What Mobilization Means for Russia
The End of Putin’s Bargain With the People
On January 20, a new American President will appear on the East Portico of the Capitol to speak, among other things, to the question: What lies ahead in foreign policy? The question will be posed not merely by the advent of a new administration; in greater degree than at any time since 1945, Americans are questioning the concepts which in recent years have shaped their country's role in world affairs.
The questioning reflects more than concern about specific issues. As James Reston pointed out in a recent column, there is a mood of unease in the country which cannot be wholly explained in terms of differences over individual policies-foreign or domestic. Nor is this mood confined to the United States. We see a somewhat similar phenomenon in other countries of the developed world.
This unease is characteristic of periods in which an old era begins to die before a new one has been born. Teilhard de Chardin speaks of "great unrest which . . . springs from a nobler and deeper cause than the difficulties of a world seeking to recover some ancient equilibrium it has lost. . . . What we are up against is the heavy swell of an unknown sea which we are just entering from behind the cape that protected us. . . . We are, at this very moment, passing through an age of transition."
This transition has many aspects, of which the social and cultural may be the most important. But it also has a political dimension. It reflects the breakup of a world order in which the nature of power and authority has seemed reasonably clear in the developed world. After the political and economic revolutions which convulsed that world in the first half of the nineteenth century, peoples looked increasingly to the nation-state to meet their security and economic needs-and to provide a set of values which would give meaning to their lives. Within the nation-state, they looked increasingly to the central government as the symbol of national identity and the fountainhead of power and legitimate authority. And among national states they perceived adversary and hegemonial relations which provided a congenial outlet for the aggressive impulses which Dr. Lorenz has so well described in animal species, as well as for the collective pride which seems so highly developed among humans.
Despite the misgivings of such prophets as Acton and Burckhardt, mankind seemed to have found-in the new order of strong, centralized nation-states- a framework for enduring progress. A golden era appeared to be at hand, as stable and timeless as the monarchs who presided over most of it.
World War I and the Great Depression marked the partial breakdown of this order. They showed that a system based on the notion of all-powerful, competing, national states simply would not work in an era of technological and economic interdependence. But this was not clearly seen at the time; instead, homeopathic remedies were applied: still more power to national states and governments and still greater isolation among them.
All this culminated in the catastrophe of World War II. In its wake, the West's prime concern was to avoid a recurrence of disasters to which the existing order had shown itself so prone: to fend off a postwar depression, and to deter another great war in the developed world. Wise and imaginative measures were directed to these ends. For the supreme crisis of the developed world came at one of those rare times when a fair number of men of unusual force and talent were at hand: Truman, Marshall, Acheson, Keynes, Monnet and Adenauer do not exhaust the list. As a result, the dangers which loomed so large in the developed world after 1945 diminished. Full employment was virtually attained; the threat of war among developed countries receded.
These successes were achieved in good part by innovations (the Marshall Plan, the International Monetary Fund, NATO and GATT) which recognized the bankruptcy of the old order and looked to new patterns of international action. But public understanding of this change was clouded. One reason was the dominant role of the United States; seen by some as simply a new variant of familiar hegemonial relations among nation-states, our influence both concealed and compensated for the structural deficiencies of the old order.
Twenty years after the war, our unnaturally large role is being constrained in response to the revival of strength in other areas, some waning of the Soviet military threat, our domestic concerns and a growing awareness that American national power cannot solve every problem abroad. As our role diminishes, it becomes evident that other states are unable to meet, through national action, needs hitherto fulfilled by the United States. Thus, the passing of the postwar era underlines not only the need for new policy, but also the nature of the shifts which have been under way during that era in the developed world.
It is now clear that the modern industrial nation-state is simply not adequate to the needs of the day-that the most important problems confronting these states will no longer yield to the powers through which their governments have traditionally made their will prevail: the sword and the public purse. In the present environment, none of these governments can assure their purposes, unless their authority and power are increasingly supplemented from other sources: new forms of international action and increasing involvement of the private sector. An example of this is the widening awareness of limits on effective use of the American Government's power abroad and the growing realization that action by even the most wealthy government, alone, cannot mobilize the external resources needed to aid growth in underdeveloped areas-whether in Asia and Latin America or in our own ghettoes.
Thus traditional notions of the power and authority of national governments no longer command-in the developed world at least-the allegiance that they did in times past. Symbols and slogans which derive from these notions are losing their force. Peoples grope for new concepts which will respond more directly to the needs of our day. The failure to find them as yet accounts for some of the unease and questioning which characterizes this transitional period.
Almost two years ago, in Warsaw, a philosopher suggested that the concept which would eventually replace past national slogans was that of "community." He was evidently using the term more loosely than the dictionary (which speaks of people living in the same place and under the same laws), to mean the coming together in common entities-without regard to national divisions-of people who have common purposes.
Of course, the concept of community is a vague one, but then many new ideas are vague when they first make their appearance. And perhaps the term "community" is not the best way to describe this idea; its use risks confusion between the experience of the European Community and other quite different and less ambitious forms of joint action. But if we look to substance rather than semantics and for broad direction rather than detail, I suspect we will find the philosopher's judgment sound as to what the current transitional period presages: the increasing emergence of institutions which permit like-minded people to direct their efforts to common ends, without regard to traditional limitations imposed by the sovereign prerogatives of national governments.
Increasingly, just such institutions are moving into areas formerly thought the province of these governments. Some widen national boundaries, as in the case of the European Community-the best example; others, like the World Bank and regional development banks, reach out beyond them; still others, like the multinational corporations, ignore these boundaries, to tap private resources. The strength and nature of these institutions evidently vary widely; the key point, in all cases, is that their scope is no longer defined or limited by old concepts of the power and authority of national governments. (One could make somewhat the same point about the domestic scene, where new institutions which are not tied to traditional notions of political authority arise to meet the problems of our cities.)
Recognition of these tendencies should play an important role in determining the future direction of American foreign policy-for the long term as much as for the next Administration.
In the developed world, it should lead to a realization of the necessity for a new structure of relations which will facilitate effective joint action, and thus offer an alternative to past notions of national rivalry and hegemony. Building a solid core of power within this framework-that is, among the United States, Western Europe and Japan-is evidently the key to many of the actions discussed below-and to a good deal more besides. For such a structure will also help in shaping a sensible relation between the growing power which postwar change has generated in the developed world and the increasing turmoil which it portends in the developing countries.
All historical analogies are highly imperfect, but there are at least two similarities worth remarking between the current revolution in these countries and the developed world's somewhat less abrupt entrance into the modern era two centuries ago. One is the awakening of these peoples to the fact that the physical environment can be changed for the better by human effort. Another is the raising of the nation to the highest place among popular symbols. Remaining colonial authority, tribal and ethnic loyalties, religious attachments-all are subordinated to the symbols of nationalism. It is ironic that this change should take place in the developing world just when the limitations of national power are becoming increasingly evident in the developed world.
These two forces-nationalism and a belief in progress-must work to unsettle the outlook and physical surroundings of a large part of the Third World's population, even as a like transformation of attitudes set the West off on its explosive course in the late eighteenth century. Conceivably these forces may work themselves out into new patterns of stability, as seems to have happened in Mexico and Turkey. The obstacles are formidable, however.
For belief in progress arouses the nation to an increasing preoccupation with economic development, while the conditions for its fulfillment are at least partly lacking. And growing nationalism compounds the resulting instability, by bringing emerging nations into conflict with each other and by leading them to try to involve U.S. and Soviet and Chinese power in support of their national ambitions.
Thus the prospect is for continuing upheaval, as well as some progress, in much of the developing world. The question is whether this upheaval will result in cataclysmic and global violence analogous to that produced in the developed world by a century and a half of revolutionary change.
There is this great difference: modernizing Western Europe and Japan were centers of great power. When they experienced depression or succumbed to extremism or went to war, the impact on the rest of the world was evident. There are no comparable aggregations of strength in the developing countries. Predominant power remains where it has been: in the developed world. How that power is used will thus determine whether two key dangers which turmoil in the developing areas could pose to global peace and well- being lead to a real crisis:
First is the danger that the developing countries will become the Balkans of this era, generating crises and conflicts which drag the great powers into war. This danger has hung over us since World War II. During this period, conflicts in developing countries involved us twice in war and once in a major nuclear confrontation. The recent Middle Eastern crisis underlines the point.
Second is the danger that chronic poverty and hunger will hasten, in the world at large, the process that we are trying so hard to avert in America: widening division between an increasingly prosperous white community and an increasingly embittered, impoverished and undereducated multiracial "other world." Such a growing North-South division would not threaten America's power position; the developing countries are too weak to do us physical harm. But the moral values which are as much a part of our country as its physical resources could be eroded if we were content to accept the role of passive bystander in the face of deepening hostility and human misery abroad. Like the traditional rich landlord, we could wind up being corrupted by our isolation and alienation from those about us.
These dangers help to define two major tasks confronting the developed world-even as the changes in that world help to define new ways in which these needs must be addressed.
The first task is to meet peacekeeping needs in developing areas and to reduce the likelihood that these areas will become a focus for conflict among great powers. The long-term trend toward larger communities combined with the evident risks attendant on national military involvement of the great powers suggests that these needs should be met, where possible, by international action. Clearly this does not mean joint action by a "Holy Alliance" of the developed countries; on the contrary, the most viable world order is likely to be one in which these countries are able increasingly to hold aloof from most military crises in developing areas. The principle of joint action can be best expressed, in this case, through international instruments which lie beyond the direct control of the developed world: regional groupings of developing countries, and the United Nations. Both of these have grave deficiencies; the common institutions are weak, the common purposes tenuous. None the less, they may eventually provide a framework for meeting certain limited peacekeeping needs, through the common action of those members who share certain minimum goals.
Regional groupings cannot be expected in the near future to mobilize forces to repel direct major external aggression. Therefore there is still a need for the deterrent effect of an evident U.S. willingness to fulfill its treaty commitments. Implicit in the goal of keeping nuclear weapons from spreading in the Third World is a determination to do just this-to assure that countries which rely on our help in maintaining their independence against direct external attack do not find us wanting. The more likely threats to peace in developing areas, however, are of a lower order of magnitude-e.g. local disputes and infiltration of arms and men across frontiers. Here regional groupings may prove more important.
In this hemisphere, the Organization of American States has already met some limited peacekeeping needs. In the future, it should be able to meet others if they emerge, even though, as in the past, only the members most directly concerned may decide to participate in any given venture. In Africa, the Organization of African Unity has already played some part in helping to conciliate disputes. It has not yet developed any peacekeeping capability, but there is no reason to preclude this in years to come.
In East Asia, prospects are shadowed by Viet Nam. But few countries outside of Indochina will be as vulnerable to infiltration as South Viet Nam-a divided country with a history of colonial and civil war. Elsewhere in Southeast Asia local nationalism, reinforced by coöperation among countries of this area, could well prove an effective defense against limited threats to the peace-assuming that these threats have not been magnified by prior communist success in Viet Nam.
Two regional and subregional groupings now exist in East Asia: The Asian and Pacific Council, which includes Australia, Japan, Korea, the Republic of China, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam; and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. Neither of these now plans to undertake peacekeeping responsibilities. Movement by ASEAN in this direction, however, may be foreshadowed by already existing bilateral coöperation-between Thailand and Malaysia, and between Malaysia and Indonesia-in meeting certain limited common security problems. The development of an effective regional or subregional peacekeeping capability in East Asia obviously lies far in the future, but with time it is possible. There and elsewhere, what happens will depend on the initiative and sense of responsibility of the countries most directly concerned. If they want to move forward the United States should do what it can to encourage them-both by being prepared to provide material aid and by not crowding them with too large a U.S. role.
The United States may also be able to play a more active part in strengthening the other alternative to great-power military involvement: U.N. peacekeeping. The U.N.'s capability to deploy effective peacekeeping forces has been shown in the Congo, Kashmir, the Middle East and Cyprus. A number of steps could be taken to strengthen this capability: more earmarking of national units for potential U.N. duty, new forms of international training, improved U.N. staff and command arrangements. The United States should do what it can to bring all this about. We should recognize, however, that success will depend more on tacit agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union than on these new initiatives. The United Nations cannot hope to meet peacekeeping needs effectively in the face of active opposition by either superpower.
In a rational world this opposition should not be too hard to avoid. The Soviets also have an interest in helping to prevent situations from arising in the developing areas which could fulfill the analogy of 1914. But their actions have so far reflected only spasmodic awareness of this fact: They helped to stir up trouble in the Middle East, then drew back when it exploded. Their policy evidently reflects both a desire to fish in troubled waters and a determination not to become militarily involved. The danger of miscalculation is evident. Clarity in U.S. policy may help to reduce this danger.
Perhaps in the wake of the shared commitments made in connection with the nonproliferation treaty, it may now be easier to obtain Soviet coöperation in strengthening U.N. peacekeeping. This is not to say that U.S.-Soviet competition in developing areas will soon abate; it is likely to remain intense, pending deep-seated and long-term changes in Soviet society. But we should none the less be clear as to the direction in which we wish eventually to move. In these enterprises, too, we should find increasing opportunities for concert with Western Europe and Japan. While their indisposition to deploy substantial military force to developing areas will probably persist, they may be prepared increasingly to join us in supporting regional and U.N. efforts to meet local peacekeeping needs. Over the longer term, this movement may well run with the grain of history.
All of this fits in with the main theme outlined earlier: that traditional uses of national power by developed countries are not likely to figure as prominently in the future as in the past; that the U.S. role, in particular, is likely to decline; and that multilateral groupings and coöperation offer the most promising-if still highly imperfect-way of filling the resulting vacuum.
The other area where the power of the developed world and change in the Third World interact is that of economic development. The developed nations have an interest in hastening growth in the developing nations which goes beyond the powerful moral considerations discussed earlier. Economic progress will not insure against turmoil. Change and revolutions of one kind or another will be the order of the day in the developing world. But persuasive promise of material improvement may help to effect change somewhat more constructively. For economic development is likely, in varying degree, to cement national cohesion, to develop leadership groups with constructive objectives, to subordinate local and sectional differences, and to act as a partial political substitute for external quarrels.
It is also true, of course, that economic growth creates its own tensions. For growth can take place only as part of a social and cultural upheaval which overturns established patterns of thought and action. But these patterns can hardly endure in any event. The issue is not whether there will be change or a perpetuation of existing conditions; it is rather whether change will take forms which create a larger or lesser risk of the kinds of chaos and violence which could lead to military involvement of other countries. Thus economic growth can help, albeit indirectly and to a limited extent, to reduce the chances of great-power military confrontation.
Economic development means to transform societies-with all that this involves in the way of new attitudes, skills and institutions. For the most part, this must be accomplished by the developing countries themselves. Outside assistance in the amounts that are foreseeable will be only a marginal increment to any developing country's total resources. Marginal, however, does not mean immaterial. For the relevant comparison is not between aid and the developing country's total resources, but rather between aid and the very limited resources which that country can mobilize for investment after providing for minimum consumption. It has been estimated, for example, that in the 1950s external aid added more than one- third to the total internal resources available for investment in developing countries.
Nor can the effect of aid be judged only in quantitative terms. Sensibly administered and complemented by wise counsel, it can help to tip the balance within a developing country in favor of those who argue for rigorous measures of self-help-hopefully encouraging long-range development planning, internal reform and a vital role for the private sector.
Study of individual countries supports the view that aid can play an important part in stimulating growth. John Pincus finds that the developing countries which have grown most rapidly have been favored by massive U.S. aid, where they have not enjoyed other fortuitous advantages (minerals, tourism or staple exports) which enabled them to strike it rich.1 Hollis Chenery and Alan Strout describe four countries in which a "substantial increase in investment financed largely by foreign loans and grants had led to rapid growth of GNP followed by a steady decline in the dependence on external financing."2 Edward Mason has suggested that the difference between Indian and Pakistani growth rates owes something to the difference between these countries' per capita external aid.3
In short, the general notion that developing countries are a bottomless pit simply does not stand up under close analysis. Some countries clearly are at a stage of development where large-scale aid would not be useful. Others are following such reckless policies as to make aid inappropriate. But for some of the largest developing countries substantial external aid can be useful in promoting growth. In the provision of this aid, the need for joint, rather than national, action is again evident. Although studies of the amounts of aid that are needed and can be put to good use in promoting growth in developing areas are necessarily inexact, they usually come to somewhat similar conclusions, and suggest amounts which exceed what any one developed country is likely to provide-or even what all these countries are likely to mobilize from public sources alone. The task for the developed world is thus one of concerting the sum total of its economic policies-in respect not only of aid but also of trade, monetary policy and private investment-in ways which will create an environment congenial to growth in the developing, as well as the developed, world.
Here is a task which can give substance to the concept of a community of developed nations made up of the United States, Western Europe and Japan. For only if these three industrial giants coöperate closely can the task be discharged. And it is hard to see how the West European nations can play their proper role in this concert, except as they come together increasingly in joint action and in joint institutions.
In all of this, the relative U. S. role will surely wind down, for reasons that have been discussed. The day when the United States could or should provide the lion's share of aid, or meet most of the world's need for international liquidity, is clearly past. The new forms of international action which hopefully will replace it should be addressed to four purposes, whose fulfillment would permit increased resources to be transferred to developing countries without a difficult and dramatic expansion in traditional programs of bilateral foreign aid:
Providing increasing amounts of development assistance via multilateral aid institutions and programs: notably, the World Bank and its soft-loan affiliate (the International Development Association); consortia organized by the World Bank to deal with especially large and important needs (India and Pakistan); and regional development banks, e.g. in Latin America, Asia and Africa. These multilateral programs assure that the resources of many donor countries besides the United States are tapped, and that these resources are combined with outside counsel, which is sometimes received with better grace from an international institution than from individual developed countries. Centering aid increasingly about the World Bank complex and regional banks also helps to put it on a long-term basis, since this is the only basis on which banking institutions can operate. Of course, the pace at which the United States can move toward reliance on multilateral programs will hinge on the willingness of others to contribute. Until and unless that willingness greatly expands, large parts of our aid will have to continue to move through bilateral channels.
Creating a monetary system in which international decisions, rather than those of the United States, fix the level of world reserves and from which the developing countries can draw substantial benefit. The Special Drawing Rights scheme agreed upon at Rio is a step in the right direction. Activating that system will not only mitigate recurring monetary crises in a period when other countries are no longer prepared unquestioningly to accept U.S. deficits and policies; it will also help to meet the developing nations' needs for additional resources.
Reducing world trade barriers and affording temporary preferential access for developing countries to the markets of industrial nations. Here, too, only joint action can be effective; no single industrial country could reduce its barriers without inviting a disproportionate invasion of its domestic market. The resulting transfer of net resources might not be as large as some developing countries expect, but the attraction and stimulus of wider export opportunities could exert an effect on their economies which cannot be wholly measured in quantitive terms. It would not substitute for aid, but it could reinforce the effect of aid in bringing about needed structural changes, leading to more market-oriented and hence more efficient economies in the developing world.
Stepping up efforts to encourage the flow of private investment (particularly in agro-industry) to developing countries. Boundaries between the public and private sectors, as well as between nation-states, will have to be breached; the requisite resources simply cannot be secured through governmental action alone. The notion that there is something wicked or exploitive in private foreign investment is coming increasingly to be recognized for the fiction that it is. There are opportunities for both developed and developing countries to find novel ways of encouraging it: guarantees, subsidies of interest rates, joint ventures, etc. Two international institutions-the World Bank's International Finance Corporation and the private multinational corporation-have a large role to play. Along with this might go new measures to encourage and assist borrowing by the developing countries in the private capital markets of the developed countries. There is some parallel in all this to the domestic scene in the United States, where the limitations on national governmental action in fighting the problems of urban poverty, the role and relevance of private resources in meeting these problems, and the need for new forms of public-private partnership to this end are becoming increasingly accepted as the ideological myths of the 1930s fade away.
Each of these four purposes is of at least as much concern to developing as to the developed nations and cannot be achieved without their coöperation; a concert of developed countries arrogating to themselves the task of deciding what is good for the world economy would be not only politically counterproductive but economically ineffective. Coöperation will have to occur, first, between developed countries and the emerging regional economic groupings of developing countries,4 and, second, within global organizations that include both developed and developing countries: the World Bank, IMF, GATT and UNCTAD. Our eventual objective should be to see the Soviet Union and the East European nations also playing a constructive role in these international economic programs. This will be slow in coming, but over the longer term, perhaps the communists will learn-as we have-that the political advantage they seek through bilateral arrangements is short- lived and ephemeral.
The possibility of joint action by the United States, Western Europe and Japan to meet the needs of developing countries rests on the assumption that a more viable political base will be created in the developed world for continuing and growing transfers of resources to developing countries. This is an assumption whose importance is exceeded only by its optimism. A promising initiative now being taken in the developed world is the Exploratory Committee on Society, Development and Peace, jointly created by the World Council of Churches and the Vatican. This committee, which recently convened an international meeting in Beirut, will try not only to lay out proposals for action by the industrial countries to aid development, but also to create national and local constituencies in these countries to support such action. Economic development aid so far has lacked an active grass-roots constituency. Who could do a better job of creating it than the churches? And what more fitting ecumenical task than helping to relieve the suffering of a large part of the human family? Having seen the churches play a critical role in generating support for civil-rights legislation in this country, we should have a healthy respect for what they might do to give substance to Pope Paul's injunction that the "new name for peace is development."
This article has tried to sketch some of the ways in which alternatives to national action can be applied at danger points where power in the developed world and turmoil in the Third World converge and interact. Much is already being done to give content to joint action in these fields, by throwing American support behind regional organizations, by channeling our aid through multilateral programs and by otherwise strengthening institutions which permit common action to be taken effectively. When the record of the last few years is reviewed in all these respects, it will be found to be an impressive one.
As the war in Viet Nam abates, we will need to go much further. Our instinctive aversion to innovation, except in times of evident and desperate crisis, may be overcome if we contemplate not only the specific actions that are needed but also the underlying reasons for that need: the "nobler and deeper" causes of the present unease of which Teilhard de Chardin spoke and which he rightly attributed to the uncertainties generated by man's passage to new and larger forms of communal action. If we can thus understand better the era of transition through which we are passing, it may be easier to look beyond it to new types of international action in the next phase of American foreign policy. 1 John Pincus, "How Much Aid for Under-Developed Countries," Columbia Journal of World Business, September 1967. 2 Hollis B. Chenery and Alan M. Strout, "Foreign Assistance and Economic Development," American Economic Review, September 1966. 3 Edward S. Mason, "Economic Development in India & Pakistan," Harvard University Center for International Affairs, Occasional Paper No. 13, September 1966. 4 This will be the easier to achieve since, in both Latin America and East Asia, the relevant groupings (the Alliance for Progress and the Ministerial Conference on Southeast Asian Development) include the developed countries most importantly involved: the United States and Japan, respectively.