Community & Government

Rubrics for Decision Making

Secretaries Albright and Rice lay out the different frameworks they used when considering foreign policy and the decisions that needed to be made.

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Topics include: The Five Factors * The Three I’s * Questioning Options * Making the Decision


[MUSIC PLAYING] CONDOLEEZZA RICE: In this lesson, Madeleine and I will discuss the different frameworks we both use when we think and teach about foreign policy decision-making. MADELEINE ALBRIGHT: There are five factors which dominate the way that decisions are made. First factor is objective, which is what are really the facts about a place. Geographical location-- most countries don't change their geographical location. Russia did by the end of the Soviet Union. Then natural resources-- we changed ours now because we really are energy independent. And then, obviously, the population distribution profile changes. The second factor is subjective. How do the people feel? That is a very important part. And it's certainly something that has motivated, for instance, the end of the war in Afghanistan. I think that people got tired of that and what we were doing. The third factor is how the government is set up in every country. But in our country, executive-legislative relations are just absolutely crucial. The amount of time that we both spent on the Hill, not just explaining our budgets, but policies, is very important-- and then having members of Congress travel to countries. Then the fourth factor are bureaucratic politics. We have a very large government. And the bureaucratic politics are then exemplified with what the budgets look like. And one of the issues, frankly, is that the Pentagon has a budget of around $700-plus billion, and the State Department more like around $50 billion, which is part of the issue that there's low morale. And the final one is the role of individuals because I think that the kind of things that people bring to their office-- their knowledge, their background-- is very important. And so I believe very strongly that people do have a worldview a lot depending on their background. When I sometimes think about how we got into the Iraq war, I think that President Gore would have read the intelligence differently than President Bush did a lot with their experience and background. But in my case, my background I can state briefly by saying that Munich is my background, which is arrangement that was made. There was a German contingency of people living in Czechoslovakia in Sudetenland it was called, in the kind of northwestern part. And they were really mobilized by Hitler and his people to want to separate from Czechoslovakia. There was an agreement called Munich, where the British and French made an agreement with the Germans and Italians to give Sudetenland up over the heads of the Czechoslovaks, who were not at the table at all. And the Czechoslovaks themselves were criticized for not fighting back when the Nazis came in. There were questions about why the West hadn't actually helped because the French had an agreement that they would do something. But nothing happened. Nobody did anything. And so I think not responding to an attack and evil brought disaster. And so I real...

About the Instructor

Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice stood toe to toe with dictators, counseled presidents, and managed to find common ground on issues that still polarize us today. Sit down with two legendary secretaries of state as they reveal how to build bridges, hold boundaries, and apply history’s lessons to everyday challenges. The class presents an intimate portrait of the late Dr. Albright’s legacy for the next generation.

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Madeleine Albright & Condoleezza Rice

Former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice teach you to settle differences in everyday life like a diplomat.

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