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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, Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, Volume I, Foundations of Foreign Policy
Released by the Office of the Historian
Documents 68-84

68.  Press Conference by President Nixon/1/

Los Angeles, California, July 30, 1970.

/1/Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1970, pp. 626-635. The press conference was held at 8 p.m. in the Century Plaza Hotel and was broadcast on television and radio.

[Omitted here are the President's introductory remarks and his responses to questions dealing with the Middle East, Vietnam and the Paris peace talks, arms control negotiations, price trends, and school desegregation.]

Q. To pursue the question of our military preparedness a bit further, twice within the past week statements have been made by high ranking naval officers, Admiral Rickover and Admiral U.S. Grant Sharp, to the effect that our military preparedness is suspect. And they went further. Each gentleman said that in his opinion it is doubtful that we could win a war with the Soviet Union. Given the eminence of these gentlemen, as Commander in Chief, how do you regard the validity of those statements?

The President. Well, I would first react by saying that if there is a war between the Soviet Union and the United States , there will be no winners, there will be only losers. The Soviet Union knows this and we know that.

That is the reason why it is vitally important that in areas like the Mideast that we attempt to avoid to the greatest extent possible being dragged into a confrontation by smaller powers, even though our interests in the area are very, very great. That is why it is very much in our interests in the SALT talks to work out an arrangement if we can, one which will provide for the interests of both and yet not be in derogation of the necessity of our having sufficiency and their having sufficiency.

One other point I would make briefly is this: What the Soviet Union needs in terms of military preparedness is different from what we need. They are a land power primarily, with a great potential enemy on the east. We are primarily, of course, a sea power and our needs, therefore, are different. But what is important now is to find a way to stop this escalation of arms on both sides, and that is why we have hopes in the SALT talks which, I emphasize again, do not involve disarmament for the United States or the Soviet Union, but do involve a limitation and then eventually a mutual reduction.

[Omitted here are questions and answers on domestic issues and Vietnam .]

69.  Background Press Briefing by the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

New Orleans, Louisiana, August 14, 1970.

/1/Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 426, Subject File, Background Briefings, July-August 1970. No classification marking. Herbert Klein, White House Director of Communications, introduced Kissinger and Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Sisco and explained the rules governing a background briefing. Kissinger and Sisco conducted the briefing.

[Omitted here are Klein's introductions and Kissinger's opening remarks.]

I will talk to you for a bit about our general approach to foreign policy, and specifically also about the disarmament talks, relations with the Soviets and Vietnam, maybe a word about the Middle East. Then Secretary Sisco can talk to you in somewhat greater detail about the specifics of recent events in the Middle East.

Let me begin with a general statement first. I believe that when the history of American post-war foreign policy is written, it will turn out that the big turning point occurred not in 1961 when it was very eloquently announced, but in 1969, when no claims were made.

At the end of April of this year when the President spoke about Cambodia , many of my colleagues complained bitterly--many of my ex-colleagues complained bitterly--about the polarizing effect that his speech was supposed to have had with its emphasis on commitments to friends abroad and the desire to see to it that the self-determination of South Vietnam be preserved.

But if you read, for example, the Inaugural Address of President Kennedy, you will find such phrases--I don't have the exact text here but I think this is reasonably accurate--as: "We will pay any price, we will bear any burden, we will meet any hardship, we will fight any enemy, we will support any friend, to assure the survival of liberty."

I am not saying this as a criticism. It moved me, too, very much. I am citing it as an example of the enormous transformation that has taken place in the situation in the world and in the situation in America since the early 60's.

The period of the 60's, in retrospect, will probably appear as the last flowering of that era of American foreign policy which we initiated in 1948, when we threw ourselves into international affairs with the same enthusiasm, impetuosity, and dedication with which we had built our country.

The belief was after our long history of isolation that any problem in the world that was not solved by America would probably not be solved at all. All over the world the United States found itself in the position of designing all the programs, selling them, executing them, running them. Part of this reflected the realities of the postwar situation.

Every major country in Europe, except Great Britain , had been defeated at one stage or another during the war.

Every country in Europe, with the exception of Great Britain , had been occupied at one stage or another during the war.

Every country in the world that had ever played a major role in foreign policy had been significantly smashed or reduced in influence, power and capacity to conduct foreign affairs, by the war. Economies were shattered. Civil government was very often threatened by domestic discord.

In these conditions, it was, in fact, true that if the United States did not play the major role, no one else possibly could.

Many of the transformations that I am talking about, therefore, are not criticisms of previous Administrations. They were made possible or, indeed, necessary, by the successes of previous policy and not always by the failures--although some of them also reflect certain failure.

A number of big changes have occurred. First, since 1948 over sixty new states have come into being. Since 1948 many of the traditional countries of Europe and Asia regained a great deal of their strength and vigor. Since 1948, the Communist world, which appeared monolithic, has appeared to have many profound divisions. And since 1948, and especially through the 1960's, we have had to learn that the United States cannot be in the position where other countries can pretend that their development is more important to us than it is to them, and that if their security is threatened, it is worse for us than it is for them. The United States cannot be in this position because to conduct foreign policy on this basis may be beyond our physical resources. It surely is beyond our psychological resources. No one can ask the U.S. Government to take the principal responsibility for every decision at every point in the world at every moment in time. It is not healthy for us and it is not healthy for other countries. It enables them to shift the burden of difficult decisions to the United States . It demoralizes their domestic situation. It exacerbates our domestic decisions when all the burdens have to be borne by the United States at every point throughout the world.

It was in this situation, in the fifth year of a war that seemed inconclusive, that this administration has come into office. It is in these conditions that we have tried to adjust the American foreign policy to realities of both our domestic and our foreign situation.

I read in the newspapers always very exciting accounts of the tremendous disputes that go on within the Administration, and who is up and who is down at any particular point, and who did or did not know about this or that decision. The basic charge that the President has given me and to his senior advisors is, first of all, to ask ourselves where we are going. The President, on the whole, is not interested in tactical questions. I remember four weeks after we came into office, if I can mention a personal vignette, the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese started an offensive. The government was then still geared to the pace of the previous administration. A number of senior officials wanted to come over and assemble in the Situation Room so that the President could conduct that battle. I told them to wait a minute and let me find out what the President wanted to do. I asked the President whether he wanted to conduct these tactical operations from the White House. He said, "Is there any decision that I need to make?" I said no. He said, "Is there any decision that I can make now that would make any difference?" I said no. Then he said, "I don't want to see them. When there is a decision that I need to make, let me know. Let me know what my choices are."

He was absolutely right. There was nothing he could do at that point when the attack started that would not drive everybody crazy. The important concern that the President has put before us is to know where we are going, to put before him the fullest range of choices that he can develop; and then, of course, the final decision, which of the options he would choose, is up to him. He has steadfastly refused to leap on the basis of what seems temporarily fashionable.

This has been terribly important because, as a result of the frustration of some of the previous events, and partly as a result of the fact that we had, or maybe have, outrun our intellectual capacity in some areas, there has been a tendency to have a rote answer to every question. The President mentioned the issue of disarmament. When we came into office, we were confronted with the prospect of talks on strategic arms limitations with the Soviets. We received a great deal of vociferous pressure from many well-meaning groups that we should immediately plunge into these negotiations. We hesitated. Indeed, we did not do it. We did not [sic] hesitate, but we did not do it because we did not want to engage in negotiations on a subject of this magnitude until we knew what we were talking about.

The danger of going into these negotiations precipitately was that we would spend two-thirds of the time negotiating with ourselves and one-third of the time negotiating with the Soviets. If you look at the history of the nuclear ban, for example, we spent five years on that subject. On the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which didn't even concern us, primarily, but other countries, we spent four years.

It would have been an easy matter to slap together a position and meet the Russians and put our position on the table. Then the Soviets would put their position on the table. There would have been a deadlock. We would have had to renegotiate our position within our bureaucracy. We would go back to the Russians.

This process could have been repeated indefinitely for five or six years. Instead, the President ordered the fullest study that has been made in or outside the government of just exactly what one would do if one wanted to limit any conceivable weapon system that has any conceivable application for strategic warfare.

We went through this weapon system by weapon system. We analyzed what our means of inspection were, what the dangers of violation were, what we would do if we spotted a violation, what the strategic significance would be if there was an agreement or if there were not an agreement.

In that process, incidentally, most of the usual bureaucratic disputes were avoided because we looked at it as an analytical problem and not as a bureaucratic problem.

Having made this survey, we were then in a position to put together four positions of various degrees of comprehensives, of which the President chose the two most comprehensive ones, which we put to the Soviets. The Soviets, as was predictable--and this I am not saying critically, the issue is so complex--had a slightly different view of the problem. But the work we had done enabled us to shift within a matter of three weeks from one position to another where previously this would have taken a year of internal fighting within our Administration.

Therefore, we are extremely optimistic about the progress in strategic arms talks. The Soviets have been constructive and without their cooperation it wouldn't have been possible. But I think it is fair to say that without the particular approach that the President insisted we introduce into the decision-making process, we could not have gotten to where we are today.

I will come back to that in a moment. I wanted to use it only as an illustration of the general approach.

Let me go back, then, and say that in the light of the philosophy I have described, and say what the guiding principle of the Administration is with respect to foreign policy.

This was expressed by the President at Guam, and has been popularly described as the Nixon Doctrine. It states the following: One, of course, we will maintain any commitments that the United States has. Two, that in the case of a threat by a nuclear country against a non-nuclear country, we feel that we have a special obligation since we are the only major nuclear country in the free world. Three, with respect to other threats, or with respect to other programs, the initial and principal responsibility has to be borne first by the country concerned and secondly by the region concerned.

We will assist where our interests are involved and where what we can do can make a difference. But we will not be in a position where the principal programs or the principal defense are borne in the first instance by the United States if the countries concerned do not make the effort themselves.

This we view not as a way of withdrawing from the world, but as a way of remaining related to the world in a way that is historically, psychologically and domestically bearable for us. It is a way of shifting to the other countries what has to be the normal position of the primary burden of their responsibilities, intellectually, physically, politically and militarily.

Enunciating a doctrine is a lot easier than implementing it. Obviously, as one goes into a new phase, it is only at universities that one has sharp dividing lines. In reality, there are always vestiges of the old together with the beginning of the new. Obviously, for example, when you have 550,000 Americans engaged in combat, you cannot shift to the Nixon Doctrine the day after you have announced it. That will have to be obviously, in those areas, a gradual progress.

So, I am describing a direction and not a cookbook, a recipe, that can be applied literally to every situation from one day to the next.

The reason why we believe that this doctrine can, should and will characterize American foreign policy in the next decade is not only because of the developing strength and self-confidence of other countries, but also because of the different conditions that exist in the world compared to the late 1940's.

In the late 1940's and the 50's, and, indeed, the early 60's, one thought of Communism as a monolith, inherently and eternally aggressive and run from a central core. No one who has seen the Communist world operate would underrate the aggressiveness of many of their leaders and many of their countries. But there has been an important historical change in a number of respects.

One is that the Communist system simply isn't working very well domestically, and that the Communist Party really does not have a very meaningful domestic function any more.

This has good and bad consequences. It leads on the one hand to a certain bureaucratization of life. On the other hand, it may give the Communist Parties a vested interest in foreign dangers. You don't need an ideological party to run a country. You don't need them to run an economy. So, they may have a vested interest always in being in a position of some tension in at least some part of the world.

The second important and perhaps decisive feature is the split between the Soviet Union and Communist China. According to Communist doctrine, the spread of Communism is to insure eternal peace. The fact of the matter is that the Red Army has been used four times since World War II, always against allies, only against allies.

The fact of the matter is that the deepest rivalries that exist in the world today are between Communist countries. First, the split that existed between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, and now the enormous tension that exists between the Soviet Union and Communist China, which may be the deepest factor in Soviet foreign policy and for which they really have no mechanism of handling it. It would be bad enough as a problem among states, that is, if states of the size of Communist China and the Soviet Union were in conflict that would be serious enough, but when you add to it a quasi-religious struggle of who is going to define the true orthodoxy so that it has profound ideological, semi-religious overtones, it has many insoluble aspects. And if the Soviet Union is more conciliatory towards the West at the moment, the consciousness of what seems to them the impending danger from the East is one of the most crucial factors.

There are, therefore, openings in negotiations with the Soviet Union that simply did not exist even ten years ago, much less 20 years ago, produced by this new aspect of international relations. These are the basic realities with which we deal.

Let me now make a few remarks about some specifics in the conduct of foreign policy.

We have a difficult problem in the sense that when the President came into office he announced that it would be an era of negotiations, that he was aiming for an era of negotiation and not confrontation. Many Americans tend to believe that you fuel negotiations primarily by endless demonstrations of unilateral good will.

On the other hand, history tends to indicate that negotiations depend to an important extent, especially with Communist countries, on the balance of risks and opportunities that they perceive.

Last year, when the President announced the ABM program, there were many who argued with us and said that if we developed the ABM, this would spark a new round of the arms race and it would forever doom the SALT negotiations.

The fact of the matter is, as the President pointed out, and as we can easily demonstrate, that without the ABM there probably wouldn't be any meaningful SALT negotiations. What possible incentive would the Soviets have? We have stopped developing offensive weapons. We have stopped building offensive weapons. Why should they make an agreement with us to stop doing something that we have already stopped doing and that they are continuing to do.

We didn't say that last year. At that time, we did it mostly on strategic claims, so I don't want to claim a foresight that we didn't insist on last year. Last year we did it because we were getting worried about the tremendous build up of the Soviet land based missile force.

As it turned out in the evolution of the negotiations, it is the ABM which is one of the main reasons why we can be so optimistic about the fact that we will get a fairly comprehensive agreement that we expect will include both offensive and defensive weapons within a reasonable time period, certainly a much shorter time period than was spent on any other set of negotiations.

The second area which I will not cover in detail, but which Joe Sisco will talk about is, of course, the Middle East.

I will confine myself to this general set of remarks. In many respects, the Middle East is a more difficult and in some of its aspects a more dangerous problem than, say, Southeast Asia. It is more difficult and more dangerous because we and the other side are not so completely in control of our actions. The characteristic of the Middle East that has caused the President and others to describe it as similar to the Balkans before World War I is that you have two groups of countries with very intense emotions who are very conscious of their local rivalries, but not primarily responsible for the peace of the world, two groups of countries that are, however, tied to the two opposing major camps, so that if these countries can get into conflict without the desire of the major countries, that is, specifically if there is an Arab-Israeli war that is not caused either by a decision in Washington or a decision in Moscow, it can nevertheless happen that Washington and Moscow, or the United States and the Soviet Union may get involved despite the fact that they were not involved in the initial decision.

This is why the Administration has been so interested in bringing about a settlement in the Middle East, and why Joe Sisco has been so invaluable in coming up with a formula. I will not say anything more about it except to underline our concern about the Middle East, the fact that the Administration has had a united policy on that issue, and that we consider it one of our high priority items.

Now let me make a few remarks about Southeast Asia. If the Middle East is our most dangerous area, there is no doubt that Southeast Asia is our most anguishing problem. We came into office while the level of troops was, in fact, still increasing in Vietnam, in the fifth year of a war that had been inconclusive, in negotiations which had never yet reached substance, and we faced the problem of bringing the war to a conclusion as the President promised, and in conformity with the principles that he has himself outlined to you.

There is a liturgical quality about the Vietnam debate that causes the participants to take fixed positions, that causes people to take fixed positions, and makes it very difficult to have a meaningful debate. I recognize that the concerns that have been expressed by many of our critics are based on very thoughtful analysis. Let me therefore state briefly where we think we are going, and why we do what we are doing.

First of all, the other day I met with a group of Princeton students whose emotions exceeded their knowledge, and who said, Why are you simply continuing old policies? Why don't you have the courage to change the policy? I reminded them that in August 1968, Senator Edward Kennedy made a speech in which he said he was picking up the fallen banner of his brother as a declaration of conscience of what should be done in Vietnam . I asked them to read that speech because it turns out there is nothing in that speech that we have not already done and exceeded. So what the professors of 1968 considered a daring program, we have gone far beyond. In 1968 [sic] when we came in, the number of troops was still increasing.

We have announced withdrawals of over 260,000. In 1968 the issue of whether one would even talk to the National Liberation Front was not settled. There is no question now that they can participate in the political process of Vietnam .

I don't want to repeat all the details which we can furnish you in writing. The major point I want to make is that this Administration is committed to ending the war, and it will end the war. But in order to end the war, it must carry out a number of steps which lend themselves to relatively easy attack. Obviously, at this stage of the war, there are no brilliant solutions available. The easy things have all been done. Therefore, anyone who takes the negative of any proposition can point out many weaknesses in any course that may be pursued.

Let me give you an example. One of our basic policies is the policy of Vietnamization, which is really an application of the Nixon Doctrine to South Vietnam , in which we want to put more and more responsibility on the South Vietnamese for their defense and for their political development.

There are many people who specialize in pointing out that this cannot possibly work, and others who say, "You mustn't have Vietnamization; you should have negotiation."

Let me say two things about it. First, if Vietnamization doesn't work, negotiation will not work either. Let me say flatly the whole thrust of our policy is to promote negotiation. We are convinced that the only quick way to end the war is through negotiation. The only reliable way of ending the war is through negotiation. No one familiar with the history of Vietnam can have any doubt that any program that depends entirely on local conditions has major problems connected with it.

But what we are saying is this: To the extent that the North Vietnamese look at the situation in South Vietnam and see that there develops there a structure that at least will give them a major problem after we withdraw, to that extent they will have an incentive to negotiate.

To the extent that the North Vietnamese looking at South Vietnam see a structure that is certain to collapse, to that same extent negotiations cannot work.

Therefore, there is no opposition between negotiation and Vietnamization. If Vietnamization works, negotiation may work--will work. If Vietnamization doesn't work, then both policies do not work.

Secondly, on the issue, there are many proposals, some of which have found their way into editorial pages, to the effect that we should put a deadline on our withdrawals. First of all, no one really knows whether we have an internal deadline or not. Secondly, whether we should announce a deadline raises a whole series of questions.

One reason we don't announce a deadline is because we want to beat any of the deadlines that I have seen written about. The reason we think we want to beat it is because we still have not given up on negotiations.

Once you have committed yourself irrevocably to getting out on a certain date, regardless of consequences, the other side has no conceivable interest left in negotiation. At that time, their only task is to hold on until that deadline is reached.

We are reasonably optimistic, insofar as one can be that in Vietnam , that Vietnamization is progressing satisfactorily enough, in order to support negotiations.

We will have setbacks and there won't be an uninterrupted progress. But the major trend we believe will either lead to a situation in which the other side may negotiate or to a situation in which we can withdraw and leave the country in a position where it has at least a chance to take care of itself.

Let me mention a few questions that are always put to us. A friend of mine wrote a letter a few months ago in which he said he wanted to put a few questions that concerned thoughtful people. One of his questions was: To what extent is your policy dictated by the Saigon Government? Or, are you independent of the Saigon Government?

I know the fashionable thing, at least in my former stamping grounds, would be to say we are completely independent of the Saigon Government and we do exactly what we believe. That would be a demagogic thing to say.

Obviously, when you fight in another country, you are allied with that other country, and you are affected by the actions of that country. Of course, we are influenced by some of their views.

What we are trying to do, however, through the process of Vietnamization, is to put them into a position, and ourselves in a position, where we are less and less dependent on their actions and they are less and less dependent on our views. That is the purpose of Vietnamization. We are not there yet, but we are trying to be there.

Secondly, are we independent of Hanoi's action?

Of course we are not completely independent of Hanoi's action. They, to some extent, influence us.

The third question is in negotiations, why don't you propose--and then you can have any list that human ingenuity can devise.

Let me make one observation about negotiations. First, there is a myth that negotiation with the North Vietnamese is like a detective story, in which they throw out their clues and we have to guess at the answer. Then if we don't get the answer correctly we are at fault for the failure of the negotiations.

I have been visited by more self-appointed peace emissaries who have picked out a phrase from some delegate in Paris that they thought was terribly significant, that we had been told about already, 50 times before.

The chief problem in negotiations is not lack of ingenuity on our part in coming up with a formula. The chief problem in negotiations is that we are confronting a country that has fought for 25 years with great courage, but whose very quality of courage may not make it capable of visualizing a compromise.

We have paid for the beginning of negotiations five different times. First we were told that if there were a bombing halt there would be substantive negotiations. Then we were told if we talked to the NLF there would be substantive negotiations; if we made a symbolic withdrawal of troops, if we announced the withdrawal of 100,000 troops, if we made the withdrawal of 100,000 troops, if we announced a new senior negotiator in Paris.

We have done every one of these things. There have not yet been substantive negotiations, and that for one simple reason. The last convinced Leninists in the world may be the North Vietnamese, and the sharing of political power is not the most obvious conclusion to which you are driven by the study of Leninism. Indeed, the opposite is true.

Secondly, Vietnamese, North or South, find it very difficult to visualize anything else but total victory. As soon as North Vietnam indicates that it is ready for serious negotiations, it will not be lack of ingenuity on our part that will start the negotiating process. Of this I can assure you flatly.

So, the missing ingredient at this moment is the beginning of a serious negotiation. But we haven't given up hope. You read in the paper yesterday that their senior negotiator is coming back to Paris. Whenever there has been a break in these Vietnam negotiations, it has come suddenly. I am not saying it is coming now, but whenever it will come, if it ever comes, it will be relatively sudden.

Let me make one final point to sum up all these observations. We had some difficult months after the President's decision to go into Cambodia . We have been told on a number of occasions how desirable it would be if we yielded to the pressures of so many dedicated and concerned groups, and if we only stopped what is often called the polarization of our society.

We have not done it, as the President said, because history tends to prove that the people do not forgive leaders who produce disasters, even if these disasters are following the recommendations made by the public. We believe that our obligation is to make a peace that will last; that a peace cannot last if in the process confidence in the United States is shaken.

Nor do we believe that the answer to our domestic difficulties is to yield to any group that smashes the china and then says, "Look what you have made me do."

We believe it is important that the way we end the war and the way we build the peace reflects the best judgment of the best thought that can be brought to bear on the problem.

In doing this, we believe, even though this wouldn't be recognized, that we may be the best protection of the very people who have been most vociferously protesting against us. If this country is taken over by a radical group, it will not be by upper middle class college kids. There will be a much more elemental group taking it over.

We cannot permit the political contests to be fought out by rival groups of demonstrators. We think this is terribly important, to conclude, because we are at a point where except for the war in Vietnam, there are possibilities of bringing about a more reliable peace in the world than we have known in the whole post-war period.

We are at a point where we can re-define the American position with respect to the world, where, for whatever reasons, it may be that even the Soviet Union has come to a realization of the limitations of both its physical strength and of the limits of its ideological fervor.

But none of these possibilities can be realized except by an American Government that is confident that it knows what it is doing, that can respond to its best judgment, and by an American public that has enough confidence in its leaders so that they are permitted the modicum of ambiguity that is sometimes inseparable from a situation in which you cannot, at the beginning of a process, know completely what all the consequences are.

The tragic aspect of policy-making is that when your scope for action is greatest, the knowledge on which you can base this action is always at a minimum. When your knowledge is greatest, the scope for action has often disappeared. This is the problem that we face. This is why no society can operate without confidence. But the reason despite this turmoil is because in any new creation one is very conscious of the symptoms of the turmoil. One is very aware of the things that are being changed. It is always a painful process to see it come about. But we think there is a very good chance that by the end of this term we will have laid the foundations for a period to which many of those who were most worried a few months ago can not only reconcile themselves, but can support and in which the whole American public will feel that this was the beginning of an era of constructive peace.

[Omitted here are Sisco's comments and his and Kissinger's answers to questions.]

70.  Message From President Nixon to the Congress/1/

Washington, September 15, 1970.

/1/Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States : Richard Nixon, 1970, pp. 745-756. President Nixon signed the message for transmittal to Congress in a ceremony in his office attended by the members of the Presidential Task Force on International Development.

FOREIGN ASSISTANCE FOR THE SEVENTIES

Today, I am proposing a major transformation in our foreign assistance programs.

For more than two decades these programs have been guided by a vision of international responsibilities conditioned by the aftermath of World War II and the emergence of new nations. But the world has been changing dramatically; by the end of the 'Sixties, there was widespread agreement that our programs for foreign assistance had not kept up with these changes and were losing their effectiveness. This sentiment has been reflected in declining foreign aid levels.

The cause of this downward drift is not that the need for aid has diminished; nor is it that our capacity to help other nations has diminished; nor has America lost her humanitarian zeal; nor have we turned inward and abandoned our pursuit of peace and freedom in the world.

The answer is not to stop foreign aid or to slash it further. The answer is to reform our foreign assistance programs and do our share to meet the needs of the 'Seventies.

A searching reexamination has clearly been in order and, as part of the new Administration's review of policy, I was determined to undertake a fresh appraisal. I have now completed that appraisal and in this message I am proposing a set of fundamental and sweeping reforms to overhaul completely our entire foreign assistance operation to make it fit a new foreign policy.

Such a major transformation cannot be accomplished overnight. The scope and complexity of such an undertaking requires a deliberate and thoughtful approach over many months. I look forward to active discussion of these proposals with the Congress before I transmit my new assistance legislation next year.

Reform No. 1: I propose to create separate organizational arrangements for each component of our assistance effort: security assistance, humanitarian assistance, and development assistance. This is necessary to enable us to fix responsibility more clearly, and to assess the success of each program in achieving its specific objectives. My proposal will overcome the confusion inherent in our present approach which lumps together these separate objectives in composite programs.

Reform No. 2: To provide effective support for the Nixon Doctrine, I shall propose a freshly conceived International Security Assistance Program. The prime objective of this program will be to help other countries assume the responsibility of their own defense and thus help us reduce our presence abroad.

Reform No. 3: I propose that the foundation for our development assistance programs be a new partnership among nations in pursuit of a truly international development effort based upon a strengthened leadership role for multilateral development institutions. To further this objective,

--The U.S. should channel an increasing share of its development assistance through the multilateral institutions as rapidly as practicable.

--Our remaining bilateral assistance should be provided largely within a framework established by the international institutions.

--Depending upon the success of this approach, I expect that we shall eventually be able to channel most of our development assistance through these institutions.

Reform No. 4: To enable us to provide effective bilateral development assistance in the changed conditions of the 'Seventies, I shall transmit legislation to create two new and independent institutions:

--A U.S. International Development Corporation, to bring vitality and innovation to our bilateral lending activities and enable us to deal with lower income nations on a businesslike basis.

--A U.S. International Development Institute to bring the genius of U.S science and technology to bear on the problems of development, to help build research and training competence in the lower income countries themselves, and to offer cooperation in international efforts dealing with such problems as population and employment.

Their creation will enable us to phase out the Agency for International Development and to reduce significantly the number of overseas U.S. Government personnel working on development programs.

Reform No. 5: To add a new dimension to the international aid effort insuring a more permanent and enduring source of funds for the low income countries, I have recently proposed that all nations enter into a treaty which would permit the utilization of the vast resources of the seabeds to promote economic development.

Reform No. 6: I propose that we redirect our other policies which bear on development to assure that they reinforce the new approach outlined in this message. Our goal will be to expand and enhance the contribution to development of trade and private investment, and to increase the effectiveness of government programs in promoting the development process. A number of changes are necessary:

--I propose that we move promptly toward initiation of a system of tariff preferences for the exports of manufactured products of the lower income countries in the markets of all of the industrialized countries.

--I am ordering the elimination of those tying restrictions on procurement which hinder our investment guarantee program in its support of U.S. private investment in the lower income countries.

--I propose that all donor countries take steps to end the requirement that foreign aid be used to purchase goods and services produced in the nation providing the aid. Complete untying of aid is a step that must be taken in concert with other nations; we have already begun discussions with them toward that end. As an initial step, I have directed that our own aid be immediately untied for procurement in the lower income countries themselves.

The Foundations of Reform

These are the most fundamental of the many far-reaching reforms I propose today. To understand the need for them now, and to place them in perspective, it is important to review here the way in which we have reexamined our policies in light of today's requirements.

Two steps were necessary to develop a coherent and constructive U.S. assistance program for the 'Seventies:

--As a foundation, we needed a foreign policy tailored to the 1970's to provide direction for our various programs. For that, we developed and reported to the Congress in February the New Strategy for Peace./2/

/2/See Document 60.

--Second, to assist me in responding to the Congress and to get the widest possible range of advice on how foreign assistance could be geared to that strategy, I appointed a distinguished group of private U.S. citizens to make a completely independent assessment of what we should be trying to achieve with our foreign aid programs and how we should go about it.

The Task Force on International Development, chaired by Rudolph Peterson, former President of the Bank of America, drew upon the considerable experience of its own members and sought views from Members of the Congress and from every quarter of U.S. society. In early March the Task Force presented its report to me, and shortly thereafter I released it to the public./3/ The Task Force undertook a comprehensive assessment of the conditions affecting our foreign assistance program and proposed new and creative approaches for the years ahead. Its report provides the basis for the proposals which I am making today.

/3/See footnote 4, Document 53.

I also have taken into account the valuable insights and suggestions concerning development problems which were contained in the Rockefeller Report on our Western Hemisphere policy./4/ Many of the ideas and measures I am proposing in this message in fact were foreshadowed by a number of policy changes and program innovations which I instituted in our assistance programs in Latin America.

/4/See footnote 5, Document 35.

The Purposes of Foreign Assistance

There are three interrelated purposes that the U.S. should pursue through our foreign assistance program: promoting our national security by supporting the security of other nations; providing humanitarian relief; and furthering the long-run economic and social development of the lower income countries.

The national security objectives of the U.S. cannot be pursued solely through defense of our territory. They require a successful effort by other countries around the world, including a number of lower income countries, to mobilize manpower and resources to defend themselves. They require in some cases, military bases abroad, to give us the necessary mobility to defend ourselves and to deter aggression. They sometimes require our financial support of friendly countries in exceptional situations.

Moreover, our security assistance programs must be formulated to achieve the objectives of the Nixon Doctrine, which I set forth at Guam last year. That approach calls for any country whose security is threatened to assume the primary responsibility for providing the manpower needed for its own defense. Such reliance on local initiative encourages local assumption of responsibility and thereby serves both the needs of other countries and our own national interest. In addition, the Nixon Doctrine calls for our providing assistance to such countries to help them assume these responsibilities more quickly and more effectively. The new International Security Assistance Program will be devoted largely to these objectives. I shall set forth the details of the proposed program when I transmit the necessary implementing legislation to the Congress next year.

The humanitarian concerns of the American people have traditionally led us to provide assistance to foreign countries for relief from natural disasters, to help with child care and maternal welfare, and to respond to the needs of international refugees and migrants. Our humanitarian assistance programs, limited in size but substantial in human benefits, give meaningful expression to these concerns.

Both security and humanitarian assistance serve our basic national goal: the creation of a peaceful world. This interest is also served, in a fundamental and lasting sense, by the third purpose of our foreign assistance: the building of self-reliant and productive societies in the lower income countries. Because these countries contain two-thirds of the world's population, the direction which the development of their societies takes will profoundly affect the world in which we live.

We must respond to the needs of these countries if our own country and its values are to remain secure. We are, of course, wholly responsible for solutions to our problems at home, and we can contribute only partially to solutions abroad. But foreign aid must be seen for what it is--not a burden, but an opportunity to help others to fulfill their aspirations for justice, dignity, and a better life. No more abroad than at home can peace be achieved and maintained without vigorous efforts to meet the needs of the less fortunate.

The approaches I am outlining today provide a coherent structure for foreign assistance--with a logical framework for separate but interdependent programs. With the cooperation of Congress, we must seek to identify as clearly as possible which of our purposes--security, humanitarianism, or long-term development of the lower income countries--to pursue through particular U.S. programs. This is necessary to enable us to determine how much of our resources we wish to put into each, and to assess the progress of each program toward achieving its objectives.

There is one point, however, that I cannot over-emphasize. Each program is a part of the whole, and each must be sustained in order to pursue our national purpose in the world of the 'Seventies. It is incumbent upon us to support all component elements--or the total structure will be unworkable.

Effective Development Assistance--The Changed Conditions

The conditions that surround and influence development assistance to lower income countries have dramatically changed since the present programs were established. At that time the United States directly provided the major portion of the world's development assistance. This situation led to a large and ambitious U.S. involvement in the policies and activities of the developing countries and required extensive overseas missions to advise governments and monitor programs. Since then the international assistance environment has changed:

First, the lower income countries have made impressive progress, as highlighted by the Commission on International Development chaired by Lester Pearson, the former Prime Minister of Canada. They have been helped by us and by others, but their achievements have come largely through their own efforts. Many have scored agricultural breakthroughs which have dramatically turned the fear of famine into the hope of harvest. They have made vast gains in educating their children and improving their standards of health. The magnitude of their achievement is indicated by the fact that the lower income countries taken together exceeded the economic growth targets of the First United Nations Development Decade. These achievements have brought a new confidence and self-reliance to people in communities throughout the world.

With the experience that the lower income countries have gained in mobilizing their resources and setting their own development priorities, they now can stand at the center of the international development process--as they should, since the security and development which is sought is theirs. They clearly want to do so. Any assistance effort that fails to recognize these realities cannot succeed.

Second, other industrialized nations can now afford to provide major assistance to the lower income countries, and most are already doing so in steadily rising amounts.

While the United States remains the largest single contributor to international development, the other industrialized nations combined now more than match our efforts. Cooperation among the industrialized nations is essential to successful support for the aspirations of the lower income countries. New initiatives in such areas as trade liberalization and untying of aid must be carried out together by all such countries.

Third, international development institutions--the World Bank group, the Inter-American Development Bank and other regional development organizations, the United Nations Development Program, and other international agencies--now possess a capability to blend the initiatives of the lower income countries and the responses of the industrialized nations. They have made effective use of the resources which we and others have provided. A truly international donor community is emerging, with accepted rules and procedures for responding to the initiatives of the lower income countries. The international institutions are now in a position to accelerate further a truly international development effort.

Fourth, the progress made by lower income countries has brought them a new capability to sell abroad, to borrow from private sources, and to utilize private investment efficiently. As a result, a fully effective development effort should encompass much more than government assistance programs if it is to make its full potential contribution to the well-being of the people of the developing nations. We have come to value the constructive role that the private sector can play in channeling productive investments that will stimulate growth. We now understand the critical importance of enlightened trade policies that take account of the special needs of the developing countries in providing access for their exports to the industrialized nations.

Effective Development Assistance--The Program for Reform

To meet these changed international conditions, I propose a program for reform in three key areas: to support an expanded role for the international assistance institutions; to reshape our bilateral programs; and to harness all assistance-related policies to improve the effectiveness of our total development effort.

My program for reform is a reaffirmation of the commitment of the United States to support the international development process, and I urge the Congress to join me in fulfilling that commitment. We want to help other countries raise their standards of living. We want to use our aid where it can make a difference. To achieve these goals we will respond positively to sound proposals which effectively support the programs of the lower income countries to develop their material and human resources and institutions to enable their citizens to share more fully in the benefits of worldwide technology and economic advance.

[Omitted here is a detailed exposition of the proposed program for reform.]

71.  Off-the-Record Remarks by President Nixon/1/

Chicago, Illinois, September 16, 1970.

/1/Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 426, Subject File, Background Briefings, September-October 1970. No classification marking. The President spoke from 4:47 to 5:25 p.m. in the Embassy Room of the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago. He addressed 60 editors and broadcasters from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files, Staff Members and Office Files, Office of Presidential Papers and Archives, Daily Diary)

[Omitted here are Herbert Klein's introduction of President Nixon and his admonition that the President's remarks were on "deep background" and should be used without direct attribution. Nixon began by explaining that an off-the-record approach gave him the latitude to discuss matters he might not otherwise feel free to discuss. He then praised Henry Kissinger and Joseph Sisco, who had provided the group with a prior briefing on the administration's foreign policy.]

If I could come to some other points, the greatest need that I felt we had in the field of foreign policy when we came into office was for perspective, for a long historical perspective.

What I say now is not intended to be critical of previous administrations, any of them. It is basically an observation about American foreign policy generally.

Throughout the years, American foreign policy has been basically one that reacts to events. That is why, as a matter of fact, when you see young people outside carrying signs, "Peace now, Peace now," it should not be surprising. We are that kind of people. "Bring the boys home immediately after World War II" regardless of what was going to happen. "End the war," do this and that and the other thing.

The United States people are people who are impatient people. We are a people who find it difficult to take the long view. There is a fundamental reason for that, which is very much to our credit, in my opinion.

We are the only world power that got to that position without intending to do so. We didn't have a policy to become a world power. It happened that by the acts of World War II, the fact that all the other major powers in the free world, except the United States, were decimated by the war, all of the powers of Europe, the Japanese in Asia, and all the other industrial powers. Of course, none of them had the ability.

Here sat the United States . The action was all in our court. We had to act. Here we were. We didn't plan it that way. We did not have a policy to reach that point.

Then, we suddenly found ourselves in the position where what happened in Asia, what happened in the Middle East, what happened in Latin America, what happened in Africa, what happened in Europe, all over the world, we in the United States some way--not because we wanted it, for most Americans didn't want it as a matter of fact, and don't want it, but because no one else was there to fill the vacuum of leadership--we in the United States had to have policies.

And that is why we, of course, developed a policy with regard to the defense of Europe. That is why we developed our policy in the field of economic assistance to Latin America and to all the other countries of the world.

That is why we had a policy in the Middle East. That is one of the major reasons why we developed a capability in our Armed Forces far beyond the necessity simply to defend the fortress of America . Because we had to have and we did have the responsibility, at least we felt we did, to look to other nations including even our defeated enemies--perhaps them more than others, Japan and Germany, because they, as a result of the war, were forced to complete disarmament and were denied the right to obtain the only armament that means anything for world power, nuclear power.

Here sits the United States with the responsibility on our hands.

With this kind of background, I have found and I would say this about all of our Administrations, I sat in the Eisenhower Administration for eight years. I know the discussions that were made there.

General Eisenhower had a longer view than most Americans. He had been through part of World War I at a very early age and he had seen, of course, much of World War II and had dealt with the great problems of the world. But even then there had not yet developed a long-term perspective. Then came the situation in the years after that.

I was not in government. But I think, as I look at the papers that were written at that time, a long-term perspective was not there.

So our first instruction to all of the people in our Administration when we came in--Joe Sisco knows this is what we said, not only with regard to the Middle East, but with regard to India, Pakistan, areas also under his control, and Henry Kissinger who had general charge of it all recognizes that, and I won't go into all the areas we have tried to cover.

It is a mountain of work--we are re-examining every policy and trying to look ahead, not one year, two years, not even five years, not even to the end of this Administration, whether it is two years or six years or what have you, but ahead to the end of a century. That is about as far as we probably can look.

As we look ahead at the end of the century, that brings me, if I can for just a moment, come, to the subjects that Dr. Kissinger probably has covered in some perspective already, because his presentations are always in this vein.

But I would like for you to hear directly from me, to hear first very briefly about the war in Asia and what our plans are, and then if we could look at the Mediterranean and the trip we are planning there, and why it is really being taken. It really isn't a junket, it is for very important reasons which I will not discuss publicly for reasons you will soon see.

Then, look at the relations between the two super powers and perhaps one brief look at what the world will be like 10 or 15 years from now if we do play a role.

Many years ago, at the time of the Korean War, when it was a great debate as to whether Truman should or should not have gone into Korea, I was talking to a man who is a great expert on the World Communist Movement. He said something that stuck in my mind ever since that time. He said, "Truman had to go into Korea . We had to go into Korea , because what we must remember is that the war in Korea for the Communists is not about Korea . It is about Japan ." Of course, it was.

If you look back at it now and see the weak Japan at that time, if Korea had been overrun, and Japan with its very, very strong Socialist party leaning toward the Communists might have--even with the enormous dependence it had at that time upon the United States economically and with certainly even the power that we guaranteed in terms of their defense--Japan would have been pulled inevitably into orbit and toward that orbit. So Korea was about that.

I think we could say and we don't need to talk about any common theory. We all argue whether or not that is right. But the point is that as far as the war in Vietnam is concerned, history will record that it was about Vietnam , yes, and the Vietnamese people and whether they survive and have the right to choose their form of government and so forth.

But in terms of its impact of how it is ended, that war is not just about Vietnam . It is about Southeast Asia, the Pacific, about Japan , and about, we think, peace in the world generally. Because, if it is ended in a way that encourages those who might embark on any kind of aggression in that part of the world, if it is ended in a way that is interpreted by the Japanese, for example, the Indonesians, even by our friends in India and Pakistan--that far away not to mention our friends in Europe--if it is interpreted as the failure of the United States in this part of the world in its very difficult but relatively small action, as our failure to achieve a minimum goal, not victory over North Vietnam, but simply the right of the South Vietnamese to choose their own way without having it imposed, the impact would be enormous and I think devastating.

That is why despite the great political temptation--and how great it really is--to get it over right now, pull them out, blame whoever started it, et cetera, despite all of that we, I think, have to take the position that we will end the war. We are ending it. It is winding down. It will continue to. But we are going to end it in a way which will discourage those who might engage in aggression, that will not in terms of our enemies and those who might be our enemies encourage those who are, shall we say, the hawks as against the doves, and also in a way that particularly will not dismay our friends in Asia and that part of the world.

That is why the long view requires not only ending the war, but then a plan after that, and that is why right at the present time, Mr. Shultz, Mr. Ehrlichman, two of our top domestic advisers, are in Japan and will shortly be going to South Vietnam for the purpose of taking the long view--what happens afterwards; the development of Southeast Asia, our relations with Japan, and so on.

Let me come to the Mediterranean and put it in the same context for a moment. This is a trip to the Sixth Fleet./2/ It could be looked upon as what Presidents do in political campaigns. You go and inspect the fleet or inspect a base. It has been done before. I didn't bring it up for the first time, as you are all aware.

/2/Reference is to the President's impending trip to the Mediterranean, which included a visit to the Sixth Fleet. The trip began on September 27, concluded on October 5, and included stops in Italy , Yugoslavia , Spain , England , and Ireland .

The Sixth Fleet, however, has implications far beyond simply a routine Presidential inspection. I have gone to carriers before and I have looked at them. I have no reason to want to see how a carrier operates and how the Navy with its marvelous flyers are able to land in a small space and so forth and so on.

But when we look at the Mediterranean and the Sixth Fleet--let me try to put that in the context of history as I see it.

If there is one thing that can be said, over the past ten years the American position in the Mediterranean has been rapidly deteriorating and has deteriorated there more than any place in the world.

Look at the southern rim of the Mediterranean. Look at the eastern rim of the Mediterranean and the northern rim of the Mediterranean and see what has happened, and you will see why this is the case.

When you look at the southern rim of the Mediterranean, ever since the June war in 1967, while the United States still has a strong friend in Morocco , and also a strong friend in Tunisia , both of these countries are relatively weak, both economically and certainly militarily.

Next door is Algeria . Algeria is more hopeful at the moment, even though we don't have diplomatic relations established on a formal basis. They have been making certainly rather generous comments, or at least more generous than you would normally expect. I think Mr. Sisco would agree.

Libya is a country which is enormously affected by the fact that about half of its population is Palestinian refugees. Libya with all of that oil, and with the kind of government it has--who knows what will happen there; the influence, whether the influence will be within Libya , whether it will be by Nasser hanging over them, or for that matter from the Soviet Union. I don't need to talk about Nasser and his problems in Egypt . You are aware of that. It has been discussed earlier.

But looking further around, Lebanon always was shaky, and still is, of course.

Jordan , a country where you wonder why anybody would ever insure the king. I am sure nobody does. And there are reasons there that have already been discussed.

Iraq and Syria, countries that at the present time are, as far as we are concerned, ones we have very little information about, except that they are basically irrational and usually antagonistic towards our views.

Then we have to go clear over to Iran , which is not in the Middle East, to find a strong, effective support of the United States , or to Saudi Arabians. That is about it.

You look at all of that area, sitting in the heart of it is Israel . There is a tendency to look at the Mideast and say, "This conflict is about Israel and its neighbors." Of course it is. It is about the survival of Israel . But we couldn't make a greater mistake than to think of it in those terms even primarily. Certainly the United States stands for the survival of Israel and the survival of other countries in that area and for their independence and for their ability to defend themselves.

But on the other hand, if we look at the Arab-Israeli conflict, we have to remember they have hated each other for thousands of years and they are going to continue for another thousand years and nothing we do or they do is going to solve that--no cease fires, no agreements, no border guarantees, no U.N. guarantees, no U.S.-Soviet guarantees, nothing.

What is it all about then? What it is about in terms of historical perspective is this: A policy which will keep, if we can, this relationship of an uneasy ceasefire, fragile, as has already described, attempting to look down the road when Israel will be able to live with its neighbors in a relative period of live and let-live.

That is about all that they can hope for and all that we can hope for. It is putting it in the perspective of history for them and it is very difficult for them to think in this perspective, just as it is for us. They look down the road five years and they realize that they are going to be able to handle any of their neighbors without any question, even though their neighbors have many more planes, many more tanks, and everything else.

But looking down the road, 10, 15, 20 years, Egyptians supported enough by the Soviet Union or some other power, can learn to fight and Iraqis and Syrians and all the rest. They never have, but it can be done. We used to not think that Asians could fight. They have proved they could fight pretty well in Korea , and then in Vietnam . So it will be here.

So far as Israel is concerned, it has an interest, in my belief at least, it has an interest in making, at least attempting, attempting to bargain when its bargaining position is strong rather than waiting for the time when its bargaining position becomes much more equal with that of its neighbors. So be it.

I only indicate that as one of the factors that may eventually bring these nations to some kind of a live-and-let-live attitude.

But let us look further. Looking at the northern Mediterranean and some of the policies we have there, I know many in this room--I have seen a few editorials--that are concerned about our policy toward Greece; critical of the fact that we continue to provide military aid to the Greek government for its NATO forces, due to the fact that the Greeks have a government that we disapprove of. We do disapprove of their government. They are aware of that.

But Greece has 11 divisions in NATO. It is on the southern hinge of NATO. It is right next to Turkey , which also has a number of divisions. And as far as Greece is concerned, while we of course try to use our influence as effectively as we can, but not in a way that will put them on the spot publicly and create exactly the opposite effect that we want, it is essential that the United States continue to support NATO forces in Greece and we will do so.

You move on over. Italy has had problems ever since World War II; a divided government, too many parties and not one strong enough--not a really strong man since De Gasperi, except for Saragat, the President, who of course has never been head of the government. His party is too small; he has just been head of state.

We go on to Spain . Here again we have one of those tough ones. From an ideological standpoint, people in this country don't like the idea of America supporting a man, Franco, who 35 years ago left the taste in the mouth of dictatorship. And we would, I think, in this room subscribe to our antipathy to the kind of rule that he imposed then and that he has now.

Yet here is Spain , the western hinge. And if Spain, is what we are involved in there, where our bases are involved, if we look at the whole Mediterranean policy and speak of it completely, shall we say, in the idealistic terms that I would like to always speak of, and that you would like to write about and speak of, we shouldn't have any bases in Spain.

We should let the Greeks go.

The Turks, we don't like their government too well either because it isn't too democratic. As far as the southern hinge is concerned, the southern part of the Mediterranean is concerned, we just let that slip and slide.

That is what the short-range attitude would be. But we have to look at the whole Mediterranean. We are looking at the whole Mediterranean. And there are times we are going to have to make decisions that will have to put first things first. We are going to use our influence always to bring other people toward those kinds of principles that we believe people throughout the world, regardless of their background, have a right to have in their governments.

But we, on the other hand, feel that where American interests are involved, the interests of free nations generally, it is vitally important that the Mediterranean not be allowed to create the vacuum, to continue to deteriorate as it has been deteriorating.

Now comes the Sixth Fleet. What good do a few carriers and cruisers and the rest do down there? It has an enormous effect, an enormous effect because it is a presence. If we have any doubt about what good it does, we can look to see what our potential opponents in the world--when I say "potential opponents", I don't use the word "enemy" because we live in a world that is too dangerous for super powers to be enemies. We hope to work out with the Soviet Union a live-and-let-live attitude, even though their interests are very different.

The way to work out that attitude, live-and-let-live policy, is to recognize once and for all that we aren't going to agree on everything, we aren't going to like each other too well as far as our systems are concerned, they are going to be different, our interests are going to conflict. They have a different attitude about Europe, about Asia, about Africa, about Latin America, and they are still expansionists.

We are, on the other hand, thinking in terms of defense all around the world. But when we look at the situation--what are they doing about the Mediterranean? If you have any doubts about sea power, you will see. It grows. It is still far short of ours. It will not catch ours, not in the foreseeable future.

I am speaking not of its nuclear submarine power where they will catch us in 1974 nuclear missile-carrying submarines, but I am speaking in terms of sea power generally.

And if that sea power is allowed to grow to the point which it could, with our doing nothing--where it is superior to ours in the Mediterranean, you can see the effect that is going to have on the American presence in the Mediterranean.

When we speak of the Mediterranean, the Mideast and the rest, you have got to put it in the larger context. We all know the Mideast is the gateway to Africa. We all know that the Mideast is the source of 80 percent of Europe's oil and 90 percent of Japan 's oil. We all know too that it is the southern hinge of NATO.

That is why we try to think not in terms simply of the hijackers on four planes: Arabs versus Israeli, of what we do about the Italian Government today, and Spanish bases, we have to look at the whole picture and see what kind of a situation we are going to be faced with five or ten years from now.

How can we improve the American and free-world position in the Mediterranean? We don't do it alone. That is why we are helping the British, the Italians, to the extent they can, the Spanish, the French and everybody else to play their role.

So much for that bit of analysis, a case history.

Now, I would go on to a couple of other points, and I will be through, to illustrate. In the perspective of history, let me talk briefly about ABM.

ABM can be looked upon as a new defensive weapons system, of very doubtful efficiency, doubtful until it is tried, and nobody knows. I hope we never find out, or have to find out, whether or not it will be useful.

We think it might. Certainly the Soviet Union thinks it might.

But as we look today at the power balance and Henry Kissinger has covered this already with you I am sure, we find that the enormous advantage that the United States had in 1961 has gone down. This is not said critically of the Administrations of the past. It was inevitable to go down, because the United States maintained its level, the Soviet Union came up.

Whereas, there was at least a ten to one advantage of the United States over the Soviet Union at the time of the Cuban missile crisis in terms of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. Today it is even, with the throw weight, three to one in their favor.

That doesn't mean that at this point the United States is behind, because we have been doing some things, too, that are effective. The development of our MIRV program, moving on certain areas, and we still have enormous advantages in air power. We have enormous advantages on the sea still at this point.

But looking to the future, what the United States must remember is this: Take, for example, the field of nuclear submarines. If we decided now that we had to do something to maintain an adequate number of nuclear submarines vis-à-vis the Soviet Union, we couldn't have the first one until eight years from now. That is why decisions have to be made in the long term, rather than the short term. That is why again we look at the Sixth Fleet, not just in terms of its mission in the Mediterranean today, but where is it going to be six, eight years from now and what should we do in this country having that in mind.

Again, getting back to ABM, so we decide at this point that we will go for a defensive system in order to maintain what we describe as sufficiency for the United States , and not to allow the balance to get out.

Let me talk very candidly about why I think that is important. An argument can be made, I have heard it made quite eloquently often around our Cabinet tables from time to time, particularly by outside experts, to the effect that enough is enough. It doesn't make any difference if the Soviet Union has ten times as much as we have, or Communist China 25 years from now might have that much.

The answer is maybe. But on the other hand, try to tell that to your European allies. Tell it to a Germany , or a Japan , with no nuclear power.

The point that I make is this: I do not suggest that the United States for some jingoistic reason, because of cold war rhetoric, as it is described, has to be number one in the world in every respect, but I do say that as far as that when the time comes, when those who depend upon the umbrella of U.S. power, when they reach the conclusion that the United States has settled for an inferior position on the sea, or in terms overall roughly of the balance between missiles, offensive and defensive, then the United States no longer can play the role which unfortunately--I say unfortunately because it would be so much easier to concentrate on all of these domestic problems that start crying out for a solution--we could not play the role that history has cast upon us to play of being the nation that makes it possible for other nations to grow up in freedom and independence, without having a Soviet or Chinese and Communist system imposed upon them.

That finally brings me to the last point I would like to make. I often get the question, "As you look way ahead, what is the most difficult problem the United States has?" And I could say, of course, "Well, it is ending the war in Vietnam, the policy in the Mid East, a new policy in Europe, maintaining the weapons balance," and the rest. All of those things are important, not the most difficult, because they are soluble in the long run either by diplomacy or money or some other method.

But the real problem basically goes much deeper than that. And it basically is something that I particularly convey to you. I know that in this room there are very honest men who disagree with some of our policies, our Cambodian decision, our decision to continue the war in Vietnam to what we believe is a just peace, rather than ending it more precipitately, people who disagree with our decision to go on ABM, who may disagree with some of the things I have said in other areas.

That I understand, I appreciate, I respect. I hope we always have it in this country.

But one thing I would say very strongly at this point is as I look down the road, the next 25 years, I am convinced that there isn't any question about the ability of the United States to continue to play a helpful and constructive role in the world. I say thank God the United States is the nation that has the responsibility of leadership. The United States isn't going to attack anybody else. The United States isn't trying to get anything from anybody else. We are not trying to extend or impose our system on anybody else.

All we want is peace for ourselves, freedom for ourselves, and we hope peace and freedom, if we can, for other nations in the world.

That is the kind of a leader that the free world, I think, desperately needs and would want and would trust.

The question is, whether we in this country--our young people, for that matter, older people with all of our tremendous domestic problems--whether we have the stamina and the character and basically I come back to the fundamental point, whether we have the wisdom to take the long view, to see what the world would be like if the United States did draw into itself and say, "Who else, who is left?" Not the Germans, not the Japanese, not the British, not the French, no one else in the world can assume this responsibility of leadership.

So, as we look at that world and what it is going to be like, I am convinced that this Administration will do the best it can for the balance of the time we are there.

But I am convinced that you gentlemen have in your hands, through your editorials, through your television commentary, over the period of time, that you have an even greater responsibility and one that can have an ever greater impact to develop within this country the sense of perspective and sense of judgment.

I could even say a sense of destiny which a nation like ours needs--which we need, not because we want to be number one or Mr. Big or anything like that, but because at this time we happen to live in a world where unless we do, the situation as far as the rest of the world is concerned would be that most of the nations of the world, except for the other two great super powers, the Soviet Union and China, would simply be living in terror of what would happen.

So, we appreciated a chance to come here and share some thoughts with you at this media briefing. We have now had three of them, we are going to have another one in the Northeast shortly, and I am sorry that I have gone over the time that I expected to talk.

But I did want to share with you, not simply the decisions that we make and why we make them--that has been done better than I can by the experts who work on it day to day--but I did want you to know some of the things that sometimes you wonder, "What does he think about when he goes in the Lincoln sitting room and sits up late at night? What does he think about when he goes to Camp David and the rest?"

I don't think always simply about subjects as heavy as this. But I can assure you that at this time, above everything else, I try not to become enmeshed in the details that someone else can handle, not to become bogged down in making decisions like what is going to be the bombing run tomorrow, here, there and everyplace.

But I try constantly to bring to these discussions the sense of perspective that America has never had because we didn't need it, but now that we have got to have because not only we need it, but the world needs it.

Thank you.

72.  Background Press Briefing by the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

Naples, Italy , September 29, 1970.

/1/Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 426, Subject File, Background Briefings, September-October 1970. No classification marking. The briefing took place from 7:10 to 7:45 p.m. local time.

[Omitted here are Press Secretary Ronald Ziegler's introduction of Kissinger, his explanation of the rules governing a background briefing, and the initial questions fielded by Kissinger in the briefing, relating largely to the Yugoslav portion of the trip.]

Let me say a word about the general objective of the President in the last two days and then fit the Springfield into it./2/

/2/The question Kissinger was responding to at this point was: "What did the President discuss in his conference today with the military commanders on the Springfield?" Nixon had met with the commanders of the Sixth Fleet aboard the U.S.S. Springfield earlier in the day. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, Staff Members and Office Files, Office of Presidential Papers and Archives, Daily Diary)

Many of you have heard me talk about the Nixon Doctrine at perhaps exorbitant length. But one of the problems that we have faced in connection with our foreign policy and with the transition from a period in which the United States carried the almost exclusive responsibility to one in which we are trying to share increasingly our responsibility with others, is the fear of many countries, particularly of many allies, that the United States might withdraw from its responsibilities altogether.

Whenever we have met Europeans over recent months, European leaders over recent months, this has been one of their principal concerns. It turned out to be one of the important concerns of Italian leaders when we saw them yesterday, one of whom pointed out to us that the first visit of the President here in February was very important but the one this week was really quite crucial in reassuring the Europeans, and particularly the countries of the Mediterranean, that the United States was not withdrawing into isolationism, but, rather, remained committed to its alliances.

I mention this because the President has reiterated wherever he has been that the United States did not intend to make any unilateral reductions of its forces; that we considered the problems of the Western Alliance a concern for all the countries.

What we attempted to do this afternoon was to review with our commanders in the Mediterranean two problems. One, the problems posed for the southern flank of NATO by the developments in the Mediterranean over recent years and partly by the growth of the Soviet naval presence in the Mediterranean, and, secondly, to draw some lessons from the experiences of recent weeks, to review the experiences of recent weeks, and to see about the relationship between our strength in this area and the prospect for stability in this area.

We thought that this was particularly important, because, as I pointed out in the backgrounder I gave before we left, we are not only interested, obviously, in the aspect of how to protect the security of these countries, or help to protect the security, but how we can contribute to a more stable and more permanent peace, a problem which we want particularly to explore in our next stop when we visit Yugoslavia.

So, what we had this afternoon was a full review of the various capabilities in the Mediterranean, both as they affected NATO and as they affected other areas.

[Omitted here is discussion of official U.S. attendance at the funeral of United Arab Republic President Nasser.]

Q. Doctor, it seems at times that the relationship between the Nixon Doctrine as enunciated at Guam was not entirely clear in relationship to the President's statements concerning our role and our future role and our intentions in the Mediterranean.

Specifically, in his opening remarks with President Saragat,/3/ I believe he was talking along the lines that we intend to see to it that this will not become the place where future wars will begin. Can you talk about this statement in connection with the Nixon Doctrine?

/3/Reference is to Nixon's arrival statement in Rome on September 27. For text, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States : Richard Nixon, 1970, p. 772.

Dr. Kissinger: This is great for my ego, but it is very dangerous. The question is that the relationship between the Nixon Doctrine and some of the pronouncements on this trip did not seem self-evident to the questioner, particularly the opening remarks to President Saragat where the President said, "We will see to it", or some words to that effect, "that peace in this area will be maintained."

Let me say two things about it. First, we have always brought out the fact that there can never be a neat breakoff point between American foreign policy in one place and another.

Secondly, it is clear that the Nixon Doctrine had always envisaged a continuation of some significant American presence in crucial areas of the world where that American presence was necessary and was considered to be in the American interest.

Both of these conditions obtain in the Mediterranean. The objective of the Nixon Doctrine continues to be one of the guidelines, or the guideline, of our foreign policy. We intend to shift an increasing amount of responsibility to our allies. We intend to cooperate with them more fully than has been the case in the past, and we do look to them to make their contribution.

But we also recognize that the threat in the Mediterranean may have grown larger than anyone assumed over, say, 10 years ago, and, therefore, we recognize that some of the measures that are possible in other parts of the world do not apply with equal force here. But the basic objectives remain.

[Omitted here is the remainder of the briefing, devoted largely to questions relating to the Middle East.]

73.  Statement by President Nixon to the Press/1/

Newmarket-on-Fergus, Ireland , October 4, 1970.

/1/Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States : Richard Nixon, 1970, pp. 804-809. The President spoke at 6:35 p.m. at a reception given for the press in Dromoland Castle. His purpose, indicated in his opening remarks, was to summarize the European trip he was concluding.

[Omitted here are introductory remarks.]

The purpose of this trip, just as has been the purpose of my other trips abroad, is to strengthen the structure of peace throughout the world, and particularly is to strengthen the structure of peace in the Mediterranean area which, because of recent events, has been an area of very great concern for all those interested in peace.

Now, in analyzing what the threat to peace in the Mediterranean is, we must realize that it is not the conventional threat of one nation possibly engaging in overt action against another. It is more difficult than that, more difficult because it is the threat which arises from irresponsible radical elements which might take action which, in turn, would set in the course of events, the train of events, set in motion--I meant to say--a train of events, that would escalate into a possible confrontation between major powers in the area. That is what we saw in the Jordanian crisis and that is the kind of threat to the peace that we will have to be guarding against in the months and possibly the years ahead in the Near East and the Mediterranean generally.

Now, when you have that kind of a threat, in order to meet it the primary need is for elements of stability in the area, economic and political stability, yes, but primarily, where the threat is irresponsible and where it resorts to violence, unexpected and unpredictable violence, without reason, without cause--sometimes--there must be military stability and military strength. That is why I first visited the 6th Fleet.

The 6th Fleet is one element of military stability in the Mediterranean. After visiting the 6th Fleet and being briefed by its commanders and our commanders there, I became convinced that the 6th Fleet is able to meet its mission of deterring irresponsible elements in the Mediterranean area.

After meeting with the 6th Fleet commanders and, also, after having discussed this matter with our NATO allies and with our ambassadors from the Mediterranean countries, I am convinced that it is essential that the 6th Fleet continue to have this capability in the event that other powers, with other designs on the area, other than ours and our friends who have no designs except the peace in the area, and the right of each individual nation to maintain its own integrity--in the event that other forces, naval forces, should threaten the position of strength which the 6th Fleet now enjoys, then the United States must be prepared to take the action necessary to maintain that overall strength of the 6th Fleet.

So what I am saying here is the 6th Fleet presently can meet its mission and, second, we shall be prepared to increase its strength in the event that its position of overall strength is threatened by the actions of other powers who take another position in the area than we do.

Another element of strength in the Mediterranean area is, of course, NATO, and particularly its Southern Command. Without going into the specific conversations that we had with the NATO Southern Commanders, I would emphasize here that this provided an opportunity for me to state very strongly and unequivocally these principles with regard to the United States association with NATO.

Considerable concern, I find, has arisen among many of the NATO nations, the major nations and the smaller NATO nations, as a result of some comments by political figures in the United States as well as some of those commenting upon the American role in the world, that the United States might not meet its NATO responsibilities and was on the verge of reducing its contribution to NATO. I stated categorically to the NATO Commanders, and I do it here publicly again, that the United States will, under no circumstances, reduce, unilaterally, its commitment to NATO. Any reduction in NATO forces, if it occurs, will only take place on a multilateral basis and on the basis of what those who are lined up against the NATO forces--what they might do. In other words, it would have to be on a mutual basis.

I know that the Nixon Doctrine has sometimes been inaccurately described as one that would allow the United States to reduce its responsibilities in the world. That is not the case. The purpose of the Nixon Doctrine is to provide a policy under which the United States can meet its responsibilities more effectively in the world by sharing those responsibilities with others. And in NATO that is our policy.

To summarize, with regard to NATO, we will maintain our present strength. We will not reduce it unilaterally. We will continue to talk with our NATO allies with regard to how, overall, we can meet our responsibilities together.

Moving from NATO now to the Mideast, I found in the conversations that I had with all of the leaders that I met--and, as you know, they covered not only our allies and friends but also they covered President Tito of Yugoslavia, a nonaligned state--I found general agreement on these propositions: strong support for the American cease-fire initiative; and, second, I found that, as far as that cease-fire initiative is concerned, that there is not the pessimism that we sense in some quarters, as a result of what happened in Jordan and as a result of the new instability that inevitably will follow the death of President Nasser, that the cease-fire initiative's days were numbered.

I do not suggest that the road ahead is not difficult. But I think we have to separate our peace initiative into two parts: one, the cease-fire part of the initiative; and, second, that part of the initiative that has to do with negotiation.

With regard to negotiation, the prospect for immediate negotiation between the two or three or other parties involved on either side--as far as those prospects are concerned--they are, at this time, not bright because of the introduction of missiles into the 50-kilometer zone.

The reaction of the Israelis, of course, has been not to participate in negotiation.

However, we are going to continue to attempt to get the negotiating process started and, of course, in the process, to do what we can diplomatically to see that there are no further violations of the standstill, and dealing, of course, diplomatically, with the violations that have occurred. So much for the negotiation side of it.

On the cease-fire side of it, however, I think I can say quite unequivocally that neither party--and by neither party I say neither the Israelis on the one side or the other nations, the U.A.R. and others involved in the cease-fire initiative--will gain by breaking the cease-fire. That is why we believe that our acting and talking strongly in behalf of an extension of the cease-fire for another 90 days is the proper course and that it has considerable chance to succeed. Because any party at this time that would break the cease-fire initiative would have very, very little support in the world. It would be acting alone against the whole weight of the world public opinion and also against the weight of public opinion, I should say, in the United States .

Another comment with regard to the Mideast that I think should be made: We tend in the United States to see our role as being predominant and, of course, it is because of our strength. On the other hand, we must recognize, and this trip brought this home to me and underlined it again, that there are other powers in the Mediterranean area that can play, that are playing, and that must play, a significant role in the peacekeeping area.

The Italians, for example, have a very significant interest in the Mediterranean and have contacts that we do not have that are better than ours. The Spanish also have very significant interests in the Mediterranean and have been very helpful. And the British, in addition, of course, have had a traditional, longtime interest in the Mediterranean area. My talks with the leaders of these three countries were very helpful in that respect because it is not a healthy situation in the world for the United States to be alone, whether it is in the Far East, where we welcome the fact that the British are maintaining a presence there, or whether it is in the Mideast, or in the Mediterranean.

That is why the Secretary of State and I have worked, both before we arrived on this trip and during this trip, on developing not only consultation but participation on the part of other Mediterranean powers who share our views about the area, and participation and responsibility for keeping the peace in that area.

[Omitted here are the President's concluding remarks devoted primarily to his impressions of the trip and the leaders with whom he met.]

74.  Memorandum for the President's File by the President's Special Assistant (Keogh)/1/

Washington, October 7, 1970.

/1/Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, Box 82, President's Office Files, Memoranda for the President, August 16-October 25, 1970. No classification marking.

SUBJECT
Cabinet Meeting, October 7, 1970

[Omitted here are a preview and discussion by President Nixon of a new proposal for a settlement in Southeast Asia he intended to deliver in a televised speech later that day, related discussion of problems within the South Vietnamese economy that complicated prospects for a settlement, and limited discussion of the President's European trip. For the text of the President's speech, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States : Richard Nixon, 1970, pages 825-828.]

Turning to a more general theme, the President remarked to the Cabinet that "We have been through some difficult times since we came here." But he added that he was not pessimistic about the international situation. He said he found on his European trip that "other countries want the U.S. to play a role in the world." While there is often shouting against the U.S. , he said, the attitude becomes quite different when a suggestion is made seriously that the U.S. should "go home." Then, he said, the attitude becomes "Oh, no, don't go." He remarked that President Marcos of the Philippines had told him earlier that while it was politically popular to say that the United States must go, it was also quite necessary to say privately, "I hope that you don't."

"We are the most powerful nation in the world," the President said. "But no nation in the world fears the United States . This is the greatest asset we have in diplomacy." The U.S. , the President went on, is "the only nation in history that hasn't used its power to acquire more power. This country can be proud of its role in the world and we should stand up and say so."

As the President reached this point in his remarks, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, George Romney, said he felt that everyone in the room "thanks God that you, Mr. President, are at the head of this country's government at this time and are handling our role in the world with such great skill."

The President said he believed that "it may take 40 years for it to be written but it is the truth that America never worked for a better cause than it has in Vietnam . If we can bring the war to a close, if we can give South Vietnam a chance, this will be an achievement of which we can be extremely proud. I am sorry that a Republican Mayor said that our best young men went to Canada to avoid serving in the Armed Forces. I say our best young men went to Vietnam ."

As the President left the room, the Cabinet gave him a standing ovation.

75.  Editorial Note

During the course of a general discussion of foreign policy issues and domestic considerations on October 12, 1970, President Nixon and Henry Kissinger weighed the responsibilities of leadership:

"P: The US--what it will be like for the next 25 years depends on whether we have the guts, the stamina, the wisdom to exert leadership, will determine whether the future of the country . . . that is really what the facts are. People may want to put their heads in the sand; they may want to clean up the ghettos. All right, we will get out of the world. Who is left? The two activists, Russia and Communist China.

"K: If you will look at countries like Austria . When they had great political power they also did great things domestically. Now they are just shrunk into weak petty countries.

"P: All these people are concerned about peace in the world. We go to the sidelines and there are a couple of big boys out there ready to play-- China and Russia . All we are doing is fighting for the right of countries to be free.

"K: Their conflicts are going to be infinitely more bitter than anything we participate in." (Memorandum of telephone conversation, October 12, 1970, 6:10 p.m.; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 365, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File, 12-16 Oct 1970)

76.  Statement by Secretary of State Rogers Before the Senate Finance Committee/1/

Washington, October 12, 1970.

/1/Source: Trade Act of 1970: Amendments 925 and 1009 to H.R. 17550, Social Security Amendments of 1970: Hearings and Informal Proceedings Before the Committee on Finance, United States Senate, Ninety-First Congress, Second Session (Washington, 1971), pp. 266-269.

Mr. Chairman/2/ and members of the committee, I welcome the opportunity to discuss with your committee the pending Trade Act. My comments will be made against the background of our relations with friendly countries and in the light of our position in world affairs.

/2/Senator Clinton P. Anderson of New Mexico was Acting Chairman in the absence of Senator Russell B. Long of Louisiana.

Last year the President sent to the Congress a proposed Trade Act/3/ which followed in the tradition of American trade legislation designed to increase trade and prosperity by reducing barriers and obstacles to peaceful commerce in the world. In major part because of vigorous American leadership, international trade since World War II has been substantially relieved of the restrictions and distortions that we had inherited from the 1930's.

/3/See Document 44.

I would remind the committee that in the 25 years since the end of the Second World War the world has had the longest period of sustained and rapid income growth in history, thanks in very important part to the unblocking of the channels of trade. The American people, along with peoples everywhere, have been the beneficiaries of this unprecedented period of prosperity.

The legislation before you incorporates many of the provisions that the President requested in his initial proposal to the Congress, including limited tariff cutting authority, liberalization of adjustment assistant provisions of the present Trade Expansion Act, and authority to eliminate the "American Selling Price" system of valuation.

It includes also a provision for the establishment of domestic international sales corporations, intended to assist our exports, which the administration subsequently had requested. The President has also indicated his willingness to accept a provision for restrictions on certain textile imports because our efforts to find other solutions to problems in our textile trade have thus far been unsuccessful.

The administration recognizes that the world environment is changing, that new economic, trade, and investment problems are appearing and that new approaches may be necessary. The President, therefore, has commissioned a group of distinguished Americans under the leadership of Albert Williams to study the emerging situation and to recommend a comprehensive set of foreign trade and investment policies for the 1970's.

In the meantime, a bill limited to the provisions I have just enumerated would be a positive factor in our relations with the rest of the world. It would be accepted by our trading partners as evidence of American intention to continue along the broad lines of the post-war commercial policy that has served us all so well. It would be taken as a signal that the United States will maintain its place of leadership in the development of the world economy.

It would put us in a favorable position to achieve further reductions in barriers to our exports. It would permit us, I believe, to deal with the difficult problems in our textile trade in a manner calculated to minimize difficulties with supplying nations.

Unfortunately, the bill before you includes a number of additional provisions which the President did not request and which the administration considers to be contrary to the national interest. Primary among these are, first, provisions for quotas on individual items apart from textiles and, second, the potential extension of restrictions, including quotas, to many other products through an excessive loosening of the escape clause.

Additionally, the proposed bill would depart from past escape-clause procedure by setting an arbitrary arithmetic formula to be used in assessing injury. I must tell you that if other countries were to apply this approach to our own exports, there would be grave damage to the sales of hundreds of American firms and to the jobs of hundreds of thousands of American firms and to the jobs of hundreds of thousands of American workers.

I urge this committee, therefore, to recommend to the Senate the elimination of these undesired and potentially damaging features of the legislation.

We have made a careful assessment of the impact of this bill, not only upon our economic interests, but also upon our international interests. We are convinced that it would cause serious harm to the United States .

Naturally, we have heard from other countries about their views of the legislation as it now stands. The President and I heard some of these views at firsthand during our recent journey to Europe. The reactions abroad to the pending bill are those of deep concern and even alarm at the apparent direction of American policy.

Our trading partners fear that the United States is about to make an historic turn in its foreign trade policy. Just as we have led the trading world on the way to a steady reduction of trade barriers, it is now feared that our example could drive the trading world back to the kind of bilateralism and restrictionism that crippled international commerce, including our own, in the 1930's, and contributed to the disastrous consequences that we all know.

It may be said that these fears are unjustified, that the proposed legislation merely seeks to deal with certain special and urgent problems of the United States , and that other nations too have restrictions on imports. The fact is, however, that the legislation before you could lead to restrictions on a very large volume of U.S. trade, as much as $3 billion or more, and other nations are acutely aware of this.

It is also a fact that the very size of the United States in the world economy lends special weight and emphasis to everything we do and that our actions do set an example, for good, or bad, for everyone else. Obviously, other nations have trade restrictions, as of course we do. But we and the rest of the world recognize that the way to a reduction of the remaining obstacles to trade in the world is through hard, reciprocal bargaining, not by adding new and unnecessary obstacles.

Considering the potential damage to trade and the amount of public attention that has been and will be given to this matter, it must be expected that other governments would not be able to accept passively increased trade restrictions by the United States .

There is widespread fear of an impending trade war that no one wishes, neither we nor our trading partners. But we must realize that the political pressures on other governments could be so great as to lead to retaliatory actions against our trade. We are a very large exporter and in some fields the volume of our more dynamic export items already gives rise to foreign concern.

I hope that the Congress will give us a trade bill which will preclude any possibility of serious retaliation. I think it is my duty, nevertheless, to tell you what easily might happen, and it would be wrong for us to minimize the travesty of the situation that we might come to face.

Let me add that a liberal trade policy is essential if the developing countries are to achieve the self-reliance that the Nixon doctrine seeks to encourage. If we are going to foster self-reliance by the developing countries of the world, we must not deny to them the possibility of earning their own way. If we do that, we shall undermine the very processes that generate self-confidence and growth. The consequence will be that we will hurt them and ourselves as well.

The legislation before you appears in some respects to give the President a wide degree of flexibility in the application of the provisions of the legislation. Some may argue that this will enable the President to avoid the application of the worst features of the bill. But in many instances, this flexibility could not be used.

Specifically, it would be extremely costly to discriminate among countries in order to moderate the impact of the legislation. We are solemnly committed, in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and in many bilateral treaties, to treat other countries on a nondiscriminatory, most-favored-nation basis. To do otherwise would be to dishonor our obligations.

We have economic and trading interests everywhere. We do not want to become a victim of a world fragmented into trading blocs and bilateral arrangements. It would ill serve our Nation to take the lead in restricting trade and damaging or destroying the principle of most-favored-nation treatment that is now written in our own basic trade law.

Mr. Chairman, I have spoken out of deep concern for the potential damage to our industry and agriculture of certain features of the legislation that you are considering. It is possible for this committee to propose to the Senate a bill that will advance our economic interests, not retard them, that will uphold our status and position in world affairs and that will still enable the administration to deal effectively and constructively with the pressing problems of specific firms and industries in our domestic economy.

A statute that is limited to the provisions recommended or supported by the administration will do that. A statute with additional and restrictive features, such as are contained in H.R. 18970, on the other hand, would threaten our economic interests and would undermine our position in the world, without meeting the true nature of our particular problems at home.

I earnestly invite you to look upon our trade legislation as part and parcel if our total national interests and in the framework of a coherent political and economic policy that takes into account our domestic needs and our world responsibilities.

I urge this committee, therefore, and the Senate to remove from the bill these unneeded and dangerous features and to send to the President trade legislation consistent with our tradition of leadership and with our national interests.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

77.  Memorandum of Conversation/1/

Washington, October 22, 1970, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 71, Kissinger Office Files, Country Files, Europe, USSR, Gromyko 1970. Top Secret; Sensitive. The conversation was held in the Oval Office of the White House.

PARTICIPANTS
The President
Soviet Foreign Minister A. A. Gromyko
Soviet Ambassador A. F. Dobrynin
Secretary Rogers
Mr. Kissinger
Viktor Sukhodrev, Interpreter, Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs
William D. Krimer, Interpreter, State Department

[Omitted here is the opening portion of the conversation, in which Nixon welcomed Gromyko, suggested topics for discussion, and invited Gromyko's response. Gromyko began by expressing his government's concern about the tenor of U.S.-Soviet relations, which he said seemed to be at variance with the President's stated intent to convert an era of confrontation into an era of negotiation. Speaking for his government, he said the Soviet Union would like to see a lessening of tensions and an improvement and expansion of relations with the United States .]

The President replied that with respect to the bilateral relations between our two countries, Mr. Gromyko had indeed described his policy correctly, the policy on moving from an era of confrontation into a era of negotiation. The President also agreed with Mr. Gromyko's comments to the effect that the internal situation of a country should not be allowed to influence its foreign relations. However, since both countries are great powers, he was enough of a realist to know that when great powers are involved there were inevitably bound to be some misunderstandings. He thought Mr. Gromyko would agree that the President had been extremely careful to try to limit differences between them to private discussions rather than discussions in public. Mr. Gromyko, being a realist, would know that in our country whenever elections approached political leaders were tempted to take a belligerent anti-Communist line. As for the President personally, he did not consider such an approach to be in the interests of world peace or of Soviet-American relations. For this reason, he had personally tried to avoid any statement that might make the situation worse.

The President continued that he felt very strongly that both sides, allies during World War II, who were instrumental in bringing into being the United Nations, must realize on this 25th anniversary of the UN that the relations and the interests of the two great powers could hardly be submitted to the United Nations where their differences would be publicly resolved [exposed?]. Mr. Gromyko had spoken before the General Assembly yesterday and the President intended to do so tomorrow. However, in the next 25 years, world peace in general and, more precisely even, avoidance of smaller wars would depend to a much greater extent on the relations between the United States and the Soviet Union than on anything else. For this reason, he felt unhappy that the relations between our countries were now the coolest since the cold war began. He had been very careful not to contribute to the difficult situation by rhetoric. He thought it was of greatest importance now to give a signal to the world that the United States and the Soviet Union were not looking for areas in which to confront each other. To be honest, we had to realize that our interests in many parts of the world differed and that on some questions it would be most difficult to reach agreed positions. However, it was clearly in the common interests of both great powers to limit the burden of armaments, to increase trade and communications between them. It was in this spirit that he was resolved to view our bilateral relations.

Mr. Gromyko replied that he found the President's appraisal of the situation to be a reasonable one. He asked the President's permission to summarize what had been said to the effect that the policy of the United States would be directed at reducing the tensions which were bound to arise from time to time and that the President's formula of negotiation rather than confrontation remained in effect; also that the President personally intended to work for an improvement and deepening of the relations between the two countries and the international situation in general.

The President agreed that this was correct and added the further point that in the past we had been reasonably successful and it was his hope that we would be even more successful in the future whenever difficulties arose to keep them in private channels rather than expose them in public. In the past we may have been at fault to some extent, and so was the Soviet Union, in publicizing our differences. This was in the past, however, and it would be important to avoid that in the future.

Mr. Gromyko said this was correct. Articles in the Soviet press in the past reporting what was being said in the United States in regard to the Soviet Union had been but a small fraction of unfavorable American statements about the Soviet Union. After all, when hostile statements appeared in the U.S. , what was there left for the Soviet Union to do but to react accordingly? The Soviet side would not remain indebted when it came to hostile statements. This was not the right path, however. He noted that the President had mentioned the development of trade relations between the two countries. In this respect, we were faced by almost a vacuum. Was this indeed the policy of the United States Government? He simply would like to know the President's attitude to this question.

The President said that there were possibilities in this field. He thought one would have to be realistic and say that some of the other problems come into play when it comes to considering the possibility of increasing trade between the two countries. For example, the Vietnam war, which involved our primary and basic interests, was bound to have an inhibiting influence upon the possibilities of trade. Due to the fact that under our legislative arrangements some items which could be used to aid North Vietnam could not be exported to the Soviet Union. We were indeed prepared to explore ways in which trade between our two countries could be increased. He did not like to use the word "linkage", but it was true nevertheless that a settlement of these other matters would lead to increasing economic exchanges between us. He therefore felt that if our political relations improved, increased trade would follow naturally. This was in our interest as well as in the interest of the Soviet Union.

[Omitted here is discussion of the Middle East, Berlin, Vietnam , the SALT negotiations, and the possibility of convening a European security conference.]

Conclusion

The President said he believed we have covered most of the subjects that required discussion. Referring to earlier discussions, he said that as realists we knew and Mr. Gromyko knew that the question of the future of Europe, as well as the question of arms control would depend upon whether the United States and the Soviet Union could work out solutions aimed at strengthening peace. We recognized that there are also a number of other factors threatening peace, but if the great powers worked together, the peace could be kept. As practical men, we knew that US-Soviet understanding was essential for the future of the world. He wanted to be sure that Mr. Gromyko would not leave with the impression that the internal political situation in the United States would lead the President to take a course opposite to the one he had followed until now. He noted that Mr. Gromyko had made a temperate speech before the UN yesterday, and said that he would make a temperate speech there tomorrow. Both Mr. Gromyko and Mr. Dobrynin were well acquainted with U.S. politics. Both had been in this room before with President Johnson and President Kennedy. The President said that he was in an unusual position. When he was elected to office it was said that President Nixon would not be able to work with the Soviet leaders because of his past background of anti-Communism. He did not believe this to be so. More than any other President since World War II, he felt that he could be flexible. He was prepared to be flexible in all negotiations with the Soviet Union and wanted Mr. Gromyko to realize that his approach would not be doctrinaire on any subject, but, rather, pragmatic in all cases.

Mr. Gromyko thanked the President for his views and said that the President had correctly emphasized the role of the Soviet Union and the United States as the two great powers responsible for keeping peace in the world. The Soviet leadership was in full agreement with the premise that the future of the world depended to an enormous extent upon the relations between the Soviet Union and the United States . If the U.S. Government worked in the direction of peace, if it respected the interests of the Soviet Union, it would find a vigorous, energetic and determined partner in its search for ways to improve relations. This policy of the Soviet Union was not new. It had been inviolable since the very inception of the Soviet State. It was important, however, to stress the concept of reciprocity. Mr. Gromyko repeated this statement for emphasis. As for what the President had said about the internal political situation influencing American foreign policy, it was not for him to offer any evaluation of this influence. He repeated however that his government sometimes had the impression that the U.S. Government paid some tribute to the internal political situation in the U.S. in the conduct of foreign affairs. If this was indeed so, it could only be harmful to the relations between our two countries. Mr. Gromyko said that he was gratified to learn that President Nixon's speech before the UN would be temperate. One should be able to rise above transitory phenomena and guide our two countries to work for the interests of peace.

78.  Address by President Nixon to the United Nations General Assembly/1/

New York, October 23, 1970.

/1/Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States : Richard Nixon, 1970, pp. 926-932. The President spoke at 3:55 p.m. at the UN Headquarters. His address was broadcast live on television and radio.

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General,/2/ distinguished Chiefs of State and Heads of Government, Your Excellencies the Foreign Ministers, and Delegates here assembled:

/2/The President of the General Assembly was Dr. Edvard Hambro of Norway ; the Secretary-General was U Thant.

I am honored to greet the members of the United Nations on behalf of the United States as we celebrate this organization's 25th anniversary. On this historic occasion I wish to pay a special tribute to the founders of the United Nations--to Secretary General U Thant and to all others who have played indispensable roles in its success.

In considering an anniversary and in celebrating one, there is a temptation to recount the accomplishments of the past, to gloss over the difficulties of the present, and to speak in optimistic or even extravagant terms about our hopes for the future.

This is too important a time and too important an occasion for such an approach. The fate of more than 3-1/2 billion people today rests on the realism and candor with which we approach the great issues of war and peace, of security and progress, in this world that together we call home.

So I would like to speak with you today not ritualistically but realistically; not of impossible dreams but of possible deeds.

The United Nations was born amid a great upwelling of hope that at last the better nature of man would triumph. There was hope that Woodrow Wilson's dream of half a century ago--that the world's governments would join "in a permanent league in which they are pledged to use their united power to maintain peace by maintaining right and justice"--would at last be realized.

Some of those early hopes have been realized. Some have not.

The U.N. has achieved many successes in settling or averting conflicts.

The U.N. has achieved many successes in promoting economic development and in fostering other areas of international cooperation, thanks to the work of dedicated men and women all over the world.

These are matters that all the members of the United Nations can point to with very great pride.

But we also know that the world today is not what the founders of the U.N. hoped it would be 25 years ago. Cooperation among nations leaves much to be desired. The goal of the peaceful settlement of disputes is too often breached. The great central issue of our time--the question of whether the world as a whole is to live at peace--has not been resolved.

This central issue turns in large part on the relations among the great nuclear powers. Their strength imposes on them special responsibilities of restraint and wisdom. The issue of war and peace cannot be solved unless we in the United States and the Soviet Union demonstrate both the will and the capacity to put our relationship on a basis consist-ent with the aspirations of mankind.

Commenting here today on U.S.-Soviet relationships, I see no point in responding in kind to traditional cold war rhetoric. The facts of the recent past speak for themselves. An effort to score debating points is not the way to advance the cause of peace.

In fact, one of the paramount problems of our time is that we must transcend the old patterns of power politics in which nations sought to exploit every volatile situation for their own advantage, or to squeeze the maximum advantage for themselves out of every negotiation.

In today's world, and especially where the nuclear powers are involved, such policies invite the risk of confrontations and could spell disaster for all. The changes in the world since World War II have made more compelling than ever the central idea behind the United Nations: that individual nations must be ready at last to take a farsighted and a generous view. The profoundest national interest of our time--for every nation--is not immediate gain but the preservation of peace.

One of the reasons the world had such high hopes for the United Nations at the time of its founding was that the United States and the Soviet Union had fought together as allies in World War II. We cooperated in bringing the U.N. into being. There were hopes that this cooperation would continue.

It did not continue, and much of the world's--and the U.N.'s--most grievous troubles since have stemmed from that fact of history.

It is not my intention to point fingers of blame, but simply to discuss the facts of international life as they are.

We all must recognize that the United States and the Soviet Union have very profound and fundamental differences.

It would not be realistic, therefore, to suggest that our differences can be eliminated merely by better personal relationships between the heads of our governments. Such a view would slight the seriousness of our disagreements.

Genuine progress in our relations calls for specifics, not merely atmospherics. A true détente is built by a series of actions, not by a superficial shift in the apparent mood.

It would not be realistic to suggest that all we need to improve our relations is "better mutual understanding."

Understanding is necessary. But we do understand one another well enough to know that our differences are real, and that in many respects we will continue to be competitors. Our task is to keep that competition peaceful, to make it creative.

Neither would it be realistic to deny that power has a role in our relations. Power is a fact of international life. Our mutual obligation is to discipline that power, to seek together with other nations to ensure that it is used to maintain peace, not to threaten the peace.

I state these obstacles to peace because they are the challenge that must be overcome.

Despite the deep differences between ourselves and the Soviet Union, there are four great factors that provide a basis for a common interest in working together to contain and to reduce those differences.

The first of these factors is at once the most important and the most obvious. Neither of us wants a nuclear exchange that would cost the lives of tens of millions of people. Thus, we have a powerful common interest in avoiding a nuclear confrontation.

The second of these factors is the enormous cost of arms. Certainly we both should welcome the opportunity to reduce the burden, to use our resources for building rather than destroying.

The third factor is that we both are major industrial powers, which at present have very little trade or commercial contact with one another. It would clearly be in the economic self-interest of each of us if world conditions would permit us to increase trade and contact between us.

The fourth factor is the global challenge of economic and social development. The pressing economic and social needs around the world can give our competition a creative direction.

Thus, in these four matters, we have substantial mutual incentives to find ways of working together despite our continuing difference of views on other matters.

It was in this spirit that I announced, on taking office, that the policy of the United States would be to move from an era of confrontation to one of negotiation.

This is a spirit that we hope will dominate the talks between our two countries on the limitation of strategic arms.

There is no greater contribution which the United States and the Soviet Union together could make than to limit the world's capacity for self-destruction.

This would reduce the danger of war. And it would enable us to devote more of our resources--abroad as well as at home--to assisting in the constructive works of economic development and in peaceful progress: in Africa, for example, where so many nations have gained independence and dignity during the life of the United Nations; in Asia, with its rich diversity of cultures and peoples; and in Latin America, where the United States has special bonds of friendship and cooperation.

Despite our many differences, the United States and the Soviet Union have managed ever since World War II to avoid direct conflicts. But history shows--as the tragic experience of World War I indicates--that great powers can be drawn into conflict without their intending it by wars between smaller nations.

The Middle East is a place today where local rivalries are intense, where the vital interests of the United States and the Soviet Union are both involved. Quite obviously, the primary responsibility for achieving a peaceful settlement in the Middle East rests on the nations there themselves. But in this region in particular, it is imperative that the two major powers conduct themselves so as to strengthen the forces of peace rather than to strengthen the forces of war.

It is essential that we and the Soviet Union join in efforts toward avoiding war in the Middle East, and also toward developing a climate in which the nations of the Middle East will learn to live and let live. It is essential not only in the interest of the people of the Middle East themselves, but also because the alternative could be a confrontation with disastrous consequences for the Middle East, for our nations, and for the whole world.

Therefore, we urge the continuation of the cease-fire and the creation of confidence in which peace efforts can go forward.

In the world today we are at a crossroads. We can follow the old way, playing the traditional game of international relations, but at ever-increasing risk. Everyone will lose. No one will gain. Or we can take a new road.

I invite the leaders of the Soviet Union to join us in taking that new road--to join in a peaceful competition, not in the accumulation of arms but in the dissemination of progress; not in the building of missiles but in waging a winning war against hunger and disease and human misery in our own countries and around the globe.

Let us compete in elevating the human spirit, in fostering respect for law among nations, in promoting the works of peace. In this kind of competition, no one loses and everyone gains.

Here at the United Nations, there are many matters of major and immediate global concern on which nations even when they are competitors have a mutual interest in working together as part of the community of nations.

In approaching these matters each of us represented here, in our national interest as leaders and in our self-interest as human beings, must take into consideration a broader element: "The World Interest."

It is in the world interest to avoid drifting into a widening division between have and have-not nations.

Last month I proposed a major transformation of the American foreign aid program./3/ A major thrust of my proposals is to place larger shares of American assistance under international agencies, in particular the World Bank, the U.N. Development Program, the Regional Development Banks. We seek to promote greater multilateral cooperation and the pooling of contributions through impartial international bodies. We are also encouraging developing countries to participate more fully in the determination of their needs. Within the inter-American system, for example, new mechanisms have been established for a continuing and frank dialogue.

/3/See Document 70.

In the spirit of the U.N.'s second development decade, we shall strive to do our full and fair share in helping others to help themselves--through government assistance, through encouraging efforts by private industry, through fostering a spirit of international volunteer service.

It is in the world interest for the United States and the United Nations, all nations, not to be paralyzed in its most important function, that of keeping the peace.

Disagreements between the major powers in the past have contributed to this paralysis. The United States will do everything it can to help develop and strengthen the practical means that will enable the United Nations to move decisively to keep the peace. This means strengthening both its capacity for peacemaking, settling disputes before they lead to armed conflict, and its capacity for peacekeeping, containing and ending conflicts that have broken out.

It is in the world interest that we cooperate, all of us, in preserving and restoring our natural environment.

Pollution knows no national or ideological boundaries. For example, it has made Lake Erie barely able to support life, it is despoiling Lake Baikal, and it puts Lake Tanganyika in future jeopardy. The U.N. is uniquely equipped to play a central role in an international effort to curtail its ravages.

It is in the world interest for the resources of the sea to be used for the benefit of all--and not to become a source of international conflict, pollution, and unbridled commercial rivalry.

Technology is ready to tap the vast, largely virgin resources of the oceans. At this moment, we have the opportunity to set up rules and institutions to ensure that these resources are developed for the benefit of all mankind and that the resources derived from them are shared equitably. But this moment is fleeting. If we fail to seize it, storm and strife could become the future of the oceans.

This summer the United States submitted a draft United Nations convention on this matter which I hope will receive early and favorable attention.

It is in the world interest to ensure that the quantity of life does not impair the quality of life.

As the U.N. enters its second development decade, it has both the responsibility and the means to help nations control the population explosion which so impedes meaningful economic growth. The United States will continue to support the rapid development of U.N. services to assist the population and family planning programs of member nations.

It is in the world interest that the narcotics traffic be curbed.

Drugs pollute the minds and bodies of our young people, bringing misery, violence, and human and economic waste. This scourge of drugs can be eliminated through international cooperation. I urge all governments to support the recent recommendations of the U.N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs, to take the first step toward giving them substance by establishing a United Nations Fund for Drug Control. And I urge all governments to support a strengthened narcotics treaty that would govern all production by restricting it solely to medical and scientific purposes. The United States has already circulated such a proposal for consideration at the next session of the U.N. Narcotics Commission.

It is in the world interest to put a decisive end to sky piracy and the kidnapping and murder of diplomats.

In this assembly last year, I called for international action to put an end to air piracy. This problem has grown even more acute. Recent events have dramatically underscored its gravity and also underscored the fact that no nation is immune from it. The United States has taken a number of steps on its own initiative. But this issue requires effective international actions, including measures to permit the suspension of airline services to countries where such piracy is condoned.

The increase of kidnappings of accredited diplomats is a closely related matter that should urgently concern every member of this Assembly.

Finally, it is in the world interest to ensure that the human rights of prisoners of war are not violated.

In an address earlier this month proposing a cease-fire in Indochina, I called for the immediate and unconditional release by both sides of prisoners of war and innocent victims of the conflict. This is not a political or a military issue. It is a humanitarian issue. The United Nations should register its concern about the treatment of prisoners of war and press all adversaries in this conflict, indeed in every conflict, to honor the Geneva Convention.

I have mentioned some of the problems on which the United Nations can--if its members have the will--make substantial progress. There are many others. I urge this body, and the U.N. system, to move ahead rapidly with effective action. And as we move ahead, the United States will do its full share.

The United States came to its present position of world power without either seeking the power or wanting the responsibility. We shall meet that responsibility as well as we can.

We shall not be so pious or so hypocritical as to pretend that we have not made mistakes, or that we have no national interests of our own which we intend to protect.

But we can with complete honesty say that we maintain our strength to keep the peace, not to threaten the peace. The power of the United States will be used to defend freedom, never to destroy freedom.

What we seek is not a Pax Americana, not an American Century, but rather a structure of stability and progress that will enable each nation, large and small, to chart its own course, to make its own way without outside interference, without intimidation, without domination by ourselves or any other nation. The United States fully understands and respects the policy of nonalignment, and we welcome joint efforts, such as the recent meeting in Lusaka, to further international cooperation.

We seek good relations with all the people of the world. We respect the right of each people to choose its own way.

We do hold certain principles to be universal:

--that each nation has a sovereign right to its own independence and to recognition of its own dignity.

--that each individual has a human right to that same recognition of his dignity.

--that we all share a common obligation to demonstrate the mutual respect for the rights and feelings of one another that is the mark of a civil society and also of a true community of nations.

As the United Nations begins its next quarter century, it does so richer in experience, sobered in its understanding of what it can do and what it cannot, what should be expected and what should not.

In the spirit of this 25th anniversary, the United States will go the extra mile in doing our part toward making the U.N. succeed. We look forward to working together--working together with all nations represented here in going beyond the mere containment of crises to building a structure of peace that promotes justice as well as assuring stability that will last because all have a stake in its lasting.

I remember very vividly today my visit to India in 1953 when I met for the first time one of the world's greatest statesmen, Prime Minister Nehru. I asked him, as he considered that great country, with its enormous problems, what was its greatest need? He replied: The greatest need for India , and for any newly independent country, is for 25 years of peace--a generation of peace.

In Africa, in Asia, in Latin America, in Western Europe, in Eastern Europe--in all the 74 nations I have now visited, one thing I have found is that whatever their differences in race or religion or political systems, whatever their customs, whatever their condition, the people of the world want peace.

So let the guns fall silent and stay silent.

In Southeast Asia, let us agree to a cease-fire and negotiate a peace.

In the Middle East, let us hold to the cease-fire and build a peace.

Through arms control agreements, let us invest our resources in the development that nourishes peace.

Across this planet let us attack the ills that threaten peace.

In the untapped oceans of water and space, let us harvest in peace.

In our personal relations and in our international relations, let us display the mutual respect that fosters peace.

Above all, let us, as leaders of the world, reflect in our actions what our own people feel. Let us do what our own people need. Let us consider the world interest--the people's interest--in all that we do.

Since the birth of the United Nations, for the first time in this century the world's people have lived through 25 years without a world war.

Let us resolve together that the second quarter century of the United Nations shall offer the world what its people yearn for, and what they deserve: a world without any war, a full generation of peace.

79.  Editorial Note

Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu came to Washington on October 26, 1970, for a 2-day official visit following his participation in the 25th anniversary session of the UN General Assembly. During the course of a conversation between President Nixon and President Ceausescu in the Oval Office of the White House on October 26, Ceausescu expressed the hope that improved relations between the United States and Romania would serve as a model for relations between large and small countries as well as between those with differing social systems:

"The President responded by saying that this is what the United States has in mind with countries like Romania and Yugoslavia--that this kind of cooperation can be the basis for cooperation between countries with different systems, especially having in mind that this is a cooperation without strings, with no intention to influence the internal affairs of the other country."

President Nixon also addressed concerns that U.S. efforts to develop a modus vivendi with the Soviet Union would be undertaken at the expense of countries such as Romania :

"The President then said there was one point he would like to emphasize. After his talk to the UN, some observers in the press had speculated that he was committed to develop with the USSR a condominium to the detriment of other countries. The President continued by saying that he wished to state American policy quite directly. He had had a long talk with Gromyko. There would be other discussions in the future. The purpose of these discussions with the Soviets would be to explore areas where the United States and the Soviet Union could reduce the level of world conflict and the burden of arms. Under no circumstances will the direction of any discussions be toward a result where the independence of any country, especially any country in Eastern or Western Europe will be compromised. The future of each country in Europe must be determined by itself not by the USSR nor by the United States .

"That is why we will continue, the President added, in the future to attempt to explore ways we can talk with the People's Republic of China again because it is necessary to have avenues of communication with all nations in the world if we are going to have a world safe from the danger of a nuclear war."

Nixon reiterated this assurance later in the conversation:

"The President assured Ceausescu, however, that under no circumstances would the United States cooperate with any country, including the USSR , at the expense of another country or American relations with that country. This would be contrary to American tradition. He could also assure Ceausescu that the American position was clear, namely that the United States wants good relations with all countries of Eastern Europe. It rejects the idea that two great powers should sit down at a summit meeting and determine the future of smaller countries. That is wrong and the United States will not proceed on such a course."

Near the end of the conversation, discussion turned to the desire of the United States to improve relations with China , and Nixon expressed his appreciation for Romania 's efforts to facilitate expanded contacts between the United States and China :

"Ceausescu remarked that Romania has especially cordial relations with China . Since his last meeting with the President, there have been several fairly high level delegations which have visited China and discussed many subjects including relations between China and the United States and China 's presence in the UN. It is important to note from these discussions the point that China desires to have improved relations with the United States and is ready at any moment to occupy its place in the UN, including this year. This morning, Ceausescu added, he had just received a message from Chou En-lai on behalf of the Chinese leadership, thanking him for the clear Romanian pronouncement at the UN in favor of China 's taking its place there. He believes that the United States should take the first steps in that direction, especially after the Cambodian events. Such steps could open the way to increased contacts with the Chinese. Ceausescu then said he must tell the President frankly that the Chinese have some of the same feelings of concern, some of the same doubts as those he had mentioned earlier regarding problems being solved by only two large countries.

"The President commented that the other side of the coin was that the Soviets do not look with much sympathy on American moves to normalize relations with China .

"Ceausescu replied why should they not. Otherwise things would be impossible. The Romanians have told the Soviets more than once that there should be good relations between China and the U.S. A lack of understanding of this problem will not help solve it. Ceausescu said he did not believe that an improvement in U.S.-Chinese relations would be directed against the USSR or others. He noted that he had had lots of discussions with Chinese leaders and knew how they thought. He was convinced that they are not pursuing such a goal.

"The President stated that American policy is one of wanting friendly relations with both the USSR and eventually with Communist China. We do not intend to play one against another. Our desire is to have independent relations with each, not directed against the other. The President added that this seems to be President Ceausescu's viewpoint as well. He then remarked that President Ceausescu's continued role as a peacemaker is very useful in regard to U.S.-Chinese relations. He can talk to both parties which is very helpful and in the end, in the President's opinion, this will produce results." (Memorandum of conversation, October 26, 1970, 10:55 a.m.-12:55 p.m.; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 936, VIP Visits)

80.  Memorandum of Conversation/1/

Washington, December 9, 1970, 1-2:45 p.m.

/1/Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 269, Memoranda of Conversation, 1968-1977, Chronological File. No classification marking. Prepared by David Young of Kissinger's office. The interview was conducted by Time magazine correspondents at the Washington offices of the magazine.

PARTICIPANTS
Hedley Donovan
Hugh Sidey
William Mader
Herman Nichol
John Steele
Henry A. Kissinger
David R. Young (note taker)

The luncheon opened with a general discussion about the student movement. Mr. Kissinger explained that when he met with the students around the time of the Cambodian operation he did so on the condition that they return after the summer or in six months to discuss it and other matters of foreign policy again. By and large the result has been that the students' interest has petered out. In fact it has now become necessary for us to take the initiative to encourage students to come down. The groups that we now have are no longer protest groups and they are asking more serious questions. The earlier groups were characterized by incredible ignorance. A good example is the question that Safire asked them, that if the Administration did certain things would they be satisfied. When they said yes, he revealed that these steps had already been taken, but they were not satisfied. The same ploy was used by the Vice President on TV a short time later.

The students seem to only know the standard questions and after they had said, "What about Cambodia ?" and one has replied, "yes, what about Cambodia ?", they did not know what to say. They seem quite bored with probing into the reasons behind decisions, etc.

Mr. Donovan mentioned Bator's/2/ complaint about the coverage of the visit of the Harvard professors and Sidey explained that this involved their disagreement with the article he had written stating that one of the implied messages of their visit was that in view of the recent Cambodian actions and Mr. Kissinger's part in it, he would no longer be welcome back at Harvard. The group claimed that they had never said this and Sidey agreed but said it was implicit in their coming down and he was not questioning their integrity but their judgment.

/2/Francis M. Bator, professor of political economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard, and former Deputy Special Assistant to President Johnson.

Mr. Kissinger explained how the meeting took place and that he was completely unaware of their purpose in coming. They opened the meeting by stating that everything he said would be completely on the record. As a result he could not really give any explanations. Many have since felt somewhat guilty of their role because they acted at a time of considerable emotion. Mr. Kissinger also explained that he had since been in touch with just about all of the members of the group and he thought their communications were relatively open in spite of the confrontation.

[The discussion then turned to a general question and answer format.]/3/

/3/Brackets in the source text.

[Omitted here is an exchange concerning problems coloring the Nixon administration's dealings with Congress on foreign policy issues.]

Q. Mr. Donovan: In the last ten years do you think there had been any constructive public opinion intervention in the formulation of foreign policy?

A. Dr. Kissinger: The whole debate on commitments has indirectly been somewhat helpful. The problem is that the debate has concentrated on our commitments and not our interests. It is really our interests that should get us involved, not our commitments. The real debate therefore should be on what and where are our interests, and only then should we look at our commitments. The whole public debate on commitments, however, has at least focused our attention in the right direction. In Vietnam there never was an adequate analysis of what our strategic interests were. The theory was that Vietnam was a test case for what appeared to be centrally directed guerrilla wars; if we could stop the war there, we could stop it worldwide. There was no real examination of our interests vis-à-vis the Soviets or the Chinese. If LBJ had known that the one division he committed would grow to 550,000 men he would never have done what he did.

Q. Mr. Steele: It seems that in the past many commitments were made simply by the military in the field. How do you look at the making of our commitments now?

A. Dr. Kissinger: Our procedure now is much more formal. One of the jobs of the Washington Special Action Group is to develop contingency plans which have an integrated political/diplomatic/military scenario even down to the point of preparing draft cables on what we should say to particular countries. And more importantly, we examine where we will be two years after a certain plan is followed. This procedure was first followed after the shoot-down of the EC-121.

One of the discoveries made since assuming this position has been the realization that it is not simply enough to be able to identify a problem. This is what I thought was the objective when I was a consultant on the outside. The problem I now realize is to get time to address a particular issue. Our commitment to Ethiopia is an example of a situation where we have not yet had time to give it the attention we should.

One additional practice which we have instituted is to formally review our major programs and reassess our covert operations on a periodic basis. If this is not done from time to time, programs have a habit of just going on even though the initial reason for their implementation may have disappeared.

Q. Mr. Donovan: Who do you think really carries the responsibility for understanding and implementing a new direction in our foreign policy?

A. Dr. Kissinger: The answer would seem to be the "establishment", whatever that means. Specifically, it would seem to be those who are concerned about our foreign policy, who have an influence on the media and who have the means to form a consensus of opinion in the country. These seem to be the ones who carry the responsibility for understanding and giving us a new direction, but one of the more disturbing aspects of the Cambodian operation was the total collapse of the establishment at a time when it should have stood up. One can understand the students' reaction, but it is not as easy to excuse the establishment and its leaders for attacking the President and the system on such an issue. They should have known better and have realized that, regardless of what they said, the only one that could bring the war in Vietnam to an end was the President and that it was not in the best interests of the country to seek to destroy it [him?].

It is surprising how preoccupied outsiders are in operational matters. On such matters the government official can invariably outpoint his outside opponent, not because he is brighter but simply because he has more information at his disposal. What the outsider should concentrate on doing is asking the right questions, then the government official can try to get the answers. If they are wrong that is his fault, not the fault of the questioner. One of the great dangers with trying to deal with such a high number of issues and problems is that the urgent ones seem to displace the more important ones. It is a constant fight to find time to address those questions which have long range implications. The bureaucracies also do not help one in this connection since they almost always give us three options in which the first and third are the extremes and the second is what they are doing or what they propose to do.

To answer your questions directly, yes, the formulation of informed and reasoned public opinion is needed very badly.

Q. Mr. Donovan: How many people would you say in a country are reasonably well informed, 100,000, 200,000, 10,000?

A. Dr. Kissinger: The number of people who cause senior people in the government to think would be more restricted. We do care about the League of Women Voters in Iowa, but the groups that I think would be the opinion molders would be various foreign relations committees around the country such as the Council on Foreign Relations. The problem with such a group as the CFR is that the membership must really be changed since they are all thinking on the basis of post World War II 1940's assumptions. McCloy/4/ was in the other day bemoaning the lack of leadership in Europe. What he wants is something like the Marshall Plan. But the situation has changed. The Marshall Plan was okay in the 1940's but not now.

/4/John J. McCloy, member of the law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley, and McCloy, and Chairman of the President's Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament.

Q. Mr. Steele: What is your present analysis of the "cold war?"

A. Dr. Kissinger: In June, despite Cambodia , it was fairly optimistic. We had the likelihood of progress in SALT, a visit to the US by Kosygin in connection with the UN anniversary and an apparent willingness to keep the Middle East quiet. We never even anticipated a problem in Cuba . In the middle of June, however, there seemed to be a sudden shift and the flexibility that we had earlier experienced disappeared. This was at about the same time as the Soviet decision to delay their Party Congress.

There are three possible explanations for this change:

--First, that it was part of a master plan that each one of these decisions which seemed to be gratuitously aggressive was made as part of an integrated scheme.

--A second explanation would be that the leaders are so grossly incompetent that they made these decisions on an ad hoc basis simply without studying the relation of one to the other.

--Thirdly, it can be explained as the outgrowth of a collective leadership in which there is no dominant personality and which has become divided into divisive factions.

Each faction is seeking to outdo the other, no one has the power of a veto but neither does anyone have the power to make a generous deal with the US which might produce some long-term advantages. It is entirely possible that the Middle East actions were decided by one group, the Cuban ones by another and the SALT ones by still another.

Dobrynin, notwithstanding the element of flattery, has told me that the problem is that the Kremlin does not have an office such as an advisor for national security affairs which can pull together all the various points of view. It is equivalent to each of our Cabinet members having access to all cables and papers. The result is obviously that there is more likely to be discordant decisions. And this, incidentally, is also what Tito believes to be the case.

Q. Do you think the cold war is over?

A. By all reason it should be over but it obviously is not. It would seem that the Soviet [ Union] would realize that it is to its advantage to deal with Nixon since he has far more flexibility in reaching agreement with them than either Kennedy or Johnson had. For example, in SALT or in the Middle East if they would pull themselves together and forget about gigging us and trying to take advantage of every tactical situation, we could have progress. But it must be admitted that so far in this Administration there has been no conversation resulting in a fundamental agreement.

Q. Mr. Mader: Are not these divisive factions also at the Politburo level?

A. Dr. Kissinger: Yes; that is exactly where they are and where they are most apparent. In fact, it would not seem to be unusual for one faction to make a deal with another faction in order to get reciprocal support from their divisions.

Q. Mr. Nichol:  How would you apply this analysis of the Soviet regime to its actions on Berlin?

A. Dr. Kissinger: It would seem that what West Germany is doing--their Ostpolitik--is in the best interests of the Soviet Union. The Soviet reaction is therefore puzzling. With regard to the question of access to Berlin, there is no doubt that the East German regime is gaining increased sovereignty over the routes. And even if an access agreement is worked out, there is no end to the harassments an imaginative bureaucracy can think up. And they can even be legal. Therefore, if the Soviets wanted to put West Germany in a fairly tough spot, it would seem that they would give some concessions in order to facilitate an agreement on Berlin thereby removing the West German precondition to ratification of their treaty with the Soviets. But it may be that the Soviets think that they can get their ratification without any Berlin concessions. It may also be that the Soviets believe that no West German government can take responsibility for not ratifying the treaty.

Q. Mr. Nichol: Will we make it easier or tougher for West Germany to ratify the treaty with the Russians?

A. Dr. Kissinger: As long as the agreement on Berlin is confined to the question of access, we will go as far as the Germans want us to. But we cannot be more German than the Germans. We have not been tough on Berlin, the comments of Ehmke/5/ notwithstanding. We will not hold up the Berlin agreement unless it is a patent turnover to the other side. We will not push Germany into a soft position. It should be remembered that it was the Germans who started the negotiations. They said that they had a deal with the Soviets to get improvements on Berlin in exchange for their Ostpolitik. But as yet, we have not seen any sign of such a deal.

/5/Horst Ehmke, Head of the Federal Chancellery and Minister for Special Tasks, Federal Republic of Germany .

Q. Mr. Mader: How would you describe your present concern about Cuba ?

A. Dr. Kissinger: It is a fact that the Soviets constructed a submarine facility in Cienfuegos such as we have at Holy Loch. It was done with a maximum of deception and speed in a little over three weeks.

We challenged them along the line that we knew what they were doing but without saying it precisely. We said if this facility turns into a military base, we would not be pleased. The Soviets then came back and said specifically they were not building a military base. The 1962 Understandings/6/ therefore were extended on the public record to include this type of military facility. The Soviets at the same time pulled out their tender so that, while they would not admit that they were building a nuclear submarine facility, their actions betrayed them.

/6/An apparent reference to the exchange of letters between President Kennedy and Soviet Chairman Khrushchev on October 27 and October 28, 1962, which ended the initial phase of the Cuban missile crisis. As outlined in Kennedy's letter of October 27, the "understandings" involved the dismantling and removal from Cuba of "all weapon systems capable of offensive use" combined with an assurance that the Soviet Union would not introduce such systems into Cuba in the future. In return, the United States agreed to lift the naval quarantine in effect and offer assurances against an invasion of Cuba . Khrushchev accepted Kennedy's proposal on October 28, but further negotiations to establish formal understandings based on the exchange of letters foundered on the issues of verification of the removal of weapons from Cuba and on the unwillingness of the Kennedy administration to provide a formal non-invasion pledge. See Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XI, Documents 95 and 102.

Q. Mr. Donovan: Isn't this sort of action insulting?

A. Dr. Kissinger: Yes, it is. It may be indicative of the petty type of leadership that the Soviets now have, but the positive result is that the 1962 Understandings have been extended to cover the submarine facility. If the tender services nuclear subs, it is breaking the agreement. If it does not tend the subs, then it is no good to them. The question here is why do they continue to horse around. The way that they are putting the tender in here, pulling out something else there, putting the tender back over here does not give one confidence that he is dealing with big people. If they do set up a facility and it operates sufficiently, it can increase their patrolling by 35 per cent. The thing they do not seem to realize, though, is if they do get away with a partial establishment of a base, they are hurting our confidence in them in relation to other more significant areas of agreement

Q. Mr. Mader: Do we have any confidence in them now at all?

A. Dr. Kissinger: In the SALT talks, we can still see areas for progress. The reason here is that the SALT preparations were so thorough that if any agreement is reached it will be so precise that there will probably be about a two-year period in which to react to any violation. We can therefore go ahead regardless of how they behave elsewhere in the world.

We would have liked to have been known as the Administration that developed a new international system not based on rivalry but which took into account the abyss before which we stand as nations.

It may be that after the Party Congress next year there will be a crystallization of leadership and more likelihood of agreement. But, we must realize that the Soviet leadership is a bunch of thugs. Krushchev's memoirs/7/ and specifically his account of Beria's downfall are good examples of this brutal system.

/7/Reference is to an advance copy of Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers, translated and edited by Strobe Talbott (Boston: Little, Brown, 1971).

The Soviets also have the China problem which is both geopolitical and ideological. They want to free their Western rear so that they can focus more on China , but when they do so, it complicates their ideological problem since the Chinese will say that they are not the "true church" because they have become soft on the West. In this sense, a détente in Europe is a God-send for the Soviets. Europe will protect their rear (e.g., Pompidou's visit, Brandt's Ostpolitik, disintegration on the Italian political scene) while they continue to maintain a stiff attitude toward us and thereby lay claim as "the true church."

This, however, in my opinion is an illusion. For the same reason that a détente is important, it does not bring about anything permanent. It only defers decisions for three to four years. Hence, Ostpolitik may indirectly contribute to increased tensions with the US .

Q. Mr. Donovan: Is there any likelihood that there will be a warm-up of US/Chinese relations?

A. Dr. Kissinger: It seems that the quickest way for us to get the Soviets' attention is to put out the word that we are restudying the China question. It is indeed worrisome to Moscow whether we will develop a dialogue with the Chinese. We have floated all sorts of signals to the Chinese, but as yet, we really don't know how to get in touch with them. In Warsaw, the Chinese have enjoyed trying to drive the Soviets crazy by various approaches to us. But the Chinese are really trying to play the same game as the Soviets; namely, to first isolate us and then deal with the other. Our China strategy has been both to develop a dialogue with them for its own sake and then to have a counterweight with the Soviets.

[Omitted here is discussion of developments in Vietnam .]

81.  Editorial Note

President Nixon used the occasion of a visit to White House by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan on December 11, 1970, to define one of his administration's fundamental objectives in the Middle East. During a conversation in the Oval Office that began at 3:30 p.m.:

"President Nixon stated that his policy had been, from the outset, to counterbalance Soviet power in the Middle East. He was confident that the Arabs alone would be no match for Israel 's military. For this reason, it was his concern that the Soviets recognize that the U.S. would guarantee Israel 's survival. He had followed this policy since the first days of his Administration, both in public and in private contacts with the Soviets.

"The President added that U.S. actions during the Jordan crisis were designed to demonstrate this point. The movement of the Sixth Fleet was ordered to convey to the Soviet Union that the U.S. would not stand idly by in this situation. The President also complimented the Israeli Government for the readiness measures which they took and which were also an operative factor in de-escalating the situation."

Nixon made it clear later in the conversation that he expected that U.S. economic and military support for Israel would provide the security to enable Israel to participate in good faith in the effort to find a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli dispute:

"President Nixon stated that he would never mislead the Prime Minister or the people of Israel . He intended to be forthright and honest and make no promises that he would not deliver or provide any assurances that he would not keep. He stated that from time to time friends would disagree on particulars but that the essence of international friendship was mutual trust. He trusted Prime Minister Meir and anticipated that she shared this trust in him.

"The President added that it was quite evident to him that the American people anticipated that Israel would move to the conference table under the auspices of Jarring. He pointed out that this was expected in light of the $500 million assistance being provided by this government which he hoped would soon be approved by the Congress. He stated that it was important that the youth of Israel be permitted to apply their great talents, ingenuity and industry to peaceful pursuits and that for this reason the time was right to enter into the talks. He pointed out further that Israel at this time could move with an air of confidence since the military balance would be re-established through the current aid package and since the overall international environment dictated such a move. He emphasized that all responsible U.S. officials were of one mind on this." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President's Office Files, Memoranda for the President, November 1-January 17, 1971)

82.  Editorial Note

At a meeting with his senior staff in the Pentagon on December 14, 1970, Secretary of Defense Laird discussed President Nixon's desire for a new strategic concept:

"Mr. Laird said we still face tremendous problems in having everyone fully understand our national strategy. This is of major concern to him. We will have tremendous problems in preserving our present force capabilities and to gain or create options to add to our capabilities. We have cut the Defense budget as far as we can. The President has expressed a desire for a new strategic concept that is tied to his foreign policy objectives and that is not necessarily tied to detailed specifics on forces and weapons. Mr. Laird said his basic desire in responding to the President's desire is to develop a strategy comprehended by a majority of the country and one which both House and Senate can support. We must recognize realities, protect the FY 1972 forces as a minimum, provide the basis for increased flexibility in the short-term, and lay the foundation now for strengthening forces of all major categories during the next 5 years. He has put together a new concept paper linked closely to the Nixon Doctrine, with its emphasis on increased strength for air and sea forces as well as the emphasis in NSDM-95 on maintaining our ground commitment in NATO. He will issue this paper this week as tentative strategic guidance for FY 1973. He will also submit it to the NSC and DPRC meetings this week for consideration.

"It is important to bear in mind as we finalize the strategic guidance that what we are trying to do is have a strategy that can be understood by the American people and the Congress and which at the same time will give us the necessary flexibility in operating under the kind of budget situation that we have now and will have in the future. Naturally, there won't be complete agreement by everyone on the strategy. It has not had the major staffing many of the papers in the building have had. It is important to have a strategy that can be understood if we are to have the options and capabilities we need during the upcoming period." (Minutes of Secretary of Defense staff meeting; Washington National Records Center, Department of Defense, OSD Files: FRC 330 76-0028, Box 11, Secretary of Defense Staff Minutes, July-December 1970)

Thirty-four people attended the meeting, including Deputy Secretary of Defense David Packard, Secretary of the Army Stanley Resor, Secretary of the Navy John Chafee, Secretary of the Air Force Robert Seamans, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer, Army Chief of Staff General William Westmoreland, and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo Zumwalt. The concept paper cited by Laird has not been found. National Security Decision Memorandum 95, dated November 25 and entitled "U.S. Strategy and Forces for NATO," is in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 363, Subject Files, National Security Decision Memoranda (NSDMs), Nos 51-96.

83.  Editorial Note

On December 17, 1970, Henry Kissinger met a number of reporters from the Washington Post in the offices of the newspaper. In the course of responding to a variety of questions relating to foreign policy, Kissinger addressed the complex problems posed by tensions in the Middle East, and the likelihood that a stalemate in the Arab-Israeli dispute was "inevitable":

"There are three basic issues when one looks at the Middle East. First, one can look at it solely as an Arab-Israeli problem; secondly, one can focus on the significance of the Soviet presence there; or thirdly, one can also focus on the nature of the Arab states, their autonomy. Our objective has been to try to get each of these issues in phase with each other. Some however think that only the first issue is of any consequence and it is therefore the key. They believe that if it can be solved, the rest will fall in place.

"We believe however that each of these issues is related; that there are a number of problems which have to be resolved or at least addressed. A good example is the likelihood of a stalemate once negotiations are started.

"In fact, stalemate is really inevitable. It seems to be an obsession in Washington to focus only on the next step. One of the things that surprised me most when I came here was the singlemindedness with which the immediate step was addressed and the lack of attention paid to what was going to happen next. Starting negotiations is of second order priority; breaking the stalemate is really the critical issue. Examples of the questions we should address are: With whom are we going to deal when there is a stalemate? Is it going to be in a four-power forum, two-power forum, the Security Council at the UN? Are we going to move alone? There are numerous other crucial questions which have to be answered, but they will not be addressed until the problem is on top of us." (Memorandum for the Record, December 17, 1970; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 269, Memoranda of Conversation, 1968-1977, Chronological File)

The reporters who questioned Kissinger included Donald Oberdorfer, Marylin Berger, Chalmers Roberts, Murrey Marder, Meg Greenfield, and Henry Hubbard.

84.  Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

Washington, February 10, 1971.

/1/Source: National Security Council, NSC Meetings File, February 11, 1971, Annual Review. Confidential. Sent for information. The first page of the memorandum is stamped: "The President Has Seen . . .". In the section of the memorandum not printed here, Kissinger noted: "We have stressed throughout your wish that the report be a substantial and thoughtful presentation of the main strands of this Administration's foreign policy." Reference is to the administration's second annual report on foreign policy; see  Document 85.

SUBJECT
NSC Meeting on Annual Report

[Omitted here are general comments on the status of the report and anticipated agency views in advance of an NSC meeting scheduled for the following morning.]

Like last year, this year's report emphasizes the purposes and objectives of our foreign policy rather than a mere recital of events. It is designed to stress not so much what we have done, but why we have done it. The major thrust of this report is that conditions which have changed since World War II call for a new type of American leadership, rather than an abdication of leadership. It pictures our basic task to be the enlisting of the resources and concepts of other nations to help build a stable peace.

Outline of Report

We have been following a tentative outline which looks as follows:

--Introduction

This briefly recalls the historical changes that have taken place which call for a new foreign policy: stronger friends and allies; a shift in military relationships from U.S. predominance to relative equality; the fragmentation of the Communist world; and new technological problems and challenges which call for world cooperation. The implications for our policy are sketched: a partnership that enlists greater contributions from others; a new doctrine for our strategic and general forces purposes; dealing in different ways with various Communist countries; and cooperating with friends and adversaries alike to meet global issues such as pollution, space and the seabeds.

--Nixon Doctrine

This chapter spells out the core of the new foreign policy: the philosophy of the Nixon Doctrine and its theme of partnership: It discusses its application to security and development and its invocation of the ideas as well as the resources of other nations. A basic theme is that the greater the involvement of other nations in helping to build peace, the greater their stake in preserving the peace. There is emphasis on the need for careful application of our changed approach so as to instill confidence abroad and evoke domestic support for a continuing positive American role.

--Partnership With Other Nations

This principal section of the report explains the application of the new foreign policy to the various regions of the world. In these chapters we generally (1) state our basic approach, (2) illustrate how this approach has been applied with major events and achievements, and (3) list the basic agenda for the future. Among the major chapters in this section are Europe, the Middle East and Indochina.

--National Security

This section will focus on the two ways of enhancing national security, through a strong defense and through arms control. There are individual chapters on strategic forces (including a discussion on sufficiency and the growing Soviet strength); general purpose forces (the need to tailor our conventional forces to those of our allies); security assistance (the need to help our friends make the transition to greater self-sufficiency) and arms control (with emphasis on SALT).

--Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China

Our overall approach to the Soviet Union is treated in this section although, of course, our specific dealings are sprinkled throughout the report. The emphasis is on the need for mutual respect for legitimate interests, concrete negotiations, and focusing on broader interests rather than maneuvering for tactical advantages. It reflects many of the themes in your United Nations speech. A brief chapter on China states our readiness to deal constructively with Peking while firmly maintaining our commitment to Taiwan .

--Global Issues

This section treats a new dimension in foreign affairs in a technological age, discussing issues that are common to all countries regardless of ideology, such as pollution, the exploration of space and the oceans, narcotics and hijacking.

[Omitted here is a brief comment on the upcoming NSC meeting to discuss the report.]


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