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Attack on Pearl Harbor: Effects of Foreign Policy Proposal


Introduction

Research background

On the seventh day of December, 1941, the Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese in what appeared as a surprised assault. The Japanese managed to attack the U.S. Naval Base through airstrike and created unimaginable destruction. Within two hours after the first bombing, the U.S. had lost more than 2,000 solders, 188 fighter jets, and more than 20 ships.

The following day, there was a unanimous vote by the congress to declare war on Japan1. Two years after the attack, the U.S. was deeply involved in the Second World War. Before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the then Asian giant and the U.S. had reached a deadlock on who to cede ground in their expansionism international policy. In fact, both sides knew that combat confrontation was just a matter of when and not how.

However, the U.S. neither prepared nor predicted that Japan would be the first to attack. Thus, this research proposal attempts to explicitly review the information processing errors in the U.S. foreign policy that led to the flawed decision making which led to the infamous Pearl Harbor attack.

Research problem statement

This research will review the inconsistencies in the U.S. foreign policy that made it vulnerable to the Attack on Pearl Harbor. The research will review information processing flaws that put the U.S. on the receiving end of the attack and eventual participation in the Second World War.

Research question

What were the information processing errors in the U.S. foreign policy that led to the flawed decision making that could have prevented the infamous Pearl Harbor attack?

Significance of the research

It is important to understand the impact of conflict on the state of relationship between countries. The type and nature of relationship may determine the scope of trade, military alliances, and other social benefits. The world has become a global village, and no country can survive on its own. Basically, countries depend on the local and international community friends to push for their interests in trade, politics, and security.

Thus, establishing the reasons behind the information processing errors in the U.S. foreign policy that led to the flawed decision making and the infamous Pearl Harbor surprise attack may provide a clear picture of the significance of a responsive and comprehensive foreign policy approach in handling situations with conflict of interest2.

Specifically, the surprise attack on the Pearl Harbor will be related to the actions of the U.S. before, after the attack, and eventual participation in the Second World War.

Hypotheses

  • Null hypothesis: Inconsistency in decision making resulted in the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • Alternative hypothesis: Inconsistency in decision making did not result in the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

Literature Review

In order to comprehend the scope of this research paper, literature review will dwell on past reports, journals, and books discussing biases and their relationship to policy making process. Specifically, the literature review will review the intelligence processes, the U.S. government’s political structure, and foreign policy execution. The review will focus on the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941.

Theoretical framework

Several past reports and journals discuss biases beside their effects on the process of decision making. These reports review the policymakers’ psychology, conduct, and intelligence analysis. To begin with, Boin and Hart are critical in reviewing the position of cognition in global relations. The authors note that interests and power are often cognitive.

Therefore, “individuals may be influenced by personal beliefs, cognition, and experiences which are significant in directing the interstate relations flow”3.

Reflectively, it is probable to review any illogicality in the deeds of a global leader through applying models such as cognitive mapping, “consistency theory, operational code scrutiny, and automatic content examination”4. The authors present a well-researched article that provides an insight into the influence that an individual’s cognition has on state affairs.

According to George and Stern, under the groupthink theory, international affairs are equally influenced by organizational processes and bureaucratic politics of independent administrations.

Through a critical analysis of Alison’s model 2 (organizational process), Model 1 (rational actor), and Model 3 (government politics model), the authors note that there exists a “strong prima facie grounds to belief that some paradigm concentrating the analyst’s attention on organizational characteristics or processes, other than those on which Models II and III focus, might yield significant analytical gains”5.

Therefore, it is in order to state that organizational processes, governmental politics, and rational actor concepts have an impact on the process of making decisions at governmental policy level6.

Summary of theory to be used

The above sources are necessary in understanding the overall perception and public opinion on the Pearl Harbor attack. The findings of many authors provide the necessary information that identifies, validates, and corroborates the cognitive errors that policymakers make7.

Besides, the intelligence reports before this attack confirm that the U.S. government was aware of a possible attack. The policy makers should have used this information to avert the Pearl Harbor attack before it occurred. This research paper will be based on the organizational processes, rational actor, and governmental politics models.

Research gap

The above literature does not cover the element of intelligence usage as a policy in international relations. Therefore, it is important to establish the link between policy inconsistencies in international relations in order to ensure that decisions made are consistent.

This research paper will attempt to fill the above research gap by studying the significant of intelligence as a policy framework in making decisions covering international relations.

Methodology

Research design

The research will be carried out through quantitative research using secondary data. The research will concentrate on the current reports, journal articles, and other secondary sources that are relevant to the research topic8. The researcher will examine the previous relationship between the U.S. and Japan, and how the Pearl Harbor attack affected their economic, political, and military relationships.

Research identification and operationalization

Dependability will be assured by providing clear, detailed, and sequential descriptions of data collection and analysis procedures. It is a quality that is reliant on the study design being congruent with clear research question, having an explicit explanation of the status and roles of the researcher.

Besides, quality involves providing findings with meaningful parallelism across data sources, specification of basic theoretical constructs and analytical frameworks, and data collection across a range of settings. This study seeks to fulfill these criteria as much as possible.

Data collection

A full effort will be made to accurately and faithfully transcribe data from the secondary sources. The findings will be supported by credible secondary information sources. The collected quantitative data will be coded and passed through Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version seventeen.

In the process, cross tabulation will be used to review the information processing errors in the U.S. foreign policy that led to the flawed decision making which led to the infamous Pearl Harbor attack. In order to quantify the relationship between the independent and dependent variable, ANOVA will be essential.

During the data collection phase of this study, the researcher will strive to uphold ethics appertaining to scientific research. The data collected will not be used for any other purpose rather than for which it was primarily intended for. Dependability will be assured by providing clear, detailed and sequential descriptions of data collection and analysis procedures.

Research justification and summary of analysis procedure

The quantitative approach was informed by the fact that the secondary research requires a dynamic and subjective approach to establish the facts of the research. Quantitative approach is significant in gaining the accurate insight in to the facts of the case study results.

Besides, this method of data analysis is flexible and consists of tools for reviewing the degree of confidence from the primary assumptions9. Therefore, making use of the method of data analysis will ensure that the results are evidence based and scientific within the scope of the case study framework.

Limitations of the research design and bias discussion

One major weakness of this quantitative analysis, especially for secondary data, is that it tends to transform the data into semi-quantitative data by giving it labels and tags. In this case, the qualitative data from secondary sources will be tagged and labeled according to the research question and research objective they address, thus limiting scope of analysis.

However, a major strength of the methodology is that it helps in analyzing all themes, which have implications on the research questions; hence the bias will be minimal. In spite of its inability to highlight themes that are external to the research questions conclusively, the methodology is appropriate for this study.

In other words, the researcher will study the texts from the data collected trying to identify the concepts that relate to the research questions and objectives to minimize any bias. Besides, content analysis and thematic analysis are closely related, especially in the context of the current study. Fortunately, both of them are hinged on the research question for this research case study.

Reference List

Baron, Robert. “So Right it’s wrong: Groupthink and the Ubiquitous Nature of Polarized Group.” Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 37, no. 1 (July 2005): 219- 252.

Boin, Arjen, and Paul Hart. “Public Leadership in Times of Crisis: Mission Impossible?” Public Administration Review 63, no. 5, (May 2003): 544-554.

Brandstrom, Annika, Fredrik Bynander, and Paul Hart. “Governing by Looking Back: Historical Analogies and Crisis Management,” Public Administration 82, no. 1, (Jan 2004): 191-210.

George, Alexander, and Andrew Bennet. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences: How to Do Case Studies. Massachusetts, Ma: MIT Press, 2005.

George, Alexander, and Erick Stern. “Harnessing Conflict in Foreign Policy Making: From Devil’s to Multiple Advocacy,” Presidential Studies Quarterly 32, no. 3 (May 2002): 484-508.

Jordan, Jennifer, Niro Sivanathan, and Adam Galinsky. “Something to Lose and Nothing to Gain: The Role of Stress in Interactive Effect of Power and Stability on Risk Taking.” Administrative Science Quarterly 56, no. 4, (June 2003): 530-558.

Maitlis, Sally, and Hakan Ozcelik. “Toxic Decision Processes: A Study of Emotion and Organizational Decision Making.” Organization Science 15, no. 4, (Dec 2004): 275-393.

Taylor, Andrew, and John Rourke. “Historical Analogies in the Congressional Foreign Policy Process.” The Journal of Politics 57, no. 2, (May 1995): 460-468.

Footnotes

1 Robert Baron, “So Right it’s Wrong: Groupthink and the Ubiquitous Nature of Polarized Group,” Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 37, no. 1 (July 2005): 236.

2 Annika Brandstrom, Fredrik Bynander and Paul Hart, “Governing by Looking Back: Historical Analogies and Crisis Management,” Public Administration 82, no. 1, (Jan 2004): 203.

3 Arjen Boin and Paul Hart, “Public Leadership in Times of Crisis: Mission Impossible?” Public Administration Review 63, no. 5, (May 2003): 549.

4 Jennifer Jordan, Niro Sivanathan, and Adam Galinsky, “Something to Lose and Nothing to Gain: The Role of Stress in Interactive Effect of Power and Stability on Risk Taking,” Administrative Science Quarterly 56, no. 4, (June 2003): 540.

5 Alexander George and Erick Stern, “Harnessing Conflict in Foreign Policy Making: From Devil’s to Multiple Advocacy,” Presidential Studies Quarterly 32, no. 3 (May 2002): 491.

6 Sally Maitlis and Hakan Ozcelik, “Toxic Decision Processes: A Study of Emotion and Organizational Decision Making,” Organization Science 15, no. 4, (Dec 2004): 281.

7 Andrew Taylor and John Rourke, “Historical Analogies in the Congressional Foreign Policy Process,” The Journal of Politics 57, no. 2, (May 1995): 466.

8 Alexander George and Andrew Bennet, Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences: How to Do Case Studies (Massachusetts, Ma: MIT Press, 2005), 79.

9 Alexander George and Andrew Bennet, Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences: How to Do Case Studies (Massachusetts, Ma: MIT Press, 2005), 79.

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"Attack on Pearl Harbor: Effects of Foreign Policy." IvyPanda, 22 June 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/attack-on-pearl-harbor-effects-of-foreign-policy/.

1. IvyPanda. "Attack on Pearl Harbor: Effects of Foreign Policy." June 22, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/attack-on-pearl-harbor-effects-of-foreign-policy/.


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IvyPanda. "Attack on Pearl Harbor: Effects of Foreign Policy." June 22, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/attack-on-pearl-harbor-effects-of-foreign-policy/.

References

IvyPanda. 2019. "Attack on Pearl Harbor: Effects of Foreign Policy." June 22, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/attack-on-pearl-harbor-effects-of-foreign-policy/.

References

IvyPanda. (2019) 'Attack on Pearl Harbor: Effects of Foreign Policy'. 22 June.

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