OER Librarian
Political Science
Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division, College / Upper Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
American Government, Oss0112
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
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Foreign Policy and Security: Course Map & Recommended Resources


Foreign Policy and Security

The resources included here are intended to map to the following learning objectives for an American Government Course:

  1. Define the nuclear triad.
  2. Define the European Union.
  3. Explain free trade vs. protectionism and explain how free trade affects different kinds of workers.
  4. Question the role of the United Nations and NATO.
  5. Compare and contrast hard power and soft power and the tools of U.S. diplomacy.
  6. Identify current threats and challenges to national security and global stability.

Web-Based Materials


Main Text: American Government - Lumen Learning

Alternative Text: American Politics and Government in the Information Age

  • Chapter 17: Foreign and National Security Policies

Alternative Text: Boundless Political Science

Recommended Textbook & Alternate Materials

Discussion Questions and Key Concepts

Discussion Questions

  1. Defining terrorism has similarities to defining obscenity: I know it when I see it. Discuss the various problems in defining terrorism and compose a working definition of terrorism.
  2. Define the role of the United Nations today. Evaluate how effective the UN is in carrying out its role. Should the US remain a member of the UN? Why or why not?
  3. With respect to foreign policy and its role overseas, should the US expand its role, restrict its role (become more isolationist), or keep its role about the same? Explain.
  4. It’s been said that the US only intervenes when the US interests are at stake. Evaluate that statement. Is it true or not? Why do you say that? Provide examples.

Key Terms

  1. Containment
  2. Détente
  3. Deterrence
  4. Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD)
  5. Weapons of mass destruction
  6. Bipolar
  7. Unilateralism
  8. Multilateralism
  9. Department of Homeland Security
  10. Bush Doctrine
  11. Preemptive War Doctrine
  12. Conventional War
  13. Guerilla War
  14. Military industrial complex
  15. Protectionism
  16. World Trade Organization
  17. Rally ‘round the flag effect