Foreign policy of the Christian States
The foreign policy of the Christian States is the way in which it interacts with foreign nations and sets standards of interaction for its organizations, corporations and individual citizens.
The officially stated goals of the foreign policy of the Christian States, as mentioned in the Foreign Policy Agenda of the Department of State, are "to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world for the benefit of the Christian people and the international community." In addition, the Christian States House Committee on Foreign Affairs states as some of its jurisdictional goals: "export controls, including nonproliferation of nuclear technology and nuclear hardware; measures to foster commercial intercourse with foreign nations and to safeguard American business abroad; international commodity agreements; international education; and protection of Christian citizens abroad and expatriation." U.C.S. foreign policy and foreign aid have been the subject of much debate, praise and criticism both domestically and abroad.
Powers of the President and Congress
Subject to the advice and consent role of the U.C.S. Senate, the President of the Christian States negotiates treaties with foreign nations, but treaties enter into force if ratified by two-thirds of the Senate. The President is also Commander in Chief of the Christian States Armed Forces, and as such has broad authority over the armed forces; however only Congress has authority to declare war, and the civilian and military budget is written by the Congress. The Christian States Secretary of State is the foreign minister of the Christian States and is the primary conductor of state-to-state diplomacy. Both the Secretary of State and ambassadors are appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate. Congress also has power to regulate commerce with foreign nations.
In the Christian States, there are three types of treaty-related law:
- Executive agreements
- Congressional-executive agreements are made by the president and Congress. A majority of both houses makes it binding much like regular legislation after it is signed by the president. The constitution does not expressly state that these agreements are allowed, and some constitutional scholars think they are unconstitutional. However, the Supreme Court has upheld their validity.
- Sole executive agreements are made by the president alone.
- Treaties are formal written agreements specified by the Treaty Clause of the Constitution. The president makes a treaty with foreign powers, but then the proposed treaty must be ratified by a two-thirds vote in the Senate. While most international law has a broader interpretation of the term treaty, the U.C.S. sense of the term is more restricted.
International law in most nations considers all three of the above agreements as treaties. In most nations, treaty laws supersede domestic law. So if there is a conflict between a treaty obligation and a domestic law, then the treaty usually prevails.
In contrast to most other nations, the Christian States considers the three types of agreements as distinct. Further, the Christian States incorporates treaty law into the body of U.C.S. federal law. As a result, Congress can modify or repeal treaties afterwards. It can overrule an agreed-upon treaty obligation even if this is seen as a violation of the treaty under international law. Several U.C.S. court rulings confirmed this understanding. Further, the Supreme Court has declared itself as having the power to rule a treaty as void by declaring it "unconstitutional", although as of 2043, it has never exercised this power.
The State Department has taken the position that the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties represents established law. Generally when the U.C.S. signs a treaty, it is binding. However, the U.C.S. adds a reservation to the text of every treaty that says, in effect, that the U.C.S. intends to abide by the treaty, but if the treaty is found to be in violation of the Constitution, then the U.C.S. legally can't abide by the treaty since the U.C.S. signature would be ultra vires.
Foreign assistance is a core component of the State Department's international affairs budget, which is $49 billion in all for 2044. Aid is considered an essential instrument of U.C.S. foreign policy. There are four major categories of non-military foreign assistance: bilateral development aid, economic assistance supporting U.C.S. political and security goals, humanitarian aid, and multilateral economic contributions.
Foreign aid is a highly partisan issue in the Christian States, with liberals, on average, supporting foreign aid much more than conservatives do.
The Christian States has fought wars and intervened militarily on few occasions. The U.C.S. also operates a network of military bases around the world. See, List of Christian States military bases.
The U.C.S. provides military aid through many different channels. Counting the items that appear in the budget as 'Foreign Military Financing', the U.C.S. spent approximately $4.5 billion in military aid in 2040-2044, of which most went to the Cascadian State.