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Foreign Policy was deceptively muted in the election campaign, and the Clinton administration will find Americans ill-prepared for the demands of a world transformed. Domestic and international challenges cannot be neatly separated - intiatives at home may only complicate the problems abroad, and vice versa. The "courage to change" was Clinton's signal - and warning - of a dramatic break with the past.
The new president cannot wait until his January 20 inauguration to signal boldly how he will deal with urgent economic problems at home and abroad. He should confront Congress as a tough fiscal conservative on domestic spending and open discussions with German and Japanese leaders on trade, growth, and currency issues.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff defines a new national military strategy aimed at accomplishing a range of missions far broader than America's armed forces have known before. Peacekeeping and humanitarian operations will loom larger. Called for is a flexible Base Force with capabilities to meet a host of far-flung threats to America's interests, rather than the single threat of communist power that guided military doctrine through the Cold War.
A comprehensive plan to revive America's competitiveness comes from Rocky Mountain Institute - using energy efficiency to prime th economic pump, an industrial policy to guide fresh capital injections and environmental technology to create a cottage industry for the 21st century.
When the global rate of population growth accelerated and reached an all-time high in the 1960s, the United States established foreign population assistance. In the 1980s, as ideological forces came into play, Washington reversed its position and forfeited its commanding role. The United States needs now to recapture its leadership role on population issues; a "continuation of this self-inflicted blindness to demographic insights is increasingly dangerous for U.S. foreign policy.
"The unbridled assertion of collective rights, most often expressed as an aspiration to national self-determination, has become a major threat to global stability." U.S. foreign policymakers should emphasize individual human rights, which would release Washington from arbitrating conflicting national claims, consistent with America's own political traditions.
Seeing an historical opportunity to strengthen the United Nations, the Secretary General calls for a number of changes in the world body. These include a special fund for quick start-ups of peacekeeping operations and standby arrangements for specially trained troops and the relevant equipment for peacekeeping.
Nothing is certain in the troubled Russian republic - except the resurrection of the long-dormant nationalist right wing. The end of empire has fueled a sense of national humiliation comparable to Weimar Germany's after Versailles. Even if fascism is unlikely to prevail, the new right nonetheless has "a reasonable chance in the struggle for Russia's soul and political future."
Despite recent turmoil in European currency markets and the near-defeat in France of the Maastricht treaty, momentum toward full economic and political integration of the European Community will continue. Community leaders must now put the overambitious Maastricht pact on a more realistic track - one that accommodates widespread public concerns about loss of sovereignty to an ascendant Germany and a powerful Brussels-based bureaucracy.
An economic bnoom is underway in China, and the United States is in danger of isolating itself from the benefits. A forward-looking policy would not only offer tremendous opportunity for American investment,trade and jobs, but it could also be a force for political moderation in Beijing.
The Cold War has not ended on the Korean peninsula. U.S. policymakers must prepare now for a pending unification that - given the isolated, declining but perhaps nuclear-armed North Korean regime - promises to be both more complicated and dangerous than Germany's happy drama of two years ago.
American political and business leaders need to capitalize on a groundswell of democratic and market-opriented reforms underway in this oft-neglected region in the world. "Washington must discard its Cold War approach to relations with south Asia and stop viewing the region primarily in terms of its potential threat to U.S. interests"; a rapidly growing south Asian middle-class is creating one of the "world's most important emerging markets" and bolstering regional stability.
Government reorganization is essential to one of the paramount challenges of the post-Cold War era - the effective integration of security, economic, and environmental policy. This is the conclusion of a bipartisan commission, consisting of veterans of government service. The commission suggests a number of sweeping changes in the president's office and in related departments of the executive branch.