17.40 | Fall 2017 | Undergraduate

American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future

Lecture Notes

Note: There are no lecture notes for Session 2.

I. Theories and Strategies
1 Introduction Introduction (PDF)
3–5 Theories of U.S. Foreign Policy

Theories of International Politics and Theories of U.S. Foreign Policy (PDF)

The “Spiral Model” vs. the “Deterrence Model” (PDF)

6–8 U.S. Interests and Grand Strategies United States Interests and Grand Strategies (PDF)
II. America’s Major Wars: World War I, World War II, Cold War, & Korea
9–12 World War I and World War II

The United States and World War I (PDF)

The United States and World War II (PDF)

13–14 Cold War Origins and Conduct; the Korean War Cold War Origins, & U.S. Intervention in the Korean War (PDF)
III. Interlude: U.S. National Security Policy; The Terror War; U.S. Foreign Economic Policy
15–16 U.S. National Security Policy, 1945–present U.S. National Security & Nuclear Policy, 1945–present (PDF)
17 The U.S. “War on Terror,” 9/11/01–present The War on Terror, 2001–present (PDF)
18 U.S. Foreign Economic Policy, 1945–present US Foreign Economic Policy: Trade, Investment, and Aid Issues and Policies (PDF)
IV. Cold War Crises: Berlin, Taiwan Straits, and Cuba 1962
19–20 The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis; Other Cold War Crises. The Cuban Missile Crisis, October 16–28, 1962 (PDF)
V. American Interventions in the “Third World”
21–22 The Indochina War. 1950–1975 The Vietnam War, 1945–1975 (PDF)

Other American Interventions:

1900–1934 (Panama, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Mexico, Russia)

1945–1993 (Iran 1953, Guatemala 1954, Chile 1973, Angola 1975, Indonesia 1957, Guyana 1964, Congo 1960, the Wars of the Reagan Doctrine, Panama 1989, Persian Gulf 1991, Somalia 1992–93)


(Mexico in 1930s; Bolivia in 1950s)

American Interventions in the Developing World: An Overview (PDF)
VI. The Road Ahead: Current Crises and Future Policies
25–26 Current Issues and Crises; Assessment of Bush 43 and Obama Administration’s Foreign Policies; The Future of American Foreign Policy. Predicting the Future and Prescribing for the Future: What Looms Ahead? What Policies Should the U.S. Adopt? (PDF)

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2017
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Presentation Assignments
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Lecture Notes