Foreign Policy Issue

The U.S. Role in a Changing World: From the first days of the republic, U.S. citizens have debated how to balance their priorities at home with their involvement in international affairs. Today, the United States continues to wrestle with the task of balancing domestic needs and international concerns. An array of economic, political, cultural, and social problems exist both at home and abroad. For example, how should the United States address climate change? Terrorism? Humanitarian crises? Poverty and inequality? Consensus about how to address these problems and others is hard to achieve.

After reviewing the videos (Understanding the Syrian Civil War –How did the Syrian Civil War begin? and How has the Syrian Civil War sparked a refugee crisis? all embedded on the Choices Lesson page) and handout materials on the "Debating the U.S. Response to Syria (" page from "The Choice Program (" discuss the following:

• What are the advantages and disadvantages of U.S. intervention in Syria?
• Why is their controversy surrounding the international response to Syria?
• What policy options were discussed in the "U.S. Response to Syria," Choice Program handout? Which do you support? Why? What are the most compelling arguments regarding the policies?

How do you think each of these options affect the U.S. relationship with Syria in the long term? The U.S. relationship with the rest of the world?

How would it affect people in the United States? What about people in Syria? What values and beliefs underlie each option?
What role do you believe the United States should have in addressing this issue and other international issues?

Consider what policies you would suggest the United States pursue regarding Syria. What aspects of the different options do you support? What policies are you concerned about? Can you identify some of the difficult trade-offs that policymakers face? What do you think should be the primary aim of U.S. policy regarding Syria?
What policies would achieve this aim?



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