- Browse by Issue:
North America's dramatic emergence over the past generation as the world's principal supplier of food can be illustrated with a half dozen numbers. During the late 1930s, three of the world's seven major geographic regions supplied virtually all of the grain moving into the world market. Latin America, with exports of nine million metric tons yearly, was the leading food exporter, and grain exports were an important source of foreign exchange earnings. North America and Eastern Europe (including the Soviet Union) were each exporting five million tons yearly. Most of the grain exported from these three regions, principally wheat and corn, went to Western Europe.
In Memoriam: Irving Kristol. 1920-2009. Contributor, Critic, Friend.
For a long time it was thought that the way the People's Republic of China was being governed opened a new chapter in Chinese history. Some scholars argued that the communist system in China was a continuation of Confucianism, but a closer look disclosed little resemblance. The country was subject to spasmodic, repetitious political campaigns; the national economy constantly went through major reshuffles-land reform, socialization, communization, the retreat from communization and the Great Leap Forward. Traditional Chinese values were repudiated or ignored. Even the old Chinese concern for "face" seemed to be disregarded. Everybody was expected to expose in public meetings the evil words and evil deeds of friends and colleagues, of parents and brothers. The traditional Chinese family was severely disrupted, though, as the old Chinese proverb says, it is useless to attack a city if the hearts are not won over. The hearts were not won over, but for a long time it appeared that the régime was solidly established and enjoying general support, if not from love, then from fear.
When Adlai Stevenson toured the ten capitals of South America in June 1961 on a special mission for President Kennedy, one of the questions he raised at each stop was whether the American Presidents should attend in person the closing days of the forthcoming meeting at Punta del Este, Uruguay, which was to draft the basic charter of the Alliance for Progress. Stevenson received conflicting advice. Some Presidents welcomed the idea as a way of giving top-level political impetus and drama to this unprecedented program of inter-American coöperation. Others feared the public relations impact of a possible recriminatory debate, so soon after the Bay of Pigs, between President Kennedy and Cuba's Dorticós-or perhaps even Fidel Castro himself. In his own report, Stevenson reflected these divided opinions, and Kennedy finally decided not to pursue the idea. The delegations at Punta del Este the following August, therefore, were headed by Finance and Economic Ministers-in our own case, by Secretary of the Treasury Douglas Dillon.
The unique role of the United States in the world economy arises not from the fact that it is by far the largest trading nation but from the importance of the Government's payments abroad and the magnitude of U.S. private foreign investment. In 1966, the Government provided $4.6 billion in economic aid and foreign credits, and military expenditures abroad were $3.6 billion (apart from military aid), while the outflow of private capital was close to $4 billion. It is clear enough that the international transactions of the U.S. Government are essentially of a political character, although they have important economic effects on this country and the rest of the world. What is not so clear is that there are political aspects to our private foreign investment-not because it is motivated by foreign policy considerations, but because foreign countries are concerned about its impact on their economic and foreign policies. This is inevitable, given the magnitude of these investments and their role in the economies of the countries in which they are made.
A combination of factors is inexorably pushing India toward what may be described as a political and economic watershed. The decisions and actions that its leadership takes-or fails to take-this year may shape the history not only of India but perhaps of Asia for a long time to come.
The achievement of a common Soviet-American position on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons is of major international importance. Whether or not it leads to a treaty obtaining a large number of signatures, the two countries have now formally recognized one of their strongest common interests. What impact this will have on their ability to work together over a wider range of security problems remains to be seen and depends on many other factors. For the moment, the central question is what influence the great powers generally can exert on the non-nuclear powers to refrain from constructing nuclear forces. Once the Soviet, American and British Governments have discovered, as they will, that 125 or more governments cannot and will not bind themselves and their successors to renounce unconditionally weapons which five major powers possess, the hard struggle to resist proliferation can begin in earnest. It starts with the substantial advantage that no non-nuclear country seems at present to be close to a decision to acquire a nuclear force.
THE orchestration of foreign policy is a vexatious art form. It exacts its toll from observers and participants alike. After some performances, all involved must yearn to consign the concept to oblivion as simply unworkable. At minimum it is fortunate for the orchestra's reputation that this is a time when dissonance is musically avant garde.
In the past, when a bitter quarrel broke out between neighboring nations, rival territorial claims were often the underlying cause. France and Germany remained hostile to each other for a long period over the question of Alsace and Lorraine; the slogan "Italia Irredenta" so embittered the relations between Italy and Austria that the residue of this feeling contributes to the present unrest in the Italian Tyrol. China's conflict with her great southern neighbor, India, along the disputed Himalayan boundary seems to conform to the classic pattern of territorial disputes (although the Indians do not altogether agree).
In the Atlantic Policy Studies conducted during the past three years by the Council on Foreign Relations four books with a predominantly economic content are being published.[i] The authors and subjects of these books are, in order of publication: John O. Coppock on agriculture; John Pincus on less developed countries; Bela Balassa on trade liberalization among industrial countries; and Richard N. Cooper on international monetary affairs (to be published later this year). From these sources and from others, Harold Van B. Cleveland, in another volume in the series, has drawn conclusions about Atlantic economic relations in his "The Atlantic Idea and Its European Rivals." The purpose of this article is not to review these significant studies but to appraise their conclusions about whether the economic connections and conflicts in the Atlantic are, on balance, moving the nations of the area toward a coherent community in some sense of the word.
To understand modern Turkey and its problems, one has to remember that the process of political modernization or Westernization began more than a century ago. Successive defeats beginning in 1718 taught the Turkish nation that its traditional social, political and economic system was inadequate for survival in the modern age. Turkey had to change. Hence the roots of many contemporary institutions can be traced back well into the middle of the nineteenth century, particularly after the Crimean War. The legal and administrative framework of present-day Turkey was laid down in that period. Modern transport and communications systems were introduced; railways, telegraphic communication and a postal system came into being. Compulsory primary education in modern schools, administrative and legal reforms, modern banking institutions and many other social foundations were also established prior to 1923.
In the great debate as to the obligations of the highly industrialized nations to the less developed countries (L.D.C.s), it is not always easy to find relevant and consistent information on the actual amounts of foreign aid provided by the United States. This is so chiefly because of the variety of American aid programs and the variety of ways in which their activities are recorded. The reduction of this diversity to a relatively few figures means some loss of precision but is justified by the need for some kind of straightforward measurement. While a considerable body of informed opinion, in the United States and abroad, holds that the growing gap between the rich nations and the poor nations may lead to disaster, this view appears to be moving against the current of public and Congressional opinion. To meet this issue it may be useful to have in one place an annotated set of figures on U.S. Government aid as well as a summary of total world aid to the L.D.C.s in the decade 1956-65.