Reagan and the Contras

Reagan and the Contras - negotiate business deals with...

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Reagan and the Contras In the 1980s, Republican president Ronald Reagan fought a major political battle with the Democratic-controlled Congress over giving aid to the Nicaraguan contras, a group attempting to overthrow the Marxist Sandinista government. President Reagan wanted to provide economic and military aid to the contras, whereas many Democrats argued against such aid. Eventually, Congress not only cut off funding but also made it illegal for the U.S. government to provide any money to the contras. The Courts The courts do not usually play a major role in foreign policy, but at times they have ruled about what the president and Congress can and cannot do. Recently, for example, federal courts have ruled that President George W. Bush overstepped his authority in detaining enemy combatants and wiretapping phone calls without a warrant, but how this affects foreign or domestic policy remains to be seen. State and Local Governments State and local governments also play a role in foreign policy. These governments
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Unformatted text preview: negotiate business deals with foreign governments and corporations, even hosting foreign dignitaries to promote trade deals. In some cases, local and state leaders work together with their foreign counterparts to reach informal policy agreements. Example: The American city of El Paso, Texas, is directly across the Rio Grande from the Mexican city of Juárez. The mayors of the two cities frequently reach informal agreements on matters that affect them both, such as pollution control and border crossings. Public Opinion Public opinion often shapes foreign policy, especially in recent decades. Mass demonstrations, rallies, and letter-writing campaigns can sway the opinions of lawmakers and other government officials. In the 1980s, for example, vocal opponents of President Ronald Reagan’s policies in Central America contributed to Democratic electoral victories, which eventually changed American foreign policy in the region....
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2012 for the course POS POS2112 taught by Professor Leslietaylor during the Winter '09 term at Broward College.

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