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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Office of the Historian > Foreign Relations of the United States > Nixon-Ford Administrations > Volume I
Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, Volume I, Foundations of Foreign Policy
Released by the Office of the Historian
Documents 85-106

85. Radio Address by President Nixon/1/

Washington, February 25, 1971.

/1/Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1971, pp. 213-214. The address coincided with the submission to Congress of the Nixon administration's second annual comprehensive report on the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. The President spoke at 11 a.m. from the White House. The text of the report is ibid., pp. 219-345.

[Omitted here are comments on Vietnam.]

To understand the nature of the new American role we must consider the great historical changes that have taken place.

For 25 years after World War II, the United States was not only the leader of the non-Communist world, it was the primary supporter and defender of this free world as well.

--But today our allies and friends have gained new strength and self-confidence. They are now able to participate much more fully not only in their own defense but in adding their moral and spiritual strength to the creation of a stable world order.

--Today our adversaries no longer present a solidly united front; we can now differentiate in our dealings with them.

--Today neither the United States nor the Soviet Union has a clear-cut nuclear advantage; the time is therefore ripe to come to an agreement on the control of arms.

The world has changed. Our foreign policy must change with it.

We have learned in recent years the dangers of over-involvement. The other danger--a grave risk we are equally determined to avoid--is under-involvement. After a long and unpopular war, there is temptation to turn inward--to withdraw from the world, to back away from our commitments. That deceptively smooth road of the new isolationism is surely the road to war.

Our foreign policy today steers a steady course between the past danger of over-involvement and the new temptation of under-involvement.

That policy, which I first enunciated in Guam 19 months ago,/2/ represents our basic approach to the world:

/2/See 1969 volume, Item 279. [Footnote in the source text. See Document 29.]

We will maintain our commitments, but we will make sure our own troop levels or any financial support to other nations is appropriate to current threats and needs.

We shall provide a shield if a nuclear power threatens the freedom of a nation allied with us or of a nation whose survival we consider vital to our security.

But we will look to threatened countries and their neighbors to assume primary responsibility for their own defense, and we will provide support where our interests our call for that support and where it can make a difference.

These principles are not limited to security matters.

We shall pursue economic policies at home and abroad that encourage trade wherever possible and that strengthen political ties between nations. As we actively seek to help other nations expand their economies, we can legitimately expect them to work with us in averting economic problems of our own.

As we continue to send economic aid to developing nations, we will expect countries on the receiving end to mobilize their resources; we will look to other developed nations to do more in furnishing assistance; and we will channel our aid increasingly through groups of nations banded together for mutual support.

This new sharing of responsibility requires not less American leadership than in the past, but rather a new, more subtle, form of leadership. No single nation can build a peace alone; peace can only be built by the willing hands--and minds--of all. In the modern world, leadership cannot be "do-it-yourself"--the path of leadership is in providing the help, the motive, the inspiration to do it together.

In carrying out what is referred to as the Nixon Doctrine, we recognize that we cannot transfer burdens too swiftly. We must strike a balance between doing too much and preventing self-reliance, and suddenly doing too little and undermining self-confidence. We intend to give our friends the time and the means to adjust, materially and psychologically, to a new form of American participation in the world.

How have we applied our new foreign policy during the past year? And what is our future agenda as we work with others to build a stable world order?

In Western Europe, we have shifted from predominance to partnership with our allies. Our ties with Western Europe are central to the structure of peace because its nations are rich in tradition and experience, strong economically, vigorous in diplomacy and culture; they are in a position to take a major part in building a world of peace.

Our ties were strengthened on my second trip to Europe this summer and reflected in our close consultation on arms control negotiations. At our suggestion, the NATO alliance made a thorough review of its military strategy and posture. As a result, we have reached new agreement on a strong defense and the need to share the burden more fairly.

In Eastern Europe, our exchange of state visits with Romania and my meeting last fall with Marshal Tito in Yugoslavia are examples of our search for wider reconciliation with the nations that used to be considered behind an Iron Curtain.

Looking ahead in Europe:

--We shall cooperate in our political and economic relations across the Atlantic as the Common Market grows.

--We and our allies will make the improvements necessary to carry out our common defense strategy.

--Together we stand ready to reduce forces in Western Europe in exchange for mutual reductions in Eastern Europe.

The problems of Africa are great, but so is her potential. The United States will support her peoples' efforts to build a continent that provides social justice and economic expansion.

Turning to our own hemisphere: In Latin America, there was too much tendency in the past to take our closest friends and neighbors for granted. Recently, we have paid new respect to their proud traditions. Our trade, credit, and economic policies have been reexamined and reformed to respond to their concerns and their ideas, as well as to our own interests.

Our new Latin American policy is designed to help them help themselves; our new attitude will not only aid their progress but add to their dignity.

Great changes are brewing throughout the American hemisphere. We can have no greater goal than to help provide the means for necessary change to be accomplished in peace and for all change to be in the direction of greater self-reliance.

Turning to the Far East: a new Asia is emerging. The old enmities of World War II are dead or dying. Asian states are stronger and are joining together in vigorous regional groupings.

Here the doctrine that took shape last year is taking hold today, helping to spur self-reliance and cooperation between states. In Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines, we have consolidated bases and reduced American forces. We have relaxed trade and travel restrictions to underline our readiness for greater contact with Communist China.

Looking ahead in that area:

--While continuing to help our friends help themselves, we must begin to consider how regional associations can work together with the major powers in the area for a durable peace.

--We will work to build a strong partnership with Japan that will accommodate our mutual interests.

--We will search for consecutive discussions with Communist China while maintaining our defense commitment to Taiwan. When the Government of the People's Republic of China is ready to engage in talks, it will find us receptive to agreements that further the legitimate national interests of China and its neighbors.

In Asia, we can see tomorrow's world in microcosm. An economically powerful democratic free nation, Japan, is seeking new markets; a potentially powerful Communist nation, China, will one day seek new outlets and new relations; a Communist competitor, the Soviet Union, has interests there as well; and the independent non-Communist nations of Southeast Asia are already working together in regional association. These great forces are bound to interact in the not too distant future. In the way they work together and in the way we cooperate with their relationship is the key to permanent peace in that area--the Far East, the scene of such a painful legacy of the recent past, can become an example of peace and stability in the future.

In the Middle East, the United States took the initiative to stop the fighting and start the process of peace.

Along the Suez Canal a year ago, there was daily combat on the ground and in the air. Diplomacy was at an impasse. The danger of local conflict was magnified by growing Soviet involvement and the possibility of great powers being drawn into confrontation.

America took the lead in arranging a cease-fire and getting negotiations started. We are seeing to it that the balance of power, so necessary to discourage a new outbreak of fighting, is not upset. Working behind the scenes, when a crisis arose in Jordan, the United States played a key role in seeing that order was restored and an invasion was abandoned.

We recognize that centuries of suspicion and decades of hostility cannot be ended overnight. There are great obstacles in the way of a permanent, peaceful settlement, and painful compromise is required by all concerned.

We are encouraged by the willingness of each of the parties to begin to look to the larger interest of peace and stability throughout the Middle East. There is still the risk of war, but now--for the first time in years--the parties are actively calculating the risks of peace.

The policy of the United States will continue to be to promote peace talks--not to try to impose a peace from the outside, but to support the peace efforts of the parties in the region themselves.

One way to support these efforts is for the United States to discourage any outside power from trying to exploit the situation for its own advantage.

Another way for us to help turn a tenuous truce into a permanent settlement is this: The United States is fully prepared to play a responsible and cooperative role in keeping the peace arrived at through negotiation between the parties.

We know what our vital interests are in the Middle East. Those interests include friendly and constructive relations with all nations in the area. Other nations know that we are ready to protect those vital interests. And one good reason why other nations take us at our word in the Middle East is because the United States has kept its word in Southeast Asia.

We now come to a matter that affects every nation: the relations between the world's two great super powers.

Over the past 2 years, in some fields the Soviet Union and the United States have moved ahead together. We have taken the first step toward cooperation in outer space. We have both ratified the treaty limiting the spread of nuclear weapons. Just 2 weeks ago, we signed a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons from the seabeds.

These are hopeful signs, but certain other Soviet actions are reason for concern. There is need for much more cooperation in reducing tensions in the Middle East and in ending harassment of Berlin. We must also discourage the temptation to raise new challenges in sensitive areas such as the Caribbean.

In the long run, the most significant result of negotiations between the super powers in the past year could be in the field of arms control.

The strategic arms limitation talks with the Soviet Union have produced the most searching examination of the nature of strategic competition ever conducted between our two nations. Each side has had the chance to explain at length the concerns caused by the posture of the other side. The talks have been conducted in a serious way without the old lapses into propaganda.

If both sides continue in this way, there is reason to hope that specific agreements will be reached to curb the arms race.

Taking a first step in limiting the capacity of mankind to destroy itself would mark a turning point in the history of the postwar world; it would add to the security of both the Soviet Union and the United States, and it would add to the world's peace of mind.

In all our relations with the Soviets, we shall make the most progress by recognizing that in many cases our national interests are not the same. It serves no purpose to pretend they are; our differences are not matters of mood, they are matters of substance. But in many other cases, our separate national interests can best be pursued by a sober consideration of the world interest.

The United States will deal, as it must, from strength: We will not reduce our defenses below the level I consider essential to our national security.

A strong America is essential to the cause of peace today. Until we have the kind of agreements we can rely on, we shall remain strong.

But America's power will always be used for building a peace, never for breaking it--only for defending freedom, never for destroying it.

America's strength will be, as it must be, second to none; but the strength that this Nation is proudest of is the strength of our determination to create a peaceful world.

We all know how every town or city develops a sense of community when its citizens come together to meet a common need.

The common needs of the world today, about which there can be no disagreement or conflict of national interest, are plain to see.

We know that we must act as one world in restoring the world's environment, before pollution of the seas and skies overwhelms every nation. We know we must stop the flow of narcotics; we must counter the outbreaks of hijacking and kidnapping; we must share the great discoveries about the oceans and outer space.

The United States is justly proud of the lead it has taken in working within the United Nations, and within the NATO alliance, to come to grips with these problems and with these opportunities.

Our work here is a beginning, not only in coping with the new challenges of technology and modern life but of developing a worldwide "sense of community" that will ease tension, reduce suspicion, and thereby promote the process of peace.

That process can only flourish in a climate of mutual respect.

We can have that mutual respect with our friends, without dominating them or without letting them down.

We can have that mutual respect with our adversaries, without compromising our principles or weakening our resolve.

And we can have that mutual respect among ourselves, without stifling dissent or losing our capacity for action.

Our goal is something Americans have not enjoyed this century: a full generation of peace. A full generation of peace depends not only on the policy of one party or of one nation or one alliance or one bloc of nations.

Peace for the next generation depends on our ability to make certain that each nation has a share in its shaping, and that every nation has a stake in its lasting.

This is the hard way, requiring patience, restraint, understanding, and--when necessary--bold, decisive action. But history has taught us that the old diplomacy of imposing a peace by the fiat of great powers simply does not work.

I believe that the new diplomacy of partnership, of mutual respect, of dealing with strength and determination will work.

I believe that the right degree of American involvement--not too much and not too little--will evoke the right response from our other partners on this globe in building for our children the kind of world they deserve: a world of opportunity in a world without war.


86. Interview With the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

February 26, 1971.

/1/Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 426, Subject File, Background Briefings, December 1970-December 1971. No classification marking. The interview took place on CBS Morning News. Interviewers included John Hart, Marvin Kalb, and Bernard Kalb.

[Omitted here is general discussion about the second annual report on foreign policy, released February 25, 1971.]

M. Kalb: Dr. Kissinger, in going through the report, and in discussing the basic philosophy of the foreign policy, time and again the word isolationism comes up. Now, one could easily get the impression that the President fears just over his shoulders this terrible specter of a nation turning in on itself. One, is that really a paramount fear in his mind and two, do you think it will happen?

Dr. Kissinger: This country has gone through a very searing experience in the last 25 years and particularly in the last decade. We went from isolationism in the pre-war period to total involvement overseas, in a way in which problems in almost every part in the world became a direct American responsibility which [and?] we designed the programs around them with optimism, enthusiasm and dedication. Now in the '60s and particularly the latter half of the '60s, we came up against a number of situations that didn't prove very attractive and many profound disappointments; the war in Viet Nam and many other things of that nature. So that is a danger that we will swing in the opposite direction, that having decided that too much involvement is wrong, we will go to little involvement. But we are too powerful and too important to withdraw and what the President attempts to do is to establish a balance to do the things that only we can do but not to do the things for others that they can and should do for themselves. There is some danger that disappointed idealism may turn into withdrawal and some of the most disillusioned people at the moment are precisely those groups who deserve the greatest credit for having shaped the previous period of foreign policy. We are concerned with the danger of withdrawal.

M. Kalb: Is it a fear of the right more than the left? Is this what he's talking about here?

Dr. Kissinger: I don't think you can characterize the American discussion on foreign policy primarily in terms of right and left. But for much of the post-war period we've had a bi-partisan foreign policy. And even today it doesn't lend itself to such easy characterization but what we are trying to do is to steer a course that avoids extremes on either side of an unthinking, chauvinistic, self-righteous, American fortuitous mentality and on the other hand of a sort of undifferentiated involvement in international affairs in which we just multiply our commitment, so there is a fear of both of these extremes and an attempt to hold together the widest possible group that we can.

[Omitted here is discussion of the war in Vietnam.]


87. Address by President Nixon/1/

Newport, Rhode Island, March 12, 1971.

/1/Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1971, pp. 428-430. The President spoke at the graduation exercises of the Naval Officer Candidate School.

[Omitted here are the President's opening personal comments.]

The pursuit of peace is the opportunity which lies before you, and the preservation of peace will be the special obligation of your generation. There is no greater opportunity, and there is no greater responsibility.

It may be difficult now to appreciate this fully. Our involvement in the war in Southeast Asia is drawing to an end. The next 3 years stretch before you, with the prospect of danger or boredom or both. And I know some of you will wonder about the significance of serving, about the need for it. I know that many of you resent the time taken away from the pursuit of other careers. You see these years as lost years.

I tell you, they will not be lost. Rather, I believe that nothing you do in your life will be more important than the service you give in the next 3 years. Out of the sacrifice and the bitterness and the testing of the last 10 years has come the opportunity to achieve at last what Americans all want and what we have not had in this whole century: a full generation of peace. It is for us now to seize that opportunity, to win the peace. It will be for you to keep it.

You serve in the peace forces of the world. There are those in America who question this, but the record is clear. Our power has always been used for building the peace, never for breaking it--for defending freedom, never for destroying it.

America has fought in four wars in this century. Yet, we did not seek war; we did not plan war; we did not begin war. But when it came, young Americans fought courageously.

Today, despite the terrible evidence of this century, there are those who have refused to learn the hard lessons of the history of tyranny. They would tell us, as their predecessors in other times have told us, that the appetite for aggression can be satisfied only if we are patient and that the ambitions of the aggressor are justified if only we understand them properly.

I am never surprised to see these positions held. But I am always astonished to see them held in the name of morality. We know too well what follows when nations try to buy peace at the expense of other nations. I do not believe we are prepared to take that course. What is more important: No other nation believes it either. That is why the United States of America is represented and why it is respected among the nations of the free world--not because we are rich and not because we are powerful, but, above all, because we can be trusted. We have been, we continue to be, willing to pay the price for peace. And we pay in the hard currency of deeds--not with hollow threats and empty promises.

There can be no advantage to concealing hard facts in soft words. We know that when force is rewarded, the cost of peace and the only alternative to war will be tyranny. This fact dominated the first half of this century. We are determined that it will not dominate the last half. For this reason we have accepted the necessity of war. But our purpose is peace.

Peace with freedom--so that peace may be worth having.

Peace with justice--so that peace may be worth keeping.

And peace with strength--so that peace may be preserved.

We must have strength. If all the world were free, we might have no need of arms. If all the world were just, we would have no need of valor. But as we see that the values we cherish are not cherished universally, and that there are those who feel threatened by the prospects of freedom and justice, then we must keep the strength we need to keep the values we cherish.

I know the arguments of the new isolationists. Though we cut defense spending, we can't cut it enough. Though we greatly increase domestic spending in proportion to defense spending, we can never increase it enough.

I understand those arguments, and I understand the sentiments behind them. But I understand the cost of weakness, too.

The question of what is enough is not academic. It is crucial to the survival of this Nation.

If we have the most extensive urban renewal programs, the most far-reaching medical care programs, the finest highways, the most comprehensive educational assistance efforts, the most effective anti-poverty programs--if we have all this and more, and if we have it all at the expense of our ability to defend ourselves, then we would soon enjoy none of the fruits of our efforts, and the only peace we would know would be that terrible peace imposed upon those who are the victims of their own lack of vigilance.

And so today we will look to the possibilities of the future with a careful regard for the realities of the present and the lessons of the past.

As you serve in our peace forces, you can be proud of this great fact: We Americans firmly believe in what we are and in what we have. But we do not choose to go the way of those ancient crusaders who sought to civilize the world one grave at a time. We do not seek power as an end in itself. We seek power adequate to our purpose, and our purpose is peace.

I have no illusions about the difficulty of achieving that purpose. I do not believe that peace will suddenly descend upon us like the answer to a prayer. I do not believe we should confuse the things we can expect from God with the things God may expect from us. Rather, we have to build peace, you and I together. We have to do it with our own hands because there is no other way. And we have to do it with our own brains and our own courage and our own faith.

I do not believe it will be done otherwise. But neither do I despair of its being done, because I believe you will do the job, and not only you here in uniform but your generation.

I remember very clearly an address President Eisenhower made in March of 1960 to a White House Conference on Children and Youth. He said, "our children understand, as we did not in our own youthful days, the need--now approaching the absolute--for peace with justice . . . . among the things we teach to the young are such truths as the transcendent value of the individual and the dignity of all people, the futility and stupidity of war, its destructiveness of life and its degradation of human values."

In a decade of war since that time, the children he was talking about have grown up. Some of you are here today. As the years have passed and I have watched your generation, I have understood the wisdom of his words. The man the French called the peace general had a vision of "the peace generation," and it has come to pass. You will be that generation.

As you take up your responsibilities today, as you begin the great work before you, I want to remind you that you are not alone, that people of other nations have served bravely and do so today in behalf of a lasting peace. We are not the only nation that desires the end of war. We are the most powerful nation, but gallant people around the globe share our faith that the world is moving in the way of peace with freedom and with justice for all. Some of them are here today. I want to salute those members of the naval forces of the Republic of Vietnam who are here today.

I have known their country. I have known their struggle for almost 20 years. I have visited Vietnam seven times. I have seen firsthand the courage of the Vietnamese people, their endurance, their sacrifice, their will to be free.

The rights we have learned to take for granted, they are still fighting for.

War has been the condition of man from the dawn of history. Some have said that wars are made by something ignorant in the human heart. If this is so, then perhaps peace will come through something splendid in the human soul. Perhaps man will learn not to answer what is primeval in his blood, but rather to heed what is divine in his humanity.

However it may come, it is certain that peace and the greedy ambitions of governments cannot survive in the same world. But I believe it is the ambition of governments that is going to fail, because from having seen the world, almost all the world, I know the people of the world want peace.

Through time they have watched the harvest of the plowshare rot in the fields and on the vines while they have reaped the harvest of the sword. It would be difficult to suppose that God created man for this end, and difficult to doubt the wisdom of the Prophet, that "the work of righteousness shall be peace . . . ."

So we have dreamed no small dream. We have set ourselves no easy task. We seek to do the work of righteousness. In that work the years you give will not be lost. They will be redeemed along with the hopes of humanity.

[Omitted here are brief closing personal comments.]


88. Editorial Note

President Nixon met on April 20, 1971, with members of the Republican Congressional leadership in the Cabinet Room of the White House between 8:06 and 9:44 a.m. The group included Vice President Agnew as well as more than a dozen members of the White House staff. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files, Staff Members and Office Files, Office of Presidential Papers and Archives, Daily Diary) According to the notes prepared that day by the President's Special Assistant, Patrick J. Buchanan, the discussion opened mainly on economic matters.

"Following this the President went into a dissertation on American foreign policy. It was one many of the members had probably heard before. The President spoke against the new isolationism, saying that if we abandon the world, pull back our aid, pull back our troops, it's not just economically what is going to happen to the United States, but what kind of world is it going to be. If we leave a vacuum in the world, then the other powers are going to fill that vacuum. The President noted that these individuals you see now up on Capitol Hill who are shouting the loudest about peace or calling for cutbacks in aid and bringing home the troops, these individuals are the ones who represent the greatest danger to peace; they are the ones whose policies would generally invite a large war. With that kind of reasoning, it will bring on war as sure as we're sitting here."

After a brief discussion of extension of the draft, Nixon continued his comments on foreign policy:

"Here and on several occasions during the meeting, the President indicated that a lot of things are looking good for the doves right now, those who vote against American armaments or who vote to bring the troops home, that aren't going to be looking good in the near future. One came away with the impression that the President was aware of something taking place or something occurring which would make the policy of isolationism, the policy of weakening America defensively, a disastrous one politically and a dangerous one for the country.

"The President told the Congressmen that the Republicans there should not run with these people, they are on the wrong course, and history will show they were.

"The President then gave a brief talk about the ablest, most dynamic, most energetic people in Europe were the Germans, in Asia they were the Japanese; that these two peoples were with us now, not simply because of economics, although there were strong economic ties, but because the United States was the first power in the world and presented for them an umbrella for their national security. When the United States ceases to be the first power in the world, then these great powers are going to be looking elsewhere for their deals, for their arrangements, and when that happens, the President said, the United States is in serious trouble. That is why we've got to remain number one.

"He used the steel figures of America and Japan to indicate the tremendous growth of the Japanese empire. He said in 1950 the United States produced about 47-48% of all the steel in the world; today we produce about 20% of the steel. In 1950 Japan produced 5 million tons of steel; today she produces over 100 million tons, and by 1974 she will exceed the United States in production unless we do something with our productivity. One hundred million Japanese, he said, produce twice as much as 800 million Chinese. This is an indication of the capability of these people; we need them on our side.

"Whittaker Chambers told me one time, he said, that the war in Korea was not about Korea but was about Japan. In that sense, in that strategic sense, the war in Vietnam is also about Japan.

"The President told an interesting anecdote. He said when he was down in Williamsburg yesterday a little teenager came up to him and said, Mr. President, how does it feel to be a war criminal. He said, well, what we are doing in Vietnam today may make it possible that that young fellow won't have to go off and fight and die in a war. If we remain strong, the President said, we can establish a modus vivendi with the Soviet Union, a modus vivendi with Red China. But we cannot if we weaken ourselves. In the long run, the President said again, the others may look good for a while, but down the road they are going to look very bad for the country, and bad for themselves." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President's Office Files, Memoranda for the President, Box 84, January 24-April 25, 1971)

Later in the day, in a meeting with Republican Senators and members of the President's staff, Nixon expounded further on the dangers of a U.S. retreat from world affairs. According to notes prepared by Kenneth Belieu, the President's Deputy Assistant for Senate Relations:

"The President said, 'I know that you gentlemen are concerned about the Vietnam War. The whole country is and many would like me to announce a specific date of withdrawal. Actually it would be improper for me to tell you, at this time, much more than I can tell anyone else. We must not publicly indicate how, when and where we will do certain things, but you will see from my announcements from time to time where we are going.'

"'The real issue, however, is where the United States will be after Vietnam. Currently the popular thought is for us to cut back and to cease all actions now. But, we are engaged in difficult negotiations around the world, especially in the SALT talks. Some think the simplest thing we could do would be to negotiate only on ABM, but we must look at the whole picture. Let's analyze just where we are now in national strength. We are ahead in conventional power. We are roughly equal in air power. With regard to nuclear punch they have approximately 1,500 ICBMs--we have 1,000. They have bigger warheads or throw-weight. By 1974 they will catch up to us in nuclear subs. We must negotiate on the broad picture. We have to consider where we will be after Vietnam. We need to end the war in Vietnam so the South Vietnamese will have a chance to survive. We can't guarantee their perpetual survival, but we certainly owe it to them and to the Free World to give them a chance for survival. Not only for their sake, but for our sake because the other nations on the perimeter of Asia: the Philippines, Korea, Japan itself, etc., cannot be allowed to lose confidence in us, and they will if we leave precipitously.'

"'If the world begins to think that the United States is content to be a second rate power (and even if that seems to fit well within the United States) it will not be conducive to peace in the world.'

"The President went on to explain, as he had in the Leadership meeting earlier in the day, that there were two great and key nations or peoples on the periphery of the Communist bloc that looked to us for a guarantee of their own security. They are Japan and Germany--neither of them have nuclear power. Germany, in Europe, will watch us. If she is convinced that America is satisfied to become a second rate power--if she once loses confidence in the American nuclear umbrella, she will accommodate herself with the East. Then all the peoples inhabiting the rim lands around the Communist bloc nations, who produce three times as much as the Communist countries, will have second thoughts. The same situation could happen with respect to Japan. Japan has 110 million people, and produces 2-1/2 times as much as China. It sits on the western borders of the Pacific in geographical position relative to Germany on the western borders of Russia and if Japan thinks the U.S. protection is not enough, then despite all else, despite its ties with us, economic links, its preference to deal with the West, it will look elsewhere. Then, where would we stand? And, what change in U.S. stature would occur over the long run? What this would do to our Nation's soul is frightening to contemplate.

"The President pointed out that any President, especially the one occupying the White House at this time, with the delicate balance existing in the world, needed strength and evidence of such strength--not only military but cohesive political backing to enable him to play the proper cards to have the 'blue chips' essential in the international poker game.

"'We could well be the last Administration that cares about America's future in the international field. That is why ABM cannot be the only issue in negotiations at the SALT talks. The SALT talks have to look to the entire field of armament in an attempt to reduce the offensive power of weapons or to limit their future construction and deployment.'"

After commentary by Kissinger relating to Soviet and U.S. missile strength (some of which was not recorded because of its highly classified nature), Nixon returned to his theme: "the President said there is a brighter side we can look at. We should not always look at the negative side. Both China and Russia want to increase their consumer goods. Russia especially. The consumer pressure is building up. The world wants peace and we must take this opportunity to get it. He said, 'One thing I want to point out. If SALT is to have a chance--the negotiations in SALT--we cannot give away in the Senate things we might want to discuss in SALT. Now is a critical time. If the USSR sees the United States ignoring its responsibilities in the draft for instance, in maintaining an adequate Armed Force, or on the Foreign Aid program, she could obviously take this as a sign of weakness and say; Why should we continue to negotiate SALT when the United States is going to take these actions itself unilaterally?'

"'The USSR has strong reasons to have an agreement, but we know for a fact that they will only deal from strength and that they respect those who have strength, otherwise they have historically moved into the power vacuums.' The President said, 'I know it is difficult for you gentlemen to always stand firm on these hard issues; but this is the better part of valor and the greater part of statesmanship. Even though it is hard, it is terribly important to the United States and that in itself is good politics.'

"He pointed out that those who are for unilateral disarmament are the ones who will really put the world into jeopardy as far as the future is concerned. Past history shows that aggression moves into areas of weakness."

The meeting concluded with general discussion of the President's war-making powers and U.S. missile strength. (Ibid.) The meeting was held in the Cabinet Room of the White House between 5:17 and 6:21 p.m. (Ibid., White House Central Files, Staff Members and Office Files, Office of Presidential Papers and Archives, Daily Diary)


89. Special Message by President Nixon to the Congress/1/

Washington, April 21, 1971.

/1/Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1971, pp. 564-567.

On September 15, 1970 I proposed a major transformation in the foreign assistance program of the United States./2/ My purpose was to renew and revitalize the commitment of this Nation to support the security and development objectives of the lower income countries, and thereby to promote some of the most fundamental objectives of U.S. foreign policy.

/2/See Document 70.

Today, I report to you on the progress of the last seven months in effecting that transformation and ask the Congress to join me in taking the next creative step in our new approach--the reform of the United States bilateral assistance program.

To achieve such reform, I am transmitting two bills--the proposed International Security Assistance Act and International Development and Humanitarian Assistance Act--and announcing a number of actions which I intend to take administratively. Taken together, they would:

--Distinguish clearly between our security, development and humanitarian assistance programs and create separate organizational structures for each. This would enable us to define our own objectives more clearly, fix responsibility for each program, and assess the progress of each in meeting its particular objectives.

--Combine our various security assistance efforts (except for those in Southeast Asia which are now funded in the Defense budget) into one coherent program, under the policy direction of the Department of State. This would enable security assistance to play more effectively its critical role in supporting the Nixon Doctrine and overall U.S. national security and foreign policy in the 1970s.

--Create a U.S. International Development Corporation and a U.S. International Development Institute to replace the Agency for International Development. They would enable us to reform our bilateral development assistance program to meet the changed conditions of the 1970s.

--Provide adequate funding for these new programs to support essential U.S. foreign policy objectives in the years ahead.

The Importance of Foreign Assistance

U.S. foreign assistance is central to U.S. foreign policy in the 1970s in three ways:

First, we must help to strengthen the defense capabilities and economies of our friends and allies. This is necessary so that they can increasingly shoulder their own responsibilities, so that we can reduce our direct involvement abroad, and so that together we can create a workable structure for world peace. This is an essential feature of the Nixon Doctrine.

Second, we must assist the lower income countries in their efforts to achieve economic and social development. Such development is the overriding objective of these countries themselves and essential to the peaceful world order which we seek. The prospects for a peaceful world will be greatly enhanced if the two-thirds of humanity who live in these countries see hope for adequate food, shelter, education and employment in peaceful progress rather than in revolution.

Third, we must be able to provide prompt and effective assistance to countries struck by natural disaster or the human consequences of political upheaval. Our humanitarian concerns for mankind require that we be prepared to help in times of acute human distress.

The Need for Reform

We cannot effectively pursue these objectives in the 1970s with programs devised for an earlier period. The world has changed dramatically. Our foreign assistance programs--like our overall foreign policy--must change to meet these new conditions.

In my September special message to the Congress I spelled out the major changes in the world which require new responses. Let me summarize them here:

--Today the lower income countries are increasingly able to shoulder the major responsibility for their own security and development and they clearly wish to do so. We share their belief that they must take the lead in charting their own security and development. Our new foreign assistance programs must therefore encourage the lower income countries to set their own priorities and develop their own programs, and enable us to respond as our talents and resources permit.

--Today the United States is but one of many industrialized nations which contribute to the security and development of the lower income countries. We used to furnish the bulk of international development assistance; we now provide less than half. The aid programs of other countries have grown because they recognize that they too have a major stake in the orderly progress which foreign assistance promotes, and because their capabilities to provide such assistance have grown enormously since the earlier postwar period.

--Today the international institutions can effectively mesh the initiatives and efforts of the lower income countries and the aid efforts of all of the industrialized countries. We can thus place greater reliance on such institutions and encourage them to play an increasing leadership role in the world development process.

Our ideas on the reforms needed in the world of the 1970s have evolved significantly since I received the Report of my Task Force on International Development, chaired by Mr. Rudolph Peterson, and since my special message of last September, as the result of our own deliberations and our further consultations with the Congress, the business community and many other sectors of the American public, and our friends abroad. Before spelling out a new blueprint for our bilateral assistance program, however, I wish to report to you on the gratifying progress achieved since last September in reorienting our assistance policies.

Progress Toward Reform

First, the Congress in December passed supplemental assistance legislation for FY 1971 which represented a major step in implementing the security assistance component of the Nixon Doctrine. This legislation authorized additional funds for military assistance and supporting economic assistance for countries in which the U.S. has major interests and which have convincingly demonstrated the will and ability to help themselves--including Israel and Jordan in the Middle East and Cambodia, Vietnam and Korea in East Asia.

Such support is necessary to carry out one of the central thrusts of the Nixon Doctrine--moving us from bearing the major responsibility for the defense of our friends and allies to helping them achieve an increasing capability to maintain their own defense. This increase in security assistance enables us to continue to reduce our direct presence abroad, and helps to reduce the likelihood of direct U.S. military involvement in the future.

Second, the international development institutions have continued their progress toward leadership in the international development process. For example:

--The World Bank continues to increase the size and improve the effectiveness of its operations. It also has decided to broaden the scope of its lending beyond the traditional financing of projects to the provision of funds to support overall development programs in appropriate circumstances, and it is developing an improved internal evaluation and audit system.

--The United Nations Development Program has initiated a reorganization to improve its administration. In time this will enable it to assume a leading role in coordinating the international technical assistance effort.

--The World Health Organization has effectively guided and coordinated the worldwide effort to cope with the present cholera epidemic in Africa.

Third, the industrialized countries have now agreed on comparable systems of tariff preferences for imports from the lower income countries. The preferences plan is a major step in the crucial international effort to expand the export earnings of these countries, and hence to reduce their reliance on external aid. The European Community has indicated that it plans to put its tariff preferences into effect on July 1, and Japan has announced that it will do so before October 1.

Fourth, there has been satisfying progress toward achieving the untying of bilateral development loans on a fully reciprocal basis. This action will enhance the value of economic assistance to recipient countries, and eliminate the political frictions which tied aid now causes. Virtually all of the industrialized countries have agreed to the principle of untying. Details of a system offering suppliers of all participating countries a fair and equitable basis for competition are now being worked out in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Fifth, I have established a Council on International Economic Policy, which I chair, to coordinate all aspects of U.S. foreign economic policy, including development assistance. It will provide top-level focus for our policies in this area, and accord them the high priority which they require in our foreign policy for the 1970s.

I am heartened by this progress, but much more remains to be done:

--I again urge the Congress to vote the additional funds which I have requested for the Inter-American Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

--We will shortly transmit legislation to authorize the U.S. contribution to the doubling of the resources of the International Development Association, the soft-loan affiliate of the World Bank, which stands at the center of the network of international financial institutions, and I urge the Congress to approve it.

--We are working with others to help establish a soft-loan window for the African Development Bank.

--We will shortly transmit legislation to authorize U.S. participation in the system of generalized tariff preferences for developing countries, and I urge Congress to approve it.

The New U.S. Bilateral Assistance Program

The next major step is the reform of the U.S. bilateral assistance program, incorporated in the proposed International Security Assistance Act and International Development and Humanitarian Assistance Act.

Our new bilateral assistance program must achieve several objectives. It must:

--Clearly identify our distinct aid objectives: security assistance, development assistance and humanitarian assistance.

--Be truly responsive to the initiatives of the lower income countries themselves and encourage them to play the central role in solving their own security and development problems. In the area of development assistance, this means working within a framework set by the international institutions to the maximum extent possible.

--Be concentrated in countries of special interest to the United States, and in projects and programs in which the United States has a special ability to be of help.

--Recognize the improved economic capacity of many of the lower income countries in establishing the terms of our assistance.

--Assure improved management.

--Reduce substantially the number of U.S. Government officials operating our assistance program overseas.

[Omitted here are details of the new foreign assistance program.]


90. Editorial Note

On April 21, 1971, the same day the President sent to Congress his message on foreign assistance reform (see Document 89), Peter G. Peterson, Executive Director of the Council on International Economic Policy, conducted a press briefing on the subject of the President's message. He was accompanied by C. Fred Bergsten, Assistant for International Economic Affairs, National Security Council; James R. Schlesinger, Assistant Director, Office of Management and Budget; and Ernest Stern, senior staff member, Council on International Economic Policy. The press conference began with a briefing by Peterson, in which he provided the context for the President's proposals:

"The changes in our foreign policy are very familiar to you already. The new foreign policy concepts that are implied in the Nixon Doctrine call for a new partnership, the primary purpose of which is to achieve a generation of peace in a durable world order. More specifically, it means a greater sharing with others in the definition of policy and in the bearing of costs.

"It means the encouragement of others to participate fully in the creation of plans and designing programs. And while it means continuing U.S. leadership, it means a leadership within an active partnership rather than a leadership of unilateral decision.

"The reorganization reflects these basic policy objectives. It brings under one authority the economic and military assistance programs which are necessary to shoulder the responsibility for defense without endangering the freedom and independence of our allies and friends.

"The resources that are being requested are approximately at the same [level] as the funding of these programs last year. They are small, we believe, compared to the savings and reductions of American troops overseas.

"On the other hand, the International Development Assistance Act will provide us with a vital instrument to support our long-term foreign policy interests in developing countries.

"As I will show you in a moment with some charts, about two-thirds of the world lives in these countries. And I thought you might be interested in my telling you about some data that might help orient you a little better to the Message as a whole.

"When we talk about the less-developed countries, let's remember we are talking about roughly two-thirds of the free world and while there has been growth over the last ten years at a slightly higher rate than developed countries in their Gross National Product, one of the particular problems is that the per capita growth in population during this period has been at significantly higher levels in less-developed countries than in the industrialized countries, with the result that, if you will look at the per capita income, you will see that the growth continues to be significantly higher for the developed countries than for the less-developed countries.

"If I may show you this chart, in general, there was a watershed date here in this period, but for the first time, the rest of the world contributed more official aid to less-developed countries than the United States, until at the present time, we account for about 45 percent of the total aid, official aid, that is.

"You will also notice, however, that the rest of the free world is putting in a great deal of private investment into these less-developed countries.

"As one looks at numbers of these kinds, he often sees them expressed in terms of per capita income in these particular countries. If you take them as a whole, you will find that the per capita income is approximately $200 for these countries that constitute two-thirds of the world.

"Numbers have a way sometimes of not conveying the human meaning of $200 versus $3,000 to $4,000 in the industrialized countries of the world.

"Let's think of it perhaps in human terms, whether these people want--I am sure they want a job. The numbers there are sobering. About 20 percent to 50 percent of the people in these less-developed countries are unemployed. They undoubtedly want good health. About one out of four children in this two-thirds section of the free world die before the age of one. About half of the children die before the age of four. Obviously these people want food. I have been impressed with the number that three-fourths of the children in this two-thirds of the world suffer from serious malnutrition to the point where, as you all well know, their human development is retarded in one way or another.

"Finally, there is a world where education is important. In this two-thirds of the world, only about five percent of the children ever reach high school. So that is a part of the world in which many of America's and the world's most important political issues will certainly be tried and many of these political issues have a very basic economic origin to them.

"Another question that is raised, aside from the political and humanitarian aspects of this, is how is this related to the economic interests of America?

"I might point out that there is a high correlation between the rate at which these countries grow in their exports and the rate in turn in which their Gross National Product grows.

"If we want them to get stronger and more industrialized, we must also think about their exports. One might say, 'Well, these exports are certainly in their interests. Are they in the interest of the United States?'

"Well, aside from assuring a more stable and peaceful structure, I would want to remind you that in many of these rapidly growing markets our exports to these countries from America have doubled in the last four years.

"So, aside from the political and humanitarian issues, I think there are some very important issues in terms of our own economic development."

Peterson then discussed the essentials of the new proposals:

"Under this new structure, you will see an International Security Assistance Act where, for the first time, all of the security assistance is looked at together and hopefully in a more integrated way and includes all of these categories of international security assistance.

"Then all of the development and humanitarian assistance is grouped together in this set of categories here. I hope most of you can read those. I am sure you read at least as well as I do.

"The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which is set up to guarantee U.S. overseas private investment has already been passed. But I did want you to recall that. Here is the Inter-American Foundation, which was authorized by Congress last year and is now operating and it finances the social development programs in Latin America.

"The Peterson Task Force and the subsequent Presidential decision on this new development assistance part of the program--and we have experts here who will be happy to answer your questions on any specific aspects you want--but on the development side, there are distinct objectives now for each of these agencies. Each of them has a mission. The President has been quite emphatic in being sure that this program be very responsive to initiatives by the less developed countries; that they have come up with, to the maximum extent possible to function in a frame work set by international institutions.

"We want to have as cooperative an effort in this important field as we can, concentrating on countries of special interest to the United States and on projects where the United States has special competence--that is, really having something to contribute; match the terms of our assistance to the economic capacity of the recipient, which is, I think, an important way of increasing the productivity; extremely important, improving the management to carry out these basic reforms; and an important byproduct of this program will be to reduce substantially the number of U.S. Government officials overseas that have previously been involved in these programs.

"The first structure is in the development side, the U.S. International Development Corporation. Its basic activities are development loans to developing countries, very often on a project or program basis and important technical services that are related to either preparing the loan request or implementing the program. Here are the operating principles that are implied here. They will be run in response to specific proposals where the United States has a long-term interest. They will function in the framework set by the international institutions and very often in coordination and cooperation with other bilateral donors.

"The loan terms will be tailor-made to the repayment capacity of the recipient: the valuation of the loans on sound business and development criteria; and operations will be centralized in Washington, thereby reducing field staff and relying more on the recipients for relevant information.

"In the management sense, there will be a Board of Directors. You will notice here that this will include not only the Secretaries of State and Treasury, but three private individuals. This group will have its own charter. The President will be the operating head and the request is for a three-year, $2.5 billion authorization, both appropriated funds and borrowing authority.

"The U.S. International Development Institute, we think, also fills an important need. One is to finance research that is relevant to development, strengthen research capacity which is very much lacking, as all of you know, in less-developed countries; provide training. Know-how is a very important part of this process; and to help build institutions with emphasis on agriculture and education that can continue this development process within the country; and finance advisers on development problems.

"The operating principles, again, will be to be very responsive to proposals that come from them; to concentrate on development problems in which we believe the United States has special competence; to try to build and emphasize research capacity within the less-developed countries; to provide grant financing but insisting on LDC contributions; more from the more advanced countries and less from the poorest; and implement projects through the private sector reducing official U.S. overseas personnel.

"Management and finance, the two will have a Board of Trustees. You will notice that the majority will be private citizens. Again, the Executive Director will be the operating head and again we are asking for a three-year authorization of $1.3 billion. I would emphasize here the concept of continuity and forward planning.

"The very nature of the development process is a long-term process and all of the people who know this field best believe that the long-range planning requirements should be reflected in the way the funds are authorized for it to operate.

"I should want you to know that there has been careful consultation with the legislature in this program and that one of the questions that has come up from the beginning of the Task Force and certainly recently is the whole question of coordination of this development assistance operation.

"Under this bill, there will be a U.S. coordinator of bilateral development assistance. He or she will be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, responsible to the President, accountable to the Congress as the Administration spokesman on bilateral development assistance. He will exercise his authority by being Chairman of each of these boards that I have mentioned. He will chair an Executive Committee, the operating heads of the three agencies. He will operate under the foreign policy guidance of the Secretary of State, coordinate with the National Security Council, and of course security issues are involved and under the coordination of the new Council on International Economic Policy and Economic Development Issues.

"In terms of the funds that are involved here, we have them broken down as between nearly $2 billion, $1.993 billion for the international security assistance portion and $1.245 billion for the development assistance portion.

"I might say that in hearing the President discuss this program, he has said that this is not the kind of world where we dare leave a vacuum and it is not the kind of world where we can withdraw our physical presence as we are in key areas of the world and, at the same time, withdraw our economic presence.

"If we are going to have a generation of peace, it is not going to be simply by ending a war, but by building a structure for peace. And he believes that one of the key foundations of that structure for peace has to do with the vital and viable group of less-developed countries, which, as I have indicated, account for two-thirds of the world's population where many of the political issues of the '70's will arise and where in turn many of the political issues are at their core economic issues." (The Richard Nixon Library, Nixon Papers)

A period of questions and answers followed Peterson's briefing, which began at 10:25 and ended at 11:05 a.m.


91. Memorandum for the President's File by the President's Special Assistant (Safire)/1/

Washington, June 29, 1971.

/1/Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President's Office Files, Memoranda for the President, Box 85, May 2-August 15, 1971. No classification marking. The memorandum is Safire's record of the President's comments before a meeting of the President's Commission on Productivity, which met between 10:07 and 10:47 a.m. in the Cabinet Room of the White House. (Ibid., White House Central Files, Staff Members and Office Files, Office of Presidential Papers and Archives, Daily Diary)

"The most significant areas of the world in the immediate future are like five fingers of the hand. Other areas like Africa and Latin America are 50 years away. But here are the five fingers: (The President held up his hand and ticked them off.) First the thumb, the US, still the strongest; next Western Europe and, boy, that Common Market is coming along fast; third, the Soviet Union; fourth, China; fifth, Japan.

"With that kind of world, the United States of America is now entering a very interesting period.

"Our vision is obscured by our obsession with the war in Vietnam. God knows, that war will be over quite soon. If we had such control over our other problems, it would all be easy.

"We will have a live-and-let-live situation with the Soviet Union; we will have a strong ally in Western Europe, but not doing much for its own defense; we will have a competing China, no longer isolated; and we will have a growing Japan.

"Now, the US looks at low labor rates around the world and its immediate reaction is, 'Boy, we better put up some quotas.' Congressional pressure along these lines is enormous. But the US cannot build a fence around itself and expect to survive as a great nation. If we did, the rest of the world, still having to make it, would out-produce us. Soon, the US would not be #1, and there are areas in which I am for the US being #1.

"Here's the irony: the success of US diplomacy will lead to greater dangers and opportunities economically.

"This morning, in the Cabinet meeting, Secretary Rogers saw a period of five to ten years from now when 75% of our foreign policy would be economics. We either have to come to the mark, or we will be #2 economically. If that should happen, something will go out of the American spirit. That's why I don't like to give up on the SST, and that's why we are ending the war the way we are. Difficult as it is, that's the easiest thing we have to do.

"It's terribly important we be #1 economically because otherwise we can't be #1 diplomatically or militarily. You hear a lot of stuff around that the US is not to be trusted with power. You hear that our Presidents lie us into wars--though I think, when all the facts come out, we will have a better view. You hear that the US is imperialistic and aggressive. But we build up our enemies after wars, and we ask for not one acre. What will we get for ourselves out of Vietnam? Nothing.

"As distinguished from other great powers throughout civilization, we did not ask for our position of power, nor did we even have a policy for acquiring the power. It fell into our lap.

"For the next quarter century, let us see to it that we do play this role. We care when there is an earthquake in Peru or a famine in India. Never has a nation given more and gotten less.

"I have been more melodramatic than I meant to be, but if the moment comes when we are not competitive, our standard of living will go down, inflation will go up, and something will go out of the American spirit.

"This would diminish the chances for a generation of peace. The future of the economy is in our hands--and also the future of peace."


92. Remarks by President Nixon to the Nation/1/

July 15, 1971.

/1/Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1971, pp. 819-820. Nixon's remarks were broadcast live on radio and television at 7:31 p.m. from the NBC studios in Burbank, California.

Good evening:

I have requested this television time tonight to announce a major development in our efforts to build a lasting peace in the world.

As I have pointed out on a number of occasions over the past 3 years, there can be no stable and enduring peace without the participation of the People's Republic of China and its 750 million people. That is why I have undertaken initiatives in several areas to open the door for more normal relations between our two countries.

In pursuance of that goal, I sent Dr. Kissinger, my Assistant for National Security Affairs, to Peking during his recent world tour for the purpose of having talks with Premier Chou En-lai./2/

/2/For a first-hand account of Kissinger's visit to Peking, see Kissinger, White House Years, pp. 714-755.

The announcement I shall now read is being issued simultaneously in Peking, and in the United States:

Premier Chou En-lai and Dr. Henry Kissinger, President Nixon's Assistant for National Security Affairs, held talks in Peking from July 9 to 11, 1971. Knowing of President Nixon's expressed desire to visit the People's Republic of China, Premier Chou En-lai, on behalf of the Government of the People's Republic of China, has extended an invitation to President Nixon to visit China at an appropriate date before May 1972. President Nixon has accepted the invitation with pleasure.

The meeting between the leaders of China and the United States is to seek the normalization of relations between the two countries and also to exchange views on questions of concern to the two sides.

In anticipation of the inevitable speculation which will follow this announcement, I want to put our policy in the clearest possible context.

Our action in seeking a new relationship with the People's Republic of China will not be at the expense of our old friends. It is not directed against any other nation. We seek friendly relations with all nations. Any nation can be our friend without being any other nation's enemy.

I have taken this action because of my profound conviction that all nations will gain from a reduction of tensions and a better relationship between the United States and the People's Republic of China.

It is in this spirit that I will undertake what I deeply hope will become a journey for peace, peace not just for our generation but for future generations on this earth we share together.

Thank you and good night.


93. Editorial Note

On July 16, 1971, Henry Kissinger provided a briefing on a background basis to members of the press on his visit to Peking and the upcoming Presidential visit to China publicly announced the previous evening. In response to a question about recent public statements by the administration cautioning against exaggerated expectations of improved relations with China, Kissinger explained:

"Well, we have had a difficult problem with maintaining a public posture on this issue. The relationships with the People's Republic have gone in essentially two phases: (1) In the first year and a half of the Administration, there was a general attempt on our part to communicate to Peking that we were prepared to have a serious dialogue, and that we were not prisoners of history.

"We also took, in addition, a series of unilateral steps that were public that symbolized this. Then, starting this spring, about concurrently with the visible manifestation of the ping-pong diplomacy, the manifestations having been in a general framework of trying to express a general attitude, both sides moved into a more concrete phase.

"On the other hand, there are a number of really interesting aspects. When you have not been in touch with a country for 25 years, it is amazing how technically difficult it is to simply find out where you should talk, and with whom. That is something that we don't teach in textbooks on diplomacy.

"When you are nursing a rather tenuous dialogue, you don't want to create excessive expectations of how it might go. Even after we knew, for example, that a visit by the American envoy in Peking would be welcome, there still remained a lot to be discussed about how to work it out; what should be discussed; what the objectives should be.

"The President felt that until we know that, it would be best not to raise undue expectations, excessive speculation, for each side to take a public position that it might then regret, and if it turned out that a later moment would be more propitious, we could then do it without embarrassment or without a sense of failure."

Kissinger also addressed the impact of the opening to China on U.S.-Soviet relations, particularly a prospective summit:

"The President's view on a meeting with the Soviet leaders has been frequently stated. It is one that, of course, he has always been, in principle, willing to undertake. It would seem to me that the occasion of a visit to Peking is not the best to also visit Moscow. The issues to be discussed between the two countries are too various. But in principle, we are prepared to meet with the Soviet leaders whenever our negotiations have reached a point where something fruitful can be accomplished.

"Let me make one other point: Nothing that has been done in our relations with the People's Republic of China has any purpose or is in any way directed against any other countries, and especially not against the Soviet Union. We are taking these steps because we cannot imagine a stable, international peace in which a country of 750 million people is kept in isolation. We believe that by improving relations with the People's Republic of China we are contributing to peace in the world, and therefore are contributing to all nations."

Returning to his earlier theme, Kissinger expanded on the two phases in the development of informal relations with the People's Republic of China:

"I was saying that there were two phases in our relationship with the People's Republic of China: One, a period in which a general framework was established, first through a series of communications in various ways on our part that indicated that we were not bound by previous history and that expressed general philosophy. That also was expressed in the President's annual foreign policy report and was expressed in the first public use of the phrase, 'People's Republic of China' last October in a toast of President Nixon to President Ceausescu, and was repeated in February in the President's World Report, even in the middle of the Laotian operation. There was also a series of steps which the Department of State took to indicate a general willingness to open relations as well as public statements by the Secretary of State and others.

"The second phase started in April when we moved from this general framework to a more specific exploration of where we might go from here. Then in April, May, and June this meeting was set up through a series of exchanges and very detailed preparations which were made. The preparations had been somewhat handicapped by the fact that the only senior officials who knew about it were the President, the Secretary of State and myself."

Toward the end of the briefing, Kissinger discussed the opening to China within the context of world affairs:

"We knew that making this decision would hurt some old friends. It is always difficult to break away from a well established pattern, which at least has the advantage that its framework has become very familiar. It forced us to re-think the whole nature of the world in which policy had been conducted more or less as if the People's Republic of China did not exist.

"I don't want to speak for the People's Republic of China, but I don't doubt that for their leaders there were some enormously complex decisions to be made, given their image of the United States and given the fact of this long-time hostility and, indeed, confrontation in so many parts of the world, sometimes physically and always ideologically.

"So it was a complex, and I am frank to say, in many respects a moving occasion to have the privilege of seeing the beginning of this and dealing with what are no doubt very dedicated and very serious people, and we both recognized that we were engaged on a very difficult path which had many pitfalls and which would take an enormous sense of restraint and responsibility on both sides." (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 426, Subject File, Background Briefings, December 1970-December 1971)

The briefing took place at the Western White House in San Clemente, California, between 9:15 and 10:10 a.m., Pacific Daylight Time. White House Press Secretary Ronald Ziegler introduced Kissinger.


94. Editorial Note

On July 19, 1971, Henry Kissinger met with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin to "get a feeling for Dobrynin's attitude following the announcement of the Peking Summit." Kissinger found Dobrynin concerned that the U.S.-China initiative, in particular a Nixon visit to China, resulted from the Soviets having been evasive in a recent U.S. inquiry about the long-discussed U.S.-Soviet Summit. "Dobrynin was at his oily best," wrote Kissinger in a memorandum of conversation, "and, for the first time in my experience, totally insecure." With respect to the question of a U.S.-Soviet summit and its timing in relation to the U.S.-China meeting, Kissinger spoke bluntly:

"I said that I wanted to be frank with him. Perhaps in the first year of our Administration we had not always been forthcoming in improving relations with the Soviet Union, but ever since April 1970 we believe we have made an unending series of overtures. The Soviet response has been grudging and petty, especially on the Summit Meeting. They simply did not understand the President. The President thought in broad philosophical terms and had sincerely believed that his meeting with the Soviet leaders might open new vistas for cooperation around the world; instead, he found himself confronted with one evasion after another. As Dobrynin very well knew, I had urged him to have an answer by July 1st and even then it had taken till July 5th, and he had then been evasive again, saying that the meeting could take place in November and December. This was in effect a rejection, because I had already told him that November and December were highly inconvenient. Indeed, I did not know whether Dobrynin was even saying we should fix a date.

"Dobrynin in reply was almost beside himself with protestations of goodwill. On the contrary, he said, he could tell me strictly off the record that a meeting between his leaders and the President was very much on their minds. What in fact had happened was that September did not seem possible, and now November was the earliest possible date. He was certain the Soviet leaders would be willing to set another date for a Summit, but now they did not know whether our meeting with Peking made it impossible. Would we be willing to come to Moscow before going to Peking?

"I replied that it did not seem to me proper to go to Moscow before having gone to Peking, that we should go in the order in which the announcements were made. He asked whether we would be prepared to announce a meeting before having been in Peking. I said that that was a distinct possibility but that I would have to check this with the President and let him know later in the day.

"[I called Dobrynin at 7:00 that evening after checking with the President and told him that we would be prepared to announce a meeting in Moscow after having set the date of a meeting in Peking but before we had actually visited Peking.]" (Brackets in the source text)

During this meeting, which took place in the Map Room of the White House, Dobrynin also asked Kissinger about his meeting in Peking:

"He asked me whether the Soviet Union had come up. I replied that realistically it was obvious that we could do nothing to help Communist China against the Soviet Union. In any event to us the Soviet Union was a world power, while we recognized that China was primarily significant for Asian settlements. Dobrynin asked whether Chou En-lai had indicated any worry about a Soviet attack. I said there were practically no references to the Soviet Union except an occasional vague allusion, while it seemed to me that the primary fear of Communist China was Japan.

"Dobrynin brightened considerably and said that this was exactly his conviction of Chinese priorities. He asked what there really was to talk about between us and the Chinese? Were we interested in Chinese domination of Southeast Asia? He had always thought that the Soviet interests and ours were much more nearly complementary with respect to the defense of Southeast Asia. I said that I wasn't certain that the Chinese had aggressive tendencies in Southeast Asia but that in any event we would not favor Chinese expansion beyond their borders." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 73, Country Files-Europe-U.S.S.R.)

From Kissinger's perspective, Soviet concerns over the U.S. opening to China yielded immediate dividends. He recalled in his memoirs: "Other negotiations deadlocked for months began magically to unfreeze." Such issues as the Berlin discussions and talks to guard against accidental nuclear war "moved rapidly to completion within weeks of the Peking announcement." (Kissinger, White House Years, pages 766-767) But Kissinger maintained that the concept of triangular diplomacy was complicated. He recalled:

"It could not be a crude attempt to play off China against the Soviet Union. 'The China card' was not ours to play. Sino-Soviet hostility had followed its own dynamic. We had not generated it; we were, in fact, unaware of its intensity for the better part of a decade. Neither Peking nor Moscow was quarreling with the other to curry favor with us; they were currying favor with us because they were quarreling. We could not 'exploit' that rivalry; it exploited itself." (Ibid., page 763)


95. Press Conference by President Nixon/1/

Washington, August 4, 1971.

/1/Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1971, pp. 850-851. The section printed here is from item 2 of the press conference, entitled "The President's Trip to China."

[Omitted here is discussion of timing of the President's trip to China.]

Now, as to the effect the visit will have, and the conversations will have, on Vietnam, I will not speculate on that subject. I will only say that as the joint announcement indicated, this will be a wide-ranging discussion of issues concerning both governments. It is not a discussion that is going to lead to instant détente.

What it really is, is moving--as we have moved, I believe, in the situation with regard to the Soviet Union--from an era of confrontation without communication to an era of negotiation with discussion. It does not mean that we go into these meetings on either side with any illusions about the wide differences that we have. Our interests are very different, and both sides recognized this, in the talks that Dr. Kissinger had, the very extended talks he had with Premier Chou En-lai. We do not expect that these talks will settle all of those differences.

What is important is that we will have opened communication to see where our differences are irreconcilable, to see that they can be settled peacefully, and to find those areas where the United States, which today is the most powerful nation in the world, can find areas of agreement with the most populous nation in the world which potentially in the future could become the most powerful nation in the world.

As we look at peace in the world for the balance of this century, and for that matter even in the next century, we must recognize that there cannot be world peace on which all the peoples in the world can rely, on which they have such a great stake, unless there is communication between and some negotiation between these two great super powers, the People's Republic and the United States.

I have put this in general terms because that is the understanding of the People's Republic, Premier Chou En-lai, and it is our under-standing our agenda will be worked out at a later point; before the trip it will be very carefully worked out so that the discussions will deal with the hard problems as well as the easy ones.

We expect to make some progress, but to speculate about what progress will be made on any particular issue, to speculate, for example, as to what effect this might have on Vietnam, would not serve the interests of constructive talks.

[Omitted here are the remaining items in the press conference.]


96. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

Washington, August 13, 1971, 10:05-11:50 a.m.

/1/Source: National Security Council, Nixon NSC Meetings, Minutes--Original, 1971-June 20, 1974. Top Secret. The meeting was held in the Cabinet Room of the White House. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files, Staff Members and Office Files, Office of Presidential Papers and Archives, Daily Diary)

Minutes of NSC Meeting on Defense Strategy

[Omitted here are brief opening comments by the President and Kissinger.]

[Kissinger:] The President asked that the Defense budget be presented in terms of missions, but the most fundamental questions are still unanswered. Substantial work needs to be done to define the purposes of our forces.

There has been an extraordinary shift in the strategic balance since the mid-1960's. Until the late 1950's we could win a general war whether we struck first or not. Our general purpose forces could deal with any local conflict--Cuba, for example. But today Soviet strategic forces are far stronger. If a country has superiority, one doesn't have to worry about a disarming first strike. Local situations therefore take on added significance.

Most of our strategic doctrine reflects decisions under the conditions of previous periods. Thus there are some anomalies and questions, that are not yet resolved.

Let me review some of the types of forces and questions we have. This is not intended to be all-inclusive.

First, strategic nuclear forces. What are the missions of these forces? They are: deterrence; second-strike assured destruction; to save American lives; a China ABM against small attacks; some counterforce capability (particularly against Communist China); also strategic interdiction against non-urban targets.

In fact we have no disarming capability against the USSR but we do have some against China. But we cannot use our land-based missiles against China (over USSR); we have to use our bombers and submarines. Thus we must decide whether to dedicate a part of our force. And do we have the intelligence capability to define the targets? As long as we have a disarming capability we can use it to regulate their actions in local situations.

We still confront SIOP problems. We are still targeting silos without a retargeting capability. Thus we risk firing at empty holes. Why should we use bombers to go after missiles that are already fired? The approach of the SIOP hasn't changed much in 10 years. Our strategic forces are inferior in numbers but still carrying functions that are the same as when we had superiority.

As for strategic defensive forces: Our fighters are superior in numbers to theirs, but when we send them they fight their offensive fighters. The question is why would the USSR conduct small air attacks against the U.S. when it can do it with missiles? There are other issues here also--what about Safeguard and SALT?

Then we come to theater nuclear forces: We still don't have a clear doctrine for their use. Thus we can't define how many are needed. Why do we depend on vulnerable short-range artillery to deliver them? How would a war progress after the use of nuclear weapons? We have the same problems in the Pacific. Thus the problem is not resolved as to the types and numbers of forces that we need.

Then come our general purpose forces. Their mission is forward defense in Europe, and elsewhere to maintain a credible posture of defense. In NATO the problem has been to provide a capability of 90 days or more of conventional defense in response to an all-out Warsaw Pact attack. Thus the missions of the three forces--Soviet, U.S., and NATO allies--are different.

We can't get the allies to define what selective use of nuclear weapons means.

I have seen no evidence of how we will get to M+60, let alone M+90 --but our allies' supplies probably won't last that long. The problem is how the three approaches can be taken at the same time.

There is some progress here, but we still have many unsolved problems in NATO.

In other parts of the world, there is less of a problem of having a war-fighting capability; it is more a matter of the political presence of the United States. In Korea, our forces are important to the political context and their withdrawal would have a political impact in Korea and Japan. If our forces in the Pacific drop precipitously, some will see this as a move--misinterpreting the Nixon Doctrine--to withdraw. Air and naval forces are not enough. In the Middle East we have a similar problem. In September 1970, the possible projection of our ground forces was the key.

If the Army goes to 11 divisions, we will be short six divisions for our plans in Europe and will have no strategic reserve. At 13 we are still short of a strategic reserve.

These are some of the issues we are trying to discuss in the DPRC./2/ Some involve our allies, some have an impact that is psychological. If we don't come to grips with them, the consequences will be serious. The Soviets are not building missiles to be nice. Somewhere their umbrella will be translated into political power. Thus we want to continue this study.

/2/Defense Program Review Committee.

The President: The main purpose of our forces is diplomatic wallop. The possibility of nuclear conflict is remote, because the fear of it is so widespread. We can't separate diplomatic power from the ability to deny to the other side an ability to win a war without irreparable losses.

General purpose forces are irrelevant in a nuclear war. Carriers and ground forces have a psychological effect in areas where nations depend on the US. That's the reason for NATO strength in Europe; that's why, if it was only a trip wire, at some point it becomes incredible that the US would support them. Our military plans are probably irrelevant but it is important that our presence be there because people see the US continuing to play a role in the world. This supports our diplomatic posture generally. They know the minimums are political minimums.

While we are negotiating with Soviets and we may negotiate with China, those in Europe and elsewhere who are under the US defense umbrella get nervous. They think we may change the power balance, and they will look elsewhere for their guarantees. Germany and Japan both look to the US guarantees for their defense.

Mel and Dave/3/ are well aware that many in the Congress applaud our negotiating for the wrong reasons. They think negotiating means no need for forces. This is clearly the wrong trend. Jackson was attacked by Lowenstein.

/3/Secretary of Defense Melvin E. Laird and Deputy Secretary of Defense David Packard.

We are in a position to have in effect a two-stage policy: To give hope that we are negotiating and maybe in the long-run can reduce our military burden. But at the same time we know we couldn't have come this far without a credible military posture--nor could we bug out in Vietnam. Any possibility for continued progress in the future with the USSR and China--who are continuing to build their military strength--will depend on our military strength.

We have a problem of public relations. Many don't care what position we have. We must explain our attitude and that of the unilateral disarmers. What will the people and the Congress support? We also have economic, budget and balance of payments problems. But I can't accept the argument that these must govern. There is a level beyond which defense can't be reduced--it is most important for diplomatic and psychological purposes.

[Omitted here is a summary of FY 1973 Defense budget considerations presented by Laird, with some discussion.]

Mr. Irwin:/4/ You emphasized our concern: the diplomatic and psychological effects of budget reductions. We understand the problem. In strategic forces, sufficiency must be believable to all. In NATO, we also must maintain our commitment. Any Navy cuts should be elsewhere than in the Mediterranean. We have been pursuing the interim Suez agreements and our diplomatic effort must be supported by naval and air power in the region.

/4/John N. Irwin, II, Under Secretary of State.

In East Asia, the political and psychological factor is the most important. All our friends are concerned about the possible outcome of the war in Vietnam and the effects on them of our China initiative. They see a change in the power balance--our allies are watching us closely. Therefore it is essential to maintain our flexibility and our deployments. Under either of Mel's budgets we would be cutting one division in the Pacific. We need to maintain the divisions, the air wings and two carrier task forces; to move any of them would unhinge our allies there. In Japan, they are already nervous; they could be pushed to rearm, even to nuclear armaments.

I don't rule out reductions in the future but not in FY 73. It would be the wrong time. Secretary Rogers called me to emphasize this. This is his strong view.

[Omitted here is additional discussion of FY 1973 Defense budget matters.]


97. Memorandum for the President's File by the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

Washington, October 12, 1971.

/1/Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 279, Presidential File, Memoranda of Conversation, October-November 1971. No classification marking. The President, along with Kissinger, Rogers, and two staffers, met with 11 Congressional leaders in the Cabinet Room. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files, Staff Members and Office Files, Office of Presidential Papers and Archives, Daily Diary) A list of the attendees is attached but not printed.

President Nixon's Meeting with Congressional Leaders on October 12, 1971, 12 noon-12:hed.)m. in the Cabinet Room. (List of participants is attached.)

The President began the meeting by noting that at that moment the announcement he would shortly be reading out to the Leaders was being simultaneously published in Washington and Moscow. The President said that after reading the announcement he would provide some background and then be open to questions. He looked forward to a good discussion in this small group. The President then read out the announcement concerning his trip to the Soviet Union in May, 1972 (Tab A)./2/

/2/Not printed. The United States and the Soviet Union jointly announced agreement to hold a Summit meeting in Moscow in late May 1972. The President read the announcement at a news conference on October 12; for text, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1971, p. 1030.

Turning to the background, the President recalled his first press conference in January of 1969 when the question of a summit with the Soviets was raised. At that time he had said that we should not have such a meeting unless something came out of it, otherwise it would be merely cosmetic and there would be a great letdown. This also turned out to be the Soviet view. In April, 1970, the Soviets began exploring the possibility at lower levels. But the President did not think that a meeting at the highest level at that time could serve a useful purpose. There then ensued a period of many discussions at various levels. In the last few weeks the Soviets indicated that they thought the time was ripe and Gromyko brought a formal invitation when he came to Washington.

The President continued that in fact we had made sufficient progress. He cited agreements on biological warfare, the seabeds, the hot line and accidental war. But the most important one was on Berlin. That problem was not solved totally but the United States and the Soviet Union, plus the two other countries involved, were able to reach agreement on an area where our interests clashed./3/ Now the President drew the conclusion that it was possible to go to other areas.

/3/According to notes of a Cabinet meeting held later that day taken by Assistant to the President Ray Price, Nixon said of these accomplishments: "Any one of them would have been hailed as the second coming if achieved by another President." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President's Office Files, Memos for the President, Box 86, August 22-December 5, 1971)

The President then took up the point of why the meeting was set for May rather than, for example, next month. In the first place, he said, the Soviets set the date. In addition, we were having very intensive negotiations on strategic arms. While we were aiming for agreement this year it might not come until next year. The subject was high on the agenda. In this connection, the President referred to recent stories about the huge Soviet arms build-up, particularly on the Soviet side. While SALT had made progress on the defensive side, agreement would not be reached without the offensive side because that was where the Soviets were ahead. We cannot have an agreement based on defensive equality but freezing Soviet offensive advantage. The President was confident that we would have a SALT agreement but it must not freeze us into inferiority.

The President cautioned against euphoria in connection with this Moscow trip. There continued to be great differences: in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia, in Europe and, most fundamentally as regards systems of government. Nevertheless the overwhelming fact was that if there ever was a superpower conflict there would be no victors, only losers. The Soviets know this as well as we do. Neither superpower would let the other get an advantage sufficient to enable it to launch a preemptive strike. Therefore, we should explore areas where we can limit or even perhaps reduce arms.

Apart from arms, there were such problems as Europe and trade. Without listing an agenda, the President said the Moscow talks would deal with all "questions of mutual interest." This included peripheral areas like the Middle East, where we hoped for progress before the summit; Southeast Asia and its future, where we will go forward with our two-track policy and will not wait until May; and the Caribbean.

To sum up, the President said when we look at the future of the world negotiations rather than confrontations were essential. It did not matter if we had a difference with a small country like Bolivia, but in the case of the Soviet Union it could be disastrous. The President then stressed that the two trips he was planning--to Peking and Moscow--were completely separate and independent. We were in the position of pursuing the best relations with both, but not with one at the expense of the other./4/ The President added that we had informed Peking, the European allies and Japan of the Moscow trip, but because of the Soviet passion for secrecy, which they share with other communists, we had to be extremely careful not to risk a leak.

/4/Nixon also told the Cabinet, according to Price's notes, that "we are on a very high wire. We are trying to stay there vis-à-vis the Soviet Union and China. We must remember that we are ironically in a position where each rates the other as a greater enemy than the U.S. But the U.S.--to deal with either--must deal evenhandedly, not playing off one against the other." (Ibid.)

[Omitted here is general discussion among the participants.]


98. Editorial Note

On October 27, 1971, on his return from China, Henry Kissinger held a press conference in the White House Briefing Room. Kissinger was in China October 20-27 to continue planning for the upcoming Presidential trip to China. Unlike the first visit, the second trip was announced publicly beforehand. For Kissinger's account of this trip, see White House Years, pages 776-785. When asked during the press conference whether there was any discussion with the Chinese of the upcoming Moscow Summit, Kissinger responded:

"First of all, let me say that I will not comment on any of the substantive discussions. But I do want to take this opportunity to make the following point: Our relations with the People's Republic of China are designed to end the isolation from each other of two great peoples. It is an attempt to settle or to begin the long process of settlement of outstanding issues between two peoples who have had a history of friendship.

"It is not directed against any third country. Neither side is going to use the discussions that will come up as an opportunity to discuss the possible settlement of issues that primarily affect third countries. Therefore, we do not feel, nor does the People's Republic require us to give an account of whatever dealings we might have with other countries.

"This, incidentally, this precise rule, will be applied in our relationship with Moscow. Whatever differences may or may not exist between the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union are for them to discuss among themselves. We have a long agenda of bilateral issues to discuss with both of them. This is going to be the exclusive concern of the President when he visits first Peking and then Moscow." (White House Press Release, October 27, 1971; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 426, Subject File, Background Briefings, December 1970-December 1971)

The press conference, which began at 4:16 p.m. and ended at 4:51, was conducted almost entirely "on the record."


99. Memorandum for the President's File by the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

Washington, October 30, 1971, 10:05-11:05 a.m.

/1/Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President's Office Files, B Series Documents, Box 58, Folder 34. Secret; Sensitive; Nodis. The meeting was held in the Oval Office.

Meeting Between President Nixon and President Tito


President Nixon
Alexander Akalovsky, Department of State

President Tito
Miss Lijana Tambaca, Interpreter

[Omitted here is discussion of general subjects.]

First, the President said, he believed that President Tito knew that, while the U.S. had many faults, it was not a threat to the independence of smaller countries. It was certainly not a threat to Yugoslavia, which could have trade and other relations with the U.S. but should not fear any interference on the part of the United States. The U.S. was not saintly, but from the standpoint of its own self-interest--and any country must act on the basis of its self-interest--it believed that its interests would be served by the existence of strong independent nations like Yugoslavia. We realized, however, that Ceausescu, with his big neighbor to the North, and Yugoslavia, which was in the same sphere but somewhat further removed, had a special problem. While he did not know Brezhnev or Kosygin personally, there was no question in his mind that, because of its self-interest, the USSR would continue its efforts to bring its neighbors under increased influence. The independence of Yugoslavia and Romania, regardless of these two countries' internal systems, was consistent with U.S. interests but was not consistent with Soviet interests.

President Tito interjected that there were great differences between Romania and Yugoslavia, with the President commenting that President Tito would still admit that he had been a thorn in the USSR's side, not because he wanted it but because his independent policy was disliked by the Soviets. The problem of the countries in that area was to have good relations with the United States but without going so far as to provoke the Soviets into using their might to stop movement toward independence. In this connection, the President observed that one of the major questions to be discussed in Moscow would be the U.S. attitude towards the Eastern bloc. Our position would not be that of liberation; as Hungary had shown, liberation meant suicide. However, the President stressed, his position would be to avoid any kind of understanding with Moscow that would give the Soviets encouragement to fish in troubled waters in Yugoslavia or elsewhere. He felt that he did not have to say more than that.

[Omitted here is discussion of Soviet relations with Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe.]

The President said that another question he wished to discuss with President Tito was our arms talks with the Soviets, because those talks were very important from the standpoint of what other states would do for their defense. Noting that we hoped to reach agreement with the Soviets on limiting both offensive and defensive strategic armaments, the President said that he wished to point out at the same time that if no such agreement was reached he would have to make a decision to increase our armaments. As things stood now, the Soviets were making great efforts to enlarge their arsenal of ICBMs, SS-9s and SLBMs. While we could not object to Soviet efforts to reach parity with the United States, we could not stand by if another nation was gaining superiority. Therefore, if no agreement was reached, we would have to increase our arms spending by $15 to $20 billion, and he, the President, was prepared to do it. President Tito expressed the view that it was important for the U.S. to discuss arms control with the Soviet Union because if agreement was reached in this area, that would make it easier to reach agreement on other issues as well.

The President continued that in certain parts of the world, some seemed to believe that given our winding up some commitments, our Vietnam policy, the Nixon Doctrine, and our moves regarding China and the USSR, he was so concerned about peace that he would make a move for peace even if that should weaken U.S. defenses. This, the President emphasized, was a gross miscalculation. The U.S. was a Pacific power, and it intended to remain such a power because it had interests in the area. If others were to limit their armaments, the U.S. would do the same, but it would not do it unilaterally.

The President recalled the remark in his toast the other night, that President Tito was a man of peace./2/ In a very personal way, he wanted to say that although President Tito's and his own backgrounds were different and his role in history had not been as great as President Tito's, there were also some similarities. Both President Tito and himself had come up the hard way. President Tito was for peace, and he considered himself to be a man of peace too. President Tito was for independence, just as he was a strong believer in independence. He also respected different social systems; President Tito might be a communist and he a capitalist but this did not matter. However, one thing should be clear, and that was that he, President Nixon, was not a soft man. The U.S. was not interested in peace at any cost, and this would be made very clear in the forthcoming discussions with the Chinese and the Soviets. Nor would the U.S. make any arrangement with the Chinese or the Soviets at the expense of third countries. The President continued that it was his firm conviction that a weak United States would be a danger to peace, although some Senators held a different view and called for unilateral disarmament. He did not believe in such disarmament, especially if the other side was building up its armaments. In this connection, the President noted that some leaders on which President Tito had influence might criticize the United States for increasing its military strength, but that he firmly believed that this served the interests of peace. President Tito said that the nations the President was referring to did not criticize the United States for strengthening its defenses but rather for its inadequate participation in their development. Many of those nations were tired of hearing only words about such participation and wanted to see some action.

/2/For text of the toast, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1971, p. 1067-1068.

[Omitted here is discussion of the war in Vietnam.]


100. Address by Secretary of State Rogers/1/

Washington, December 1, 1971.

/1/Source: Department of State Bulletin, December 20, 1971, pp. 693-697. Secretary Rogers addressed the 50th anniversary dinner of the Overseas Writers of Washington.

[Omitted here are introductory comments.]

I think you will agree with me when I say that President Nixon came to office with an experience in foreign affairs matched by few of his predecessors. A review of his public statements shortly before and after he assumed office foreshadowed the major initiatives that this administration has taken. Yet few would have been willing to predict their sweep. They can be broadly stated this way:

First, maximum practical efforts in every forum to achieve a more peaceful world, as with the SALT [Strategic Arms Limitation Talks],/2/ Berlin, and Middle East talks;

/2/All brackets in the source text.

Second, concerted action to achieve a better balance of responsibilities to reflect the growing shift in political-economic power in the world; for example, the Nixon doctrine, which has resulted in the reduction of more than 420,000 men from East Asia, and the new economic policy;

Third, intensive diplomatic activity to improve relations throughout the world in order to provide a foundation for a generation of peace, as illustrated by the President's forthcoming trips to Peking and Moscow.

Basic to this third point is a fundamental and often ignored concept in foreign affairs--that nations do not have permanent enemies, only permanent interests.

I will not attempt to cite the various initiatives the President has undertaken to carry out these objectives, because you are all well aware of them.

Rather, tonight I want to speak briefly about the U.S. relationship with Europe--about our permanent interests and, in the true sense of the word, our permanent friends. In each of the permanent interests of United States foreign policy--security, economic well-being, peace--Europe continues to play a central role. Europe's security is indivisible from our own. Europe's economic strength reinforces our own. And as the President has said, "if we are to found a structure of peace on the collaboration of many nations, our ties with Western Europe must be its cornerstone."/3/ This statement is fundamental to our foreign policy. We hope it will not be forgotten by our friends in Europe.

/3/The complete text of President Nixon's foreign policy report to the Congress on Feb. 25 appears in the Bulletin of Mar. 22, 1971. [Footnote in the source text.]

It is more than symbolic, then, that the President has scheduled meetings with President Pompidou, Prime Ministers Heath, Trudeau, Caetano, and Chancellor Brandt and that within a few days I will be attending a NATO Foreign Ministers meeting. These consultations are all important aspects of implementing our foreign policy, in which our relations with Western Europe remain of fundamental importance. They will give the President and members of his administration an opportunity to discuss in person the visits he will be making to Peking and Moscow, economic and monetary issues, and other matters of common interest.

Europe today is in an important period of transition, a transition embodying two processes. The first, the process toward integration of Western Europe, is progressing rapidly. The second, a process toward reconciliation between countries in Eastern and Western Europe, appears to be beginning.

The United States Government fully supports both of these. Since the days of the Marshall Plan the unity and strength of Western Europe have been central objectives of American foreign policy; we will not cease to be active supporters of these objectives now that they are on the threshold of success. And we are no less determined to participate actively in the process of reducing the political and social barriers which still divide the European Continent.

In the process toward Western European integration, we have always known that, as Western Europeans developed collective policies and a collective identity, their views and ours would not always coincide and transitory differences would develop.

In the economic field this has happened from time to time over the years, but we have resolved our disputes without damaging the underlying strength of our relationship.

We realize that the international aspects of the economic policy announced by President Nixon last August/4/ directly affect the interests of Western Europeans. We believe that they understand why we had to take drastic action to correct a balance of payments deficit running at three times the 1970 rate. It is not our intention, of course, to damage the economies of our allies and friends or to impair the system of economic cooperation which has served all of us so well over the past quarter of a century.

/4/Reference is to Nixon's so-called "New Economic Policy," which he announced in an address to the nation on August 15. With respect to foreign policy, the address focused on protection of the American dollar as a pillar of monetary stability throughout the world. Text of the address is in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1971, pp. 886-890. See also Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, vol. III, Documents 164 ff.

Since August 15, we have consulted closely with the principal industrial and financial nations about the measures we have taken. There is a wider measure of agreement among us than is evident from some of the public comment on the subject. There is a recognition that exchange rates had gotten out of line and that a substantial realignment is necessary if the international system is to function effectively. There is understanding that we have unfinished and urgent business of major importance in the area of trade rules and trade practices to insure freer and fairer trade. There is no disagreement that the burden of the common defense should be shared more equitably and that multilateral efforts must be intensified to accomplish this result. We believe that mutually beneficial solutions can and will be worked out.

U.S.-Western European Interdependence

Moreover, whatever our contemporary economic problems, the broadest interests of Western Europe and of the United States remain inseparable. And neither these nor any other problems will cause us to abandon our support of Western European alliance or our commitment to a strong NATO alliance.

First, there is, of course, no intention on our part--as has been suggested in some quarters--to exploit the economic situation to try to divide Western European countries from each other. We hope Western Europe will continue to speak with unity and cohesion in the economic as in other fields.

Second, while we firmly believe that defense burdens should be shared more equitably, economic differences and problems have not caused us to change our views on the maintenance of U.S. forces in Europe. As President Nixon pledged a year ago: Given a similar approach by our allies, we will maintain and improve those forces and will not reduce them unless there is reciprocal action./5/ The administration's steadfastness of purpose on this point should be clear from the determination and success with which we have continued to oppose attempts in the United States Senate to cut U.S. forces in Europe unilaterally.

/5/For a message from President Nixon read by Secretary Rogers before the ministerial meeting of the North Atlantic Council at Brussels on Dec. 3, 1970, see Bulletin Jan. 4, 1971, p. 1. [Footnote in the source text.]

Third, we will not withdraw--in the economic field, in the security field, or in the political field--into remoteness or isolation from Western Europe. Rather, in recognition of U.S.-Western European interdependence in all these fields, we will remain committed and involved.

This, then, is the message that the President has asked me to take next week to the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting in Brussels: that America's partnership with Western Europe and America's commitment to its defense are undiminished.

At that meeting the allies will be concerned, too, with the second process I have referred to--the movement toward reconciliation in Europe as a whole. In particular, we will be discussing two elements in that process, the mutual and balanced force reductions (MBFR) and a conference on European security and cooperation.

We hope that it will soon be possible to move into more definitive preparations for a negotiation on force reductions. At the Deputy Foreign Ministers meeting in October, former NATO Secretary General [Manlio] Brosio was named to explore Soviet views on approaches to negotiation. We regret that the Soviet Government, despite its earlier public assertions of willingness to proceed at once to negotiations, has not agreed to receive Mr. Brosio. We hope it will do so soon.

Concern has been expressed in certain quarters in Western Europe that the United States Government may consider the discussion on force reductions as little more than a cover for American troop withdrawals. This concern is without any foundation. We have no interest in an agreement which would alter the conventional-force balance in Europe to the West's disadvantage. Only reciprocal withdrawals which are carefully balanced could be contemplated. Only such withdrawals can contribute to the overall process of East-West reconciliation to which we and our allies are committed. Together with our allies we must make certain that all proposals for force reductions are carefully examined for their security implications.

Conference on European Security

Another step in the process of reconciliation which will receive active consideration at the coming NATO meeting is a conference on European security and cooperation.

NATO has made clear that it would not engage in preparations for such a conference until the Berlin negotiations were successfully concluded. The first phase of the Berlin agreement was signed by the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and France in September. The second phase, the talks between East and West Germany, has now reached the point of decision. If those talks succeed--and there is now every reason to believe they will--the four powers would subsequently proceed toward the signing of a final protocol bringing the entire Berlin agreement into effect. When this would occur is uncertain at the present time because of the Soviet Union's insistence that it will not sign the protocol until the time of the ratification of the treaty between the Soviet Union and the Federal Republic of Germany. They insist that it be done simultaneously. The United States, for its part, would be prepared to sign the final protocol as soon as the results of the German negotiations have been found acceptable. And we expect this to occur very soon.

However, when the protocol is signed--so that a satisfactory solution to the question of Berlin is an accomplished fact--the way will be open for concrete preparations during the coming year for a conference. In this connection we would be prepared to support the convening of a special NATO Deputy Foreign Ministers meeting to consider ways to proceed.

Let me outline the basic United States approach to such a conference.

In the first place, we believe that a conference should emphasize substance over atmosphere. It must attempt to mitigate the underlying causes of tension, not merely its superficial manifestations. It should therefore deal with any security issues on the agenda in a concrete way.

In the second place, we believe that the discussions could usefully address the basic principles that should govern relations among states. A conference should encourage the reconciliation of sovereign European states, not confirm their division. The conference could help make this clear by affirming--as President Nixon and President Tito affirmed in October--the independence and equality of sovereign states, whether their political or social systems are different or similar.

In the third place, we believe that a conference should give major emphasis to issues of cooperation on which East-West progress is attainable. While a conference might contribute to enhanced security, the progress achieved on Berlin and in the SALT talks suggests that detailed negotiation of individual security issues is more likely to be handled in less general and less highly visible forums.

A conference could, however, stimulate cooperation in Europe toward increased East-West trade, toward more frequent and more useful exchanges of science and technology, and toward common efforts to preserve the human environment.

In the fourth place, we believe that a conference should go beyond the traditional pattern of cultural exchanges between East and West. It should take specific steps to encourage the freer movement of people, ideas, and information.

In general, we would view a conference on European security and cooperation in dynamic rather than static terms. We would firmly oppose any attempt to use it to perpetuate the political and social division of Europe. We would see a conference not as a ratification of the existing divisions but as a step on the long road to a new situation--a situation in which the causes of tension are fewer, contacts are greater, and the continent could once more be thought of as Europe rather than as two parts.

Improving Relations With Eastern Europe

I have spoken of our efforts with our allies to lessen tensions and improve relations with the peoples and states of Eastern Europe. In our bilateral efforts as well, we are seeking the same objectives and making progress. As you know, we have been making progress in the SALT talks. The success of Secretary [of Commerce Maurice H.] Stans' visit to the Soviet Union underscores the progress we are making in our relations. You know, for example, the progress that has been made in trade recently.

In May President Nixon will become the first American President to visit the Soviet Union in 27 years. As the official announcement of the trip made clear, both we and the Soviets had agreed that a summit meeting "would be desirable once sufficient progress had been made in negotiations at lower levels."/6/ We are pleased that such progress is taking place.

/6/For background, see Bulletin Nov. 1, 1971, p. 473. [Footnote in the source text.]

The objectives of the President's visit--to improve bilateral relations and enhance the prospects for peace--cannot be attained, nor will they be sought, at the expense of the other countries of Europe, Eastern or Western. Indeed, we are prepared to improve and expand our relations with the Eastern European states at whatever pace they are willing to maintain. Good beginnings have been made. In bilateral trade, the area in which the Soviet Union's allies have shown the greatest interest, the total is expected to reach $415 million this year; although still small, it is an increase of more than 50 percent since 1967. We hope to increase it substantially in years to come.

We welcome the authority President Nixon was given by Congress to approve Export-Import Bank financing of trade with Eastern Europe. Yesterday, as you know, the President notified Congress of his intention to apply this authority to Romania, and we have some possibilities under active consideration now to carry out in practice that authority.

Other Eastern European countries, notably Poland and Hungary, have also shown a desire for improvement in their relations with us. We reciprocate this desire and are responding to it. With Poland, for example, our overall trade already approaches in volume our trade with the Soviet Union, and we hope further steps will soon be possible to increase it.

Our approach in Eastern Europe, as elsewhere, corresponds to the words of President Nixon's inaugural address in 1969: "We seek an open world--open to ideas, open to the exchange of goods and people--a world in which no people, great or small, will live in angry isolation."

There are voices in this country calling for United States withdrawal from the affairs of Europe. Such withdrawal would be folly. It would not be in the interests of our allies. It would not be in the interests of a more peaceful and more open European Continent. It would not be in the permanent interests of the United States.

Therefore we will work to strengthen our partnership with our allies in Western Europe. We will work to improve our relations with the states of Eastern Europe. And we will work to help clear the way for more stable and cooperative relationships within the whole of Europe.

[Omitted here are questions and answers.]


101. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

Washington, December 1, 1971, 9:30 p.m.

/1/Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 270, Memoranda of Conversations, September 1971-November 1972. Administratively Confidential. There is no drafting information on the memorandum. The meeting was held in the Chinese Room of the Mayflower Hotel. A list of the Business Council participants is attached but not printed.

Meeting with the Business Council (list attached)
Henry A. Kissinger

[Omitted here are Kissinger's introductory comments and a passing reference to the war in Vietnam.]

When this Administration came to power at the beginning of 1969, we found ourselves in a period with the foreign policy capital of the post-war era virtually exhausted. That era was one in which the United States was the sole nation of the non-Communist world with power sufficient to run foreign affairs. Following the Second World War the traditional powers were shattered economically and had domestic structures that would not sustain the active conduct of foreign policy. At the same time the emerging nations were still looking for power. They had not achieved it. During that era, throughout the non-Communist world questions of security and progress depended on answers from the United States. It came to be the view of the other nations that their security and progress was of more interest to the United States than it was to them themselves. As a reflection of that, foreign affairs for them came to be little more than lobbying efforts in the United States for action by our government. This situation, of course, simply could not last.

In the subsequent period we have seen Europe and Japan both grow enormously in their economic and military potential. Japan by now has one of the largest economies in the world. During that same period we have seen the Communist world split; and now, surprisingly enough, the most significant political split in the world is not between the Communists and the non-Communists, but within the Communist world between Russia and China. So the whole international balance had changed by the time this Administration came into power: first, due to the growth of the power of our friends, and second, due to the growth of the power of our enemies.

As an example, in 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis, President Kennedy's supporters were proud to say that the President had gone to the edge of cataclysm to prevent intrusion in the Western Hemisphere. At that time, the Russians had some 70 intercontinental ballistic missiles: all were standing in the open, and required ten hours to fuel. By the time this Administration came into power in 1969, the Russians had 1200 missiles, all in hard sites, and they had a constantly growing fleet of missile-armed submarines. So during this era, decisions about peace and war in the international area have been taken under circumstances drastically different from those which prevailed in the 1960's.

The Europeans, most of all, have been slowly recognizing the changes in the international order. On the other side of the iron curtain, of course, there have also been significant changes. Russia was torn between her revolutionary ideology and the management of her national bureaucracy. And the Russians found themselves in a situation where their national economy could not continue to support revolutionary foreign policy. Interestingly enough also, Russia's main enemy turned out to lie in Asia, and to be Communist (that is to say China) and not to be as traditionally though, in Western Europe. And this, of course, was not long after the Russians were wont to celebrate the Communist feats of the Chinese. As a further shock to Russia the Chinese have chosen to deal now with the least dangerous of the four major powers that it sees in the world--the United States. In any case this is the situation that we faced in 1969, and to which we have tried to adjust.

Among the requirements of this new adjustment was to leave behind an attitude from the post-war foreign policy era that engagement itself was an end to be sought. Such engagements throughout the world have become beyond our resources, not only physically but also psychologically.

I have been asked not infrequently what I have learned from this job. In attempting to answer that, let me say that humility is not one of my strongest virtues. Later, after I leave this job, I may have a better perspective on what I have learned. But I will say that working outside the government the toughest problem I found was to identify issues. Once I had identified an issue, I could work to the best of my ability in reaching whatever solution seemed appropriate. Here in the government I find that there is no problem about getting the issues: they pile up in my "In-Box" every day. The problem here is how to get time to deal with them.

You all probably know that a large number of articles exist on the subject of policy planning. In fact, I myself have authored some scholarly (if not learned) articles of that nature. But I will tell you gentlemen tonight that concepts about policy planning are entirely esoteric if the issues involved cannot get to the policy-makers in the limit with which we realistically have to deal. If we were to try to take on the entire world in our foreign policy, the mere quantity of work that would be produced would just simply be too great to be handled by our top decision-makers. The greater our involvement in the world, the more the railroad train which always seems to be coming down the track toward you is likely to hit you. And while the chance that the train will hit you is growing enormously, your ability to deal thoughtfully with issues is of course declining.

The policy of this Administration is not to withdraw from the world; it is to maintain an involvement in the world--an involvement under a policy that we are capable of maintaining. In the non-Communist world this is the Nixon Doctrine. The basic premise of this doctrine is that we cannot expect to defend others beyond the point where they cannot defend themselves. Intellectually, organizationally, they must take the lead. Key here are psychological factors. We want the top policy-makers around the world to think for themselves, to organize regionally on their own, not to come automatically to the United States for answers to their problems. We are not going to withdraw from the world; this is surely evidenced by our continuing fight against amendments to limit our capacities around the world attached to the appropriation bills in Congress. We are going to demand more from the other nations of the world community.

Now let me turn for a moment to address our adversaries. We face two entirely different situations. The Soviet Union is a highly developed Communist society. The Chinese have a society which is in infancy. There is a peculiar nostalgia that leads Americans to believe that all the peoples of the world are secretly Americans. I have often said that the Americans hold the view that if you caught a Britisher off guard, when he didn't know you were listening, for instance, at 4 a.m. in the morning, he would drop that phony British accent and talk like an American. (Laughter) This nostalgia is reflected in the traditional view that our differences with the Russians must be reflections of mere personal misunderstandings and that the remedy for national differences is the development of interpersonal good will. The theory was that if we could only show the Russians we are regular guys, our problems would be resolved.

Now this theory is one that the Russians have gone along with when it has been convenient for them. This has led us to a history of brief periods of détente followed inevitably by periods of increased tensions. The inevitability of these increased tensions is evidenced by the fact that they have regularly reappeared over the last fifty years of relationship with the Russians. They must have some basis in fact other than personal misunderstandings.

The policy of this Administration, and it was reflected in the President's first press conference, has been not to talk about tensions with the Russians. We are not going to confuse foreign policy with psychotherapy. What we want to do is deal with concrete issues in our relationships, and we must avoid giving the Russians the impression that realities can be affected by changes in the atmospherics and personal relationships; otherwise, they would have no incentive to settle the real problems that exist between us.

An example of what I am talking about occurred early in the Administration. We had a problem about businessmen wanting licenses to deal with Russia. Businessmen kept coming to the White House with threats that they were going to do grave things when they got back to their Board of Directors if we didn't "okay" new trade with Russia. President Nixon's first press conference outlined the Administration policy of viewing all foreign problems as inter-related. This is a policy sometimes called "linkage"--a policy we deny in words but carry out in actions.

In the fall of 1970 there was surely evidence to the Russians that we were serious about dealing on concrete issues. There was the Middle East crisis, the frustration of trying to reach progress on the German question, the Cuban problem, and our firm position on the Polish uprising. Subsequent to that, we have seen dramatic progress in SALT negotiations, in Berlin (an area that brought the world four times in the post-war era to the brink of war), and in other areas. In addition, we have seen an opening of trade. The period immediately following this one may not be one of an expanding trade, at least prior to the consolidation of political advances commensurate with already expanded trade. But I do predict, gentlemen, that if those political advances continue we will see a tremendous growth in trade with the Russians.

Let me say (and by the way let me take this opportunity to confirm that my remarks this evening are totally off-the-record), that one might say that the Russians can be characterized as slightly thuggish bureaucrats, whereas the Chinese are more like fanatical monks. As we confront the Chinese, we confront a young society which has been totally isolated from us for some 22 years. China is a nation that does not impinge upon us except in our relations with Taiwan. The Russians are in a different situation. With them we have numerous, precise issues and conflicts.

In China our problem is in setting a basic direction of foreign affairs. What we must identify is a long-range direction, and I mean a direction for the next five to ten years. We must use our opening to identify those areas in which we have conflicting interests and those areas in which there is no such conflict (and cooperation is possible). Our meeting with the Russians will likely result in specific objective agreements; but at the Chinese summit the communiqué which results will not be the key to the understanding reached there. Most important will be a philosophical, intangible understanding of motives and of the basic direction of our relationship.

As we deal with the Chinese we have no illusions about the depth of their ideological hostility to us. But my experience with the Chinese to this point leads me to reflect that they have an extraordinary depth of understanding about the world situation. They demonstrate considerably greater flexibility than the Russians in dealing with us. In the interim phase with the Chinese our big task is going to be to show them that we are serious enough to be dealt with.

As the Chinese approach relations with the United States, they have two basic alternatives. First, they can deal with us in a revolutionary manner by stirring up anti-government sentiment domestically. Second, they can deal directly with the government of the United States. They have chosen the second route, and we think that is a desirable route, and in the interest of world peace. Of course, if that choice proves not to be fruitful, they could revert to the revolutionary anti-government alternative. This gives you the general direction that we are headed vis-à-vis the Communist world.

Let me say this Administration hopes that when the passions have cooled, and history looks back on this period of foreign affairs, it will not be remembered as the Administration which settled the Vietnam war (though we certainly do intend to have the Vietnam war settled), but rather as the Administration that set a new direction in foreign policy--a direction desirable without regard to party affiliation--a new direction which would contribute not only to the likelihood of international peace, but also to the unity of the American nation. You know, one of the most serious things that we have faced in this Administration has been the loss of moral support from the American Establishment. By the loss of moral support I do not mean the lack of agreement on individual issues, but rather the absence of a feeling in foreign affairs that the nation is a unified and functioning entity. These, then, are the foreign policy goals that this Administration seeks internationally, and domestically (regarding the reintegration of American society).

[Omitted here are concluding remarks and questions and answers.]


102. Memorandum for the President's File by the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

Bermuda, December 20, 1971, 1:30-5 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President's Office Files, B Series Documents, Box 58, Folder 39. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting was held in the Sitting Room of Government House.

The President's Private Meeting with British Prime Minister Edward Heath

The President
Prime Minister Heath
Henry A. Kissinger
Sir Burke Trend, Secretary to the Cabinet

[Omitted here is discussion of bilateral and European political issues.]

The President then made an eloquent statement of his personal world view: "The Establishment has a guilt complex. They can't stand the fact that I, their political opponent, am rectifying their mistakes. In addition, the Establishment has this growing obsession with domestic problems. The intellectual establishment is confused and frustrated by their own role, and by the United States' role. They have never believed that there was any real danger from the Left. They are turning inward. They have made it a problem whether we are going to continue our involvement in the world. The point of this too-long discourse is this: I know the issue; I'll see it through; we will have a world role. You'll wake up day after day wondering what's happening to us. Our initiatives are necessary to give our people hope. A political leader must constantly feed hope--but he must constantly know what he is doing, without illusion. One reason these present visits are so helpful is because the Right has become worried about our actions' impact on our friends. Our answer is that we will not sacrifice our friends to détente. We must do it to keep our negotiating partners."

After some remarks on China policy by Dr. Kissinger, the President emphasized to Prime Minister Heath that "We feel that you should take an active role in world affairs. We must have better communications. We should reach some sort of agreement on general objectives. As for China, when you have two enemies, we want to tilt towards the weaker, not towards the stronger--though not in a way that we can be caught at it." The President went on to discuss why we had to keep the bureaucracy in the dark as we went about setting up the first Kissinger trip. "We'd like to keep you informed on a personal basis," he stressed to the Prime Minister. Dr. Kissinger explained why it was not possible to inform allied governments any sooner before the July 15 announcement. The ROC had a better claim to advance notice than the Japanese had, but they would have leaked it. The Japanese themselves have the leakiest government in the world, so we couldn't afford to give them advance word.

The President said, "The Japanese are all over Asia like a bunch of lice. Let's look at Japan and Germany: Both have a sense of frustration and a memory of defeat. What must be done is to make sure we have a home for them. Maybe NATO is no longer relevant. Japan is today denied a nuclear capability; in terms of security, if our nuclear umbrella should become less credible, the effect on Japan would be a catastrophe. The biggest reason for our holding on in Vietnam is Japan. (An example of that is the impact the end of the bombing had on the Japanese.) We have to reassure the Asians that the Nixon Doctrine is not a way for us to get out of Asia but a way for us to stay in. They must see that the China trip is not taken at their expense. The August 15 thing was agony to me; I'm very glad that Connally and Barber worked things out, because it was vital also for Japan. Sato, you know, wanted to come to Hawaii."

[less than 1 line of source text not declassified] the Prime Minister noted. "We ought to tie them in." The President agreed: "We mustn't leave Japan completely isolated. We give aid stupidly; the Japanese give aid too selfishly. We shouldn't resent that if the Japanese play a constructive role ultimately; it won't necessarily be the same kind of role as ours."

[Omitted here is brief discussion of South Asia.]

The Prime Minister then posed a philosophical question. "We are moving more and more into a state of world affairs in which effective action is no longer possible. How much can you do?" The President replied, "The Soviets have tested us to see if they could control events. Of course you have to consider the much bigger stakes in the Middle East and Europe. Part of the reason for conducting our Vietnam withdrawal so slowly is to give some message that we are not prepared to pay any price for ending a war; we must now ask ourselves what we are willing to pay to avert war. If we are not, we have tough days ahead." [Omitted here are very brief comments on South Asia.]


103. Editorial Note

On January 6, 1972, President Nixon received Japanese Prime Minister Eisaku Sato and Ambassador Nobuhiko Ushiba in San Clemente, California. According to a memorandum of conversation prepared by John H. Holdridge, Nixon presented a multi-faceted analysis of the relationship among Japan, Europe, and the United States, and its global economic impact:

"The President noted that the United States relationship with Europe differed from its relationships in the Pacific. He said that he made the point with each of the leaders he met (Pompidou, Heath, and Brandt) that while we have a responsibility to maintain the closest consultations between the United States and the major European powers we must also work closely with Japan. The reason he believes this important is that in viewing the Free World, the great economic powers, the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, and possibly Canada must consult closely if we are to build a stable and productive Free World economy with trade and monetary stability. In a geopolitical sense also we cannot view it in global terms. England, France, and Germany no longer maintain a significant military presence in Asia, where Japan is the major Free World nation. Therefore, he believed that the development of a 5-power consultative process (adding Italy, perhaps, and Canada) would not only serve the economic needs of the entire Free World, but would also contribute to the development of cohesion in policy for handling all the difficult political and security problems that arise."

Nixon then elaborated on the demands of global security:

"The United States, the President added, is in a unique position, having separate security treaties with Japan and the Western European nations, but since its policy must be global the United States cannot separate the two."

Following a mention of European isolationism, Nixon concluded by speaking of his larger world view:

"The President stressed his belief that we all must inevitably compete, which is good, but we must do so on fair terms. Therefore, he believed it important to get the Europeans to think as we do in the United States, that is, view the world as a whole, and to recognize that Japan must be an important part of the Free World community." (Memoranda from Holdridge of the NSC Staff to Kissinger, January 21, 1972; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 925, VIP Visits, Japan, January 1972, Sato (San Clemente))


104. Third Annual Report on U.S. Foreign Policy/1/

Washington, February 9, 1972.

/1/Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1972, pp. 195-196, 345-346. The report, as issued by the White House, was entitled "U.S. Foreign Policy for the 1970s: The Emerging Structure of Peace; A Report to the Congress by Richard Nixon, President of the United States, February 9, 1972." The full text of the report is ibid., pp. 194-346.

[Omitted here is a table of contents.]


This is the third Report of this kind which I have made to the Congress. It comes after a year of dramatic developments. The earlier Reports set forth fully this Administration's analysis of the world situation. They expressed the conviction that new conditions required fundamental changes in America's world role. They expounded our conception of what that role should be.

In short, they foreshadowed a transformation of American foreign relations with both our friends and our adversaries.

For three years, our policies have been designed to move steadily, and with increasing momentum, toward that transformation.

1971 was the watershed year. The foundation laid and the cumulative effect of the actions taken earlier enabled us to achieve, during the past year, changes in our foreign policy of historic scope and significance:

--An opening to the People's Republic of China;

--The beginning of a new relationship with the Soviet Union;

--The laying of a foundation for a healthier and more sustainable relationship with our European allies and Japan;

--The creation of a new environment for the world's monetary and trade activities.

This Report is addressed to those and other developments. It is, however, a companion piece to the two earlier Reports, for without an understanding of the philosophical conception upon which specific actions were based, the actions themselves can neither be adequately understood nor fairly judged. This account of a year of intense action, therefore, properly begins with a brief review of the intellectual foundation on which those actions rest.

A Changed World

In the first two Reports, I stressed the fact that the postwar period of international relations had ended, and that it was the task of this Administration to shape a new foreign policy to meet the requirements of a new era. I set forth at some length the changes in the world which made a new policy not only desirable, but necessary.

1. The recovery of economic strength and political vitality by Western Europe and Japan, with the inexorable result that both their role and ours in the world must be adjusted to reflect their regained vigor and self-assurance.

2. The increasing self-reliance of the states created by the dissolution of the colonial empires, and the growth of both their ability and determination to see to their own security and well-being.

3. The breakdown in the unity of the Communist Bloc, with all that implies for the shift of energies and resources to purposes other than a single-minded challenge to the United States and its friends, and for a higher priority in at least some Communist countries to the pursuit of national interests rather than their subordination to the requirements of world revolution.

4. The end of an indisputable U.S. superiority in strategic strength, and its replacement by a strategic balance in which the U.S. and Soviet nuclear forces are comparable.

5. The growth among the American people of the conviction that the time had come for other nations to share a greater portion of the burden of world leadership; and its corollary that the assured continuity of our long term involvement required a responsible, but more restrained American role.

The Philosophy of a New American Foreign Policy

The earlier Reports also set forth the philosophical convictions upon which this Administration was proceeding to reshape American policies to the requirements of the new realities. The core principles of this philosophy are:

--A leading American role in world affairs continues to be indispensable to the kind of world our own well-being requires.

--The end of the bipolar postwar world opens to this generation a unique opportunity to create a new and lasting structure of peace.

--The end of bipolarity requires that the structure must be built with the resources and concepts of many nations--for only when nations participate in creating an international system do they contribute to its vitality and accept its validity.

--Our friendships are constant, but the means by which they are mutually expressed must be adjusted as world conditions change. The continuity and vigor of our alliances require that our friends assume greater responsibilities for our common endeavors.

--Our enmities are not immutable, and we must be prepared realistically to recognize and deal with their cause.

--This requires mutual self-restraint and a willingness to accommodate conflicting national interests through negotiation rather than confrontation.

--Agreements are not, however, an end in themselves. They have permanent significance only when they contribute to a stable structure of peace which all countries wish to preserve because all countries share its benefits.

--The unprecedented advances in science and technology have created a new dimension of international life. The global community faces a series of urgent problems and opportunities which transcend all geographic and ideological borders. It is the distinguishing characteristic of these issues that their solution requires international cooperation on the broadest scale.

--We must, therefore, be willing to work with all countries--adversaries as well as friends--toward a structure of peace to which all nations contribute and in which all nations have a stake.

[Omitted here are the remainder of Part I, discussing accomplishments, disappointments, and goals, and Parts II-VII.]


I have stated many times that we seek a generation of peace. That is the goal of this Administration, and it is against that standard that the initiatives of 1971 should be judged.

In the last analysis, only the future will tell whether or not the developments of the past year have truly brought us closer to that goal. All we can say with certainty now is that a generation of peace is a more credible goal at the end of 1971 than it appeared to be at its beginning. It may still appear to be distant. It does not, however, still appear fanciful and utopian.

That fact in itself is important. Both this country and the world need a brighter vision than managing crises and aiming only at staving off the ultimate conflagration. The influence which history and our own efforts have given this Nation can--and must--be used for something more than an organization of world affairs which aims merely at keeping international animosities in some sort of tenuous, fragile and constantly endangered balance. The containment of enmity is better than its release. But it is not enough as a permanent goal.

For too long, American policy consisted of reacting to events. We had a sense of mission, but rarely a clear definition of our purpose. We were drawn into situations, responding tactically, without a clear perception of where we would end up. When we were not forced by events, we seldom struck out along new paths because we had no positive conception of where we wanted to go.

Our times demand more. A durable peace is a set of conditions and requires a conscious effort to create those conditions. Peace will not come about by itself, with us passively looking on or striking moralistic poses. Nor will it come about automatically with the ending of a war. How many wars in this century have ended without bringing a lasting peace because statesmen failed to shape a durable peace out of the conditions which emerged from the conflict? This is why it makes a difference how we liquidate the vestiges of an earlier era as we move into the new. The future of peace--in Asia, in the Middle East, in Europe--depends in large measure upon the steadfastness and purposefulness of American policy all around the world.

Today the United States is once again acting with assurance and purpose on the world stage.

Vietnam no longer distracts our attention from the fundamental issues of global diplomacy or diverts our energies from priorities at home.

Our dramatic departures of the past year--the fruits of our planning and policies over three years--reflect the historical conditions we see today and the historic possibilities we see for tomorrow. They were momentous steps, accelerating the very process of change which they addressed. The world--and we ourselves--are still in the process of adjusting to the developments we have set in train. But we know where we are going. We are moving with history, and moving history ourselves.

There will always be conflict in the world, and turbulent change and international rivalries. But we can seek a new structure of global relationships in which all nations, friend and adversary, participate and have a stake. We can seek to build this into a world in which all nations, great and small, can live without fear that their security and survival are in danger, and without fear that every conflict contains for them the potential for Armageddon. In such a structure of peace, habits of moderation and compromise can be nurtured, and peoples and nations will find their fullest opportunities for social progress, justice, and freedom.

This is what we mean by a generation of peace.


105. Editorial Note

Three days before his trip to the People's Republic of China, on February 14, 1972, President Nixon spoke about his trip with Henry Kissinger in the Oval Office following a meeting with André Malraux, former Minister of Culture of France. (A memorandum of the conversation with Malraux is in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President's Office Files, Memoranda for the President.) During the President's conversation with Kissinger, which was recorded on tape, Kissinger briefly compared the Chinese and Russians from a national perspective:

"Kissinger: Now, you have a tendency, if I may say so, Mr. President, to lump them [the Chinese] and the Russians; they're a different phenomenon.

"Nixon: Oh, I know.

"Kissinger: They're just as dangerous, in fact they're more dangerous over an historical period. But the Russians don't think they're lovable, and the Russians don't think they have inward security. The Russians are physical and they want to dominate physically. And what they can't dominate, they don't really know how to handle. The Chinese are much surer of themselves because they've been a great power all their history. And, being Confucians, they really believe that virtue is power."

Kissinger then discussed how he saw the role of the United States with respect to the Soviet Union and China: "For the next 15 years we have to lean toward the Chinese against the Russians. We have to play this balance of power game totally unemotionally. Right now, we need the Chinese to correct the Russians, and to discipline the Russians."

Shortly thereafter, Kissinger continued in this vein:

"Kissinger: Our concern with China right now, in my view Mr. President, is to use it as a counterweight to Russia, not for its local policy.

"Nixon: I agree.

"Kissinger: As a conduit, to keep it in play on the subcontinent for the time being, but above all as a counterweight to Russia. The fact that it doesn't have a global policy is an asset to us, the fact that it doesn't have global strength yet--and to prevent Russia from gobbling it up. If Russia dominates China, that would be a fact of such tremendous significance." (Conversation Between President Nixon and Henry Kissinger, February 14, 1972, 4:09-6:19 p.m.; ibid., White House Tapes, Oval Office, OVAL 671-1)

This transcript was prepared in the Office of the Historian for use in this Foreign Relations volume. A more complete transcript of this conversation is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, China, 1969-1972.


106. Editorial Note

President Nixon met with Chairman Mao Tse-tung on February 21, 1972, at the beginning of his visit to China. The meeting took place at the Chairman's residence. In a one-hour discussion that touched broadly on U.S.-China bilateral relations, Nixon spoke of the future: "Because only if we see the whole picture of the world and the great forces that move the world will we be able to make the right decisions about the immediate and urgent problems that always completely dominate our vision." (Memorandum of conversation, February 21, 1972; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President's Office Files, Memos for the President, Classified Material, Box 3)

Later in the discussion, the President shared his view of the relative position of the United States and China with respect to each other within the international community:

"Mr. Chairman, I am aware of the fact that over a period of years my position with regard to the People's Republic was one that the Chairman and Prime Minister totally disagreed with. What brings us together is a recognition of a new situation in the world and a recognition on our part that what is important is not a nation's internal political philosophy. What is important is its policy toward the rest of the world and toward us. That is why--this point I think can be said to be honest--we have differences. The Prime Minister and Dr. Kissinger discussed these differences.

"It also should be said--looking at the two great powers, the United States and China--we know China doesn't threaten the territory of the United States; I think you know the United States has no territorial designs on China. We know China doesn't want to dominate the United States. We believe you too realize the United States doesn't want to dominate the world. Also--maybe you don't believe this, but I do--neither China nor the United States, both great nations, want to dominate the world. Because our attitudes are the same on these two issues, we don't threaten each other's territories.

"Therefore, we can find common ground, despite our differences, to build a world structure in which both can be safe to develop in our own ways on our own roads. That cannot be said about some other nations in the world."

In his concluding comment, Nixon attempted to establish a positive atmosphere for the talks:

"Mr. Chairman, we know you and the Prime Minister have taken great risks in inviting us here. For us also it was a difficult decision. But having read some of the Chairman's statements, I know he is one who sees when an opportunity comes, that you must seize the hour and seize the day.

"I would also like to say in a personal sense--and this to you Mr. Prime Minister--you do not know me. Since you do not know me, you shouldn't trust me. You will find I never say something I cannot do. And I always will do more than I can say. On this basis I want to have frank talks with the Chairman and, of course, with the Prime Minister."

The following afternoon, in an extended meeting with Prime Minister Chou En-lai, Nixon discussed at length his view of U.S.-China relations within the context of the world stage:

"Now, I come to a point where I find I am in disagreement with the Prime Minister's analysis of what America's role in the world should be. Let me say that in terms of pure ideology, if I were in the Prime Minister's position, as one who deeply believed in the socialist revolution, I would take the same position he took with regard to the United States in his talks with Dr. Kissinger. And publicly I think that the Prime Minister and Chairman Mao have to take that position, that is, the U.S. is a great capitalist imperialist power reaching out its hands and it should go home from Asia, home from Europe, and let the democratic forces and liberation forces develop in their own way.

"There are some of my advisers who tell me I could win the next election in a landslide if I advocated such a policy, because the American people did not seek this position of a world power and they would like to be relieved of maintaining forces in Europe and the burden of maintaining guarantees to various other nations in the world. And some would say why not cut the American defense budget from $80 billion to $40 billion and then we could use the money for domestic purposes to help the poor, rebuild the cities, and all that sort of thing.

"I have resisted that--it is what we call the new isolationism for the U.S.--and have barely been able to get a majority on some key votes. I am in an ironic position because I am not a militarist. I don't want the U.S. to be engaged in conquest around the world, but because as I analyze the situation around the world I see we would be in great danger if we didn't maintain certain levels of defense, I have had to come down hard for those levels of defense.

"Now let me come to the point. I believe the interests of China as well as the interests of the U.S. urgently require that the U.S. maintains its military establishment at approximately its present levels and that the U.S., with certain exceptions which we can discuss later, should maintain a military presence in Europe, in Japan, and of course our naval forces in the Pacific. I believe the interests of China are just as great as those of the U.S. on that point.

"Let me make now what I trust will not be taken as an invidious comparison. By religion I am a Quaker, although not a very good one, and I believe in peace. All of my instincts are against a big military establishment and also against military adventures. As I indicated a moment ago, the Prime Minister is one of the world's leading spokesman for his philosophy and has to be opposed to powers such as the U.S. maintaining huge military establishments. But each of us had to put the survival of his nation first, and if the U.S. were to reduce its military strength, and if the U.S. were to withdraw from the areas I have described in the world, the dangers to the U.S. would be great--and the dangers to China would be greater.

"I do not impute any motives of the present leaders of the Soviet Union. I have to respect what they say, but I must make policy on the basis of what they do. And in terms of the nuclear power balance, the Soviet Union has been moving ahead at a very alarming rate over the past four years. I have determined that the U.S. must not fall behind, or our shield of protection for Europe, or for some of the nations of the Pacific with which we have treaties, would be worthless.

"Then, as I look at the situation with respect to China, as we mentioned yesterday, the Soviet Union has more forces on the Sino-Soviet borders than it has arrayed against the Western Alliance. [4 lines of source text not declassified] I suggest that if the Prime Minister could designate, in addition to people on the civilian side, someone such as the Vice Chairman for Military Affairs, (note: Yeh Chien-ying, Vice Chairman of the Military Affairs Mission of the CCP) I believe it would be extremely interesting for him. The meeting place should be highly secret, however, if this could be arranged.

"Dr. Kissinger: We have.

"President Nixon: O.K.

"Now as I see China, and as I look at China's neighbors, this is what would concern me. I believe Chairman Mao and the Prime Minister when they say that China does not seek to reach out its hands, and that while it will support forces of liberation, it does not seek territory around the world. However, turning to what others may do, and looking to the south, as far as India is concerned, China could probably handle India in a month in the event they went to war. India is no threat to China, but India supported by the Soviet Union is a very present threat to China because China's ability to move, to deal with respect to India and to take military action would be seriously in question if the Soviet Union, its northern neighbor, was supporting India.

"That was why in the recent crisis that was one of the reasons we felt it was very important to call the hand of India in moving against West Pakistan--and we had conclusive evidence that the Prime Minister of India was embarked on such a course--why we had to call their hand and prevent that from happening. In other words, when we took a hard line against India and for Pakistan, we were speaking not just to India or Pakistan but also--and we made them well aware of it--to the Soviet Union.

"That brings us back again, to my major premise: if the U.S. were in a position of weakness vis-à-vis the Soviet Union, whatever policy the U.S. followed would have much less credence with the Soviet Union. For the U.S. to be able to inhibit the Soviets in areas like the subcontinent, the U.S. must at least be in a position of equality with the Soviet Union.

"We took a lot of heat on this policy because, again, we had a unholy alliance against us (Chou laughs)--the pro-Soviet group, and the pro-India group which has an enormous propaganda organization in the U.S., and also what you could call the anti-Pakistan group because they didn't like the form of government in Pakistan. They charged we were sacrificing India, the second biggest country in the world, because of our desire to go forward with the China initiative. That's to a certain extent true, because I believe Mr. Prime Minister, it is very important that our policies--and this is one area I think we can agree--that our policies in the subcontinent go together. I do not mean in collusion, but I mean we don't want to make movement with respect to India and Pakistan unless you are fully informed, because we believe your interest here is greater than ours. We face a problem here because the question of resuming aid to India, economic aid, will soon arise when I return. A case can be made against this on the grounds that they will be able to release funds from buying arms from the Soviet Union which can then be manufactured in India.

"But a very critical question which we have to ask ourselves, the Prime Minister and I, is would it be better for the U.S. to have some relation with India, some influence in India or should we leave the field for the Soviet Union?

"Let me use one other example to bear out my argument that a U.S. presence in Asia is in the interest of not just the U.S. but in the interest of China. I think that the Prime Minister in terms of his philosophy has taken exactly the correct position with respect to Japan, for example the U.S. should withdraw its troops, the Treaty between Japan and the U.S. should be abrogated, and Japan should be left to become a neutral country that is unarmed. I think that the Prime Minister has to continue to say that. But I want him to understand why I think strongly that our policy with respect to Japan is in the security interest of his country even though it is opposed to the philosophic doctrine which he espouses.

"The U.S. can get out of Japanese waters, but others will fish there. And both China and the U.S. have had very difficult experiences with Japanese militarism. We hope that the situation is changed permanently away from the militarism that has characterized Japanese government in the past. On the other hand, we cannot guarantee it and consequently we feel that if the U.S. were to leave Japan naked, one of two things would happen, both of them bad for China. The Japanese, with their enormously productive economy, their great natural drive and their memories of the war they lost, could well turn toward building their own defenses in the event that the U.S. guarantee were removed. That's why I say that where Taiwan is concerned, and I would add where Korea is concerned, the U.S. policy is opposed to Japan moving in as the U.S. moves out, but we cannot guarantee that. And if we had no defense arrangement with Japan, we would have no influence where that is concerned.

"On the other hand, Japan has the option of moving toward China and it also has the option of moving toward the Soviet Union.

"So the point I would summarize on is this. I can say, and I think the Prime Minister will believe me, that the U.S. has no designs on China, that the U.S. will use its influence with Japan and those other countries where we have a defense relationship or provide economic assistance, to discourage policies which would be detrimental to China. But if the U.S. is gone from Asia, gone from Japan, our protests, no matter how loud, would be like--to use the Prime Minister's phrase--firing an empty cannon; we would have no rallying effect because fifteen thousand miles away is just too far to be heard.

"Now I realize that I have painted here a picture which makes me sound like an old cold warrior (Prime Minister Chou laughs). But it is the world as I see it, and when we analyze it, it is what brings us, China and America, together; not in terms of philosophy, not in terms of friendship--although I believe that is important--but because of national security I believe our interests are in common in the respects I have mentioned.

"I will just close by saying that after this analysis I would not want to leave the impression that the U.S. is not going to try to go to the source of the trouble, the Soviet Union, and try to make any agreements that will reduce the common danger. Our policy will be completely open and frank with China. Since Dr. Kissinger's visit, we have informed his (Prime Minister Chou's) government completely with respect to the contacts we have had with the Soviets. When we have had my meeting in Moscow, if the Prime Minister agrees, I would like to have Dr. Kissinger come and report personally to the Prime Minister on what we have discussed and what agreements we reached in Moscow. We are going to try, for example, to get an arms limitation agreement and also make progress on the Middle East if that subject is still before us.

"But the most important fact to bear in mind is that as far as China and the U.S. are concerned, if the U.S. were to follow a course of weakening its defense, of withdrawing totally or almost exclusively into the U.S., the world would be much more dangerous in my view. The U.S. has no aggressive intent against any other country; we have made our mistakes in the past. And I do not charge that the Soviet Union has any aggressive interests against any other country in the world, but in terms of the safety of these nations which are not superpowers in the world, they will be much safer if there are two superpowers, rather than just one." (Memorandum of conversation, February 22, 1972; ibid., Box 87, February 20, 1972)

The President returned to a discussion of his broader world view in a meeting with Chou En-lai the following afternoon: "I believe it is very useful to think in philosophical terms. Too often we look at problems of the world from the point of view of tactics." He continued: "It is essential to look at the world not just in terms of immediate diplomatic battles and decisions but the great forces that move the world. Maybe we have some disagreements, but we know there will be changes, and we know that there can be a better, and I trust safer, world for our two peoples regardless of differences if we can find common ground. As the Prime Minister and I both have emphasized in our public toasts and in our private meetings, the world can be a better and more peaceful place." (Memorandum of conversation, February 23, 1972; ibid.)

The full records of these conversations are scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, China, 1969-1972.



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