POL326Y1 Lecture 14: MIC Lecture

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26 Aug 2019
Media Lecture
Groups in making of American foreign policy
o We looked at the process of lobbying: America is somewhat unique in American politics
o Lobbying refers to trying to influence congress when they’re in session
Majority of lobbyists are focused on domestic politics
Foreign lobbies is of interest given that the Trump admin raked over the coals of the number of people in it
o In ’58, there were 120 Japanese firms trying to influence various government decisions
o The overall estimate of foreign agents is considerably higher; the requirement to register as a
foreign agent hasn’t been seriously enforced
Bob Livingstone: runs the largest lobbying firm in Washington
Cuba doesn’t have a lobby firm to influence foreign policy of America
The Kurdish lobby lobbied to release 4B for their food program; managed to get 18B in construction funds
o Were approved by the Department of Commerce
o Kurdistan was the gateway to Iraq: under-secretary
The states involved in foreign lobbying are predictable
o Lobbying is certainly worthwhile in getting money; if this were the case, countries wouldn’t
Military Industrial Complexes
Most great powers, including America, have tech that prevents them from being a great power
To be a great power, you must have your own arms industry
Military spending in classic great power politics was determined by the great powers of the state
o State require justification of military spending; to justify military spending, the military and
associations associated with it use threats
Iron triangle: used to describe the relationship between interest groups and a number of different sectors
within society; there are representatives in congress
o Between the defense department (which has an interest to promote its members)
o The defense industry that supply those goods are
Congress asked for 1.8B for 18 F18 jets, which was twice as much as Obama requested
o It isn’t just the military that ramps up military spending, rather it’s congress
o Military science infrastructure: considerably more developed iron triangle relationship has
connection to other industries
When the scientific community was committed in producing nuclear weapons; research and
development must be made more sophisticated
o Universities have become more important in scientific infrastructure;
Universities recognize the enormous opportunity to research/promote our research teams
They’re heavily dependent on military spending
o More/less since the creation of the Rogers act in ’94; the influence of the state department has
consistently declined; the Trump admin has been very extreme on this
The state department and the rise of the military signifies the importance of MSI in shaping of USFP
Various groups on the left and right focused on lobbying through having think tanks on making foreign
policy decisions; their impact on foreign policy and elections have no impact
As long as the American public of the United States reflects the national interest of America; inherently a
bipartisan manner (politics stop at the water’s edge)
o But when it comes to foreign policy, Americans generally unify around; refer to the consensus of
American foreign policy
o The continuing relevance of foreign policy is evident with election of Barack Obama
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