Since its creation in 1789, the State Department has been crafting U.S. foreign policy and advising the President of the United States on foreign affairs.
Diplomacy, the art of making negotiations that benefit both the diplomat’s home country and the one in which they reside, is an essential skill in the foreign service. U.S. diplomats promote American interests and ideology abroad, negotiating in matters of economics and politics and often working in the embassies or consulates of the country they reside in.
American embassies abroad serve as hubs for American affairs. They also serve as the government’s headquarters in the country, offering aid and support to American residents of the respective foreign country. Consulates are similar, but they often don’t serve in the capital of the country as embassies do.
Many foreign service agents, officials and other stakeholders believe the Trump administration might shake up the normal scale and scheme of diplomacy. According to The New Yorker, President Donald Trump has a “uniquely chaotic and unsettling approach to the rest of the world.” (1)
Diplomacy is central to foreign policy as the U.S. faces tensions between other countries that could impact America’s political and economic power on the world stage. High priorities abroad include North Korea, the murder of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, and the Ukraine, amongst other matters of national and international security and prosperity. U.S. diplomats are working hard to maintain relations with countries and negotiate deals to maintain peace.
 Glasser, Susan B. “The International Crisis of Donald Trump,” January 11, 2019. https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-trumps-washington/the- international-crisis-of-donald-trump.
LET’S THINK ABOUT IT
Your SWAC leader will prompt you with questions concerning this idea: Imagine you are the Secretary of State, in charge of foreign affairs and diplomats worldwide. What is one problem you would address or resolve and why?
Express your thoughts and contribute to discussion with your SWAC peers! (Write your thoughts.)
Kahoot! Introductory Quiz
Kahoot! is an online Quiz platform. This small four-question quiz is to test the student’s prior knowledge of refugees and global migration, introducing them to the discussion to come. The quiz does not require the proctor to have a Kahoot! account in order to start. Students will use an electronic device in order to answer. The link is below; click START NOW and select Classic mode. After the Game PIN is generated, students will be able to join the session by accessing kahoot.it on their computer or mobile device. Begin the quiz once all students have joined! This activity should take no more than 10 minutes.
Now is when the handouts should be passed out to students. This handout will cover an analysis of global migration and the refugee crisis in both Europe and the United States. It is recommended that the handout be read aloud as a group rather than individually. Take some time after the reading to cover the material with the students and make sure that it’s been generally understood. Ask questions to students; get them to summarize what they’ve read and make sure that the students are engaged and understanding. The reading should take no more than 20 minutes.
The following video resources will present the current events portion of the handout. Each video clip is between three to six minutes; coupled with questions, this segment should take no more than 15 minutes.
What is diplomacy?
- This video goes into depth on diplomacy, what it is and where it started. What are your thoughts on the importance of diplomats in today’s society?
Trump’s Foreign Policy
- This video explains foreign policy under President Donald Trump’s administration. It discusses several controversial issues the U.S. has faced or is currently facing, some in connection to President Trump’s Tweets.
- What should the U.S. do to protect and preserve foreign relations? How should they proceed in the future to ensure all foreign relations are secure?
- Is it, or should it be, possible for U.S. diplomats to regulate commerce between the U.S. and other countries? Why or why not?
(This should take no more than 10 minutes – total estimated meeting time: no more than 1 hour.)
“Foreign Policy Association.” Accessed April 2, 2019. https://www.fpa.org/great_decisions/index.cfm?act=topic_detail&topic_id=81.
Glasser, Susan B. “The International Crisis of Donald Trump,” January 11, 2019. https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-trumps-washington/the- international-crisis-of-donald-trump.
NowThis World. Trump’s Foreign Policy: A Look Back at Year One | NowThis World. Accessed April 3, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN4QKfVfUaM.
CrashCourse. Foreign Policy: Crash Course Government and Politics #50. Accessed April 3, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMhIQNkO_Y0.