Unformatted text preview: gan and Clinton administrations also asserted the right to preventive selfdefense in dealing with terrorism – Obama will not pursue democratization Democratization – Obama will back off Bush’s agenda of “democratization” » Though Obama will feel the pressure of the foreign policy establishment to spread democratic values (just not by force as was the case in Iraq) What Drives US Foreign Policy
What Leaders matter, just not as much as most people think
– Why? There is a conservative bias in US foreign policy » The Economy – the public expects economic growth, thus foreign policy focuses on oil, since oil fuels the economy » Security Concerns – insecurity about future attacks on America tends to encourage more aggressive policies
» Opposition Politics – “toughness” is awarded in American politics: no politician wants to face accusations of weakness Liberal leaders – conservative policies » 2008: In the Democratic primaries, Obama took a harder line position than McCain, said he would strike Al Qaeda inside Pakistan, even over the objections of the Pakistanis
» 2004: Candidate John Kerry (DMA) refused to renounce “preemptive war” as being necessarily wrong
» 1980: President Carter issued the “Carter Doctrine,” which declared the US would go to war, if necessary, to keep open the “free flow of oil” from the Middle East What Drives US Foreign Policy
What US Political culture – Americans (and immigrants to America) expect an ever increasing standard of living To earn more money in order to purchase a more comfortable life, to live the “American Dream” A growing economy satisfies this expectation » Capitalism tends to produce more economic growth
» Oil is the principle energy source that fuels a growing economy (in America and in the world) » Capitalism & O...
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2014 for the course POLS 1337 taught by Professor Barnes during the Spring '08 term at University of Houston.
- Spring '08