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Few men are privileged to say that they were "present at the creation," to borrow Dean Acheson's felicitous phrase. John J. McCloy could make that claim with great pride, for he was assistant secretary of war during World War II, and he was one of a small circle of FDR's trusted advisers who were aware of the Manhattan Project. Thus, at a critical moment, John McCloy was in a position to change world history.
The most important bilateral relationship in the world today is that between the United States and Japan. It was only 44 years ago that our two countries were at war. In the short span of time since 1945 we have constructed an enormously complex relationship that touches all aspects of both societies and much of international human endeavor. The victor and vanquished of World War II have become the cornerstones of the international economic system, together producing almost 40 percent of the world's GNP. That all this has been accomplished in only four decades helps to explain why we find that there are still details to work out in managing this critical relationship.
The West should not under-estimate the USSR's capacity to reform, and to accommodate the West on the issues of (1) regional claims on Eastern Europe; although the WP is unlikely to dissolve, there are good chances that the Soviets will permit political pluralism (2) reduced military deployments (3) human rights.
Soviet reformism has presented an unexpected challenge to NATO, to adapt itself reasonably to changes without compromising its military position. In particular, the logic of INF should not be allowed to encourage the removal of short-range tactical nuclear weapons.
US policy to isolate the USSR from the world economy (such as the 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment, the grain embargo, and the attempt to impede the Soviet-European gas pipeline) ought now to be discontinued, so that (1) Western businesses can discover the new Soviet market (2) an economic wedge can be inserted to prevent backsliding in Soviet political and economic reform.
The Weinberger five-year plan was based on unrealistic assumptions of budget growth. As a result "there is a ticking time bomb of programs... which cannot be completed even under a flat budget". Sets out an alternative plan which preserves operating and maintenance budgets, while reducing R&D and manpower budgets.
It is not the deficit, so much as the shift from investment to consumption, that should concern US economists. Proposes measures (notably a reduction in interest rates) to restore investment levels.
Contrary to most predictions, General Alfredo Stroessner's 35-year rule as dictator of land-locked Paraguay ended abruptly in a violent coup d'état. The world had become so accustomed to the taciturn and repressive ruler that it was generally assumed he would escape the fate of his fellow despots in the western hemisphere-Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua, Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Augusto Pinochet in Chile-and leave office at a moment of his own choosing or die in bed with his boots on. Instead, early on February 3, 1989, he fell victim to a squabble among the thieves without honor who dominate Paraguay. With the fall of Stroessner, the hemisphere's most durable remaining dictator is the more charismatic but no less authoritarian Fidel Castro.
Reviews the outlook for democracy in Burma, in the light of the 1988 riots which exposed the failure of the 'Burmese way to socialism'.
The concept of national security must now be revised, so as to include awareness of mounting threats to the global environment. "Environmental strains that transcend national borders are already beginning to break down the sacred boundaries of national sovereignty, previously rendered porous by the information and communication revolutions, and by the instantaneous global movement of financial capital". Psychological steps must be taken to overcome political and economic barriers, "comparable in scale and vision to the new arrangements conceived in the decade following World War II". Vice president, World Resources Institute, Washington DC.
Reviews & Responses
"A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought." The words are Ronald Reagan's. While McGeorge Bundy, like many others, finds Reagan's thinking about nuclear weapons muddy and his administration's public presentation of nuclear reality disgraceful, this particular sentence is crystal clear. It echoes the conclusion of the only person ever to authorize a nuclear strike, Harry Truman: "Starting an atomic war is totally unthinkable for rational men."