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Updates Winter/Spring 2009

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This is an update for the Winter-Spring 2009 accompanying American Foreign Policy: The Dynamics of Choice in the 21st Century (3rd edition, W.W. Norton: section titles and page numbers are geared to the book). It combines elements from the Fall 2008 website update as well as additional ones, particularly on the new Obama administration.

We offer it as a supplemental tool providing ongoing information and references on topics featured in the book. This is not intended to be comprehensive, but hopefully helpful for colleagues and students. You may also want to consult the Fall 2007 and Winter/Spring 2008 website updates.

Chapter 6

Foreign Policy Strategy for a New Era (pp. 259-280)

In last semester’s update we provided links to the websites of all the major candidates in both parties presidential nominating contests. Here we provide the links for the key members of the Obama Foreign Policy Team

General Background

Key Players:
Secretary of Defense: Robert Gates

Secretary of State: Hillary Rodham Clinton

National Security Advisor: General James L. Jones

United Nations Ambassador: Susan Rice

Secretary of Homeland Security: Janet Napolitano

You may also find useful some of my recent publications:

The United Nations (pp. 273-277)

News Media (pp. 296-298)

According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center and Tyler Marshall, a former foreign correspondent for The Los Angeles Times, about two-thirds of American newspapers publish less foreign news than just three years ago. Only 10% of editors surveyed see foreign news as “very essential” to their papers. The main reasons, budget pressures and limited interest, are familiar. But at a time in which America and Americans are more and more interconnected in more and more ways, this is cause for concern. The Pew study is at

An interesting site for “citizen foreign correspondents” is, which as described by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof “offers aspiring journalists a chance to upload their articles and photos for others to see — and some possibility that news outlets will publish them.” Kristof’s own musings fit well with the prior article cited: “I don’t know whether to be horrified, since it represents a further erosion of the newspaper business model, or to applaud another avenue to get international news coverage”

Public Opinion Polls (pp. 298-303)

Our Link Library also on this site takes you to some major public opinion polling sites. Some recent ones of note:

For views of us by others, try Watching America, which provides translated news articles from foreign media:

Chapter 7

Major Power Geopolitics (pp. 309-339)

As the Obama administration begins, more attention is being paid to the ways in which the overall international system has been changing. Some interesting books and articles along these lines:

You’ll also find many articles on each of the major powers in the various journals, think tank reports, and other publications included in our Link Library. One interesting series, “Great Powers in Wonderland,” ran in The National Interest¸ March-April 2008:, full text available online if your library subscribes to that journal.

Russia-Georgia (pp. 310-321)

For a collection of articles from The New York Times on this conflict and its aftermath, see

WMD Proliferation (pp. 339-348)

On the Iranian proliferation issue, see various articles and postings by the Council on Foreign Relations:

Also on North Korea:

Chapter 8

Terrorism (pp. 363-374)

For compilations of expert sources on terrorism, see

See also:

Iraq (pp. 374-390)

Among the many recent publications on Iraq, you may find useful:

Arab-Israeli Conflict (pp.390-396)

Foreign Policy Politics: Terrorism, Homeland Security and the Iraq War (pp. 397-415)

  • For a compilation of Bush administration prewar claims, see the Center for Public Integrity, see
  • The recent book by Jane Mayer, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals, has been getting extensive attention.

Chapter 9

In December 2008, the bipartisan Genocide Prevention Task Force chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense William Cohen issues its report, Preventing Genocide: A Blueprint for U.S. Policymakers:

Darfur (pp. 446-450)

Ch. 10

International Trade (pp. 469-475)

International Finance (pp. 475-478)

Global Poverty and Sustainable Development (pp. 479-488)

  • The most recent effort to assess world progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was at a September 2008 UN summit. Check the UN MDGs website,, and other sources for reports and new data.
  • One of the policy strategies in which interest has been growing is micro-financing, the making of small loans and grants to poor individuals seeking to start or grow their own businesses. The 2006 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Muhammad Yunus, whose Grameen Bank has been one of the leaders in micro-financing: An interesting version of this is Kiva, which calls itself “the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world”:

Global AIDS (pp. 489-490)

Global Environmental Issues (pp. 491-495)

Chapter 11

Global Democracy and Human Rights (pp. 510-519)

Pakistan and Democracy (pp. 525-526)

We’ve been updating the discussion in American Foreign Policy of Pakistan as a case that demonstrates the tensions and trade-offs between Principles and Power on prior web updates. Some recent articles: