Foreign and Defence Policy
The United States is now the world’s only economic and military superpower. Its economy is the largest in the world and its armed forces the most potent. No other state has the capacity and will to project force around the globe or in the air above it. Nor does any other state commit such vast financial, technical, and human resources to gathering intelligence about the military, political, diplomatic and commercial capacities and intentions of other states, whether friendly or hostile. The formation of United States foreign policy, the means of its implementation, and the ends to which policy is directed, are of critical significance to the international political system. They also affect scholarly understanding of American government itself, since competitive struggles within and between institutions of government occur over foreign and defence as much as over domestic policy: this Chapter examines these processes. Policy content is considered only insofar as it illuminates structure and process.
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