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It is doubtful that there has ever been a democratic society--from Periclean Athens to modern America--that lived untroubled by conflict between the preferences and aspirations of groups within the society and the requirements of the general good. If the problem has been more constant and intense in the United States than in other democracies, it is because of the nature of American society--diverse and heterogeneous, a nation of nations, a melting pot in which the constituent groups never fully melted--and because of the American constitutional system with its separated power and numerous points of access thereto.
The Brezhnev era is coming to an end. In all probability the 26th Party Congress (February-March 1981) will prove to have been the last one at which Leonid Il'ich and his aged cronies successfully defended their positions of power. Of course, memories of similar predictions made after the 25th Party Congress alert us to the need for caution in anticipating the current leadership's departure. Yet we base our expectations of the approaching end of the Brezhnev era not only on the passing of the Brezhnev generation, which must ultimately occur. Equally significant is the rapid changing of the domestic and international conditions and circumstances which have shaped the character of the past decade and a half. Thus, even if Brezhnev and his contemporaries were to remain in power for another year or two, dramatic alterations of the international and internal environment of the Soviet Union from the time when Brezhnev was at the height of his rule will profoundly influence the perceptions, behavior and policies of the Soviet regime. While the 26th Party Congress showed some recognition of the changing international and domestic environment, its attempts to grapple with the resulting issues and problems have been minimal. The CPSU cannot enjoy this luxury much longer.
The overdramatized political and diplomatic reaction of Washington to the military aid which the U.S.S.R. and Cuba have given to Angola and Ethiopia and, in recent times, to the aid which the U.S.S.R. has offered Afghanistan, has been one of the major factors clouding Soviet-American relations in the last few years. Alluding not only to these events but also to the general support and assistance which the Soviet Union and other socialist countries have been giving the Third World movements for national and social liberation, the American press has been claiming for years that while the United States and the Soviet Union seem to have agreed on stabilizing the world situation, the Soviet Union has been destabilizing it by its actions. In point of fact, the charge that the Soviet Union has "broken the rules of détente" in the developing world has been one of the main pretexts used by the Ford and Carter Administrations in domestic debates to try to justify their own abandonment of the policy of détente.
In view of the political complexities of Jerusalem, what is the most desirable course of action that Israel's national authorities should take in regard to the city that is of such central concern to Jews, Christians and Muslims?
Unlike the Carter Administration (with the Brookings Report), the new Administration has not come into office with any known general policy framework of its own for the settlement of the Palestine problem and the Arab-Israeli conflict. In addition to the priority accorded by President Reagan to the domestic economy, the fact that the Israeli elections were to be held on June 30 served to purchase additional time. Nonetheless, the emerging indicators of what the new Administration's policy might be give cause for concern to some observers of the Middle East scene.
Five months after Ronald Reagan_s inauguration, his Administration_s approach to the vital Persian Gulf region is clear_but the logic behind its policies remains obscure. More disturbing, the policies themselves are contradictory and self-defeating; unless modified, they won_t work.
A year ago, in reviewing the problems of oil supplies and Western security, I focused on the deplorable developments that had occurred during 1979, and emphasized the grave dangers involved if most of the oil-consuming nations remained dependent on oil from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and were unable to achieve effective international coordination of their energy policies. It now appears appropriate to examine how circumstances have changed--or remained unchanged--during the intervening year, and to suggest lines of action, for both the short and medium term, that should be pursued vigorously.
Since 1973, attempts to adjust the structure of the world economy to rapidly rising costs of energy have dominated all other economic issues. Successive efforts to accomplish this objective through international agreements between oil importing and exporting countries have met with very limited success, largely because of the attempt to link them to a range of other problems. On the other hand, adjustment in the narrower sense of maintaining essential supplies of higher cost oil within the existing framework of trade and capital flows has been quite effective for many countries. The annual growth of world oil consumption has been cut from over seven percent before 1973 to less than two percent since then, thereby eliminating the excessive drain on the petroleum resources of the nations in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
INTRODUCTION: Since 1973, attempts to adjust the structure of the world economy to rapidly rising costs of energy have dominated all other economic issues. Successive efforts to accomplish this objective through international agreements between oil importing and exporting countries have met with very limited success, largely because of the attempt to link them to a range of other problems. On the other hand, adjustment in the narrower sense of maintaining essential supplies of higher cost oil within the existing framework of trade and capital flows has been quite effective for many countries. The annual growth of world oil consumption has been cut from over seven percent before 1973 to less than two percent since then, thereby eliminating the excessive drain on the petroleum resources of the nations in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Until recently a quiet, secure backwater, Central America is now convulsed by revolution, civil war, border clashes, economic disruption, refugee camps and clandestine arms networks. These upheavals are posing difficult but not unfamiliar issues for U.S. foreign policy. Are the origins of the crises essentially indigenous, or the work of outside powers? What U.S. response will minimize the opportunities of the opposing superpower to exploit the situation? Can local forces pressing for change be accommodated, or must they be confronted and defeated? Are diplomatic solutions possible where a high degree of polarization has already occurred? How can the United States prevent disturbances from spreading into more neutral countries? Can other external powers play a constructive role? What measure of resource commitment is commensurate with the U.S. interests at stake?
On September 21, 1972, Ferdinand Marcos, twice elected President of the Philippines, imposed martial law and assumed dictatorial power. Somewhat more than eight years later, on January 17 of this year, he announced the lifting of martial law. Because this event took place just three days before the inauguration of President Reagan and one month before the Philippine visit of Pope John Paul II, it seems reasonable to infer that Marcos--whom the Carter Administration, as well as leading figures of the Catholic Church in his own country, had periodically criticized for his government's violations of human rights--thought the lifting of martial law would be an important step toward improving relations with these two foreign leaders.