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FOREIGN POLICY

Background and Context

These resources will help students develop a thorough understanding of Foreign Policy and make connections between historical events, current conversations, and current policy proposals surrounding the issue. This section includes all of the context and content previously included in Close Up’s public policy chapters.  

 

U.S. Foreign Policy in Historical Context

How has U.S. Foreign Policy changed throughout our history? Learn More >

U.S. Foreign Policy in Current Context

What is current U.S. Foreign Policy? Learn More >

Current Issue Debates

Current Issue Debates are framed by a central question and followed by historical context, an overview of both sides of the topic, and discussion questions to facilitate deliberation in the classroom.

 

The Cuba Trade Embargo

Available for Middle & High School

Should Congress lift the Cuba trade embargo? Learn More >

Tariffs Against China

Available for Middle & High School

Should the United States end its retaliatory tariffs against China? Learn More >

Executive War Powers

Should Congress pass legislation to limit executive war powers? Learn More >

Videos from Policy Makers

Brought to you by ASP HOMEROOM, through a collaboration between Close Up Foundation and A Starting Point, these supplemental videos are an introduction to policy areas that provide an opportunity for students to hear different perspectives directly from lawmakers.

 

Russia – US Relations

Congressmen Jim Himes (D-CT) & Chris Stewart (R-UT)
June 16, 2021

Human Rights in China

Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) & Congressman Michael Waltz (R-FL)
March 31, 2021

Afghanistan Troop Withdraw

Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-FL) & Congressman Michael Waltz (R-FL)
May 7, 2021

Lesson Plans

These ready-to-use lesson plans can be utilized in conjunction with any of our resources to enhance the quality of student discourse in the classroom. Our supplemental Civic Readiness Guide provides a recommended lesson plan sequence for using our Current Issues resources.

 

Additional & Archived Resources on Foreign Policy

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Building Bridges – The Monroe Doctrine

Podcast | January 15, 2021

This episode of Building Bridges looks at the history of the Monroe Doctrine.


Norms, Rules, and Tradition

Post | December 15, 2020

As journalists, historians, and political commentators reflect on the administration of outgoing President Donald Trump, one word keeps coming up: norms. To his critics, this is cause for concern. But President Trump’s supporters sometimes see his norm-breaking actions as efforts to change the political culture of Washington. Here, we will offer definitions and examples of […]


US Foreign Policy in the Next Four Years

Videos | November 13, 2020

 During this Close Up Conversations webinar Close Up’s, Joe Geraghty, discusses ‘US Foreign Policy in the Next Four Years’ with Ambassador Richard Schmierer, Chairman of the Board, Middle East Policy Council. Foreign policy is consistently one of the biggest issues going into any election, and there are implications whether there is an administration change or […]


U.S.-Iranian Relations Following the Death of Qasem Soleimani

Post | January 13, 2020

On January 2, 2020, it was announced that an air strike ordered by President Donald Trump had successfully targeted and killed Qasem Soleimani, chief of the Quds Force, at Baghdad International Airport. The Quds Force is regarded as the elite unit of Iran’s military; it handles overseas operations and is classified as a foreign terrorist […]


U.S. soldier facing ISIS fighters in Syria

President Trump Seeks to Further Reduce U.S. Military Presence in Syria

Post | October 18, 2019

On October 6, 2019, President Trump made the surprising announcement that he would pull out most of the 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria, where the United States has been working with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), al-Qaeda, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and to […]


The Global Climate Strike

Post | September 25, 2019

To help students explore the climate change debate, please see our resource on climate change policy here. Over one million workers, students, and others engaged in the global climate strike on Friday, September 20, in an effort to call for more significant action to combat climate change.1 This was the third in a series of […]


China Flag

Trade War: What Is It Good For?

Post | May 14, 2019

This past Friday, President Trump announced a new round of tariffs on $200 billion dollars’ worth of goods from China, increasing the rate from 10% to 25%. On Sunday, China announced retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion dollars’ worth of US goods increasing to a rate of 20-25%.1 The so-called ‘trade war’ between the US and […]


Finish the Boarder Will Trump

State of Uncertainty: Emergency Declaration on the Border

Post | February 26, 2019

Why declare an emergency?  On February 15th, 2019 President Trump declared a state of emergency at the US-Mexico border in an effort to secure funding for his long-promised border wall. The move had been predicted for months as a way to avoid a government shutdown if Congress refused to allocate the funding in the annual […]


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