Before the Second World War it was customary to lay the blame for the more flagrant mistakes of American foreign policy on the President and the party in power. Until relatively recently, the major foreign policy problems that confronted each Administration were few in number and generally translatable into simple political issues.
On both the political and economic fronts American foreign policy has been on an uneven track of stumbles and reversals. On the political front the stumbles—Bosnia, Somalia, Haiti—have been the most visible but in many ways the most excusable. In each case the United States has been locked into commitments to the United Nations and its allies to consult first and abstain from unilateral action. The problems in Bosnia and Somalia have been just as intractable for the Europeans.
ONE unfortunate by-product of the Kissinger era has been such a personalization of American foreign policy that the public now forgets—if it ever knew—that crisis management is only one aspect of diplomacy. In fact, the making and implementatio [...]
The first reaction of the educated public to a new volume of political memoirs is one of wariness. Will this be another pièce justicatif — or an example of Establishment iconography aimed at glorifying distinguished pomposity—or both combined, as in the much overrated Stimson memoirs.
Regardless of temporary strains at the governmental level, detente in the broader, multi-level sense is now the norm in relations between the Soviet Union and the West. It is even more pervasive in relations between Eastern Europe and the West, as [...]
Thirty years ago the postwar relationship between the United States and Japan—loosely called an alliance, though technically nothing of the sort—became fixed in the mold set by the MacArthur shogunate, the Japanese Constitution of 1946, and the [...]