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Foreign Policy
Guide: U.S. Military Intervention

This collection of resources explores the deployment of U.S. military forces abroad. A series of articles and primary sources trace the evolution of U.S. involvement in foreign military conflicts, from the containment policies of the Cold War to the recent shifts in the "War on Terror." Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Theme Key Understandings

  • Governments' approaches to regulation change over time based on domestic and global circumstances
  • American domestic policies span a spectrum from a free-market approach to a highly regulatory approach
  • A citizen's opinion on the need for regulation generally depends on his or her role in society
  • Social and economic policies form the basis of domestic policy
  • Through social policy, government officials can provide programs and services to maintain and improve citizen welfare
  • Through economic policy, the government seeks to maintain stability for the national economy
  • Foreign policies are influenced by the accepted doctrine of a time period, which is often shaped in reaction to world events
  • The executive branch plays the leading role in directing foreign policy

Key Questions

  • How did the shift from Cold War tensions to concerns about global terrorism change American foreign policy in the 1990s and early 2000s?
  • How have concerns about global terrorism impacted America's willingness to use military intervention as a foreign policy tool?


  1. Overview: U.S. Military Intervention
  2. Outlines: Outline
  3. Transcripts: Transcript
  4. Lesson: Introduction
  5. Lesson: 1-Intervention: Why and Where?
  6. Lesson: 2-U.S. Intervention in the Cold War
  7. Lesson: 3-Powell Doctrine: Lessons from Vietnam
  8. Lesson: 4-War on Terror
  9. Lesson: Closing
  10. Photos & Illustrations: bin Laden, Osama: newspaper headline "U.S. Kills bin Laden" (2011)
  11. Photos & Illustrations: September 11 attacks: World Trade Center burns (2001)
  12. Reference Articles: Containment
  13. Reference Articles: Domino Theory
  14. Reference Articles: Powell Doctrine
  15. Reference Articles: War on Terror
  16. Reference Articles: Bush Doctrine
  17. Speeches: Bush, George W.: Justice Will Be Done speech (2001)
  18. Speeches: Obama, Barack: Announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden (2011)
  19. Speeches: Reagan, Ronald: Evil Empire speech (1982)

MLA Citation

"U.S. Military Intervention." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Support/Content/2156163?cid=256. Accessed 6 Dec. 2019.

Entry ID: 2156163

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