7TH April 2017
The Interest Groups and the Political System of the US 7
ResearchProject: The Interest Groups and the Political System of the US
Accordingto Ehrlich (2009), foreign policy is also called foreign relationsand consists of strategic self-interest mechanisms chosen by a givenstate in order to safeguard its national interests and at the sametime achieve goals with the other national engagements. Theapproaches are strategically used to make interactions with othercountries possible. Recently, as a result of transnational activitiesand globalization, the states are also interacting with othernon-state actors. The interactions are evaluated and after thatmonitored to maximize the benefits of the multilateral internationalcooperation.
Sincethe interests of the nations are critical, foreign policies are madeby the government through decision making at high-level ranks. Thenational interests’ accomplishments can happen as a result ofpeaceful cooperation with the other different nations, or eventhrough exploitation (Ehrlich, 2009). Usually, it is the presidentand foreign affairs ministry that are responsible for the creation ofthe foreign policies. In some countries, the national assembly hasalso a stake in the formulation of the foreign policies. The foreignpolicies in different countries, have different rates of scopes andchange of intentions, which can be hampered by circumstances thatpossibly change the interests of a given nation and thereby affectthe stability of the nation.
Theforeign policy of a country can have profound and everlasting impacton the many nations and also on the course of global relations(Marshall & Prins, 2016). For instance, in the 29thcentury, the Monroe Doctrine conflicted with the mercantilistpolicies in the European countries and also in the goals of therecently formed South American nations. Therefore, the foreign policyof a nation is imperative and determines quite a lot for thatparticular nation in terms of its internal performance and relationswith the other multinational countries. In this paper, I will presentthe role of the president and the Congress on formulation of theforeign policies. I will also identify the foreign relations made byPresident Barrack Obama in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the effect ofthis foreign relation in these countries. Moreover, the paper willidentify the effect of these relations for the United States and alsofor the international community.
Roleof the President in Foreign Policy Formulation
Therole of the president of the US of America is to protect thefinancial, military, legal, ideological, and the cultural interestsof the US. This is referred to as advancing and protecting thenational interests. The president can accomplish this in part throughimplementation and development of the foreign engagementformulations. As the president of a democratic republic, thepresident does not have the veto and absolute power to accomplishforeign policy. The power and actions that steer implementation offoreign policy are anchored in the rule of law (Marsh & Lantis,2016). The greatest authority for the president to conduct and steerforeign policy lies in the constitution of the United States ofAmerica.
ArticleII of the Constitution gives the legal authority for the head ofstate to implement foreign policy. The Constitution give thepresident the powers to make treaties and at the same time appointthe ambassadors subject to consent and advice of the Senate. Thepresident has the powers to participate in discussions with the othernations and then engage the ambassadors who embody the government indealing with the foreign external engagements.
Also,the president has the sole power to distinguish the foreigncountries, the acknowledgment of their legal right to be part of themembers of the international community. More so, the presidentpossesses the authority of the asserted constitutional to makeexecutive negotiations with the foreign nations. For instance, thereare trade agreements that have been made through the executiveagreements instead of the use of treaties. The executive agreementsare a bit different since they do not require the consent andratification of the senate.
Likewise,another privilege of the president is the executive power still underArticle II. This power when combined with the duty of the presidentto see the laws executed faithfully, gives him a very broad range ofimplied power (Presidential Candidates Debate Foreign PolicyStrategy, 2011). This is the power not directly and expressly statedin the precincts of the Constitution, but are implied as necessarypowers for him fulfil his responsibilities. This is the executiveorder of the president. It is a directive that either interprets orimplements the federal policies or even a treaty that regulates thebehaviour of executive agencies together with the ones working forthem.
Thearticle II of the constitution is also critical since it gives thepresident significant power relating to issues legislation. All thegovernment actions and engagements should be anchored in theconstitution and or a duly enacted law (Trumbore & Dulio, 2012).This article gives the president the authority to endorse legislationto the Congress that then advances the foreign policy and at the sametime has the power to veto legislation that the head of statebelieves is against the national interests. All these are still underthe purview and powers of the president.
Moreso, the constitutional role of the president as thecommander-in-chief of the forces gives the head of state the power tooversee the implementation of foreign policy. He is military head.The president can send the forces oversees to protect the interestsof the national and also do project power to send a message. Whilethe president does not have the power to declare war, he has theauthority to start limited military action without the approval ofthe Congress in certain specific circumstances. For this same reason,the US has not declared any other war apart from the World War II.All the other military interventions and actions were taken sincethen, were taken without the Congress declaring war.
CongressionalPowers in Foreign Policy Formulations
The535 members of the Congress have a big say in the formulation of theforeign policy in the United States of America as per theconstitution. It is a legislative house, and the laws it makes caneither influence the issues of foreign policies. One of the mostpowerful legislative work of the Congress on the issues of foreignpolicy is the powers to appropriate money (Marsh & Lantis, 2016).It is the responsibility of the Congress to determine how much thegovernment can spend and the specific thing the government can usethe people`s money on. For instance, the Congress decides the amountof expenditure for intelligence, defence, and also the funding forthe State Departments, diplomatic activities together with itsembassies. Likewise, the Congress decides the countries that getmonetary aid and the much they get.
TheCongress also has powers to oversight over the executive agencies.These include the NSA, the CIA of Defence and Department of State.These oversight authorities allow the Congress to monitor theexecutive implementation of the constitution and also investigate theexecutive activities. For instance, the Congress has the right tocarry out investigations on a breach of security, conduct executive`sintelligence gathering and also the Pentagon`s development of weaponssystem.
Additionally,the Congress has significant power over treaties. While the head ofstate is responsible for discussing treaties with the foreignnations, the constitution demands that the head of government seeksthe advice and the consent of the Senate. Under the Constitution, theSenate has the powers to reject the ratification of a proposedtreaty, amend the treaty or even attach a treaty reservation, whichis a statement written with claims to modify or exclude the legaleffectiveness of some of the parts of the presidential treaty.
Also,it is the Congress that has the authority to declare war and at thesame time raise support of the armed forces. This authority isgranted by the Constitution in Article 1 of the United StatesConstitution. This clause has always been a flashpoint of conflictbetween the head of the state and the Congress since it is thepresident that is the president. However, since the introduction ofthe War Powers Act, the presidents have viewed their powersespecially on declaring war as an unconstitutional infringement ontheir powers.
Itis only in Congress than any other part of the federal governmentwhere the different individual interest’s issues are addressed. TheCongress creates an extensive lobbying and policy-crafting industry,and much of these lobbying is focussed on foreign affairs (Trumbore &Dulio, 2012). The Americans concerned about Cuba, human rights,agricultural imports, global climate change and immigration seek outthe congressmen and women of the Senate and House to influencelegislation processes and budget decisions.
AfterObama inauguration, the president oversaw a new strategy in dealingwith Pakistan and Afghanistan. Obama considered Afghanistan as asecurity threat and a theatre of a global struggle against terroristnetworks during campaigns and also confirmed the same after hisinauguration. In March 2009, a new strategy was presented in dealingwith these national security threats. Some of the first decisionsincluded the reorientation from Iraq to Afghanistan contained in theMiddle Eastern Policy, and this included increased resourcemobilization, added troops, and more attention. Obama used the samestrategy used by Bush against Iraq but now towards Afghanistan.
Oneof the startling critical points in this strategy is that Pakistanand Afghanistan should be regarded as security problems. It isimperative for these nationals to experience relative peace, sincethe security of these two neighbouring countries, is the security ofthe United States and the whole international community (Marsh &Lantis, 2016). In this new policy, Obama defines the role of Americaas to disrupt, destroy and defeat al Qaeda in Afghanistan andPakistan and further prevent them from returning to either of the twonations in the future. This move would help to improve the economic,military and governance capabilities of the respective countries.
Foreignpolicy concentrates on the interests of a given nation as it alsoestablishes relations with the other international partners. Thesepolicies determine the terms of engagement and interventions of agiven nation either through concession or forcefully. The UnitedStates, as a democratic country has had different and varying foreignrelations with different nations. Both the president and the Congresshave a role in the policy formulation of foreign engagements. Theconstitution has stipulated the different role of the president andthe Congress in foreign policy formulations as discussed above.
Ehrlich,S. (2009). Constituency Size and Support for Trade Liberalization: AnAnalysis of Foreign Economic Policy Preferences in Congress. ForeignPolicy Analysis, 5(3),215-232. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1743-8594.2009.00090.x
Marsh,K., & Lantis, J. (2016). Are All Foreign Policy InnovatorsCreated Equal? The New Generation of Congressional Foreign PolicyEntrepreneurship: Table 1. ForeignPolicy Analysis, orw030.http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/fpa/orw030
Marshall,B., & Prins, B. (2016). When Political Gridlock Reigns inPresidential Foreign Policy: Policy Availability and the Role ofCongress. PresidentialStudies Quarterly, 46(4),763-790. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/psq.12318
PresidentialCandidates Debate Foreign Policy Strategy. (2011). ForeignPolicy Bulletin, 15(04).http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s1052703605000365
Trumbore,P., & Dulio, D. (2012). Running on Foreign Policy? Examining theRole of Foreign Policy Issues in the 2000, 2002, and 2004Congressional Campaigns. ForeignPolicy Analysis, 9(3),267-286. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1743-8594.2012.00187.x
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