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The term "strategy" needs continual definition. For most people, Clausewitz's formulation "the use of engagements for the object of the war," or, as Liddell Hart paraphrased it, "the art of distributing and applying military means to fulfill the ends of policy," is clear enough. Strategy concerns the deployment and use of armed forces to attain a given political objective. Histories of strategy, including Liddell Hart's own Strategy of Indirect Approach, usually consist of case studies, from Alexander the Great to MacArthur, of the way in which this was done. Nevertheless, the experience of the past century has shown this approach to be inadequate to the point of triviality. In the West the concept of "grand strategy" was introduced to cover those industrial, financial, demographic, and societal aspects of war that have become so salient in the twentieth century; in communist states all strategic thought has to be validated by the holistic doctrines of Marxism-Leninism.
The peace treaty ratified by Egypt and Israel on March 29, 1979 is neither an end to a problem nor a fresh point of departure in the efforts to resolve it. Rather, it represents a stage in a protracted series of negotiations, misunderstandings, cajoleries, and tacit agreements extending back for years. All these will continue-but the situation has changed, for Egypt and Israel now have a document with which they can map out their future haggling.
With the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli agreement, the focus in the troubled Middle East has turned to the West Bank, and negotiation of a wider peace settlement. What is rarely discussed in the context of these critical talks is the deterioration of the Israeli economy and the increasing economic pressures on the coalition government of Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Plagued with the greatest military burden per capita of any country in the world, pushed by its Zionist mission to perpetuate an inefficient state presence in the economy, and dependent upon American assistance for its basic needs, Israel is entering into the most difficult economic phase in its history.
In February 1979, Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yassir Arafat, arch-foe of the Israeli rulers, was welcomed to Tehran by the Iranian revolutionaries as the first foreign "head of state" to visit them. The historical irony was manifest: Arafat was treated as a hero in the same land that had supplied much of Israel's oil; the country where Israelis had participated in training the SAVAK, the Shah's secret police; and where both Israeli and Iranian pilots had trained on U.S.-supplied Phantom F-4 fighter-bombers. Arafat announced that the Ayatollah Khomeini has assured him that Iran's revolution would be incomplete until the Palestinians won theirs. Within weeks, the PLO had installed a mission in the former Israeli embassy in Tehran, as well as in Ahwaz and Khorramshahr, in the heart of the Iranian oil province, selecting as its Tehran representative Hani al-Hassan, of al-Fatah's conservative "Muslim" wing, in a move obviously designed to appeal to the Ayatollah.
If wishing can make it so, the trade between the advanced industrialized countries of the West and the command economies of the East will be growing rapidly in the years ahead. The Soviet Union has made no bones about its strong desire to expand the scope of East-West trade. Businessmen, bureaucrats and politicians in the Western countries have been only a little more equivocal. Some countries have made an occasional effort to screen out technologies with important military application, while the United States has also sought to break down Soviet restrictions on the emigration of Russian Jews. But the West, too, has been on the side of expanded trade.
This year the Federal Republic of Germany is 30 years old; so are its close friendship and multiple ties with the United States. Those ties started with the Marshall Plan and the Berlin airlift and they have hardened through the many storms the two countries have weathered together over Berlin. Never before has Germany been tied for so long, so closely, and in so many ways to another nation.
The problem of including medium-range nuclear missiles in an eventual SALT III negotiation is bound to become, in the coming months and probably years, one of the basic issues between the Western nations and the Soviet Union on the one hand, and within the Atlantic Alliance on the other, as well as a problem of internal policy for a good many European nations.
At the fringes of public attention to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), the United States and its European allies are considering changes in NATO nuclear arrangements that bear on two decades of Alliance practice. The issue is what to do about the nuclear threat to Western Europe, and to NATO's deterrent, posed by Soviet systems targeted on Western Europe-the SS-20 mobile missile and other Soviet weapons in the "gray area" between the strategic and the tactical. Those weapons, coupled with strategic parity between the United States and the Soviet Union, have sharpened a long-standing European concern about the commitment of the American central nuclear deterrent to Europe's defense. This issue will rank behind only the dollar on the agenda of U.S. relations with Europe in the several years ahead.
Interest in the future of the Pacific region has been increased in the past year by dramatic events, notably the conclusion of a peace treaty between China and Japan and the normalization of relations between the United States and China. And, over a longer period, the realization has grown that the Western Pacific region-which includes Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the ASEAN countries (the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia) and China-is one of the most dynamic areas in the world in terms of economic growth and development.
It scarcely requires congressional votes of no confidence or a change of administrations in London to signal that time has run out on the Rhodesian policy the American and British governments have pursued so doggedly for more than two years. There now sits in Salisbury a black Prime Minister, Methodist Bishop Abel Muzorewa, the resounding victor in April's election in which nearly two-thirds of his country's adult population-for the first time-cast ballots. The election was indeed far from perfect. It was conducted on the basis of a constitution which had been approved in a referendum excluding blacks. It excluded major claimants for power. But its results underline the fact that whatever the ideal political preferences of Rhodesia's people, most of them want peace most of all, and a majority of them are prepared to rest their hopes on Bishop Muzorewa as the best available means of bringing it about.
The past two years have brought radical changes in the nonproliferation policies of the Unites States and a massive international study of proliferation issues. Impending commitments to new nuclear power technologies threaten to give many nations quick access to weapons-usable material, and this prospect has thrust the issue of power-cycle technology and materials, and their control, to the center of proliferation concerns. There is a general desire to achieve a proper balance between the possible benefits of new nuclear systems and the attendant proliferation risks. But there is disagreement, here and abroad, about how to strike this balance, and what policies are appropriate for achieving it.
At different periods throughout history, certain specific issues have come to occupy for a time a focal position in the interplay of power between nations, groups or individuals. Such issues have included land, food, religion, treasure, and trade. Over the last 20 years, and at first unnoticed, energy-more specifically oil-has moved into this central role. While energy cannot be expected to hold such a position forever, over the next several years it will remain at the center of interaction of world forces.