Poli 422. Compare and contrast the levels of Bipartisanship in U.S. Congress during the cold war with respect to the Vietnam conflict and the current and ongoing War regarding Ukraine invasion by Russia under the regime of President Vladimir Putin.
With the use of examples, explain the concepts of Divided Government and One-party government and discuss their respective impacts on American foreign policy implementation.
Identify types of foreign Policy Interest Groups and explain their patterns and levels of involvement and roles in shaping U.S. foreign policy.
Explain the theory and assumptions of “Military-Industrial Complex” introduced and given credence by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Include in your analyses its implications to American foreign policy in the contexts of War and Peace.
Bipartisanship in Congress during the Cold War was generally higher than it is today, particularly regarding foreign policy issues. In the Vietnam War, for example, there was initially broad support for the war effort from both Republicans and Democrats, with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passing almost unanimously in both chambers of Congress. However, as the war dragged on and became increasingly controversial, bipartisanship eroded. Democrats began to split between hawks and doves, with some supporting the war effort and others calling for withdrawal. Republicans, meanwhile, became more unified in their support for the war effort.
In contrast, the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has seen relatively little bipartisanship. While there has been broad bipartisan condemnation of Russia’s actions and support for Ukraine, there has been some partisan disagreement over how to respond. For example, some Republicans have criticized the Biden administration’s handling of the crisis and called for a more aggressive stance towards Russia, while some Democrats have expressed concern about the potential for escalation and called for diplomacy.
Divided government refers to a situation in which one party controls the presidency while the other party controls one or both houses of Congress. In this situation, policymaking can be more difficult, as each party may have different priorities and goals. Divided government can lead to gridlock and a lack of progress on important issues, including foreign policy. For example, during the Obama administration, Republican control of the House of Representatives made it difficult for the administration to advance its foreign policy agenda.
In contrast, one-party government refers to a situation in which one party controls both the presidency and Congress. This can make it easier to implement policies, as there is less opposition and more ability to pass legislation. However, it can also lead to overreach and a lack of checks and balances. For example, during the George W. Bush administration, Republican control of both the presidency and Congress led to the passage of controversial foreign policy initiatives such as the Iraq War.
Foreign policy interest groups can be divided into several categories, including economic interest groups, security interest groups, and humanitarian interest groups. Economic interest groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, advocate for policies that benefit American businesses, often focusing on trade and investment issues. Security interest groups, such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), focus on issues related to national security and defense, often advocating for increased military spending and support for allies. Humanitarian interest groups, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, focus on issues such as human rights, democracy, and global health.
These interest groups can play a significant role in shaping U.S. foreign policy. They often have significant financial resources, which they can use to lobby policymakers and fund political campaigns. They can also mobilize grassroots support and engage in public advocacy campaigns to raise awareness of their issues. However, their impact can vary depending on their level of involvement and the political climate.
The theory of the Military-Industrial Complex was introduced by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his farewell address in 1961. The theory suggests that the close relationship between the military and defense industries creates a vested interest in maintaining a high level of military spending and a constant state of preparedness for war. This, in turn, can lead to a focus on military solutions to international problems and a neglect of diplomatic and peaceful solutions.
The Military-Industrial Complex has significant implications for American foreign policy, particularly in the contexts of war and peace. Critics of the theory argue that it overstates the influence of defense industries and that military spending is necessary for national security. However, supporters argue that the complex can lead to a culture of militarism and a focus on military solutions to international problems, which can be costly and counterproductive. Overall, the theory highlights the need for careful consideration of the role