Foreign policy is messy--and also incredibly interesting. Every day, decisionmakers must formulate and modify the US’s stance towards states like Russia, China, Germany, Iran, Syria, and Israel and tackle cross-cutting issues that touch on human rights, climate change, poverty, human insecurity, nuclear arms proliferation, and economic collapse. In Contemporary American Foreign Policy: Influences, Challenges, and Opportunities, authors Richard Mansbach (Iowa State University) and Kirsten Taylor (Berry College) examine modern foreign policy problems from a variety of angles, not just through the lens of a so-called “national interest.” In each chapter, they focus on today’s most pressing contemporary challenges, exploring their origins and backgrounds. They systematically shed light on the competing forces that influence them, outline the various policy options available to decisionmakers for addressing them, and explore the potential consequences of those policies. Throughout, they also look at foreign policy at all levels: international, society, government, “role”-specific, and individual.

America, Europe, and NATO A Changing Partnership

America, Europe, and NATO: A Changing Partnership

President Obama and Chancellor Merkel discuss sanctioning Russia.

T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg via Getty Images

America’s close relations with Europe reflect a transatlantic community of shared democratic ideals and common geopolitical interests. The Cold War involved both a challenge to Western ideals and security, but security took precedence during that conflict. The end of the Cold War removed the security threat, and American dominance was such that promotion of Western values infused both U.S. and European policies. With no enemy in Europe, NATO policies beyond Europe and the eastward expansion of NATO and the European Union (EU) were efforts to reshape the world in the image of the West, part of a strategic relationship with ...

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