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					The Presidency and Foreign Policy




         9 December 2010
                         Announcements

• Essays will be available for pickup from the Politics office on
  Monday.
• Final exam; review sheet
                Voters’ Focus on Presidents

• Prior to the Civil War presidents seldom acted on their own on
  military matters; Following WW II,
• Voters now expect president to act in area of foreign affairs.
• Support the president in crisis situations.
   – “Rally ‘round the flag” effect: The tendency for the public to
      back presidents in moments of crisis.
   – While voters are supportive initially, they tend to demand
      quick results, and often forget foreign policy accomplishments,
      particularly if domestic economic issues become concerns.
                                    Approval of Bush/Blair (2001-2005)
                      90                                                                                 50


                      80                                                                                 40

                                              War begins
                      70
                                                                                                         30


                      60
                                                           Saddam Hussein captured                       20




                                                                                                               Net Satisfaction (Blair)
Net Approval (Bush)




                      50
                                                                                                         10
                                                                                                                                          George W. Bush
                      40
                                                                                                                                          Tony Blair
                                                                                           UK election   0
                      30

                                                                                     US election         -10
                      20


                                                                                                         -20
                      10


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                      -10                                                                                -40
                                                    Date
      The ‘Theory’ of the two presidencies

• Presidents have more constitutional discretion with respect to
  foreign policy (aided by SC decisions such as Curtiss-Wright 1936
  on arms sales). But, presidents may not act contrary to the
  expressed will of Congress.
• Foreign policy requires fast action and focused responsibility and
  neither interest groups nor members of Congress compete with
  the president as much over foreign affairs as over domestic
  affairs.
• Members of congress may often acquiesce in foreign affairs.
• Interest groups are less focused on foreign affairs.
    Presidents and Military Operations

– Abraham Lincoln first to action based on an expanded
  interpretation of commander in chief.
– Theodore Roosevelt: sent ships to Japan without Congressional
  approval of cost
– Not since WWII has Congress officially declared war.
– As part of the Cold War, the U.S. fought two conventional wars
  in Korea and Vietnam
– Truman fought the Korean War without any congressional
  declaration at all.
– The U.S. has also engaged in military operations (since WWII)
  in Laos, Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, Lebanon,
  Grenada, Panama, Libya, Somalia, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan
  and Iraq.
                           Vietnam

• Focused attention on the issue of executive authority
• Eisenhower and Kennedy sent “advisors”
• Johnson asked for Tonkin Bay Resolution
   – Congress overwhelmingly authorized response to attack with
      armed force after North Vietnamese attacked several U.S.
      destroyers
   – Gave president the authority “to take all necessary measures”
      to repel any attacks and to “prevent further aggression.”
   – Resolution was legal basis for a war that would last 8 more
      years but based on misinformation from the Johnson
      administration. In reality the destroyers had invaded N.
      Vietnam’s territorial waters.
                 War Powers Resolution

• 1973 congressional resolution requiring the president to notify
  Congress formally upon ordering U.S. troops into military action.
   – Troops must be withdrawn unless Congress approves the
     presidential decision within 60 days after notice of the military
     action has been received.
         War Powers Resolution & 9/11

• At Bush’s request, Congress passes war on terrorism resolution in
  2001.
   – One dissenting vote in the House.
   – President authorized to “use all necessary and appropriate
     force against those nations, organizations, or persons he
     determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the
     terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept 11, or harbored such
     organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts
     of international terrorism.”
   – No limit placed on time period in which president may act.
   – Second resolution focused continuing threat posed by Iraq.
     But required Bush to exhaust “diplomatic or other peaceful
     means” of resolving the conflict prior to resorting to force.
                         Treaty Power

• Treaties are official agreements with foreign countries that are
  ratified by the Senate (by 2/3rds).
• Because a small number of Senators can block a treaty,
  Presidents opt instead for executive agreements
• These are agreements with foreign countries that require only a
  presidential signature. Power not found explicitly in the
  Constitution.
• Most executive agreements either are extensions of treaties
  ratified by the Senate or involve routine presidential actions that
  have been authorized by Congress.
Use of Executive Agreements
       The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (SALT)


• Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a
  sweeping new arms reduction pact in April of 2010 that pledges to
  reduce the stockpile of deployed, strategic nuclear weapons in
  both countries and commits the old Cold War adversaries to new
  procedures to verify which weapons each country possesses.
• The Treaty requires Senate ratification (2/3rds support needed)
  which will require Republican support.

				
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