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Current And Historical U.S. Foreign Policy Makers

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The U.S. president sets the direction and tone of U.S. foreign policy; his secretary of state, other cabinet members, and American organizations carry out that foreign policy. Events and issues can also force the creation of new policies or changes in old one. Here is a look at U.S. foreign policy makers.
  1. The President
  2. Department of State
  3. Military, Intelligence, and Security Agencies
  1. Events And Issues
  2. United Nations
  3. The American People

The President

As president, Barack Obama is the chief foreign policy maker in the United States. Obama won election to the presidency on November 4, 2008, defeating Republican John McCain, and he won re-election on November 6, 2012, beating Republican Mitt Romney. In his first term, Obama had foreign policy successes that included ending the Iraq War, renewing American interest in the Asia Pacific region, and authorizing the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.

Department of State

Once Obama's rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton became Obama's secretary of state in 2009. As secretary, she directs the activities of the US State Department and American ambassadors around the globe. She is the front-person for all of Obama's foreign policies.

Military, Intelligence, and Security Agencies

No one can create effective foreign policy without accurate intelligence of global situations. And, while military action is always and extreme foreign policy option, America's military branches are central to foreign policy

Events And Issues

Foreign Policy ideally shapes events, but in the real world that's not always possible. Events and issues frequently force foreign policy responses.

United Nations

The President selects the United State's ambassador to the United Nations, where the U.S. is a permanent member of the Security Council. As such, the U.S. has great influence in U.N. decisions.

The American People

The American people have a say in U.S. foreign policy, although it may at times seem rather indirect. Whether voting into office those people who will make foreign policy or protesting unpopular policies -- such as the Vietnam War -- the public does have a voice.

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