Foreign Policy Project - The Threat of ISIS

-Worth: 40 points.  
Due: At the time of your final exam. 
This is a group project.  The people at your table are your group, unless you have worked out a different group...

 
1. Be sure to consult chapter 17 in your book about Foreign Policy and/or watch the podcast on Chapter 17, The Making of U.S. Foreign Policy.  You will take a test on this podcast at the time of the final exam.
  • This podcast deals with how the US makes foreign policy, how we make decisions that effect the relationship of the US with other countries.
  • Your group will be one of the players in the drama of foreign policy, as the US confronts the issue of the spread of ISIS.
2. Your group needs to get its feet wet in formulating foreign policy. For this warm-up exercise your group will act as the President's National Security Advisor.  Your are in the situation briefing room of the West Wing of the White House.
  • Here is the link to this simulation warm-up on a Cuban crisis.
  • Click on "Continue" in the lower right part of the screen.  Read what is there...Make the decisions together as a group... talk about each choice before you choose.
  • Do the simulation warm-up again, but make different choices again...
  • Write your feedback here.
3. To help you get ready for the role you will play in this Foreign Policy Project, you must complete the assignment at Newsela.com below. THIS INCLUDES A WRITING ASSIGNMENT and a 4 Question QUIZ! First you must sign up to join your class on newsela.com and then do the intelligence there...
  • Newsela.com. Use these links to sign into your class:
  • Periods: 2  4  7  8

4.  President Pahl needs to be informed about many factors so he can make the right choice in how to proceed with US Policy toward ISIS. your group must choose one of the following roles so you can provide expert intelligence and briefings to the President:
  1. US Secretary of State and the staff of the State Department.
  2. US Secretary of Defense and five-star generals.
  3. US Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and his special agents
  4. US Secretary of Homeland Security with assistants
  5. Expert advisors to the President about the religious elements of the Syrian-ISIS-Middle East problem
     
  6. The New York Times investigative reporters will report on these groups, and they will report to the New York Times
    1. Syrian President Bahsar al-Assad and his cabinet
    2. Russian President Putin and his advisors
    3. Leaders of the Kurdish people
    4. Non-Profit organization, experts on the extent of the Syrian refugee crisis.
    5. Other?
  5. The final report you must turn in for this project, based on the role you are playing is listed in the descriptions below.
 

 

1. US Secretary of State and the staff of the State Department.
  • Your final advice to the President must be made with a Google doc shared with the President. This is due at the time of the final exam for you class.
  • Ideally this will include maps of Syria and the Middle East to help you understand which groups are where, etc.

  •  It is your job to find out all you can about the Syrian Civil War and the players involved there, including Syrian President Assad,  Russia, Iraq, Iran, the Kurds and ISIS.  You must see what the obstacles are to making Syria stable so the US can
    •  help stop the Refugee Crisis
    • Bring peace to Syria
    • Remove ISIS
  • As Secretary of State, you are the ranking member of the cabinet and 4th in line of Presidential succession. You are also the President’s principle cabinet-level adviser on foreign policy and the person chiefly responsible for U.S. representation abroad.
  • According to the U.S. Dept of State, its current role and central objective as an organization is “to protect U.S. national interests and advance peace, security, and sustainable development.” Your job is: “diplomacy, development, and the promotion of American values abroad.” In other words, you guys are the public and nicer face of American foreign policy. As such, you get to promote democracy, development, the building of better diplomatic relations with various countries, etc. SO: when giving advice to the Presdient you need to keep all of this in mind and primarily focus on providing advice that will keep us out of a wider war, keep us tied to our allies, and keep open as many diplomatic channels as possible.
    For more information on the U.S. Department of State, see their website, at: www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/rts/dos/4078.htm.
2. US Secretary of Defense and five-star generals.
  • Your final advice to the President must be made with a Google doc shared with the President. This is due at the time of the final exam for you class.

  • As Secretary of Defense, you are the President’s most important adviser on military-related matters.  You work under the authority of the President, you exercise authority, direction, and control over the Department of Defense. Your primary responsibilities include: (1) keeping the military powerful; (2) and knowing what are our best options against ISIS and how they can be militarily defeated in the Middle East generally.
  • It would be good for your report to have maps of where the different players, like ISIS, are, in the Middle East.  Include this in your report.
  • Who else would be enemies if we strike at ISIS? It is your job to present military, geo-political policy options to the President. In other words, from a military perspective, what are all the president’s possible hard power options and what are the likely outcomes if the decision to use force is made.
  • www.defenselink.mil/osd/topleaders.html
3. US Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and his special agents
  • Your final advice to the President must be made with a Google doc shared with the President. This is due at the time of the final exam for you class.

  • Your job as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) makes you America’s #1 “spy.”  Generally, your job centers on coordinating the country’s intelligence gathering activities. More specifically, it centers on supervising the collection of information from around the world to help protect America’s security as well as create foreign policy. You serve as head of the U.S. Intelligence Community and, as such, are the principle adviser to the President for intelligence matters relating to national security. In this game, it is your duty to share with the President any and all intelligence/research that your agency has come across. It is in essence your job to find out as much about the plans of ISIS, and who its friends and enemies are. You need to find out its strengths, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities that we can exploit. Are there training camps preparing terrorists to infiltrate the US...?
  • www.cia.gov
4. US Secretary of Homeland Security with assistants
  • Your final advice to the President must be made with a Google doc shared with the President. This is due at the time of the final exam for you class.

  • You are the Director of the relatively newly established Office of Homeland Security.It is your job to help develop and coordinate the implementation of a national strategy to secure the United States from terrorist threats or attacks. More specifically, you were hired to “detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks within the United States.” This office failed to “detect or protect against” the San Fernando, CA terrorist shooting which killed 14. It is now your responsibility to help the President devise a response to and recovery from that terrorist attack.
  • You can try to coordinate with the CIA, to see what they know from the field of Iraq and Syria...Specifically, you need to devise a policy or series of policies designed to help protect against another such attack here in the US. Think about things such as grounding aircraft, closing borders, securing our ports, railways, and highways, closing up Mosques with ties to extremist Imams, etc…
  • Go to www.dhs.gov
5. Expert advisors to the President about the religious elements of the Syrian-ISIS-Middle East problem
  • Your final advice to the President must be made with a Google doc shared with the President. This is due at the time of the final exam for you class. You should also share this information with the New York Times.

  • Much of what is happening in the Syrian Civil War and the Middle East cannot really be understood without understanding the religious elements involved.  President Assad of Syria is part of a Shiite sect in a nation which is mostly Sunni.  The Sunni-Shiite split is probably the single most important religious difference to understand.
  • Sunnis and Shiites are killing each other in some places.
  • Who are where are Sunnis? (Map?! should be in your report...)
  • Who are where are Shiites?
  • Are ISIS fighters Shiite or Sunni?  Which side of the Syrian Civil War are they? Or are they a third player?
  • What other religious conflicts help make sense of what is happening in Syria and the Middle East?
  • Remember, your reports should be made to the President, but you should also provide some of your expert findings to the New York Times.
6. The New York Times investigative reporters will report on these groups, and they will report to the New York Times
  • After you have gathered information about what is happening on all fronts, you must have an issue of the New York Times on the President's desk (Google Doc is fine...) by the end of the final exam period for your class.
  • There should be feature-focus articles about the war in Syria, the refugee crisis, and the battle with ISIS, and anything else you can enterprise.
  • You must be a sharp group! You must follow all the other groups, because as investigative reporters you must help the American public (and the world!) know about what is happening. 
  • Make plans to interview and chat (even off the record if need be!) with every player in this Project so you will be able to report the full picture.  Get some maps and other graphics from them to put in the NYT.  If they don't have maps suggest they get some!
  • You can have editorials when you think some of what some of these groups are doing is wrong. Something like: "Secretary of State Has it All Wrong." or "Pres Assad suffers with Mental Illness."
  • Bonus points if you can put some of these stories in an early edition that comes out next Monday.
7. Syrian President Bahsar al-Assad and his cabinet
  • Your final report should be a Google doc shared with the New York Times. This is due at the time of the final exam for you class.

  • It is your job to prepare a clear report for the New York Times which explains your goals for your country, why you are fighting and killing so many people, what your policy on ISIS is, and your religious convictions.
8. Russian President Putin and his advisors
  • Your final report should be a Google doc shared with the New York Times. This is due at the time of the final exam for you class.

  • It is your job to prepare a clear report for the New York Times which explains your goals for your country, why you are fighting in Syria, what your policy on ISIS is, and what your long range plans are for what you have started in Syria.  This must come through real research on the various opinions that are out there as to just what Putin is trying to accomplish there.
9. Leaders of the Kurdish people
  • Your final report should be a Google doc shared with the New York Times. Be sure you detail who the Kurds are, where they are, and what you think their "demands" should be if the Syrian War is ever settled. This is due at the time of the final exam for you class.
  • You will be representing the lives of the Kurds, the largest people group in the world that does not have their own country.
  • Who are they?
  • Where are they? (Map!)
  • What settlement in the Syrian Crisis would be in their best interest?  What policy are you going to try to get?
10. Non-Profit organization, experts on the extent of the Syrian refugee crisis.
  • Your final report should be a Google doc shared with the New York Times. This document should include recommendations for how more refugees can be helped, and statistics, etc. of the extent of the current crisis. This is due at the time of the final exam for you class.
  • You are to bring to the world's attention the vastness of the refugee crisis created by the Syrian Civil War.  Get charts and graphs and numbers to try and make this visual. 
  • Have pictures and stories of what is happening to families.
  • Which countries are being mean and stingy about letting Syrian refugees come in?
  • Here are some non-profits trying to help the Syrian refugees...
11. Other?
  • Your final report should be a Google doc shared with the New York Times. This is due at the time of the final exam for you class.