Faces of Power: Constancy and Change in United States Foreign Policy from Truman to Obama

Faces of Power: Constancy and Change in United States Foreign Policy from Truman to Obama

Language: English

Pages: 864

ISBN: 0231133294

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Seyom Brown's authoritative account of U.S. foreign policy from the end of the Second World War to the present challenges common assumptions about American presidents and their struggle with power and purpose. Brown shows Truman to be more anguished than he publicly revealed about the use of the atomic bomb; Eisenhower and George W. Bush to be more immersed in the details of policy formulation and implementation than generally believed; Reagan to be more invested in changing his worldview while in office than any previous president; and Obama to have modeled his military exit from Iraq and Afghanistan more closely to Nixon and Kissinger's exit strategy from Vietnam than he would like to admit. Brown's analyses of Obama's policies for countering terrorist threats at home and abroad, dealing with unprecedented upheavals in the Middle East, preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and containing new territorial expansion by China and Russia reinforce the book's "constancy and change" theme, which shows that serving the interests of the most powerful country in the world transforms the Oval Office's occupant more than its occupant can transform the world.

Praise for previous editions:

"Systematic and informative... [Brown] has a gift for clear analysis that makes his book a useful contribution to the Cold War literature."―The Journal of American History

"Comprehensive and clear... thorough without ever becoming dull, providing detailed analysis of decisions while never neglecting the environment within which they are made."―International Affairs

"An excellent reference for those interested in United States foreign policy.... Well-written and well-researched, it is appropriate for use in both undergraduate and graduate courses."―International Journal

"An analysis with difference―an important difference. Seyom Brown discusses United States policy from the perspective of how decision makers in the United States viewed their adversaries and the alternatives as those decision makers saw them.... Well worth the effort of a careful reading."―American Political Science Review





















comes, as it may come, and both sides realize this, then the final breakthrough in any one of these areas can take place only at the highest level, and then there will be a meeting. But as far as the timing of the meeting before the visit to Peking, that would not be an appropriate thing to do.”25 The Kremlin got the message and picked up on the cue. The early fall of 1971 was a particularly congenial season at various U.S.-Soviet negotiating tables. Agreements were reached on procedures for

administration informed the Soviet Union and Egypt that it had “incontrovertible evidence” that at least fourteen missile sites had been modified between August 15 and August 27.11 Nixon now decided to sell Israel at least eighteen of the F-4 supersonic aircraft it had requested. He also ordered rush deliveries to Israel of the latest ECM equipment and conventional Shrike air-to-ground missiles so the Israeli air force could neutralize the SAMs. At least as important as the resumption of a major

laid off by firms that were losing out to foreign competition. Candidate Clinton had been unwilling to go as far as some of his rivals for the Democratic nomination—especially Jerry Brown, Thomas Harkin, and Bob Kerrey—and embrace the strong protectionist ideas being propounded by the leaders of organized labor. But he did come out against quick congressional approval of NAFTA and said he would insist on amendments to the accord to ensure that U.S. workers did not lose their jobs to workers in

risk” and substantially augmented resources, including a larger deployment of U.S. troops than the president had ordered and was planning to authorize.6 General McChrystal’s follow-up report to JCS chairman Mike Mullen estimated that the best chance of prosecuting the necessary missions effectively was an additional 85,000 troops. The minimum necessary to avoid failure would be 40,000. His lower option of 11,000 implied giving up on the strategy the president had selected.7 Accordingly, the

intensified by observable means such as the evacuation of dependents from West Berlin and possibly from all Germany; (e) In the event that this moral and other pressure was not sufficient, use of additional force would be subject to governmental [meaning Eisenhower’s] decision.63 Meanwhile the West would agree, assuming the Soviets would drop their ultimatum, to engage in high-level discussions, but at the foreign ministerial level and not at the summit. These discussions, according to the

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