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It is with some sense of temerity that a member of the White House staff undertakes to comment on the large topic of the Presidency and the Peace. Loyalty and affection are so normal in such service that detachment is difficult. Nevertheless the importance of the topic and the enforced familiarity of close experience with the Presidential task may justify a set of comments whose underlying motive is to express a conviction that is as obvious as the daylight, in general, and as fresh as every sunrise, in particular: a conviction that the American Presidency, for better, not for worse, has now become the world's best hope of preventing the unexampled catastrophe of general nuclear war.
THE United States may face a dilemma over the extent and use of its military power in the event the cold war with the Soviet Union eases before major steps are taken toward general disarmament.
We live, no doubt, in a period of accelerating history, though what precisely we can expect from this acceleration nobody dares predict. The end of World War II is still not 20 years away, yet there already is little resemblance between the blueprint for world order drawn in 1944 and the world of 1964. A world order after a war which caused 30,000,000 casualties should last somewhat longer than that. The Pax Romana after the civil wars fought just before the birth of Christ lasted, on and off, a couple of centuries. The Pax Anglica after the Napoleonic Wars lasted a century. The Pax Americana (nobody can deny that the United States has kept the peace since VJ-Day, with some tacit coöperation from Russia) has now lasted nineteen and a half years, but thanks only to several changes in the organization of the world, some of them improvised under the pressure of events.
If the Labor Party wins the General Election, the prime concern of a Labor Government would be the maintenance of the Western Alliance and, above all, Britain's close relationship with the United States. This does not mean that things can simply go along as they are. I am much disturbed by developments in NATO. This treaty is, in any case, drawing toward the end of its 20-year term and we must all soon begin to think very hard about its renewal. The British Labor Party has for some time given close thought and attention to the future of the Western Alliance-even before the American proposal for the Multilateral Force. We think our ideas offer a far better solution to the problems that the M.L.F. is intended to meet.
In dealing with nearly one hundred countries that in varying degree look upon the United States as their deus ex machina, surely one of the most difficult problems is to achieve a set of foreign policies sufficiently coherent to be comprehensible to ourselves and to our friends and at the same time sufficiently responsive to the enormous differences even among those nations which for convenience we group together. The maker of policy must always, in some measure, strike a compromise between consistency in our relations among many countries and flexibility in shaping our relations to the peculiarities of each one. At the highest levels of government, however, the pressures are inevitably toward generalization and simplification as a means of making administration manageable and of attracting political support for policy decisions.
To write against the racial policies of South Africa is not a difficult undertaking; through its discriminatory legislation, the South African Government provides plentiful material for the use of its critics. To write reflectively not about the black but about the white population is not easy and can lead to misunderstanding. Yet there is room for an explanation of South Africa as many or most of its white inhabitants see it. In any event, an explanation is not a justification.
The Soviet attitude toward the development of European unity has been ambivalent in both politics and economics. The Kremlin, unable to interpret the European movement accurately, has oscillated from one reaction to another. Meanwhile the processes of change within the Communist world, intensified by the Sino-Soviet schism, were creating the preconditions for a new historical relationship between the Western and the Eastern parts of the old Continent.
It is no longer news that land reform is a critical issue throughout Asia, the Near East and Latin America. We are not surprised to see the Shah of Iran going about the country sponsoring a drastic redistribution of private holdings. Only yesterday, the Kingdom of Nepal was a Shangri-La; yet today King Mahendra finds time to listen, question and respond to the proposition that his country, too, must begin to find its place in the second half of this century by dealing with the causes underlying both the poverty of its agriculturists and the low productivity of its agriculture. President Macapagal in the Philippines, President Betancourt in Venezuela and Prime Minister Nehru in India have similarly been using "agrarian reform" in their search for answers to some of their countries' instabilities.
Stretching over some 6,000 square miles of the hard, gravelly and waterless northeast corner of the Persian Gulf, Kuwait has been thrust from oblivion into sudden prominence by her hidden wealth and the creative genius of Western enterprise and technology. In less than two decades, since the first shipment of oil left her shores, material riches have changed the face of her barren territory, and Kuwait is now experiencing a host of complex social, political and economic problems which are shaking her essentially tribal and primitive structure. The purpose of this essay is to discuss the nature of the challenge presented by this transitional phase and to examine Kuwait's response to it. But in order to appreciate the magnitude of the task that confronts this city-state, the reader must first know something of the static society that used to exist and of the main events that have so radically transformed it into what it is now.
The great predicament of the modern world was summed up by the late President Kennedy in one of his last public remarks: "The family of man can survive differences of race and religion . . . it can accept differences in ideology, politics, economics. But it cannot survive, in the form in which we know it, a nuclear war." Widespread appreciation of this fact accounts in part for the growing significance of the strategic dialogue between the United States and the Soviet Union, particularly in so far as it represents a means by which the two great nuclear powers may seek to clarify the complexities and mitigate the dangers of their strategic relationship in the nuclear-missile age.
The Soviet Union does not conceal its expenditures for defense, because all mankind knows of the peaceable character of the Soviet Government.
Once again the diplomatic relations of the United States and Mexico are troubled by controversy over the waters of the Colorado River. The latest dispute, though building up slowly, is potentially more serious than earlier ones because of the vast agricultural development of the Southwest and the urgency of hemispheric solidarity. Water with heavy salt content draining back into the Colorado from irrigated land in the United States is endangering Mexican crops further downstream. At a time when the Johnson Administration particularly wants the friendship of Mexico and the rest of Latin America, the controversy provides Mexican leftists with a popular rallying point for their attacks on their own government as well as that of the United States. Unfortunately, the treaty of 1944 which divided Colorado River water and guaranteed orderly development of the region was drawn in haste and without clear provision for handling certain obvious problems. These omissions are the source of the present quarrel and may become the basis for action by the World Court.