- New Issue
- Books & Reviews
- About Us
- Browse by Issue:
The second Reagan Administration has a rare opportunity to reshape American foreign policy. The opportunity obviously springs from President Reagan_s overwhelming election victory, which, if he remains in office for four more years, will make him the first full two-term president since Eisenhower. This victory has further strengthened his already impressive capacity for political leadership, reinforcing his authority to deal with the factions of his own party, with the feuding wings of the bureaucracy, and with foreign countries. The question is whether he will seize that authority and will know how to use it. Which Reagan, and which group of Reagan advisers, will dominate the second term? Will it be the stubbornly hard-line or the flexible President, the _ideologues_ or the _pragmatists_ among his counselors?
Of all the emotions arising from strategic arms control today, the most profound is disappointment. In this, as in little else in the vast realm of arms control, conservatives and liberals concur--conservatives for the failure of arms control to diminish the ever more ominous Soviet strategic buildup, liberals for its failure to diminish the ever more wasteful strategic "arms race."
The reelection of Ronald Reagan makes the future of his Strategic Defense Initiative the most important question of nuclear arms competition and arms control on the national agenda since 1972. The President is strongly committed to this program, and senior officials, including Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger, have made it clear that he plans to intensify this effort in his second term. Sharing the gravest reservations about this undertaking, and believing that unless it is radically constrained during the next four years it will bring vast new costs and dangers to our country and to mankind, we think it urgent to offer an assessment of the nature and hazards of this initiative, to call for the closest vigilance by Congress and the public, and even to invite the victorious President to reconsider. While we write only after obtaining the best technical advice we could find, our central concerns are political. We believe the President_s initiative to be a classic case of good intentions that will have bad results because they do not respect reality.
Yalta is unfinished business. It has a longer past and it may have a more ominous future than is generally recognized. Forty years after the fateful Crimean meeting of February 4-11, 1945, between the Allied Big Three of World War II, much of our current preoccupation with Yalta focuses on its myth rather than on its continuing historical significance.
We are the allies of the United States, not their vassals." These words were spoken in late September 1984 by the Minister of the Interior of the West German state of Hesse, a Social Democrat. He was responding to an American corps commander who had called German demonstrators at an American military training area "anarchists and criminals," and demanded their full prosecution under German law. According to the U.S. officer, the demonstrators had "damaged military vehicles, sprayed paint and thrown rocks at soldiers." German police arrested 188 demonstrators, charged them with disturbing the peace, trespassing and damaging property, and then released them.
The Ostpolitik of the 1970s has given way to the Deutschlandpolitik of the 1980s. The former, with then Chancellor Willy Brandt as its leading champion, focused predominantly on détente. It coincided with a weakening of the desire for reunification among Germans, and as a consequence there was a tendency in many countries to misunderstand Ostpolitik as being in itself a settlement of the German Question.
No better image has ever been found for the Atlantic Alliance than the arch supported by two pillars, one planted in North America, the other in Western Europe. The arch is a noble, gravity-defying structure, whose discovery was one of the great landmarks of civilization. It works only because of its design and absolute solidity: every stone in its place, each one supporting the other, with the stress properly distributed overall. As a model for NATO, it symbolizes the West's political strength. Contrast it with the structure of the Warsaw Pact, which often seems more like one of those huge monolithic hero-statues so favored in the East, weighed down by its abnormal musculature, and built on a foundation of broken rubble.
The next annual economic summit is scheduled to be held in Bonn in May 1985. What follows is a more or less fanciful account of its proceedings--not a prediction of the eventual reality, but a depiction of where present domestic and international economic trends are leading. Foremost among these trends is the growth of the U.S. trade and budget deficits. Conceivably, by next May, the actors at the Bonn Summit will have seen signs that these deficits are being reduced. More likely they will not, and the Summit will open in full awareness of the dangers that these deficits pose to the global economy.
In 1955, just after the summit meeting between President Eisenhower, General Secretary Khrushchev and Prime Minister Bulganin in Geneva, Chip Bohlen, then our ambassador to the Soviet Union, invited my family and me to stay at the American ambassador's residence in Moscow. At that time the British ambassador in Moscow was Sir William Hayter. There was a story that Hayter, when asked what it was like to negotiate with the Russians, had said it was rather like dealing with a defective vending machine. You put in a coin and nothing comes out. There may be some sense in shaking it, you may get your coin back; but there is no point in talking to it.
Relations between Greece and the United States are strained. From the anti-American rhetoric of Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou and his Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), and after a series of irritating incidents, tensions have developed that pose troublesome questions about the course of Greek policy and Greek relations with the West.
The Philippines is enmeshed in the most severe political and economic crisis it has faced since gaining independence from the United States in 1946. In retrospect, the bullet that killed opposition leader Benigno Aquino on August 21, 1983, marked the beginning of the end of the Marcos era and the onset of a difficult and uncertain transition period. The aftermath of the Aquino affair has been a protracted crisis of confidence that has dovetailed with a financial crisis of Latin American proportions, a deteriorating economy, and the growth of a nationwide communist insurgency.