This trend changed with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Since then, foreign policy has returned to center stage, and politicians and candidates hotly debate foreign policy issues. An old adage states that politics stops at the water’s edge, meaning that the United States should not let political disputes influence foreign policy. In reality, though, partisan politics have a great impact on foreign policy.
The term foreign policy refers to a state’s international goals and its strategies to achieve those goals. Foreign policymakers follow the same five steps with which public policy gets made:
1.Agenda setting: A problem or issue rises to prominence on the agenda.
2.Formulation: Possible policies are created and debated.
3.Adoption: The government adopts one policy.
4.Implementation: The appropriate government agency enacts the policy.
5.Evaluation: Officials and agencies judge whether the policy has been successful.
Unlike domestic policy, however, foreign policymaking usually involves fewer people and less publicity. In the United States, the president serves as the chief diplomat and is charged with running American foreign policy. The president employs three tools to conduct foreign policy:
Diplomacy is the act of dealing with other nations, usually through negotiation and discussion. Diplomacy involves meetings between political leaders, sending diplomatic messages, and making public statements about the relationship between countries. The American president, for example, often hosts leaders and chief diplomats of other nations at the White House in order to discuss a variety of issues. Most diplomacy occurs behind the scenes as officials hold…