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An important starting point is to explain how future counterfactuals fit into the methodological canon of the discipline.
2ac – specificity key Understanding complexities of American foreign policy is crucial to shape the way we approach the international order in the first place – securitization only happens when we talk about generalities instead of specific mechanismsBenjamin Valentino 16- Benjamin is an Associate Professor of Government, Dartmouth College (“Sustainable Security: Rethinking American National Security Strategy,” 2016, %20Chapters.pdf) hk Understanding the nature of public attitudes about American foreign policy is critical if the United States wishes to craft a more sustainable national security strategy.Whether America seeks to achieve sustainability by reining in American commitments or by significantly reorienting them, in the long run, new policies must be accepted by the American public. Although it is sometimes asserted that the public plays little role in the realm of foreign policy, the consensus among recent scholarship is that public opinion has a significant inﬂuence over America’s foreign policy decisions. Contrary to conventional wisdom, attitudes about foreign policy can sometimes be an important determinant of voting behavior, which means that decision makers who seekto maintain their positions ignore it at their peril.5 For this reason, every American President since Franklin Roosevelt has closely tracked public opinion on important foreign policy decisions.6 Because the public is generally not well informed about foreign affairs, elites probably do have a greater opportunity to shape public opinion on foreign policythan they do in the domestic arena. Over the longer term, however, if elites cannot convince the public to support their policies or if the public becomes convinced the policies have failed, they will be punished at the polls.7 Indeed, numerous studies have found that public opinion can affect important foreign policy choices, including the timing, duration and conduct of war.8 This chapter, therefore, investigates American attitudes towards US foreign commitments, drawing on recent public opinion polls including the results of an original foreign policy survey conducted on a representative sample of Americans in the spring of 2012.9 We know surprisingly little about US public opinion on these issues. Although pollsters frequently survey American attitudes regarding ongoing military conflicts, the American public is only rarely asked its opinions on longstanding security commitments to places like Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Europe, or Kuwait—and even then, often only during times of crisis. Surveys that do explore foreignpolicy attitudes tend to address these issues only at the highest level of generality, such asgauging overall levels of public support for a particular military intervention, public fears about terrorism, presidential approvalin theconduct of foreign policy, American favorability towards specific foreign countries, and attitudes about the defense budget.