American Foreign Policy: Cases and Choices (Foreign Affairs Books)

January 01, 2004

Book
Foreign policy analyses written by CFR fellows and published by the trade presses, academic presses, or the Council on Foreign Relations Press.

More on:

United States

Politics and Government

Pundits often treat foreign policy decision making as a simple matter of morality or politics, and academics often ignore it entirely, viewing policy as driven not by individual officials but by broad structural forces. Foreign policy professionals, in contrast, generally see the subject as an arena of constrained choice. They try to figure out just how much freedom of action they actually have in a particular situation, and debate how best to use that freedom to advance the national interest. The hallmark of the serious professional's approach to foreign policy is not certainty but doubt; they live in a world with no easy answers, only an endless series of unpleasant tradeoffs. This collection is an introduction to that world. Originally published in Foreign Affairs, the essays gathered here offer a broad array of opinions on pressing topics ranging from handling rogue states to humanitarian intervention, from designing trade policy to dealing with the UN to managing relations with China.

More on:

United States

Politics and Government

Up

Explore More on CFR

Russia

If the President wants to use an arms build-up to advance arms control, he should take his cues from the Reagan record.

Yemen

The Gulf nation’s ground troops have cultivated alliances in Yemen with local armed groups, but its ability to shape the civil war’s outcome is limited.

U.S. Foreign Policy

U.S. competition with China continues to intensify, but rather than adopting a strategy of containment, the United States should respond by reinforcing its relationships with allies and leveraging China's desire for stability to discourage disruptive behavior.