Spring 1990

Spring 1990
69, 2


William G. Hyland

Analysis of the USA's post-Cold War security interests, seeing a decline in military and ideological issues, and growth of interest in trade and economic policy, the environment, terrorism and drug trafficking. FA editor.

Richard Thornburgh

"Mikhail Gorbachev and the Soviet leadership have recognized the need for fundamental legal reform in the USSR, and their emphasis is well placed. Law is the lifeblood of any democratically organized polity. It shapes social and economic structures and relationships, and provides normative rules for private and public conduct. Moreover, given the tradition of Russian absolutism and some seventy years of Soviet totalitarianism, a requisite component of democratization in the USSR must be the development of some form of limitation on government power. This suggests, among other things, a legal system independent of government control". An examination of the importance of establishing the rule of law as a central goal of Soviet reformism, based on a visit to the USSR in Oct 1989, during which "legal, political and even philosophical issues", including pluralism, separation of powers and legal code revision, were discussed at the highest official level. US attorney general, whose visit was the first of its kind. A very important article, despite a lack of detail as to substantive law, as it exposes a basic superficiality in much merely political argument as to whether the West should render massive financial aid to assist post-communist Russian economic recovery, by addressing the key issue of the fitness of the Russian political elite to receive it. It also exposes a truth rarely acknowledged in the security literature, of the high value of a sound jurisprudence as a national strategic asset. A defect of the piece, however, is that it focuses on public law at the expense of private law.

Marshall I. Goldman

Gorbachev's political liberalization has not produced economic revitalization, but rather economic crisis which threatens his political survival.

Christoph Bertram

Although re-unification need not rule out concern with larger issues of European integration and the future of the Atlantic alliance, excessive German pre-occupation with the issue risks doing just that unless all concerned take care to prevent it.

Ronald D. Asmus

Germany's need for an extended nuclear guarantee inn the face of a still-powerful Soviet threat, and Germany's post-war history of a close security relationship with the West, provide compelling reasons for a united Germany to be a member of the NATO alliance. Neutrality "is potentially the most destabilizing of options". Rand Corporation analyst.

William H. Luers

Recounts the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia. Soviet reformism made it possible, but it was the profundity of Soviet ignorance about conditions there that allowed the overthrow to proceed with such speed and finality. Former US ambassador to Czechoslovakia.

Stephen J. Solarz

Recounts the aetiology of current internal conflict in Cambodia, and sets out reasons why the USA should strongly support the proposal put forward by Australia, for establishing a UN-supervised interim administration. The key difficulty is Khmer Rouge compliance.

B.R. Inman and Daniel F. Burton, Jr.

Reviews (1) the decline of US technological superiority in consumer electronics, semiconductors and superconductors (2) the technology transfer issues raised by the US-Japanese negotiations on the FSX fighter aircraft programme (3) US debate about whether HDTV (high-definition television) market potential is sufficient to warrant US investment as a player (4) currents of thought in other countries facing analogous science and technology policy issues (5) possible measures for strengthening the US manufacturing base and for sharpening US technology policy management. Asserts that the emergence of technological competitiveness as a matter of prime US strategic economic concern, and its extension into the centre of US foreign policy-making, require 'institutional realignments' in Washington.

Robert W. Tucker and David C. Hendrickson

Jefferson's conceptions of the US national interest, and of the diplomatic postures by which it was most fit to be advanced, still inform US foreign policy today, in respect of uneasy contrast between withdrawal and reformation. "For Jefferson, as for subsequent American statesmen, the desire to change the world was at war with the desire not to be corrupted by the world... The combination of universalism and parochialism is the result of a self-consciousness over role that forms a constant in the nation's history". Yet "the conventional contrast of the roles of exemplar and crusader has often obscured the affinity that may always exist between them", as between thought and action. Jefferson's own statecraft illustrated the hazards of crusadership, as his early sympathy for the French Revolution and desire for American territorial expansion led to a 'neutralism' which effectively supported Napoleon Bonaparte and brought about war with Britain.

George F. Kennan

Reprints extracts of an article first published in the Apr 1951 issue of FA, after the Korean invasion had intensified the Cold War, which prophetically described the possible characteristics of a post-Soviet Russia, of which US foreign policy-makers ought to be cognizant. The reprint does not make clear where the 'cuts' have been made.

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