The touchstone for our nation's security concept-the containment of Soviet military and ideological power-is gone. The primary threat cited over forty years in justification for most of our military budget, bases and overseas assistance is gone. The principal prism through which we viewed most of our worldwide diplomatic activities and alliances is gone. That they are gone is cause for rejoicing in celebration of peace and freedom. The search for a new national security focus has begun, but if the president cannot soon lead the way to a consensus among our national security decision-makers on credible new goals to guide our basic foreign policy and military planning for the long term, the current strategic vacuum is likely to be filled not only haphazardly but unwisely as well.


Unfortunately neither the leadership nor the consensus has emerged thus far in this country, even on the need for a new national thesis, much less on its content. Warnings that the Soviet Union remains the foremost threat to our national way of life continue to emanate from high places in Washington, particularly in the Department of Defense. This is not wholly surprising. The Soviets remain the only nation on earth capable of bringing about our physical destruction. Soviet military weapons and advisers can still be found in trouble spots from Cuba to Vietnam. The size and irreversibility of current Soviet arms reductions have been questioned. The Soviets have been known in the past to alter course unpredictably and to try deceiving, dividing and lulling the West by putting on a temporarily peaceful face.

Moreover, it is argued, the recent Soviet change of position has been led by one mortal human being whose continuation in power cannot be guaranteed. Growing instability and separatist tendencies in a vast nation planted thick with nuclear missiles and armed forces are surely not cause for Western complacency. No one knows whether there is a limit to the number of defections, desertions, demonstrations and setbacks that the Kremlin can stand before a violent reaction would be triggered. Nor does anyone know whether some future turmoil in the Baltic republics, border conflict in the Balkans or ethnic violence in the newly liberated but still wobbly nations of Eastern and central Europe could escalate to a point where both Soviet and Western forces would feel obligated to intervene, not necessarily on the same side.

In short the past year's remarkable events in the eastern half of the European continent have not eliminated all danger in that region for the West. Indeed the possibility of a nuclear launch-rational or irrational, deliberate or accidental-can never be wholly eliminated. Nevertheless, in the real world of comparative risk assessment, the actual likelihood of a threat to our national security from a Soviet invasion of Western Europe or a Soviet nuclear strike-the two threats for which we are most prepared today and to which we have for so long devoted so much of our wealth, talent and attention-ranks far below a host of non-Soviet, and even nonmilitary, threats to that security.

Those U.S. leaders and experts who coolly stressed geopolitical realities throughout the Cold War-the reality of Moscow's ruthless treatment of its neighbors, its drive to export and exploit revolution around the globe, its desire to expand its ideological and military reach into the affairs of others and, above all, its capability to inflict unacceptable damage upon this country-must now face a new reality. The Soviet threat has not only been contained; it has collapsed. The Soviet empire has disintegrated. Its long-time ideology has been repudiated. Its combat forces are being unilaterally drawn down. Its military alliance is in tatters. Its attraction as a political or economic model or mentor for new and developing nations has vanished. Its ability to invade, arm, subvert, subsidize or even threaten those nations or virtually anyone else has been substantially reduced. Given the grave economic, ethnic, social and political problems that the Soviet Union faces internally, the long-term future of its present form and borders is in doubt.

A sudden full-scale reversal in course now, while not to be ruled out, would only weaken still further the Soviet Union's ability to enlist its citizens, neighbors and resources in a military battle against the West. Neither the American people nor America's allies will believe any longer in a U.S. national security policy based primarily on a Soviet military threat.

At the opposite end of the national security spectrum are those who have concluded that the ending of the Cold War, of the bipolar era and of any credible military danger to our continued existence also signifies an end to the very concept of national security. The global community has become too small, they argue, and the destinies of its members too intertwined for any nation to think in those narrow traditional terms. The United States has learned there is very little it can accomplish by itself even about its own international problems-for example, freeing its hostages, stabilizing its currency, safeguarding its ships and planes, halting the flood of narcotics. The constant, largely unregulated flow of acid rain, illicit refugees and electronically transmitted financial instruments across international borders, including our own, should have put all world leaders on notice that the old rules of national sovereignty have lost much of their meaning and effectiveness. Far more important than ever before are the collective security efforts that we undertake with our allies and the common security obligations that we share with mankind.

Nevertheless every country, including our own, remains a special place to its own citizens. In a world that is still heavily armed, highly volatile and increasingly complex, our instinctive obligations of national self-preservation and self-esteem require us to secure before all else the survival of our own nation's independence, institutions and inhabitants. The demise of Soviet ambitions does not assure fulfillment of our own. Even our global interests impose upon us national responsibilities, some of them more daunting as the influence we enjoyed in the role of chief protector ebbs. There is merit in the concepts of common security and collective security, and merit in the argument of those who would place those obligations uppermost; but this nation is not yet ready to ignore its own national security.

There is merit as well in the argument of those who maintain that Washington has not focused on the Soviet Union to the exclusion of other problems in recent years; that our existing foreign policy and military tools are already coping with a host of other threats to our national security, old and new; and that thus there is no vacuum in our strategic thinking or national security rationale that needs to be filled. Certainly instances of U.S. concerns that do not stem from our global military and ideological confrontation with the Soviets can be readily identified. Our dealings with Canada, Mexico, Japan and Israel come to mind first. These examples, however, are exceptions. Through nine administrations and 22 Congresses, virtually every dimension and deployment of our armed forces, virtually every weapon system developed, diplomatic move taken and foreign dollar expended have been shaped primarily by the need to wage and win the Cold War with communism and to prevent-or to prevail in, if we could not prevent-a hot war with the Soviet Union.

This concentration of mind and effort rested in large measure upon legitimate concerns. Not since the earliest days of the republic had a hostile nation possessed the power and possible motive to threaten our very survival. But it also rested in some measure upon political convenience. Nine successive presidents, both Republicans and Democrats, invoked the threat of international communism to help market unappetizing national commitments to the American Congress and public-commitments to station large numbers of American forces abroad in peacetime, to put American cities at risk for the protection of West European cities, to provide military, economic and technical assistance to dozens of countries around the world, and to pay for a huge defense establishment when we were not at war.

We established NATO, a panoply of other alliances and a worldwide network of military bases and access rights primarily to deter Soviet or Soviet-supported military expansion. We devoted half of a tremendous military budget and developed a host of high-tech battlefield weapons primarily to prevent a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. We fought in Korea and Vietnam, first isolated and then wooed China, imposed sanctions on Cuba, subverted governments in Guatemala and Chile, subsidized rebellions in Angola and Nicaragua, suppressed rebellions in the Dominican Republic and Grenada, placed our flag on the moon and on Kuwaiti tankers, and engaged in countless other activities-including even financing domestic education and highway construction-all in the name of outbidding, outmaneuvering or outlasting Soviet-sponsored communism.

We were wary of antagonizing South Africa, escalating conflicts in the Middle East, shunning despots in Iran and Cambodia and reducing military sales or assistance to dozens of dubious recipients, all because we feared the Soviets or their proxies might step in. Even poverty and injustice in developing nations were combated at least in part with the argument that any internal division or disorder could be exploited by communism, thereby threatening some vital supply line, sea-lane or potential spy-satellite site.

Clearly many of these measures had independent merit and would have been sought or seriously considered by this country even if there had been no Cold War. But it was easier to enlist the support of Congress and the public for these efforts, and to pledge or cite them in oversimplified election campaigns, as long as they were somehow linked to the danger of Soviet or communist expansion. That was the basis on which these measures were sold to the American public, and those who made the "sales pitch" cannot now be heard to deny their representations and warranties.


The present conceptual vacuum, in short, is very real. Like the astonished winner of a lottery or an upset election, the U.S. government, the morning after communism's sudden collapse, hardly knows what to do. The response thus far in both the executive and legislative branches has been characterized largely by inertia, inconsistency and improvisation. Some have rushed to find new rationales for old force levels; others have been content to warn of Soviet unpredictability and power. Some have tinkered with marginal changes in military spending, arms reduction agreements, foreign assistance appropriations and controls on exports to the Soviet "bloc," while still others have continued to back weapons, commitments and policies of increasing irrelevance. Even our transitional proposals to help the passage of East and central European countries out of communism have been inadequate stopgaps, unrelated to the longer-range challenges ahead.

To be sure, it takes time for a superpower, like a supertanker, to change direction, particularly now that such a turn in this country's foreign policies requires far broader agreement within the executive branch, Congress and the nation than it did forty years ago. It takes time as well to adjust in an orderly way a huge military structure still targeted largely on the threat of a Soviet attack (as symbolized by the aerial command post still flown round the clock in preparation for a sudden, devastating nuclear strike). Time should be taken. So many developments in the past year have come our way, and so few of them were foreseen in advance, that any blind rush to new long-term commitments now would be folly.

But in the absence of an early executive-legislative leadership consensus on a conceptual framework defining our national security in the post-Cold War era, that vacuum is likely to be filled by a mishmash of political considerations. Military budget reductions will reflect not actual needs but log-rolling among the services as well as pressures on the Congress from local defense plants and bases. New or continued foreign alliances, commitments and economic and military assistance appropriations will reflect not new strategic priorities but the relative strength and influence of domestic ethnic organizations and foreign government leaders and lobbyists. New policies on international trade and finance will reflect not our long-term objectives but turf battles in Washington and constituent interest groups back home.

Worst of all, the lack of a clear national direction in world affairs could open the way for a resurgent isolationism in both major political parties. Instinctively doubtful about "foreign entanglements," or too young to remember any foreign policy before the Cold War, many Americans have only reluctantly gone along while this nation put up with complaining allies, poured money into ungrateful or undemocratic governments, opened our markets to disagreeable competitors, involved ourselves in other countries' internal matters, and contributed funds to multilateral organizations in which we were consistently outvoted, all in the interest of winning friends against the Soviet empire and keeping others out of the Soviet orbit. Now there is no Soviet empire and no Soviet orbit. Nor do these recalcitrants see any other "visible" enemy to defeat or wars to be fought. Without a clear presidential trumpet to summon their support, their indifference or opposition could handicap any effective global role for this country in the next decade.

To be sure, there is no shortage of subjects competing for the label of new national security priority. On the contrary, the temptation is strong to include every favorite international cause. But not everything in our national interest is a matter of national security. Not every foreign adversity requiring action or affecting our national well-being rises to that level. The question is not merely what problems must be tackled today or what countries might pose risks tomorrow, but what kind of world in the next decade and beyond would best protect our values and strengths.

Too often in the past the mystique of national security has been invoked by the executive branch to justify or cloak excessive or unauthorized conduct, undeclared wars, unconventional covert operations, unaccountable secret decisions and unprecedented limitations on citizens' rights. This time a narrow definition of the term is in order.

I believe our national interests are truly threatened, for example, by the invasion of our country by illicit narcotics from Latin America, Asia and elsewhere. I believe we are truly threatened as well by damage to our nation's environment-to the air, ozone, oceans and climate upon which our very survival depends. We must stop both threats before they undo us, first stopping our own contributions to them. But we should be careful about conferring undefined yet undeniably far-reaching powers of national security on every law enforcement or military official engaged in combating either of those evils, with their potential impact on the individual liberties and business freedom of virtually every American, lest we gravely harm the values and institutions that the very concept of national security is intended to protect.

In my view, a bipartisan national consensus-essentially fixing the new terms of reference while leaving ample room for partisan disagreement on their application-could be formed around two basic national security goals for the new multipolar era, two long-term objectives deserving the kind of presidential, congressional and budgetary priority we have heretofore given to the containment of communism: the preservation of this nation's economic effectiveness and independence in the global marketplace, and the peaceful enhancement of democracy around the world.

Unlike our focus for the last forty years, these two goals-economic independence and democratic enhancement-are not primarily defense-oriented, although our defense forces will continue to have important responsibilities; nor are they primarily Soviet-oriented, although we must, as noted, remain alert to risks in that region; nor are they as predominantly Europe-oriented as our foreign policy has traditionally been. They are not as negative in nature as containment and defense, nor as costly in tax dollars, nor as easy to simplify for political purposes. But they are equally global in scope, recognizing our continuing capacity and responsibility for world leadership.

Like containment, both of the broad phrases stated above are in need of further explication and in danger of being invoked as justification for a multitude of sins. Either, if misapplied in an aggressively nationalistic fashion, could revive American failings of long ago-specifically, protectionism and imperialism-bringing resentment and retaliation from other nations and doing great harm to our own interests. Both goals, however, if pursued constructively, creatively and in cooperation with other like-minded nations, could achieve for the United States a level of security far exceeding that we have already achieved as the Cold War draws to a close.


The once powerful beacon of this nation's economic strength, particularly in relative terms-relative not only to an economically ascendant Japan, a newly united Germany and Western Europe and other nations in general, but relative as well to the worldwide ranking we once enjoyed and could enjoy again-no longer shines so brightly in the global marketplace of today. We have the world's largest trade deficit. We are losing our competitive position, our market share in both domestic and export markets, in one after another of the industries in which our leadership was once vaunted: consumer electronics, machine tools, automobiles, steel, advanced computers, semiconductor chips, laser printers, and design and manufacturing technology. We have become dangerously dependent upon foreign sources for the advanced computer and semiconductor technologies that underlie modern information industries, and dangerously dependent upon foreign sources (once again) for the energy that we consume at a higher rate than any other nation to fuel our factories, homes and transportation systems. We have the largest gap between earnings and savings, the highest budget deficit (in absolute terms) and one of the lowest rates of productivity growth of any nation in the industrialized world. We have become-thanks to our trade deficit and the enormous foreign borrowings required in light of our low savings rate and large federal budget deficits-the world's largest debtor.

Does all this affect our national security? Economic strength is not a zero-sum game. America need not be number one in every category for its citizens to live comfortably and productively in freedom and safety. Contrary to the alarm often sounded, our $5.5 trillion economy still leads the world in total economic power, manufacturing worker productivity and scientific genius. Foreign bankers and businessmen recognize the harm to their own interests that would accompany any sudden withdrawal of their capital from this country. Absolute economic independence is no longer possible in our interdependent world.

But if these trends of deficit, debt and relative decline are permitted to persist and harden into fixed patterns, this nation's economic effectiveness and independence-meaning the flexibility to make decisions and the ability to fend for oneself, which are indispensable parts of any country's national security-would indeed be endangered. The sense of well-being that has generally characterized our way of life since emerging from the Great Depression would become increasingly dependent upon investments, deposits, credits-and thus decisions-from other countries, whose objectives and values are not inevitably the same as our own, and whose decisions will be dependent at least in part upon their appraisal of our national policies. The rise and fall of our currency and our stock markets, the prospects for inflation, recession and long-term growth in our economy, the price we pay for our gasoline and the price we charge for our grain exports-all would become more subject to the attitudes and actions of others.

Our traditional sense of flexibility in foreign affairs-the ability to mount, when needed, a Marshall Plan or Manhattan Project, whatever the cost-would be severely limited. Like the United Kingdom before us, our loss of economic influence would diminish our diplomatic and strategic influence, making us more dependent on others to take the initiative on international economic problems, less of a model for others to emulate, less able than others to provide assistance to struggling democracies, and less able to decide for ourselves the fiscal, monetary and trade measures with which we promote our values and interests both at home and abroad.

Even our national pride and will, the certainty that our children will live at least as well as their parents, the belief that we inhabit a land of plenty in which no group need be denied, the self-confidence and unity essential to the successful conduct of an affirmative foreign policy, all would suffer from the realization that we have become more vulnerable economically, that a substantial portion of our long-term assets were no longer under American ownership and control, that we were no longer among the world's top five countries in living standards, no longer the central player on a world stage where superconductors are becoming more important to the balance of power than supercarriers.

In short, unless we reverse these trends, our ability to control and protect our own destiny and daily lives-even the wages, prices, jobs, profits, home ownership and higher education opportunities of our citizens-would be threatened. Were our independence and way of life ever militarily threatened to that extent, we would prepare for war with the enemy. But the struggle and threat now are economic, not military; moreover, declaring war-a trade war-would represent a resounding defeat for our country, dependent as it is on an open trading system. Even to name and blame a supposed "enemy" would only handicap our effort to keep that system open.

That will not prevent many American politicians from discussing the trade issue in Cold War terms: singling out and verbally bashing an enemy in order to mobilize public opinion at home; dividing the world into two or three blocs in order to "contain" the other side; matching that other side move for move (in this case, meeting their closed markets with our closed markets); and focusing on the "enemy's" misconduct in order to avoid attention to our own contributions to the gulf between us. But no war, hot or cold, is in fact a useful model to meet the challenge of world trade competition.

Nevertheless two concepts from our Cold War days may be transferable. The concept of burden-sharing with Western Europe and Japan-both of whom have enjoyed chronic external balance-of-payments surpluses while we remained deep in deficit-is as fair and indispensable in avoiding a trade war as it was in avoiding a shooting war, and should be more consistently pursued. Each of the three economic superpowers-the United States, Japan and the European Community-must recognize its obligation to accept voluntarily a fair share of each other's exports (as well as those from developing nations), regardless of allegedly inherent structural impediments and differences in marketing skills and networks. Perhaps a new nonpolitical international trade equivalent of the International Monetary Fund could nudge surplus and deficit countries into balance over the long term, conditioning external help on internal reform, without the bilateral hectoring that so often merely stiffens intransigence.

In addition, the concept of mutual deterrence, under which the two nuclear superpowers have fulfilled for so long their wider obligation to the world community not to make reckless use of those ultimate weapons, could be matched by a similar undertaking now by the three economic superpowers not to engage in any firing of those ultimate economic "weapons" that could escalate into a shutdown of the world trading system. Instead they must collaborate in strengthening and enforcing the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade rules to halt collusive arrangements, nontariff barriers and other unfair trade practices.

But this country, while dispelling any impression that its efforts to open foreign markets on a reciprocal basis to American exporters can be endlessly delayed, must also attack the domestic roots of our problem: our high budget deficits, low rate of domestic savings and investment, high cost of capital, lag in technological development, inadequate educational and job-training systems, even our frequently improvident attitudes as individuals toward quality performance and products.

We have not permanently lost the technology race, for example. The same kind of effort that we mounted to achieve technological superiority in the military arena must now be mounted to integrate our military technology with commercial activities, to translate our edge in basic research and innovation into competitive and marketable high-tech products, to become more adept at improving existing industrial technologies, and to move those improvements more quickly to market with firm control of both cost and quality. But any significant U.S. expansion of investment in new product research, development and industrial facilities will require, among other things, a recognition of their importance to our national security and thus the folly of continuing to devote federal funds for research and development almost exclusively to military and space uses.

Winning the competitiveness struggle will also require the application of more funds and talent to our educational system. This country will soon face a serious shortage of experts with engineering Ph.D.s, which are increasingly pursued in our own universities by foreign instead of American students. Our secondary school students, compared to those in other trading powers today, receive less training in math, science and foreign languages during a shorter school day in a shorter school year in an inadequately supported public school system. We have long recognized the importance of improved education to individual and family security. Now, more clearly than ever, it has become a matter of national security.


The second priority that I urge, the peaceful enhancement of democracy around the world, is consistent not merely with the moral impulse traditionally underlying American foreign policy but with our long-term national security requirements as well. A global community of free nations adhering to the democratic principles of pluralism, human rights and equal opportunity under law would be a far safer and friendlier world for the United States. History tells us that governments that respect the rights of their citizens are more likely to respect the rights of their neighbors. They are less likely to generate the kind of regional, racial and religious conflicts, terrorist tactics and conventional, chemical or nuclear arms buildups that threaten the peace and unity of the world, on which our own long-range security rests.

Facilitating democracy in those countries that wish it is a role for which the United States has some preparation. From Wilson's Fourteen Points to Kennedy's Peace Corps, we have been less imperialistic and more generous toward weaker nations than any other major power in history. Several U.S. agencies have experience in democratization, much of it positive. The fortunes of war imposed upon us unique responsibilities to lay foundations of freedom in the Federal Republic of Germany and in Japan; on the whole we met both responsibilities ably. President Truman was intent on furthering the construction and reconstruction of democratic institutions around the world before Stalin's increasingly aggressive posture began to dominate American thinking.

Since then our record in peacefully encouraging other nations to move toward democracy has been mixed. President Kennedy's Alliance for Progress had some successes and some failures before it was abandoned by his successor. President Carter's emphasis on human rights still reverberates. Today we are hopeful about Namibia, South Korea and the Philippines, and less so about South Africa and Haiti, but a final judgment on any of them would be premature. The relatively new National Endowment for Democracy (NED) clearly helped the democratic process in Chile and elsewhere; but thus far, compared to other industrialized nations, we have been largely onlookers in the democracy movements of Eastern and central Europe and southern Africa.

Where we have most clearly failed has been in our recurrent attempts to impose democracy on others by force of arms or covert operations. Democracy by definition depends upon the voluntary support and sense of responsibility of the indigenous population. Local officials who govern with the consent of U.S. military or intelligence advisers are not governing with the consent of the people. We have no wish or right to engage in what Dean Acheson once called "messianic globaloney" to direct the destiny of peaceful peoples; and we do not wish other powers to do so either. The "enhancement of democracy" must not become an excuse for U.S. military action or uninvited internal meddling in nations that fail to meet our standards but pose no viable threat to others.

Those standards must be set with tough-minded care, consistency and flexibility. We should look not for pawns or clones of the United States, not to our list of current arms and aid recipients, not even for loyal allies alone, but for authentic democracies. Inevitably we will have preferences, including those democracies with whom we have historical ties and those whose economies have been damaged by wars we urged or fueled. But not every self-proclaimed democracy deserves either that label or our support. Not every mistreated regional, tribal or ethnic minority proclaiming the right of self-determination deserves our embrace, if the community of nations is not to splinter into a welter of politically unstable and economically unsustainable units. Nor will every object of our embrace be of strategic significance in traditional balance-of-power terms. Nor will all of them feature an unmixed market economy or support our every position in the United Nations or in regional conflicts. A world "made safe for diversity" must take into account historical, cultural, social and economic differences.

But our financial, military and other support for oppressive and corrupt regimes in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America should now come to an end. No longer can they play off one superpower against the other. No longer can we maintain that their willingness to speak in opposition to Soviet expansion is more important than their willingness to tolerate serious opposition parties and newspapers at home. As new democracies emerge seeking from us financial and other forms of assistance, we will have reason enough to move away from those unwilling to adopt true reforms. We do not intend to dictate self-righteously their form of government, but neither are we obligated to support dictatorial forms of government.

The passage of nations from dictatorship to freedom is inevitably slow, difficult and often impermanent. Facilitating that passage is not simply or even primarily a matter of economic assistance. Indeed foreign aid is frequently wasted if the stagnant bureaucracies and stifled educational systems of the old regimes do not simultaneously give way to new governmental and legal structures. Free political institutions do not spring up and succeed automatically with the first loud blast of freedom's trumpets.

Considerable concern about the export of this country's superficial political "packaging" methods attended the arrival of American campaign consultants last winter in the new democracies of Eastern and central Europe. But pragmatic hands-on advice was in fact urgently needed by those who had never been candidates, party organizers, election commissioners or opinion pollers in an open society. Practical politics in this country, whatever its flaws, has a unique attraction for those hoping, as a result of their harsh experience under communism, to build new political parties that are less ideologically oriented, less structured and less dominated by strong leaders.

It is undisputed, however, that more than techniques and tactics are required to develop the institutions of democracy. As Czechoslovakia's President Václav Havel pressed upon the U.S. Congress, those who have long been lacking not only experience but also information about human rights principles and political reforms are hungry to learn more-how to build a truly free legislature, an independent judiciary, a restrained police authority, a system of responsible local governments and a civilian-controlled defense force. Acknowledging the major role that West Europeans and others will also play, the United States-through the Agency for International Development (AID), the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), NED and others-can surely supply whatever expert consultants, lecturers, election observers, legal precedents, textbooks and instructors these nations may request from us.

In addition to free political institutions, free economic institutions must also be in place to make economic assistance meaningful. From agriculture and banking to transportation and energy, from the establishment of new enterprises and export markets to true cooperatives and trade unions, the need for technical and practical advice from the United States and others is enormous in these nations, North and South, making their way to freedom. The process of privatization, the prevention of monopolies, the avoidance of gross economic inequalities and predatory business behavior, the proper use of economic incentives, the organization of effective joint ventures and free enterprise zones-these are but a few examples of American know-how of interest and value to these infant democracies.

Nor is economic assistance confined to transfers of funds, food, fuel and medical supplies, important as they are to nations in transition. Food assistance should reflect their needs as well as our surpluses. Trade preferences and credits, debt relief, commodity agreements, investment guarantees, technology transfers (including pollution controls) and access to international finance and trade organizations are also essential to economic growth in these countries.

Building a stable and enduring democracy, always difficult, is even more difficult when complicated by the kind of massive economic problems faced today by new democracies in Europe, Central America and Africa-the very problems that contributed ultimately to their rejection of a Marxist state. Our objective must be not only the short-term alleviation of hunger, human misery and poverty but, more important, the establishment of long-term practices and policies that will strike at poverty's roots and make sustainable over the long run their economic growth and independence. Sustainable economic development requires curbs on excessive population growth and the emancipation and education of women regarding their choice of family size. It also requires effective curbs on environmental degradation, on the long-term poisoning of a nation's land, water and air resources that will ultimately defeat any economic recovery. Our assistance must stress both requirements.

Foreign aid that merely increases government bureaucracy, corruption and rigidity in a recipient country is worse than none at all. Foreign aid that is quietly but consistently conditioned upon a country's promulgation of political reform, human rights and free and fair elections should become a more common practice. No nation would be required to accept either our economic aid or our political philosophy, but neither should this nation feel required in the post-Cold War era to subsidize repression.


As our priorities change, so must we change a federal budget that now allocates to foreign assistance less than five percent of the amount it allocates to national defense. The Congress should not again be asked, as it has been asked this year, to allocate funds for new democracies on a one-shot, country-by-country basis with no overall plan or direction. It should not again be tempted to renege on U.N. dues in order to find money for demobilization and reform in Central America; to juggle scarce funds among programs for refugee relief, defense reconversion, Namibia's transition and Panama's reconstruction; to choose between helping freedom among the nations of Eastern Europe, for which we have striven for so long, and freedom among the poor and developing nations of the southern half of the globe that are far more likely to be future sources of regional or even global warfare.

Our armed forces are not about to be confined wholly to our own shores. Whatever new "architecture" the leaders of Europe may initiate with our help, whatever new roles and new boundaries for NATO, the European Community and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe may evolve, a credible American presence-dramatically reduced but not vanished militarily, and substantially increased both diplomatically and economically-should remain on that continent so long as enough Europeans seeking a counterweight (but not a military antagonist) to a reformed Russia, a resurgent Germany or recurrent European rivalries wish us to remain. The nations of the Warsaw Pact alliance will continue to require our vigilant attention, doing whatever we reasonably can do to facilitate further internal reforms, arms reductions and troop withdrawals. Nor can we precipitously abandon our presence and commitments in the Far East, where a substitution of Japanese for American protection would not be welcomed by all.

Nevertheless a fundamental reexamination of our national security posture should result in an American military machine vastly reshaped and reduced, reoriented more toward the speedy projection of conventional deterrent forces to other parts of the world, toward local low-intensity conflicts and terrorist activities, toward hostile acts by undemocratic and unpredictable governments in such countries as Libya, Iraq, Iran, Cuba and North Korea, toward the defense of strategic resource supply lines and the interdiction of illicit narcotics supply lines, toward curbing the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and ballistic weapons capabilities, toward verifying the implementation of arms control agreements and even providing disaster relief, infrastructural engineering and refugee shelter and transport in the least fortunate parts of the globe. These tasks, however important, clearly do not require the same levels or the same types of U.S. personnel, missiles, planes, ships, submarines, tanks, military bases or military spending as the threat of a Soviet attack.

Reorientation will not be limited to the Pentagon. The National Security Council, originally intended to integrate military and nonmilitary analysis, will need to expand its capacity for the latter, relying on fewer generals and Kremlinologists and more economists and election analysts, inviting to its meetings experts rarely invited in the past: from Commerce, Agriculture, the U.S. Trade Representative's office, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Council of Economic Advisers and nongovernmental organizations as well. The State Department will need to devote more attention to its stepchildren in USIA, AID, NED, the Peace Corps and other multilateral diplomatic and financial organizations. The CIA will need to find more experts on Germany and Japan as well as the Soviet Union, on Islamic fundamentalism as well as Marxism-Leninism, on industrial as well as military espionage, and on oil-field as well as battlefield defense.

But the most important change of all is that required in the attitude of the American people and their elected leaders in Washington. Today, as a result of more than forty years of patient and prudent determination, we are on the threshold of securing the kind of world of which we have heretofore only dreamed, a community of democracies united by their commitment to law and peace, neither threatened by hostile armies or ideologies nor dominated by any one nation politically or economically. Because we have the largest economy, the most wealth and one of the lightest tax burdens of any industrialized nation in the world, because we are the only nation that is an economic as well as a military superpower, we have both the obligation and the ability to play a principal role in building that kind of world. Multipolarity means that we should be only one member of the team in that effort. But at least we will be on the field of play and not merely a cheerleader or spectator on the sidelines.

Unfortunately, with neither foreign enemies nor domestic leadership to spur the American public to new and greater efforts internationally, our political thinking in recent years on the range of issues discussed above has been characterized by caution and deadlock, focusing on limiting our public revenues but not our private consumption, on constantly polling the voters but not enlightening them. In past years, this country, whether challenged with world war or Cold War, responded boldly and decisively. If we continue now to think small, talk poor, preach gloom and always place our individual private interests ahead of the public good, we will gradually lose respect as well as relative strength and influence in a world that will not wait. But if we can elect leaders with the courage and wisdom to make the difficult choices required among the many demands on our government and resources-and forge a consensus on those choices-if we can put to constructive use those additional resources that the ending of the Cold War has made available to us (provided we have the good sense to utilize them), then the prospects for maintaining this country's genuine national security in a genuinely free and peaceful world will be very bright indeed.

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