The Clinton Presidency: First Appraisals

By Colin Campbell; Bert A. Rockman | Go to book overview

interests. It now faces security challenges that do not directly threaten U.S. survival but are nevertheless vital to U.S. global interests. Thus, military power will be used primarily for coercive purposes in support of diplomacy. In the words of Defense Secretary William Perry, " Oliver Cromwell once said that a man-of-war is the best ambassador. That's not really quite true. As the negotiations with North Korea proved, the best approach is a good ambassador backed up by a man-of-war."

President Clinton acknowledged his own learning curve. In an interview with Time on 31 October 1994, the president said regarding foreign policy, "I've completely stopped [talking on the fly] . . . I think, tactically, we are making better moves. We're doing it better; we're making fewer mistakes. Part of that is, I think, just learning." The conventional wisdom is that President Clinton will have no choice other than "morphing" himself into a foreign policy president while redefining U.S. interests in the post-Cold War world. This evolution would be predicated on a "Clinton Doctrine"--an overriding set of principles to guide U.S. foreign policy. At this point, such a paradigm is still in the making.


Acknowledgments

We want to thank the following people for their helpful comments: Bruce Jentleson, Miroslav Nincic, Bertjan Verbeek, and the editors. We want also to thank our research assistant, Cyndi Boaz.


Notes
1.
Larry Berman and Bruce W. Jentleson, "Bush and the Post-Cold War World: New Challenges for American Leadership," in The Bush Presidency: First Appraisals, ed. Colin Campbell and Bert A. Rockman (Chatham, N.J.: Chatham House, 1991): 93-94.
3.
See Eric Alterman, "So, Comeback Kid," Mother Jones, November/December 1994. See also Arthur Schlesinger Jr, "Houdini in the White House," Wall Street Journal, 21 September 1994.
4.
Quoted in "William Jefferson Bonaparte," The Economist, 17-23 September 1994, 25.
5.
Bruce W. Jentleson, With Friends Like These ( New York: Norton, 1994). See also Charles William Maynes, "Iraq Backs Down for Now," New York Times, 11 October 1994.
6.
Fred Barnes, "Back Again," New Republic, 21 November 1994.
7.
See Larry Berman, ed., Looking Back on the Reagan Presidency ( Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990).
8.
"Somali Showdown," New York Times, 11 August 1993, A2; "U.S. May Dispatch Commando Forces to Arrest Somali," New York Times, 11 August 1993, A1.

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