- The Oxford Handbook of U.S. National Security
- About the Editors
- Foreword: U.S. National Security for the Twenty-First Century
- Introduction: Shape and Scope of U.S. National Security
- America’s Foreign Policy Traditions
- National Interests and Grand Strategy
- U.S. Foreign Policymaking and National Security
- Civil-Military Relations
- The Presidency and Decision Making
- The National Security Council: Is It Effective, or Is It Broken?
- The National Security Process
- Intelligence and National Security Decision Making
- Congress and National Security
- Diplomacy, the State Department, and National Security
- Development Assistance: Rationale and Applications
- Understanding and Improving U.S. Financial Sanctions
- The Political Economy of Security
- Budgeting for National Security
- Military Force Planning and National Security
- Military Operations and the Defense Department
- Alliances, Military Basing, and Logistics
- Homeland Security
- The United States and Iran: Challenges of Deterrence and Compellence
- U.S. Nuclear Strategy: The Search for Meaning
- International Cyber Conflict and National Security
- Encryption Wars: Who Should Yield?
- Space and National Security
- Human (In)Security
- Climate Change and Environmental Security
- Political Violence
- Women’s Participation in Political Violence
- International Terrorism
- Threats and Dangers in the Twenty-First Century
- International Rivalry and National Security
- Interstate Rivalry in East Asia
- The Transatlantic Security Landscape in Europe
- U.S. National Security in the Western Hemisphere
- Epilogue: Five Lessons for National Security Policymakers
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter revisits the old paradox that the U.S. president is perhaps the most powerful person in the world and yet is constrained domestically by other political actors and a centuries-old constitutional framework. The chapter discusses key actors that shape American foreign policy, including the president, presidential advisers, the federal bureaucracy, Congress, the courts, interest groups, the media, and public opinion. Presidential candidates often call for major shifts in foreign policy, but once they are in office presidents are constrained by strategic and fiscal realities, the bureaucracy’s preference for continuity, America’s separation of powers system, rising partisanship, the fragmented media, and the openness of U.S. institutions to societal pressures. The result is that modern presidents struggle to build and maintain the domestic backing needed to carry out their foreign policy agenda.
Shoon Murray is an associate professor at the School of International Service at American University where she specializes on issues of U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security. She is the author of Anchors against Change: American Leaders’ Beliefs after the Cold War and The Terror Authorization: History and Politics of the 2001 AUMF. She coedited (with Gordon Adams) Mission Creep: The Militarization of US Foreign Policy? She received her PhD from Yale University.
Jordan Tama is Associate Professor in the School of International Service at American University. His research examines the politics and process of U.S. foreign and national security policy. His books include Rivals for Power: Presidential-Congressional Relations, 6th ed. (coedited with James Thurber); Terrorism and National Security Reform: How Commissions Can Drive Change during Crises; and A Creative Tension: The Foreign Policy Roles of the President and Congress (coauthored with Lee Hamilton). He has also served as a senior congressional foreign policy aide and as a national security adviser to a presidential campaign.
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