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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Office of the Historian > Foreign Relations of the United States > Nixon-Ford Administrations > Volume I
Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, Volume I, Foundations of Foreign Policy
Released by the Office of the Historian
Documents 1-9

Foundations of Foreign Policy, 1969-1972


1. Editorial Note

The intellectual assumptions on which the foreign policy of the Nixon administration was based were established, in large measure, by President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs, Henry Kissinger. Nixon assumed office in 1969 as an established practitioner of foreign policy and Kissinger was a recognized authority on the foreign policy process. Both men came to their new responsibilities with well-developed views on foreign policy. A selection of speeches and writings by Nixon and Kissinger during the 2-year period prior to the assumption of office in 1969 is presented at the beginning of the volume to provide a background for the views developed during the initial 4 years of the administration.

In July 1967 Nixon outlined his views on the role the United States should play in the world in a speech given to the members of the exclusive Bohemian men's club in San Francisco. In his memoirs, Nixon described the speech as the one that gave him the most pleasure and satisfaction of his political career. (See Document 2) Nixon narrowed his focus in the Foreign Affairs article he published in October 1967 to "Asia After Vietnam." The article, which stresses a continuing role for the United States as an Asian power, presages the diplomatic opening to China and contains the germ of what would become the Nixon Doctrine. (See Document 3) Nixon's determination to limit the role of the United States in combating Communist aggression in light of the experience in Vietnam is more explicit in an excerpt from a campaign speech he gave in May 1968. (See Document 5) A logical concomitant of the Nixon Doctrine was the perception that the burden of the fighting in South Vietnam would have to shift from United States to South Vietnamese forces. Nixon pointed to the need to "Vietnamize" the war in a campaign speech in October 1968. (See Document 7) Kissinger published an essay in 1968 entitled "Central Issues of American Foreign Policy" which provides an overview of his perspective on foreign policy at that point. (See Document 4)


2. Address by Richard M. Nixon to the Bohemian Club/1/

San Francisco, July 29, 1967.

/1/Source: The Richard Nixon Library, Nixon Papers. Unclassified; Off-the-Record; Not for Publication. Printed by permission of the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace, Yorba Linda, California. The speech was delivered in the Bohemian Grove, on the shore of a small lake near San Francisco, site of the annual retreat of the Bohemian men's club. Nixon notes in his memoirs that former President Herbert Hoover had regularly delivered the featured Lakeside address at the retreat, and after Hoover's death in 1964, Nixon was invited to deliver the 1967 address in Hoover's honor. (RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, p. 284)

My fellow Bohemians and our guests: In my years of making speeches, I have never appeared on an occasion where more of the audience was behind me!

After four months of travel to four continents, I can't tell you how good it is to be back at Bohemia. It is dangerous to be dogmatic about any issue in the world today. But of this one thing I am sure--it's much more pleasant to get stoned in Bohemia than in Caracas.

It was Mr. Hoover's custom on this occasion to put into perspective some of the great issues of the day. In that tradition, I would like to discuss American foreign policy.

I do not intend to dwell on current issues like Vietnam and the Mid-East which are the subject of such constant attention in the daily press. Rather, I suggest we do what we Americans seldom have the time and patience to do: Let us take the long view. Let us evaluate the great forces at work in the world and see what America's role should be if we are to realize our destiny of preserving peace and freedom in the world in this last third of the twentieth century.

One striking impression stands out after months of travel to major countries: We live in a new world. Never in human history have more changes taken place in the world in one generation.

It is a world of new leaders. True, De Gaulle, Mao Tse-tung and Chiang Kai-shek are still with us; but Churchill, Adenauer, Stalin, Khrushchev, Nehru, Sukarno--the other giants of the post-war period have all left the world stage.

It is a world of new people. One-half of the people now living in the world were born since World War II. This presents at once a problem and an opportunity for peace. Because, as one Asian Prime Minister puts it, the new generation has neither the old fears nor the old guilts of the old generation.

It is a world of new ideas. Communism, Marxism, Socialism, anti-colonialism--the great ideas which stirred men to revolution after World War II have lost their pulling power. As the Shah of Iran says--"the new generation is not imprisoned by any ism." The young people in all countries on both sides of the Iron Curtain are groping for a new cause--a new religion. If any idea "turns them on" it is a new sense of pragmatism--"what will work."

Because we live in a new world, many of the old institutions are obsolete and inadequate. The UN, NATO, foreign aid, USIA were set up to deal with the world of twenty years ago. A quick trip around the world will show how different the problems are today.

Twenty years ago Western Europe was weak economically and dependent on the United States. It was united by a common fear of the threat of Communist aggression. Today Western Europe is strong economically and economic independence has inevitably led to more political independence. The winds of détente have blown so strongly from East to West that except for Germany most Europeans no longer fear the threat from the East. The consequences of this change are enormous as far as NATO is concerned. As Harold Macmillan puts it, "Alliances are kept together by fear, not by love." Even without De Gaulle, the European Alliance would be in deep trouble.

Let us look at the Communist world. Twenty years ago the Soviet Union dominated a monolithic Communist empire. Today, the Soviet Union and Communist China are in a bitter struggle for leadership of the Communist world. Eastern Europe turns West, though we must recognize that the differences in Eastern Europe still cause less trouble to the Soviet Union than the differences in Western Europe cause to the United States. The Soviet economic system is turning away from the enforced equality of Marxism to the incentives of capitalism.

Let us look at Latin America:

Twenty years ago Castro was a nobody. Cuba and all the other Latin republics were considered to be solidly, permanently, and docilely on the side of the United States. Today Castro has the strongest military force in the Western Hemisphere next to the United States and he is exporting revolution all over the continent. But even if Castro did not exist, Latin America would have to be considered a major trouble spot. Despite the Alliance for Progress, Latin America is barely holding its own in the race between production and population. As it continues to fall further behind the rest of the world, it becomes a tinder box for revolution.

Let us turn to Africa:

Just ten years ago Ethiopia and Liberia were the only independent countries in Black Africa. Today there are thirty independent countries in Black Africa. Fifteen of these countries have populations less than the State of Maryland, and each has a vote in the UN Assembly equal to that of the United States. There were twelve coups in Black Africa in the last year. No one of the thirty countries has a representative government by our standards and the prospects that any will have such a government in a generation or even a half-century are remote.

Ironically, non-Communist Asia, except for Vietnam, is the area which has experienced the most hopeful change. Japan has recovered from the devastation of World War II to the point that its one hundred million people produce as much as Communist China's seven hundred million. Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand are all dramatic economic success stories.

There are grey areas:

As General Romulo might put it, the Philippines suffer from too much American style democracy. Indonesia is recovering from too much Sukarno. India suffers from too many people and a host of other problems too numerous to enumerate. But over-all, it can be said without fear of contradiction that the prospects for progress in non-Communist Asia are better than those in Communist Asia.

Let us look at the balance of power in the world:

Twenty years ago the United States had a monopoly on the atomic bomb and our military superiority was unquestioned. Even five years ago our advantage was still decisive. Today the Soviet Union may be ahead of us in megaton capacity and will have missile parity with the United States by 1970. Communist China within five years will have a significant deliverable nuclear capability.

Finally, let us look at American prestige:

Twenty years ago, after our great World War II victory, we were respected throughout the world. Today, hardly a day goes by when our flag is not spit upon, a library burned, an embassy stoned some place in the world. In fact, you don't have to leave the United States to find examples.

This is a gloomy picture; but there is a much brighter side as well.

Communism is losing the ideological battle with freedom in Asia, Africa, Latin America as well as in Europe. In Africa, the Communist appeal was against colonialism. Now that the colonialists are gone, they must base their case on being for Communism. But African tribalism and rebellious individualism are simply incompatible with the rigid discipline a Communist system imposes.

In Latin America, the utter failure of Communism in Cuba has drastically weakened the appeal of the Communist ideology in the rest of Latin America.

In Asia, the remarkable success of private enterprise oriented economies in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Thailand, as contrasted to the failure of Communism in China and the failure of socialism in Burma and Indonesia, makes it possible to state unequivocally that the only way for the Communists to win in Vietnam, or anywhere else in Asia, is by force and terror; they will never win by persuasion.

All over the world, whether from East Germany to West, from Communist China to free China, from Communist Cuba to the free American republics, the traffic is all one way--from Communism to freedom.

Let us reappraise U.S. policy in the light of the new world in which we live.

In Western Europe we must recognize that clearly apart from De Gaulle's actions the new economic independence of European countries and the lack of fear of Soviet aggression have contributed to a situation where it is not possible to keep the old alliance together on its former basis.

Yet, whatever changes may have occurred as far as the Soviet threat is concerned, one factor has not changed: A major reason for setting up the alliance was to provide a military, political and economic home for the most powerful people in Europe--the Germans. If the alliance is allowed to continue to disintegrate, Germany, denied the right to develop nuclear weapons, will be left defenseless in the heart of Europe and the Soviet Union, holding the pawn of East Germany, will have a tempting diplomatic target.

The highest priority American foreign policy objective must be to set up a new alliance, multilateral, if possible, bilateral, if necessary, which will keep Germany solidly on the Western side.

Let us look at the third world--Africa, Asia, Latin America. We reach one inescapable conclusion--foreign aid needs a complete overhaul.

More money alone is not the answer. Latin America is a case in point. Nine billion dollars has been spent on the Alliance for Progress in the last six years with these results: The growth rate in Latin America was less than in the previous five years. The growth rate in Latin America was less than that of non-Communist Asia and of Communist Eastern Europe. Latin America will become a permanent international depressed area unless revolutionary changes are made in its economic, educational and governmental institutions.

Krieger of Argentina, probably the ablest of Latin America's economic ministers, puts the case this way: "You Americans should be more blunt in attaching conditions to your aid programs. Of course, the recipients aren't going to like it. But the United States does us no favor when you aid an unsound economic and social institution. All you do is to help perpetuate a system that should be changed."

In that spirit, let us use our aid programs to work toward such objectives as the following:

The Latin American educational system is the most obsolete and inadequate in the world in terms of preparing students for contributions to a modern industrial state. It must be modernized and brought into the twentieth century.

In Latin America, Africa, as well as in countries like India, there should be more emphasis on agriculture, less on industrialization.

In every area of the world private, rather than government, enterprise should be encouraged, not because we are trying to impose our ideas but because one works and the other doesn't.

The United States should use its aid programs to reward our friends and discourage our enemies. Before the recent Mid-East crisis, the fact that the U.S. had continued its aid programs to countries like the U.A.R., Algeria and Guinea when their leaders never missed a chance to condemn the United States in world forums had the effect of discouraging our friends, confusing the neutrals and bringing contempt from our enemies.

I would like to illustrate my last point with an example. Four of the most dramatic economic success stories are Thailand, Iran, Taiwan and Mexico.

Thailand has a limited monarchy.

Iran has a strong monarchy.

Taiwan has a strong President with an oligarchy.

Mexico has one-party government.

Not one of these countries has a representative democracy by Western standards. But it happens that in each case their system has worked for them.

It is time for us to recognize that much as we like our own political system, American style democracy is not necessarily the best form of government for people in Asia, Africa and Latin America with entirely different backgrounds.

Let us turn now to the most fundamental question--why continue foreign aid at all? We must recognize that frustration over Vietnam, disillusionment with our European allies who, despite our immense post-World War II aid to them, more often than not refused to cooperate with us in our foreign policy objectives, and the shocking mismanagement and waste in many of the aid programs have all combined to create a new spirit of isolationism in the United States which is becoming stronger in both political parties.

But, let us take a longer view. With the advance of transportation and communications so vividly described by other Lakeside speakers, the world by the end of this century will be a great city. As the world becomes smaller, the differences between rich and poor will appear much larger. The three billion people living in the less advanced areas of the world will not tolerate permanent second class economic status. For example, at that time the people of the United States will have a per capita income ten times as large as that of our closest friends and neighbors in Latin America. The time to defuse this potentially explosive situation is now.

Let us turn now to subject A, the Soviet Union.

This Spring a great debate raged in the chanceries of Europe and among foreign policy experts in the United States as to how much Soviet policy had changed under its new leaders. Some Soviet experts on both sides of the Atlantic saw the new Soviet leaders turning 180 degrees from past policies and seeking permanent peace with the United States and Europe as well as using their influence to end the war in Vietnam.

The record of the Soviets in the Middle East war has caused a sober reassessment of this point of view. At a time that they were talking peace and détente in Europe, the Soviet leaders were spending 4 billion dollars arming Nasser and his colleagues. They encouraged the Arab leaders in their aggressive actions. They blocked diplomatic moves to avoid the war. They supported a cease-fire only when it became necessary for them to do so to save their Arab clients from further losses.

Then came the Glassboro conference. Kosygin was a gentleman. He did not bang his shoe on the table at the United Nations. Many hoped that the Soviet leaders had learned their lesson and the spirit of Hollybush swept over the land. But it soon became apparent that, while the music was different, the words were the same.

More revealing have been the actions of the Soviet leaders since Glassboro. Kosygin stopped to see Castro on his way back to Moscow. The Soviet Union is sending millions of dollars in arms to build the shattered Arab armies. The Soviet Union is still providing 100 per cent of the oil and 85 per cent of all sophisticated military equipment for the armies of North Vietnam. The Soviet line against West Germany has perceptively hardened. The Soviet Union continues to build both offensive and defensive missiles.

This does not mean that the Soviet leaders have not changed. But what we must recognize is that the change is one of the head and not of the heart--of necessity, not choice.

These are some of the facts which forced the change: Communist China is a threat in the East; the Soviet Union needs friends in the West. The military and economic strength of Western Europe thwarted their progressive designs on that area. They faced increased demand for consumer goods from the Russian people. They looked down the nuclear gunbarrel in the Cuban confrontation.

The Soviet leaders today have three major foreign policy objectives:

They are still Communists and they are committed to the goal of a Communist world; they are battling the Chinese for leadership of that world. They want to achieve that goal without war. At the same time they want more economic progress at home. They will work with us only when doing so serves one or more of these three objectives.

In the light of this analysis, the policy America should follow becomes clear.

Militarily, we must recognize that we have not had a world war for twenty years because of America's clear military superiority. That superiority is now threatened, both because of Soviet progress in missile development and because of an attitude in U.S. policy circles that nuclear parity with the Soviets is enough. Because the primary Soviet goal is still victory rather than peace, we must never let the day come in a confrontation like Cuba and the Mid-East where they, rather than we, have military superiority. The cost of maintaining that superiority, including the development of an ABM capability, is a necessary investment in peace.

Economically, we should have a policy which encourages more trade with the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. We must recognize, however, that to them trade is a political weapon. I believe in building bridges but we should build only our end of the bridge. For example, there should be no extension of long term credits or trade in strategic items with any nation, including the Soviet Union, which aids the enemy in North Vietnam.

Diplomatically we should have discussions with the Soviet leaders at all levels to reduce the possibility of miscalculation and to explore the areas where bilateral agreements would reduce tensions. But we must always remember in such negotiations that our goal is different from theirs: We seek peace as an end in itself. They seek victory with peace being at this time a means toward that end.

In sum, we can live in peace with the Soviet Union but until they give up their goal for world conquest it will be for them a peace of necessity and not of choice.

As we enter this last third of the twentieth century the hopes of the world rest with America. Whether peace and freedom survive in the world depends on American leadership.

Never has a nation had more advantages to lead. Our economic superiority is enormous; our military superiority can be whatever we choose to make it. Most important, it happens that we are on the right side--the side of freedom and peace and progress against the forces of totalitarianism, reaction and war.

There is only one area where there is any question--that is whether America has the national character and moral stamina to see us through this long and difficult struggle.

In this context, the tragic events in Detroit take on a new meaning. This was more than just another Negro riot. The looters were white as well as black. We are reaping the whirlwind for a decade of growing disrespect for law, decency and principle in America.

Without sanctimonious moralizing, let's look at some hard facts. Our judges have gone too far in weakening the peace forces as against the criminal forces in this country. Our opinion-makers have gone too far in promoting the doctrine that when a law is broken--blame society, not the criminal. Our teachers, preachers and politicians have gone too far in advocating the idea that each individual should determine what laws are good and what laws are bad and that he then should obey the law he likes and disobey the law he dislikes.

In the aftermath of these tragic events everyone will have a solution. Some will say we need more laws. Others will say we need more law enforcement. Others will say we need more money for cities, housing, education and welfare. Each of these approaches deserves consideration and some should be adopted.

But in the final analysis there could be no progress without respect for law. There will be no respect for law in a nation whose people lack character. We need a national crusade to build American character in home, church and school. Above all, we need examples of character from our great men.

We in Bohemia were privileged to know such a man.

I could describe Herbert Hoover as a great statesman. I could describe him as a great businessman. I could describe him as a great humanitarian. But, above all, he will be remembered as a man of great character.

No leader in our history was more viciously vilified. Deserted by his friends, maligned by his enemies, he triumphed over adversity. In the twilight of his life he stood tall above his detractors. His triumph was a triumph of character. We can be thankful that he was one of those rare men who lived to hear the overwhelmingly favorable verdict of history on his career.

Two thousand years ago when these great trees were saplings--the poet Sophocles wrote, "One must wait until the evening to see how splendid the day has been."

Herbert Hoover's life was eloquent proof of those words.

And as we near the evening of another Bohemian Encampment, we, too, can look back and say, "How splendid the day has been."


3. Article by Richard M. Nixon/1/

/1/Source: Foreign Affairs, Vol. 46, No. 1, October 1967, pp. 113-125. Reprinted by permission of Foreign Affairs, 2002. Copyright 1967 by the Council on Foreign Relations, Inc.


The war in Viet Nam has for so long dominated our field of vision that it has distorted our picture of Asia. A small country on the rim of the continent has filled the screen of our minds; but it does not fill the map. Sometimes dramatically, but more often quietly, the rest of Asia has been undergoing a profound, an exciting and on balance an extraordinarily promising transformation. One key to this transformation is the emergence of Asian regionalism; another is the development of a number of the Asian economies; another is gathering disaffection with all the old isms that have so long imprisoned so many minds and so many governments. By and large the non-communist Asian governments are looking for solutions that work, rather than solutions that fit a preconceived set of doctrines and dogmas.

Most of them also recognize a common danger, and see its source as Peking. Taken together, these developments present an extraordinary set of opportunities for a U.S. policy which must begin to look beyond Viet Nam. In looking toward the future, however, we should not ignore the vital role Viet Nam has played in making these developments possible. Whatever one may think of the "domino" theory, it is beyond question that without the American commitment in Viet Nam Asia would be a far different place today.

The U.S. presence has provided tangible and highly visible proof that communism is not necessarily the wave of Asia's future. This was a vital factor in the turnaround in Indonesia, where a tendency toward fatalism is a national characteristic. It provided a shield behind which the anti-communist forces found the courage and the capacity to stage their counter-coup and, at the final moment, to rescue their country from the Chinese orbit. And, with its 100 million people, and its 3,000-mile arc of islands containing the region's richest hoard of natural resources, Indonesia constitutes by far the greatest prize in the Southeast Asian area.

Beyond this, Viet Nam has diverted Peking from such other potential targets as India, Thailand and Malaysia. It has bought vitally needed time for governments that were weak or unstable or leaning toward Peking as a hedge against the future--time has imposed severe strains on the United States, not only militarily and economically but socially and politically as well. Bitter dissension has torn the fabric of American intellectual life, and whatever the outcome of the war the tear may be a long time mending. If another friendly country should be faced with an externally supported communist insurrection--whether in Asia, or in Africa or even Latin America--there is serious question whether the American public or the American Congress would now support a unilateral American intervention, even at the request of the host government. This makes it vitally in their own interest that the nations in the path of China's ambitions move quickly to establish an indigenous Asian framework for their own future security.

In doing so, they need to fashion arrangements able to deal both with old-style wars and with new--with traditional wars, in which armies cross over national boundaries, and with the so-called "wars of national liberation," in which they burrow under national boundaries.

I am not arguing that the day is past when the United States would respond militarily to communist threats in the less stable parts of the world, or that a unilateral response to a unilateral request for help is out of the question. But other nations must recognize that the role of the United States as world policeman is likely to be limited in the future. To ensure that a U.S. response will be forthcoming if needed, machinery must be created that is capable of meeting two conditions: (a) a collective effort by the nations of the region to contain the threat by themselves; and, if that effort fails, (b) a collective request to the United States for assistance. This is important not only from the respective national standpoints, but also from the standpoint of avoiding nuclear collision.

Nations not possessing great power can indulge in the luxury of criticism of others; those possessing it have the responsibility of decision. Faced with a clear challenge, the decision not to use one's power must be as deliberate as the decision to use it. The consequences can be fully as far-reaching and fully as irrevocable.

If another world war is to be prevented, every step possible must be taken to avert direct confrontations between the nuclear powers. To achieve this, it is essential to minimize the number of occasions on which the great powers have to decide whether or not to commit their forces. These choices cannot be eliminated, but they can be reduced by the development of regional defense pacts, in which nations undertake, among themselves, to attempt to contain aggression in their own areas.

If the initial response to a threatened aggression, of whichever type--whether across the border or under it--can be made by lesser powers in the immediate area and thus within the path of aggression, one of two things can be achieved: either they can in fact contain it by themselves, in which case the United States is spared involvement and thus the world is spared the consequences of great-power action; or, if they cannot, the ultimate choice can be presented to the United States in clear-cut terms, by nations which would automatically become allies in whatever response might prove necessary. To put it another way, the regional pact becomes a buffer separating the distant great power from the immediate threat. Only if the buffer proves insufficient does the great power become involved, and then in terms that make victory more attainable and the enterprise more palatable.

This is particularly important when the threat takes the form of an externally supported guerrilla action, as we have faced in Viet Nam, as is even now being mounted in Thailand, and as could be launched in any of a half-dozen other spots in the Chinese shadow. Viet Nam has shown how difficult it is to make clear the distinction between this and an ordinary factional civil war, and how subject the assisting power is to charges of having intervened in an internal matter. Viet Nam's neighbors know that the war there is not internal, but our own allies in Europe have difficulty grasping the fact.

The fragmenting of the communist world has lent credence to the frequently heard argument that a communist advance by proxy, as we have seen attempted in Viet Nam, is of only peripheral importance; that with the weakening of rigid central control of the communist world, local fights between communist and non-communist factions are a local matter. This ignores, however, the fact that with the decentralization of communist control has come an appropriately tailored shift in communist tactics. National communism poses a different kind of threat than did the old-style international communism, but by being subtler it is in some ways more dangerous.

SEATO was useful and appropriate to its time, but it was Western in origin and drew its strength from the United States and Europe. It has weakened to the point at which it is little more than an institutional embodiment of an American commitment, and a somewhat anachronistic relic of the days when France and Britain were active members. Asia today needs its own security undertakings, reflecting the new realities of Asian independence and Asian needs.

Thus far, despite a pattern of rapidly increasing cooperation in cultural and economic affairs, the Asian nations have been unwilling to form a military grouping designed to forestall the Chinese threat, even though several have bilateral arrangements with the United States. But an appropriate foundation-stone exists on which to build: the Asian and Pacific Council. ASPAC held its first ministerial-level meeting in Seoul in June 1966, and its second in Bangkok in July 1967. It has carefully limited itself to strengthening regional cooperation in economic, cultural and social matters, and its members have voiced strong feelings that, as Japan's Foreign Minister Takeo Miki put it at the Bangkok meeting, it should not be made "a body to promote anti-communist campaigns."

Despite ASPAC's present cultural and economic orientation, however, the solidifying awareness of China's threat should make it possible--if the need for a regional alliance is put in sufficiently compelling terms--to develop it into an alliance actively dedicated to concerting whatever efforts might be necessary to maintain the security of the region. And ASPAC is peculiarly well situated to play such a role. Its members (South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, South Viet Nam, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand, with Laos as an observer) all are acutely conscious of the Chinese threat. All except Malaysia have military ties with the United States. It has the distinct advantage of including Australia and New Zealand, which share the danger and would be able to contribute substantially to its strength, without an unbalancing great-power presence.

I do not mean to minimize the difficulties of winning acceptance of such a concept. In Japan, public opinion still lags behind official awareness of military needs. The avowedly neutralist nations under China's cloud would be reluctant, at present, to join any such grouping. But looking further down the road we can project either an erosion of their neutralism or the formation of their own loose association or associations, which might be tied into a militarily oriented ASPAC on an interlocking or cooperative basis. One can hope that even India might finally be persuaded to give its support, having itself been the target of overt Chinese aggression, and still cherishing as it does a desire to play a substantial role beyond its own borders.


/2/There are no sections marked I or II.

Military security has to rest, ultimately, on economic and political stability. One of the effects of the rapidity of change in the world today is that there can no longer be static stability; there can only be dynamic stability. A nation or society that fails to keep pace with change is in danger of flying apart. It is important that we recognize this, but equally important that in trying to maintain a dynamic stability we remember that the stability is as important as the dynamism.

If a given set of ends is deemed desirable, then from the standpoint of those dedicated to peace and an essential stability in world order the desideratum is to reach those ends by evolutionary rather than revolutionary means. Looking at the pattern of change in non-communist Asia, we find that the professed aims of the revolutionaries are in fact being achieved by an evolutionary process. This offers a dramatic opportunity to draw the distinction between the fact of a revolutionary result and the process of revolutionary change. The Asian nations are showing that evolutionary change can be as exciting as revolutionary change. Having revolutionized the aims of their societies, they are showing what can be achieved within a framework of dynamic stability.

The "people," in the broadest sense, have become an entity to be served rather than used. In much of Asia, this change represents a revolution of no less magnitude than the revolution that created the industrial West, or that in the years following World War II transformed empires into new and struggling nations. It is precisely the promise of this reversal that has been at the heart of communist rhetoric, and at the heart of the popular and intellectual appeal which that rhetoric achieved.

Not all the governments of non-communist Asia fit the Western ideal of parliamentary democracy--far from it. But Americans must recognize that a highly sophisticated, highly advanced political system, which required many centuries to develop in the West, may not be best for other nations which have far different traditions and are still in an earlier stage of development. What matters is that these governments are consciously, deliberately and programmatically developing in the direction of greater liberty, greater abundance, broader choice and increased popular involvement in the processes of government.

Poverty that was accepted for centuries as the norm is accepted no longer. In a sense it could be said that a new chapter is being written in the winning of the West: in this case, a winning of the promise of Western technology and Western organization by the nations of the East. The cultural clash has had its cost and produced its strains, but out of it is coming a modernization of ancient civilizations that promises to leap the centuries.

The process produces transitional anomalies--such as the Indian woman squatting in the mud, forming cow-dung patties with her hands and laying them out to dry, while a transistor radio in her lap plays music from a Delhi station. It takes a long time to bring visions of the future to the far villages--but time is needed to make those visions credible, and make them achievable. Too wide a gap between reality and expectation always produces an explosive situation, and the fact that what the leaders know is possible is unknown to the great mass of the peasantry helps buy time to make the possible achievable. But the important thing is that the leaders do know what is possible, and by and large they are determined to make it happen.

Whether that process is going to proceed at a pace fast enough to keep one step ahead of the pressure of rising expectations is one of the great questions and challenges of the years ahead. But there is solid ground for hope. The successful Asian nations have been writing extraordinary records. To call their performance an economic miracle would be something of a semantic imprecision; it would also be a disservice. Precisely because the origins and ingredients of that success are not miraculous, it offers hope to those which have not yet turned the corner.

India still is a staggering giant, Burma flirts with economic chaos, and the Philippines, caught in a conflict of cultures and in search of an identity, lives in a precarious economic and social balance. But the most exciting trends in economic development today are being recorded by those Asian nations that have accepted the keys of progress and used them. Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Korea, Singapore and Malaysia all have been recording sustained economic growth rates of 7 percent a year or more; Japan has sustained a remarkable average of 9 percent a year since 1950, and an average 16.7 percent per year increase in exports over the same period. Thailand shifted into a period of rapid growth in 1958 and has averaged 7 percent a year since. South Korea, despite the unflattering estimates of its people's abilities by the average G.I. during the Korean War, is shooting ahead at a growth rate that has averaged 8 percent a year since 1963, with an average 42 percent a year increase in its exports.

These rapidly advancing countries vary widely in their social traditions and political systems, but their methods of economic management have certain traits in common: a prime reliance on private enterprise and on the pricing mechanisms of the market as the chief determinant of business decisions; a pacing of monetary expansion to match growth in output; receptivity to private capital investment, both domestic and foreign, including such incentives as tax advantages and quick government clearance of proposed projects; imaginative national programs for dealing with social problems; and, not least, a generally restrained posture in government planning, with the government's role suggestive rather than coercive. These nations have, in short, discovered and applied the lessons of America's own economic success.


Any discussion of Asia's future must ultimately focus on the respective roles of four giants: India, the world's most populous non-communist nation; Japan, Asia's principal industrial and economic power; China, the world's most populous nation and Asia's most immediate threat; and the United States, the greatest Pacific power. (Although the U.S.S.R. occupies much of the land map of Asia, its principal focus is toward the West and its vast Asian lands are an appendage of European Russia.)

India is both challenging and frustrating: challenging because of its promise, frustrating because of its performance. It suffers from escalating overpopulation, from too much emphasis on industrialization and not enough on agriculture, and from too doctrinaire a reliance on government enterprise instead of private enterprise. Many are deeply pessimistic about its future. One has to remember, however, that in the past five years India has fought two wars and faced two catastrophic droughts. On both the population and the agricultural fronts, India's present leaders at least are trying. And the essential factor, from the standpoint of U.S. policy, is that a nation of nearly half a billion people is seeking ways to wrench itself forward without a sacrifice of basic freedoms; in exceedingly difficult circumstances, the ideal of evolutionary change is being tested. For the most populous representative democracy in the world to fail, while Communist China--surmounting its troubles--succeeded, would be a disaster of worldwide proportions. Thus the United States must do two things: (1) continue its aid and support for Indian economic objectives; and (2) do its best to persuade the Indian Government to shift its means and adjust its institutions so that those objectives can be more quickly and more effectively secured, drawing from the lessons not only of the United States but also of India's more successful neighbors, including Pakistan.

Japan has been edging cautiously and discreetly toward a wider leadership role, acutely conscious at every step that bitter memories of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere might rise to haunt her if she pressed too hard or too eagerly. But what would not have been possible ten, or even five, years ago is becoming possible today. Half the people now living in Asia have been born since World War II, and the new generation has neither the old guilts (in the case of the Japanese themselves) nor the old fears born of conquest.

The natural momentum of Japan's growth, the industry of her people and the advanced state of her society must inevitably propel Japan into a more conspicuous position of leadership. Japan's industrial complex, expanding by 14 percent annually since 1950, already is comparable to that of West Germany or the United Kingdom. Japan's gross national product ($95 billion) is substantially greater than that of mainland China, with seven times the population. Japan is expected soon to rank as the world's third-strongest economic power, trailing only the United States and the Soviet Union. Along with this dramatic economic surge, Japan will surely want to play a greater role both diplomatically and militarily in maintaining the balance in Asia. As the Prime Minister of one neighboring country put it: "The Japanese are a great people, and no great people will accept as their destiny making better transistor radios and teaching the underdeveloped how to grow better rice."

This greater role will entail, among other things, a modification of the present terms of the Japanese Constitution, which specifically provides that "land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained." (Japan's 275,000 men presently under arms are called "Self-Defense Forces.") Twenty years ago it was considered unthinkable that Japan should acquire even a conventional military capability. Five years ago, while some Japanese thought about it, they did not talk about it. Today a substantial majority of Japanese still oppose the idea, but it is openly discussed and debated. Looking toward the future, one must recognize that it simply is not realistic to expect a nation moving into the first rank of major powers to be totally dependent for its own security on another nation, however close the ties. Japan's whole society has been restructured since World War II. While there still are traces of fanaticism, its politics at least conform to the democratic ideal. Not to trust Japan today with its own armed forces and with responsibility for its own defense would be to place its people and its government under a disability which, whatever its roots in painful recent history, ill accords with the role Japan must play in helping secure the common safety of non-communist Asia.

Any American policy toward Asia must come urgently to grips with the reality of China. This does not mean, as many would simplistically have it, rushing to grant recognition to Peking, to admit it to the United Nations and to ply it with offers of trade--all of which would serve to confirm its rulers in their present course. It does mean recognizing the present and potential danger from Communist China, and taking measures designed to meet that danger. It also means distinguishing carefully between long-range and short-range policies, and fashioning short-range programs so as to advance our long-range goals.

Taking the long view, we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations, there to nurture its fantasies, cherish its hates and threaten its neighbors. There is no place on this small planet for a billion of its potentially most able people to live in angry isolation. But we could go disastrously wrong if, in pursuing this long-range goal, we failed in the short range to read the lessons of history.

The world cannot be safe until China changes. Thus our aim, to the extent that we can influence events, should be to induce change. The way to do this is to persuade China that it must change: that it cannot satisfy its imperial ambitions, and that its own national interest requires a turning away from foreign adventuring and a turning inward toward the solution of its own domestic problems.

If the challenge posed by the Soviet Union after World War II was not precisely similar, it was sufficiently so to offer a valid precedent and a valuable lesson. Moscow finally changed when it, too, found that change was necessary. This was essentially a change of the head, not of the heart. Internal evolution played a role, to be sure, but the key factor was that the West was able to create conditions--notably in the shoring up of European defenses, the rapid restoration of European economies and the cementing of the Atlantic Alliance--that forced Moscow to look to the wisdom of reaching some measure of accommodation with the West. We are still far from reaching a full détente, but at least substantial progress has been made.

During the next decade the West faces two prospects which, together, could create a crisis of the first order: (1) that the Soviets may reach nuclear parity with the United States; and (2) that China, within three to five years, will have a significant deliverable nuclear capability--and that this same China will be outside any nonproliferation treaty that might be signed, free, if it chooses, to scatter its weapons among "liberation" forces anywhere in the world.

This heightens the urgency of building buffers that can keep the major nuclear powers apart in the case of "wars of national liberation," supported by Moscow or Peking but fought by proxy. It also requires that we now assign to the strengthening of non-communist Asia a priority comparable to that which we gave to the strengthening of Western Europe after World War II.

Some counsel conceding to China a "sphere of influence" embracing much of the Asian mainland and extending even to the island nations beyond; others urge that we eliminate the threat by preemptive war. Clearly, neither of these courses would be acceptable to the United States or to its Asian allies. Others argue that we should seek an anti-Chinese alliance with European powers, even including the Soviet Union. Quite apart from the obvious problems involved in Soviet participation, such a course would inevitably carry connotations of Europe vs. Asia, white vs. non-white, which could have catastrophic repercussions throughout the rest of the non-white world in general and Asia in particular. If our long-range aim is to pull China back in to the family of nations, we must avoid the impression that the great powers or the European powers are "ganging up;" the response should clearly be one of active defense rather than potential offense, and must be untainted with any suspicion of racism.

For the United States to go it alone in containing China would not only place an unconscionable burden on our own country, but also would heighten the chances of nuclear war while undercutting the independent development of the nations of Asia. The primary restraint on China's Asian ambitions should be exercised by the Asian nations in the path of those ambitions, backed by the ultimate power of the United States. This is sound strategically, sound psychologically and sound in terms of the dynamics of Asian development. Only as the nations of non-communist Asia become so strong--economically, politically and militarily--that they no longer furnish tempting targets for Chinese aggression, will the leaders in Peking be persuaded to turn their energies inward rather than outward. And that will be the time when the dialogue with mainland China can begin.

For the short run, then, this means a policy of firm restraint, of no reward, of a creative counterpressure designed to persuade Peking that its interests can be served only by accepting the basic rules of international civility. For the long run, it means pulling China back into the world community--but as a great and progressing nation, not as the epicenter of world revolution.

"Containment without isolation" is a good phrase and a sound concept, as far as it goes. But it covers only half the problem. Along with it, we need a positive policy of pressure and persuasion, of dynamic detoxification, a marshaling of Asian forces both to keep the peace and to help draw off the poison from the Thoughts of Mao.

Dealing with Red China is something like trying to cope with the more explosive ghetto elements in our own country. In each case a potentially destructive force has to be curbed; in each case an outlaw element has to be brought within the law; in each case dialogues have to be opened; in each case aggression has to be restrained while education proceeds; and, not least, in neither case can we afford to let those now self-exiled from society stay exiled forever. We have to proceed with both an urgency born of necessity and a patience born of realism, moving step by calculated step toward the final goal.


And finally, the role of the United States.

Weary with war, disheartened with allies, disillusioned with aid, dismayed at domestic crises, many Americans are heeding the call of the new isolationism. And they are not alone; there is a tendency in the whole Western world to turn inward, to become parochial and isolationist--dangerously so. But there can be neither peace nor security a generation hence unless we recognize now the massiveness of the forces at work in Asia, where more than half the world's people live and where the greatest explosive potential is lodged.

Out of the wreckage of two world wars we forged a concept of an Atlantic community, within which a ravaged Europe was rebuilt and the westward advance of the Soviets contained. If tensions now strain that community, these are themselves a byproduct of success. But history has its rhythms, and now the focus of both crisis and change is shifting. Without turning our backs on Europe, we have now to reach out westward to the East, and to fashion the sinews of a Pacific community.

This has to be a community in the fullest sense: a community of purpose, of understanding and of mutual assistance, in which military defenses are coordinated while economies are strengthened; a community embracing a concert of Asian strengths as a counterforce to the designs of China; one in which Japan will play an increasing role, as befits its commanding position as a world economic power; and one in which U.S. leadership is exercised with restraint, with respect for our partners and with a sophisticated discretion that ensures a genuinely Asian idiom and Asian origin for whatever new Asian institutions are developed.

In a design for Asia's future, there is no room for heavy-handed American pressures; there is need for subtle encouragement of the kind of Asian initiatives that help bring the design to reality. The distinction may seem superficial, but in fact it is central both to the kind of Asia we want and to the effectiveness of the means of achieving it. The central pattern of the future in U.S.-Asian relations must be American support for Asian initiatives.

The industrial revolution has shown that mass abundance is possible, and as the United States moves into the post-industrial world--the age of computers and cybernetics--we have to find ways to engineer an escape from privation for those now living in mass poverty. There can be no security, whatever our nuclear stockpiles, in a world of boiling resentment and magnified envy. The oceans provide no sanctuary for the rich, no barrier behind which we can hide our abundance.

The struggle for influence in the Third World is a three-way race among Moscow, Peking and the West. The West has offered both idealism and example, but the idealism has often been unconvincing and the example non-idiomatic. However, an industrialized Japan demonstrates the economically possible in Asian terms, while an advancing Asia tied into a Pacific community offers a bridge to the underdeveloped elsewhere. During this final third of the twentieth century, the great race will be between man and change: the race to control change, rather than be controlled by it. In this race we cannot afford to wait for others to act, and then merely react. And the race in Asia is already under way.


4. Essay by Henry A. Kissinger/1/

/1/Source: From American Foreign Policy: Three Essays by Henry Kissinger. (New York: W. W. Norton, 1969), pp. 51-97. © Copyright 1977, 1974, 1969 by Henry Kissinger. Used by permission of W.W. Norton &Company, Inc. The other two essays in the book are entitled "Domestic Structure and Foreign Policy" and "The Vietnam Negotiations." The latter was also published in January 1969 in Foreign Affairs (Vol. 47, No. 2). The essay printed here was first published in Agenda for a Nation (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1968)


The twentieth century has known little repose. Since the turn of the century, international crises have been increasing in both frequency and severity. The contemporary unrest, although less apocalyptic than the two world wars which spawned it, is even more profoundly revolutionary in nature.

The essence of a revolution is that it appears to contemporaries as a series of more or less unrelated upheavals. The temptation is great to treat each issue as an immediate and isolated problem which once surmounted will permit the fundamental stability of the international order to reassert itself. But the crises which form the headlines of the day are symptoms of deep-seated structural problems. The international system which produced stability for a century collapsed under the impact of two world wars. The age of the superpowers, which temporarily replaced it, is nearing its end. The current international environment is in turmoil because its essential elements are all in flux simultaneously. This essay will concentrate on structural and conceptual problems rather than specific policy issues.

I. The Structural Problem

For the first time, foreign policy has become global. In the past, the various continents conducted their foreign policy essentially in isolation. Throughout much of history, the foreign policy of Europe was scarcely affected by events in Asia. When, in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the European powers were extending their influence throughout the world, the effective decisions continued to be made in only a few great European capitals. Today, statesmen face the unprecedented problem of formulating policy for well over a hundred countries. Every nation, no matter how insignificant, participates in international affairs. Ideas are transmitted almost instantaneously. What used to be considered domestic events can now have world-wide consequences.

The revolutionary character of our age can be summed up in three general statements: (a) the number of participants in the international order has increased and their nature has altered; (b) their technical ability to affect each other has vastly grown; (c) the scope of their purposes has expanded.

Whenever the participants in the international system change, a period of profound dislocation is inevitable. They can change because new states enter the political system, or because there is a change in values as to what constitutes legitimate rule, or, finally, because of the reduction in influence of some traditional units. In our period, all of these factors have combined. Since the end of the Second World War, several score of new states have come into being. In the nineteenth century the emergence of even a few new nations produced decades of adjustment, and after the First World War, the successor states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire were never assimilated. Our age has yet to find a structure which matches the responsibilities of the new nations to their aspirations.

As the number of participants has increased, technology has multiplied the resources available for the conduct of foreign policy. A scientific revolution has, for all practical purposes, removed technical limits from the exercise of power in foreign policy. It has magnified insecurities because it has made survival seem to depend on the accidents of a technological breakthrough.

This trend has been compounded by the nature of contemporary domestic structures. As long as the states' ability to mobilize resources was limited, the severity of their conflicts had definite bounds. In the eighteenth century, custom restricted the demands rulers by "divine right" could make upon their subjects; a philosophy of minimum government performed the same role through much of the nineteenth century. Our period has seen the culmination of a process started by the French Revolution: the basing of governmental legitimacy on popular support. Even totalitarian regimes are aberrations of a democratic legitimacy; they depend on popular consensus even when they manufacture it through propaganda and pressure. In such a situation, the consensus is decisive; limitations of tradition are essentially irrelevant. It is an ironic result of the democratization of politics that it has enabled states to marshal ever more resources for their competition.

Ideological conflict compounds these instabilities. In the great periods of cabinet diplomacy, diplomats spoke the same language, not only in the sense that French was the lingua franca, but more importantly because they tended to understand intangibles in the same manner. A similar outlook about aims and methods eases the tasks of diplomacy--it may even be a precondition for it. In the absence of such a consensus, diplomats can still meet, but they lose the ability to persuade. More time is spent on defining contending positions than in resolving them. What seems most reasonable to one side will appear most problematical to the other.

When there is ideological conflict, political loyalties no longer coincide with political boundaries. Conflicts among states merge with divisions within nations; the dividing line between domestic and foreign policy begins to disappear. At least some states feel threatened not only by the foreign policy of other countries but also, and perhaps especially, by domestic transformations. A liberalized Communist regime in Prague--which had in no way challenged Soviet preeminence in foreign policy--caused the Kremlin to believe that its vital interests were threatened and to respond by occupying the country without even the pretext of legality.

The tensions produced by ideological conflict are exacerbated by the reduction in influence of the states that were considered great powers before the First World War. The world has become militarily bipolar. Only two powers--the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics--possess the full panoply of military might. Over the next decade, no other country or group of countries will be capable of challenging their physical preeminence. Indeed, the gap in military strength between the two giant nuclear countries and the rest of the world is likely to increase rather than diminish over that period.

Military bipolarity is a source of rigidity in foreign policy. The guardians of the equilibrium of the nineteenth century were prepared to respond to change with counteradjustment; the policy-makers of the superpowers in the second half of the twentieth century have much less confidence in the ability of the equilibrium to right itself after disturbance. Whatever "balance" there is between the superpowers is regarded as both precarious and inflexible. A bipolar world loses the perspective for nuance; a gain for one side appears as an absolute loss for the other. Every issue seems to involve a question of survival. The smaller countries are torn between a desire for protection and a wish to escape big-power dominance. Each of the superpowers is beset by the desire to maintain its preeminence among its allies, to increase its influence among the uncommitted, and to enhance its security vis-ŕ-vis its opponent. The fact that some of these objectives may well prove incompatible adds to the strain on the international system.

But the age of the superpowers is now drawing to an end. Military bipolarity has not only failed to prevent, it has actually encouraged political multipolarity. Weaker allies have good reason to believe that their defense is in the overwhelming interest of their senior partner. Hence, they see no need to purchase its support by acquiescence in its policies. The new nations feel protected by the rivalry of the superpowers, and their nationalism leads to ever bolder assertions of self-will. Traditional uses of power have become less feasible, and new forms of pressure have emerged as a result of transitional loyalties and weak domestic structures.

This political multipolarity does not necessarily guarantee stability. Rigidity is diminished, but so is manageability. Nationalism may succeed in curbing the preeminence of the superpowers; it remains to be seen whether it can supply an integrating concept more successfully in this century than in the last. Few countries have the interest and only the superpowers have the resources to become informed about global issues. As a result, diplomacy is often geared to domestic politics and more concerned with striking a pose than contributing to international order. Equilibrium is difficult to achieve among states widely divergent in values, goals, expectations, and previous experience.

The greatest need of the contemporary international system is an agreed concept of order. In its absence, the awesome available power is unrestrained by any consensus as to legitimacy; ideology and nationalism, in their different ways, deepen international schisms. Many of the elements of stability which characterized the international system in the nineteenth century cannot be re-created in the modern age. The stable technology, the multiplicity of major powers, the limited domestic claims, and the frontiers which permitted adjustments are gone forever. A new concept of international order is essential; without it stability will prove elusive.

This problem is particularly serious for the United States. Whatever our intentions or policies, the fact that the United States disposes of the greatest single aggregate of material power in the world is inescapable. A new international order is inconceivable without a significant American contribution. But the nature of this contribution has altered. For the two decades after 1945, our international activities were based on the assumption that technology plus managerial skills gave us the ability to reshape the international system and to bring about domestic transformations in "emerging countries." This direct "operational" concept of international order has proved too simple. Political multipolarity makes it impossible to impose an American design. Our deepest challenge will be to evoke the creativity of a pluralistic world, to base order on political multipolarity even though overwhelming military strength will remain with the two superpowers.

II. The Limits of Bipolarity:
The Nature of Power in the Modern Period

Throughout history, military power was considered the final recourse. Statesmen treated the acquisition of additional power as an obvious and paramount objective. As recently as twenty-five years ago, it would have been inconceivable that a country could possess too much strength for effective political use; every increment of power was--at least theoretically--politically effective. The minimum aim was to assure the impermeability of the territory. Until the Second World War, a state's strength could be measured by its ability to protect its population from attack.

The nuclear age has destroyed this traditional measure. Increasing strength no longer necessarily confers the ability to protect the population. No foreseeable force level--not even full-scale ballistic missile defenses--can prevent levels of damage eclipsing those of the two world wars. In these conditions, the major problem is to discipline power so that it bears a rational relationship to the objectives likely to be in dispute. The paradox of contemporary military strength is that a gargantuan increase in power has eroded its relationship to policy. The major nuclear powers are capable of devastating each other. But they have great difficulty translating this capability into policy except to prevent direct challenges to their own survival--and this condition is interpreted with increasing strictness. The capacity to destroy is difficult to translate into a plausible threat even against countries with no capacity for retaliation. The margin of superiority of the superpowers over the other states is widening; yet other nations have an unprecedented scope for autonomous action. In relations with many domestically weak countries, a radio transmitter can be a more effective form of pressure than a squadron of B-52s. In other words, power no longer translates automatically into influence. This does not mean that impotence increases influence, only that power does not automatically confer it.

This state of affairs has profound consequences for traditional notions of balance of power. In the past, stability has always presupposed the existence of an equilibrium of power which prevented one state from imposing its will on the others.

The traditional criteria for the balance of power were territorial. A state could gain overwhelming superiority only by conquest; hence, as long as territorial expansion was foreclosed, or severely limited, the equilibrium was likely to be preserved. In the contemporary period, this is no longer true. Some conquests add little to effective military strength; major increases in power are possible entirely through developments within the territory of a sovereign state. China gained more in real military power through the acquisition of nuclear weapons than if it had conquered all of Southeast Asia. If the Soviet Union had occupied Western Europe but had remained without nuclear weapons, it would be less powerful than it is now with its existing nuclear arsenal within its present borders. In other words, the really fundamental changes in the balance of power have all occurred within the territorial limits of sovereign states. Clearly, there is an urgent need to analyze just what is understood by power--as well as by balance of power--in the nuclear age.

This would be difficult enough were technology stable. It becomes enormously complicated when a scientific revolution produces an upheaval in weapons technology at five-year intervals. Slogans like "superiority," "parity," "assured destruction," compete unencumbered by clear definitions of their operational military significance, much less a consensus on their political implications. The gap between experts and decision-makers is widening.

In short, as power has grown more awesome, it has also turned abstract, intangible, elusive. Deterrence has become the dominant military policy. But deterrence depends above all on psychological criteria. It seeks to keep an opponent from a given course by posing unacceptable risks. For purposes of deterrence, the opponent's calculations are decisive. A bluff taken seriously is more useful than a serious threat interpreted as a bluff. For political purposes, the meaningful measurement of military strength is the assessment of it by the other side. Psychological criteria vie in importance with strategic doctrine.

The abstract nature of modern power affects domestic disputes profoundly. Deterrence is tested negatively by things which do not happen. But it is never possible to demonstrate why something has not occurred. Is it because we are pursuing the best possible policy or only a marginally effective one? Bitter debate even among those who believe in the necessity of defense policy is inevitable and bound to be inconclusive. Moreover, the longer peace is maintained--or the more successful deterrence is--the more it furnishes arguments for those who are opposed to the very premises of defense policy. Perhaps there was no need for preparedness in the first place because the opponent never meant to attack. In the modern state, national security is likely to be a highly divisive domestic issue.

The enormity of modern power has destroyed its cumulative impact to a considerable extent. Throughout history the use of force set a precedent; it demonstrated a capacity to use power for national ends. In the twentieth century any use of force sets up inhibitions against resorting to it again. Whatever the outcome of the war in Vietnam, it is clear that it has greatly diminished American willingness to become involved in this form of warfare elsewhere. Its utility as a precedent has therefore been importantly undermined.

The difficulty of forming a conception of power is paralleled by the problem of how to use it diplomatically. In the past, measures to increase readiness signaled the mounting seriousness with which an issue was viewed./2/ But such measures have become less obvious and more dangerous when weapons are always at a high state of readiness--solid-fuel missiles require less than ten minutes to be fired--and are hidden either under the ground or under the oceans. With respect to nuclear weapons, signaling increased readiness has to take place in a narrow range between the danger of failure and the risk of a preemptive strike.

/2/Sometimes these measures got out of control; the mobilization schedules were one of the principal reasons for the outbreak of the First World War. [Footnote in the source text.]

Even when only conventional weapons are involved, the question of what constitutes a politically meaningful threat is increasingly complicated. After the capture of the Pueblo, the United States called up thirteen thousand reservists and moved an aircraft carrier into the waters off the shores of Korea. Did the fact that we had to call up reserves when challenged by a fifth-rate military power convey that we meant to act or that we were overextended? Did the move of the aircraft carrier indicate a decision to retaliate or was it intended primarily to strike a pose?

The problem is illustrated dramatically by the war in Vietnam. A massive breakdown of communication occurred not only within the policy-making machinery in the United States but also between the United States and Hanoi. Over the past five years, the U.S. government has found it difficult, if not impossible, to define what it understood by victory. President Johnson extended an open-ended offer for unconditional negotiations. Yet our troops were deployed as if this offer had not been made. The deployment was based on purely military considerations; it did not take into account the possibility that our troops might have to support a negotiation--the timing of which we had, in effect, left to the opponent. Strategy divorced from foreign policy proved sterile.

These perplexities have spurred new interest in arms-control negotiations, especially those dealing with strategic missiles. These negotiations can be important for the peace and security of the world. But to be effective, they require an intellectual resolution of the issues which have bedeviled the formulation of military policy. Unless we are able to give an operational meaning to terms such as "superiority" or "stability," negotiations will lack criteria by which to judge progress.

Thus, whatever the course--a continuation of the arms race or arms control--a new look at American national security policy is essential. Over ten years have passed since the last comprehensive, bipartisan, high-level reevaluation of all aspects of national security: the Gaither Committee. A new administration should move quickly to bring about such a review. It should deal with some of the following problems: (a) a definition of the national interest and national security over the next decade; (b) the nature of military power in that period; (c) the relationship of military power to political influence; (d) implications and feasibility (both military and political) of various postures--superiority, parity, and so on; (e) the implications (both political and military) of new developments such as MIRV (multiple individually targeted reentry vehicles) and ballistic missile defenses; (f) the prospects for arms control, including specific measures to moderate the arms race.

III. Political Multipolarity:
The Changed Nature of Alliances

No area of policy illustrates more dramatically the tensions between political multipolarity and military bipolarity than the field of alliance policy. For a decade and a half after the Second World War, the United States identified security with alliances. A global network of relationships grew up based on the proposition that deterrence of aggression required the largest possible grouping of powers.

This system of alliances was always in difficulty outside the Atlantic area because it tried to apply principles drawn from the multipolar world of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when several major powers of roughly equal strength existed. Then, indeed, it was impossible for one country to achieve dominance if several others combined to prevent it. But this was not the case in the era of the superpowers of the forties and fifties. Outside Europe, our allies added to our strength only marginally; they were in no position to reinforce each other's capabilities.

Alliances, to be effective, must meet four conditions: (1) a common objective--usually defense against a common danger; (2) a degree of joint policy at least sufficient to define the casus belli; (3) some technical means of cooperation in case common action is decided upon; (4) a penalty for noncooperation--that is, the possibility of being refused assistance must exist--otherwise protection will be taken for granted and the mutuality of obligation will break down.

In the system of alliances developed by the United States after the Second World War, these conditions have never been met outside the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) and the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), to which we belong in all but name, there has been no consensus as to the danger. Pakistan's motive for obtaining U.S. arms was not security against a Communist attack but protection against India. The Arab members of CENTO armed not against the U.S.S.R. but against Israel. Lacking a conception of common interests, the members of these alliances have never been able to develop common policies with respect to issues of war and peace. Had they been able to do so, such policies might well have been stillborn anyway, because the technical means of cooperation have been lacking. Most allies have neither the resources nor the will to render mutual support. A state which finds it difficult to maintain order or coherence of policy at home does not increase its strength by combining with states suffering similar disabilities.

In these circumstances, SEATO and CENTO have grown moribund as instruments of collective action. Because the United States has often seemed more eager to engage in the defense of its SEATO and CENTO allies than they themselves, they have become convinced that non-cooperation will have no cost. In fact, they have been able to give the impression that it would be worse for us than for them if they fell to Communism. SEATO and CENTO have become, in effect, unilateral American guarantees. At best, they provide a legal basis for bilateral U.S. aid.

The case is different with NATO. Here we are united with countries of similar traditions and domestic structures. At the start, there was a common conception of the threat. The technical means for cooperation existed. Mechanisms for developing common policies came into being--especially in the military field. Thus in its first decade and a half, NATO was a dynamic and creative institution.

Today, however, NATO is in disarray as well. Actions by the United States--above all, frequent unilateral changes of policy--are partially responsible. But the most important cause is the transformation of the international environment, specifically the decline in the preeminence of the superpowers and the emergence of political multipolarity. Where the alliances outside of Europe have never been vital because they failed to take into account the military bipolarity of the fifties, NATO is in difficulties because it has yet to adjust to the political multipolarity of the late sixties.

When NATO was founded in 1949, Europeans had a dual fear: the danger of an imminent Soviet attack and the prospect of eventual U.S. withdrawal. In the late 1960s, however, the fear of Soviet invasion has declined. Even the attack on Czechoslovakia is likely to restore anxiety about Soviet military aggression only temporarily. At the same time, two decades of American military presence in Europe coupled with American predominance in NATO planning have sharply reduced the fear that America might wash its hands of European concerns.

When NATO was formed, moreover, the principal threat to world peace seemed to lie in a Soviet attack on Europe. In recent years, the view has grown that equally grave risks are likely to arise in trouble spots outside Europe. To most Europeans, these do not appear as immediate threats to their independence or security. The irony here is striking. In the fifties, Europeans were asking for American assistance in Asia and the Middle East with the argument that they were defending the greater interests of freedom. The United States replied that these very interests required American aloofness. Today, the roles are precisely reversed. It is Europe that evades our entreaties to play a global role; that is to say, Europeans do not consider their interests at stake in America's extra-European involvement.

These are symptoms of deeper, structural problems, however. One problem, paradoxically, is the growth of European economic strength and political self-confidence. At the end of the Second World War, Europe was dependent on the United States for economic assistance, political stability, and military protection. As long as Europe needed the shelter of a superpower, American predominance was inevitable. In relations with the United States, European statesmen acted as lobbyists rather than as diplomats. Their influence depended less on the weight of their countries than on the impact of their personalities. A form of consultation evolved whereby Europeans sought to influence American actions by giving us a reputation to uphold or--to put it more crudely--by oscillating between flattery and almost plaintive appeals for reassurance. The United States, secure in its predominance, in turn concentrated on soothing occasional European outbreaks of insecurity rather than on analyzing their causes.

Tutelage is a comfortable relationship for the senior partner, but it is demoralizing in the long run. It breeds illusions of omniscience on one side and attitudes of impotent irresponsibility on the other. In any event, the United States could not expect to perpetuate the accident of Europe's postwar exhaustion into a permanent pattern of international relations. Europe's economic recovery inevitably led to a return to more traditional political pressures.

These changes in Europe were bound to lead to a difficult transitional period. They could have resulted in a new partnership between the United States and an economically resurgent and politically united Europe, as had been envisaged by many of the early advocates of Atlantic unity. However, the European situation has not resolved itself in that way. Thoughtful Europeans know that Europe must unite in some form if it is to play a major role in the long run. They are aware, too, that Europe does not make even approximately the defense effort of which it is capable. But European unity is stymied, and domestic politics has almost everywhere dominated security policy. The result is a massive frustration which expresses itself in special testiness toward the United States.

These strains have been complicated by the growth of Soviet nuclear power. The changed nature of power in the modern period has affected NATO profoundly. As the risks of nuclear war have become enormous, the credibility of traditional pledges of support has inevitably been reduced. In the past, a country would carry out a commitment because, it could plausibly be argued, the consequences of not doing so were worse than those of coming to the ally's assistance. This is no longer self-evident. In each of the last three annual statements by the Secretary of Defense on the U.S. defense posture, the estimate of dead in a general nuclear war ranged from 40 to 120 million. This figure will, if anything, increase. It will become more and more difficult to demonstrate that anything is worse than the elimination of over half of a society in a matter of days. The more NATO relies on strategic nuclear war as a counter to all forms of attack, the less credible its pledges will be.

The consciousness of nuclear threat by the two superpowers has undermined allied relationships in yet another way. For understandable reasons, the superpowers have sought to make the nuclear environment more predictable--witness the nuclear test ban treaty and the nonproliferation treaty. But the blind spot in our policy has been the failure to understand that, in the absence of full consultation, our allies see in these talks the possible forerunner of a more comprehensive arrangement affecting their vital interests negotiated without them. Strategic arms talks thus emphasize the need of political understanding in acute form. The pattern of negotiating an agreement first and then giving our allies an opportunity--even a full one--to comment is intolerable in the long run. It puts the onus of failure on them, and it prevents them from doing more than quibble about a framework with which they may disagree. Strains have been reinforced by the uncertain American response to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia--especially the reluctance to give up the prospect of a summit meeting. Atlantic relations, for all their seemingly normalcy, thus face a profound crisis.

This state of affairs has been especially difficult for those Americans who deserve most credit for forging existing Atlantic relations. Two decades of hegemony have produced the illusion that present Atlantic arrangements are "natural," that wise policy consists of making the existing framework more tolerable. "Leadership" and "partnership" are invoked, but the content given to these words is usually that which will support the existing pattern. European unity is advocated to enable Europeans to share burdens on a world-wide scale.

Such a view fails to take into account the realities of political multipolarity. The aim of returning to the "great days of the Marshall Plan" is impossible. Nothing would sunder Atlantic relationships so surely as the attempt to reassert the notions of leadership appropriate to the early days of NATO. In the bipolar world of the forties and fifties, order could be equated with military security; integrated command arrangements sufficed as the principal bond of unity. In the sixties, security, while still important, has not been enough. Every crisis from Berlin to Czechoslovakia has seen the call for "strengthening NATO" confined to military dispositions. Within months a malaise has become obvious again because the overriding need for a common political conception has not been recognized. The challenge of the seventies will be to forge unity with political measures.

It is not "natural" that the major decisions about the defense of an area so potentially powerful as Western Europe should be made three thousand miles away. It is not "normal" that Atlantic policies should be geared to American conceptions. In the forties and fifties, practicing unity--through formal resolutions and periodic reassurances--was profoundly important as a symbol of the end of our isolationism. In the decade ahead, we cannot aim at unity as an end in itself; it must emerge from common conceptions and new structures.

"Burden-sharing" will not supply that impetus. Countries do not assume burdens because it is fair, only because it is necessary. While there are strong arguments for Atlantic partnership and European unity, enabling Europe to play a global role is not one of them. A nation assumes responsibilities not only because it has resources but because it has a certain view of its own destiny. Through the greater part of its history--until the Second World War--the United States possessed the resources but not the philosophy for a global role. Today, the poorest Western European country--Portugal--has the widest commitments outside Europe because its historic image of itself has become bound up with its overseas possessions. This condition is unlikely to be met by any other European country--with the possible exception of Great Britain--no matter what its increase in power. Partially as the result of decolonization, Europeans are unlikely to conduct a significant global policy whatever their resources or their degree of unity. Cooperation between the United States and Europe must concentrate on issues within the Atlantic area rather than global partnership.

Even within the Atlantic area, a more equitable distribution of responsibilities has two prerequisites: there must be some consensus in the analysis of the international situation, at least as it affects Europe; there must be a conviction that the United States cannot or will not carry all the burdens alone. Neither condition is met today. The traditional notion of American leadership tends to stifle European incentives for autonomy. Improved consultation--the remedy usually proposed--can only alleviate, not remove, the difficulty.

The problem of consultation is complex, of course. No doubt unilateral American action has compounded the uneasiness produced by American predominance and European weakness. The shift in emphasis of American policy, from the NATO multilateral force to the nonproliferation treaty, and frequent unilateral changes in strategic doctrine, have all tended to produce disquiet and to undermine the domestic position of ministers who had staked their futures on supporting the American viewpoint.

It is far from self-evident, however, that more extensive consultation within the existing framework can be more than a palliative. One problem concerns technical competence. In any large bureaucracy--and an international consultative process has many similarities to domestic administrative procedures--the weight given to advice bears some relation to the competence it reflects. If one partner possesses all the technical competence, the process of consultation is likely to remain barren. The minimum requirement for effective consultation is that each ally have enough knowledge to give meaningful advice.

But there are even more important limits to the process of consultation. The losing party in a domestic dispute has three choices: (a) it can accept the setback with the expectation of winning another battle later on--this is the usual bureaucratic attitude and it is based on the assurance of another hearing; (b) if advice is consistently ignored, it can resign and go into opposition; (c) as the opposition party, it can have the purpose either of inducing the existing government to change its course or of replacing it. If all these avenues are closed, violence or mounting frustration are the consequences.

Only the first option is open to sovereign states bound together by an alliance, since they obviously cannot resign or go into opposition without wrecking the alliance. They cannot affect the process by which their partners' decision-makers are chosen despite the fact that this may be crucial for their fate. Indeed, as long as the need to maintain the alliance overrides all other concerns, disagreement is likely to be stifled. Advice without responsibility and disagreement without an outlet can turn consultation into a frustrating exercise which compounds rather than alleviates discord.

Consultation is especially difficult when it lacks an integrating over-all framework. The consultation about the nonproliferation treaty concerned specific provisions but not the underlying general philosophy which was of the deepest concern to many of our allies, especially Italy and the Federal Republic of Germany. During periods of détente, each ally makes its own approach to Eastern Europe or the U.S.S.R. without attempting to further a coherent Western enterprise. During periods of crisis, there is pressure for American reassurance but not for a clearly defined common philosophy. In these circumstances, consultation runs the risk of being irrelevant. The issues it "solves" are peripheral; the central issues are inadequately articulated. It deals haphazardly in answers to undefined questions.

Such a relationship is not healthy in the long run. Even with the best will, the present structure encourages American unilateralism and European irresponsibility. This is a serious problem for the United States. If the United States remains the trustee of every non-Communist area, it will exhaust its psychological resources. No country can act wisely simultaneously in every part of the globe at every moment of time. A more pluralistic world--especially in relationships with friends--is profoundly in our long-term interest. Political multipolarity, while difficult to get used to, is the precondition for a new period of creativity. Painful as it may be to admit, we could benefit from a counterweight that would discipline our occasional impetuosity and, by supplying historical perspective, modify our penchant for abstract and "final" solutions.

All of this suggests that there is no alternative to European unity either for the United States or for Europe. In its absence, the malaise can only be alleviated, not ended. Ultimately, this is a problem primarily for the Europeans. In the recent past, the United States has often defeated its purposes by committing itself to one particular form of European unity--that of federalism. It has also complicated British membership in the Common Market by making it a direct objective of American policy.

In the next decade the architectonic approach to Atlantic policy will no longer be possible. The American contribution must be more philosophical; it will have to consist more of understanding and quiet, behind-the-scenes encouragement than of the propagation of formal institutional structures. Involved here is the American conception of how nations cooperate. A tradition of legalism and habits of predominance have produced a tendency to multiply formal arrangements.

But growing European autonomy forces us to learn that nations cooperate less because they have a legal obligation to do so than because they have common purposes. Command arrangements cannot substitute for common interests. Coordinated strategy will be empty unless it reflects shared political concepts. The chance of disagreements on peripheral issues may be the price for unity on issues that really matter. The memory of European impotence and American tutelage should not delude us into believing that we understand Europe's problems better than it does itself. Third-force dangers are not avoided by legal formulas, and, more important, they have been overdrawn. It is hard to visualize a "deal" between the Soviet Union and Europe which would jeopardize our interests without jeopardizing European interests first. In any event, a sense of responsibility in Europe will be a much better counter to Soviet efforts to undermine unity than American tutelage.

In short, our relations with Europeans are better founded on developing a community of interests than on the elaboration of formal legal obligations. No precise blueprint for such an arrangement is possible because different fields of activity have different needs. In the military sphere, for example, modern technology will impose a greater degree of integration than is necessary in other areas. Whatever their formal autonomy, it is almost inconceivable that our allies would prefer to go to war without the support of the United States, given the relatively small nuclear forces in prospect for them. Close coordination between Europe and the United States in the military sphere is dictated by self-interest, and Europe has more to gain from it than the United States.

For this very reason, it is in our interest that Europeans should assume much greater responsibility for developing doctrine and force levels in NATO, perhaps by vitalizing such institutions as the West European Union (WEU), perhaps by alternative arrangements. The Supreme Allied Commander should in time be a European.

Military arrangements are not enough, however. Under current conditions, no statesman will risk a cataclysm simply to fulfill a legal obligation. He will do so only if a degree of political cooperation has been established which links the fate of each partner with the survival of all the others. This requires an entirely new order of political creativity.

Coordination is especially necessary in East-West relations. The conventional view is that NATO can be as useful an instrument for détente as for defense. This is doubtful--at least in NATO's present form. A military alliance, one of the chief cohesive links of which is its integrated command arrangement, is not the best instrument for flexible diplomacy. Turning NATO into an instrument of détente might reduce its security contribution without achieving a relaxation of tensions. A diplomatic confrontation of NATO and the Warsaw Pact would have all the rigidities of the bipolar military world. It would raise fears in Western Europe of an American-Soviet condominium, and it would tend to legitimize the Soviet hegemonical position in Eastern Europe. Above all, it would fail to take advantage of the flexibility afforded by greater Western European unity and autonomy. As Europe gains structure, its attraction for Eastern Europe is bound to increase. The major initiatives to improve relations between Western and Eastern Europe should originate in Europe with the United States in a reserve position.

Such an approach can work only if there is a real consensus as to objectives. Philosophical agreement can make possible flexibility of method. This will require a form of consultation much more substantial than that which now exists and a far more effective and coherent European contribution.

To be sure, events in Czechoslovakia demonstrate the limits of Eastern European autonomy that the Soviet Union is now prepared to tolerate. But the Soviet Union may not be willing indefinitely to use the Red Army primarily against allies as it has done three times in a decade and a half. In any event, no Western policy can guarantee a more favorable evolution in Central Europe; all it can do is to take advantage of an opportunity if it arises.

Policy outside Europe is likely to be divergent. Given the changed European perspective, an effort to bring about global burden-sharing might only produce stagnation. The allies would be able to agree primarily on doing nothing. Any crisis occurring anywhere would turn automatically and organically world-wide. American acceptance of European autonomy implies also European acceptance of a degree of American autonomy with respect to areas in which, for understandable reasons, European concern has lessened.

There may be opportunities for cooperation in hitherto purely national efforts--for example, our space program. European participation in it could help to remedy the "technological gap."

Finally, under present circumstances, an especially meaningful community of interests can be developed in the social sphere. All modern states face problems of bureaucratization, pollution, environmental control, urban growth. These problems know no national considerations. If the nations of the Atlantic work together on these issues--through either private or governmental channels or both--a new generation habituated to cooperative efforts could develop similar to that spawned in different circumstances by the Marshall Plan.

It is high time that the nations bordering the Atlantic deal--formally, systematically, and at the highest level--with questions such as these: (a) What are the relative roles of Europe and the United States in East-West contacts? (b) Is a division of functions conceivable in which Western Europe plays the principal role in relation to Eastern Europe while the United States concentrates on relationships with the U.S.S.R.? (c) What forms of political consultation does this require? (d) In what areas of the world is common action possible? Where are divergent courses indicated? How are differences to be handled?

Thus, we face the root questions of a multipolar world. How much unity should we want? How much diversity can we stand? These questions never have a final answer within a pluralistic society. Adjusting the balance between integration and autonomy will be the key challenge of emerging Atlantic relations.

IV. Bipolarity and Multipolarity:
The Conceptual Problem

In the years ahead, the most profound challenge to American policy will be philosophical: to develop some concept of order in a world which is bipolar militarily but multipolar politically. But a philosophical deepening will not come easily to those brought up in the American tradition of foreign policy.

Our political society was one of the few which was consciously created at a point in time. At least until the emergence of the race problem, we were blessed by the absence of conflicts between classes and over ultimate ends. These factors produced the characteristic aspects of American foreign policy: a certain manipulativeness and pragmatism, a conviction that the normal pattern of international relations was harmonious, a reluctance to think in structural terms, a belief in final answers--all qualities which reflect a sense of self-sufficiency not far removed from a sense of omnipotence. Yet the contemporary dilemma is that there are no total solutions; we live in a world gripped by revolutions in technology, values, and institutions. We are immersed in an unending process, not in a quest for a final destination. The deepest problems of equilibrium are not physical but psychological or moral. The shape of the future will depend ultimately on convictions which far transcend the physical balance of power.

The New Nations and Political Legitimacy. This challenge is especially crucial with respect to the new nations. Future historians are likely to class the confusion and torment in the emerging countries with the great movements of religious awakening. Continents which had been dormant for centuries suddenly develop political consciousness. Regions which for scores of years had considered foreign rule as natural struggle for independence. Yet it is a curious nationalism which defines itself not as in Europe by common language or culture but often primarily by the common experience of foreign rule. Boundaries--especially in Africa--have tended to follow the administrative convenience of the colonial powers rather than linguistic or tribal lines. The new nations have faced problems both of identity and of political authority. They often lack social cohesiveness entirely, or they are split into competing groups, each with a highly developed sense of identity.

It is no accident that between the Berlin crisis and the invasion of Czechoslovakia, the principal threats to peace came from the emerging areas. Domestic weakness encourages foreign intervention. The temptation to deflect domestic dissatisfactions into foreign adventures is ever present. Leaders feel little sense of responsibility to an over-all international equilibrium; they are much more conscious of their local grievances. The rivalry of the superpowers offers many opportunities for blackmail.

Yet their relations with other countries are not the most significant aspect of the turmoil of the new countries. It is in the new countries that questions of the purpose of political life and the meaning of political legitimacy--key issues also in the modern state--pose themselves in their most acute form. The new nations weigh little in the physical balance of power. But the forces unleashed in the emergence of so many new states may well affect the moral balance of the world--the convictions which form the structure for the world of tomorrow. This adds a new dimension to the problem of multipolarity.

Almost all of the new countries suffer from a revolutionary malaise: revolutions succeed through the coming together of all resentments. But the elimination of existing structures compounds the difficulty of establishing political consensus. A successful revolution leaves as its legacy a profound dislocation. In the new countries, contrary to all revolutionary expectations, the task of construction emerges as less glamorous and more complex than the struggle for freedom; the exaltation of the quest for independence cannot be perpetuated. Sooner or later, positive goals must replace resentment of the former colonial power as a motive force. In the absence of autonomous social forces, this unifying role tends to be performed by the state.

But the assumption of this role by the state does not produce stability. When social cohesiveness is slight, the struggle for control of authority is correspondingly more bitter. When government is the principal, sometimes the sole, expression of national identity, opposition comes to be considered treason. The profound social or religious schisms of many of the new nations turn the control of political authority quite literally into a matter of life and death. Where political obligation follows racial, religious, or tribal lines, self-restraint breaks down. Domestic conflicts assume the character of civil war. Such traditional authority as exists is personal or feudal. The problem is to make it "legitimate"--to develop a notion of political obligation which depends on legal norms rather than on coercive power or personal loyalty.

This process took centuries in Europe. It must be accomplished in decades in the new nations, where preconditions of success are less favorable than at comparable periods in Europe. The new countries are subject to outside pressures; there is a premium on foreign adventures to bring about domestic cohesiveness. Their lack of domestic structure compounds the already great international instabilities.

The American role in the new nations' efforts to build legitimate authority is in need of serious reexamination. The dominant American view about political structure has been that it will follow more or less automatically upon economic progress and that it will take the form of constitutional democracy.

Both assumptions are subject to serious questions. In every advanced country, political stability preceded rather than emerged from the process of industrialization. Where the rudiments of popular institutions did not exist at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, they did not receive their impetus from it. To be sure, representative institutions were broadened and elaborated as the countries prospered, but their significant features antedated economic development and are not attributable to it. In fact, the system of government which brought about industrialization--whether popular or authoritarian--has tended to be confirmed rather than radically changed by this achievement.

Nor is democracy a natural evolution of nationalism. In the last century, democracy was accepted by a ruling class whose estimate of itself was founded outside the political process. It was buttressed by a middle class, holding a political philosophy in which the state was considered to be a referee of the ultimately important social forces rather than the principal focus of national consciousness. Professional revolutionaries were rarely involved; their bias is seldom democratic.

The pluralism of the West had many causes which cannot be duplicated elsewhere. These included a church organization outside the control of the state and therefore symbolizing the limitation of government power; the Greco-Roman philosophical tradition of justice based on human dignity, reinforced later by the Christian ethic; an emerging bourgeoisie; a stalemate in religious wars imposing tolerance as a practical necessity and a multiplicity of states. Industrialization was by no means the most significant of these factors. Had any of the others been missing, the Western political evolution could have been quite different.

This is why Communism has never succeeded in the industrialized Western countries for which its theory was devised; its greatest successes have been in developing societies. This is no accident. Industrialization--in its early phases--multiplies dislocations. It smashes the traditional framework. It requires a system of values which makes the sacrifices involved in capital formation tolerable and which furnishes some integrating principles to contain psychological frustrations.

Communism is able to supply legitimacy for the sacrifices inseparably connected with capital formation in an age when the maxims of laissez faire are no longer acceptable. And Leninism has the attraction of providing a rationale for holding on to power. Many of the leaders of the new countries are revolutionaries who sustained themselves through the struggle for independence by visions of the transformations to be brought about after victory. They are not predisposed even to admit the possibility of giving up power in their hour of triumph. Since they usually began their struggle for independence while in a small minority and sustained it against heavy odds, they are not likely to be repelled by the notion that it is possible to "force men to be free."

The ironic feature of the current situation is that Marxism, professing a materialistic philosophy, is accepted only where it does not exist: in some new countries and among protest movements of the advanced democratic countries. Its appeal is its idealistic component and not its economic theory. It offers a doctrine of substantive change and an explanation of final purposes. Its philosophy has totally failed to inspire the younger generation in Communist countries, where its bureaucratic reality is obvious.

On the other hand, the United States, professing an idealistic philosophy, often fails to gain acceptance for democratic values because of its heavy reliance on economic factors. It has answers to technical dislocations but has not been able to contribute much to building a political and moral consensus. It offers a procedure for change but little content for it.

The problem of political legitimacy is the key to political stability in regions containing two-thirds of the world's population. A stable domestic system in the new countries will not automatically produce international order, but international order is impossible without it. An American agenda must include some conception of what we understand by political legitimacy. In an age of instantaneous communication, we cannot pretend that what happens to over two-thirds of humanity is of no concern or interest to the United States. This does not mean that our goal should be to transfer American institutions to the new nations--even less that we should impose them. Nor should we define the problem as how to prevent the spread of Communism. Our goal should be to build a moral consensus which can make a pluralistic world creative rather than destructive.

Irrelevance to one of the great revolutions of our time will mean that we will ultimately be engulfed by it--if not physically, then psychologically. Already some of the protest movements have made heroes of leaders in repressive new countries. The absurdity of founding a claim for freedom on protagonists of the totalitarian state--such as Guevara or Ho or Mao--underlines the impact of the travail of the new countries on older societies which share none of their technical but some of their spiritual problems, especially the problem of the nature of authority in the modern world. To a young generation in rebellion against bureaucracy and bored with material comfort, these societies offer at least the challenge of unlimited opportunity (and occasionally unlimited manipulativness) in the quest for justice.

A world which is bipolar militarily and multipolar politically thus confronts an additional problem. Side by side with the physical balance of power, there exists a psychological balance based on intangibles of value and belief. The presuppositions of the physical equilibrium have changed drastically; those of the psychological balance remain to be discovered.

The Problem of Soviet Intentions. Nothing has been more difficult for Americans to assimilate in the nuclear age than the fact that even enmity is complex. In the Soviet Union, we confront an opponent whose public pronouncements are insistently hostile. Yet the nuclear age imposes a degree of cooperation and an absolute limit to conflicts.

The military relationship with the Soviet Union is difficult enough; the political one confronts us with a profound conceptual problem. A society which regards peace as the normal condition tends to ascribe tension not to structural causes but to wicked or shortsighted individuals. Peace is thought to result either from the automatic operation of economic forces or from the emergence of a more benign leadership abroad.

The debate about Soviet trends between "hard-liners" and "soft-liners" illustrates this problem. Both sides tend to agree that the purpose of American policy is to encourage a more benign evolution of Soviet society--the original purpose of containment was, after all, to bring about the domestic transformation of the U.S.S.R. They are at one that a settlement presupposes a change in the Soviet system. Both groups imply that the nature of a possible settlement is perfectly obvious. But the apostles of containment have never specified the American negotiating program to be undertaken from the position of strength their policy was designed to achieve. The advocates of relaxation of tensions have been no more precise; they have been more concerned with atmosphere than with the substance of talks.

In fact, the difference between the "hawks" and "doves" has usually concerned timing: the hawks have maintained that a Soviet change of heart, while inevitable, was still in the future, whereas the doves have argued that it has already taken place. Many of the hawks tend to consider all negotiations as fruitless. Many of the doves argue--or did before Czechoslovakia--that the biggest step toward peace has already been accomplished by a Soviet change of heart about the cold war; negotiations need only remove some essentially technical obstacles.

The difference affects--and sometimes poisons--the entire American debate about foreign policy. Left-wing critics of American foreign policy seem incapable of attacking U.S. actions without elevating our opponent (whether it happens to be Mao or Castro or Ho) to a pedestal. If they discern some stupidity or self-interest on our side, they assume that the other side must be virtuous. They then criticize the United States for opposing the other side. The right follows the same logic in reverse: they presuppose our good intentions and conclude that the other side must be perverse in opposing us. Both the left and the right judge largely in terms of intentions. In the process, whatever the issue--whether Berlin or Vietnam--more attention is paid to whether to get to the conference room than what to do once we arrive there. The dispute over Communist intentions has diverted attention from elaborating our own purposes. In some quarters, the test of dedication to peace has been whether one interprets Soviet intentions in the most favorable manner.

It should be obvious, however, that the Soviet domestic situation is complex and its relationship to foreign policy far from obvious. It is true that the risks of general nuclear war should be as unacceptable to Moscow as to Washington; but this truism does not automatically produce détente. It also seems to lessen the risks involved in local intervention. No doubt the current generation of Communist leaders lacks the ideological dynamism of their predecessors who made the revolution; at the same time, they have at their disposal a military machine of unprecedented strength, and they must deal with a bureaucracy of formidable vested interests. Unquestionably, Soviet consumers press their leaders to satisfy their demands; but it is equally true that an expanding modern economy is able to supply both guns and butter. Some Soviet leaders may have become more pragmatic; but in an elaborated Communist state, the results of pragmatism are complex. Once power is seized and industrialization is largely accomplished, the Communist Party faces a difficult situation. It is not needed to conduct the government, and it has no real function in running the economy (though it tries to do both). In order to justify its continued existence and command, it may develop a vested interest in vigilance against outside danger and thus in perpetuating a fairly high level of tension.

It is beyond the scope of this essay to go into detail on the issue of internal Communist evolution. But it may be appropriate to inquire why, in the past, every period of détente has proved stillborn. There have been at least five periods of peaceful coexistence since the Bolshevik seizure of power, one in each decade of the Soviet state. Each was hailed in the West as ushering in a new era of reconciliation and as signifying the long-awaited final change in Soviet purposes. Each ended abruptly with a new period of intransigence, which was generally ascribed to a victory of Soviet hard-liners rather than to the dynamics of the system. There were undoubtedly many reasons for this. But the tendency of many in the West to be content with changes of Soviet tone and to confuse atmosphere with substance surely did not help matters. It has enabled the Communist leaders to postpone the choice which they must make sooner or later: whether to use détente as a device to lull the West or whether to move toward a resolution of the outstanding differences. As long as this choice is postponed, the possibility exists that latent crises may run away with the principal protagonists, as happened in the Middle East and perhaps even in Czechoslovakia.

The eagerness of many in the West to emphasize the liberalizing implications of Soviet economic trends and to make favorable interpretation of Soviet intentions a test of good faith may have the paradoxical consequence of strengthening the Soviet hard-liners. Soviet troops had hardly arrived in Prague when some Western leaders began to insist that the invasion would not affect the quest for détente while others continued to indicate a nostalgia for high-level meetings. Such an attitude hardly serves the cause of peace. The risk is great that if there is no penalty for intransigence there is no incentive for conciliation. The Kremlin may use negotiations--including arms control--as a safety valve to dissipate Western suspicions rather than as a serious endeavor to resolve concrete disputes or to remove the scourge of nuclear war.

If we focus our policy discussions on Soviet purposes, we confuse the debate in two ways: Soviet trends are too ambiguous to offer a reliable guide--it is possible that not even Soviet leaders fully understand the dynamics of their system; it deflects us from articulating the purposes we should pursue, whatever Soviet intentions. Peace will not, in any event, result from one grand settlement but from a long diplomatic process, and this process requires some clarity as to our destination. Confusing foreign policy with psychotherapy deprives us of criteria by which to judge the political foundations of international order.

The obsession with Soviet intentions causes the West to be smug during periods of détente and panicky during crises. A benign Soviet tone is equated with the achievement of peace; Soviet hostility is considered to be the signal for a new period of tension and usually evokes purely military countermeasures. The West is thus never ready for a Soviet change of course; it has been equally unprepared for détente and intransigence.

These lines are being written while outrage at the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia is still strong. There is a tendency to focus on military implications or to speak of strengthening unity in the abstract. But if history is a guide, there will be a new Soviet peace offensive sooner or later. Thus, reflecting about the nature of détente seems most important while its achievement appears most problematical. If we are not to be doomed to repeat the past, it may be well to learn some of its lessons: we should not again confuse a change of tone with a change of heart. We should not pose false inconsistencies between allied unity and détente; indeed, a true relaxation of tensions presupposes Western unity. We should concentrate negotiations on the concrete issues that threaten peace, such as intervention in the third world. Moderating the arms race must also be high on the agenda. None of this is possible without a concrete idea of what we understand by peace and a creative world order.

V. An Inquiry Into the American National Interest

Wherever we turn, then, the central task of American foreign policy is to analyze anew the current international environment and to develop some concepts which will enable us to contribute to the emergence of a stable order.

First, we must recognize the existence of profound structural problems that are to a considerable extent independent of the intentions of the principal protagonists and that cannot be solved merely by good will. The vacuum in Central Europe and the decline of the Western European countries would have disturbed the world equilibrium regardless of the domestic structure of the Soviet Union. A strong China has historically tended to establish suzerainty over its neighbors; in fact, one special problem of dealing with China--Communism apart--is that it has had no experience in conducting foreign policy with equals. China has been either dominant or subjected.

To understand the structural issue, it is necessary to undertake an inquiry, from which we have historically shied away, into the essence of our national interest and into the premises of our foreign policy. It is part of American folklore that, while other nations have interests, we have responsibilities; while other nations are concerned with equilibrium, we are concerned with the legal requirements of peace. We have a tendency to offer our altruism as a guarantee of our reliability: "We have no quarrel with the Communists," Secretary of State Rusk said on one occasion; "all our quarrels are on behalf of other people."

Such an attitude makes it difficult to develop a conception of our role in the world. It inhibits other nations from gearing their policy to ours in a confident way--a "disinterested" policy is likely to be considered "unreliable." A mature conception of our interest in the world would obviously have to take into account the widespread interest in stability and peaceful change. It would deal with two fundamental questions: What is it in our interest to prevent? What should we seek to accomplish?

The answer to the first question is complicated by an often-repeated proposition that we must resist aggression anywhere it occurs since peace is indivisible. A corollary is the argument that we do not oppose the fact of particular changes but the method by which they are brought about. We find it hard to articulate a truly vital interest which we would defend however "legal" the challenge. This leads to an undifferentiated globalism and confusion about our purposes. The abstract concept of aggression causes us to multiply our commitments. But the denial that our interests are involved diminishes our staying power when we try to carry out these commitments.

Part of the reason for our difficulties is our reluctance to think in terms of power and equilibrium. In 1949, for example, a State Department memorandum justified NATO as follows: "[The treaty]/3/ obligates the parties to defend the purposes and principles of the United Nations, the freedom, common heritage and civilization of the parties and their free institutions based upon the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the role of law. It obligates them to act in defense of peace and security. It is directed against no one; it is directed solely against aggression. It seeks not to influence any shifting balance of power but to strengthen a balance of principle."

/3/All brackets in the source text.

But principle, however lofty, must at some point be related to practice; historically, stability has always coincided with an equilibrium that made physical domination difficult. Interest is not necessarily amoral; moral consequences can spring from interested acts. Britain did not contribute any the less to international order for having a clear-cut concept of its interest which required it to prevent the domination of the Continent by a single power (no matter in what way it was threatened) and the control of the seas by anybody (even if the immediate intentions were not hostile). A new American administration confronts the challenge of relating our commitments to our interests and our obligations to our purposes.

The task of defining positive goals is more difficult but even more important. The first two decades after the end of the Second World War posed problems well suited to the American approach to international relations. Wherever we turned, massive dislocations required attention. Our pragmatic, ad hoc tendency was an advantage in a world clamoring for technical remedies. Our legal bent contributed to the development of many instruments of stability.

In the late sixties, the situation is more complex. The United States is no longer in a position to operate programs globally; it has to encourage them. It can no longer impose its preferred solution; it must seek to evoke it. In the forties and fifties, we offered remedies; in the late sixties and in the seventies our role will have to be to contribute to a structure that will foster the initiative of others. We are a superpower physically, but our designs can be meaningful only if they generate willing cooperation. We can continue to contribute to defense and positive programs, but we must seek to encourage and not stifle a sense of local responsibility. Our contribution should not be the sole or principal effort, but it should make the difference between success and failure.

This task requires a different kind of creativity and another form of patience than we have displayed in the past. Enthusiasm, belief in progress, and the invincible conviction that American remedies can work everywhere must give way to an understanding of historical trends, an ordering of our preferences, and above all an understanding of the difference our preferences can in fact make.

The dilemma is that there can be no stability without equilibrium but, equally, equilibrium is not a purpose with which we can respond to the travail of our world. A sense of mission is clearly a legacy of American history; to most Americans, America has always stood for something other than its own grandeur. But a clearer understanding of America's interests and of the requirements of equilibrium can give perspective to our idealism and lead to humane and moderate objectives, especially in relation to political and social change. Thus our conception of world order must have deeper purposes than stability but greater restraints on our behavior than would result if it were approached only in a fit of enthusiasm.

Whether such a leap of the imagination is possible in the modern bureaucratic state remains to be seen. New administrations come to power convinced of the need for goals and for comprehensive concepts. Sooner, rather than later, they find themselves subjected to the pressures of the immediate and the particular. Part of the reason is the pragmatic, issue-oriented bias of our decision-makers. But the fundamental reason may be the persuasiveness of modern bureaucracy. What started out as an aid to decision-making has developed a momentum of its own. Increasingly, the policy-maker is more conscious of the pressures and the morale of his staff than of the purpose this staff is supposed to serve. The policy-maker becomes a referee among quasi-autonomous bureaucratic bodies. Success consists of moving the administrative machinery to the point of decision, leaving relatively little energy for analyzing the decision's merit. The modern bureaucratic state widens the range of technical choices while limiting the capacity to make them.

An even more serious problem is posed by the change of ethic of precisely the most idealistic element of American youth. The idealism of the fifties during the Kennedy era expressed itself in self-confident, often zealous, institution building. Today, however, many in the younger generation consider the management of power irrelevant, perhaps even immoral. While the idea of service retains a potent influence, it does so largely with respect to problems which are clearly not connected with the strategic aspects of American foreign policy; the Peace Corps is a good example. The new ethic of freedom is not "civic"; it is indifferent or even hostile to systems and notions of order. Management is equated with manipulation. Structural designs are perceived as systems of "domination"--not of order. The generation which has come of age after the fifties has had Vietnam as its introduction to world politics. It has no memory of occasions when American-supported structural innovations were successful or of the motivations which prompted these enterprises.

Partly as a result of the generation gap, the American mood oscillates dangerously between being ashamed of power and expecting too much of it. The former attitude deprecates the use or possession of force; the latter is overly receptive to the possibilities of absolute action and overly indifferent to the likely consequences. The danger of a rejection of power is that it may result in a nihilistic perfectionism which disdains the gradual and seeks to destroy what does not conform to its notion of utopia. The danger of an overconcern with force is that policy-makers may respond to clamor by a series of spasmodic gestures and stylistic maneuvers and then recoil before their implications.

These essentially psychological problems cannot be overemphasized. It is the essence of a satisfied, advanced society that it puts a premium on operating within familiar procedures and concepts. It draws its motivation from the present, and it defines excellence by the ability to manipulate an established framework. But for the major part of humanity, the present becomes endurable only through a vision of the future. To most Americans--including most American leaders--the significant reality is what they see around them. But for most of the world--including many of the leaders of the new nations--the significant reality is what they wish to bring about. If we remain nothing but the managers of our physical patrimony, we will grow increasingly irrelevant. And since there can be no stability without us, the prospects of world order will decline.

We require a new burst of creativity, however, not so much for the sake of other countries as for our own people, especially the youth. The contemporary unrest is no doubt exploited by some whose purposes are all too clear. But that it is there to exploit is proof of a profound dissatisfaction with the merely managerial and consumer-oriented qualities of the modern state and with a world which seems to generate crises by inertia. The modern bureaucratic state, for all its panoply of strength, often finds itself shaken to its foundations by seemingly trivial causes. Its brittleness and the world-wide revolution of youth--especially in advanced countries and among the relatively affluent--suggest a spiritual void, an almost metaphysical boredom with a political environment that increasingly emphasizes bureaucratic challenges and is dedicated to no deeper purpose than material comfort.

Our unrest has no easy remedy. Nor is the solution to be found primarily in the realm of foreign policy. Yet a deeper nontechnical challenge would surely help us regain a sense of direction. The best and most prideful expressions of American purposes in the world have been those in which we acted in concert with others. Our influence in these situations has depended on achieving a reputation as a member of such a concert. To act consistently abroad we must be able to generate coalitions of shared purposes. Regional groupings supported by the United States will have to take over major responsibility for their immediate areas, with the United States being concerned more with the over-all framework of order than with the management of every regional enterprise.

In the best of circumstances, the next administration will be beset by crises. In almost every area of the world, we have been living off capital--warding off the immediate, rarely dealing with underlying problems. These difficulties are likely to multiply when it becomes apparent that one of the legacies of the war in Vietnam will be a strong American reluctance to risk overseas involvements.

A new administration has the right to ask for compassion and understanding from the American people. But it must found its claim not on pat technical answers to difficult issues; it must above all ask the right questions. It must recognize that, in the field of foreign policy, we will never be able to contribute to building a stable and creative world order unless we first form some conception of it.


5. Editorial Note

In a campaign speech delivered in Omaha, Nebraska, on May 6, 1968, Richard Nixon proposed a "new diplomacy" to deal with future aggression:

"Since World War II ended, the United States has been actively involved in two major wars to defend the freedom of other lands from Communist aggression. We fought in Korea and we are fighting in Vietnam. In these conflicts, America has taken more than a quarter of a million casualties, and fifty thousand dead. In both wars, the United States provided most of the money, most of the arms and most of the men to defend these countries. The efforts that were made were right in my view, but I believe it is time now for a new diplomacy.

"While we are the richest nation and the most powerful nation in the non-Communist world, we must remember that we are only two hundred million Americans, and there are two billion people in the non-Communist world. It is time to develop a new diplomacy for the United States, a diplomacy to deal with future aggression--so that when the freedom of friendly nations is threatened by aggression, we help them with our money and help them with our arms; but we let them fight the war and don't fight the war for them. This should be the goal of a new diplomacy for America." (Nixon-Agnew Campaign Committee, Nixon on the Issues, New York, 1968, pages 1-2)


6. Editorial Note

Richard Nixon offered his perspective on prospects for détente with the Soviet Union in his acceptance speech at the Republican convention in Miami Beach, Florida, on August 8, 1968:

"And now to the leaders of the Communist world, we say: After an era of confrontation, the time has come for an era of negotiation.

"Where the world's super powers are concerned, there is no acceptable alternative to peaceful negotiation.

"Because this will be a period of negotiation, we shall restore the strength of America so that we shall always negotiate from strength and never from weakness.

"So we begin with the proposition that if we are to have peace we must negotiate. If we are to negotiate we must negotiate from strength. If we are to have strength we must restore the strength of the United States and also we must restore the strength of the Western Alliance.

"Despite the recent setbacks, the years just ahead can bring a breakthrough for peace, they must be a time of careful probing, of intensive negotiations, of a determined search for those areas of accommodation between East and West on which a climate of mutual trust can eventually be built. But this can only succeed if Western strength is sufficient to back up our diplomacy. As one of Europe's leading statesmen has phrased it: 'genuine détente presupposes security; it does not replace it'.

"First, the United States must be strong. We've got to make sure that our president will always be able to negotiate from strength. He must negotiate with the leaders of the Soviet because in today's nuclear world there is no alternative to negotiation. The Soviet Union knows it and we know it. And that is why I will re-establish the strength of the United States, not only here, but re-establish also the strength of our NATO Alliance which has been allowed to crumble and go to pieces during this Administration." (Nixon on the Issues, pages 29-30)

The full text of the speech was published in The New York Times on August 9.


7. Editorial Note

On October 7, 1968, Richard Nixon addressed a conference organized by United Press International in Washington. In the course of his remarks, he argued for shifting the burden of fighting in Vietnam to the South Vietnamese forces:

"I would put far greater emphasis, as the present command in Vietnam is now beginning to do, on the training of the South Vietnamese to fight their own battles and on giving the South Vietnamese people other than the military something to fight for rather than something simply to be against.

"It is a cruel irony that the American effort to safeguard the independence of South Vietnam has produced an ever-increasing dependency in our ally. If South Vietnam's future is to be secure, this process must now be reversed.

"At the same time, we need far greater and more urgent attention to training the South Vietnamese themselves, and equipping them with the best of modern weapons. As they are phased in, American troops can be phased out. This phasing-out will save American lives and cut American costs. Further, it is essential if South Vietnam is to develop both the military strength and the strength of spirit to survive now and in the future." (Nixon on the Issues, pages 9-10)


8. Editorial Note

Secretary of State-designate William Rogers testified on January 15, 1969, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which was meeting in executive session to consider Rogers' qualifications to be Secretary of State. The confirmation hearing was chaired by Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. Fulbright began by questioning Rogers about his views on a variety of issues he might deal with as Secretary, and in the process asked him to assess the prospects for achieving détente with the Soviet Union:

"The Chairman. What I really think I am driving at is, there is this different view, one is that any kind of co-existence with Russia over a long period is impossible. This is what you seem to gather from previous views of the Secretary of Defense, at least according to some of the press. I don't take any responsibility of knowing what it is, but this has been in the press and in quotes in his book.

"We know that gentleman in the past, and I am sure in the future, is extremely important in foreign policy. And here you are and there they are. I mean the reconciliation of these views and they are different, if you feel there is a possibility of co-existence and gradual mellowness, mellowing of the relations between the Russians and ourselves or do you feel it is hopeless and there is no way of having a compromise with the devil?

"Mr. Rogers. Well, I wouldn't want to agree with what may be your premise about what Mr. Laird thinks.

"The Chairman. I don't state that as an affirmative matter.

"Mr. Rogers. I am not sure.

"The Chairman. I state that as having been said in the press.

"Mr. Rogers. But I would be glad to comment on my own attitude on it. I think that we have to have hope in that regard. If we don't, conflict is inevitable, and I think that the Soviet Union is going to some day come to the conclusion that they have to get along with the rest of the world and with us in particular, and I think that there are many hopeful signs now, aside from what they say, which may make that possible.

"First I think the Sino-Soviet split is probably one of the most important things that has happened in international relations since the takeover of mainland China, and they are obviously tremendously concerned about that.

"Secondly, I think they are having difficulty, obviously they are having difficulty, in the socialist countries, and I think that the justification that they advance for the invasion of Czechoslovakia is going to be one of the most difficult things for them to live with in the future that I can imagine. I mean if you listen to what they say in the United Nations about self-determination, the right of sovereignty and the right of people to solve their own problems and all these things, and then look at what they said as a justification of Czechoslovakia you know they are in an impossible position when it gets down to thoughtful people, and some of these nations in the world are watching very carefully.

"So I think that it is a good time probably, as soon as the impact of Czechoslovakia wears off a little bit, it is a good thing to try to probe for initiatives toward peace. So I have hope in that regard."

Later in the hearing, the discussion turned to a similar concern when Senator Jacob Javits of New York asked for Rogers' views on the possibility of reconciliation with China:

"The other thing I wanted to ask you, Mr. Rogers, is also a matter of basic philosophy because it epitomizes whether this must result in war or is there a way out, is what do you think about the possibilities with Communist China? Do you see the possibility of any way that we have of bringing about some reconciliation with this enormous body of people or must it just be fought out with one or the other really [finally?] yielding?

"Mr. Rogers. Well, Senator, I don't suppose anybody can answer that question with any degree of certainty. I would not want anything that I say to reflect on past decisions. I think it is important to develop channels of communications with Red China, if it is possible and as soon as it is possible, and I think to a large extent that depends on their attitude. Certainly we should be willing to, and I think the President-elect has indicated a very strong desire in that direction. And as you know there has--the Red Chinese have proposed a meeting in Warsaw in February sometime, and we obviously will pursue that initiative. But in answer to your question what they intend to do I don't believe I can do that.

"You know, I think in the long run you can't have a billion people outside the world community. It just doesn't make any sense. What we can do to further their becoming peaceful and constructive factors in world affairs is I think beyond anybody's ability to predict. But I certainly think we should try, in every way we can but we should be sensible about it and recognize the practicalities as they exist."

Senator Javits concluded his questioning by asking how Rogers perceived his prospective role as Secretary of State:

"Senator Javits. That brings me to my last question. I think you misunderstood. You thought I was asking you what you thought they felt. My last question is do you conceive of your role as Secretary of State to be an activist role or a protected role? In other words, do you conceive of your role as being solely to safeguard the interests of the United States throughout the world or do you conceive of your role also as being an active force for peace in the world on the theory that if there is peace in the world this is to the great satisfaction of our country and that we must have initiatives and be leaders and really try to move the world toward peace even though it involves risk on our part.

"Mr. Rogers. Well, as you know the Constitution is silent on the Secretary of State. The duties of the Secretary of State are spelled out in an Act of 1789 which would say that he will perform such activities that are enjoined and entrusted to him by the President.

"Now, I would hesitate to characterize my attitude except to say, whether I am an activist or protector or whatever, but I think that the role has to be assumed, and I have assumed it with this in mind, to do everything possible to make the world more secure, safer for people, and to hopefully bring about peace and I think the Secretary of State should advise the President actively to achieve this end. If I didn't think so I wouldn't have taken the job." (Nomination of William P. Rogers to be Secretary of State; Hearing held before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, January 15, 1969; Records of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee)

The reference by Fulbright to a book written by Secretary of Defense-designate Laird is apparently a reference to Melvin R. Laird (ed.), Republican Papers (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1968).


9. Editorial Note

The theme that ran through the world view President Nixon offered in his inaugural address on January 20, 1969, was the search for peace:

"As we learn to go forward together at home, let us also seek to go forward together with all mankind.

"Let us take as our goal: Where peace is unknown, make it welcome; where peace is fragile, make it strong; where peace is temporary, make it permanent.

"After a period of confrontation, we are entering an era of negotiation.

"Let all nations know that during this administration our lines of communication will be open.

"We seek an open world--open to ideas, open to the exchange of goods and people--a world in which no people, great or small, will live in angry isolation.

"We cannot expect to make everyone our friend, but we can try to make no one our enemy.

"Those who would be our adversaries, we invite to a peaceful competition--not in conquering territory or extending dominion, but in enriching the life of man.

"As we explore the reaches of space, let us go to the new worlds together--not as new worlds to be conquered, but as a new adventure to be shared.

"With those who are willing to join, let us cooperate to reduce the burden of arms, to strengthen the structure of peace, to lift up the poor and the hungry.

"But to all those who would be tempted by weakness, let us leave no doubt that we will be as strong as we need to be for as long as we need to be.

"Over the past 20 years, since I first came to this Capital as a freshman Congressman, I have visited most of the nations of the world. I have come to know the leaders of the world and the great forces, the hatreds, the fears that divide the world.

"I know that peace does not come through wishing for it--that there is no substitute for days and even years of patient and prolonged diplomacy.

"I also know the people of the world.

"I have seen the hunger of a homeless child, the pain of a man wounded in battle, the grief of a mother who has lost her son. I know these have no ideology, no race.

"I know America. I know the heart of America is good.

"I speak from my own heart, and the heart of my country, the deep concern we have for those who suffer and those who sorrow.

"I have taken an oath today in the presence of God and my countrymen to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. To that oath I now add this sacred commitment: I shall consecrate my Office, my energies, and all the wisdom I can summon to the cause of peace among nations.

"Let this message be heard by strong and weak alike:

"The peace we seek--the peace we seek to win--is not victory over any other people, but the peace that comes 'with healing in its wings'; with compassion for those who have suffered; with understanding for those who have opposed us; with the opportunity for all the peoples of this earth to choose their own destiny.

"Only a few short weeks ago we shared the glory of man's first sight of the world as God sees it, as a single sphere reflecting light in the darkness.

"As the Apollo astronauts flew over the moon's gray surface on Christmas Eve, they spoke to us of the beauty of earth--and in that voice so clear across the lunar distance, we heard them invoke God's blessing on its goodness.

"In that moment, their view from the moon moved poet Archibald MacLeish to write: 'To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold--brothers who know now they are truly brothers.'

"In that moment of surpassing technological triumph, men turned their thoughts toward home and humanity--seeing in that far perspective that man's destiny on earth is not divisible; telling us that however far we reach into the cosmos, our destiny lies not in the stars but on earth itself, in our own hands, in our own hearts.

"We have endured a long night of the American spirit. But as our eyes catch the dimness of the first rays of dawn, let us not curse the remaining dark. Let us gather the light.

"Our destiny offers not the cup of despair, but the chalice of opportunity. So let us seize it not in fear, but in gladness--and 'riders on the earth together,' let us go forward, firm in our faith, steadfast in our purpose, cautious of the dangers, but sustained by our confidence in the will of God and the promise of man." (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1969, pages 3-4)

President Nixon spoke at 12:16 p.m. from the east front of the Capitol. The address was broadcast on radio and television.



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