Many actors—from the president and members of Congress to interest groups, NGOs, and the media—compete to shape U.S. foreign policy. The new fifth edition captures this strategic interplay using 15 real-world cases, of which four are brand new: the death of Osama bin Laden and the use of targeted assassinations, nonproliferation policy and the U.S.–India nuclear agreement, the U.S. reaction to Egypt's collision with the Arab Spring, and the surprise asylum request of blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng. Fully updated to cover the Obama administration, all cases have been revised to reflect recent developments. Whether grappling with use-of-force questions, the international financial crisis, legal and human rights, trade issues, multilateral approaches to the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran, or climate change, Carter's engaging case study approach encourages students to question motives, consider alternatives, and analyze outcomes.

Assassinating bin Laden: Right or Wrong?

Assassinating bin Laden: Right or wrong?

Before You Begin

  • What are some benefits of targeted killings as a tool of foreign policy? What are some drawbacks?
  • Are targeted killings permitted under the U.S. Constitution?
  • What are some key events during the rise of al Qaeda?
  • How did U.S. foreign policy deal with bin Laden and terrorism pre- and post-9/11?
  • How was the raid to kill bin Laden carried out?
  • What are some key foreign policy concerns arising from the killing of bin Laden?


The Obama administration has followed the previous policy of George W. Bush in utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), commonly called “drones,” for achieving its counterinsurgency goals. These include surveillance and targeting and killing suspected terrorists and militants in various parts of the world. The ...

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