Accession Number:



Adapting American Policymaking to Overcome American Exceptionalism

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Master's Thesis]

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The thesis begins with the etymology of American exceptionalism and the way in which its connotation has changed throughout American history. This change demonstrates American exceptionalisms tainted definition due to its influence in foreign policy decision making. American foreign policies today, specifically toward and within the Middle East, are beset with missteps and ill-advised actions. These policies, thereby, contribute to a fertile soil within which detractors and enemies of the United States increasingly thrive. In order to illustrate the ill effect of these policies, this thesis provides the foreign policy examples of American involvement in Iraq, of damaging strategic-messaging and diplomatic missions, and of military operations spanning administrations. In conclusion, an apologist posture to defend American foreign policies is not called for. However, a deep inward look toward the foreign policy framing and decision making process is necessary to adapt that policy and address the tension between U.S. ideologies and U.S. interests. A proposed solution is the development of policy garners analogous to military war gamers familiar with the regions within the Middle East, who may act as subject matter experts and top-level advisors as they strategically plan for shaping current and future interactions within the Middle East. The desired effect is a U.S. foreign policy adapted to simultaneously support and further U.S. interests while recognizing its third-order impact of the nuanced and volatile cultures within the Arab and Muslim community, and the threat to the homeland created by this impact.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Humanities and History

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]