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One cannot rely solely on the bureaucratic level of analysis, the domestic, the international environment, or even on a combination of the three as adequate. What one might interpret as a clash of bureaucratic interests and stands yielding incoherent and conflicting policies, could in reality be a “clash among values that are widely held in both society and the decision-makers’ own minds” (Jervis 28). Similarly, if domestic situations were the medium upon which politicians base their decisions then changes in leadership would not necessarily produce significant changes in foreign policy; however, the consistency of foreign policy is difficult to measure. For example, some might contend that the Cold War would not have occurred had President Franklin Delano Roosevelt not died; they suggest that his death altered American policy in the sense that President Truman and his anti-Soviet position came to dominate political decision-making. Others contest that FDR would have acted similarly to Truman, as he too was coming to an anti-Soviet stance prior to his death. If the former is seen as accurate the domestic level of analysis is insufficient and not applicable, but in the latter instance it could be viewed as a valid basis for judging decision-making.
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