Thus far in our class we have read and discussed a wide variety of arguments for specific foreign policies beginning with the early Republic though the start of the Second World War. Doing so has allowed us to see how certain ideas, arguments, and themes have changed in response to new threats and opportunities. Although all of these arguments were made prior to the advent of modern game theory, they all nevertheless employ implicit or explicit strategic logic. Indeed, given our readings in the intellectual development of US foreign policy, it is clear that the earliest statesman of the United States understood the role of strategy and advocated for policies which they believed were in the best interests of America’s strategic place in the world.
In this essay, you are to select 4 selections from previous readings and analyze their strategic logic. You can choose any selections that we have read thus from Ideas and American Foreign Policy. Possible questions to consider include (but are not limited to):
Do the early policy-makers advocate for positions which make strategic sense? Why or why not?
Are there lessons from the early history of American foreign policy which can be applied today?
Why do several others seem to point to the same principle but reach different conclusions? Is it because some misunderstood or were misrepresenting the principle, or because the application of the principle changed according to different fact-patterns in the changing landscape of international politics?
Is America safer with a foreign policy of engagement with the world or with a turning away toward insular concerns?
Your paper should follow the standard 5 paragraph essay, with one paragraph for an introduction, one for a conclusion and three well-written paragraphs which defend or otherwise advance your thesis. If necessary, you may include an additional 2 paragraphs for a total of 7 paragraphs. Your paper should therefore be about 1000-1400 words.
Your paper must have a clearly defended thesis. You must also rely only on the texts to justify your position. Outside citations are not permitted: this is not a research paper but a sustained reflection on the course to this point.
You be graded on the quality of your thesis, evidence, logic, formatting, and spelling/grammar.
The best papers will, in addition to a clearly articulated and defended thesis, format their papers in line with the Chicago Manual of Style. Papers should use 1″ margins on all sides, use 12pt Times New Roman Font, and double spaced text. Include a formatted title page. For additional information on these guidelines, see the formatting handout given in class. (If you were not in class, you should consult Kate Turabian, A Manual for Writers, Eighth Edition[Chicago Press].).
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