Clifford A. Kiracofe, Jr., Ph.D.

HI325 - American Foreign Relations Since 1919


Dr. Clifford A. Kiracofe, Jr.



464-7079 at VMI

463-5719 at Home

Office Hours

MWF before and after classes, and by appointment. Stop by, welcome anytime.


Scott Shipp 413



Welcome, and thank you for selecting this course.


HI 325-02. AMERICAN FOREIGN RELATIONS SINCE 1919 is an upper level survey of American foreign relations from the end of World War I until recent times. Important topics include America's emergence as a leading economic power, the background to World War II, the rise and the demise of the Cold War and American attempts to cope with the post-Cold War world. Prior completion of HI 324, "American Foreign Relations to 1919" is recommended, but not required.


Our goal is to contribute substantially to cadets’ development of their own thoughtful, and morally informed, understanding of American foreign relations so that they can become the effective “citizen-soldiers” that VMI strives to inspire.  Development of each student’s critical thinking skills, as well as oral and written communication skills, is integral to this goal.   Challenging textbooks and additional materials will enhance this intensive survey of American Foreign Relations.


We shall use two excellent textbooks:

Howard Jones, Crucible of Power, A History of American Foreign Relations From 1897 (Wilmington: SR Books)

Gordon A. Craig and Alexander L. George, Force and Statecraft (NY: Oxford U Press) 

Required Additional Materials

We shall use materials via the Preston Library E-Reserve system, including JSTOR, and other materials available via Internet.

Cold War and Post Cold War

George Kennan, 1994 Note on the current international system on E-Reserve.

Barry Buzan, “The Present as a Historic Turning Point,” Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 32, No. 4 (Nov. 1995) 385-398 on JSTOR.

Iraq War

Chaim Kaufmann, “Threat Inflation and the Failure of the Marketplace of Ideas: The Selling of the Iraq War,” International Security, Vol. 29, No. 1, Summer 2004, 5-48 on JSTOR.

Suggested Additional Online Resources:

Historic Documents and Research Materials:

The Avalon Project Yale University Law School:

Professor Ferraro’s Homepage (Mount Holyoke):

Cold War

Gerald K. Haines and Robert E. Leggett, eds., Watching the Bear: Essays on the CIA’s Analysis of the Soviet Union, Washington, DC:  Center for the Study of Intelligence available at:

Primary Documents available at:


Cadets are expected to come prepared to each class so that they can follow the lecture, respond to questions posed, and contribute to discussion.   Should you be excused to miss a class, get notes from at least two other students.  There will be a Mid-Term Exam, a Final Exam, and two short Papers.  The Exams will contain short answer and true-false questions based upon the textbooks and lectures.  There may also be one or more essay questions which will be judged from argument and display of substantive knowledge and analysis in an organized and clear manner.

The short Papers shall be 1,000-1,200 words total and the length shall be indicated by a word count on the title page which is to be properly signed and certified.  Papers will have footnotes and bibliography, and title page in correct format. All students are required to visit the Writing Center for professional guidance on the writing of an effective short paper with respect to argument, organization, and structure.  Notation of “Help Received: Writing Center” will be placed on your title page as required.

The subject of the papers will be chosen by the student but must be approved by the instructor.  The first paper will relate to 1919-WWII era; the second paper will relate to Cold War and post Cold War era. The papers must use proper style for footnotes and bibliography as described on the History Department website.

For a helpful assist in writing research papers, please check out this useful website from the University of Michigan: This website is a valuable resource for you.  Also, again, please carefully review the History Department website for guidelines.


Please make good use of these excellent resources at VMI:

  1. For research assistance, your primary resource is Preston Library.  Please work with the Reference Librarian who can assist you with developing your research skills with respect to accessing scholarly books, scholarly journals, and Internet resources.  You are expected to use books and other printed library resources as well as electronic databases of scholarly materials and Internet resources.
  2. For writing assistance, your main resource is the Writing Center.  Professionals there can assist you to develop effective written communication skills. 
  3. For study assistance, your main resource is the Learning Center.  Professionals there can assist you with tips and guidance for developing appropriate learning style, effective personal time management, and effective note taking.


Evaluation is based upon performance on Mid Term Exam (30%), Papers (20%, that is 10% each paper), Final Exam (50%), Classroom Participation.  Classroom participation is expected and can add positive or negative consideration (if lacking) when the overall grade is marked. With respect to the term paper, evaluation is based upon the quality of the argument, evidence, and style.  Style includes organization and structure as well as proper grammar, expression, and format. Please note that the Papers are one-fifth of your grade and, therefore, it is important to budget your time over the semester to do a good job on it.  A good job also involves a revision process so allow time to make revisions needed to strengthen the paper.  To improve your writing performance and skills it is essential to visit the Writing Center for guidance and advice.

All activity in this course must conform strictly to all VMI “Work for Grade” requirements.

Course Schedule for HI325-02, Spring 2005



Required Reading

January 10


Jones, Ch 1-3

Craig, 1-3

January 17

World War I and League

Jones, 4

Craig, 4-5

January 24

Independent Internationalism and Coming of WWII

Jones, 5-6

Craig, 6

January 31

Europe to Pearl Harbor

Jones, 7

Craig, 7

February 7

WWII and Wartime Diplomacy

Jones, 8

Craig, 8


February 14

Cold War and Containment Europe and the Near East

Jones, 9

Craig, 9

Kennan, Note

February 21

First Paper Due

Review for Mid-Term


February 28

Cold War and Containment East Asia and Eisenhower Years

Jones, 10-11

Craig, 12-13

March 7

Kennedy and Cuba

Johnson and Vietnam

Jones, 12-13

Craig, 14-15

March 14

Vietnamization through Détente

Jones, 14

Craig, 16-17

March 28

Carter and Human Rights

Jones, 15

April 4

Reagan and Cold War II

Second Paper Due

Jones, 16

Craig, 10

April 11

End of Cold War and Post-Cold War Era

Jones, 17

Buzan, “Turning Point”


April 18

April  25

Early Post Cold War Years, Iraq War

Review for Final

Craig: 11, 19-20, Epilogue

Kaufmann, “Threat Inflation”


Examinations and Term Papers:

First Paper is due on Feb. 21

Mid-Term Exam will be on:  February 25

Second Paper is due on:  April 22 

Final Exam as posted.