America and the World 1987

America and the World 1987
66, 3

Essays

Essay
Samuel P. Huntington

A 'Lippmann gap' exists when a nation's foreign policy commitments exceed its power. Such a gap existed for the USA by the end of the 1960s, and until 1981 the USA sought to deal with it by reducing commitments and by increasing the role of US allies. President Reagan instead used policies of rhetorical assertion, military build-up, strategic defence, insurgency support, coercive diplomacy and arms control. The next administration's economic inheritance will compel reorganization of the defence establishment, conventional arms cuts, and greater effort by US allies. Concludes that the Lippmann gap will best be coped with by a middle-of-the-road administration.

Essay
Michael Howard

In spite of a European swing to the right, "1987 saw relations between the governments of the United States and its European allies reach a nadir" for three reasons (1) the offhand US approach to disarmament evidenced at Reykjavik rekindled European fears about US reliability (2) Iran-Contra bungling, the administration's attitude to Third World problems and the 'Nietzschean approach' of US conservatives damaged USA morally in Europe -- in the worst case, Europe faces "a friendly and conciliatory Soviet Union and a cantankerous, bullying United States" (3) the budget deficit, which is likely to have the gravest long-term implications of the three, since "the true security of western Europe rests not on its military defences but on its economic and social stability".

Essay
Marshall D. Shulman

The dance symbolizes the over-militarization of the superpowers, leading to stagnation in the USSR and undermining the USA economically. Notes some political constraints (demonstrated by the dismissal of Yeltsin) on Gorbachev's domestic programme, as well as his conduct of foreign affairs. By 1987, Reagan faced 'new thinking' on the part of the USSR, a Democrat-controlled Senate and the Iran-Contra affair, as well as economic problems, a major cause of which has been military expenditures. These trends led to a cautious improvement in superpower relations in 1987.

Essay
Robert B. Reich

The US economy faces an investment crisis which cannot be addressed by frugality of tax rises and budget cuts or by protectionist blaming of foreigners. Proposes to encourage personal savings at the expense of consumption, and collective investment in social infrastructure.

Essay
W. Michael Blumenthal

Although technology has created a world no longer dominated by national economic entities, nation-states will continue to exist. To tackle such problems as face the USA, public policy needs to catch up with technological realities (such as information flows). The USA must lead in this process, because of its size, by finding a 'new economic Weltanschauung' based on a broader concept of national interest. Calls for better G7 co-ordination to manage the international economic order. Chairman of Unisys Corporation, former US Treasury secretary 1977-79.

Essay
Marshall L. Goldman and Merle Goldman

Compares the processes of economic liberalization in the USSR and China, to the latter's advantage, and considers that "China may be a more receptive environment for economic reform", possibly because the reform process has been going on longer there, possibly for cultural reasons, i.e. willingness to undertake labour-intensive activity "regarded as exploitative and beneath Soviet dignity" (in other words, because China is at a lower stage of development). Both countries have embarked upon a venture for which there is no blueprint and which may spill over beyond the economic realm.

Essay
Yitzhak Shamir

Gives the official Israeli view of the Palestinian issue, Jewish immigration to Israel, and relations with USSR and USA. Considers that an independent Palestinian state would be little more than a haven for terrorists. Concludes with a vigorous defence of Zionism. Prime minister of Israel.

Essay
Linda S. Robinson

Gives details of both US and regional (Arias) initiatives for peace in Nicaragua, with a pessimistic view of the contras' ability to win either the war or an election. Considers US material support for contras to be 'virtually finished', and thus advocates a 'second-best solution' of containment of Sandinistas, by providing a non-intervention guarantee, and seeking democratization of Nicaragua. A slightly misleading title, since almost all the article is taken up with the war in Nicaragua and US involvement, with only a brief reference to El Salvador.

Essay
George McGovern

"So clearly is communism neither the wave of the future nor the major challenge to American security", that a fundamental re-appraisal of US foreign policy is needed, recognizing weaknesses of both the US and Soviet economies. Neither can afford the war economy. Proposes instead (1) regional US-Soviet co-operation (2) further arms control (3) 30% cut in military spending over ten years (4) support for Third World 'democratic centrist forces' with military intervention as the exception (e.g. Cambodia under Pol Pot) (5) environmental and anti-hunger priorities (6) recognition of interdependency of national and international problems (e.g. drugs) (7) greater use of the UN. Inveighs against US presidential malpractice (covert actions, hasty campaign pledges). US presidential candidate, 1972.

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