Courtesy Reuters

Friends and Allies

Foreign AFFAIRS is forty years old-and the modern foreign affairs of the United States are less than ten years older. The problems we have today-of technology, conflict, alliance and hope-have little relation to the times of the Founders, the ordeal of Lincoln, or even the turning days of Cleveland, McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. It is August 1914, with its alerting record of the stakes of diplomacy and of the enormous damage that ordinary well-trained men can do, which reminds us that Woodrow Wilson at his typewriter, and all of his successors, have had to live with world-wide danger, world-wide power, and so world-wide responsibility.

Many forces are a part of this revolution, but one which holds special fascination for the student of our history is our sudden and multifarious involvement with a host of friends. In traditional terms the most remarkable change in our foreign relations is that we now have formal alliances with 42 nations. Moreover, in most cases these are not merely formal ties of contingent commitment, but major operating day-to-day connections. Beyond these alliances we have major working relations too, especially in Africa and Asia, with dozens of nations which are friends, though not allies.

II

The central problem in all these relations is how to establish reciprocity. We are unique, in the non-Communist world, in our strength and wealth. We are also unique in our record of assistance to almost everybody. This has happened by choice; our help to others has been designed to serve our own wide interests, and with exceptions it has done so. But what we had to do for so many after 1945 we ought not now to do for many countries alone-or for some countries at all. At the same time we must give new and urgent attention to the needs of other nations-in and out of the Western Hemisphere-which were not on our priority list in the first decade after the second war.

We are thus required to move toward new relations of mutual

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