Courtesy Reuters

The Foreign Service in Transition

SOMEWHERE along the road between Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima a fundamental schism in the American outlook on foreign affairs disappeared. The reference is not to the division of opinion which developed over, for example, a policy of "aid-to-Britain" versus one of "traditional neutrality," but to a difference in temper and judgment much deeper and not always in correspondence with the cleavage over a particular issue. The true "isolationist" was not necessarily identifiable in a debate on policy, because frequently he found himself (as did the so-called "internationalist") allied with a strange assortment of men whose motivations he detested. His essential characteristic was a conviction -- sometimes sophisticated, usually naïve -- that forces and events in other parts of the world were not, or need not be, of vital concern to the American national interest. Coupled with this was a faith that, come what may, the United States would through its own might and wisdom be able to direct its high destiny independently of the fate of the outside world.

The impact of events has so shattered this type of outlook that it no longer finds expression in any significant political grouping. Divisions in opinion have, it is true, developed as to whether this is or can or should be one world or two, but in the last Congress only a few scattered voices faintly sought to echo the isolationist pleas of yesteryear, and many of these were subsequently extinguished in the primaries or in the elections. In striking contrast to the political generation of 1919 and 1920, the overwhelming majorities of both parties stand together in the conviction that the welfare and security of the United States demand today an energetic and positive participation in world affairs, and an unshakable policy directed towards the achievement of world peace and justice through international cooperative action. Differences over this or that foreign issue may develop, even spiritedly, but if the temper of American political opinion over the past 18 months gives any clue to the

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