Winter 1991/92

Winter 1991/92
70, 5

Essays

Essay
James A. Baker, III

"First, we need a framework for economic integration that will support an open global trading system in order to sustain the region's economic dynamism and avoid regional economic fragmentation. Second, we must foster the trend towrds democratization so as to deepen the shared values that will reinforce a sense of community, enhance economic vitality and minimize prospects for dictatorial adventures. Third, we need to define a renewed defense structure for the Asia-Pacific theater that reflects the region's diverse security concerns and mitigates intra-regional fears and suspicions".

Essay
Robert A. Scalapino

The USA cannot 'disengage' from the Asia-Pacific region, and arguments that it should do so are misconceived. The USA is a natural part of the APR, and to ignore it would damage the national interest.

Essay
Richard Holbrooke

The end of the Cold War also marks the end of a US-Japanese relationship in which the USA was the senior and Japan the junior partner. The political and economic dynamics of the two countries require a new definition of shared interests between equals. For the USA, this will require a clearer recognition that Japan has paid its debts and earned its parity. For the Japanese, it will require them to "remember two unpleasant and rarely voiced truths: they remain generally unpopular overseas, and the United States is still Japan's best friend, and perhaps at times its only friend".

Essay
Yoichi Funabashi

"Ironically, as Japan's international power has advanced, the underpinnings of its political and economic systems have been called into question". An examination of Japan's constitutional and political fitness to assume a first-rank diplomatic identity: "Japan's own political constraints affect its pursuit of a dynamic foreign policy... Japan must thus examine its own political and decision-making structures... The structural weaknesses of its leadership -- highly personalized political allegiances among factions and parties, and the predominance of pork-barrel politics -- characterize Japanese political culture and limit the projection of its foreign policy".

Essay
Nancy Bernkopf Tucker

The primary importance of China to the USA has been one of the "most enduring legends" of Sino-American relations. In reality, China has been of only secondary significance, "important simply in the context of crises with other countries", and this has been reflected in the pattern of US diplomacy towards China over the title period. The end of the Cold War era requires US foreign policy to assess the importance of China afresh, and not merely as a counter-weight to Soviet power.

Essay
George C. Herring

The summary victory over Iraq was hailed by no less a figure than President Bush as a once-and-for-all elimination of the 'Vietnam syndrome' -- which shows how powerful was the memory of that defeat even 15 years after the fall of Saigon. Addresses thre questions (1) why the USA invested so much in contesting communism in Vietnam (2) why its efforts failed -- even today, US explanations tend to assume that it could have been 'done right', overlooking now as then the formidable disadvantages facing US policy (3) the economic and political consequences of the defeat for the USA.

Essay
Stephen E. Ambrose

Assesses the tensions between the executive and the legislature in the making of US foreign policy.

Essay
David Kahn

The periodic successes enjoyed by US cryptanalysts in breaking the Japanese PURPLE code could have made no contribution to advance warning of the Japanese attack, as PURPLE was used strictly for diplomatic, not military, communications. The attack was a deep shock to US intelligence, and "has taught the United States to gather more information and evaluate it better".

Essay
Seweryn Bialer

Retrospective analysis of why Gorbachev's reform programmes failed.

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