Balance Of Power Essay

1658 words - 7 pages

Marian Marley
Political Science 101
7-13-2012
Balance Of Power In U.S. Foreign Policy

The balance of power in the U.S. foreign policy making procedure has created a lot of tensions and has shifted responsibility to many individuals since the constitution was written. This system of checks and balances was put in place to assure Americans that no section of government is tyrannical and can dominate the political process. Some believe that the balance of power has shifted since it was first established, and that has caused some tensions in U.S. foreign policy.
At the foundation, the legislative branch was intended to be the most powerful branch, ...view middle of the document...

With these powers, the President is able to control and dominate foreign policy.

As chief executive, the president is in charge of agencies such as the State Department, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which houses a large portion of the experienced and intelligence in foreign policy making. The President can develop his own objectives, and try to get the backing of the executive agencies. For example, President Clinton did not have the backing for his heath care plan that did not pass. The second of the six power’s, is the president is the Chief of State. This implies that the president is the symbolic personification of the United States. He is treated with “extraordinary deference… Both symbolically and emotionally, the public regards the president as the country’s leader, and not mearly as the head of one branch of the federal government. Because if his exhaulted symbolic stature, he is the one political leader that everyone knows” (Snow and Brown, 97). Some presidents are seen as taking the role as more ceremonial than seriously. Jimmy Carter is cited as one who was more like the American people, but after a while, they found that uncomfortable. Taking the Presidency as a causal job was not acceptable. The U.S President is a ceremonial status, but there is a fine line that presidents should be careful to cross.

The third power is Commander in Chief of the country armed forces. This is where the Founding Fathers were unclear, for congress has the ability to declare war, and only congress, the President has the ability to send troops into an area without formal declaration of a war. “Truman’s commitment of large-scale forces to resist communist aggression on Korea in 1950, Johnson’s invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965, Reagan invasion of Grenada in 1983, and Bush’s invasion of Panama in 1989 are all examples of presidents relying on their capacious definition of their power as commander in chief to commit the countries armed forces to combat their operations abroad” (Snow and Brown, 99). In 1973 The War Powers Resolution was passed over presidential veto. This was to attempt a balance between the president’s need for troops and the congressional design of the distribution of power. This helps to keep strong-minded presidents in check and to keep the powers somewhat balanced.

As a treaty negotiator, the president has the ability to legally bind the U.S. to international commitments. The president has to seek 2/3 of the Senates approval, so even though the president can negotiate these treaties, he still needs the approval of the senate. The president also has the power to appoint senior executive official and ambassadors with the consent of the senate also. The president is given much leeway, but congress has been quick in the past to make sure to monitor who the president chooses.

The Congress has its own set of powers. Constitutionally, they have the ability to “affect American...

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