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For THREE decades now, Southeast Asia has been the scene and cockpit of struggles among great powers. Can it now be moved away from this status- unenviable and totally unwanted by its peoples? Can one outline a picture of conditions there that meets the desires of Southeast Asians and is at the same time compatible with the basic interests of all the major powers? Are such conditions more realizable now than ever before? If so, how can one move from here to there, and in particular how, if they were made the ultimate goal, would this affect the play of the hand (in all quarters) in bringing the war in Indo-China to a conclusion?
Eighteen months after its enunciation at Guam the Nixon Doctrine remains obscure and contradictory in its intent and application. It is not simply that the wider pattern of war in Indochina challenges the Doctrine's promise of a lower posture in Asia. More than that, close analysis and the unfolding of events expose some basic flaws in the logic of the Administration's evolving security policy for the new decade. The Nixon Doctrine properly includes more than the declaratory policy orientation. It comprises also the revised worldwide security strategy of "1½ wars" and the new defense decision-making processes such as "fiscal guidance budgeting." These elements have received little comment, especially in their integral relation to our commitments in Asia. But the effects of this Administration's moves in these areas will shape and constrain the choices of the United States for a long time to come.
Stretching southward from the two great river systems of the Congo and the Zambesi to the confluence of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and thus comprising roughly the southern third of the African continent, there lies a vast area, about two-thirds the size of the United States, which constitutes in its entirety one of the principal problem-children of the world community. Consisting largely of an arid central plateau, with lower coastal strips only partially suitable for human habitation, this region harbors a population of some 41,000,000, of whom, in approximate terms, 34,000,000 might be of black African origin, 4,500,000 of European, and the remainder of mixed or other blood. It is made up of a number of highly disparate political entities: the great Portuguese dependencies of Angola and Mozambique, the highly controversial territories of Rhodesia and South West Africa, the Republic of South Africa, and the three former British High Commission territories, now independent: Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana.
In a recent and prescient biography and analysis of Thomas Jefferson, its author emphasizes in his preface "Jefferson's thrust beyond nationality to the cosmopolitan fraternity of science and philosophy, his commitment to the civilizing arts, to education, to progress, to rationality in all things . . . ."[i] Direct quotations from Jefferson underline the same theme: "The societies of scientists. . . form a great fraternity spreading over the whole earth;" or, again, "The field of knowledge is the common property of all mankind, and any discoveries we can make in it will be for the benefit . . . of every other nation, as well as our own."
For anyone who is a believer in the integration of Europe the present political conjuncture must appear somewhat paradoxical. On the one hand, there is a discernible thaw in relations within the Community itself. The resignation of President de Gaulle and a change in French foreign policy (which is none the less real for being denied) have permitted the completion of the Common Market's agricultural policy, some sort of a start has been made on planning a common monetary policy with the Werner Report, and the crucial negotiation for the enlargement of the Community is now under way. After seven years of relative stagnation it might seem as though the creation of an integrated Europe had been resumed-to end perhaps in the emergence of a larger and stronger economic entity which, by the very fact of its greater freedom of action, will hardly be able to avoid political decisions and, hence, concerted political action through appropriate institutions. (By "Europe" is meant not only the Six of the Common Market but also those other West European countries with whom they have close political, economic and cultural relations. Such a definition, moreover, does not exclude the so-called "neutrals," or Spain and Portugal, and it might be hoped that at some point it would be possible to extend it to countries in Eastern Europe.)
The Atlantic nations are moving toward a new security relationship which may in time involve the role of European strategic nuclear forces. We are in a period of widespread questioning of the nature of future American participation in the defense of Western Europe. In the squalor of American cities, the increased racial and social tensions of our society and the demands for a shift in national priorities away from defense toward domestic problems lie the seeds of change. If we add to these the economic recovery of Europe, the U.S. view that the allies are not carrying a fair share of their own defense, the balance-of-payments deficit toward which the U.S. forces abroad make a substantial contribution, the squeeze on the Pentagon budget, the tendency resulting from the traumatic experience in Vietnam to shed responsibilities, we find the ingredients of a reduced U.S. military involvement in Europe.
All Gaul is divided into three parts. Curiously enough, American intellectuals resort to the celebrated quotation from Caesar more often than do their French counterparts. Similarly, the divisions in Europe and in their own homelands are no doubt felt less keenly by the citizens of the Old World than by those of the New. Americans are used to vast expanses without frontiers. It shocks them to see that there still persist in Europe the antiquated particularisms which their grandfathers left behind in favor of the comforts of the melting pot.
Haiti is in many ways a true social relic. Having lingered almost intact for more than a century and a half, this unfortunate country to a great extent is the past; its every ancient curiosity remains as precisely visible as a well-preserved archaeological artifact.
The effectiveness of merchant ships in ocean transport-and of surface naval vessels to protect them or to blockade them as the circumstances require- was the foundation on which Great Britain built her empire, on which the United States bases the credibility of her international commitments and by which the U.S.S.R. hopes to expand her role in Africa and Asia. That foundation continues to erode under an irresistible tide of technology, the key expressions of which are the submarine and the missile.
The importance of southern Europe to the balance of power in world affairs has been underlined by the continuing crisis in the Middle East, the growth of Russian power in the Mediterranean and President Nixon's diplomatic journey in the autumn of 1970. The earlier renewal of the Spanish-American military pact, followed by Nixon's visit to Madrid, once more called attention to the role played by the Spanish government. At the same time, the future of the Franco régime has raised more questions than at any time in the past two decades, if only because of the fact that Franco himself entered his seventy-ninth year at the close of 1970 and in the preceding year took the unprecedented step of officially designating a successor, Prince Juan Carlos de Borbón, as heir to the Spanish throne.