Forge in Policy - Paper Example

Published: 2021-08-17 07:58:27
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Harvey Mudd College
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Undoubtedly, the United States remains a world's superpower. As a result, much of the country's resources have been directed towards international relations and foreign policy. The United States (U.S) hopes to use its superpower status to influence the world towards freedom of the citizens and enjoyment of human rights. However, excessive concerns with the affairs of other countries could make America deprive citizens access to its resources as they are committed to defense than investing in the peoples' lives. This paper examines how U.S foreign policy differs from the domestic policy, ways in which U.S is considered superpower, how the superpower status should be used in influencing international relationships and assess levels of spending on national defense.

The U.S international relations and foreign policy differ from domestic politics and policy-making regarding the scope, interests, and secrecy. International relations and foreign policy concerns laws, orders and actions that the federal government makes or takes about other international bodies and nations (Smith 23). It includes activities such as adhering to international conventions and laws, alliances and security agreements, membership and involvement of multilateral bodies like the United Nations, supplying foreign aid and trade agreements among others. Conversely, domestic politics and policies concern decisions and actions regarding domestic affairs affecting the citizens of U.S such as taxes, energy, social welfare, health care and immigration among others (McKay 34).

Consequently, the differences in scope of the foreign and domestic policies imply differences in policy-making process and involvement of different parties with varying interests. Making foreign policy involves the President and the Congress (Destler 56). The President is the commander in chief of the armed forces, negotiates treaties and appoints ambassadors to represent U.S in different countries. Being the commander of armed forces, the President can involve the military in international conflicts. However, the Congress has the constitutional mandate of declaring war against other countries, approving treaties and confirming the President's nominees for ambassadorial positions in various countries. Congress also controls spending in foreign policy. Based on these foreign policy-making processes, it can be seen that there is involvement of various interests. The number of stakeholders is high as well as the actors. There is high consideration of diplomatic relationships with other countries, and that is why ambassadors are involved. The linkages between countries affect the foreign policy-making process. There is also a high secrecy involved in making foreign policy because it entails involvement of military actions and decisions.

On the contrary, domestic politics and policy-making involve fewer stakeholders and interests as well as lower level of secrecy (McKay 34). There is rarely involvement of international parties in internal politics. The interest groups are the citizens and other organizations concerned with the internal matters of the country. Thus no foreign bodies are involved. Also, the citizens pressurize the government to come out clear on policy matters as they are directly affecting their lives, hence no secrecy involved in domestic politics and policy-making process.

For a long time, the U.S has been considered a superpower nation mainly because of its strong economy, military prowess, and political influence. As of 2013, the GDP per capita in the U.S was $53, 042 and it was the highest among all world countries meaning that much of the country's economic growth is finding its way into the pockets of the citizens and empowering them (Bremmer 78). This was contrary to other countries such as China which had a per capita of $ 6, 807, implying that even though its economy was growing, much of the wealth went to a few individuals. Also, the U.S is economically a superpower because 87% of the foreign currency transactions and 80% of worldwide financial transactions are conducted in U.S dollars (Bremmer 78). Its currency is dominant. Besides, the U.S military is superior, dominating across land, sea and airspace (Hirst 13). The U.S spending on military accounts for 37% of the world's spending on the military. U.S military deters almost every hostile nation. Moreover, the U.S is considered a superpower due to its high political influence. The U.S I not only politically stable but also lead in foreign aid offers amounting to $32.7 billion in 2013 followed by the United Kingdom at distant $19 billion (Bremmer 85). With such high financial influence on foreign countries, the U.S commands a high political influence worldwide.

Out of the three powers discussed above, political influence is the most important. This is because having a financial command over others gives U.S a bigger say on international relations and foreign policy matters (Frieden 67). It is because of the political influence and financial power that the U.S has much power over international bodies such as the United Nations simply because it is the major financier of foreign programs. The U.S should use this position as a major world power to influence international relations by financially sponsoring foreign policies that help the poor countries develop economically, end poverty and uphold respect for human rights and dignity.

In 2015, the U.S spent $598 billion in defense, accounting for 54% of the fiscal year (Di Matteo 8). This level of spending on defense is too high. Nevertheless, such a spending is justified. For instance, Sapolsky et al. argues that the U.S is experiencing numerous security threats from the world's major terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and it must invest in military superiority to deter such threats and keep its citizens safe (54). This way, the high spending on the military can be good for the safety of the citizens.


The U.S foreign politics and foreign policy differs significantly from the domestic politics and policies concerning scope, interests and stakeholders and the secrecy involved. The high concerns of U.S in foreign relations and foreign policy is attributed to its economic, military and political influential superpowers. The U.S should use its political superpower influence in guiding foreign countries towards economic prosperity, eradication of poverty and observance of human rights. Although the U.S spending in defense is high, it is crucial for the safety of its citizens. Expanding military prowess helps U.S deter threats from terrorists and aggressive nations such as North Korea which is currently attempting to interfere with the safety of U.S citizens.

Work Cited

Bremmer, Iam. "These are the 5 reasons why the US remains the Worlds Only Superpower." Time (2015).

Destler, Irving M. Presidents, bureaucrats and foreign policy: The politics of organizational reform. Princeton University Press, 2015.

Di Matteo, Livio. "A Federal Fiscal History: Canada, 1867-2017." (2017).

Frieden, Jeffry. Banking on the world: the politics of American international finance. Routledge, 2015.

Hirst, Paul. War and power in the twenty-first century: the state, military power and the international system. John Wiley & Sons, 2014.

McKay, David. American politics and society. John Wiley & Sons, 2017.

Sapolsky, Harvey M., Eugene Gholz, and Caitlin Talmadge. US defense politics: the origins of security policy. Taylor & Francis, 2017.

Smith, Steve, Amelia Hadfield, and Tim Dunne, eds. Foreign policy: theories, actors, cases. Oxford University Press, 2016.

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