Critical Choices in US Foreign Policy

HNR 360 - Critical Choices in US Foreign Policy

MySlice Info:

Term: Spring 2020
Class #: 41698
Section: M001
Credits: 3

Steinberg,James B

Counts toward:
HNR Soc Sci, Course Global Non-Euro, Presentation

Course Time(s):
Tu 09:30am-12:15pm

Eggers Hall 209

Course Description:

US foreign policy is at a crossroads. Three decades after the end of the Cold War, and after nearly twenty years of conflict in the Middle East and Afghanistan, the American people are engaged in a fundamental debate about the future of the US role in the world. When should the United States intervene in foreign conflicts? Should the United States shoulder the burden for defending our friends and allies? Should our economy be open to foreign trade and investment? When should the United States act to protect human rights and democracy abroad? None of these debates are new. From the earliest days of the Republic, American political leaders and the public have debated these fundamental choices about how the United States should engage on the international scene. Thomas Paine urged US support for the French Revolution; John Quincy Adams cautioned against going abroad “in search of monsters to destroy”. The founders warned against “entangling alliances”; 150 years later the “greatest generation” created NATO and a network of alliances in East Asia to combat the threat they perceived from Communism. In this course we will look at the debates surrounding some of the most important “critical choices” in American history, not only to understand better how the United States has arrived at the role it now plays in the world, but more important, to help us think about how to resolve the difficult choices we confront today. Drawing on primary sources, students will take on the roles of key protagonists in the historical debates, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the competing approaches and learn to apply the lessons from these past experiences to contemporary challenges.