Assignment 3: America as a Superpower

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the mid-20th century, the United States had become the dominant force
in international relations. Some have argued that the United States’
military functions as the world’s “police.” This assignment covers the
manner in which this shift occurred and the consequences the United
States faces as a result of its status as “policeman of the world.” One
can identify early steps this direction well before World War II, but in
this paper focus on the period from 1950 to the present. The American
international “policing” role developed because of the Cold War, but now
terrorists or any power having or trying to get weapons of mass
destruction (WMD) are the potential targets of such a role. Examine the
statements below and drawing from provided sources, present a paper
with specific examples and arguments to demonstrate the validity of your
position. Your paper will use specific examples—two from the Cold War
years and two from the past two decades.

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The word “policing” here has nothing to do with traditional law
enforcement agencies. It is more about trying to manage parts of the
globe—usually by use of military force or the threat of it. The aim of
this management may be to maintain stability, remove threats of “rogue”
forces or terrorists or weapons, prevent the expansion of autocratic
rule, protect a fledgling democracy, etc.

Choose one of these position statements (make it the last sentence of your introductory paragraph):

By examples from different decades since 1950, it is clear that the
international policing role and strategy of the United States was once
essential, but should now be discarded as ineffective and

By examples from different decades since 1950, it is clear that the
international policing role and strategy of the United States during the
Cold War has become even more necessary in this period of terrorism and

  • Plan
    to make that thesis statement the last sentence in your introductory
    paragraph. The general subject is America’s international “policing”
    role as a superpower for the last 70-plus years. You may moderate the
    wording slightly to fit more precisely the position you wish to take.
    This is NOT a simple statement of a topic; it is a statement of a
    position you are taking about that topic. p.s.—Valid arguments and “A”
    papers can be made with either thesis. So, you choose the one you think
    is the stronger position.

your paper, use specific examples—two from the Cold War years
(1950-1991) and two from the past three decades (since 1991). After
giving general consideration to your readings and your research, select
one of the positions above as your position—your thesis. (Sometimes
after doing more thorough research, you might choose the reverse
position. This happens with critical thinking and inquiry. Your final
paper might end up taking a different position than you originally
envisioned.) Organize your paper as follows, handling these issues with this FOUR-PART organization:

    1. Part One—one
      paragraph. INTRODUCTION AND THESIS STATEMENT. The position you choose
      will be the thesis statement in your opening paragraph; make it the
      last sentence of the paragraph.
    2. Part Two—two
      paragraphs normally. FOUR EXAMPLES. To support your thesis, use four
      specific examples, two from the Cold War years (1950-1991) and two for
      the recent decades (1991-the present). The examples should be specific
      and clearly support your thesis. In these paragraphs one generally must
      have in-text citations to support your specific examples and to show
      where the information was found. Spread out the examples—different
      decades. Make the examples SPECIFIC. The FORMAT SAMPLE paper can also
      help on this part.
    3. Part Three—one
      paragraph normally. DEALING WITH THE OPPOSING VIEW. Identify the
      opposing view and explain why the opposing view is weak in comparison to
      yours. No
      new research needed; just one paragraph of critical thinking suggesting
      why your thesis/position is stronger than a different view. Approach
      it this way: You adopted a thesis statement. The opposing view is the
      thesis statement you did NOT adopt. You might start this paragraph by
      saying “Some may disagree with my thesis and argue that ——- .”
      THEN—you spend 3 or 4 sentences giving a reasoned argument why your
      thesis is stronger than the opposing view.
    4. Part Four—one paragraph: LEGACY
      TODAY AND CONCLUSION: Consider your life today: In what way does the
      history you have shown shape or impact issues in your workplace or
      desired profession? This might be unclear at first since it is foreign
      policy. But, super-power status does inevitably provide advantages in a
      global economy.) This might be easy if you work in cyber security,
      criminal justice, IT, etc. You can consider the legal impact of
      terrorism on justice system, privacy issues, etc. Even a business must
      now plan accordingly. Every profession now must have security
      safeguards, plan what to do with data, etc. A few comments on these
      things for your profession—and some comments on how this impacts our
      lives in general

    Length: The paper should be 500-to-750 words in length.

    Research and References: You must use a MINIMUM of four quality academic sources; the Schultz textbook must be one of them. The other three may be from the list below or from other quality sources you find in the university’s online library.
    (Sticking with the list is a safe strategy; using other quality sources
    from the university’s online library is permitted.) This is guided
    research, not Googling.

    Source list for Assignment 3: Some
    sources are “primary” sources from the time period being studied. Some
    sources below can be accessed via direct link or through the primary
    sources links on Blackboard. Each week has a different list of primary
    sources. For others, they are accessible through the permalink to the
    source in our online library: Sources below having as
    part of the URL have a permalink to that source in our university’s
    online library. (The link takes you to the library log-in; you then log
    in, and then the source appears for you right away). Each source below
    is shown in SWS form, so if you use it, you may easily copy the entire
    entry onto your paper’s sources list. (On a paper, never list an item as URL only.)

    SWS Form for the textbook:

    Kevin M. Schultz. 2018. HIST: Volume 2: U.S. History since 1865. 5th ed.

    Choose sources relevant to the topic and position you are taking:

    G. H. W. Bush. March 6, 1991. Address before a Joint Session of the Congress on the Cessation of the Persian Gulf Conflict.

    S. Chace. Summer, 2015. The Cuban Missile Crisis: Leadership as Disturbance, Informed by History.

    J. F. Dulles. Jan. 2, 1954. Secretary Dulles’ Strategy of Massive Retaliation.

    M. Klare. July 15, 2002. Endless Military Superiority.

    T. McCrisken. April/May, 2013. Obama’s Drone War.

    C. Paul. 2008. Marines on the Beach: The Politics of U.S. Military Intervention Decision Making. eBook.

    C. Powell. Feb. 6, 2003. Transcript of Powell’s UN Presentation.

    R. Reagan. March, 1983. Remarks at the Annual Convention of the National Association of Evangelicals.

    Kevin M. Schultz. 2018. HIST: Volume 2: U.S. History since 1865. 5th ed.

    M. Tarzi. Sept. 2014. The Folly of a Grand Strategy of Coercive Global
    Primacy: A Fresh Perspective on the Post-9/11 Bush Doctrine.

    Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

    • This course requires use of new Strayer Writing Standards (SWS).
      The format is different than some other Strayer University courses.
      Please take a moment to review the SWS documentation for details.
    • Be typed, double spaced between lines [single-spaced for ecree], using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; [font flexibility and margin flexibility with ecree.]; citations and references must follow SWS format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
    • Include
      a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s
      name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date.
      The cover page and [Title
      page and name info not needed for ecree. You might make up a title—put
      it right at start of first paragraph—as part of first paragraph.]
      The Sources page is not included in the required assignment length.

    The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

    • Analyze
      the rise of the United States to a world “superpower” and how that
      status has shaped its internal developments in recent decades.
    • Examine
      how changes in social and economic conditions and technology can cause
      corresponding changes in the attitudes of the people and policies of the
    • Summarize
      and discuss the ways that formal policies of government have influenced
      the direction of historical and social development in the United
    • Recognize the major turning points in American history since the Civil War.
    • Use technology and information resources to research issues in contemporary U.S. history.
    • Write clearly and concisely about contemporary U.S. history using proper writing mechanics.


    Click here to view the grading rubric.

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