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The central fact today in the confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union is that progress in technology has made it both necessary and possible to place restraints on the nuclear arms race. The technological stars and planets are now in favorable conjunction, so to speak-and they will not stay that way for long.
In military and technical terms, we can envisage agreements to limit strategic arms which would be sufficiently verifiable to be enforceable and which would enhance both the security of the United States and the security of the Soviet Union. On-site inspection is no longer the immovable roadblock that it has been in the past. Unilateral means of verification, available to both sides, provide forms of inspection as effective for some purposes as on-the-ground surveys.
THE subject of defense against ballistic missiles probably occupies a unique position among strategic issues of the nuclear era. It has been more intensely debated in the United States than any other weapon system selected for deployment, such as the air-defense system or Polaris or Minuteman, or than any arms-control measure adopted to date, including the ban on nuclear tests. In fact, the decision to deploy such defenses may well be more important than any other single decision so far made concerning our strategic nuclear forces. Most of the published articles relating to defense against ballistic missiles (BMD for short; sometimes, but not here, denoted ABM) have opposed deployment of missile defense by the United States.[i] This is odd, in view of the fact that, at least through 1968, the Administration and Congress both clearly supported American deployment of BMD, and that most senior American academic strategists and many prominent advocates of arms control favor deployment at least under some conditions. The doubts increasingly expressed in the Congress in early 1969 may well result from the highly one-sided literature on the subject.
The American breakthrough in studies of Communist China during the last decade, despite all the difficulties of study from a distance, has given us a new capacity to appraise Peking's shifts of current policy. At the same time, our very success in understanding short-term developments tends to foreshorten our perspective, as though Chairman Mao's new China were actually as new as he so fervently exhorts it to be. If we ask the long- term question-What is China's tradition in foreign policy?-our query may provoke two counter-questions: Did the Chinese empire ever have a conscious foreign policy? Even if it did, hasn't Mao's revolution wiped out any surviving tradition?
The application of science and technology to traditional agriculture has begun to produce dramatic results, above all in Asia. The rapid expansion of certain food grains in the developing world is being particularly widely heralded, and justly so, as the "Green Revolution." The discussion of the phenomenon tends to cluster around two views. On the one hand, some observers now believe that the race between food and population is over, that the new agricultural technology constitutes a cornucopia for the developing world, and that victory is in sight in the "War on Hunger." Others see this development as opening a Pandora's box; its very success will produce a number of new problems which are far more subtle and difficult than those faced during the development of the new technology. It is important to give careful attention and critical analysis to both interpretations in order to be optimistic about the promise of the Green Revolution where justified, and at the same time to prepare for the problems that are now emerging. The Green Revolution offers an unparalleled opportunity to break the chains of rural poverty in important parts of the world. Success will depend upon how well the opportunity is handled and upon how alert we are to the inherent consequences.
Is our international monetary system heading toward a sudden collapse as in 1931, or toward the fundamental reforms needed to cure its most glaring and universally recognized shortcomings? Or will it continue to drift precariously from crisis to crisis, each one dealt with by belated rescue operations and the spread of restrictions and currency devaluations? Judging from past history, official statements and even intentions are unlikely to provide reliable answers to these questions, for they are more often designed to reassure than to enlighten. The Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Leslie O'Brien, candidly confessed to a Cambridge audience last spring: "I am rapidly qualifying as an instructor on how to exude confidence without positively lying." Another reason is that major changes in the international monetary system have rarely been the result of conscious planning. They have most often been the by-products of broad historical forces or accidents, defying contemporary forecasts and official intentions.
We had best take note of Micronesia. It is, with Samoa and Okinawa, the one area of the world where "American colonialism" is an incontrovertible presence, where our responsibilities are not a matter of policy preference but of law. Except for Papua-New Guinea, which is officially headed for independence, it is the only remaining U.N. Trust Territory, and a unique one at that. No one knows where this splattering of Pacific islands is headed politically and perhaps only the Defense Department really cares. But having completed 21 years under American authority, the Micronesians are expected to vote soon on whether they will freely associate with the United States or strike out on their own.
Japan's gross national product has been expanding at the scarcely believable rate of more than 10 percent annually. It is evident that growth of this sort means major changes in quick succession. By the mid-1970s, if Japan sustains its current economic pace and the rest of Asia also continues at its present rate, Japan's GNP would virtually equal that of all other Asian countries combined, Mainland China included. Herman Kahn has pointed out that projection of present trends will give Japanese a per capita income equal to that of Americans soon after the year 2000.
The substantive and procedural problems of Latin American development are hard enough. Harder still is the inseparable task of understanding the social and psychological problems well enough to begin coping with them. With Latin America, we do not have any significant difficulties in formulating goals. The 1961 Charter of Punta del Este, the lines of action agreed on by the Presidents at Punta del Este in 1967, the economic and social principles of the revised Charter of the Organization of American States-indeed the constitutions of the other American states-all support this assertion. The difficulties begin thereafter, when operations start to go forward. The problems are various, and their origins are distributed. Most of the impediments that are fairly attributable to the United States arise from that short-haul practicality all too often, and incorrectly, called "pragmatism."
Amid conservative hopes for a settlement and liberal fears of a sell-out, Harold Wilson arrived dramatically at Gibraltar at midnight on October 8, 1968, prepared to meet Ian Smith aboard HMS Fearless to discuss the three- year-old Rhodesian crisis. Thus one more move was made in the contest that has been stalemated ever since it began on November 11, 1965, when the white minority government in Rhodesia made a unilateral declaration of the territory's independence (UDI). Despite the hopes and fears surrounding the Wilson-Smith meeting, the Fearless talks left the situation virtually unchanged. What turned out to be more significant than the talks themselves were the national and international pressures which lay behind the decision of the two sides to meet.
At the end of January 1967, the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), the ruling party on the mainland of Tanzania, announced the Arusha Declaration, named for the town in the northern part of the country where the Declaration was first promulgated. Supplemented by subsequent formulations throughout 1967, it has become something of a milestone, for it enunciated an ideology and articulated policies especially designed for the needs and conditions of an African country,
It was only a few years ago that South Korea, wracked by poverty, political chaos and popular discontent, was widely regarded as a sinkhole of American aid. Now this small, ruggedly anti-communist country enjoys relative political stability and is making impressive economic progress. It has become one of the success stories of the United States assistance program. How did this startling reversal come about?