the Video Unit 15
and Discussion (30 minutes)
Before viewing the video, discuss the following questions:
- What, according to Monroe, are the differences between the interests
of Europe and those of the Western Hemisphere? Is this still the
- What was Mark Twain trying to convey about war?
- In this era of globalization, what are the lines between domestic
and international policy?
- Is the traditional nation-state becoming a historic relic?
Watch the Video
(30 minutes) and Discuss (30 minutes) [Top]
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The video includes three segments:
1. New World Orders: U.S. Role in NATO Peacekeeping in Bosnia
The primary mission of our military has always been to protect
and defend the United States against its enemies. But today our
military is used to pursue a variety of national interests. As a
world leader, the U.S. often intervenes in overseas conflicts, not
only to address threats to our nation but also to keep peace, maintain
economic stability, and promote democracy in other regions. A recent
example is the U.S. involvement with international peacekeeping
and nation-building operations in the former region of Yugoslavia.
- Is the role being performed in Bosnia by the U.S. military one
for which they are trained?
- Should the military be involved in nation building?
- Why are these activities so controversial?
2. International Trade and Foreign Policy: The Case of South Korea
International trade remains one of America's most important foreign
policy tools. In general, the U.S. seeks to reduce trade barriers
through regional and international agreements. Trade policy also remains
a tool to promote democracy, secure allies, and create new trading
partners in an increasingly interdependent world. One of the most
sustained efforts to use trade policy to build a strong ally and,
at the same time, promote democracy was the Food for Peace program
that the U.S. maintained with South Korea.
- Can trade policy promote democracy?
- What are the advantages of reducing trade barriers? What are
- What did the Food for Peace program in South Korea entail?
- Did the Food for Peace program work?
3. NGOs and the Campaign Against Landmines
Like all nations, the U.S. uses its diplomatic relations with other
national and international organizations to shape and implement its
foreign policy. Treaties with other nations, and those creating international
organizations like the UN or NATO, remain an important foreign policy
tool. But in the post-Cold War era, NGOs are increasingly pushing
their causes, some of which clash with express aims of the traditional
nation-states. The effort of Jody Williams to oppose the use of landmines
represents a case in which the aims of an NGO clashed with U.S. foreign
Like most of us, Jody Williams found the images of children maimed
by landmines abhorrent, but unlike most of us, she sprang into action
to do something about the problem. Williams started an NGO with the
goal of banning the use of landmines worldwide, and eventually she
succeeded in getting over 1,000 NGOs from around the world to join
her cause, which became known as The International Campaign To Ban
Land Mines. Williams's primary battle was with the military bureaucracies
of the world; her primary weapons were a gutsy attitude, a telephone,
and a fax machine. Through the efforts of Williams and others, the
anti-landmine movement gained ground. By 1997, more than 120 countries
had signed a treaty banning the distribution of landmines, but the
U.S. was not among them.
According to U.S. policy-makers, if used properly, landmines are viable
defensive weapons, as the border experiences involving North and South
Korea prove. Williams remained unconvinced by such reasoning, even
after she visited the de-militarized zone between those two countries.
President Clinton, in contrast, maintained that landmines were an
unfortunate necessity. As Jerry White, co-founder of the Landmine
Survivors Network, sees it, the difference of views between the U.S.
and anti-landmine forces is an example of the "love-hate"
relationship that often prevails between NGOs and nation-states: "I
would say governments love us and love to hate us. But it's a dance
that works both ways. They want to have the resources and work done
by NGOs who very often are the experts on a particular issue. At the
same time they want distance from [our] strong advocacy points."
In the end, Jody Williams and her International Campaign To Ban Landmines
were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts. Despite their
failure to get the U.S. to sign the treaty banning landmines, the
efforts of Williams and others are now being analyzed by other NGOs
that want to enhance their own success in a number of other causes.
- How has The International Campaign To Ban Land Mines become
- Why does the U.S. continue to oppose the treaty?
- Are NGOs a threat to national sovereignty?
- What is the relationship between NGOs and nation states?
and Discussion (10 minutes) [Top]
Try the Critical
Thinking activity for Unit 15. This is a good activity to
use with your students, too.
1. Who Should
Be in Charge of Foreign Policy? (10 minutes)
The making of foreign policy in the United States
has always involved the weighing of appropriate influence between
the president and Congress. Although the president has historically
been accorded the responsibility of representing the interests of
our nation to other countries, Congress has nevertheless played
an important role in foreign policy decisions. What are the appropriate
roles for the president and Congress? Where should the locus of
power reside? Does globalization and its concurrent shifts across
national borders of capital and enterprises suggest that Congress
should play a larger role.
You may want to have your students do the post-viewing activities:
A Timeline of Key Events in the History of U.S. Foreign Policy and
Who Should Be in Charge of Foreign Policy? They are provided for
you as blackline masters in the Appendix of the print guide.