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U.S. Foreign Policy and Regime Instability

Authored by Dr. James Meernik.

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Brief Synopsis

The United States utilizes a vast arsenal of foreign policy tools to induce, compel, and deter changes in other nations’ foreign policies. Traditionally, U.S. foreign policy research focuses on the degree of success the U.S. Government has achieved when seeking specific objectives such as improvements in human rights conditions, democratic change, trade policies, and a host of other goals. In this Letort Paper, the author analyzes the extent to which intrastate and interstate conflict and terrorism in other nations are influenced by the depth and breadth of their military and foreign policy relationships with the United States. More specifically, he empirically analyzes the degree to which U.S. military and foreign policies such as the stationing of U.S. military personnel; the use of military force; the provision of foreign assistance, as well as a more general similarity of foreign policy interests between the United States and a foreign regime are statistically related to interstate and intrastate conflict and terrorist activity. The paper will better enable policymakers to identify which nations are most likely to become potential threats to American interests, and determine which mix of policy options works best in preventing the outbreak of terrorism and conflict within and among nations.

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