Foreign policy decision-making is a process that entails a nation making decisions that will affect other nations outside its boundaries. These decisions affect both the foreign states and the country initiating the policy. For instance the US makes many decisions year in year out concerning how it will relate with others through such initiatives like conflict resolution, foreign aid programs among others (Garrison, 776). The responsibility of making decisions relating to foreign policy lies within the president but there are a number of factors that greatly influence how he does this. This paper will discuss how the US foreign policy was in the constitution, how the congress shapes foreign policy and the role of advisors in the process of decision making.The powers of the president were envisioned by the framers of the constitution stated that, the president is the commander in chief The United States constitution provided that the senate had the power to verify all the ambassadors appointed made by the president and approve all treaties. The constitution also provided that the congress has the power to maintain and raise the U.S armed forces. The congress has the authority to declare war against any country in the world. The constitution also provides that any other foreign policy decisions apart from decisions concerning war and formation of treaties is left to the president and the cabinet. The president with the approval of the two thirds o the senate he can sign a treaty. The receiving and appointment of the ambassadors require the president to have a common consent of the senators (Garrison, p 780)According to Justice John Marshall of the Supreme Court, the president is the one and only organ of the nation (Henkin, 287). The president has the right to represent the nation in its eternal affairs and make foreign policies. Therefore the president has the right to make his decisions freely without the influence of the congress. The framers of the constitution provided for the separation of powers between the congress and the executive. The executive was given the powers to carry out the administration and law enforcement activities. The congress was delegated the power to make policies. The president recommends measures and with the power vested in him he can approve or disapprove measures. The constitution provides that only a special majority can enforce a measure that has been disapproved by the president (Mead, 1).The constitution provides that the president work is to execute law made by the congress. The president can perform foreign policies without the guidance of the law. In making foreign affairs decision, the president make decision based on his discretions. In the constitution the president is responsible for the following foreign affairs, to negotiate with other countries. A good example is that of President George Washington. Washington used to send his associates to stand for him in discussions and conferences. He would later information to the congress regarding these meetings. By this Washington set up a principal that the presidents have a responsibility to carry out relations with other countries (Auerswald, 520).
The president has the responsibility of recognizing other countries. The president can also refuse to give any foreign policy information. In 1794, George Washington refused to give the House of the representatives the details of the Jay treaty in the belief that the house had nothing to do with the treaty. The president has the authority to initiate foreign policies. President Washington solely declared that there was a natural stance between Britain and France in 1973 without the consent of the congress. The president has the right to initiate conflict and war but the congress has the authority to declare war (Auerswald, 528).In making the foreign policy decisions regarding commitment, presidents rely on the Executive Agreement which cuts down the powers of the congress on external affairs. The Executive Agreement is an agreement between the presidents of the United States with a president from another country. The Executive Agreement does not need any sanctions by the senate and therefore gives the president absolute power to execute the agreement. An Execute Agreement is an enactment of the law therefore it's well provided for in the constitution. The United States Supreme Court has aided the presidents of to gain control over the foreign policies. The Supreme Court has supported the judgment made by the president concerning foreign dispute. The Supreme Court argues that, the president is the only representative of the nation and so he has a right to listen and speak as a symbol of the nation. The president is the sovereign power in the constitution of the United States (Burke, 700).According to Henkin (284) the congress has been granted enormous power by the constitution. The congress is the law making institution of the United States. Article I, Section 8 of the constitution states that, the congress relate directly with the foreign affairs have the authority to control commerce with other states and nations as well Indian ethnic groups. The congress has to punish and define felonies and piracies committed on seas and any crime committed against the U.S law. The congress also has to pronounce war, make law concerning land and water disputes and issue reprisals and letters of Marque. The congress has immeasurable power concerning foreign affairs. For example, the congress has the authority to tax and use money for general welfare and common defense transactions.
Under Confederation Article, all the executive powers of the president are executed by the congress. Therefore the powers that the president holds are laid down by the congress. The congress has the power to lay and collect taxes, excise and import duties as well as pay and collect debts on behalf of the citizens of United States. The power of the congress to control commerce requires carrying out those activities lead to the growth of foreign trade. The congress controls trade in every state. The congress controls aspects of trade in each state such as transportation, finance, communication, management and labor among other aspects (Henkin, 290).The congress authority over peace and war is an issue that is delegated upon by every member of the congress. However, there is a conflict between the power of the president to initiate war and the power of the congress to announce war. The Congress has the power to punish offenders and define offences. The congress has defined crimes relating to piracy in consultation with international law. The congress has the power to defend the diplomatic relations of the United States from foreign invasion. The congress imitates and maintains cooperation from other government nations. The congress has the authority to avail consul to foreign countries as well as limit their activities. The congress can limit the activities of foreign countries by restricting sale of bonds and freezing the countries assets. The congress has set up Foreign Immunities Act and the Modified Judicial Act to enable them to conduct their activities such as counter terrorism. Foreign witnesses who provide information relating to counter terrorism are give immunity in exchange for their information (Henkin, 287).Henkin (289) asserts that, the Foreign Affairs Power delegated to the congress enables the congress to control immigration laws. The congress oversees the implementation of the immigration rules and entry of immigrant into the United States. The congress controls the entrance, stay and the leaving of aliens as well as registering of aliens living in United States. The congress monitors the behavior of United States citizens living abroad. The congress can extradite a person living in United States if the need arises. The congress has the power to levy tax to any United States citizen living abroad, make him or her testify in a court and also take back them to the military to finish their terms.The congress also has non legislative authority. The congress can give suggestions concerning major foreign affairs such as declaration of war. The congress can also give its opinion regarding commerce to other countries without interfering with their laws. Most of the ambassadors give their view regarding policies formation and implementation in foreign countries. The congress has the authority to offer its advice and support to the United Nations activities and programmes.According to Garrison (775), the games played by the advisors greatly affect the foreign policies made by the presidents. The relationship between the advisors and the president affects the decision making of foreign policies. Advice given to the president by the cabinet both influential and powerful compared to other advisors. Individuals involved in foreign affairs greatly influence the shape of decision made regarding foreign affairs. For example, the advisors in the Nixon Carter administration, Brzezinski and Kissinger dominated the making of foreign policy in the 19 century.The tactics and strategies that the advisors have greatly shape the decision making process. Environmental conditions and settings which are formal influence the decision made. The context involving history of a country shapes the outcomes of decision making. The decisions made during the cold war are mostly referred to when making decisions. Many advisory groups are sensitive to the political consequence. Any information that is political influences the decision making in choices regarding foreign relations and processing of information. However presidents such as Bush who had knowledge about foreign policies depended little on advisors when making decisions (Burke, 560).For President Clinton, who had little knowledge on foreign policies, depended on advisors to make decisions. The manner in which the information is collected, processed and presented affects the decision making. The most influential approaches to decision making are cognitive and rational approaches. The rational decision maker is considerate of all the information regarding a particular situation. Rational approaches affect the human cognitive abilities thereby influencing the decision made (Walker, 690).The order in which information is presented affects the foreign affairs decision making. Diplomatic and economic alternatives are always considered first in any decision making.