by Richard J. Barnet
The Price of Survival"
by James Chace
by John Gabree
are two views of foreign policy contrary to the neo-Cold War mentality
now prevalent in Washington, one by the founder of the left-wing Institute
for Policy Studies, the other by the managing editor of Foreign
of the Institute for Policy Studies, argues that even if U.S. nuclear
superiority was achievable, world peace would not be guaranteed. Despite
vast arsenals, neither superpower has had much luck in the last decade
controlling events in either the Third World or its own backyard.
Vietnam or Afghanistan, Iran or Egypt, neither side has been successful
at using the carrot of military aid or the stick of military intervention
to its advantage. There appear to be limits to what force can achieve.
Reagan administration has accelerated the shift, begun under Carter,
from dentente to a conflict model of international relationships.
The trouble with this approach, of course, is that it raises the spectre
of nuclear annihilation. Barnet believes national security lies more
realistically in arms control and international cooperation. He favors
working toward a stable world order based on a diffused political
power that takes into account Third World aspirations and needs.
is an interesting essay, flawed by Chace's tendency to argue backward
from diplomatic necessity to domestic policy. He makes the case for
economic strength as the key to foreign policy. U.S. policy is crippled,
he believes, by unrealistic and irrelevant goals and by the weakness
of an economy based on credit. He calls for a reduction in our dependency
on foreign resources, the creation of a coherent national energy policy,
the curbing of consumerism in favor of the rebuilding of our economic
base, and the rebirth of American industry and technology. Though
these recommendations are short on specifics, they do provide a provocative
alternative to the greed and hopelessness that characterize official
policy these days.
authors agree that we cannot defeat the Russians by being more bellicose
than they (or that perhaps we can, but to what end?). Our open economic
system and democratic institutions give us a clear advantage in any
political conflict with the Soviets. If we can reduce our foreign
entanglements, especially our dependence on imported oil, and develop
a realistic appreciation of our power and a practical set of foreign
policy goals, they believe genuine national security can be achieved.
Security by Richard J. Barnet
or Solvency: The Price of Survival by James Chace