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Foreign Policy

Alice Rabkin, Lee Michaeli, Emily Medrano, Emily Mai, Thomas Wong
Bei Xin Zhong

Richard Nixon (1969 - 1974)

Nixon Doctrine: plans to replace Amer-

ican troops with Vietnamese troops to
reduce American casualties
1972: Nixon visits China, ending 25
years of separation between the US
and China
Vietnam War: he realized that the war
could not be won and was determined
to end it
o Madman Theory

Ronald Reagan (1981 - 1989)

"Peace through strength" strategy


Strength of arms is a necessary

component of peace

Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI): Reagan

proposed this defense as a possibility to
make nuclear war impossible
Berlin Wall: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this


1972-Nixon and Brezhnev discussed arms

control and international and bilateral issues.
They also had agreed to explore the possibility
of a ten year time period of a SALT treaty
From 1972-1979 Carter and Brezhnev
negotiated the second SALT treaty which was
signed in 1979

Russia Cont.

The premiers of Russia that were being elected were

known to be elders which had caused the last three
before Gorbachev to all die in office.
The representatives from 11 Soviet republics met
together and announced that they would no longer be
part of the Soviet Union.
The tension between Russia and the U.S. relaxed due
to SALT Treaties and joint space efforts.


Source of tension: conflict over oil reserves

The US and Britain controlled the bulk of Irans petroleum reserves.
Newly elected prime minister Mossadegh planned to nationalize the countrys oil in 1951.
Operation TP-Ajax
A coup secretly devised by the American CIA and British intelligence to overthrow


New government: led by Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi

Iranians are fed up with the Shah's government, and turn to radical cleric Ayatollah
July 1979: Revolutionaries forced the Shah to disband his government and flee to Egypt


President Carter allows the exiled Pahlavi into the US for cancer treatment, an immediate cause
of the hostage crisis
Iran Hostage Crisis
A group of Iranian students storm the US Embassy, taking 66 American hostages for 444

China: Context

Korean War
Joined North Korea when US armed forces pushed the battle front near the
Chinese-Korean border.
Vietnam War
Supported Communist North Vietnam, against US-backed South.
Soviet Union
Tensions mounted on the Chinese-Soviet border.
The US reconsiders Chinese relations to put more pressure on Soviet Union.
Taiwan Strait Crises (1954, 1958)
o The US Navy intervenes when China tries to retake Taiwan.

China and the US

Nixon Doctrine (1969)

Nixon restarts diplomatic relations with China.
End of containment policy. Start of rapprochement.
Ping-pong diplomacy.
PRC joins the UN (1971)
Nixon visits China (12 February 1972)
Shanghai Communique: US acknowledges Taiwan as part of China
US pledges to withdraw military from Taiwan
Jimmy Carter and Deng Xiaoping become new leaders, delaying normalization.
Taiwan Relations Act (1979): US pledges to defend Taiwan if China attacks it.
Temporary hiatus in wake of Tiananmen Square protests and massacre (1989).

China-US Economic Ties

US grants China Most Favored Nation (MFN) trading status

to maintain good standing with China. Clinton tied this to
human rights policies (1993), but then reversed that (1994).
China seeks entry into WTO (1999).
Permanent normal trade ties (2000) established.
China is now the largest creditor to the US.
Trade is crucial to both China and US economies.


1950s: The United States pursued diplomatic relations with Vietnam.

Vietnam War
Nixon pushes for Vietnamization.
October 1972: Paris Peace Talks

Carter Administration

Continues to propose diplomatic relations.

1978: Vietnams actions endanger US-Vietnam relations:

Vietnam invades Cambodia.

Forms an alliance with the USSR.

Expels the Hoa people.

Reagan & Bush Administrations

Reagan refused to pursue improved relations with Vietnam.

Vietnam troops occupied Cambodia; POW/MIA issues.
July 18, 1990: Bush Administration seeks to reach a peace agreement with Vietnam.
Improvement in POW/MIA issues

Recent Developments

1995: Formal declaration of normalization relations

with Vietnam.
2001: Bilateral Trade Agreement is signed by
President George W. Bush.
2003-2004: Introduction of the Vietnam Human
Rights Act.
o Increase in trade between both countries.
o Problem of human rights in Vietnam.

Panama Canal

Hay Herran Treaty (1903): U.S. took

control over the construction of the Panama
Canal & completed it 10 years later.
As the 20th century progressed: tensions
between the U.S. and Panama over control
of the Canal grew
o Both sides wanted to negotiate a new
agreement regarding the Canal
o However, negotiations suffered a major
setback due to political problems in

Panama Canal (cont.)

Panamas leader General Omar Torrijos, and President

Jimmy Carter were determined to conclude a treaty.
Obstacle: Many Senators were opposed to giving Panama
control over the Canal
The Carter administration & Torrijos formulated a strategy to
gain Senate ratification:
o Held hundreds of forums where policymakers explained
the administrations rationale for the treaty
o Torrijos hosted U.S. Senators in Panama

Panama Canal (cont.)

The Senate finally approved the Panama

Canal Treaties
o by 68 votes to 32 (just 1 more vote
than the two-thirds majority required)
The Torrijos-Carter Treaties (1977)
o Neutrality Treaty: the U.S. could
use its military to defend the Canal
against any threat to its neutrality.
o Panama Canal Treaty: the Canal
would be turned over to the

President Carter and Torrijos at the September

7th, 1977 signing ceremony.

Significant Event: 9/11

On September 11th, 2001, two hijacked

planes crashed into the World Trade
Center in New York City, with another one
crashing into the Pentagon in Arlington. It
was a day that cost nearly 3,000 people
their lives and changed the course of
- There was another plane involved in
the attack, but it crashed into a field
when the crew stormed the cockpit
and overpowered the hijackers.
Everyone on board was killed.

What changed after 9/11?

There was a huge emphasis on national security.

Department of Homeland Security was formed.

- Protects United States & its territories and deals with terrorist threats/attacks.
Aviation and Transport Security Act was passed.
- Airports conducted more rigorous security scans, checking luggage for
weapons and other threats.
Patriot Act is passed.
The TSA (Transport Security Administration) is formed.
Many Muslims found themselves under constant suspicion and victims of racial
profiling after the attacks.

War on Terror:

9/11 and Afghanistan

Launched by the Bush Administration in response to the

terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001.
9/11: 2 planes hijacked by members of al-Qaeda crash into the Twin
Towers & another crashes into the Pentagon, killing almost 3,000 people.
9/12: President George W. Bush declares war against the Taliban for
actively aiding the terrorist group responsible for the attacks.
10/07: U.S. begins airstrikes against Afghanistan.
10/20/01: U.S. Special Forces arrive, and the ground war begins.
For the next several months, the U.S. and its allies carry out strikes, raids
and bombings against the Taliban regime.

War on Terror: Iraq

The War on Terror did not see its end in Afghanistan.

The U.S. invades Iraq in March 2003, marking the beginning

of a decade long war.
Objective to overthrow dictator Saddam Hussein and establish
democracy. U.S. & its allies believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
No WMDs were found.
Phase One: traditionally fought war from March to April, the Iraqi military is
overpowered by U.S. and, to a lesser degree, British troops.
Phase Two: the United States occupation of Iraq is met with widespread
violence and rebellion.

War on Terror:

Lasting Impacts

By December 2011, all troops were withdrawn from Iraq. Exactly 3

years later, the withdrawal was complete in Afghanistan. What were
the results?

The Taliban is no longer a major threat to the U.S. and the world.
A combined $4 trillion was spent on the two wars.
The post-war political situations in Afghanistan and Iraq remain unstable. The
complete withdrawal of troops from the region has been criticised as a gateway for the
rise to power of a militant group similar to al-Qaeda (ISIS).
Civilian casualties:
- As of 2014, 26,000 civilians were estimated to have been killed in the Afghanistan
conflict. Since the invasion of Iraq, it is estimated that 133,000 civilians have been

WORDL: Bushs Address


Attack/Freedom/Citizens - People's freedom is under attack.

United/People/Together/Come - Used to unite people to take
action and to show that the President's position is the same as
the people's.
Terrorists/War/Afghanistan - Used to identify al Qaeda and its
collaborators as the perpetrators of the attacks and targets of
America/Many/Country - to rally the spirit of the American


How has September 11th impacted American culture, in terms of movies and TV programs? Do
you think entertainment should emphasize more patriotic themes?
Were the actions that took place after September 11th justified (war, withdrawal of troops)?
Were they worth it?


Sources (cont.)