The Underpinnings of American Foreign Policy
Strategy research project
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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President Obama in his recent speeches, those given in December 2009, first at the United States Military Academy at West Point and later as he accepted his Nobel Peace Prize, surprised both liberals and conservatives with his forceful repudiation of terrorism and his willingness to use unilateral force to protect American vital interests. In response President Obamas critics, the thesis of this paper examines the claim that American foreign policy is derived from our values and national experience, with distinct and unique underpinnings rooted in the history and psychology of early American colonists. Early American presidents, reflecting these underpinnings, established American foreign policy traditions that remain in place today, even as these traditions have evolved with our intervention and participation in the two World Wars, and subsequent role as the worlds preeminent super power. American Presidents across the political spectrum have consistently centered their foreign policy decisions based on these distinctive American values and traditions.
- Government and Political Science