Essay Writing Service

Obama Administration’s Initial Policy Decision To Use UAVs in Pakistan.’

‘Using Foreign Policy Analysis: Examine The Obama Administrations Initial Policy Decision To Use U.A.Vs in Pakistan.’

The use of Unmanned Ariel Vehicles -U.A.Vs- or as they are more commonly known ‘Drones’ as a tool of combat is not new can stems back to before World War one and notably technological expansions occurring in the 1970’s with the development of Remotely Piloted Vehicles (R.P.Vs)  by the Israeli Defence Force.   Though it was the firing of an AGM-114 Hellfire missile in February 2001 from a predator drone by the United States which arguably had the largest impact of foreign policy (Chamayou, 2015).

Since 2004, R.P.Vs have been used by the United States for Close Air Support (CAS) to troops, Surveillance and target strikes.  However it is the use of R.P.V’s for targeted strikes in undesignated war zones by the United States, which has proven to be the most controversial use of this technology. Most notably under the Obama Administration and its decision to proliferate this function of R.P.V’s (McCrisken, 2013).

This paper will attempt to dissect, analyse and understand how and why the Obama administration increased the use of R.P.Vs in his first term as President.  It will attempt to do this by using Foreign Policy Analysis models.  Precisely, the Rational Actor Model and the Bureaucratic Policy Model developed by Allinson (1969) as well as elements of the Cognitive School of Foreign Policy Analysis such as work developed Jervis (1976) and Hollis and Smith (1986). In order to create thorough understanding of the foreign policy outcome and the process of decision making and policy. This because foreign policy has a diverse range of sources (Rossnau, 1976), affecting the State at a systematic, national and individual level (Waltz, 2001) with each of these environments affect the other (Holsti, 1962). This model will be developed in section one and the second section will seek to employ this model using the case of R.P.V strikes in order to show the strengths and limits of this models explanatory power.

Section One:  Modelling Foreign Policy Decisions

1ai) The Development of Foreign Policy Analysis: The Rational Actor Model

The field of International Relations has given rise to a number of theories that have attempted to understand the international political arena. One of these is Classical Realism. Realists see International affairs as a product of foreign policies that follow a rough set of guidelines which are denoted by the anarchic international system. The State-centric and dominated view sees States self- interest as the motivational objective for states (Wohlforth, 2012).  This notion has also been encapsulated in the Rational Choice School of Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) – a sub-discipline of International Relations- and provides the Bedrock of further analysis (Jackson & Sørensen, 2013, p. 254).  As well as, like other schools of thought in the FPA, seeking to provide a more in depth and methodological analysis of Foreign Policy Decisions (Amnon & Alden, 2013)

An initial iteration of rational choice theory was labelled the Rational Actor Model (RAM) notably coined by Grahman T. Allinson (1969) in his seminal work trying to understand the Cuban Missile Crisis. The RAM is based on a Hobbesian perspective  (Allinson & Zelikrow, 1999, p. 17) and the assumption that States are motivated by self-interest (Jackson & Sørensen, 2013), with Foreign Policy actions taken in order to Maximise Utility for the State. The model also assumes that the State operates as a single unitary actor and that policy is seen as expression of the national choice (Allinson, 1969, p. 694). It views Foreign Policy as events in the international arena offering insight into how they occurred but not the underlying processes.

Understanding a Foreign Policy Decision with the RAM can be split into four distinct stages (Heywood, 2014, p. 134).  The initial stage is the identifying the issue or problem facing the State. This is a specific objective event or circumstance that is subjectively interpreted as a strategic problem for the State that affects or endangers its goals (Allinson, 1969, p. 694).  The objectives of States are drawn from its National Interests. Security and survival of the State taking are seen as the most fundamental issues as well as other aims of gaining and maintain wealth, power, prestige and influence in the International System. (Weldes, 1996)

The second stage is the ranking of potential foreign policy outcomes in order of preference in relation to the nation’s goals and values. This follows a simple rational logic, with those with the most benefits and maximum utility being preferred.

Thirdly, the consequences of these policy decisions outcomes are considered (Allinson, 1969, p. 694). These two stages – two and three- can be through empirical research or by thought experiments based on all information on the topic

Finally, a rational policy decision is made. This is a decision that best maximises potential future utility by taking into consideration consequences and the national interest. This is then carried out by the state as a single actor.

1aii) Clarifying Rationality in the RAM: The Need for Bounded Rationality

Upon initial inspection the rational actor model seems overly simplistic and if not problematic, one of these issues is the idea of perfect information. When foreign policy options are ranked and evaluated it is on the basis that the decision maker has accesses to all relevant information in order to make a decision in relation to the nations goals (Allinson & Zelikrow, 1999).  This process of cost benefit analysis entails that the RAM can only be used in scenarios in which complete knowledge of all potential policy effects in the international domain. This is highly unlikely to occur and severely limits the scope of application and the explanatory power of the RAM.

However, if it is accepted that full rationality cannot be achieved it is possible that decision makers conduct themselves along technical rationality in the policy decision making process. Meaning that decision maker in the model would act rationally based upon the imperfect information or other constraints place upon the decision making process[1], giving limits to rationality and has been termed ‘Bounded Rationality. (Simon, 1991) . The application of this to the rational actor model gives the Bounded Rational Actor Model (BRAM) and a way to increase the explanatory power of the model.

1aiii) The Explanatory Power of the Bounded Rational Actor Model (BRAM) and It’s Place in Holistic Foreign Policy Analysis.

The BRAM and other rational choice theories have been heavily criticised for being too reductive and not taking into account many other factors that affect the decision making process.  This view may be of merit while looking at the model in isolation, it can be used in conjunction with other models to aid in developing a more Holistic Framework of FPA.

In order to illustrate this point it is necessary to understand the difference between IR theories and FPA theories. This can be portrayed by splitting the decision making process into 3 distinct levels, the individual level, which looks at personal interest, as well as induvial values, belief systems and the way in which they think . The national level, this looks at Bureaucratic structure and internal affairs of the state such organisational structure, lobbyists etc. And the systematic level, which looks at balances of power and structure of the international system (Waltz, 2001).

The broader field of International relations tends to focus on structural theories and interpretations of the International Arena with Actors-in-general theories. Essential seeing the decision making unit in the state as an entity or unit. Whereas FPA as a whole tends to focus more on Actor-specific theories which seek to understand FP as the product primarily of human decision makers acting singly or in groups. (Hudson, 2005, pp. 1-2)

The RAM model sees foreign policy outcomes as a product of a unitary actor of
a State within an international arena. (Allinson, 1969). The BRAM can allow the linking of the systematic level of analysis and Actor-in-general theories to a national and individual level of analysis and Actor-specific theories. It is the level of conceptual lenses of analysis which highlights the power of the BRAM giving us a rounded analysis.  Giving an insight into policy events occurred place at the systematic level and understanding its influences on the decision making process of the state through interpretation of the national interest.

The Formulation and creation of the national interest and security allows the link between structure and agency. As Foreign Policy events are motivated by goals and objectives drawn from the national interest. With ideologies and political goals directly informed by an interpretation of the structure of the International Arena and these targets and Ideals are not irrational.

Although this still seems to only give us an understanding of policy outcomes and does not furnish the holistic view with an understanding of the foreign policy creation process and how this results in the selection of a foreign policy.

1bi) Limitations of the BRAM: Looking inside the ‘black box’, the national level and the Bureaucratic Policy Model

One of the limits of its explanatory power of the BRAM is that it does take into acknowledge the role of Executive departments or bureaucracies in process of policy forming. It merely sees the state as singly unitary actor. This resulted in the development of the Bureaucratic Policy Model (BPM) (Allinson, 1969). Since its conception the model has also incorporated Allison’s organisational model under the same umbrella, due to its similarities and weakness as an individual model (Welch, 1992).

The fundamental assumption of this school of thought is the decision making process determines foreign policy. Utilising this model allows an insight into the national struggles of policy formation within the Executive branch of government. (Allinson, 1969).

Showing each bureaucratic structure, culture, values and precedent influence potential future foreign policy. This occurs due to the creation of routines for dealing with tasks in an organisation which then form processes for dealing with specific issues. These form Standard operating procedures –S.O.P- which are then used to deal with potential issues (Allinson, 1969).

1bii) Limitations of the BRAM: The Compatibility of the BRAM and the BPM

It can be argued that the Bureaucratic Policy Model is not compatible with the BRAM model as individuals may try to increase their institutional power domestically as well as a vehicle for individuals to increase their power. Creating policy that goes against that of the national interest and the goals of the state. As a result delivering policy that is not rational and undermining the rationality of the BRAM. (Allinson, 1969)

Although it can be argued that this vastly underestimates the power of the President in foreign policy creation. Insinuating that the President/Prime minister is reduced to pushing and pulling in the system akin to other bureaucratic actors. Implying that the role has little effect on policy formation as the head of an Executive department. It is poignant to note that President/Prime minister has the power of appointment and dismissal of the executive and this can be used to keep in check individuals within bureaucracies (Krasner, 1972).

Furthermore, the governmental structure and processes of a State may affect the relationship between the BRAM and BPM. As in democratic states there are process and procedures that limit the role that bureaucracies have in foreign policy making. Although, there may be a more bureaucratic oversight in the policy in authoritarian states. (Krasner, 1972)

Taking this into consideration, the use of Bureaucratic Policy Model may deepen analysis through structuring the competitive process of policy making at the national level (Waltz, 2001). Providing an evaluation that is not possible through the BRAM alone.

1ci) The Role of the Individual: Personality, Perception and the BRAM

The psychological school questions the concept of rationality in the RAM. However critiques such as those levied by Sprout and Sprout (1956) can add to the boundaries of rationality in the BRAM.

The effect of Personality on the BRAM should however be taken into consideration as it can aid in understanding how policy objectives are formed. This is because individual decision makers and leaders have their own bias which have different effects on States in the international arena (Amnon & Alden, 2013). This notion is also supported by J. Rosenau (1976) who cites that the personality of a leader as a major source of foreign policy and how this can insight rapid change.  Therefore, the change of leadership in the Executive, at any level may affect Foreign Policy. Although, this would be of greater influence with the change of the Head of the Executive.

The theory of misperception may be useful as it shows how subjective interpretations rather than objective interpretations affect foreign policy. This subjective interpretation is based upon their individual belief system as well as individual interpretation of history. (Jervis, 1976) This in itself influences policy decisions made by a leader and actions taken therefore reinforce this underlying belief system.  (Holsti, 1962) (Amnon & Alden, 2013).

This is important as the perception of a threat to a Nations goals or objectives in itself is taken from the subjective interpretation of fact. So a change or altering in the belief system of a subjective interpretation of history by the individual actor can result in a different interpretation of an international event and its effect on foreign policy goals. This in turn may also have an effect on the categorisation of a rational action in BRAM as a misperception due to subjective inference may lead to a different interpretation of the national interest.

1cii) The Role of the Individual: BPM and the Iron cage of responsibility

These above mentioned theory of personality does not only affect the BRAM but also individuals in the BPM. Supporting the notion that Individuals own aspirations, beliefs and perceptions may dominate the model, deviating away from the creation of policy to benefit the national interest.

However, the effect of personality in the BPM maybe limited by the behaviour and responsibility that is associated to a given role or office in an organisation.  This, does not mean that individual’s values systems and beliefs are substituted by those of the organisation but that the bureaucratic responsibilities and expectations influence individual’s behaviour in line with bureaucratic belief systems and goals. A term this paper has called ‘the iron cage of responsibility.’ In amalgamation with this is the fact that in many roles in a bureaucracy are carried out by more than one individual. Colleges as well as those and individual interacts with in other bureaucracies may form a system of checks and balances keeping an individual in line with bureaucratic culture and behaviour. (Hollis & Smith, 1986)

This level of accountability and subsequent influence an individual holds is not uniform across the bureaucracy. In line Bendor and Hammond’s (1992) notion that structure of the Executive’s hierarchy plays a role in the head of Executives ability to set agendas. The impact of individual agency on bureaucratic behaviour and foreign policy development can be seen to increase as an individual progress up the hierarchy of authority, with the head of the organisation being able to influence the bureaucratic organisation’s culture and standard operating procedures (Hatch & Cunliffe, 2013).

1d) The Holistic View of Foreign Policy Decision Making

The creation of the Holistic View of Foreign Policy (HVP) is an attempt to understand complex narratives at different levels of analysis that form Foreign Policy. This progression from problem identification the policy action is given diagrammatically in Fig.1. With policy identification, cost benefit analysis and rational decision making occurring in line with the RAM and the development of policy occurring in a similar framework to the BPM but taking into consideration the aforementioned psychological influences[2].

In developing at the HVFP certain it was necessary for certain stating assumptions to be made (Wohlforth, 2012). The HVFP assumes that the outcomes of Foreign Policy are taken by a single State. This does not necessarily infer that it is the product of one individual rational decision making entity, but that all decisions are seen at the systematic, international level as a product of a unified State. It is also assumed that Foreign Policy carried out by the State is technically rational.

Finally it is assumed that there are temporal constraints put in the model.   It is assumed that model occurs at a single given time and therefore considers only a single foreign policy goal at one time. (Bendor & Hammond, 1992). Foreign Policy is analysed based on the assumption that States act upon certain fixed conditions such as the balance of power in the international field, the level of information and a number of other policy influences at all levels of analysis (Rossnau, 1976) at that given time.

The HVP also has a two scope conditions that form the limits in the explanatory power of the model.  One of these is the head of Executive will be more involved in the formulation of policy that effects fundamental aspects of the national interest such as security or situations in which there is a high level of threat to the state or of particular interest. (Rosatari , 1981) (Amnon & Alden, 2013). In this case policy may not be fully developed and shaped by bureaucracies.

Secondly, the BPM was sort to be used as a tool of analysis or prediction with many theories having a degree of predicative power (Wohlforth, 2012). Although, the HPV should only be used in post facto analysis. As the explanatory power of the model is limited only after the foreign policy decision has been applied due to the use of the BRAM’s ability to only analyse outcomes.[3]

Section Two: Testing the Holistic Model of Foreign Policy: 

The use of Unmanned Ariel Vehicles by the Obama Administration 2008-2012.

“The core goal of U.S must be to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda and its safe havens in Pakistan” (Office of the Press Secretary, The White House, 2009) was the remark made by President Obama 3 months into his first term in office.  This section will focus on the increase in the use of two specific R.P.Vs, the MQ-9 Reaper and its predecessor the MQ-1 Predator, MQ denoting the fact they are armed drones (Gertler, 2012). These drones where specifically used in Pakistan by the Central Intelligence Agency –CIA- during Barrack Obama’s first term. Applying the HVFP in order to understand how and why this policy was pursued in four key steps.

2ai) Step 1-The HVP: Systemic factors and identification of the problem 

The HVP allow us to understand the systematic factors that feed into the creation of foreign policy.  One of the driving forces of Obama’s decision to use R.P.V’s in Pakistan was due to increase ferocity of the war in Afghanistan. The Bush Administration had neglected the conflict in Afghanistan and focused on Iraq leading to the increase in insurgency in Afghanistan. When Obama came to office the situation had escalated and intensified (Aslam, 2013). This can be seen to affect the National Interest of the United states as it was a direct threat to military personnel on the ground as well as a potential threat to domestic national security of the United States as members of al-Qaeda and other insurgent networks who posed a significant threat where growing in strength. A root cause of this issue was the impunity that these forces could operate, regroup and shelter in Pakistan, explicitly in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) which shared a porous national border with Afghanistan (Aslam, 2013). Therefore in order to address the situation in Afghanistan it was necessary to also take action in Pakistan.

2aii) Step 2- The HVP: The Policy Process, Precedents, Prior Presidents and Predators

The policy of using R.P.V’s for targeted strikes in the FATA region of Pakistan to kill top ranking al –Qaeda individuals  was first employed by the Bush administration in 2004 (Fricker & Plaw, 2012). This was an attempt to lead a more network-centric (Dillon, 2002) method of counter-insurgency to be carried out by the CIA with the signing of a Presidential Finding (Fricker & Plaw, 2012). This permitted them to carry out lethal attacks using R.P.V’s and resulted in 44 Predator drone strikes in Pakistan. The CIA, initially created as civilian agency to counter the military had already began to change its bureaucratic culture and operating methods to those normally associated with paramilitary organisations (Gregory, 2011). The signing of the Presidential finding led to the establishment of new process, routines and Standard operating procedures. This highlights not only the effect an individual can have – in this case Bush- in shaping future foreign policy but also the model highlights the policy suggestion to use drones was a product of previous policy applications showing a ‘dominant pattern of inference’ (Allinson, 1969). This is shown by the then director of the CIA stating that ‘Drones are the only game in town in terms of confronting or trying to disrupt al-Qaeda leadership’ (Zenko, 2013).

In addition, the formulation of policy decisions was limited only to certain bureaucracies within the Executive, due to the clandestine nature of operations carried out against insurgents (Gregory, 2011). The benefit of using a ‘civilian’ branch of the administration such as the CIA was that they didn’t not have to convene to the same rules as the military such as the Law of armed conflict and uniform code of military justice which placed limits on the force used by armed forces (Hardy, 2014).  This A-symmetry of information coupled with the precedents set by the Bush administration meant that the presenting of targeted strikes by R.P.Vs would be a likely option by the CIA.

2aiii) Step 3 – The HVP:  Weighing up the pros and cons of Drone warfare

It is the stage of Cost Benefit Analysis in the HVP that offers the greatest insight into the decision making process.  Obama administration’s choice to use R.P.V strikes is rooted in subjective interpretations of history informing his perception.  A number of policies had been applied by the Bush Administration in an attempt to curb the insurgency in Afghanistan (Aslam, 2013).  A key policy was allowing Pakistan to govern security in its own boarders using their own military and intelligence services. Although, the autonomy of these bureaucracies had resulted in the brokering of close ties with Laksher-e-taleb, the Afghan Taliban and  the Haqqani network who used in the FATA to launch attacks in Afghanistan and refused to attack them  (Aslam, 2013). This created peace for Pakistan but intensified the fighting in Afghanistan (McCrisken, 2013). Therefore, the cost of relying on similar policies for the Obama Administration far outweighed the benefits.

Secondly, it was crucial for Obama to take quick and decisive action to sway the tide of events in Afghanistan. The quick s short-run solution was found in the use of R.P.V targeted strikes at high ranking commanders in Pakistan. (Fricker & Plaw, 2012).  The alternative to this policy was the deployment of ground troops in the region, although this would endanger United States military personnel. It would also be seen domestically as an increase in the U.S.A war efforts. This was the antithesis Obama’s campaign promises of ending the war on terror and scaling back the number of troops in active combat (Woodward, 2011). The only other option would be the use of aerial bombardments, these however arguably can be seen as less humane than precise strikes aimed at high ranking al-Qaeda leadership, with the risk of civilian causalities being much higher  (Strawser, 2010)[4] .As well as a much higher financial cost of both alternatives compared to the use of drones  (Aslam, 2013).

2aiv) Step 4- The HVP: A unitary rational decision

The R.P.Vs therefore can be seen to be rational unitary policy decision. As it provides a way of allowing the USA to protect and maintain its security in an area where otherwise they would have limited influence and little scope to operate with more traditional methods of warfare. It is also unitary action when analysed at the systematic level (Waltz, 2001), as it is seen as an act of aggression by the USA (Gregory, 2011).

The HVP can also be used to allow us to understand how the responsibilities of certain office holders supersede individual’s beliefs and objectives, portraying ‘The Iron Cage of Responsibility’. Obama put aside moral views that had been expressed by putting an end to the interrogation techniques of Bush and his promise to close Guantanamo and adopted more permanent and arguably unethical methods of R.P.V strikes to maintain the national interest. (Ofek, 2010)

It can be argued that the use of R.P.Vs was not the optimal policy decision with the least amount of resistance and therefore the policy decision is rational due to it being only satisfactory (Amnon & Alden, 2013). However, it has been stated by Obama that his priority is the protection of the lives of US citizens and other potential foreign policies would involve a risk of life and therefore this policy can be seen as the optimal choice (Obama, 2016).

2bi) Weaknesses of the HVP: The rational becoming irrational

One weakness in the HVP stems from the lack of dynamic analysis. The HVP analyses the initial policy decision in this case increase the use of R.P.V target strike. This decision then gives the mandate for the bureaucracy to apply and carry out this policy.

However, each time a R.P.V was carried out by the CIA it was a re-iteration and re-enforcing of the initial foreign policy decision made by the Obama Administration. However, each individual attack provided new awareness of the cost and benefits of R.P.V strikes, with this new information redefining the boundaries of rationality in the HPV.

The Bush administration set a precedent for the subsequent Obama administration in terms of modus operandi for carrying out these strikes with the Military Forces the process of target identification therefore has been  through the collection of human, cyber intelligence in conjunction with ‘Patterns of Life Analysis’ (Franz, 2017) which attempts to link certain patterns of activity seen by U.A.Vs conducting surveillance with those known to similar confirmed targets, suggesting membership in a hostile organisation (Chamayou, 2015). This information is then vetted through high ranking commanders prior to the decision being taken place when strikes are carried out by the army. It is argued that a similar process is carried out by the CIA although this cannot be confirmed due to secrecy  (Hardy, 2014). This  process continued under Obama with significant operational policy reform not taking place in 2013 with the creation of a Presidential Policy Directive (Office of the Press Secretary -The White House, 2013) (Obama, 2016).

Regardless of the stringent ‘Kill-chain’ (Gregory, 2011) S.O.P. This targeting process has not always been correct with false signals information, human intelligence (Hardy, 2014) and incorrect P.O.L analysis (Chamayou, 2015) . This has led to the killing of innocents supposed innocents and consistent used has led to the terrifying of foreign nationals (Fricker & Plaw, 2012).

It has also led to an increase in anti- American sentiment and an increasing number of threats to the national security (Price, 2012) . Stemming from individuals seeking retribution against United States citizens and service personnel and the endearing of diplomatic relations between states. As seen by the increase in Jihadist movements (Sageman, 2011) and the friction in US/ Pakistan relations (Ahmed, 2013). This in effect rendering rational policy decision upon its conception, irrational in its application actual policy outcomes conflict with the national interest.

There however is some element of rational oversight being taken place as highlight by Obama signing off on those who will be targeted by the CIA in what was crudely termed a ‘kill list’ (Becker & Shane, 2012) and being In control of some strikes (McCrisken, 2013). Although it has been acknowledge that Obama putting the use of R.P.Vs as the ‘centre peace of his counter-insurgency policy’ (Fricker & Plaw, 2012) during his administration has meant that not all strikes have been privy to this level of introspection.

2bii) Weaknesses of the HVP: Congress and Domestic Influences

Another limit is the models failure to take into consideration the role of Congress. While this may not be an overbearing factor in the above case due to the limited insight, input and influence that the legislative has in the US regarding national security processes and policy. Coupled with the lack of public acknowledgment of strikes by the administration till them till 2012 (McCrisken, 2013). It is still poignant to note that the use of the BPM framework in the HVP cannot adequately explain the complexity of domestic influence (Amnon & Alden, 2013). Such as the phenomena of ‘Iron triangles’ as well as lobbying by congress on the bureaucracy and of third parties on both congress and the bureaucracy, which have a larger influence on the formation of other types of foreign policy ( Hart & Roenthal, 1998) (Amnon & Alden, 2013).

2biii) The role of the media and public and the need for further research

The HVP does not evaluate the role and effect of the media in the formation of foreign policy. The media can influence individuals in the affecting beliefs, perception and subsequently value systems. As a result effecting all levels of decision making analysis. An example of this is the ‘body bag effect’ (Walker & Bahador, 2012)in which the death of a soldier has an impact on public opinion which has been exacerbated by the wide accesses to information and the CNN effect which provokes real time responses from audiences (Robinson, 1999).

This paper argues that this may have had an influence of the Obama administration decision to use R.P.Vs but is not considered in the above framework. Therefore it is necessary for further research into the role of the media and the ways in which media can be used to manipulate the public through agenda setting, Priming individuals affecting how they receive information and Framing information in order to affect how it is understood. Furthermore, an enquiry into how this effects emotions and the neurological school of decision making in order to further develop the HPV(Robinson, 2016).

Through the use of the holistic model of foreign policy it is possible to understand factors and process that contributed to the Obama Administrations increase in U.A.Vs for targeted killing. This model gives an understanding to the systematic, national and individual influences on this decision. Highlighting the role of history in providing context for decisions.  Showing how the situation in Afghanistan and previous operating producers of the CIA coupled with a symmetry of information resulted in a narrow set of policy options. Furthermore, the model highlights how this decision can be seen as rational when viewed in conjunction with the national interest.

However, there are certain aspects that the holistic view cannot help us understand. Such as why Obama continued the policy of drone strikes despite it becoming an irrational policy decision. Also it is not possible to say with certainty what the psychological effects on the president where and how he belief systems and factors played a role in the process.

The use of foreign policy analysis and the development of the Holistic View of Foreign policy was an attempt to slot together pieces of the puzzle that formed the decision making process in States. Through the bringing together different levels of analysis through the policy process with the bureaucratic policy model and outcomes with the rational actor. While still address the underlying physiological factors that have effected them, such as cognitive bias and misperception.

Although, in trying to solve this puzzle, this paper has untethered a labyrinth, with multiple theories that may or may not contribute to a holistic view of foreign policy. With a number of dead ends already found in the HPV, such as the role of the media and neurological schools. This combined with the lack of dynamic analysis in order to understand the long run implications of policy decisions. Therefore, while useful further empirical and theoretical research outside the word constraint of this papers is needed to further refine the explanatory power of the model.


Hart, P. ‘. & Roenthal, U., 1998. Reappraising bureaucratic politics. Mershon International Studies Review, 42(2), pp. 236-7.

Ahmed, A., 2013. The thistle and the drone. s.l.:Harper Collins .

Allinson, G., 1969. Concetual models and the Cuban missle crisis. American political science review, 63(3), pp. 689-718.

Allinson, G. & Zelikrow, P., 1999. Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missle Crisis. New York: Pearson.

Amnon, A. & Alden, C., 2013. Foreign policy analysis. s.l.:Taylor Francis.

Aslam, W., 2013. Drones and the issue of continuity in America’s Pakistan policy under Obama. In: M. Bentley & J. Holland, eds. Obama’s foreign policy: ending the war on terror. s.l.:Routledge, pp. 139-160.

Becker, J. & Shane, S., 2012. Secret ‘kill list’ proves a test of Obama’s principles and will. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 20 11 2016].

Bendor, J. & Hammond, T., 1992. Rethinking Allison’s models. American Political Science Review, 89(2), pp. 314-316.

Bousquet, A. & Curtis, S., 2011. Beyond models and metaphors: complexity, systems thinking and international relations. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 24(01), pp. 43-62.

Carlsnaes, W., 1992. The agency-structure problem in foreign policy analysis. international studies quaterly, 36(3), pp. 245-270.

Chamayou, G., 2015. Drone Theory. s.l.:Penguin UK.

Dillon, M., 2002. Network Society, network-centric warfare and the state of emergency.. Theory, Culture & Society, 19(4), pp. 71-79.

Franz, N., 2017. Targeted killing and pattern-of-life analysis: weaponised media. Media Culture & Society, 39(1), pp. 111-121.

Fricker, M. & Plaw, A., 2012. Tracking the predators: evaluating the US drone campaging in Pakistan. International Studies Perspectives, 13(4), pp. 334-365.

Gertler, J., 2012. U.S unmanned aerial systems. Report for Congress (R42136), Washington DC: Congressional Research Service.

Gregory, D., 2011. The everywhere war. The Geographical Journal, 177(3), pp. 238-250.

Hardy, J., 2014. Reframing the drone debate. Melbourne, Sixth Oceanic Conference on International Studies.

Hatch, M. & Cunliffe, A., 2013. Organisational perspectives: modern, symbolic and post modern perspectives. s.l.:Oxford University Press.

Heywood, A., 2014. Global Politics. 2nd ed. s.l.:Palgrave Macmillan .

Hollis , M. & Smith, S., 1986. Roles and reasons in foreign policy decision making. British Journal of Political Science , 16(3), pp. 269-286.

Holsti, O., 1962. The belief system and national images: a case study. Journal of conflict resolution, 6(3), pp. 244-52.

Hudson, V., 2005. Foreign policy analysis: actor-specific theory and the fround of international relations. Foreign Policy Analysis , 1(1), pp. 1-2.

Jackson, R. & Sørensen, G., 2013. Introduction to International Relations: theories and approaches. 5 ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Jervis, R., 1976. Perception and Misperception in International Politics. s.l.:Princeton University Press.

Krasner, S., 1972. Are bureaucracies important ( or Allinson Wonderland). Foreign Policy, Volume 7, pp. 159-179.

McCrisken, T., 2013. Obama’s Drone War. Survival , 55(2), pp. 97-122.

Mintz, A. & Geva, N., 1997. The polihuersitic theory of foreign policy decisionmaking. In: Decision making on war and peace: the cognitive-rational debate . s.l.:s.n., pp. 81-95.

Obama, B., 2016. President Obama Participates in a Conversation about the Supreme Court [Interview] (7 April 2016).

Ofek, H., 2010. The tourtured logic of obama’s drone war. The New Atlantis, Issue 27, pp. 35-44.

Office of the Press Secretary -The White House, 2013. Fact Sheet: U.S. Policy Standards and Procedures for the Use of Force in Counterterrorism Operations Outside the United States and Areas of Active Hostilities. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 21 December 2016].

Office of the Press Secretary, The White House, 2009. Remarks by the President on a New Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 22 December 2016].

Price, B., 2012. Targetting top terrorists: how leadership decapitation contributes to counterterrorism. International Security , 36(4), pp. 9-46.

Robinson, P., 1999. The CNN effect: can the news media drive foreign policy?. Review of international studies, 25(02), pp. 301-309.

Robinson, P., 2016. The role of media and public opinion. In: S. Smith, A. Hadfield & T. Dunne, eds. Foreign Policy: Theories, Actors and Cases. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 186-204.

Rosatari , J., 1981. Developing a systemic decision-making framework: bureaucratic politics in perspective. World Politics , 33(2), pp. 234-52.

Rossnau, J., 1976. World Politics. London: Colliet McMillan Publishers.

Sageman, M., 2011. The Leaderless Jihad: terror networks in the twenty -first century. s.l.:University of Pennsylvania Press.

Simon, H., 1991. Bounded rationality and organizational learning. Organization Science, 2(1), pp. 125-134.

Sprout, H. & Sprout, M., 1956. Man-milieau relationship hypotheses in the context of international politics. s.l.:Center for International Studies, Princeton University.

Steinbruner, J., 2002. The cybernetic theory of decision: new dimensions of political analysis. s.l.:Princeton University Press.

Strawser, B., 2010. Moral preadators: the duty to employ uninhabited aerial vehicles. Journal of Military Ethics, 9(4), pp. 342-368.

Walker, S. & Bahador, B., 2012. Did the Iraq war have a body bag effect?. The American Review of Politics, Volume 33, pp. 247-270.

Waltz, K., 2001. Man, the state and war: a theoretical analysis. 2nd ed. New York: Columbia University Press.

Welch, D., 1992. The organizational process and bureaucratic politics paradigms: retrospect and prospect. International Security, 17(2), pp. 112-146.

Weldes, J., 1996. Constructung national interests. European Jornal of International Relations , 2(275), pp. 275-318.

Wohlforth, W., 2012. Realism and foreign policy. In: A. H. T. D. S Smith, ed. Foreign policy:theories, actors, cases. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 35-54.

Woodward, B., 2011. Obama’s Wars. s.l.:Simon and Schuster.

Zenko, M., 2013. Reforming US drone strike policies (No.65). s.l.:Council on Foreign Relations .


Appendix 1

Fig.1: Holistic View of Foreign Policy

Identification of the Problem

Effected by: Misperception and the national interest

Policy Creation: The Bureaucratic Policy Model

Bureaucracy 1

Bureaucracy 1

Bureaucracy 1

Bureaucracy 1

Bureaucracy 1

Bureaucracy 1

Bureaucracy 1

Bureaucracy 1

Potential Foreign Policies- from relent Bureaucracies

Each policy has been influenced by organisational culture, individuals and psychological factors (Fig.2)

Cost/Benefit Analysis

Effected by Bounded Rationality

Rational Policy Decision

Effected by physiological factors (Fig 2.)


Carried out by the Bureaucracy

N.B – All bureaucratic organisations are interlinked and feed into potential polices from identification of the problem in the same manner as Bureaucracy 1 although for simplicity this has not been shown on the flow chart

Appendix 2

Role Responsibilities

Organisational Culture

Personal Aspirations

Bureaucratic and National Goals

Fig.2: Psychological factor in the Holistic View of foreign policy




[1] A number of Papers have attempted to further clarify rationality in rational choice theory, although this paper finds that they do not account for decisions made with imperfect information. See Polihurisitic Theory (Mintz & Geva, 1997)or the Cybernetic Theory (Steinbruner, 2002) – not mentioned due to word constraint.

[2] It should be noted however that the development of the HPM and the use of the BRAM does not in any way resolve or attempt to resolve the issues of the structure agency debate (Carlsnaes, 1992) but looks for a way in which foreign policy to allow and interpretation of systematic influences and this debate is beyond the scope of this paper.

[3]  This is a reductionist framework despite removing the BPM from its initial purpose of predicting policy and using the model in a conceptual way as suggested by Rosenthal (1998) (Amnon & Alden, 2013).  Decision making may not be able to be fully comprehended through reduction see: (Bousquet & Curtis, 2011) on complexity theory.

[4] The Ethics of drones is a highly controversial topic and beyond the scope of this essay due to work constraint please see: (Chamayou, 2015) and (Zenko, 2013)

With Our Resume Writing Help, You Will Land Your Dream Job
Resume Writing Service, Resume101
Trust your assignments to an essay writing service with the fastest delivery time and fully original content.
Essay Writing Service, EssayPro
Nowadays, the PaperHelp website is a place where you can easily find fast and effective solutions to virtually all academic needs
Universal Writing Solution, PaperHelp
Professional Custom
Professional Custom Essay Writing Services
In need of qualified essay help online or professional assistance with your research paper?
Browsing the web for a reliable custom writing service to give you a hand with college assignment?
Out of time and require quick and moreover effective support with your term paper or dissertation?