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American Foreign Policy - Essay Example

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foreign policy is run and administered through a bureaucratic process in the federal government. Decision making in foreign policy, hence, involves actors from the state bureaucracy. The main actors are in the departments of finance, defense, the state and foreign…
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AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY”         al Affiliation   What is the foreign policy bureaucracy, its component and history? How does ithelp and hurt the president’s ability to govern?
The U.S. foreign policy is run and administered through a bureaucratic process in the federal government. Decision making in foreign policy, hence, involves actors from the state bureaucracy. The main actors are in the departments of finance, defense, the state and foreign ministry. In this process, it is common to see them pushing most of the interests their way. The foreign policy bureaucratic process is composed of the diplomatic unit (foreign affairs), security, economic affairs (finance), and the intelligence.
Thesis: Foreign policy bureaucracy is both advantageous and disadvantageous to Presidential powers in governance.
Bureaucracy in foreign policy can prove to be a headache to governance. When there is an issue that needs to be discussed in regards to the foreign policy, each facet of the process serves their own agenda before looking at the overall responsibility of the decision. In this regard, it is evident that each of the working unit feels an essential player in the process and seeks to safeguard the interests of the particular arm of the state. This is both beneficial and detrimental to the presidential power and ability to make decisions. For the latter, the best decision is reached at, and a decision that favors all involved departments and thus the state. As for the former case, the solution that is realized is largely as a result of compromised standards, and conflicts amongst the involved officials. There is diversification of interests amongst the parties, some of whom may have undue influence thus negatively affecting the process and wasting more time in the same.
Foreign policy bureaucracy suppresses rationalism in decision making. This is again influenced by the influence of a particular department in policy formulation. A good example to this is the reason that compelled the U.S. to attack in Iraq in 2003. Just rationalism was definitely not used in the final decision making process, given the issues that erupted thereafter. This is detrimental to the president’s personal choices but acts or the best of the nation.
In foreign policy decision making, the President is the most powerful and central figure. Psychologically, the President is bound by some limitations as time and energy, ideology as well as rationality. With the presence of the foreign policy circle of advisers, the process of decision making is decentralized from the President making life and governance much easier. In this case, the bureaucracy in foreign policy safeguards the president from making decisions constrained by irrationality and psychological inabilities.
Bureaucracy in foreign policy is decentralized to four components in carious state departments. All this components, in seeking to guard state interests bestowed under them by the constitution, aid the president in making the most desirable foreign policy decisions. The advantage, however, comes at a cost; some components have undue influence over others and the decisions made might not be rational. According to Rosati and Scott (61), this is a question of scarcity and too much abundance. This reinforces the thesis that; foreign policy bureaucracy is twofold; it acts to the benefit as well as detriment of presidential governance.
Reference list
Rosati, Jerel and Scott James. 2014. The Politics of United States Foreign Policy. 6th ed.  Independence, KY: Wadsworth Publishing. Read More
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