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Forgeign and Defense Policies


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attentive public
The part of the public that pays attention to policy issues.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
An agency that functions under the National Security Council to collect and analyze information about political and military activities in other countries.
Cold War
The ideological, political, and economic impasse between the United States and the Societ Union following World War II.
Cold War era
The period from 1946 to 1989 when the Soviet Union and the US threatened one another with mutual nuclear destuction.
collective security
A worldwide security system by which nations agree in advance to take collective action against any state or states that break the peace.
commander in chief
The president's role as supreme commander of the military forces of the US, and of the state National Guard units when they are called into federal service. This power is granted by Article II, section 2 of the Constitution.
A political, economic, and social theory based on the collective ownership of land and capital and in which political power lies in the hands of workers.
A diplomatic policy adopted by the Truman administration to "build situations of strength" around the globe to contain Communist power within its existing boundaries.
Defense Department (DoD)
The federal department responsible for formulating military policies and maintaining the armed US armed forces.
The term used to describe US-Soviet policy under President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Under detente, the US had direct cooperative dealings with Cold War rivals without relaxing its ideological stand. The term isderived from the French word for the relaxation of tension.
Political relations amond and between nations; settling conflicts among nations by peaceful means.
executive agreement
A binding international agreement between chiefs of state. Unlike treaties, these do require consent of the Senate.
foreign policy
A nation's goals in its interactions with other nations, and hte techniques and strategies used to acheive them. These goals are decided and acted on in the "foreign policy process"
Foreign Relations Committee
A standing committee in the Senate charged with monitoring foreign relations.
intelligency community
The collection of government agencies that gather information about the desires, intentions, and capabilities of foreign governments or businesses, or work to further US foreign policy aims.
A broad term used to describe any foreign policy initiative in which the US uses its power, in the form of sanctions, treaties, or even military force, to pursue its goals.
Iran-Contra affair (1987)
A series of events in which White House staff members sold sophisticated weapons to Iran in exchange for the release of American hostages. The funds from this transaction were placed in secret Swiss bank account and used to support the Nicaraguan contra rebels in violation of the Boland Amendments.
Iron Curtain
The term used to describe the division of eastern and western Europe after World War II. Winston Churchiill popularized the term in a speech about Europe's division between between the West and the Soviet Union
isolationist foreign policy
The policy of remaining uninvolved in international affairs and free from entangling alliances. This characterized US foreign policy toward Europe during most of the 19th and part of the 20th centuries, though it has gradually declined since WWII.
Joint Cheifs of Staff
The principle military advisory group to the president, including the Chiefs of Staff of the Army, Airforce, the chief of Naval Operations, and the Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense.
League of Nations
The first general international organization, established in 1919 to preserve peace and security and to promote cooperation among nations in economic and social fields. The League voted itself out of existence in 1946 and transferred its asesets to the United Nations.
military-industrial complex
An informal alliance of key decision makers within the military, government, and defense industry that tries to implement policy that is beneficial for all three.
Monroe Doctrine (1823)
An American foreign policy originally developed by President James Monroe in his annual message to Congress. The doctrine set out three principles: European naitons were not to establish new colonies in the Western Hemisphere, they were not to interfere in the affiars of independent nations in the Western Hemisphere, and, in exchange, the US would not become involved in the affairs of European nations.
National Security Advisor
The head of the NSC, who advises the president on immediate foreign policy and military problems.
National Security Council
A staff agency in the Executive Office of the President that advises the president on matters relating to national security, both domestic and foreign. The NSC is made up of the president, VP, Secretary of State, and Secratary of Defense. The director of the CIA and Joints Cheifs of Staff are statutory advisors; others may serve at the president's request.
The legal status of a nation that does not participate in a war between other states.
Non-governmental Organizations (NGO's)
Groups with international interests and resources that may supplement or conflic with national interests. They might have interests in human rights, environmentla protection, humanitarian interests. Churches (and church organizations) and labor unions are NGO's.
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)
An organization established in 1949 to create a single, unified defense force to protect the North Atlantic area. Members include 16 Western European nations and the US.
nuclear defense
A US military policy that calls for hundreds and even thousands of nuclear missiles ready to be launched at a moment's notice with the intent of discouraging other nations (particularly the USSR during the Cold War) from using nuclear weapons on the US or its allies.
The US military establishment. The term comes from the shape of the military head-quarters building.
power of the purse
The traditional power of democratic legislative bodies to control the finances of government.
rogue state
A government that does no abide by the norms of international diplomacy or international law.
Secretary of State
The leading Cabinet officer, who heads the Department of State and is responsible for formulating policies and conducting relations with foreign states.
State Department
the agency primarily responsible for making and executing foreign policy.
Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I)
A treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union to reduce the nuclear arms competition between the two countries. The SALT I talks began in 1969 and wre signed May 26, 1972.
A formal agreement entered into by two or more countries.
Truman Doctrine
The doctrine announced by President Harry Truman in 1947 to aid countries facing communist threats. the Truman Doctrine was formulated as a specific respons to crises in Turkey and Greece, but applied to the world at large and marked the beginning of containment as the US foreign policy regarding communist expansion.
United Nations
An international organization composed of most of the countries of the world. Founded in 1945 to promote peace, security, and economic development.
War Powers Resolution (1973)
A law specifying certain conditions the president must meet to commit US tropos without the approval of Congress. The resolution attempted to close a loophole by which presidents were able to get around the constitutional requirement that only Congress can declare War.

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