to help one understand U.S foreign policy at least. First of all it is the foreign policy of a highly open and vocal society with a powerful media and advanced civil society that keep the government under constant watch and scrutiny. Secondly it is the foreign policy of a highly complex and in many ways unique democracy under constant stress of domestic politics. There is an issue and there is a politics of an issue. So beware what is it that one is watching—policy or politics? Interestingly the US has five foreign policies. The President’s foreign policy, when he takes office has a certain idea in his mind of what his foreign policy should be the foreign policy of Congress, another by the media and the third as seen and understood by the public opinion especially by the vast majority of the electorate. None of the four foreign policies is monolithic and is split on most issues among diverse shades of opinion. The intersection of these four foreign policy mindsets or versions is the fifth foreign policy, indeed what we call THE US FOREIGN POLICY, produced by the mechanics of many different pulls and pushes-- principally the hydraulics of political process and strategic thinking.
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