Summer 1991

Summer 1991
70, 3

Essays

Essay
Michel Oksenberg

Reviews the US debate between those favouring constructive engagement and those calling for China's censure and isolation on account of human rights abuses. US policy-makers should seek to extend economic ties while also speaking frankly on human rights issues -- it is impolitic to make the former conditional on the latter.

Essay
V.P. Gagnon, Jr.

"The future of Yugoslavia is by no means certain. But it is also by no means doomed to violence and anarchy. There exist strong internal and external motivations for a peaceful resolution of the current Yugoslav crisis". The best course of the USA and the West is to assist the interests of "those committed to political negotiation", and to continue to hold out "technical, managerial, and, where appropriate, financial aid to those republics that make sincere efforts to find a common political solution and are committed to true economic reforms".

Essay
James E. Akins

"The invasion of Kuwait and the Arab reaction to it marked the end of the period when Arabs maintained the pretence that they were part of one great nation". The utopian conception, that the Gulf Arabs will use their wealth to "transform the Arab world", is unrealistic, and the region "will continue to be marked by glaring disparities between the rich few and poor many, and among diverse national and ideological forces in competition for the soul of Arabism". The USA should foresee that its favourable position in the Middle East will one day come to end. "Washington might use to good advantage the comfortable period that is now opening up. If the United States recognizes the temporary nature of the respite it could start to practice self-discipline; it could develop alternative energies; it could conserve its resources, tighten its belt, and bring its financial house into order".

Essay
William Linn Westermann

Reprints excerpts of the article under title, first published in the FA issue of Jul 1946, noting that it contains "some sage observations that have stood the test of time".

Essay
Graham E. Fuller

"The war in the Persian Gulf posed a major and untimely crisis for soviet foreign policy... At several points in the crisis it was uncertain just how firmly Moscow's principles of 'new thinking' in foreign policy would hold".

Essay
Graham T. Allison and Robert D. Blackwill

The USA should make a massive commitment, of Marshall Plan proportions, to assist the USSR to build a post-communist free market economy. This would act as a powerful inducement for reformers like Gorbachev to abandon all ambition to retain any commitment to communism. The West should (1) provide copious communications infrastructure (2) enlist Soviet help in global security management issues (3) offer massive economic aid "conditional upon political pluralization and a coherent economic program for moving rapidly to a market economy".

Essay
Robert Pastor and Richard Fletcher

"Driven primarily by security interests, the United States has often oscillated between intervention to prevent a foreign rival from gaining a foothold and neglect when the threat passed... We believe the time has come to consider a new stage in the region's development and its relationship with the United States. We recommend that the region shift toward a new economic strategy based primarily on self-reliance". In turn, the USA should open its markets to Caribbean exports, perhaps as an extension of NAFTA. "US aid and financing should be a complement and supplement, not a substitute, for the region's new economic strategy".

Essay
Nicholas Eberstadt

It is not so much a question of how population growth threatens world security, so much as of how fertility differentials between rich and poor countries will threaten the developed world, by producing resource scarcities and irresistible migration pressures. The fastest-growing Third World areas are those least likely to share Western values, and could produce "a fractious, contentious and inhumane international order" rather more dangerous than the Cold War. Rather than pursue pro-natalist policies to bring Western birth rates up to close the gap, the West should consider ways to improve the export of Western values.

Essay
Robert D. Hormats

The basis of US military and diplomatic power is its economic power, and the USA's single most important security objective is now economic self-repair. "Unless the United States reinvigorates in this decade the economic roots of its international power, it risks an erosion of self-confidence and of its international leadership at the turn of the century. With a weak economy and a society in conflict over how to allocate slowly growing resources, this nation would find it increasingly difficult to achieve its essential global objectives".

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