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Generally praises President Reagan's achievements in foreign policy, contrasting the bleak end of the Carter years with the break-throughs made at the close of the Reagan era. Reagan's successes would not have been possible had he been the ideologue he was often depicted as; his flexibility can be seen in his tolerant attitude towards the collapse of the Contra effort in Nicaragua. While Reagan enjoyed good fortune in his conduct of foreign policy, recurring budget deficits and the tarnished image of American democracy must also be included in any assessment of his presidency. Professor of American diplomacy, Johns Hopkins University.
Europeans were troubled by the setbacks of four successive presidents from Johnson to Carter, and thus Reagan's election was greeted with a sense of relief. Europeans were, furthermore, impressed by Reagan's ideas and his revitalizing of the US economy. One wonders how, in as august a journal as Foreign Affairs, political posturing manages to pass itself off as analysis. To discuss 'European attitudes' as if they were somehow homogeneous, even within a narrow band of national political elites, is hardly convincing. Moreover, some of the generalizations about Reagan's 'popularity' in Europe are not merely not supported by evidence, but also seem plainly unsupportable; it would be at least as plausible to suggest that the Reagan Doctrine, as well as the President's personal style, fragmented European attitudes to US foreign policy.
Analyzes the 1988 US presidential election; concludes that the Democrats did not exploit the weak points of the opposition, and that they were out of step with mainstream America when it came to basic values.
Survey of US economic problems, from budget deficits to the need for political and economic stability in Mexico.
"Gorbachev's new thinking does not indicate that the Soviet Union wishes to abandon its role as a world power, but it provides a different picture of the world and redefines the Soviet role in it". Discusses (1) the failure of Brezhnev's foreign policy (2) Gorbachev's redefinition of Soviet thinking on international relations (3) new principles of defensive sufficiency (4) effects on arms control (5) domestic motivations. Professor of political science, Harvard University.
Gorbachev's new thinking is based on the belief that military power is not the only way to national security, and that there is a link between national and mutual security. The revolution in foreign policy thinking has been most profound at the level of policy concepts, and has been based on a realization that the real threat to the USSR comes from the weakening of the economy due to excessive military spending. Notes how the ideas underpinning the foreign policy revolution have existed for the last decade, and how the evidence suggests that the change is genuine.
Soviet writings on the future of Eastern Europe acknowledge a failure of Soviet policy as well as poor leadership in the countries concerned. Yet Moscow still regards the invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia as having been provoked by the West. Assesses the prospects for Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and the GDR. Concludes with comments on the US position and the possibilities for co-operation with the USSR over the future of Eastern Europe.
Soviet options in East Asia are limited by the USSR's lack of economic influence, but Gorbachev's new flexible diplomacy has led to limited advances. Discusses current relations with China, Japan, and the two Koreas, noting that influence in the Pacific region's economy is likely to be marginal for the next few decades. Concludes that prospects are good for a reduction in tension in the region.
Reviews inter-state relations and foreign-policy initiatives in the Middle East in 1988, with special reference to US interests. Covers (1) Israel-PLO-US negotiations (2) the Iran-Iraq war and the UN peace plan (3) the US experience in Lebanon and the Gulf (4) arms purchases and the escalation of the regional arms race (5) future US interests and US-Soviet collaborative efforts in the region.
Charts the development of US foreign policy efforts under Reagan in (1) the Angolan conflict (2) South Africa. Since 1981, the US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Chester A Crocker, has pursued two main objectives in Africa (1) the reduction of Soviet/Cuban influence and cross-border conflict (2) the introduction of more liberal policies in South Africa.
Covers US foreign policy in Latin America during 1988, discussing (1) Nicaragua (2) Panama and the Noriega problem (3) drug trafficking (4) the progress towards democracy (5) the debt crisis. Concludes that future US policy will have to centre around Mexico and the Caribbean basin, but that this should not obscure America's long-term interest in a steadily-improving economic situation throughout Latin America.
Begins with a hard-hitting description of Gorbachev as a cold and calculating realist, intent on invigorating the Soviet political and economic system. Warns against the illusion that the West can influence internal developments in the USSR, then discusses (1) Europe's renewed role in the East-West conflict (2) arms control (3) Bush's need to address the issues of Afghanistan and Central America. In particular, argues that NATO must maintain a residual tactical nuclear capability in Europe, and that arms control should be treated as only one part of Western defence policy. Calls for a 'revitalizing' of the Western alliance. Former US president.