US Foreign Policy Exam I

Terms in this set (127)

Previous outbreaks of ebola were more successfully contained because they began in isolated rural villages where it could be easily quarantined. In this new outbreak, it has spread into major cities of Liberia, including the capital of Monrovia.
The new Ebola outbreak is overrunning the health care infrastructure of Liberia.
Extremely understaffed health care system unable to deal with the outbreak
Pre-outbreak, the health care system of Liberia was already taxed
250 doctors for 4.1 million people in Liberia
In Austin, 4500 doctors
Not enough beds or equipment in hospitals to treat everyone
Sick people being turned away from hospitals
Sick people are out of quarantine, so they eventually transmit Ebola
In class, the rate at which it was spreading went from 1.4 to 1.7 people per case. However, newer evidence suggests that this rate is increasing geometrically.
The entire healthcare industry of Liberia is solely focused on treating those infected with Ebola, so people with health care issues not related to Ebola are being denied treatment.
Ebola outbreak leading to a collapsing economy in Liberia
People are staying at home to avoid contracting the illness, which has led to an economic standstill.
Crisis for Liberia's social structure
The rapid spread of the virus is undermining the ability of the Liberian state to cope with these challenges
President of Liberia is worried that basic order will collapse, and it's already collapsing.
Limited public health care, food shortages, limited police presence, and limited economic activity.
There are five different frameworks of ethics that you could use to confront the Ebola crisis. (these frameworks were discussed in lecture 2).
Utilitarian framework
weighs harms vs. benefit of any action to decide decision
More harms than benefits = negative aggregate good
More benefits than harms = positive aggregate good
Benefits:
Relieve human suffering and save lives,
Prevent spread of disease
Prevent (further) social/economic breakdown
Prevent civil conflict
Boost international and domestic image
Harms/Costs:
Risk American lives
Strain American economy
Overstretch American military
Distract from greater threats
Risk of failure & disappointment damaging our politics
Risk of setting precedent (where do our obligations end?)
Rights based framework
emphasize the protection of each individual's rights, regardless of the cost
Fairness framework
emphasize the fair treatment of all victims
Who gets treated and who is left to die?
Western aid workers vs African victims
Most severe cases vs most likely to survive
Social categories: young vs old, rich vs poor
Utility: Urban vs rural, educated vs uneducated
issues arise out of scarcity
What if we can't help everyone? (plot twist: we can't)
We would be forced to choose what victims to help, who should get treated? (the ones who need the most help or the ones more likely to survive? women and children first?)
has been used extensively in this situation
Common good framework
emphasizes the interconnectedness between all of us
viewpoint of this may depend on whether one views themselves as a citizen of the U.S., safe from this outbreak, or as a citizen of the world tied to the fate of others across the globe.
Virtue framework
argues that one should take ethical decisions to promote ethical habits
Biggest stretch of all. This framework is easier applied to an individual rather than an entire nation.
However, one could argue that the U.S. should help fight the ebola outbreak just to help it get accustomed to placing ethical considerations into it's foreign policy.
Congress donates much of it's power to the executive (their local goals somewhat less important than national goals at the moment)
Importance of constituencies
Generate different composition of societal interests to represent
President has a larger constituency
Supposed to represent the entire nation
Congress has a narrower constituency; societal interests can be concentrated on left or right side of ideological perspective
Think of the ideology a representative of a largely democratic state represents vs a representative of a largely republican state
War changes the relative importance of local and national goals in political calculations of congressional officials
Congress cares more about national policy outcomes during a period of war induced crisis
as a result, these narrower constituencies aren't as important as national policy outcomes (therefore the interests of a larger constituency) during this time period.
As a consequence, they tend to move closer to the president's position, enhancing his authority and enabling him to achieve more of his policy goals.
Increase in national foreign policy concerns
President has more access to foreign policy bureaucracy
The President can use these crises to redefine issues that are often thought solely in domestic terms like energy policy, infrastructure spending, or tax cuts as national security issues.
The increase in national policy concerns over local ones enable the president to push congress to support his positions on these domestic issues as well
Congressional uncertainty about optimal foreign policy choices strengthens the Executive (who has the informational advantage)
War elevates the importance of national goals in political calculations, enabling the President to achieve more of his policy goals
9/11: shifted national policy debate to national security, local interests have become less important, Congress gives more power to president
First, Republicans criticize Obama for not properly training the Free Syrian Army so they could take this fight on in the territory. Instead, Obama abandoned the Free Syrian Army. Now, Republicans are being critical of Obama's policy of air support for ISIS - they say ISIS is the size of Indiana with over 30,000 people involved (Pat: may only be 5,000-10,000 people) and there must be ground support, Special Forces, and intelligence rather than simply air weaponry.
Dana Milbank: "Republicans gallop toward ground war..."
Tom Cole - Obama was "far too quick to rule out options and tools that he in fact may need later."
Jack Kingston - "If it's important enough to fight, it's important enough to win."
The reason why Republicans have become so eager to engage in military operations against ISIS because they argue that it will not be an easy fight and they need to engage now before ISIS gains more power in the region. They argue they need to use more resources than are at the table at the moment. The Republicans imply that the current strategy against ISIS is destined to fail
Domestic politics are in play in their criticism. Their inflammatory criticisms are a tactic that is trying to shift the public debate.
It's election year, so part of this is it's an opportunity for the Republican party to criticize Obama
They can imply and explicitly state that this is Obama's mistake
They argue that the Democratic party is too weak for this issue, which makes the Republican party seem tougher and stronger, which may be beneficial in the upcoming election
April 1917, Germans forced his hand, they wanted to implement submarine warfare against merchant shipping in coasts of Europe, meaning more American merchant vessels would be destroyed and US citizens would die
Woodrow Wilson consistently worked to keep US out, campaigns on in 1916 election
E.g. Peace Without Victory Speech
German submarine campaign shifts public opinion, makes it politically impossible to stay out of war
In January 1917, Germany announced that it would lift all restrictions on submarine warfare starting on February 1. This declaration meant that German U-boat commanders were suddenly authorized to sink all ships that they believed to be providing aid of any sort to the Allies. Because the primary goal was to starve Britain into surrendering, the German effort would focus largely on ships crossing the Atlantic from the United States and Canada.
The first victim of this new policy was the American cargo ship Housatonic, which a German U-boat sank on February 3, 1917. Although Wilson tried hard to keep the United States neutral, by the spring of 1917, the situation had changed significantly, and neutrality no longer seemed feasible. Germany's unrestricted submarine warfare was taking its toll, as American ships, both cargo and passenger, were sunk one after another. Finally, on April 2, Wilson appeared before Congress and requested a declaration of war. Congress responded within days, officially declaring war on Germany on April 6, 1917.
Wilson also wants to shape the terms of the peace
wanted to get collective security system centered around League of Nations
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