U.S. Foreign Policy Decision-Making

explore the process of a U.S. foreign policy decision, e.g. How did the Bush Administration make the decision to attack Iraq in 2003?

The format of the paper should be as follows:

Part one introduces the research question, provides the argument/thesis/hypothesis, and lays out the logic of the model of foreign policy analysis used in the paper.

  • What is the main question that you would like to examine? I would like to know if the students know and can convey clearly what it is that they are trying to explain.
  • The hypothesis should be a concise, clear, and effective summary of the main argument of the paper. Since your paper is designed to respond to a specific question, your hypothesis should contain the succinct but complete answer to that question. If I have to wonder what the thesis is, or where the thesis is, then the thesis is not strong and clear.
  • Finally, the assumptions and claims of the model of foreign policy decision-making used in the paper should be laid down clearly and concisely (refer to Decision Point for a summary of each model of foreign policy analysis).

Part two provides the context or a brief history of the case-study explored in the paper.

Part three provides the evidence to support the assumptions and claims of the model used in the paper. Does the evidence (you claim supports your argument), in fact, support your argument?

Part four concludes. In this section you effectively sum up all different elements of the paper from part one to part three.

Sources: You need to draw on at least 10 outside sources to write your paper. I encourage you to use the readings assigned for the class. However, those will not count toward the 10 outside sources.


Grammar: Please proofread your paper before submitting it.

Page limit: The paper should be 5 pages in length, double spaced, font 12, Times New Roman, Standard Margins (1” top and bottom; 1.25’’ left and right). Papers that exceed or are significantly below the page limit will be penalized. Please use page number.

Answer preview

The United States decided to attack Iraq in 2003, courtesy of a joint resolution passed by Congress referred to as the Iraq Resolution. On November 10, the Senate passed this resolution authorizing President Bush to use the Country’s armed forces to defend America’s national security from the continuing and growing threat posed by Iraq and enforce all pertinent resolutions passed by the Security Council against Iraq (Congress.gov, n.d.). As mentioned in the introductory section, this paper seeks to analyze the decision-making process that led to the policy to attack Iraq in 2003. In an analysis of literature discussing the events that culminated with Congress authorizing the Bush administration’s attack on Iraq, one can deduce that the bureaucratic politics model was at play in this foreign policy decision. According to Mintz and DeRouen Jr (2010),

[1926 Words]


U.S. Foreign Policy Decision-Making