Further, the U. Far from being a Utopian view, this approach's advocates include prominent former national security officials, such as Robert McNamara. No nation has more to lose in a world of nuclear anarchy than the United States. Because this nation is the world's leading nuclear power, it retains considerable potential as a prime architect of a new security system.
But that influence is waning fast, as weapons spread. Only a "minimum deterrent" force, ranging from dozens to about a hundred weapons, and a clear commitment never to use nuclear weapons except in retaliation for a nuclear attack, will send the message that the United States and the other nuclear powers are committed to a post-nuclear order.
Sending such a message is essential to a non-proliferation strategy, but it is obviously not sufficient. The strategy will also require unprecedented cooperation among the present nuclear powers and tight international controls on fissionable materials and nuclear technology.
See a Problem?
To accomplish any of this will require the great powers to limit their use of arms sales as a prime lever of geo-political influence. While the threat of great power nuclear holocaust has receded, the insertion of nuclear weapons into the disorders of the post-Cold-War world increases the risk of their actual detonation. Unlike the Cold War antagonists, some of the aspiring nuclear powers, faced with perceived life-and-death struggles, might actually use nuclear weapons.
Technological advances, verification, and, more important, the more open world now emerging, make a post-nuclear order possible, and necessary. Therefore, the disorders of the post-Cold-War world make the elimination of the nuclear threat the highest possible foreign policy priority for the U. There can be no security as long as these weapons are considered legitimate instruments of warfare or politics.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
In the emerging world order, peace and stability in Eastern Europe and outside of Europe will depend less on deterrence and more on crisis prevention -- the defusing of political situations before they erupt in violence. Crisis prevention machinery should be under a United Nations umbrella because the U. The task of keeping the peace and creating the conditions of stability in the post-Cold War world will take much more active and coordinated diplomacy among the Cold War-era allies, large amounts of money for the repair of environmental damage and for the re-tooling of industry to prevent further damage, for development aid and investment, and for a new set of minimum environmental and labor standards for the conduct of world trade.
As the economic, social, and ecological agenda becomes more central, more expensive, and more difficult, it is in the U. The idea that the U.
Moreover, it is in the U. Taking over the policy role unilaterally has led to American weakness, not strength. And ad hoc military coalitions put together in crises are precarious and unstable. It is not a brilliant strategy to continue hectoring Germany and Japan to play a more expansive global military role at a time when economic conflicts between the U. All three economic powers share a common interest not only in diverting investment from the military to their industrial bases and supporting infrastructure, but also a common strategy to raise wages and improve living standards in developing countries in order to expand the world market.
But no such common strategy yet exists. The dismantling of obsolete military structures increases the possibilities of constructive American engagement with Europe.
The U. We are living in a world of increasingly visible violence, but neither the nuclear weapons stockpiles, the rapid deployment forces, the NATO forces, nor the 'low-intensity warfare" capabilities which make up so much of the military budget address the disorders of a world that is no longer engaged in a global conflict.
A president willing to give up the illusion of organizing the world by projecting military power would have a decent chance to mobilize the money, energy, and will to rebuild and govern this society.
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The United States can best influence the shape of the new Europe by rebuilding American society and defining and pursuing a global economic agenda. The faster the nation deals with its domestic crisis, the stronger will be its position with respect to the trade and investment issues that are the major source of conflict among the economic great powers. These include the irrationality of the present ground rules for world trade, the confusion about whether to welcome or fear European and Japanese investment in the United States, and the challenge of increasing the accountability of transnational corporate actors, irrespective of the flag they fly.
We need new rules not only to redefine this nation's commercial relations with its trading partners, but to establish a common approach between nations and global private finance and industry. A concerted effort by the industrial democracies to deal with the global environmental crisis, which threatens the very processes by which wealth is created and life sustained, is an obvious security priority, too. Thus, the primary political task for the United States is to develop a new foreign policy that will permit the renewal of our political institutions, industrial and commercial enterprises, and population centers.
The primary intellectual task is to redefine the relationship of the United States to the radically changing political, economic, and ecological environment. Alan Tonelson, research director of a Washington think tank, has taken on this task in a recent issue of The Atlantic , and his efforts demonstrate how difficult it is to rethink the national interest. He attacks "internationalism" with familiar arguments, most of which I find congenial.
In its Wilsonian quest for a new world order, the United States believed its own overblown rhetoric about the "indivisibility" of peace. Military interventions, para-military operations, peace-keeping missions, foreign aid programs -- all of which the author lumps together as instruments of misguided idealism -- exhausted the country. I stopped nodding when it became clear that what Tonelson calls "interest-based thinking," a term I found intriguing, is astonishingly close to the "America First" mindset of the prewar isolationists.
The isolationist impulse is in the American grain, reinforced daily by so many different forces in our culture. The "internationalism" of the Cold War era against which the author rails is in reality a virulent strain of isolationism; a nation that can realize its dreams of running the planet doesn't have to learn to live in it. Tonelson dresses up his prescriptions for withdrawing from the messy world beyond our shores with the language of hard-headed realism.
Nuclear annihilation, chemical longing, human pollination, city banter, and fast food fuse to create glimpses of friendship, love lost and found, and the unraveling of american pre-dispositions. Qualles finds the ether lingering above life and pulls herself into it to draw us a map. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview Nuclear annihilation, chemical longing, human pollination, city banter, and fast food fuse to create glimpses of friendship, love lost and found, and the unraveling of american pre-dispositions.
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Cold War International History Conference: Paper by William Stueck | National Archives
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