The Most Important Lessons Of The Vietnam War Deal With The Delicate Balance Of Power

889 Words Nov 18th, 2016 4 Pages
The most important lessons of the Vietnam War deal with the delicate balance of power between the legislative and executive branches of the American government by highlighting Congress’ limitations and the President’s advantages. These lessons are valuable because they reveal the troubled relationship and asymmetric power dynamic between the President and Congress when the topic is foreign policy. This relationship is constrained by the democratic dilemma in that external security and internal democracy will always be at odds with one another under the American political system. The international arena requires secrecy, speed, and consistency, which are all qualities that Congress lacks. Therefore, the executive attempts to make up for these Congressional weaknesses. Lindsay confirms that the White House has “inherent advantages” in running foreign policy, but he also argues that Congress can influence foreign policy through a variety of indirect political devices. Nonetheless, the following lessons in the formulation and conduct of U.S. foreign policy expose large weaknesses in Congress’ influence in the foreign policy realm.
For the formulation of U.S. foreign policy, the most important lesson of the Vietnam War is the Congressional inability to control, regulate, or call upon the National Security Advisor to the President. This lesson is one of the most important due to the role the National Security Advisor in creating and planning foreign policy. The National Security…

Related Documents