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POLSC311: United States Foreign Policy

Unit 3: Major Periods in U.S. Foreign Policy   Karl Marx contended that “men make their own history, but they don’t make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given, and transmitted from the past.” This quote directs our attention to the way in which history both informs and influences contemporary issues in U.S. foreign policy. In this unit, you will learn about the evolution of U.S. foreign policy from the early, post-revolution administration of George Washington to the issues that currently face President Obama. Employing a historical perspective shows us that while leaders and decision makers are constrained by the decisions of their predecessors, this simultaneously reinforces the idea that contemporary decisions have lasting effects. Generally, tracing the history of U.S. foreign policy shows how decision makers have influence on and are influenced by the events in the world in which they live. 
 
You will begin with the isolationist message President George Washington articulated in his farewell address and move throughout U.S. history to see the United States emerge as a global superpower following the World War II. This unit will continue on to address how the United States navigated the Cold War and how the strategic choices made during this period provided the foundation and context for how contemporary decision makers understand, define, and address present challenges. Finally, you will consider how the United States has continued to shape the world through its foreign policy as the lone superpower, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the historically-unique issues that have emerged in a unipolar world. 
 
As you move from each historical event and period, you should continuously come back to the theories and concepts from the previous unit to both understand how these theories can explain these historical events as well as how these events influence the formulation of theory. By tracing the broad history of U.S. foreign policy, you will develop an understanding of not only specific historical events and eras, but the values, goals, and concerns that shaped and emerged from them. 

Unit 3 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 47.75 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 3.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.2: 2.75 hours

☐    Subunit 3.3: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.4: 1.75 hours

☐    Subunit 3.5: 4.25 hours

 

☐    Subunit 3.5.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.5.2: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.5.3: 2.75 hours

 

☐    Subunit 3.6: 13 hours

 

☐    Subunit 3.6.1: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.6.2: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.6.3: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.6.4: 2.25 hours

☐    Subunit 3.6.5: 2.25 hours

☐    Subunit 3.6.6: 2.25 hours

☐    Subunit 3.6.7: 0.75 hours

☐    Subunit 3.6.8: 2.5 hours

 

☐    Subunit 3.7: 8.5 hours

 

☐    Subunit 3.7.1: 3.25 hours

☐    Subunit 3.7.2: 2 hours 

☐    Subunit 3.7.3: 3.25 hours

 

☐    Subunit 3.8: 8 hours

 

☐    Subunit 3.8.1: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.8.2: 0.75 hours

☐    Subunit 3.8.3: 1.25 hours

☐    Subunit 3.8.4: 1.75 hours

☐    Subunit 3.8.5: 1.75 hours

 

☐    Subunit 3.9: 7 hours

 

☐    Subunit 3.9.1: 1.75 hours

☐    Subunit 3.9.2: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 3.9.3: 1.25 hours

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit you will be able to: - construct a history of U.S. foreign policy that focuses on key events and the goals and values that motivated decision makers during these events; - apply theories of international relations and foreign policymaking to understanding historical events; and - explain why different issues are important to American foreign policymakers at different points in history. 

3.1 Brief Historical Overview and Key Concepts   - Reading: American Government and Politics in the Information Age: “Chapter 17, Section 3: The Major Foreign and National Security Policies” Link: American Government and Politics in the Information Age: “Chapter 17, Section 3: The Major Foreign and National Security Policies” (PDF)

 Instructions: Read this section and attempt the exercises at the
end of the section. This section of the chapter provides a useful
discussion of general approaches and ideologies regarding the
conduct of foreign policy, such as isolationism, containment,
deterrence, etc., along with relevant historical examples.  

 Reading this section and completing the exercises should take
approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

3.2 The Early History of U.S. Foreign Policy: Major Events, Policies, and Issues   3.2.1 U.S. Foreign Policy Prior to World War I   - Reading: Yale University: Lillian Goldman Law Library’s Avalon Project: “George Washington’s Farewell Address 1796” Link: Yale University: Lillian Goldman Law Library’s Avalon Project: “George Washington’s Farewell Address 1796” (HTML)

 Instructions: While the United States has been a dominant world
power for decades, it began as a much more humble player in the
international system. George Washington’s farewell address, in which
he warns the nascent country to avoid “foreign entanglements,”
provides a useful way to understand how ideas about the best way for
the United States to conduct its foreign policy have evolved
considerably since its founding.  

 Note: This speech can also be accessed from inside the previous
reading (“Section 17.3: The Major Foreign and National Security
Policies”) by clicking on the embedded link in the text, “Farewell
Address.”  

 Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: iTunes U: Stanford University’s Hoover Institution: “The American Experience as a Rising Power” Link: iTunes U: Stanford University’s Hoover Institution: “The American Experience as a Rising Power” (iTunes)

    Instructions: Click on “View in iTunes” for the lecture titled “The American Experience as a Rising Power.”

    This lecture provides a general overview of the history of the United States as a rising power prior to the First World War. This overview will complement and provide context and discussion of the past few historical readings on Washington’s Farewell Address, the Monroe Doctrine, and the Roosevelt Corollary.

    Listening to this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.2 The Monroe Doctrine   - Reading: USHistory.org: Independence Hall Association’s version of “The Monroe Doctrine” Link: USHistory.org: Independence Hall Association’s version of “The Monroe Doctrine” (HTML)

 Instructions: Just over a quarter century after George Washington’s
farewell address, President Monroe asserted U.S. dominance over the
entire Western Hemisphere. The Monroe Doctrine usefully illustrates
how the position of the United States in the international system
continuously expanded and evolved.  

 Reading this material should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
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3.2.3 Theodore Roosevelt and Expanding the Monroe Doctrine   - Reading: TheodoreRoosevelt.org’s “The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine” Link: TheodoreRoosevelt.org’s “The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine” (HTML)

 Instructions: Roosevelt expanded upon the Monroe Doctrine and makes
the case for U.S. intervention in Latin American countries in order
to protect its interests. The concept of justifiable intervention is
important but also subject to contestation and evolution. The
Roosevelt Corollary provides an important example of how
understandings of these concepts have changed over time.  

 Reading this material should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: University of California, Berkeley’s version of Theodore Roosevelt’s “Obstacles to Immediate Expansion” Link: University of California, Berkeley’s version of Theodore Roosevelt’s “Obstacles to Immediate Expansion” (HTML)

    Instructions: Roosevelt’s discussion here captures the rationale of U.S. expansion and intervention in the pursuit of its interests at this point in history.

    Reading this material should take approximately 15 minutes.

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3.3 U.S. Foreign Policy and World War I   3.3.1 Causes of World War I   - Reading: MIT OpenCourseWare: Professor Stephen Van Evera’s Causes and Prevention of War: “The Origins of the First World War” Link: MIT OpenCourseWare: Professor Stephen Van Evera’s Causes and Prevention of War: “The Origins of the First World War” (PDF)

 Instructions: Scroll down to sessions 12-14, and click on the PDF
link for “The Origins of the First World War.” Study the entire set
of lecture notes.  

 U.S. involvement in the First World War was important with regard
to the changing way in which U.S. foreign policymakers approaches
the international system. In addition, an account of the politics
and events leading up to the Great War in Europe provide a useful
application of the concepts from international relations theory. As
you read about the origins of World War I, consider concepts such as
polarity and balancing.  

 Reading these notes should take approximately 45 minutes.  

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3.3.2 Wilson’s Liberal Approach   - Reading: Yale University: Lillian Goldman Law Library’s Avalon Project: “Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points” Link: Yale University: Lillian Goldman Law Library’s Avalon Project: “Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points” (HTML)

 Instructions: As stated above, Woodrow Wilson’s approach to the
conduct of U.S. foreign policy exemplifies liberal principles of
international relations, and his Fourteen Points speak to the
importance of international institutions in fostering cooperation
among nations.  

 Reading this material should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
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  • Reading: University of California, Berkeley’s version of Woodrow Wilson’s “Speech requesting Congress to Declare War on Germany” Link: University of California, Berkeley’s version of Woodrow Wilson’s “Speech Requesting Congress to Declare War on Germany” (HTML)

    Instructions: Woodrow Wilson’s rationale for requesting a declaration of war on Germany employs ideas associated with liberal theories of international relations. His call to “make the world safe for democracy” evokes the democratic peace thesis, which as we saw in subunit 2.1.3, is a more contemporary argument in liberal theory. In addition, Wilson’s Fourteen Points speak to the importance of international institutions in preventing war in the future.

    Studying this material should take approximately 30 minutes.

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3.4 U.S. Foreign Policy and the Interwar Period   3.4.1 Isolationism at Home   - Reading: Library of Congress: Senator Henry Cabot Lodge’s “The League of Nations” Link: Library of Congress: Senator Henry Cabot Lodge’s “The League of Nations” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this article.    

 You can also listen to the original recording of the speech by
selecting one of the listening options before the text portion.
Following the protracted trauma of World War I, there was a strong
sentiment among policymakers and the public in the United States
towards isolationism and an unwillingness to become involved in what
Washington might have called “foreign entanglements.” This speech by
Henry Cabot Lodge, advocating against the League of Nations, serves
as a useful example of this sentiment.  

 Reading this material should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Historian: “The League of Nations, 1920” Link: U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Historian: “The League of Nations, 1920” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this article which provides a glimpse into some of the issues surrounding Wilson’s efforts to create the League of Nations and his conflict with Senate Majority Leader Henry Cabot Lodge over the utility/futility of the League.

    Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.

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3.4.2 The Growth of Nonliberal Regimes Abroad   - Reading: Mount Holyoke College: Vincent Ferraro and Joseph Ellis’s “The Growth of Nonliberal Regimes during the Interwar Period” Link: Mount Holyoke College: Vincent Ferraro and Joseph Ellis’s “The Growth of Nonliberal Regimes during the Interwar Period” (HTML)

 Instructions: The interwar period was characterized by a global
depression that made many countries, especially Germany, vulnerable
to post-war nationalist fervor. This sentiment led to the embrace of
autocratic rulers promising to restore their nations’ former glory.
This material provides a chronological account of the rise of
autocratic rule around the world during this time.  

 Reading this material should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above. 
  • Reading: University of California, Berkeley: Public Sociology at Berkeley, 2nd Edition: Dylan Riley’s “Enigmas of Fascism” Link: University of California, Berkeley: Public Sociology at Berkeley, 2nd Edition: Dylan Riley’s “Enigmas of Fascism” (PDF)

    Instructions: Scroll down to the title of the review in Section V and click on the link to access the PDF. “Enigmas of Fascism” is a review of two books: Fascists by Michael Mann and The Anatomy of Fascism by Robert Paxton. As a book review, this reading will introduce you to a few different arguments about the rise of fascist regimes in the interwar period. Needless to say, these are not the only explanations, but they are a good place to start.

    Reading this review should take approximately 1 hour.

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3.5 U.S. Foreign Policy and World War II   3.5.1 Origins of World War II   - Reading: MIT OpenCourseWare: Professor Stephen Van Evera’s Causes and Prevention of War: “The Origins of the Second World War” Link: MIT OpenCourseWare: Professor Stephen Van Evera’s Causes and Prevention of War: “The Origins of the Second World War” (PDF)

 Instructions: Scroll down to sessions 16-19 and click on the PDF
link for “The Origins of the Second World War.” Study this set of
lecture notes in its entirety.  

 Like World War I, World War II was an important event in the
history and evolution of U.S. foreign policy and in the development
of theories of international politics. Consider how concepts from
such theories, especially realism, explain the origins of the Second
World War. You should also carefully consider questions posed by
other theoretical perspectives, such as the following: how did
economic forces and processes create the conditions for world war?
What role did non-material factors play: ideology, racism,
victimization, isolationism, nationalism, and so on? Consider, for
example, Professor Van Evera’s phrase that “Germans practiced
creative history.” How important was this construction of history in
convincing ordinary Germans of their innocence and the need for war?
On this last question, consider the constructivist perspective.  

 Reading these notes should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.5.2 The United States’ Role in World War II   - Reading: MIT OpenCourseWare: Professor Stephen Van Evera’s American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future: “The U.S. and WWII” Link: MIT OpenCourseWare: Professor Stephen Van Evera’s American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future: “The U.S. and WWII” (PDF)

 Instructions: Scroll down to sessions 9-11, and click on the PDF
link for “The United States and World War II.” Study this entire set
of lecture notes.  

 This reading provides a brief overview the role of the United
States during World War II. The U.S. emerged from the war as a major
world power and had great influence on the construction of the
post-war world. As you review the outline, keep in mind that it
covers an immensely complex topic and raises even more complex
questions about the origins, causes, and effects of the war. As you
read, think carefully about how the questions posed in the outline
might be answered from the realist, liberal, and constructivist
perspectives.  

 Studying these notes should take approximately 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.5.3 The End of the War and the Beginnings of the Post-War Economic Order   - Reading: The BBC’s “The Yalta and Potsdam Conferences” Link: The BBC’s “The Yalta and Potsdam Conferences” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read these pages about the Yalta and Potsdam
Conferences, in which the leaders of the Allied powers fighting
Germany and Japan met to discuss the terms of an agreement to end
the war. At the bottom of the third page, there is a list of three
questions that facilitate critical thinking about the material.
Consider your answers to these questions, and write them down in
your notes.  

 As World War II drew to a close, the political and economic leaders
of the Allies held a series of conferences in which they envisioned
the global institutions that would be established after the war.
These institutions were intended to rebuild the countries ravaged by
conflict and facilitate international coordination to prevent
another global economic collapse and world war.  

 Reading this material and answering the review questions should
take approximately 30 minutes.  

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displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Historian: Milestones: 1937-1945: “The Bretton Woods Conference, 1944,” “The Yalta Conference, 1945,” “The Potsdam Conference, 1945,” and “The Formation of the United Nations, 1945” Link: U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Historian: Milestones: 1937-1945: “The Bretton Woods Conference, 1944”, “The Yalta Conference, 1945”“The Potsdam Conference, 1945”, and “The Formation of the United Nations, 1945” (HTML)

    Instructions: The Bretton Woods Conference featured political leaders and economists from countries around the world. At the conference, these leaders discussed the structure and purpose of the post-war economic institutions – specifically, the World Bank, the early United Nations, and what would eventually become the World Trade Organization.

    Reading this material should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Yale University: The Lillian Goldman Law Library’s Avalon Project: “The Atlantic Charter” Link: Yale University: The Lillian Goldman Law Library’s Avalon Project: “The Atlantic Charter” (HTML)

    Instructions: The United States played a strong role in the creation of the institutions that constructed the post-war world. The Atlantic Charter describes the principles on which President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill hoped to establish the post-war order.

    Reading the charter should take approximately 15 minutes.

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  • Web Media: American Rhetoric: Franklin Roosevelt’s “The Four Freedoms” (MP3) Link: American Rhetoric: Franklin Roosevelt’s “The Four Freedoms” (MP3)

    Instructions: Press “play” on the website to listen to the recording of this speech and follow along with the transcript. President Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech articulates the values that Roosevelt thought should inform the creation of the post-war international system and provides a justification for waging World War II in the first place.

    Listening to this speech should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.6 U.S. Foreign Policy in the Postwar Era   3.6.1 Overview   - Reading: MIT OpenCourseWare: Professor Stephen Van Evera’s American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future: “U.S. National Security Policy, 1945-Present” Link: MIT OpenCourseWare: Professor Stephen Van Evera’s American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future: “U.S. National Security Policy, 1945-Present” (PDF)

 Instructions: Click on the PDF link for sessions 15-16, labeled
“U.S. National Security Policy, 1945-Present.” Read the entire set
of lecture notes.  

 This brief set of lecture notes provides a general overview of U.S.
foreign policy issues since the Second World War that serves as a
useful foundation for later readings and lectures that will delve
more deeply into the topic. As you look through Professor Van
Evera’s notes, you will see several references to “preventive” and
“preemptive” war. There is an important distinction between these
two terms. Preemptive war is a matter of striking shortly before an
enemy is about to launch a strike of its own. A preventive attack,
however, is not a response to an imminent threat, but is instead a
means of precluding a hypothetical war sometime in the future. In
international law, there is an important difference between
preemption and prevention. Preemptive attacks are generally a
permissible use of force, because they are seen as a form of
self-defense. A preventive attack, on the other hand, is not usually
seen as self-defense, but as an act of aggression.  

 Reading this material should take approximately 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.6.2 U.S. Foreign Policy and the Cold War   - Lecture: Vimeo: Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: John Lewis Gaddis’ “The Origins of the Cold War” Link: Vimeo: Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: John Lewis Gaddis’ “The Origins of the Cold War” (MP4)

 Instructions: John Lewis Gaddis, hailed as the “Dean of Cold War
Historians,” gives this theoretically-oriented lecture on the
origins of the Cold War from his perspective as an historian. In
this lecture, he helpfully refers to the theoretical arguments we
have been studying thus far in the course.  

 Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.6.3 The Cold War and the Threat of Nuclear Weapons   - Lecture: iTunes U: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Daniel Sargent’s “Nuclear Weapons and the Cold War” Link: iTunes U: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Daniel Sargent’s “Nuclear Weapons and the Cold War” (iTunes)

 Instructions: Scroll down and click the play button beside “Lecture
8: Nuclear Weapons and the Cold War.”  

 The threat of nuclear war loomed during the Cold War, and nuclear
proliferation continues to be a pressing issue for U.S. foreign
policymakers. This lecture provides an overview of the nuclear
issues during the Cold War.  

 Listening to this lecture and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.6.4 Containment   - Reading: iTunes U: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Daniel Sargent’s “Forging a Strategy of Containment” Link: iTunes U: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Daniel Sargent’s “Forging a Strategy of Containment” (iTunes)

 Instructions: Scroll down and click the play button beside “Lecture
7: Forging a Strategy of Containment.”  

 The concept of containment provided the rationale for the decisions
of U.S. foreign policymakers during the Cold War. Fear of the direct
expansion of the Soviet Union and communist ideology directed U.S.
action throughout the world.  

 Listening to this lecture and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Mt. Holyoke College: “President Eisenhower’s News Conference, April 7, 1954” Link: Mt. Holyoke College: “President Eisenhower’s News Conference, April 7, 1954” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this brief text.  

    Fear of Soviet and communist expansion during the Cold War and was motivated by the idea that if one country in a region fell to communism, then others would follow. This “falling dominoes” theory was first articulated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower during a press conference in 1954. Pay particular attention to the last part of Eisenhower’s response, in which he indicates that the primary reason for the defense of Indochina (the old name for Vietnam) was to protect Japan’s trading area. Consider the significance of this point. Why would the U.S. fight a war in Vietnam to protect Japan’s trading area? Why was the protection of Japan’s economic interests vital to American interests?

    Reading this material should take approximately 15 minutes.

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  • Reading: Thomas E. Gort’s version of President Harry Truman’s “Address to a Joint Session of Congress” Link: Thomas E. Gort’s version of President Harry Truman’s “Address to a Joint Session of Congress” (HTML)

    Instructions: President Truman’s address to Congress requesting assistance for Greece and Turkey marked an important turning point in the early Cold War. Here, Truman and his advisors committed to a foreign policy of containing communism and accept the costs of doing so. Reading this speech provides evidence of Truman’s rationale and containment’s role in the broader foreign policy efforts of the United States to contain communism.

    Reading this address should take approximately 30 minutes.

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  • Reading: Mount Holyoke College: Vincent Ferrero’s version of “NSC-68: United States Objectives and Programs for National Security” Link: Mount Holyoke College: Vincent Ferrero’s version of “NSC-68: United States Objectives and Programs for National Security” (HTML)

    Instructions: In this address to Congress, President Truman lays out a rationale for providing assistance to Greece to prevent the rise of a Communist government there. This rationale laid the foundation for the Truman administration’s strategy of containment in Western Europe.

    Reading this material should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.6.5 The Korean War   - Lecture: iTunes U: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Daniel Sargent’s “From China to Korea: The Cold War Intensifies” Link: iTunes U: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Daniel Sargent’s “From China to Korea: The Cold War Intensifies” (iTunes)

 Instructions: Scroll down and click the play button beside “Lecture
6: From China to Korea: The Cold War Intensifies.”  

 The United States’ strategy of containment contributed to the
outbreak of the Korean War, which serves as an important example how
the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union led to
“hot” wars in other parts of the world.  

 Listening to this lecture and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.  
  • Reading: MIT OpenCourseWare, Professor Stephen van Evera’s American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future: “Cold War Origins and US Intervention in the Korean War” Link: MIT OpenCourseWare, Professor Stephen van Evera’s American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future: “Cold War Origins and US Intervention in the Korean War” (PDF)

    Instructions: This reading complements the above lecture on the Korean War. Scroll down to sessions 12-13, and click on the PDF link for “Cold War Origins and US Intervention in the Korean War.” Read the entire set of lectures notes.

    Reading these notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: MIT OpenCourseWare, Professor Stephen Van Evera’s Causes and Prevention of War: “The Cold War and Korea” Link: MIT OpenCourseWare, Professor Stephen Van Evera’s Causes and Prevention of War: “The Cold War and Korea” (PDF)

    Instructions: This reading complements the previous two accounts of the United States’ involvement in the Korean War. Scroll down to sessions 20-21 and click on the PDF link for “The Cold War and Korea.” Study the entire set of lecture notes.

    Reading these notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.6.6 The Cuban Missile Crisis   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Cuban Missile Crisis” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Cuban Missile Crisis” (PDF)

 Instructions: Read this text.    

 This is a background reading on the Cuban Missile Crisis, one of
the most important events of the Cold War era. Earlier in this
course, you read an article by Graham Allison on the crisis, which
adopted a bureaucratic politics approach to explaining U.S. foreign
policy decisions during the crisis. As you go through this reading,
consider alternative explanations. For example, there is a realist
“balance of power” argument that suggests the basis for the crisis
was the alleged “missile gap” between the US and the USSR. What
might a constructivist say about the differently constructed
images/reality that each side of the conflict had regarding the
other? Could the crisis have been prevented through cooperation, as
liberal theory would suggest? There are many questions to consider
as you go through this reading.  

 Reading this material should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
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  • Lecture: iTunes U: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Daniel Sargent’s “The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962” Link: iTunes U: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Daniel Sargent’s “The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962” (iTunes)

    Instructions: Scroll down and click the play button beside “Lecture 11: The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.” As you did with the first resource in this section, think back to Allison’s article from subunit 2.2.2 as you listen to this lecture.

    Listening to this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

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3.6.7 The War in Vietnam   - Reading: Yale University: The Lillian Goldman Law Library’s Avalon Project: President Lyndon Johnson’s “Tonkin Gulf Incident, 1964” Link: Yale University: The Lillian Goldman Law Library’s Avalon Project: President Lyndon Johnson’s “Tonkin Gulf Incident, 1964” (HTML)

 Instructions: President Johnson’s statement about the Gulf of
Tonkin established the justification for U.S. intervention in
Vietnam, a war that had a profound impact on both policymakers and
the public for decades.  

 This reading should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: MIT OpenCourseWare: Professor Stephen Van Evera’s American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future: “The Vietnam War, 1945-1975” Link: MIT OpenCourseWare: Professor Stephen Van Evera’s American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future: “The Vietnam War, 1945-1975” (PDF)

    Instructions: Scroll down to Sessions 20-21 and click on the PDF link for “The Vietnam War, 1945-1975.” Read the entire set of lecture notes.

    Reading these notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.6.8 The End of the Cold War   - Reading: YouTube: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation’s “President Ronald Reagan’s Address to the British House of Commons” Link: YouTube: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation’s “President Ronald Reagan’s Address to the British House of Commons” (YouTube)

 Instructions: Watch this video. This address by President Reagan
was one of his more notable speeches against the Soviet Union and
the “evil” it represented. Later in 1983, in a speech before the
National Association of Evangelicals, Reagan introduced the phrase
“evil empire.” Here, Reagan issued his plan for assisting democratic
development, which he argued would “leave Marxism-Leninism on the
ash heap of history.”  

 Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 45 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Lecture: iTunes U: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Daniel Sargent’s “Explaining the Cold War’s End” Link: iTunes U: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Daniel Sargent’s “Explaining the Cold War’s End” (iTunes)

    Instructions: Scroll down, and click the play button beside “Lecture 20: Explaining the Cold War’s End.”

    The end of the Cold War was both a major event in the international system as well as a puzzling development for scholars and policymakers. The Soviet Union collapsed more quickly and relatively peacefully than many predicted. This lecture provides an overview of this transition.

    Listening to this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: MIT Security Studies Program’s Wednesday Seminars: Ned Lebow’s “Learning from the Cold War” Link: MIT Security Studies Program’s Wednesday Seminars: Ned Lebow’s “Learning from the Cold War” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this text in which Professor Lebow identifies five important turning points that are “crucial to understanding the end of the Cold War.” Consider how these points are reflected in the various theoretical approaches we have studied.

    Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.7 The End of the Cold War and U.S. Foreign Policy for a Post-Cold War World   3.7.1 Overview: New World Order?   - Reading: iTunes U: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Daniel Sargent’s “Building a Post-Cold War World” Link: iTunes U: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Daniel Sargent’s “Building a Post-Cold War World” (iTunes)

 Instructions: Scroll down and click play beside “Lecture 21:
Building a Post-Cold War World.”  

 The end of the Cold War was an unprecedented event for the
international system, as the bipolar world order that characterized
the Cold War yielded to a new global environment in which the United
States became the world’s lone superpower. The United States sought
to use this “unipolar” moment to shape the post-Cold War world. This
lecture provides an overview of these efforts.  

 Listening to the lecture and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs: William C. Wohlforth’s “The Stability of a Unipolar World” Link: Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs: William C. Wohlforth’s “The Stability of a Unipolar World” (PDF)

    Instructions: The link above will take you to the search page on the Belfer Center’s site (with the search word “unipolarity” already entered). Click on the first link to access the reading and read the text. As the lecture above emphasizes, one of the most salient consequences of the end of the Cold War was the transformation of the international system from bipolarity to unipolarity. This reading provides an in-depth discussion of the concept of unipolarity.

    Studying this article should take approximately 2 hours.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.7.2 The Gulf War   - Reading: C-SPAN Video Library: “10th Anniversary of the Gulf War” Link: C-SPAN Video Library: “10th Anniversary of the Gulf War” (Flash)

 Instructions: Watch this video where former White House officials
talk about Operation Desert Storm on the 10th Anniversary of the
operation. Among the topics they addressed were the significance of
the international coalition against Iraq, the events of the war, and
the on-going tensions in the region.  

 Watching this video should take approximately 2 hours.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.7.3 The Clinton Administration, Intervention, and the Return of Identity   - Reading: Harvard University’s version of Samuel P. Huntington’s “The Clash of Civilizations?” Link: Harvard University’s version of Samuel P. Huntington’s “The Clash of Civilizations?” (HTML)

 Instructions: The end of the bipolar world order that characterized
the end of the Cold War led many to inquire about what lines of
division might spark armed conflict now that the battle between
capitalism and communism had seemingly been decided. Here,
Huntington makes the argument that in the future, conflict would be
based on long standing divisions between what he calls
“civilizations.” In light of the events that came after the
publication of this essay (9/11, the war on terrorism, etc.), do you
think Huntington’s argument is persuasive? Some have contended that
this idea is a self-fulfilling prophecy (consider the constructivist
argument). Does this sound plausible?  

 Reading this essay should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: This is Harvard University’s version of this article.
It may not be hosted or reproduced without the explicit permission
of Samuel P. Huntington.
  • Reading: The Monthly’s “SlowTV”: Peter Katzenstein’s “Why the Clash of Civilizations Is Wrong” Link: The Monthly’s “SlowTV”: Peter Katzenstein’s “Why the Clash of Civilizations Is Wrong” (Flash)

    Instructions: Watch both video segments by clicking Part 1 and then Part 2 at the top of the summary. In this lecture, Peter Katzenstein, a prominent political scientist, offers a critique of the Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations theory. Think carefully about the two arguments in terms of the theoretical perspectives that you have studied throughout the course thus far.

    Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Atlantic: Samantha Power’s “Bystanders to Genocide” Link: The Atlantic: Samantha Power’s “Bystanders to Genocide” (HTML)

    Instructions: In the context of concerns about human rights, the use of American power, and intervention described above, this article addresses the foreign policy decision-making regarding the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 – one of the most horrific perpetrations of mass violence in the last half of the 20th century. This article also seeks to explain why the United States chose not to intervene. What is Power’s explanation? Where does it fit theoretically? Was the failure by the U.S. – and the rest of the international community, including the United Nations – a simple reflection of realist principles, or were there other important factors at play? Consider, on this point, the role of various domestic actors and the construction of language to justify non-intervention. The very use of the word “genocide” was subject to immense debate within the U.S. Why?

    Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.8 Foreign Policy During the George W. Bush Administration   3.8.1 Overview of the Bush Administration’s Foreign Policy   - Lecture: YouTube: University of California Television’s Conversations with History: “American Foreign Policy in a New Era with Robert Jervis” Link: YouTube: University of California Television’s Conversations with History: “American Foreign Policy in a New Era with Robert Jervis” (YouTube)

 Also Available in:  

[iTunes](http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/conversations-history-audio/id382087410)  

 Instructions: Click on the link above and watch the entire lecture.
Many contended that the 9/11 attacks ushered in another dramatic
change in the way the United States, then under the leadership of
President George W. Bush, approached its role in the international
system. In this lecture, Professor Jervis provides an overview of
this transition.  

 Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on this webpage.
  • Reading: American Government and Politics in the Information Age: “Chapter 17: Foreign and National Security Policies – Section 17.4: The George W. Bush Administration” Link: American Government and Politics in the Information Age: “Chapter 17: Foreign and National Security Policies – Section 17.4: The George W. Bush Administration” (PDF)

    Instructions: Read section 17.4 in its entirety and attempt the exercises at the end of the reading. This reading is intended to complement Professor Jervis’s lecture above in providing an overview of the Bush administration’s foreign policies.

    Reading this section should take approximately 45 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • Reading: The White House: President George W. Bush’s “Speech at West Point, 2001” Link: The White House: President George W. Bush’s “Speech at West Point, 2001” (HTML)

    Instructions: This speech articulates the approach the Bush administration took to foreign policy following 9/11. The speech lays out the Bush administration’s grand strategy, sometimes referred to as the Bush Doctrine, which was later re-articulated in the administration’s National Security Strategy. This strategy included the notion that the U.S. would engage in preemptive war to eliminate threats before they materialize, an argument used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

    Studying this reading should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.8.2 The War in Afghanistan   - Reading: Tufts University OpenCourseWare: Professor Jeffrey W. Taliaferro’s Force and Strategy: “Insurgencies and Counterinsurgencies – Afghanistan” Link: Tufts University OpenCourseWare: Professor Jeffrey W. Taliaferro’s Force and Strategy: “Insurgencies and Counterinsurgencies – Afghanistan” (HTML or PDF)

 Instructions: This article is an overview of U.S. involvement in
Afghanistan, which has been an important issue for the presidential
administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. On this page,
either click on the first slide and continue the presentation by
clicking “next” or download a PDF version of the slides by clicking
the link at the top of the page.  

 Reviewing these slides should take approximately 45 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.8.3 The War in Iraq and Its Aftermath   - Reading: Tufts University OpenCourseWare: Professor Jeffrey W. Taliaferro’s Force and Strategy: “Insurgencies and Counterinsurgencies – Iraq” Link: Tufts University OpenCourseWare: Professor Jeffrey W. Taliaferro’s Force and Strategy: “Insurgencies and Counterinsurgencies – Iraq” (HTML or PDF)

 Instructions: This set of notes complements the previous readings
on the U.S. involvement in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. On this page,
either click on the first slide and continue the presentation by
clicking “next” or download a PDF version of the slides by clicking
the link at the top of the page.  

 Reviewing these supplies should take approximately 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: iTunes U: University of Chicago’s Center for International Studies: The World Behind the Headlines: “Blind into Baghdad: The U.S. War in Iraq” iTunes U: University of Chicago’s Center for International Studies: The World Behind the Headlines: “Blind into Baghdad: The U.S. War in Iraq” (iTunes)

    Instructions: Scroll down to the lecture titled “Blind into Baghdad: The U.S. War in Iraq” and click on “View in iTunes.”

    This lecture reviews the foreign policy decision-making within the Bush administration that eventually resulted in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. This lecture is useful in its discussion of both the rationale for the Iraq War and the decision-making dynamics within the administration’s foreign policymaking apparatus.

    Listening to this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 45 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.8.4 Applying Theory to the Bush Administration’s Foreign Policy: A Realist Critique of Neo-Conservatism   - Lecture: YouTube: University of California Television’s Conversations with History: “The Neo-Conservatives with Jonathan Clarke” Link: YouTube: University of California Television’s Conversations with History: “The Neo-Conservatives with Jonathan Clarke” (YouTube)

 Also available in:  

[iTunes](http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/conversations-history-audio/id382087410)  

 Instructions: Watch this lecture. The principles that guided the
Bush administration’s foreign policy after 9/11 are consistent with
neo-conservative theories of international relations.
Neo-conservative theory infuses liberalism’s emphasis on spreading
democracy with a willingness to use military power to further those
goals. This lecture provides an overview of neo-conservatism.  

 Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Open Democracy: John Mearsheimer’s “Hans Morgenthau and the Iraq War: Realism versus Neo-Conservatism” Link: Open Democracy: John Mearsheimer’s “Hans Morgenthau and the Iraq War: Realism versus Neo-Conservatism” (HTML)

    Instructions: This article complements the previous lecture on neo-conservatism. Here, Mearsheimer uses the example of the Iraq War to compare neo-conservative and realist approaches to foreign policy.

    Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.8.5 Assessing the Bush Administration   - Lecture: iTunes U: Harvard University’s Institute of Politics: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum’s “9/11: 10 Years On” Link: iTunes U: Harvard University’s Institute of Politics: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum’s “9/11: 10 Years On” (iTunes)

 Instructions: Click the link to the lecture titled “9/11: 10 Years
On,” and select “View in iTunes.” This video is a retrospective
assessment of the Bush administration and is intended to serve as a
capstone for the previous readings and lectures on the Bush
administration and the foreign policy challenges the U.S. faced in
the wake of the 9/11 attacks.  

 Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.9 Foreign Policy in the Obama Administration   3.9.1 Overview of the Obama Administration’s Foreign Policy   - Lecture: iTunes U: Wellesley College’s Albright Institute for Global Affairs: “President Obama and the Future of American Foreign Policy” Link: iTunes U: Wellesley College’s Albright Institute for Global Affairs: “President Obama and the Future of American Foreign Policy” (iTunes)

 Instructions: This lecture is an overview of the Obama
administration’s approach to foreign policy and the challenges it
faces. Click on the lecture titled “President Obama and the Future
of American Foreign Policy” and select “View in iTunes.”  

 Listening to this lecture and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.9.2 A New Approach to the Muslim World   - Lecture: iTunes U: Oxford University’s Politics and International Relations Podcasts: “The Turn: American Foreign Policy 2009 to 2011” Link: iTunes U: Oxford University’s Politics and International Relations Podcasts: “The Turn: American Foreign Policy 2009 to 2011” (iTunes)

 Instructions: Click on the lecture titled “The Turn: American
Foreign Policy 2009 to 2011” and select “View in iTunes.” This
lecture discusses the efforts of the Obama administration to improve
the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world. As
you go through this lecture, consider both the general approach of
the Bush administration as well as Huntington’s Clash of
Civilizations thesis.  

 Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Web Media: YouTube: The Brookings Institution’s “An Assessment of Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy” Link: YouTube: The Brookings Institution’s “An Assessment of Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Watch the video, which features a panel of scholars and policy experts discussing President Obama’s foreign policy and defense strategies over the course of his first term in office.

    Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take 1 hour and 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: C-SPAN: “President Obama’s Speech to Muslim World in Cairo” Link: YouTube: C-SPAN: “President Obama’s Speech to Muslim World in Cairo” (YouTube)

    Instructions: This speech is a prominent example of the Obama administration’s efforts to engage the Muslim world. Again, as you view this speech, consider how this approach differs from the Bush administration as well as Huntington’s clash of civilizations thesis.

    Watching this speech and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.9.3 The War in Afghanistan and Just War Theory   - Reading: YouTube: NobelPrize.org: “2009 Nobel Peace Prize Lecture by Barack Obama” Link: YouTube: NobelPrize.org: “2009 Nobel Peace Prize Lecture by Barack Obama” (YouTube)

 Instructions: In President Obama’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech,
he articulates the Just War theory, which is important for
understanding the criteria by which leaders choose to use military
force. It also gives insight into the Obama administration’s
rationale for its use of military force, particularly with regard to
Afghanistan.  

 Watching this speech should take approximately 45 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Mount Holyoke College: Professor Vincent Ferraro and Professor Joseph Ellis’s version of “Remarks by President Obama at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize” Link: Mount Holyoke College: Professor Vincent Ferraro and Professor Joseph Ellis’s version of “Remarks by President Obama at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize” (HTML)

    Instructions: These remarks comment on the text of President Obama’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech and serve as a complement to the speech itself.

    Reading these comments should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.