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STUDY QUESTIONS

1. What are the characteristics of U.S. public opinion on foreign policy? How do presidents,
the media, and international events shape public opinion? What influences public opinion on
the use of force?
-Public opinion is sets constraining limits
-Public opinion sets boundaries
-Public uninformed on basic FP issues
-Opinions are not based in facts, but rather in beliefs (have preferences without being
informed)
-Media doesn’t have too big of an effect (Cognitive Dissonance: people avoid news that
contradicts their beliefs)
-Public opinion can be permissive and patriotic
-When there is a dramatic foreign event, support for the event and the president
increases
-This allows the president to do October Surprise
-Public opinion lags behind Prez (Policy leads opinion)
-Presidents shape the rhetoric of their speeches to gain as much support as possible
-US citizens tend to be causality adverse

2. What roles does the constitution give to Congress in the making of foreign policy? How
can Congress contribute constructively to U.S. foreign policy? What role did Congress play
in the decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003? Did Congress fulfill its constitutional
responsibilities? Why or why not?
-Powers given to Congress in making FP
-Congress provides money for military
-Congress declares war
-Treaties must be ratified with the advice and consent of the Senate
-Congress can give advice on making treaties
-Allows them to have a say in foreign negotiations
-However, Presidents usually don’t consult Congress till after or make Executive
Agreements that don’t need Congressional approval
-Power of the Purse allows Congress to attach conditions to bills in order to change
foreign policy
-Congress refused to pay UN dues in the 1980’s
-Can cut off funding to end wars (clumsy and not effective)
-Congress can refuse to consent to a presidential appointment in a FP department
-War Powers Act (Not effective)
-Requires president to consult with Congress before committing troops to
hostilities “where possible”
-Must report to Congress within 48 hours of hostilities
-After 90 days, Congress can remove troops
-After 9/11, Congress granted Bush “all necessary and appropriate force” to use against
states harboring the terrorists
-Congress authorized the war in Iraq (This falls within their constitutional duty)
-Fulfilled constitutional responsibilities in this sense
-However, Congress was worried more about their political image and less about what
their constituents wanted (a poll showed that the majority of the country though that
domestic issues were of bigger concern and those who supported war thought that UN
should send weapons inspectors first)
-Also, Congress authorized the war based on insufficient and sometimes faulty evidence
-By doing this, they failed to check the power of the president as stated in the
Constitution

3. Why do bureaucrats disagree over what is the national interest? What are organizational
interests? Give examples. Why does the president have to bargain with bureaucrats to achieve
his goals? How does bureaucratic politics affect the quality of information and advice
received by the president? How can presidents minimize the bad effects?
-Disagree over national interest
-There are many different bureaucratic organizations that make FP
-Each has different organizational interests that they believe are most
important for national interests (compete for money and influence)
-Organizational interest = your outlook is influenced by your position/the
info that you receive
-Air force saw its Cold War mission as using nuclear weapons to deter
Soviets and tried to lobby the President for policies along these lines
-Army saw its Cold War mission as conventional combat and tried to
lobby the President along these lines (tried to send troops to Europe to
legitimize having a big army)
-The president cannot order the bureaucrats around. His power comes through
persuasion
-President limited by organizational capabilities
-Needs bureaucracy on board to implement policy (cant monitor lower officials)
-Needs to bargain and compromise to persuade bureaucrats to get on board
-Bureaucratic Politics have influence through tactics
-Provide selective info to president (exaggerate effect of bombers)
-Information lost on way up (Lower level officials filter info they find not
important)
-Can unite and gang up on president (straw man tactics)
-Bureaucrats will color advice to make their ideas most appealing
-Minimize Bad Effects
-Force officials to be informed and compete
-This leads to new information and perspectives for the President

4. What factors contributed to the U.S. intelligence failure over WMD in Iraq? If Saddam
didn’t have WMD, why wasn’t he more cooperative with international inspections?
-Executive Factors
-The Bush Administration had a belief that Saddam was the cause of most of the
problems in the Middle East and an immediate threat to US security
-A lot of information received contradicted this belief and caused
dissonance
-Bush created the Office of Special Plans (OSP) to sort information
-Ignored information that were not consistent with administrations
beliefs
-A lot of the reports were considered unreliable/false
-Administration distorted intelligence estimates when making public case to go
to war
-Congressional Factors
-Congress failed to check the information or the power of the President
-Wrapped up in political moment (rally effect/upcoming elections)
-People still shocked by 9/11
-No large anti-war movement
-Could have delayed vote on Iraq until information was verified
-Saddam Not Cooperative
-Three different explanations why Saddam was not cooperative even though
cooperation was a requirement for lifting the economic sanctions against Iraq
-1.
-Saddam wanted it to seem like he had WMD’s in order to keep domestic
enemies at bay
-Threat of nuclear weapons kept him alive and in power
-2.
-He wanted to seem powerful in order to gain prestige in the Sunni
community (in other Arab nations)
-3.
-Saddam did have the remnants of his old WMD program
-However, only capable of producing biological weapons
-Iraq had suffered greatly under the sanctions in order for this program
to persevere (Iraqis had died)
-Giving in now to UN inspections would equal giving up and all of
the death and suffering would have been for nothing

5. Compare and contrast the competitive, collegial, and formal management systems. How
have different presidents modified the formal system model and why? What are the
advantages and disadvantages of each type of system? What factors should influence a
president’s design of an advisory system?
-Competitive Model (FDR)
-President at center of network
-Advisors talk directly with him, not other advisors
-Competition leads to creativity (best ideas)
-Generates politically viable compromises
-Disadvantages
-Huge demands on president’s time/attention (47 agencies reporting
directly to Roosevelt)
-Conflict between cabinet members led to low morale and high turnover
-Duplication of effort in agencies
-As information moves up the latter it gets lost
-Collegial Model (Kennedy)
-Wheel shape with president at the middle
-Advisors communicate with president and each other
-Advisors with conflicting interests spark debate
-Duplicate channels of communication
-President talks directly with lower level people
-Fosters team spirit
-President involved from formation to implementation
-President able to influence and shape process
-Disadvantages
-Groupthink
-Discussions are time consuming
-Place huge demands on Kennedy’s time
-Formal Model (Eisenhower)
-Have strong chief of staff
-Delegation
-NSC System
-Interdepartmental committees
-Disadvantages
-Neglected implementation
-Didn’t appoint aids to follow through
-No fresh ideas
-Disagreements suffocated before reaching top
-Modified Formal Systems
-Nixon (Formal Options System) (Suited his personality better)
-Used NSC to study all options
-Regional committees reported to senior review group
-Able to control bureaucracy (required NSC to write policy papers)
-Didn’t work well in crisis
-NSC took too much time writing papers
-System overly centralized in the White House
-What effects president’s choice of advisory system
-President’s cognitive style
-How he likes to receive information
-President’s conception of his role
-Relationship among advisors

6. What are psychological biases in foreign policy? How do people respond to information
that contradicts their beliefs? When do beliefs change?
-Psychological biases refer to how an individual’s beliefs influence how they view
information and make decisions on foreign policy issues
-Different models try to explain foreign policy
-Each built in with its own biases and errors
-People have limited mental capacity
-Beliefs shape the way people view the world
-Cognitive Dissonance
-Inconsistencies between beliefs and the information at hand create tension that
people want to eliminate or reduce
-Response
-Selective Attention: avoid information that contradicts beliefs
-Selective Interpretation: interpret information to fit beliefs
-Change
-Beliefs change when attitudinal changes
-Change behavior or environment
-Bias in FP
-Belief perseverance
-Can lead to missed opportunities for cooperation
-John Foster Dulles and Malenkov
-Intelligence Failures
-Information gets ignored because inconsistent with someone’s
beliefs
-Ignore Sunk Costs
-Reluctant to acknowledge sunk costs and continue losing war
-Attribution Theory
-How people (naïve scientists) use shortcuts to explain and predict events in
social world
-Bias in FP
-Assumptions are made because shortcuts are taken
-Fundamental Attribution Error
-Attribute other’s behavior to their disposition
-Actions reflect the quality of the individual
-A defensive move could be viewed as offensive
-Attribute our behavior to the situation
-Non-event
-Fail to respond to what could have happened but didn’t
-No response after USSR collapse
-Means Soviets weaker than we thought
-Too much weight given to first hand experience/concrete information
-Schema Theory
-People have templates that dictate how they interpret the world
-Bias in FP
-Stereotyping and categorizing
-Scripts
-Munich Script
-Don’t appease and aggressor
-Vietnam Script
-Don’t go to war without public support
-Metaphor
-Schema that only partially explains a situation
-Slippery Slope and Domino Theory (Cold War)
-Persona
-Schemas for people
-For Truman, Stalin=Boss Prendergast
-Beliefs Change
-A change in behavior leads to a change in beliefs
-Self-Perception Theory

7. What factors shaped FDR’s grand design? Why did FDR’s grand design fail? Consider the
role of the bipolar distribution of power, Soviet objectives, public opinion, and the
presidential transition.
-Factors
-Didn’t want to go back to the balance of power seen in the 18th century
-Admired the Concert of Europe
-Wanted to avoid the instability of a bipolar world
-Britain not powerful enough to balance Russia on its own
-Needed China to balance Russia in Asia
-Believed that the great powers had a responsibility to maintain order
-Four Policemen
-US, UK, Russia, China
-Responsible for maintaining order globally (but mainly in sphere
of influence)
-Group of weak states that accept a larger state’s
leadership in foreign policy
-Enforcement would be through economic sanctions and air
power
-Soviet Objectives
-Secure borders
-Russia has no natural borders
-Friendly governments in Easter Europe
-Surrounded by allies
-Failure
-Public Opinion
-FDR had to lie to the American people
-Told them that the Atlantic Charter was goal for fighting war
-Self-determination
-No territorial changes against the wills of the people
-Public very opposed to spheres of influence and would return to
isolationism is disillusioned
-Had to agree to spheres of influence in private (with Churchill
and Stalin)
-Could not agree to self-determination and practice spheres of influence
-Presidential Transition
-FDR didn’t discuss foreign policy with Truman
-Truman knew absolutely nothing about the Grand Design
-Didn’t know about FDR’s secret meetings with Stalin
-This means he didn’t know that Stalin was entitled to Eastern
Europe

8. When he took over as president, why and how did Truman’s approach to dealing with the
Soviets differ from that of Roosevelt? What was the impact on Soviet perceptions? Did the
transition from Roosevelt to Truman cause the Cold War? Why or why not?
-Getting Tough
-Truman took over and knew almost nothing about Roosevelt’s Grand Design
-Truman valued keeping agreements
-Thought Soviets weren’t keeping Yalta Agreement (Enlarged Polish
Government)
-Foreign Minister Molotov vetoed all appointment suggestions
-William Harriman (US ambassador to Soviet Union) urged Truman to get
tough so as not to be taken advantage of
-Lectured Molotov when he visited Washington
-Reversed US/SU cooperation by asserting US interests in Poland
-Cut back on lend-lease aid to the Soviet Union
-FDR had promised a post-war loan
-Soviet Perceptions
-Thought that Truman had abandoned FDR’s Grand Design
-Worried US wanted to surround SU with hostile governments
-Lead to deteriorating relationship with the Soviets
-Truman reversed getting tough policy as soon as he realized his mistake
-Cause of Cold War
-While Truman’s ascension to the presidency did not help relations with
the Soviets, it did not the singular cause of the Cold War
-No singular cause of the Cold War
-Soviets also to blame
-Constantly pushing limits
-Misinterpreted information on both sides
-US in Poland
-Soviets in Eastern Europe

9. What was the containment policy? When and why did Truman adopt the containment
policy? Did Truman and his advisers overestimate the Soviet threat? Why or why not? How
did the international system, domestic public opinion, and psychological factors shape the
policy? Why was containment significant?
-Containment Policy
-US foreign policy that worked towards stopping Soviet expansion in different
parts of the world
-Enforced through economic and military assistance to countries devastated by
WWII
-Eliminate conditions that breed communism
-Adopted due to Soviet pressures on Iran and Turkey
-Iran (March 1946)
-This is where the US came to view SU as expansionist
-Soviets refused to withdraw troops from Northern Iran
-Set up puppet government in Azerbaijan
-Soviets eventually backed off after receiving oil
concessions and partial autonomy in Azerbaijan
-Turkey
-Soviets wanted to control the Turkish Straight
-Didn’t want small state (Turkey) strangling big state
(Soviet Union)
-Sent note requesting new rules for the Turkish Straight
-US decided that there should be an international authority
controlling the straight that the Soviets could have a say in,
however, Turks had majority say
-Greece
-Civil war between a communist led insurgency and the
government
-US fearful of Soviets taking over Greece
-Used this as a basis for the Truman Doctrine
-Overestimation
-Soviet threat was greatly overestimated
-Due to psychological factors
-Actor/observer: Saw Soviet desire for Turkish Straight as expansionist.
Didn’t realize it was equivalent to US/Panama or UK/Suez
-Failure to respond to non-events
-Soviets quickly backed down from Iran and Turkey
-Suggests that they were just testing limits
-Had no real aggressive intentions
-Soviets did not actually support Greek communists
-Kept percentages agreement that Stalin and Churchill made
-Shaping Policy
-US public had to be convinced for it to pass Congress
-Truman forced to use global and ideological rhetoric because there
would be controversy if US interests were brought up
-Democracy vs. Totalitarianism
-Containment initially applied to Greece and Turkey
-Later expanded to Western Europe and Japan
-Any area that had basis for military power that could threaten
US
-US trying to preserve balance of power

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