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In the autobiography privately circulated two years ago and published finally in January 1978 just after his death, William L. Langer tells of his last year as a graduate student at Harvard in 1921-22.
The existence of a powerful Communist Party in Italy has been a constant source of concern to me in over 50 years of political activity, first as a clandestine anti-Fascist in the Resistance movement, and finally in the free democracy that Italy has enjoyed since the liberation.
For obvious reasons, domestic politics have monopolized the passions of the French people during these last months. However, the debate we have been engaged in would lack breadth if it were not accompanied by a review of the politics France should follow on the international scene. Such a review must rise above personal quarrels and political maneuvering. While I will not attempt to describe what is--or what should be--French foreign policy in every area, problem by problem, sector by sector, I may be able to suggest some of the temptations that I believe our diplomacy should resist.
Climate has always influenced human affairs. There are now increasing signs that man may in turn be altering global climate. This could change economic, political and even military relations among nations.
More than any other nation today, South Africa's foreign relations are linked indissolubly with the internal workings of its society. Maintaining the country's present degree of interdependence with European and American private enterprise depends on the preservation of an image of internal "stability." In addition, deflecting further international sanctions requires the muffling of Western anxieties about racial injustice and potential racial conflict. Thus the most important aspect of South Africa's foreign policy must be a public relations campaign directed toward the governments and citizens of the industrial democracies. The chief underlying theme of this propaganda campaign is the implicit alliance between white, Christian, democratic and anti-communist South Africa and the "free world."
By the time this journal is in its readers' hands, the American Congress may have been called upon to decide whether Uganda's coffee should be barred from entering the United States. Its decision will hold great importance for Uganda, for the United States, and for the international system. At stake will be the issue of whether or not the richest and most powerful of sovereign states is justified in using its economic power unilaterally to force the government of a smaller and weaker state to alter the way it treats its own subjects. The questions raised come cascading forward: Why should rich North Americans interfere in the internal affairs of a poor African state? How would that interference relate to other American interests and policies - in Africa and elsewhere? What is the larger significance for the international system of such use of an economic instrument - a coffee boycott - for a political purpose?
The United States stands at a crucial point in its relationship with the Soviet Union. George Kennan's latest prediction - widely echoed by other analysts - is that U.S. domestic reaction to the impending SALT II agreement will define a watershed in the U.S.-Soviet relationship. I would argue that the continuity or disruption of the détente relationship will turn on issues going far beyond arms control alone, issues involving subjective considerations and beliefs about the origins and nature of Soviet strategic objectives and the impact of technology on the military balance.
Everyone I met in Japan last fall, during my tenth long trip to that country in 18 years, talked economics and only economics. Even the theoretical mathematician and the elderly abbot of the famous Zen temple were obsessed with the dollar/yen exchange rate, the export surplus, and the cost of petroleum. Japan is indeed undergoing traumatic economic changes. Yet the basic issues facing Japan are not economic. They are changes in social structure and social values.
Three events occurred in Japan in 1977 that make it absolutely clear that the long period of postwar dependence on the United States, and Japan's corollary "low posture" in international affairs, have come to an end.
During his election campaign, Jimmy Carter dramatized a broad but inchoate popular concern when he promised that curbing the spread of nuclear weapons would be among his highest foreign policy priorities. Perhaps it is hardly surprising that public attention during 1977 tended to focus on his initial highly visible actions and especially on their confrontational aspects. Both critics and sympathizers tended to score what they saw as the Administration's policy as if it were a football game with clear-cut winners and losers, and in the process the wider outlines of policy were sometimes obscured.
The three-year public agony of the Central Intelligence Agency may be coming to an end. Richard Helms has been convicted, the President has issued a new set of regulations restricting certain surveillance activities, and the torrent of public exposés by "insiders" seems to be abating. What remains to be seen is whether the traumas suffered since the sweeping congressional investigations began in 1975 have made any significant impact on the heart and guts of the Agency.