Use this American Government by the People video entitled Making Foreign and Defense Policy to study how the president has the primary responsibility to shape foreign policy. Learn how the principal foreign policy adviser is the Secretary of State, although other cabinet secretaries are also influential, and that The National Security Council and the intelligence agencies also play key roles. Discover how public opinion, interest groups, foreign countries, political parties, and Congress also affect the politics of making foreign policy. The new Department of Homeland Security will direct the operations of numerous formerly unrelated agencies. Presidents, Congress, and the American people all become involved in defining our vital national security interests, but they often have contradictory views. Presidents must sometimes act swiftly and decisively. Plainly, the role of the president in foreign affairs was strengthened during the cold war years as the United States developed an enormous standing military capability and an extensive intelligence network.
Learn about Making Foreign and Defense Policy.