US Intervention in Foreign Issues

Acting as the foreign policy advisor for a new US president, students make recommendations for how and when the United States should intervene in foreign

Task Force: US Intervention in Foreign Issues


You are a member of the foreign policy team for the newly-elected president. You will be responsible for advising the president on issues going on around the world and making recommendations for if and when the US should involve itself in these issues. 

Why Are We Doing This?

Throughout its history, the United States has often involved itself in international conflicts and the governments of other nations, which has gained both praise and criticism from different groups. Some choices that have been controversial include the Vietnam War, “nation building” in Iraq and Afghanistan, and supporting unpopular governments in Iran, Nicaragua, and Cuba. Some of the criticism comes from the fact that the US, and other Western countries, have intervened out of their own interests, mainly access to natural resources like oil. 


  1. Research some history of foreign intervention by the US. Also, research different opinions on the issue. 
    1. In what ways has the US intervened in other countries? 
    2. What are the different arguments for and against intervention? 
  2. Now, decide how you will advise the new president
    1. Will you advocate for or against intervention? 
    2. Are there certain circumstances that you think would call for intervention? Are there certain circumstances you would choose not to intervene in? (think about things like wars, human rights abuses, elections, military coups, etc)
    3.  If necessary, what types of intervention would you support?
    4. How will your decisions affect the US’s relationship with other countries? (think about both enemies and allies) 
  3. Think through the possible objections to your ideas and how you would respond.  
  4. Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your ideas will work. 

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • You do not have to come up with an exhaustive policy. It’s better to come up with a few ideas that you feel confident with and spend time thinking through possible objections to them. 
  • You don’t have to worry about answering all possible objections, but you should have some defense of why you think your idea would work. 
  • Your suggestions should be things that could realistically be implemented.