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Describe the tools used to carry out United States foreign policy.
B. Economic Aid
C. Military Aid
D. Humanitarian Aid
G. Military Intervention
Signing of Treaty of Ghent (1812)
For more on foreign policy, see
AP United States History Theme 28
Interactive Map: Foreign Aid Analysis Made Easy
from the Center for American Progress.
Defense Breakdown Economic Impact Reports
lists 2012 Pentagon contracts and their dollar amounts in every Congressional district in the country.
Focus Question: How does the United States carry out is foreign policy?
American Foreign Policy Making Structure, Image on Wikimedia Commons by Tomwsulcer
The Department of State was established in 1789 and is one of the oldest of the cabinet departments. Similar to a foreign ministry or office of foreign affairs in other governments, the State Department handles diplomatic relations between the United States and foreign nations. The Secretary of State and his or her staff travel around the world building alliances and coalitions, protecting human rights, promoting democracy, and mediating conflicts. The department also works to unite various nations over global issues including terrorism, international crime, and many other important issues (Shaffrey 75). The Department is headed by the Secretary of State, a position appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
In addition to dealing with diplomatic relations, the State Department controls the Great Seal of the United States of America (Shaffrey 75).
served as Secretary of State from 2001-2005 under President George W. Bush. He was the first African American to hold this position. Click
to read a conversation with Colin Powell from the Atlantic.
was the first female to hold the position of Secretary of State. She was Colin Powell's predecessor. Another woman to occupy this position was
Hillary Rodham Clinton
to read more abut Madeleine Albright.
, former Democratic presidential nominee and U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, is the current Secretary of State.
US Embassies 2007
official site of US embassies
, where US are located and current news about them.
Royal Blue--U.S. Embassy
Light Blue--U.S. Interests Section in Swiss Embassy
Sky Blue--American Institute in Taiwan
Gray--No diplomatic mission
American Ambassadors Around the World
Chief of Mission Biographies Listed by Title or Country
from U.S. Department of State
B. Economic Aid
Marshall Plan Poster
to read an article from Foreign Policy about the extent of America's economic aid.
to read an article from Foreign Affairs from 1961 about the US's foreign aid.
From the Washington Post in 2013,
the US Gives Egypt $1.5 Billion in Foreign Aid. Here's What it Does
From 2012, from the Huffington Post, click
to see who the US gives foreign aid to.
History of the US's Foreign Aid to Israel
Read about the
, perhaps the most important economic aid that the US has given. Implemented in Europe to contain the spread of communism.
C. Military Aid
There are three main programs for military funding:
Foreign Military Financing (FMF): this types provides grants that enable US allies to attain US military equipment, services, and training. Click
to see a break down by country of US foreign grants and credits from 2000-2009.
Peacekeeping Operations (PKO): this types provides voluntary support for international peacekeeping situations. This usually falls within the interests of the United Nations.
The International Military Education and Training program (IMET): this type a grant basis military training to foreign (usually US allies) military officers.
From the State Department,
Foreign Military Financing Account Summary
From Forbes 2015,
As U.S. Resumes Military Aid to Egypt, Reports Show How Little Is Being Used
to read about the role of the US in UN peace keeping missions.
An article from Bloomberg Business,
US Counts on Training Foreign Forces Despite Years of Failure
D. Humanitarian Aid
An American solider provides water to a Pakistani girl, October 2005
Global Humanitarian Assistance
provides key figures of US humanitarian aid.
From the Air Force website,
American Humanitarian Aid
to read about US humanitarian aid for the Syrian Civil War, the White House.
to watch a video and read text about how humanitarian aid in Iraq will cost the taxpayer.
to watch a video and read text about the US giving money in humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Skippet, Treaty with Mexico*
to read about the US uses treaties for foreign policy.
From the State Department,
Also from the State Department,
Treaties in Force
to view US treaties and international agreements.
to see the 7 treaties that the US has never ratified.
*Treaties were typically sealed with pendant seals (wax discs which were impressed with the seal) attached to the treaty document by a cord; skippets were containers to protect the wax disc during transport, and were usually made of silver. This skippet was for a treaty with Mexico about protection for a transitway across the Isthums of Tehuantepec signed by the U.S. on January 25, 1851, but it was never ratified by Mexico so the seal was never sent.
Chemical and Biological Weapons Treaties and Agreements
For background, see
Chemical Weapons: How We Built a Taboo
, The Boston Globe, September 8, 2013.
Pallets of 155 mm artillery shells, mustard gas
Hague Declaration of 1899
banned gas shells, a norm that lasted until World War I.
Geneva Protocol of 1925
Full Title: Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare
Biological Weapons Convention
Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993
For background, see a
Brief History of Chemical Weapon Use
from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. See also,
Chemical Weapons Used Rarely--But with Deadly Effect
from NPR (August 27, 2013).
USS William V. Pratt, conducting Maritime Interdiction Force missions for UN trade sanctions against Iraq after Operation Desert Storm.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), part of the United States Department of Treasury administers a number of different sanctions programs. The sanctions can be either comprehensive or selective, using the blocking of assets and trade restrictions to accomplish foreign policy and national security goals. (US Department of Treasury). One of the most famous examples of economic sanctions is the fifty-year-old United States embargo against Cuba.
Often the U.S. government will impose economic sanctions as a means of displaying disapproval or condemnation of a foreign nation's policies, without resorting to military force. Recently, the U.S. government has imposed sanctions on Iran for its potential nuclear weapons program, and on Russia for its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.
for more on current U.S. sanctions against Iran.
to read about the US sanction against Ukraine and Russia.
Instances of Use of United States Forces Abroad, 1798-1993
from the U. S. Department of the Navy.
Photo Gallery: US Military Intervention Since Vietnam
United States Military Personnel Developments Around the Globe
1, 084,548 (United States and its Territories
80,443 (Europe, most in Germany, England and Italy)
61,972 (Asia, most in Japan and South Korea)
26,801 (Middle East other than Iraq, most in Kuwait)
172 (Oceania, most in Australia)
(from Pioneer Valley News, July/August 2011)
Countries Intervening in Libya (green) are colored blue, 2011
The United States spends considerably more on its military than any other nation in the world. As of 2014, its estimated $640 billion spent on the military was more than three times that of the next highest nation (China, at $188 billion).
List of Countries by Military Expenditure
Additional Resources for Teachers and Students
The Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) site
presents the official records of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity.
WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs site
is an excellent resource for primary source materials related to American foreign policy.
This site provides primary source documents relating to
American Foreign Policy 1898-1914
Face-Off: United States Foreign Policy with North Korea
has lessons plans on the Cold War, imperialism, Communism, and diplomacy.
the Birth of an Empire
for excellent lessons on the question of an American empire, the Spanish-American War, the U.S. and the Philippines, and imperialism and the Open Door Policy.
Foreign Policy Research Institutes'
site provides lessons and webcasts to aid students and teachers in the teaching and learning of United States foreign policy.
America on the Sidelines
is an interactive timeline that highlights the major events in Europe and East Asia from 1931 to 1941. It demonstrates the U.S. response to the activities that developed through out Europe and East Asia.
Shaffrey, Mary M., and Melanie Fonder.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to American Government.
New York: Penguin Group, 2005.
U.S. Department of State: Office of the Historian. Retreived 24 April 2011 from the United States Department of State's site:
WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs (2011). Retreived 24 April 2011 from Wayne A. Selcher's site:
Documents Relating to American Foreign Policy 1898-1914 (2010). Retreived from Vincent Ferraro's site:
America on the Sidelines: The United States and World Affairs, 1931-1941. Retreived 24 April 2011 from Interactive Design by CiV's site:
Critical Lectures in American Foreign Policy. Retreived 24 April 2011 from the Earth Institutes's site:
Webcast/Courses (2011). Retreived 24 April 2011 from the Regent's of the University of California's site:
Council on Foreign Relations (2011). Retreived 24 April 2011 from the Council of Foreign Relations's site:
Face-Off: United States Foreign Policy with North Korea (2011). Retreived 24 April 2011 from WGNH Educational Foundation's site:
The Birth of an Empire. Retreived 24 April 2011 from EDSITEment!'s site:
Foreign Policy Research (2011). Retreived 24 April 2011 from Foreign Policy Research Institutes's site:
.U.S. Department of Treasury. Sanctions programs and country information
New images obtained from Wikimedia Commons.
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