American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future

Two smiling, suit-wearing gentlemen are flanked by two elegantly-dressed attractive women.

In April 2017, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump welcomed Chinese President Xi Jingping and his wife, Mrs. Peng Liyuan, to their Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, FL for the two leaders’ first summit meeting. (Image by D. Myles Cullen and courtesy of The White House on flickr. This image is in the public domain. )


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2017



Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course explores the reasons for America's past wars and interventions. It covers the consequences of American policies, and evaluates these consequences for the U.S. and the world. History covered includes World Wars I and II, the Korean and Indochina wars, the Cuban Missile Crisis and current conflicts, including those in in Iraq and Afghanistan, and against Al Qaeda.

Other Versions

Related Content

Stephen Van Evera. 17.40 American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future. Fall 2017. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

For more information about using these materials and the Creative Commons license, see our Terms of Use.