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POLSC332: The Presidency and the Executive Branch

Unit 2: The Foreign Policy and National Security of the President   The Constitution endows the president with the powers of commander-in-chief, head of state, and chief diplomat. In so doing, the president—and by extension, the executive branch—is, first and foremost, responsible for national security of the United States and appropriate foreign relations with other countries. The president is the leader of the armed forces, the national intelligence apparatus, and the state department. Although each president approaches foreign policy differently, the president traditionally makes use of various institutions and organizations to carry out his or her foreign policy agenda. Unit 2 provides an overview of national security, diplomatic, and foreign policy roles of the president and executive branch. It explains the roles played by the key institutions and organizations that promulgate the president’s agenda: The Defense Department, the National Security Council, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the State Department.  Moreover, with the advent of globalization and technological advancement, Unit 2 provides an historical analysis of this changing role and the varying foreign policy agendas of US presidents.

Unit 2 Time Advisory
Time Advisory: Completing this unit should take approximately 25.5 hours.

☐   Subunit 2.1: 6.5 hours

☐   Subunit 2.2: 2 hours

☐   Subunit 2.3: 1 hour

☐   Subunit 2.4: 3.25 hours

☐   Subunit 2.5: 12.75 hours

Unit2 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - discuss the ways in which foreign policy is developed; - analyze the main actors in foreign policy development; - explain the shared foreign policy powers of the president and Congress; - analyze the factors that go into foreign policy decisions; - discuss the constraints upon a president’s authority to use force abroad; - explain the role of secrecy in US foreign policy; - analyze the historical background of US foreign policy; - describe the major actors on the National Security Council; - explain the role of the National Security Council; - discuss the contribution of the intelligence community in national security; - discuss the mission of the US Department of State; - explain how diplomacy is essential for effective national security and foreign policy; - discuss the foreign policy of the Obama Administration; and - analyze the historical foreign policy agendas of past administrations.

2.1 National Security and the Presidency   - Reading: David L. Paletz, Diana Owen, and Timothy E. Cook’s American Government and Politics in the Information Age: “Chapter 17: Foreign and National Security Policies” Link: David L. Paletz, Diana Owen, and Timothy E. Cook’s American Government and Politics in the Information Age: “Chapter 17: Foreign and National Security Policies” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read the entire
chapter. Take notes as needed.  

 Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 2
hours.  

 Terms of Use: The textbook above is released under a [Creative
Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share-Alike License
3.0](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/). It is
attributed to David L. Paletz, Diana Owen, and Timothy E. Cook.
  • Reading: US Department of State: CRS Report to Congress: Richard F. Grimmett’s “Foreign Policy Roles of the President and Congress” Link: US Department of State: CRS Report to Congress: Richard F. Grimmett’s “Foreign Policy Roles of the President and Congress” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please read the entire report above. You should pay special attention to the manner in which national security and foreign policy are formulated and how the power is shared between the president and Congress. This will also be relevant to Unit 3, which discusses the checks and balances and the separation of powers between the president and Congress. Take notes as needed.

    Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: This material is in the public domain.

  • Lecture: YouTube: US Army War College: “Making National Security Policy in the 21st Century” Link: YouTube: US Army War College: “Making National Security Policy in the 21st Century” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Please watch the entire lecture on the decision-making process for national security and foreign policy. Pause to take notes as needed.

    Watching this lecture and taking notes should take approximately 45 minutes.

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

  • Lecture: YouTube: The Federalist Society: “Resolved: That the President's War Powers are (Nearly) Absolute” Link: YouTube: The Federalist Society: “Resolved: That the President's War Powers are (Nearly) Absolute” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Please watch the entire debate about the theoretical and historical constraints (or lack thereof) on presidential war-making power. Pause to take notes as needed.

    Watching this lecture and taking 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.

  • Reading: Salon: Glen Greenwald’s “Obama on Presidential War-making Powers” Link: Salon: Glen Greenwald’s “Obama on Presidential War-making Powers” (HTML)

    Instructions: Click on the link above and read the entire article. Please take notes as needed.

    Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

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

  • Reading: Foreign Policy in Focus: Robert Pallitto’s “Obama and State Secrets” Link: Foreign Policy in Focus: Robert Pallitto’s “Obama and State Secrets” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and read the entire article. Please take notes as needed.

    Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. It is attributed to Robert Pallitto and the Institute for Policy Studies, and it may be viewed in its original form here.

  • Reading: Foreign Policy in Focus: Jim Lobe’s “Obama Shakes the Pillars of US Security” Link: Foreign Policy in Focus: Jim Lobe’s “Obama Shakes Pillars of US Security” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and read the entire article. Please take notes as needed.

    Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. It is attributed to Robert Pallitto and the Institute for Policy Studies, and it may be viewed in its original form here.

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: “Background of American Foreign Policy” Link: The Saylor Foundation: “Background of American Foreign Policy” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please read the article above. Take notes as needed.

    Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

2.2 The National Security Council   - Reading: University of Virginia: Alan G. Whittaker, Frederick C. Smith, and Elizabeth McKune’s “The National Security Policy Process: The National Security Council and Interagency System” Link: University of Virginia: Alan G. Whittaker, Frederick C. Smith, and Elizabeth McKune’s “The National Security Policy Process: The National Security Council and Interagency System” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please read the entire article, especially focusing
on the major actors and operation of the National Security
Council.  

 Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 2
hours.  

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

2.3 The Intelligence Community   - Reading: Federation of American Scientists: “The Need to Maintain an Intelligence Capability” Federation of American Scientists: “The Need to Maintain an Intelligence Capability” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read the entire article on the need to
maintain a robust intelligence capability. Take notes as needed.  

 Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately
30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Foreign Policy in Focus: Robert Pallitto’s “Secrecy and Foreign Policy” Link: Foreign Policy in Focus: Robert Pallitto’s “Secrecy and Foreign Policy” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please read the entire article about the need and efficacy of secrecy in foreign policy. Take notes as needed.

    Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. It is attributed to Robert Pallitto and the Institute for Policy Studies, and it may be viewed in its original form here.

2.4 The State Department and US Diplomacy   - Reading: US Department of State: “Mission Statement” Link: US Department of State: “Mission Statement” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read the entire article about the foundational
goals and purpose of the US Department of State. Take notes as
needed.  

 Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately
30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This material is in the public domain.
  • Web Media: YouTube: Regents of the University of California: Conversations with History: “Diplomacy and US Foreign Policy” Link: YouTube: Regents of the University of California: Conversations with History: “Diplomacy and US Foreign Policy” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Please watch the entire video about the role of diplomacy in US foreign policy.

    Watching this video and taking 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.

  • Lecture: iTunesU: The Albright Institute on Foreign Affairs: R. Nicholas Burns’s “President Obama and the Future of Foreign Policy” iTunesU: The Albright Institute on Foreign Affairs: R. Nicholas Burns’s “President Obama and the Future of Foreign Policy”(iTunesU)

    Instructions: Open the above lecture in iTunes, and then click on the relevant section (“President Obama and the Future of Foreign Policy”). Please listen to the entire lecture, pausing to take notes as needed.

    Studying this lecture and taking 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.

2.5 Foreign Policy Agendas   - Reading: University of Virginia’s Miller Center: American President: A Reference Resource—Foreign Affairs: “Abraham Lincoln,” “Theodore Roosevelt,” “Woodrow Wilson,” “Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” “Harry S. Truman,” and “Dwight David Eisenhower” Link: University of Virginia’s Miller Center: American President: A Reference Resource—Foreign Affairs: “Abraham Lincoln”(HTML), “Theodore Roosevelt” (HTML), “Woodrow Wilson” (HTML),“Franklin Delano Roosevelt” (HTML), “Harry S. Truman(HTML), and “Dwight David Eisenhower” (HTML)

 Instructions: For each link above, read about each president’s
foreign policy agendas and history. Take particular note of the
major foreign policy events in their respective presidencies and how
each president generally approached foreign policy. Please take
notes.  

 Reading these selections and taking notes should take approximately
2 hours.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Web Media: Khan Academy: *The Cuban Missile Crisis* Link: Khan Academy: The Cuban Missile Crisis (HTML)

    Instructions: Watch the entire video about the Cuban Missile Crisis. Please pause to take notes as needed.

    Watching this video and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. It is attributed to the Khan Academy and can be viewed in its original form here.

  • Reading: University of Virginia’s Miller Center: “Flexible Response” Link: University of Virginia’s Miller Center: “Flexible Response” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please read the entire article above. Take notes as needed.

    Reading this selection and taking 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.

  • Reading: University of Virginia’s Miller Center: American President: A Reference Resource—Foreign Affairs: “Jimmy Carter” and “Ronald Wilson Reagan” Link: University of Virginia’s Miller Center: American President: A Reference Resource—Foreign Affairs: “Jimmy Carter” (HTML) and “Ronald Wilson Reagan” (HTML)

    Instructions: For each link above, read about each president’s foreign policy agendas and history. Take particular note of the major foreign policy events in their respective presidencies and how each president generally approached foreign policy. Also, please watch the videos as you do the reading; these videos demonstrate one of the most powerful tools a president has: domestic and international rhetoric. Please take notes as needed.

    Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 3 hours.

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

  • Reading: University of Virginia’s Miller Center: Jeffrey A. Engel’s “When the World Seemed New: American Foreign Policy in the Age of George H. W. Bush” Link: University of Virginia’s Miller Center: Jeffrey A. Engel’s “When the World Seemed New: American Foreign Policy in the Age of George H. W. Bush” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please read the entire article about George H.W. Bush’s foreign policy. Pay attention to the way in which US foreign policy changed as the Cold War ended. Please take notes.

    Reading this selection and taking 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.

  • Reading: University of Virginia’s Miller Center: American President: A Reference Resource—Foreign Affairs: “Bill Clinton” Link: University of Virginia’s Miller Center: American President: A Reference Resource—Foreign Affairs: “Bill Clinton” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please read about President Clinton’s foreign policy agenda and history. Take particular note of the major foreign policy events of his presidency and how he generally approached foreign policy. Please take notes as needed.

    Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

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

  • Reading: US Department of Defense: “National Defense Strategy of The United States of America” Link: US Department of Defense: “National Defense Strategy of The United States of America” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please read the entire article, which details the US national defense strategy under George W. Bush’s administration. Please take notes.

    Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This material is in the public domain.

  • Reading: University of Virginia’s Miller Center: American President: A Reference Resource—Foreign Affairs: “Barack Obama” Link: University of Virginia’s Miller Center: American President: A Reference Resource—Foreign Affairs: “Barack Obama”(HTML)

    Instructions: For each link above, read about President Obama’s foreign policy agenda and history. Take particular note of the major foreign policy events of his presidency and how he generally approached foreign policy. Please take notes.

    Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

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

  • Lecture: University of Virginia’s Miller Center: “From Clinton to Bush to Obama: What Have We Learned about Presidents and Foreign Policy?” Link: University of Virginia’s Miller Center: “From Clinton to Bush to Obama: What Have We Learned about Presidents and Foreign Policy?” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please download the audio or video version (near the bottom of the screen) and attend to the entire presentation. Pause to take notes as needed.

    Studying this lecture and taking 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.