Foreign Policy: Topic Here

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1. This is involved on the economic level that the U.S. is funding other states like Mexico to reduce illicit drug trade.

2. What has the U.S. done about international drug trade?

2.1. Provided Mexico with $450 million in aid, trying to stop drug cartels.

2.2. Strengthened border patrol between Mexico and the U.S=> Still ineffective as drug cartels rapidly find new routes.

3. The next osama is much more violent (Sheikh) and the motives behind terrorism are global: "transformed from a global terrorist group into a global terrorist movement" with a "corpus of literature" developing the terrorist attacks.

4. Even after the argument over the naming of the sea that is between Japan and Korea as "East Japan Sea," the new dispute has arisen between the two nations. How would this affect the political and social relationship between the two nations?

4.1. As of now, this problem is not as serious as it was 2 years ago. Due to the aggressive behavior in North Korea as well as the recent economic recession, many nations, including US, South Korea, and Japan, have put down this debate for later times.

4.1.1. It's interesting because there are actual buses that promotes Dokdo island as Korea's land. It is clearly evident that Koreans have strong faith about keeping their land away from Japanese who tries to take away the territory. Koreans are promoting in the US which makes us wonder if normal US citizens even know this fact.

4.2. The US does lean towards Japan in the fact that Dokdo is Japanese territory, but tends to stay neutral because both nations, Korea and Japan, are significantly important trading partners.

5. Bio fuel Policies

6. The US supported ethanol development and production for energy independence and the potential of it being renewable fuel source. "Though skeptics raised serious questions about the cost-effectiveness of ethanol subsidies, biofuel supporters have recently sought to bolster their argument by suggesting that ethanol will rebuild rural livelihoods." The global food crisis now is providing flaws on the case for ethanol.

7. Military encroachment

7.1. Murtha, Pennsylvanian senator encourages Obama to get troops out of Iraq and find a different way: Democrats and Republicans

7.2. South Korea and the US military within refusing to leave, support/against

8. How America uses the food crisis for the security of America and their economy

8.1. How America gains power through the food crisis

8.2. Falling Prices and a possible solution

8.3. Current problems for the US: China and the US (The Obama Administration) China imposed tariffs on American exports

8.4. food crisis in Africa

8.5. Also applies to North Korea, as they continuously ask for food supply from the US and Korea. The foreign goals for the North is to gain food and benefit from the transactions.

9. Secular governments vs. Theocratic

9.1. Iran is now technically secular with the new election, and Ahmadinejad is trying to get power over the Ayatollahs. How will this affect how other nations treat Iran?

9.1.1. One thing that is almost certain is that the neighboring Arabic nations will not take much of a different stance than that of which it had over the past few decades. The US and other European nations however might change their opinion to a more radical stance.

10. Israel and Palestine

10.1. Concerning the disputes over West Bank and Gaza Strip, Obama said "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided" during election campaigns. Although he backtracked his comment, his statement brought international criticisms.

10.1.1. Israel and Palestine tried to solve the dispute over Jerusalem by making it an international city but Arab League strongly opposed it because it wanted Palestine to take over the entire city

10.2. Quartet--US, Russia, EU, and UN--recently pulled its humanitarian aid out of Palestine because Hamas rejected to follow three conditions that Quartet suggested. The three conditions were 1) following all previous resolutions 2) recognizing Israel as a state 3) stopping terrorism

10.2.1. The questions always exists: Why does the US support Israel? The hatred towards America grows as the US pulls out of Palestine and they continue to support Israel. Plus, the Middle East and the US' growing tensions after 9/11 add to the battle against terrorism. US started to support Israel around 1950s when the Cold War tension heightened in Middle East. Because Russia started to take control of Afghanistan, US felt threatened and exercised its power over Palestine territories that were supposedly given to Palestinians after British Mandate of Palestine. US started to realize the land's strategic benefits to influence Middle East and it still continues to support Israel for that reason

10.3. The U.S. urges Israel to halt evictions of Palestinians. By getting involved in the Middle East, the US is trying to portray an image of being more humane. (

10.4. Hamas has gained Palestinians' support in the recent election. Its political pledge was to use terrorism to solve the issue of the whole Israel and Palestine disputes

10.4.1. Fatah lost the election because not only the party was corrupted but also the Palestinians started to believe diplomacy would not solve the issue Internal conflict still exists within Palestine because Fatah party does not recognize Hamas party as the actual government. Such schism between two parties discourages people from uniting. For example, old security forces from Fatah party and new security forces from Hamas party are still in conflict. Oslo Accord has been proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2000. Fatah and Hamas were close in making an united government but they failed to reach a consensus in foreign policies. The accord itself gave more advantage to Hamas party as it had more time to make proposals. Fatah, on the other hand, mostly accepted the suggestions that Hamas suggested as Fatah was given less time during the negotiation.

10.5. Israel is continuously destroying the water-pipes because it does not want water supplies to flow into Palestine

10.5.1. Within Gaza Strip, 70% of the population are Palestinians and out of that 70%, 97% of the Palestinians are relying on rainfalls for water supplies. To get sufficient water supplies, Palestinians' method is to adopt desalinization system near Gaza Strip or build water-pipes through West Bank. However, the former is hindered because the Israelis are living near water and built road blockcades/checkpoints. And the latter is, as it's been mentioned previously, prevented because Israeli forces destroy them.

10.5.2. This lack of water that the Israelis are causing is creating more terrorist actions to take place since the people are desperate of water. We have to also remember that water is limited in the Middle East in general, therefore Israel as well as other Arabic nations are unwilling to yield much water to the Palestinians.

10.6. One of the key factors that influence the flow of this dispute is the popularity of the two parties in Palestine. For a peaceful negotiation to take place at all, it is necessary that the Fatah party wins the election as well as the general popularity from its people. This is quite hard because the Palestinians look at each parties' results to choose their election candidates and considering that the Fatah has made nearly no progress makes winning the next election very unlikely.

10.6.1. Recently, Hamas was willing to be in PLO which shows that the party is considering to use peaceful diplomatic strategies as well

10.7. Israel is looked at as a very arrogant, selfish nation because of its actions towards Palestine and other Arabic nations. No one takes any action or stance against Israel publicly however because of the strong supporter that has been watching Israel's back: the US.

10.7.1. To get any sort of talk and negotiation going, it is also important to make sure the US is either neutral, or a bit more tolerant about Palestinian requests.

10.8. Religion is also another important aspect in Israel and Palestine issue. Zionism rose in US and gained lots of support from Christians. Even today, some people support Israel just because of its religion.

11. America's reputation through foreign assistance.

11.1. American (domestic) view.

11.1.1. Many Americans are beginning to doubt the necessity of such extensive aid. Especially with the downfall of America's economy, people are focusing more on domestic issues. They question whether the U.S. has the time and money to consider foreign nations when so many Americans are suffering jobless. Especially with a 60 trillion dollar debt, which is becoming more and more aware by the Americans.

11.1.2. Many corporations find this as an opportunity to make lots of money since investing in a reconstructing economy, both foreign and domestic, can be very profitable. The US government is now stuck trying to find a meeting point between the two opinions (the one above).

11.1.3. How does the reputation of America outweigh domestic struggles/problems? What interest do these acts fulfill?

11.2. American foreign assistance activities.


11.2.2. It funds international environmental programs which, among many other things protect tropical forests, endangered species, and the ozone layer.

11.2.3. It contains billions of dollars for disaster and famine relief, aid for refugees, and other humanitarian programs. It funds activities to protect human rights, support war crimes tribunals, and train judges and lawyers in countries with no tradition of the rule of law.

11.2.4. It funds reconstruction programs in Afghanistan, as well as our contributions to the African peacekeeping force in Darfur, Sudan, and our programs to combat organized crime, drug trafficking, and the trafficking of women and children.

11.2.5. US's efforts to assist Colombia and the Phillipenes

11.2.6. It provides hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians, and aid to more than 100 other countries. It supports contributions to UN peacekeeping, the World Bank, and educational and cultural exchange programs.

11.2.7. This will force more nation states to follow the guide of Kim, Jung Il's policies

11.3. Foreign View

11.3.1. Although the US does indeed help fund many developing nations, some nations find this very displeasing in the fact that the US cannot stop messing around with other people's business. This is mainly because the US does not usually take into consideration of the many factors that made the situation become what it is (for example, Iraq)

12. International View towards the Middle East and Terrorism

12.1. Although many Iraqis were treated harshly by the government due to religious or ethic background, many nations and scholars find that a dictatorship-style government is the most effective in Iraq due to the fact that there are so many people with different ideals, cultures, and background. This explains as to why many nations, including South Korea, went against the US encouraging a democratic government in Iraq. When the Bush administration went for the "liberating Iraq" project, many nations found this as a poor excuse/justification for the US to meddle into Iraq's internal problems.

13. Oil: The Long Goodbye

13.1. Is Obama's talk of energy independence just demagoguery?

13.1.1. "Oil wealth used to hurt only those who had it. Now, it’s hurting everyone."

13.1.2. Saudi Arabia gets blamed all the time for high gasoline prices. Saudi Arabia: holds about 25 percent of the world's proven oil reserves, is by far the largest exporter of oil, and maintains the largest spare production capacity in the world.

13.1.3. Four oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and etc. failed to live up to production expectations when the demand for oil is increasing.

13.1.4. America: -wants to stay energy independent (very unrealistic). -world's largest oil consumer Barack Obama declared that "America's dependence on oil is one of the most serious threats that our nation has faced." He said that it "bankrolls dictators, pays for nuclear proliferation, and funds both sides of our struggle against terrorism," and announced what he called "the first steps on our journey toward energy independence."

13.2. Many nations are going for new ways of energy. When an efficient source of energy is found, the nation that first found it will be able to have much more economic advantages: can sell the technology as well as being independent of oil prices

13.2.1. This leads to nations joining together to research while some, such as the US and many Asian/Pacific nations, are researching independently.

13.2.2. Currently, the most sufficient energy source, other than petroleum, is nuclear energy. This is classified as extremely risky due to the many cases of leaks as well as the lack of information on how to solve the issue of disposing the used uranium. South Korea is one of the supporters of Nuclear energy, but due to the high chances of accidents occurring, it is still in debate whether to import this technology from Europe/US.

14. Dispute between Korea and Japan over the issue of an island

14.1. Japan wants to bring Dokdo issue to ICJ because Japan relatively has more advantage than Korea. There's one Japanese judge in ICJ and Japan is VERY good at lobbying so Korea has continuously refused to bring the case to the court. (In order to bring a case to ICJ, two countries must agree but since Korea disagrees Dokdo case has never been brought up.)

14.2. Some people claim that Korea has less than few years of sovereignty over Dokdo because Japan has continuously asked Korea to give the island back to Japan by sending official letters to Korea foreign policy ministry. By the international law, a country's sovereignty over a particular land can only be acknowledged when it's not disputed such as sending letters and etc. However, since Japan did so ever since Korea got its island back, some claim that Korea has no national sovereignty what so ever over Dokdo.

15. Immigration/What is America?

15.1. foreign exchange for poor countries


15.3. The definition of America: America ideologically to justify independence from their home country, not only the British and people from Europe.

15.4. Hispanic immigrants threatens to divide the United States into two peoples, two cultures, and two languages

16. North Korea and the Six Party Talks

16.1. North Korea is currently trying to hold a bilateral meeting with the U.S. after firing missiles off the coast of North Korea. However, U.S. is currently reluctant to accept the meeting, and instead wishes to start up the six party talks again. Is U.S. acting smart by pursuing Six-Party talk and refusing a bilateral meeting?

16.1.1. As of now, it seems like the US is trying to change the structure of the six party talks.

16.2. North Korea has already claimed in April 14th, 2009 that they don't want to be part of the Six-Party talk anymore and that they will resume their nuclear enrichment program. Nuclear inspectors in their country have all been kicked out. Thus, forcing North Korea to be engaged in something they don't want doesn't seem to be a good idea. It's too risky.

17. International Drug Trade

17.1. Main Idea: The U.S. is involved in a complex, illegal international trade network of narcotics, with Colombia, Mexico, Afghanistan and many other Middle Eastern countries. This is truly an international issue that has provoked not just the possession of drugs, but the violence, corruption in order to make profit or obtain them.

17.1.1. This is a blog that discusses U.S. relations with Afghanistan in regards to its drug corruption:

17.2. How the U.S. is trying to approach the issue: 1) reduce demand 2) Reduce supply

17.2.1. "A supporting goal is to reduce the amount of illicit drugs cultivated, processed, and consumed worldwide"

17.3. There were more than 5,000 drug-related killings in Mexico in 2008. It shows the international repercussions of an insatiable drug demand in the United States. Here's a Brookings article (Brookings is awesome, by the way!):

17.3.1. Here's a quote I found extremely interesting in this article. Andres Rozental essentially says that the "attacking the supply-side of the western hemisphere's drug war – will remain an unwinnable war so long as its northern neighbor fails to attack the demand side: Americans' insatiable appetite for illicit drugs." (Rozental).

17.4. What must the U.S. do in the future to curb its involvement in the international drug trade??

17.4.1. More rational to discriminate against more harmful drugs such as heroin.

17.5. How is this related to foreign policy?

17.5.1. "At great cost, in blood and treasure, Mexico is fulfilling its responsibility with a war on supply. It's time the U.S. fulfills its responsibility with a real war on demand." (Rozental).

17.5.2. First of all, it involves the interaction between countries, especially the United States, Colombia, Afghanistan, and bordering state of Mexico.

17.5.3. This is involved on the military level in that U.S. is working on improving their maritime and land border patrol.

18. AIDS Crisis

18.1. One of the worst conspiracies today is that the United States manufactured AIDS and spread it through the black community as a way to kill blacks.

18.1.1. Foreign view towards the US and its power has grown, and the fact that the US is "responsible" for such a catastrophic crisis shows the need to blame power in foreign places.

18.2. AIDS aid to nations that cannot afford the steps that need to be taken need to be helped by other nations, and those with extremely high rates of those affected with AIDS will have deteriorating societies.

18.2.1. (UNAIDS) estimates the total HIV population of North Africa, the Middle East, and predominantly Muslim Asia at nearly 1 million people today. 2003, UNAIDS estimated that up to 420,000 people in Mali, 180,000 in Indonesia, 150,000 in Pakistan, and 61,000 in Iran had HIV/AIDS. understated. number of people living with HIV/AIDS are completely missing for Afghanistan, Turkey, and Somalia, all countries with large at–risk populations.

18.2.2. spending is 15 times what it was in 1996, but it is insufficient to turn the course of AIDS today. (UNAIDS) estimates that the developing world needs $12 billion in 2005 alone, which doesn’t even include the billions required to build working. International crisis: wealthy survive

18.2.3. Foreign policy blog:

19. Caribbean nations

19.1. The Caribbean nations are divided due to different life styles and policies. Its unique location makes it more interesting as they are welcoming more foreigners into their country. They also are opened up to more businesses. It would be better to unite and make an united policy towards a smooth resolution.



20. Culture and Foreign Policy


20.2. My topic is about how culture has a great influence on the kinds of foreign policies countries have. Cultural differences of values and goals are what causes countries to have different foreign policies; some countries might be centered in a certain religion, a certain ideology. They have different priorities and things their country needs.

20.3. Pages 2-4: it is interesting to read the part about 'conceptualizing culture, conceptualizing foreign policy'. Both words: 'culture' and 'foreign policy' are somewhat hard to define. As you will see, there are many possible definitions for these two concepts, but I think our definition of 'foreign policy' (that we made in class) best defines 'foreign policy' because it includes what this concept' means to all countries, not just the U.S. The concept of culture can help us better understand the definition of foreign policy and why we defined it the way we did in the first place.

20.4. Page 27: I especially liked the quotation by Mohammad Ali Jinnah because he goes in depth with the ideas of why two religions, Hinduism and Islam, cannot come together or agree on the same foreign policy.

20.4.1. "It is extremely difficult to appreciate why our Hindu friends fail to understand the real nature of Islam and Hinduism. They are not religions in the strict sense of the word, but are... different and distinct social orders. It is a dream that Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality.... The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, and literature. They neither intermarry, nor interdine together, and indeed they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions.... Hindus and Mussalmans derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, their heroes are different, and they have different episodes. —Mohammed Ali Jinnah (Quoted in Pirzada, 1970:337-338)

21. Health Care System

21.1. At the same time, the need for foreign policy that addresses health seriously has forced policy-makers to confront the realities of an epidemiologically interdependent world and the complexities of the global cooperation needed to protect and promote public health. Health concerns seriously affect and inform how countries perceive and formulate their national interests for foreign policy purposes.

21.2. what evidence and information can the ministry of health provide to diplomats, defence attachés, trade negotiators, and development specialists to ensure that health concerns and interests are better reflected in foreign policy initiatives?

21.3. New epidemics are international: avian flu, HIV/AIDS, require international cooperation for cures and vaccinations. Perhaps international unity is needed to find these.

21.4. The terrible financial costs to farmers in places like Vietnam or Mexico of losing flocks or stocks are the avoidable result of incomplete public health planning -- a byproduct of worrying only about simple preventives against human flu.

21.4.1. New node