Courtesy Reuters

"POLICY," wrote Metternich, the Austrian minister who steered his country through 39 years of crisis by a tour de force perhaps never excelled, "is like a play in many acts which unfolds inevitably once the curtain is raised. To declare then that the play will not go on is an absurdity. The play will go on either by means of the actors or by means of the spectators who mount the stage. . . . The crucial problem [of statesmanship], therefore, resides in the decision of whether to assemble the audience, whether the curtain is to be raised and above all in the intrinsic merit of the play."

There can be little doubt that the foreign policy of the United States has reached an impasse. For several years we have been groping for a concept to deal with the transformation of the cold war from an effort to build defensive barriers into a contest

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  • HENRY A. KISSINGER, director of a study group on "Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy" of the Council on Foreign Relations; Director of Special Studies, Rockefeller Brothers' Fund; Associate, Foreign Policy Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania; Director, Harvard International Seminar
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