Writing in 1969 Henry Kissinger commented that "the United States is no longer in a position to operate programs globally; it has to encourage them. It can no longer impose its preferred solution; it must seek to evoke it. In the forties and fifties, we offered remedies; in the late sixties and in the seventies our role will have to be to contribute to a structure that will foster the initiative of others. . . . This task requires a different kind of creativity and another form of patience than we have displayed in the past."1

What kind of creativity and what form of patience? At first glance the task of evoking preferred solutions to the problems of a multipolar world would appear ideally suited to the powers of reason, patience and persuasion with which professional diplomats are supposed to be preternaturally endowed. The objective conditions for a rebirth of traditional diplomacy seem everywhere present. The number of nation-states jockeying for position in world affairs has never been larger. The influence of international political organizations has never been weaker. And the concentration of mutually offsetting military power in the hands of a few states has generally enhanced the bargaining advantages of national sovereignty.

Yet, paradoxically, at this most propitious of moments the professional diplomat finds his ability to influence events at its lowest ebb. The decline in his fortunes almost exactly parallels the decline in the ability of governments to conduct their relations without diplomacy. Does career diplomacy thus have a valid and continuing role to play in world affairs, or, as Maria Callas once said of opera, is it a dead art which can at best be resuscitated only for individual performances?


While the diplomatic institutions established in Italy during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were embellished in succeeding years, notably by the French, the essential features of the diplomatic method-resident ambassadors accredited to one state by the ruler of another and empowered by him to conduct business in his name under reciprocal privileges of immunity extended by both states-were well established by the end of the Renaissance and have remained the essential prerequisite for effective diplomacy ever since. Ad hoc diplomacy-by conference or visiting mission-has an even longer history, coming to the Italians from classical Greece through Byzantium. But it was the Italians who first conceived of diplomacy as a continuing process, a permanent relationship among states, and who created the machinery to bring it into being.

Garrett Mattingly in Renaissance Diplomacy suggests two underlying reasons for this. The first was the existence of an unstable equilibrium among the usually belligerent Italian city-states, which required constant vigilance for survival. The second, which itself contributed to the first, was physical contiguity and a rough balance of power at least among the larger states. It took transalpine Europe another 300 years to organize its physical space to a comparable extent and yet another 100 years before the diplomatic profession, as distinct from diplomatic practice, came into existence. In fact, professional diplomacy-the concept of a corps of specialists in international affairs-is a product of the nineteenth century, more specifically of the Congress of Vienna in 1815, although the French had defined the need earlier. The advantage of career diplomacy in the old order-which may be said for these purposes to have ended with the Treaty of Versailles-was well expressed by Harold Nicolson: "These officials representing their Governments in foreign capitals possessed similar standards of education, similar experience and a similar aim. They desired the same sort of world."2

What are the skills and characteristics required of a good diplomat? There is abundant literature on the subject, ranging from de Callières and Nicolson through William Attwood and John Kenneth Galbraith. What is most striking about these treatises is that aside from a knowledge of foreign languages good diplomats seem distinguished by their qualities rather than by their skills. "Truth, accuracy, calm, patience, good temper, modesty, and loyalty" are the qualities singled out by Nicolson. Galbraith thinks diplomacy requires "the clear-headed, determined operator who knows what should be done and has a strong desire to do it." The change in emphasis is significant, but Galbraith, like Nicolson, is talking about a type of man rather than a type of skill.

In the United States the diplomatic profession developed late. In fact, no career service was created until 1924, at a time, that is, when the old order which had shaped the character of traditional diplomacy was already moribund. The European origins of formal diplomacy counted heavily against its early adoption by the Americans. There seemed no need to imitate the methods of the European states at a time when the principal interests of the United States were to stay out of European conflicts, and to organize its internal space and compose its domestic discords. The political leadership of the United States in the nineteenth century did not share the common values and assumptions upon which European diplomacy was based any more than it shared the political and economic problems that European diplomacy was designed to mitigate.

American geography and historical experience thus reinforced the distrust of diplomacy that is common to governments that elect their political leaders and appoint their ambassadors. "So suspicious was Greek democracy of its own diplomatists," says Nicolson, "that missions were composed of several ambassadors, representing different parties and points of view."3 One is irresistibly reminded of the custom of American governments of including representatives of the congressional opposition in delegations to international conferences. In recent years, as bureaucratic rivalries within the executive branch of the government have increased, the practice has been extended to the main agencies of the American foreign-affairs community. The members of some American delegations spend more time negotiating with each other than with their opposite numbers. The commonly recognized result is to create internal deadlocks which must be resolved by "higher authority," often by means of bureaucratic trade-offs irrelevant to the purposes of the negotiation.

The way Americans regard diplomacy is also affected by our national psychology. A state that over long years of development has celebrated "independence" as a national virtue will always be ambivalent about its foreign relations. The United States usually tends to take its relations with other states for granted until the emergence of some threat or crisis makes them impossible to ignore. This is not the ideal environment for professional diplomacy, nor does it allow the government to avail itself of the services that career diplomats are best equipped to provide: low-keyed regulation of current relations and the anticipation of problems far enough in advance to do something about them before they reach crisis proportions. On the contrary, the American diplomat is likely to be ignored until problems are critical and then to be brushed aside.

Lacking a clearly defined concept of American national interest in foreign affairs, it is almost inevitable that American governments should fall into the habit of rationalizing their actions in what George Kennan has called "moralistic-legalistic" terms. Kissinger quotes Secretary of State Rusk as stating on one occasion, "we have no quarrel with the Communists, all our quarrels are on behalf of other people."4 Although formulations of this kind are supposed to be reassuring abroad, they are in fact a reflection of the American penchant for reassuring ourselves that whatever the disputes of other states may be, the freedom of action of the United States will not be impaired. Far from comforting our allies, such statements tend to create doubts about our reliability, since it is clearly easier to withdraw from a quarrel "on behalf of other people" than from one in which we are directly and avowedly engaged for the defense of our interests.

The American diplomat, therefore, is in a weak and exposed position within the federal system. In addition to being the object of the normal suspicion entertained by republics about their envoys abroad, he represents a country which prizes its independence and is reluctant to define its national interests in terms of its relations with other states. Because of the constitutional separation of powers and the fragility of the civil service code, he is peculiarly susceptible to pressures generated by frictions between the executive and legislative branches of the government.

Faced with these realities, George Kennan was led to ask "whether a government so constituted should deceive itself into believing that it is capable of conducting a mature, consistent, and discriminating foreign policy. Increasingly with the years," he concluded, "my answer would tend to be in the negative."5 Others would phrase the question differently: does a government so constituted have a place for or need career diplomacy in order to conduct a mature, consistent and discriminating foreign policy? Before trying to answer this question we should look at changes in the international environment which affect the work not only of American diplomats, but of the profession as a whole.


As we have seen, diplomacy was a product of fairly specific historical conditions. It developed first in areas where the organization of internal space enabled, indeed compelled, governments to create a system for conducting their affairs on a rational basis. Its present form, or something very like it, took shape within the common value system of Latin Christendom. To work effectively the diplomatic technique required elaborate ground rules and broad common assumptions. Today, these have all but disappeared. Not only do the diplomats of Communist and non-Communist powers operate on vastly different assumptions about what is desirable, necessary and permissible in creating a stable world order, they often disagree about the value of stability itself. And when, on such issues as arms control, there is a measure of consensus among the major ideological adversaries, there is little or none between them and the less-developed countries. Moreover, rapid development of weapons technology has made the whole subject of military parity and the balance of power among industrially advanced states infinitely more complex than it ever was before. Negotiation of agreements in this field demands not only the "prudence, integrity and ability" which Foreign Service officers find enshrined in their commissions, but technical expertise with which neither their training nor experience is likely to have equipped them. The same point can be made about the requirements for negotiation of important economic agreements, another field in which diplomats have traditionally been active.

The diplomat is thus affected by two sets of changes, one political, the other technological. Both have served to undercut his authority and to reorder the priorities inherent in the conduct of foreign affairs. Knowledge of foreign languages and cultures, the diplomat's chief technical resource, is a valuable facilitative skill but no longer his monopoly and no longer an assurance of an understanding of the forces at work in the world. It bears the same subordinate relation to the creative processes of modern foreign affairs that knowledge of grammar and syntax bears to the creative processes of literature.

Other environmental changes have eroded the importance of two additional responsibilities which have traditionally been the career diplomat's stock-in-trade-representation and reporting. Representation means not only an ambassador's capacity to represent his country abroad symbolically, but also his ability to incarnate his chief of state. The more nearly he can communicate authoritatively the attitudes, policies and intentions of his chief, the more effective he is likely to be. However, the growth of mass communications and the shrinking of distances have to a significant degree reduced the ambassador's importance as a spokesman for his government on major policy questions, at least in the larger countries where diplomats are most likely to seek justification for their existence. More damaging to the modern ambassador's effectiveness has been the increasing transparency of any pretence that he "represents" his chief of state in a meaningful way. Nowhere is this more true than among American ambassadors, of which there were, at the end of 1970, 109 with more to come. Most of these emissaries may have had a fleeting group interview of 15 or 20 minutes with the President before departing for their posts. Few would have spent much more time with the Secretary of State. While this would be less true of ambassadors to the larger foreign countries, it is these states which have to rely least on the machinery of formal diplomacy to conduct their foreign relations.

Diplomatic reporting has likewise suffered from the proliferation of the communications media, both governmental and nongovernmental. Thus, an embassy may find itself duplicating and annotating news stories endlessly, usually at the urgent request of the foreign office. The net result is to keep the mission in a frenzy of reporting activity about what is happening or what has happened, to the detriment of the one reporting function that it should be uniquely qualified to perform: what will happen and how it will affect the relations of the countries concerned. The same phenomenon can occur even among the various reporting elements of a single mission. In this incestuous process, the military and civilian intelligence components of a mission exchange comments on each other's reports with the ambassador and his political section, thereby multiplying a volume of reporting that should have been reduced in the first place. Instead of freeing the diplomat's hands to perform more exacting tasks of analysis and interpretation, these rivals have actually tied him more tightly into a web of bureaucratically oriented communications.


"All presidents I have known," says Dean Acheson, "have had uneasy doubts about the State Department. They extend to the White House staff, and in fact often originate there. They are strongest at the beginning of presidential terms, when the incumbent and his new associates in the White House believe that foreign affairs are simpler than in fact they are and that they can be confidently approached under the guidance of principles (liberal, conservative, idealistic or moral) even without much knowledge or experience. Foreign Service officers seem to them cynical, unimaginative and negative."6 Arthur Schlesinger captures the flavor of this attitude when he reports on the "intellectual exhaustion" of the Foreign Service, and the Kennedy White House's inclination to define Foreign Service officers as people "for whom the risks always outweighed the opportunities."7 Lest anyone suppose that the isolation of the Department of State and of American diplomats reflected in these remarks is a recent phenomenon, another quotation may correct the impression: "Secretary [of State] Fish seemed to have vanished. Besides the Department of State over which he nominally presided . . . there had been a Department of Foreign Relations over which Senator Sumner ruled with a high hand at the Capitol; and finally, one clearly made out a third Foreign Office in the War Department, with President Grant himself for chief. . . ." The author of these observations was Henry Adams8 and the time was the winter of 1869-70.

The problem, in other words, has existed for so long a time that one is tempted to conclude that there is more to it than the decreasing relevance of traditional diplomacy to current international problems. Perhaps there are also fundamental misconceptions on the part of both American political leaders and the diplomats themselves about the objectives it is realistic to expect diplomacy to achieve, and specifically the appropriate function of career diplomats in achieving them.

Schlesinger's remarks about "risks" and "opportunities" suggest this to be true. They certainly have an odd ring in the aftermath of popular disillusionment about Vietnam and the Bay of Pigs. Were these situations in which the opportunities outweighed the risks? And if they were not, who was to point out the risks if the State Department failed to do so? As a matter of fact, a fairly consistent criticism of the State Department, or in any case its leadership, in these two situations was that it was too reticent about defining the inherent risks. That, of course, is criticism after the fact. What looks like realism after a policy has turned sour usually passes for negativism, faint-heartedness or "intellectual exhaustion" beforehand.

If this appraisal is correct, then in a government like that of the United States the inherent bias of elected administrations should be to see opportunities, and the inherent bias of diplomats should be to make certain the risks are not overlooked. This does not mean that diplomats will always be blind to opportunities; the genesis of the Marshall Plan and other successful foreign policy initiatives shows that this is not invariably the case. But the diplomat, whose primary concern is with the texture of international life, its points of rigidity and resilience, is neither logically nor constitutionally the initiator of foreign policy. This responsibility in a democracy properly belongs to the President and those he appoints to execute his policies. They are the officials directly accountable to the public and it is their policy, attitude and style on which the electorate will periodically pass judgment. The bureaucracy in this scheme of things need not be a sullen, obstructive, inertial force. The President and his Secretary of State have the authority to pull from the bureaucracy positive ideas as well as to overrule negative ones. They are likely to get the kind of bureaucracy they deserve. In the field of foreign affairs this should mean a bureaucracy composed of diplomats modern enough in their outlook to understand and implement the President's wishes, but in a position to spell out for him the costs and probable consequences of his initiatives abroad. Out of the interaction between what successive administrations think desirable and the diplomat thinks possible should emerge policies which are both imaginative and practical, both innovative and consistent with longer-range interests and engagements.

An operational example of what we are talking about is provided by the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, an episode that has become as vital to the lucubrations of foreign-affairs scholars as the sex life of the fruit fly used to be to those of aspiring geneticists. Many observers have commented on President Kennedy's anger and astonishment when he learned that obsolete American missiles which months earlier he had ordered removed from Turkey were still there and had become, in his brother's words "hostages of the Soviet Union."9 They were still there because the State Department had encountered a not unreasonable Turkish opposition to their removal and was trying to persuade the Turks to drop their objections. Leaving aside the moot point of whether the Turkish missiles had become "hostages," as the President believed, or whether they were potential bargaining counters with the Soviets, as Adlai Stevenson argued, the real question raised by the incident is whether the long-term interests of the United States would have been better served had the State Department gone ahead originally and removed the missiles over Turkish objections. This it would have done, of course, without benefit of foreknowledge of the Cuban developments later in the year. In other words, was the State Department's dialogue with the Turks merely bureaucratic routine which more efficient management would have eliminated, or was the State Department protecting a broader interest which the impatience of the White House would have sacrificed?

Ten years after the fact the latter conclusion seems more persuasive. Turkey is a military ally of the United States. The American missiles were placed in Turkey with the rationale that they contributed to her national security and, presumably, at some political cost to the Turkish government in terms of its relations with the Soviet Union. The fact that in American eyes they had become superfluous by 1962 does not mean that they had become so in Turkish eyes or that the United States would have been justified in removing them unilaterally. The adverse effects on Turkish-American relations would certainly have persisted long after the Cuban crisis had subsided. It was therefore proper for the State Department to take these considerations into account even though they seemed at the time of secondary importance to the Administration.

The inescapable tendency of presidents and their immediate staffs is to concentrate on one issue at a time and to subordinate what is broadly desirable in the long run to what seems urgently necessary at the moment. Should the President, upon reflection, decide that longer-term interests must be sacrificed he can overrule the State Department, but unless career diplomacy defines the potential cost of his policies in areas not immediately or automatically evident-the "risks" inherent in any initiative-he may make his accounting primarily in terms of gains and "opportunities." To judge from the copious literature on the Cuban missile crisis there was ample, if contradictory, advice available to the President on resolving the issue at hand, but the only bureaucratic entity thinking about Turkish-American relations was the State Department.

We are brought back to our point of departure, which was the existence of a misconception about the role appropriate to career diplomacy in the management of American foreign policy. Because the consensus of informed political and academic opinion seems to be that the failures and frustrations of American foreign policy are the result either of the "unresponsiveness" of career diplomacy to presidential initiatives or, alternatively, of the State Department's failure to make itself heard by the President and his advisers, proposed reforms tend to be of two kinds. One group of reformers would systematically reduce the independence of the career diplomats by extending presidential lines of authority deeper into the State Department bureaucracy.10 The other would amplify the influence of career diplomacy by cutting back the powers of rivals in the foreign-affairs community such as the National Security Council, the military and the intelligence agencies.11

What limits the value of the reform proposals of both groups is that each deals with only half the problem. There are dangers on the one hand in making the Foreign Service an overly compliant instrument of the executive. These are the dangers of discontinuity, unrealism and ethnocentricity that led to the creation of a career service in the first place. There are equivalent dangers, on the other hand, in imagining that professional diplomacy, operating on traditional assumptions, is equal to the problems of a world prodigiously more complicated and threatening than the one for which the diplomatic methods we are still employing were devised. These are the dangers of complacency and bureaucratic rigidity that have led successive American presidents to conduct foreign policy around rather than through the Department of State and the Foreign Service.

If we are to rationalize successfully the management of the foreign-affairs bureaucracy, the principle of interaction between political leadership and career diplomacy must be accepted as fundamental; reforms, whether of structure or personnel, must be designed to improve communications between the two. This will require a change in the way diplomats look at themselves and a change in the way they are regarded by the political leadership.


American diplomats analyzing the decline in influence and prestige of their profession since World War II are apt to identify the cause with the passage of the National Security Act of 1947. They argue that the creation of the National Security Council at that time "institutionalized," as Charles Yost puts it, "the entrenchment of military officers at the heart of the foreign policy decision-making process. . . ."12 Since the Act also created the Central Intelligence Agency, whose Director customarily sits by invitation on the National Security Council, the State Department found itself confronted by two powerful rivals for the President's ear, and rivals, moreover, with responsibilities for the management of ongoing programs which generated their own momenta and enjoyed certain inherent priorities.

The trouble with this analysis is that it seems to assume that the Pentagon and the CIA are interlopers in the field of foreign affairs-at least in "normal" times-and that military policy and intelligence judgment must be divorced from diplomatic policy. This line of reasoning treats foreign policy not as the management of all agencies and programs affecting the international position of the United States, but as an exercise in traditional diplomacy. The powers of reason and persuasion with which diplomats successfully tackled the problems of the old order are assumed to be sufficient to cope with those of the new. The fact that many American diplomats continue to hold this unwarranted assumption contributes to the State Department's sense of isolation in the foreign-affairs community.

Far from enhancing the influence of the State Department and Foreign Service, any dichotomy between military or intelligence policy and diplomatic policy works greatly to their disadvantage. Dean Acheson has described the situation in 1944 when President Roosevelt's style of vest-pocket diplomacy and his differences with Secretary of State Cordell Hull produced just such a result: "Largely detached from the practicalities of current problems and power relationships, the Department under Mr. Hull became absorbed in platonic planning of a Utopia, in a sort of mechanistic idealism."13 George Kennan, for his part, has described in the first volume of his memoirs the inadequacy of both the White House's and the Pentagon's perception of the kinds of political and economic problems likely to be created by military victory. Everyone lost, in other words, from the failure to treat these problems as interrelated parts of a comprehensive postwar foreign policy.

The instinct to sacrifice power for exclusiveness remains in the State Department and its missions abroad. It may even have been accentuated by the proliferation of foreign-affairs agencies with which, as I. M. Destler puts it, State has concluded "tacit non-aggression treaties."14 For, he continues, "State has sought the security of a dominant role in a limited sphere rather than the chancier challenge of broad policy leadership. It has undertaken to secure a narrow though important piece of turf-'diplomacy,' communications with Embassies, international 'political' questions-and to 'exclude' other agencies from this turf."

But this means, as we have seen, that the State Department and the Foreign Service are staking their futures on the very terrain most drastically eroded by environmental change. There is no way to make foreign policy less complex than it has in fact become or to prevent it from becoming more technically complicated still. Three thousand Foreign Service officers, even with greater technical competence and analytical gifts than they now possess, will not be enough to produce all of the data fed into American foreign policy or to administer all of the programs generated by it. A less activist foreign policy will reduce the requirements somewhat and thereby alter the proportions, but not eliminate the problem.

Moreover, from the standpoint of overall management of U.S. foreign policy, the size of the Foreign Service should be a great advantage. The Foreign Service should have a flexibility which its principal bureaucratic rivals are too large and heterogeneous to have. To capitalize on its advantages, however, the Foreign Service will have to re-think the roles of the geographic and functional bureaus in the State Department and place an emphasis on the development of functional skills equivalent to the emphasis placed in an earlier period on language and area specialization. The military and intelligence components of the foreign-affairs bureaucracy, like those concerned with economic assistance, trade relations and propaganda, can provide the Foreign Service officer with the leverage needed to influence his new environment. But he will have to master their disciplines to apply it.

Unless the diplomat becomes the clear-headed, determined operator described by Galbraith, he will condemn himself to an increasingly passive and ceremonial role in the conduct of foreign affairs. Should this occur, the American foreign-affairs bureaucracy would lose an element of balance, perspective and continuity it badly needs and would have trouble improvising. The State Department, standing at the center of the foreign-affairs bureaucracy but without the responsibilities for day-to-day program operations that are likely to color the vision of other agencies, is in a unique position to advise the executive on the full range of programs and activities available to execute foreign policy initiatives, and on the external realities which such initiatives would encounter. A management role of this kind would be more consistent with the rigorous standards of the Foreign Service than the note-taking, interpreting and other forms of intellectual typesetting in which so many Foreign Service officers are now engaged. More important, it is a role presidents say they need and which no other element of the foreign-affairs bureaucracy is so logically placed to perform.


Logically placed, we might add, but not logically employed. As the United States has encountered more and more frustrations in implementing its foreign policy initiatives since World War II, and the balance of world power has shifted toward a more complicated equilibrium, U.S. foreign policy has become ever more subject to domestic political disagreements, some of them over specific American commitments or initiatives, others over the relative priorities accorded domestic and foreign programs. The broad political consensus which supported the Marshall Plan and NATO has been severely weakened across-the-board and completely shattered in Vietnam. The American Foreign Service is never more vulnerable than when domestic discord spills over into foreign policy; it has still not recovered from the buffeting it received in the late 1940s and 1950s when American diplomats were held responsible for "losing China" and being generally soft on communism. The attacks on those who "got us into Vietnam," or who kept us there after November 1968, may be equally damaging.

The periodic search for "guilty men" frequently leads to the Foreign Service officer if for no other reason than because he is the only one left around to pick up the pieces when administrations change. He is the hostage left by each departing administration to its successor. His potentially more valuable function of providing continuity in the field of foreign affairs from one administration to the next is consequently sacrificed-and as a rule sacrificed first in the difficult and controversial areas where continuity would be most helpful. This process of "politicizing" the Foreign Service has, if anything, accelerated in recent years with the growth in size and influence of a White House foreign-affairs bureaucracy which is more or less exempt from direct congressional scrutiny.

The result has been to shift to Foreign Service officers in the State Department and abroad a larger responsibility for defending before Congress policies which in many cases could be more logically and authoritatively defended by the Administration's political appointees. The Foreign Service officer finds himself in the impossible position of an intermediary not only between Washington and a foreign capital but between the executive and legislative branches of his own government. The more unpopular the policy, the greater is the temptation to turn the defense over to career officials who are less closely identified with the Administration than its political spokesmen would be.

Whatever the tactical advantages of this arrangement, the cumulative damage it inflicts on the career service is considerable. In the first place, it strains relations between the career service and Congress, which at best are guarded and uncertain, without materially improving relations between Congress and the Administration. Second, in the politically volatile atmosphere that is generated by confrontations over major issues, sides polarize and oversimplifications occur which detract from the career official's future ability to analyze problems objectively. Once the official has been compelled to depict issues in the black-and-white colors common to public hearings he will find it more difficult to distinguish the grays. Yet, it is in interpreting the gray areas of foreign policy that a diplomat is most likely to contribute something of value to the conduct of his country's foreign affairs. Last, the burden of advocacy has the effect of directing the career official's attention to the wrong things, to the past instead of the future, to justification rather than searching analysis, to problems whose passing notoriety may be greater than their intrinsic importance.

This is not to say that under the American system there can or should be an immunity for career officials comparable to that enjoyed by civil servants in the United Kingdom or in Europe. It is, however, to argue that the operation of the American system would be improved by assuring that the primary burden of defending political decisions rests with political appointees. Without diminishing the political accountability of the career official, he would thereby be protected from the kind of involuntary politicization that vitiates his ability to provide continuity and perspective in the field of foreign affairs. Within the government there is no one else to do so.

It is also to maintain that some, though by no means all, of the agonizing about the defects of the State Department and the Foreign Service may be caused by a tendency to confuse "responsiveness" with responsibility. If the former were the only valid criterion by which to judge the effectiveness of a bureaucracy, the spoils system would be infinitely preferable to the admittedly imperfect civil and foreign service codes we created to replace it. The career service, however, has a responsibility to define risks as well as to exploit opportunities for the political leadership. Recognizing that its perspective may be different although its objective is the same, we can go on to rejuvenate our diplomacy. It would then assume new relevance to the problems of our world-a world which, in its organization of time, so contrasts with and, in its organization of space, so resembles that of the Italian city-states where the diplomatic method was devised more than 500 years ago.


1 Henry A. Kissinger, Three Essays on American Foreign Policy, N.Y.: Norton, 1969, p. 92.

2 Harold Nicolson, The Evolution of Diplomatic Method, New York: Macmillan, 1954, p. 75.

3 Ibid, p. 6.

4 Henry A. Kissinger, op. cit.

5 George F. Kennan, Memoirs 1925-1950, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1967.

6 Dean Acheson, Present at the Creation, New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1969.

7 Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., A Thousand Days, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1965.

8 Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company edition, 1961.

9 Robert F. Kennedy, Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis, New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1969.

10 See for example I. M. Destler, Presidents, Bureaucrats and Foreign Policy, Princeton University Press, 1972.

11 See John Franklin Campbell, The Foreign Affairs Fudge Factory, New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1971.

12 Charles W. Yost, The Conduct and Misconduct of Foreign Affairs, New York: Random House, 1972.

13 Acheson, op. cit.

14 I. M. Destler, op. cit.

You are reading a free article.

Subscribe to Foreign Affairs to get unlimited access.

  • Paywall-free reading of new articles and a century of archives
  • Unlock access to iOS/Android apps to save editions for offline reading
  • Six issues a year in print, online, and audio editions
Subscribe Now