Monday, January 01, 2007

WHO MAKES FOREIGN POLICY?

Section 2 of the pamphlet "OUR FOREIGN POLICY 1952"

WHO MAKES FOREIGN POLICY?



THE constitution gives the President of the United States full authority for conducting our foreign relations. He has the power "by and with the advice and consent of the Senate" to
negotiate treaties and to appoint diplomatic officials. Both houses of the Congress hold the purse strings.

Thus the President and the Congress, both directly responsible to the people, work together in the making of foreign policy.

12



In 1789, President Washington appointed the first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, as his agent and adviser in carrying out foreign policies. And today the Secretary of State and the Department of State are still the right arm of the President in the conduct of inter-national relations.




The Department of State, with its 290 posts in 75 countries, is the eyes and ears of the Government in the conduct of our foreign a ffairs. Reports coming in reg-ularly from the trained observers in these posts help the State Department and other agencies to foresee prob-lems and make plans to meet them.

In practice, most of the agencies of the Federal Gov-ernment are concerned, in one way or another, with foreign relations. These agencies work together

13


through some 33 joint committees that study and advise on foreign-policy matters.

The American people themselves speak their minds on U.S. foreign policy in a thousand ways. They send word indirectly to their Government through the press, the radio, and television and through the leaders of their churches, clubs, labor unions, and other organizations. They send word directly by letters and telegrams. The Department of State, for example, receives an average of 5,000 letters or telegrams a week from private citizens. The views thus expressed are regularly reported to officers whose responsibility is to make policy recom-mendations. These views are taken into account, with other information, in arriving at policy decisions.

Since the war many regional and local organizations have been set up in the United
States for the purpose of studying issues of foreign policy.
For example, during the past few years World Affairs Councils have been established in a number of our large cities. National and local organizations whose previous programs
had been largely concentrated on domestic issues have shown a notable interest in increasing programs on foreign affairs.

Colleges and universities are taking a vigorous and growing interest in international questions. In all parts of the country they are sponsoring intercollegiate insti-tutes and conferences on various international issues.

There is no simple prescription, of course, for the making of a democratic foreign policy. Because of the great size and diversity of our country, our foreign policies always reflect many ideas and many interests. But the sum total is America –– America seeking a way and a means to transform its hopes into realities.

No comments: