The second Reagan Administration has a rare opportunity to reshape American foreign policy. The opportunity obviously springs from President Reagan_s overwhelming election victory, which, if he remains in office for four more years, will make him the first full two-term president since Eisenhower. This victory has further strengthened his already impressive capacity for political leadership, reinforcing his authority to deal with the factions of his own party, with the feuding wings of the bureaucracy, and with foreign countries. The question is whether he will seize that authority and will know how to use it. Which Reagan, and which group of Reagan advisers, will dominate the second term? Will it be the stubbornly hard-line or the flexible President, the _ideologues_ or the _pragmatists_ among his counselors?
Presidential campaigns do more than choose individuals for high office: our history shows many instances where elections have moved the country closer to a decisive resolution of long-standing issues. The 1984 presidential campaign gives the candidates a historic opportunity to build public support for reducing the risk of nuclear war. The American electorate is now psychologically prepared to take a giant step toward real arms reductions.
The election campaign failed to shed much light on the probable course of American foreign policy over the next four years. Domestic issues and personalities dominated the presidential contest; there was no urgent issue comparable to Korea in 1952, the Berlin and Cuban confrontations of the 1960s, Vietnam in the 1970s or even the Iran hostage crisis of 1980. President George Bush will probably not be confronted with a burning foreign policy problem in his first hundred days.