A Democrat Looks at Foreign Policy

President-elect John F. Kennedy speaks to reporters outside the White House, 1960. Abbie Rowe / JFK Library

The past months have set before our policy-makers a map whose essential features are not unfamiliar to those who have studied or been a part of the events of the past decade, but it is also crowded with new silhouettes. There are new projections, contours and dimensions. International events in recent months have accelerated in pace and have been in a flux not yet comprehended by the leadership of our nation or taken account of in adjustments in the machinery of our foreign policy. To an observer in the opposition party there appear two central weaknesses in our current foreign policy: first, a failure to appreciate how the forces of nationalism are rewriting the geopolitical map of the world—especially in North Africa, southeastern Europe and the Middle East; and second, a lack of decision and conviction in our leadership, which has recoiled from clearly informing both the people and

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